In my writing and presentations, I talk a lot about time...how to save time, how to spend time, and how to leverage time. I focus on time because it impacts how much time we have to focus on building authentic relationships with our best clients. Maximizing our time on client relationships is just good business.
Leveraging Key Strategic Partnerships is one of the fastest ways to grow a professional service firm. Knowing how to leverage Key Strategic Partnerships can save you time, energy, and money. And, the outcome will be a bigger and better firm. One insight is that a firm that focuses on growing by deliberately building relationships will also have fewer internal issues. Having better strategic relationships will lead to better client relationships. In turn, better client relationships leads to better employee relationships. Focusing on key relationships will reduce employee turnover and client churn rates.
Let’s define Strategic Sales so that we have common language for our discussion. Strategic Sales is the process of leveraging mutually beneficial partnerships to promote Educational Entertainment to attract your Ideal Clients in bulk. Most businesses pursue clients one lead at a time, but Strategic Sales focuses on mutually beneficial relationships that can bring you a high volume of your ideal clients.
The key components of Strategic Sales are:
- Educational Entertainment - your ideal clients have problems that they need to solve. Can you educate and entertain them on how you help them solve their problems?
- Leveraging - the point of leverage is to maximize the output of the effort you put into your business. Why would you have a one-on-one sales conversation if you could use the same effort to share Educational Entertainment with fifty of your ideal customer prospects?
- Mutually beneficial - all parties to a Strategic Sales partnership must benefit in some way. At a minimum, you benefit by gaining ideal clients, your partner benefits by sharing your Educational Entertainment with their clients, and participants benefit by learning something new. As a bonus, you can use Educational Entertainment to raise funds for a favorite charity - another party who may benefit.
- Promote - you and your partners can promote one another’s Educational Entertainment to your clients and theirs. This could range from low effort (mass email) to high effort (direct phone calls). The goal is to share the message of your Educational Entertainment as widely as possible.
- Attract - if you truly offer Educational Entertainment, you will have potential clients begging to work with you. This will shorten your sales cycle and increase the average transaction size of new customers.
- Ideal clients - you define exactly who you want to work with. Clarity is crucial here as this will determine who you choose as Key Strategic Partners and who you invite to your Educational Entertainment events.
- Bulk - this is the real advantage of Strategic Sales. You will focus on delivering Educational Entertainment to large groups of your ideal prospects. You will easily convert more of your ideal prospects into your ideal clients.
- Relationships - this is crucial, you are building real mutually beneficial relationships with your Key Strategic Partners.
Too many people focus on transactional networking in order to find their next client. These people go to networking events and swap business cards. I give you an introduction, you give me an introduction. We both benefit, but the benefit is nominal.
The point of Key Strategic Partnerships is to understand the businesses that can benefit by sending you introductions and who you can benefit by sending introductions their way. You add value to your clients by helping them solve problems that might otherwise not be solved by working with you. Your Strategic Partnerships should add value to your clients. Ironically, this also turns existing clients into great referral partners. They know that you will help them solve their problems, so they reward you by bringing their friends to you.