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Managerís Corner/Grow Your Business: Market Someone Elseís

by Liz Weber

I just completed helping one of my clients (letís call him Ted) with his marketing quandary. He really doesnít like making phone calls or visiting clients to drum up work for his own company; itís just not something heís ever been comfortable doing. He has said to me, ďI can sell for someone else, just not myself.Ē Obviously that mindset is not a good one to have when you own your own business, but how can you work around it if you donít have a sales team and you want to keep your business alive? Market someone elseís.

In my meetings with Ted, I had been able to identify a number of areas where his business complemented another one of my clientís, Karenís. (Karen doesnít like to market her own services either.) So why not have Ted help market Karenís firm? That way, while prospecting for Karen, Ted would also be identifying potential new clients for his own firm. If any viable leads for his firmís services arose, heíd notify Karen. Karen would then call the prospective new customer and say, ďTed has told me about your current needs. You know, my company canít directly support that; however, my companyís got a strategic alliance with ABC, Inc. (Tedís firm). ABC, Inc. can handle your needs. Iíll have Ted, who helps market for us and who runs that organization, get back to you. Ted can then discuss what ABC, Inc. can do.Ē Itís all on the up-and-up. The customer is assured Ted isnít trying to pull a fast one. Both firms benefit; both firms increase their marketing activities; both firms potentially gain new customers; and the customer gets the services it needs without having to look any further. This is an extreme case, but it has worked.

You can also market someone elseís firm by simply referring your customers or clients to them. I have been able to do this recently, and have referred one of my clients to another one of my clients. As a result, I have had the pleasure of seeing them start to do business with each other. My company has also been the happy recipient of referrals from former clients that have resulted in new clients.

Spread the word. Tell your customers about the good work and services offered by others. If your customers trust you, theyíll contact the firms you suggest. You may have just helped grow someone elseís business. And you never know, someone else may help you grow yours too.

© 2003 - Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. Liz can be reached at Additional articles can be found at

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