A client posed a question to me: “Customers are your most valuable asset, so why in the world would you share them with another company”?
My answer is simple – to get more customers.
If you can partner with non-competing, complementary businesses who have a similar customer base, you can have access to a huge group of potential new customers at virtually no cost. In exchange for letting them market to your customer base, you get to market to their customer base.
For example, if you provide pest control services – find companies who also provide home services like electricians, plumbers, etc. If you own a retailer that sells athletic gear, find a fitness center in which to partner.
If you think about it, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities.
Before you jump in, there are some important steps to remember.
1. Reputation – Make sure the company you partner with has a reputation you want to be associated with.
2. Courtesy – Let the company you are partnering with make the introduction to their customers and vice-versa. It’s just good customer etiquette.
3. Incentive – Provide an exclusive offer to these new customers to encourage them to try your services.
4. Recognition – If you are going to market directly to their customers, make sure you merge your customer information so you don’t market to their customers who may also be your customers.
5. Tracking – Make sure you are able to track which new customers come from their customer base so you know if the partnership is equitable.
Sharing customers can be a great, inexpensive source for growth. Just another way to help you market smarter.