Ask SUCCESS is your place to get questions answered on how to market more effectively. In each issue, marketing expert Bob Serling is joined by another expert to answer your questions. Have a question you’d like answered? Just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s question is: How can I get partners to sell my products?
Bob Serling: Today, I’ve invited Graham McGregor, the leading marketing expert in New Zealand, to join me in answering this question.
Graham McGregor: While this may sound obvious, make sure that your products or services are a good fit for your partner’s customer list. Also, make it easy for partners to sell your product. For example, I’ll give the partner a proven sales email that has already worked before, and say they can use it with their list. It’s already written out with their details on it, so all they have to do is copy and paste. When you do something like that, it makes it easier to get partners to work with you.
Bob: I couldn’t agree more. If you’re approaching somebody who would be a good partner, they’re going to be very busy and have other projects going, so you’re really asking them to interrupt their schedule to promote for you. If you make more work for your partner, there’s little or no hope of getting them to do it, so you need to make it as easy as possible.
Bob: When you use this approach, generally how long do you find it takes to put together a joint venture or a deal like this?
Graham: It can vary. For example, I approached four real estate trainers on the same day and I had a positive response from one person within 24 hours. I approached them with a message like, “I have an interesting idea that I think could make a lot of sales of a valuable product to your list and we would share the profits. I’d love to give you more information. Is that of interest?”
He replied right away and we had a quick chat on the phone where I gave him more details. He agreed and the project was underway within a week. However, some people are not receptive and some people will take a lot longer. Sometimes timing is an issue. If they have other campaigns already booked out weeks or months ahead, then they have to fit you in further down the track.
Bob: Can you share another example that illustrates this well?
Graham: Here are a couple more things that work well. I put together a little publishing venture recently where we organize a group of local businesses to co-promote their services to each other by providing helpful articles. I’ve found that if I can get one or two people involved locally in a guide like this, they will then recommend what they’re doing to other business owners they know as well.
But again, I provide them with the email to send to their friends. I tell them, “If you know of other companies you’d like to have involved in the same promotion, here’s an email you can send to your colleagues.”
This works very well. An email coming from someone you know and trust makes for a very easy sale much of the time. Also, it’s important to make sure that whatever you’re selling is very low risk from the point of view of your partner. It has got to be something that adds value to their clients. It has very low risk with either a money-back guarantee or something they can see is going to really add huge value to their clients. And, of course, it also helps if you can build up relationships with partners before approaching them.
Bob: Excellent. Let me add something about building relationships, particularly for people trying to find partners but don’t have much of a track record. One of the best things you can do is, instead of asking a company to sell your product for you, you can approach them about selling their product.
Once you take their product and sell it, either as an affiliate or to your own list, and you’re making them money, they will definitely take notice. That gives you the ability to make a connection with them and ask them to promote for you. From there, it triggers a domino effect of getting other people who you’re interested in to promote, because you can use that same approach, and you can use the track record you gained with the first person.
Bob Serling helps business owners and entrepreneurs generate more traffic, make more sales, and do both more often. Get his free ebook of interviews with 30 leading experts, including SUCCESS Publisher Darren Hardy, at www.ProfitAlchemy.com/success
Graham McGregor helps business owners and entrepreneurs get an unfair marketing advantage. Download a free copy of his 396-page Ebook “The Unfair Business Advantage Report” at www.TheUnfairBusinessAdvantage.com