Everyone Can Use Cross – Promotion
Believe it or not, some other business has already spent the time, effort, and advertising dollars to attract a ton of customers for you – customers who can be yours for little more than the asking.
We’re not talking about stealing anyone’s customers away but about gaining access to new customers or clients with the expressed permission and warm cooperation of the business that acquired those customers in the first place.
In marketing jargon, this process is known as “cross-promoting.” Company A agrees to let Company B deliver a sales message to the people who are Company A’s customers.
Step one: Ask yourself, “Who already has a strong relationship with people to whom I might be able to sell a noncompetitive but kindred product or service?”
Step two: Visit those noncompeting businesses and ask their owners to introduce your product or service to their customers. When you go to see them, take along plenty of information about what you sell and some testimonials from very satisfied customers. As an incentive, offer your prospective “partner” comparable access to your customer base.
Here are two examples of this rapid business-building tool in action:
A landscaping firm persuaded a real estate firm to introduce its shrub-and tree-planting service to recent home-buying clients. The landscaper reaped orders galore as a result! Sales rose 40%.
An attorney who handles heavy-duty tax cases wrote a letter to his clients. The “P.S.” told them that they might want to look over a checklist of tax-filing hints given to him by a new tax-preparation service. The tax-preparer got all kinds of new business as a result of that relationship.
The introduction itself can be a relatively passive gesture – like the attorney’s P.S. or a company simply letting you include your brochure in its mailing as “ride-along” advertising.
Any small business can – and should – use cross-promotions, which rarely fail to generate new business. The right cross-promoting relationships can be like finding money in the street.