New business owners spend a lot of time and money trying to come up with marketing ploys to attract new customers; some of which work, some of which don’t. Here’s one sure-fire way to find new customers that you probably haven’t heard of.
A New Twist on Networking
You’re probably aware of the value of networking with established business owners. You might join your local chamber of commerce or a networking group. Once you’ve established a relationship, those business people refer their customers to you.
Here’s a new twist on networking: find the right established business and offer the owner a Dual Benefit Marketing Plan.
What’s a Dual Benefit Marketing Plan?
Here are the basic ideas behind creating a marketing plan that helps both you and the owner of an already successful business:
Imagine that you’re an established business owner with a nice list of customers. You’d like to find a way to market to them and entice< them to come back and buy more.
Now think about your situation—you have a new business with little or no customers. You’d like to find some.
What if you could offer the customers of the established business something for free, that would make that business look good, but would also bring customers to you?
The owner of the other business reminds the past customers about his products and services, gets to offer them a free goodie for being a past customer. You get to meet his customers and try to make them customers of your business, too.
An Example of Dual Benefit Marketing
Let’s say that you have a business selling high-end men’s watches and accessories. XYZ Suits sells custom-tailored men’s suits. The owner would love to market to past customers. You’d love to get new business. Here’s how:
You offer something for free to the customers of XYZ Suits. Perhaps a high-quality tie tack or set of cuff links.
You draft a marketing letter or postcard for the owner of XYZ Suits to use, promoting the free item at your watch store.
The owner of XYZ Suits sends the marketing piece out to all his past customers.
XYZ Suits’ customers are excited to get something for free. Since the postcard was sent by XYZ Suits, they make a positive connection to the store they’ve already done business with.
XYZ Suit’s customers come into your watch shop to get their free tie tack. While they’re there, you offer them a discount on a watch if they “Like” your social media page or sign up for your newsletter. Some of them will likely buy something at your store while they’re there.
- You get new business and new customers.
- XYZ Suits reminds its customers that the store cares about their repeat business.
- The customer gets a free tie tack
- The customer finds a great new source for high-end watches
- The customer is reminded that the owner of XYZ Suits wants his repeat business.
How To Make it Happen
Find a business whose customers align closely with yours. A custom suit business would definitely have the same clientele as a high-end watch store—a sporting goods store wouldn’t align as closely.
Come up with a great freebie to offer that the customers of the other business would be interested enough to come to your shop.
Approach the owner of the other business with your idea. Make it clear that the marketing piece would focus on HIS business and will present the free offer as a reward for being a customer of his business.
Create a great marketing piece that promotes the other business, and directs customers to your business.
Run the marketing campaign, track the results and see how many new customers you’ve gained.