Creating Strategic Business Alliances as a Way of Life: By Dan Page
It seems quite often that Strategic Alliances are a mystery to some people, or convenient industry buzzwords to others, tossed around in casual business conversations.
What most people don’t realize is that Strategic Alliances can be a way of life. They can vault you to levels of success that many people only dream about. I should know, because they’ve been the cornerstone of my business for the last 32 years.
I’ve created Strategic Alliances with “household names”, like Citibank, The Rolling Stones, Discover Card, Coors and Heinz, just to name a few. Along the way, I’ve generated over $500 Million in sales from these alliances. But don’t think for a minute that Strategic Alliances are only for large companies.
On the contrary, a Strategic Business Alliance is much faster and easier with small companies, or even just a couple of guys (or gals) working together. Before we jump in, let’s clarify what I mean when I use the term “Strategic Alliance”.
In my world, it is where two companies (or people) cooperate together for their mutual advantage. I typically structure my alliances so that both parties are giving and receiving. So it’s not just a one-way “Hey, you wanna pitch my product to your list?” type of arrangement that is so common in the Internet marketing space. (Not that pitching someone’s product is a bad thing, if the numbers are attractive!)
Here’s how I go about creating mutually beneficial Strategic Alliances:
1.) Determine What You’re Looking For
It may seem trite, but usually (though not always) you will want to have a specific goal or outcome you’re attempting to achieve, before setting out in search of a strategic alliance partner.
It could be something specific like “I want to have a partnership with this guy, or this company, so I can sell my product to their customer base”, or “ I want to build my list, and am willing to provide a great interview or service to do so”.
Or sometimes it is not necessarily a bad thing to have a goal that is not quite so targeted like “I want to find a way to work with this company or this guy, so that we can get to know each other, build on that relationship and do great things together.
For example, I recently struck a relationship with on the Internet’s most famous marketers, with nothing else in mind than getting to know him and figuring out what we can do together. Now, a mere four months later, we are embarking on a major alliance to create a product together, marketing it to his list of 100,000 subscribers. But I didn’t just go to him with my hat in my hand. Instead, I did him a big favor to earn his trust and friendship.
More on that one, below.
2.) Who is in the Best Position to Help You?
Once you have a particular goal or outcome in mind, this next stage is pretty easy.
Ask yourself: “Who are the people (and companies) that can help me achieve my desired goal?”
Or another way to put it: “If I were to transport myself into the future, who are the people (or companies) that I would see myself being in a harmonious relationship with, where they are enthusiastically helping me achieve my dreams”?
Now I know,…this sounds kinda new-age flaky. But it is a very important step.
Because if you can’t figure out who can help you to achieve your “goal”, your likelihood of getting there stays permanently locked in your imagination.
But if you can envision what you want to achieve, then figure out who can help you get there, you’re making some serious headway. Sometimes you need to start, just by figuring out what the person “would look like” (their profession, characteristics, experience, etc.).
Let me give you a concrete example, to help pull this together. One that I created out of “thin air”…THIS WEEK.
You see, I’m getting ready to launch a very unique product in partnership with my wife, who is an expert blogger. Our combined skills revolve around the content creation, posting, traffic and revenue generation of blogs. But I wouldn’t bill either one of us as a “WordPress” expert.
Therefore, my “goal” was to find a WordPress expert whose skills are complimentary to ours. I wanted to create a Strategic Alliance with this person, backfilling our lack of WordPress expertise with his/her expertise, and offering to do the same for him.
I found a fellow who was selling a “How To” WordPress product and bought it. Then I reached out to him, and told him about our product. He became excited, because it represents skills that he does not currently possess. And he thought his clients would be interested, too.
So I proposed an alliance, wherein we would combine some of his expertise with ours, and vice versa. We would both benefit by increased sales, and helping each other with marketing.
He agreed and we’re off and running down the path toward creating a strategic business alliance. In less than seven days.
This ONLY happened, because I knew exactly what I was looking for, and I envisioned the type of person who could help me achieve my goal. I didn’t have any idea who this exact person may be…but I knew he/she existed. In fact, I knew that hundreds (or thousands) of these people exist.
This is a great segue to the next (and most important) part of the process…
3.) What Can You Do For Them?
I gotta tell you, this is where MOST people screw up.
They approach Strategic Alliances like a selfish child, thinking ME, ME, ME. What’s in it for ME?
If you want to fail in business and life, that is a perfect recipe.
But if you want to be successful (at least with Strategic Alliances), you must be vigilant and think about what you can do for the other party. You must lead with this, and it must dominate your thinking.
At the same time, you must also keep your personal goal(s) in the back of your mind, asking yourself how this person (or company) may be able to help you achieve your goal, when the time is right.
Sometimes the time may be right to discuss your goals, coming out of the gate. But sometimes you’ll need to keep your mouth shut. Instead, do a great service for them…and let it unfold. That delicate balance is beyond the scope of this article.
But I can tell you from experience that if your primary focus is on what you can do for the other person (or company), more often than not, the reciprocal part of human nature will kick in, and you will get what you were striving for, all along.
Remember the top Internet marketer I mentioned above? Well, he was in need of some specialized marketing assistance in a very short time frame. Specialized marketing skills that I possess. Normally I would never take on a client like this, especially since it was a “commission-only” deal. But I really wanted to work with this gentleman.
So I dropped/postponed everything I was doing and focused on his particular need, generating $51,000 in revenue for him in three and a half weeks.
He was so genuinely impressed (and surprised), he initiated a conversation about how we might work together, teaching my process to his clients and partners.
And that is exactly what I was looking for. But I never had to ask.
This was a guest post by Dan Page Founder, Skill Highway Direct: (303) 449-4533 email@example.com
( Awesome post Dan thanks for the great internet marketing and business tips )