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I’ll give away the answer right away, then I’ll explain how they work:

Finding and using partners to add to what you offer can exponentially increase your income – very quickly.  It must be a vertical market, or associated product/service, and offer value to your existing target market.

There are two types of partners:

The first type of partner is called a JV (Joint Venture) partner where you introduce this company to your target market by direct email or by using ads and social media.  The JV will give you a percentage of the sales they make through your introduction.

This is especially common amongst consultants where each partner has a different angle or niche that they fill for a growing business (or a business that wants to grow).

Pros:  Gives the appearance of trust for both yourself and the partner (strength in numbers theory).

Cons:  You must track all leads programmatically so you can prove sales.
You must set up and use landing pages where you test and adjust what will get that visitor to give you their information.

Considerations:

  • Your time, although it may not be much to send out an email – depends on if you are running a business or a hobby. Businesses that promote JV partners use CRM’s and can implement forms (for capturing the visitor’s information) into landing pages that automatically capture, categorize and update the CRM automatically (see http://1-Box.com)
  • Some dollar investment if you run ads to bring in the customers. If you are not ad savvy and don’t have a Google consultant helping you, this most likely will be a waste of your time and money.  Keywords must be researched, split testing must be done and ads must be constantly monitored and adjusted.  There must be a landing page (or landing pages) where the visitor’s information is captured and, again, updated to your CRM.  .I prefer using different phone numbers and/or email addresses so I know which ad they came in from.

The second type of partner is a company that can extend your existing services.  Sometimes they do not get introduced or get any credit for the work they do – they are often called “white listed” because it’s branded to the company selling the product or service.

There are many examples of this I can give – two actually pertain to our business:

The first is the extension of our services by a firm that has proven themselves to us in areas where we can’t compete with what they offer with either our expertise or in the pricing:

After 20 years in Corporate IT, we developed (over the last 15 years and $1M) the tracking software that all small to mid-sized businesses need and can afford (http://1-Box.com CRM).

  • However, we have many that come to us with totally custom systems and portals. We can save them from 30 to 50% of what other companies charge because we have a partner overseas that provides the entire scope of any large Cloud, Enterprise Mobile (apps), Big Data or custom system technical requirements.
    This company provides Project Management, which includes providing technology planning, resources and design to development and security – which means we literally can turn the project over to them and do nothing but collect – and our clients still save that 30 to 50%.
  • We have a partner that will take any type of card you have and send a CSV file back for you (or us) to upload into your database – for practically pennies. Who doesn’t have a drawful of cards?  Are they doing you any good in that drawer?
  • We have a partner that will either train you how to work LinkedIn or do it for you – they are the best I’ve ever seen. They not only out-perform their competition, they out-price them as well.  They have over 18,000 connections to CXO’s (decision makers) – and know how to use them.
  • We have a partner that is very experienced in marketing overseas – and does the types of marketing that we do not (we only do internet marketing in-house). We coordinate with them for best results. We even have  a “webinar” and a “book release” partner.
  • We have a local professional Video studio partner that can video you or create other types of professional video’s for you.

You see where I’m going with this?  We have a goal to NEVER so no to a client that needs the very best – but we also look at pricing because we want all of these services available to ALL of our clients.

Now from the other side, the clients that either “white list” or refer to us:

Other companies offer our “Forms to CRM” (database) software – there are many  that make a huge increase in income by using us (http://1-Box.com):

  • Graphic Artists – a startup company cannot just put a web site out there and expect to get anything out of it. It must be promoted with well-developed marketing plans including forms and landing pages that update to their CRM.  It takes a little education to explain why starting out with the right software can make the difference between success and failure (Excel is not an option – unless it’s just your hobby).
  • Marketing firms – again, once the web site is out there, what do you do next? Promote it!  As already mentioned, marketers need to be explaining why a good CRM (tracking system) is crucial to the success of any company.  Even though we do internet marketing, we do not do other forms of marketing and we do not market to our client’s customers – we just provide the tools and/or work with outside specialists.
  • MLM’s/Resale/Realtors, Financial Advisors, etc. – what most do not realize is that the most successful at this are NOT using the software they are given. It usually cannot be easily integrated with their marketing and these companies usually charge extra for their already limited email campaign software, which is still the best way to reach your target market.What you don’t know if that these companies do not want savvy marketers to outrank them on Google!

    The really successful at this run Adwords and other ads – but they won’t tell you that because they don’t want you to compete with them.
    How do we win in this scenario?  The successful ones refer us to their teams and all work together to make it a win-win.

  • IT, SAAS or any type of computer or software sales – you’re already working with businesses that will at some point need either tracking systems or other custom systems.   It never hurts to let your clientele know that you can cover ALL of their needs – again at 30-50% less.   Why not just sit back and collect?

PROS:  Using other companies as a referral source (or White List source) to extend your current services are a proven source of income to many B2B companies.  Statistics show every business would rather deal with just one company that can provide everything they need rather than have to research each need and then “piecemeal” everything together.

CONS: If you see any CONS to this second approach, please explain in the comments!

CONSIDERATIONS:  You must take the time to understand the products/services that you are offering and how to sell them.  HOPING the customer will understand why they need this is a gross assumption and certainly won’t help you or them.

Please comment on how you have increased your profits by adding vertical markets to your offerings – that way I can add them as (anonymous or promotional) examples to help others.

_____________________________________________________________
Dawn Cassara
What Dawn is passionate about and speaks on:

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