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Increase Sales Through Alliances

Increase Sales Through Alliances

We often speak with business owners who don’t understand why they aren’t generating more leads. They seem to think that simply having a referral program in place is enough. We teach our clients that one, two or three lead generation strategies in place isn’t enough. You need to have ten strategies to broaden your lead generation net. If your one, two or three strategies suddenly “dry up” there are alternative strategies in place.

In the last issue we talked about the importance of a having a formal referral program in place. This issue is focused on another effective lead generation strategy…Host Beneficiaries.

Lead Generation – Host Beneficiary

You enter into a host beneficiary relationship when you and another noncompeting business with a similar target market engage in a non-contractual “loose” partnership to help each other generate leads. An example is a high-end salon who would offer clients of an upscale woman’s boutique free coloring on their first visit to the salon. Another example is a business training organization and business supply stores…stores offer their business clients a free one hour consultation with the training company. How about a house painter and a company that repairs and installs new gutters? Another example would be a video store and a pizza delivery service. The possibilities are endless.

Host Beneficiary – A Win – Win For Everyone

So why would the owner of a noncompeting business agree to help market my products? The answer is very simple. Clients of your host beneficiary appreciate the owner for offering them promotions that only they receive. What other woman’s boutique enables its clients to get a free coloring (example above)? This is an excellent strategy for business owners to offer their clients added value and in so doing help propel their clients to Raving Fans.

Host Beneficiary – Rules of the Game

Consideration 1: Before you establish which business would make a good host beneficiary partner, you need to know your target market(s). These types of lead generation strategies work best when soliciting business from a narrow target market, like those sited above.

Consideration 2: What are you going to offer client’s of your host beneficiary partner? Without a compelling and attractive offer, the chances of this strategy generating significant leads are nil. ?

Consideration 3: Know your costs…the lifetime value of your average client, your acquisition cost, and the profit margin by product are examples of relevant costs that you need to consider when designing a host beneficiary program.

Consideration 4: To be effective the letter you’re going to write for your host beneficiary partner to distribute to his/her clients must; 1) contain a great headline, 2) include your compelling offer, 3) be clear, concise and on point (rambling not permitted) and 4) include a post script as this is often the most read section of the letter.

If a host beneficiary programs is not one of your lead generation strategies, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to increase your customer base.

Business Tip – Approaching a Potential Host Beneficiary

Here are a couple things to keep in mind when approaching a potential host beneficiary partner.

  1. If you truly believe in your product, then you are doing the host business owner a favor by suggesting a host beneficiary partnership. If the other business owner understands what you are proposing and doesn’t jump at the opportunity, move on.
  2. You pay for the postage
  3. You write the letter for the host partner to edit.
  4. You mail the letters
  5. Offer to do the same for them at some point in the future.


“Get this right and you’ll have other people doing your marketing for you. And not only that, you’ll be spread your wings in such a way that other business will love you.” Brad Sugars, Founder and Chairman of ActionCOACH

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