If you are a B2B entrepreneur, one of the best investments you can make for your business is to have an alliance. No this is not for the justice league, but more for your own business growth. Having a core group of friends or business friends that you trust and respect, can help you increase your yearly revenue, add more value to your customers and best of all improve your brand image.
Let’s say that you are an accountant, who could you have in your business alliance? You could make friends with lawyers, web designers, marketers, pos machine providers, commercial real estate agents, graphic designers, store signage companies and many more. Having a group of 10-20friends who are B2B entrepreneurs and all of you are constantly recommending clients to one another is one of the best assets you can have in your business. Imagine closing extra 10-20 deals just from your core group of friends who are entrepreneurs just like you. The great thing about this alliance is that none of you are competitors, you simply service the same customer.
Let’s look at some ideas on how you can build your B2BAlliance. Start with LinkedIn, the forgotten social network. Instagram and Facebook are getting the majority of the attention these days, but very few people realize just how powerful LinkedIn and what a great asset it is to have as a business owner.
If you are looking for an accountant to be in your alliance, just search for “accountant + your city name” this search term will show you all the profiles/people that match this specific term. Repeat the process until you find someone for each category of service that you are looking for. Now to be as ethical as possible, make sure you actually research these people ahead of time to see if they are legitimate business people. Make sure they have no bad reviews online and if they do have bad reviews, watch and see how they handled the situation. You want to do business with good people. If you go ahead and recommend one of your clients and this person does a bad job, it makes you look bad and puts you in a negative position. After you make contact with your list of ideal people, go ahead and set up a meeting. Maybe go to a bar or grab lunch together as a group and spend some time getting to know each other. If you get the vibe that they are good people in real life as well, start working on building relationships with each other and slowly start recommending clients to one another.
Next tip, you can start going to your local chamber of commerce events in your own city.
The quality of people that go to these events is quite high; you can also attend your local BNI events in your area. When you attend these networking events have a goal of what types of people you want to meet and be proactive about it. Introduceyourself to as many people as possible and if you find someone that would be a great fit for your alliance, spend a bit more time getting to know them. Listen more than you speak and show that you care about what the other person is saying. Don’t be the guy that goes to these events and just hands out business cards and leaves. Once you find someone that you think would be a great addition to your alliance, put in some time and get to know their business and what types of clients they are looking for. Maybe you’ll realize that one of your current clients might need their services. The best way to earn a referral from someone is to give one yourself.
So go out there and start making those real-life connections, don’t just sit behind a computer all day waiting for things to happen. Be proactive and start making some real-life connections.