I define a strategic alliance as someone who is already well connected to large numbers of your ideal clients. Developing and nurturing strategic alliance relationships is imperative in the business world.
There are 10 people or organizations who could probably put you on the map, big time, if they were inclined to help you. If you have just ten of these healthy strategic relationships, your reach automatically extends into ten different social networks. You get free advertising, free recommendations, access to new markets, and a platform for support and idea building. It is an excellent technique for attracting new clients.
But while you might seek out strategic relationships in terms of what you can get, you can only build them by exploring what you can give. This rests upon the idea of reciprocity—people automatically give as much as, or more than, they receive. Reciprocity is one of the 5 major ways we are able to influence people. So, I want you to seriously consider how you can help your strategic alliances. Promote their events; send clients in their direction; comment on their blog; share their social media posts. Become their best friend. Take them out to breakfast. Check in periodically to make sure you stay on their radar.
The main idea is: Tend and befriend the relationship, and drop the desire to sell to them.
This works so well because enduring strategic alliance relationships are not simply business relationships; they are personal relationships. Personal relationships transcend the turbulence of the business world because they rest on a deeper understanding. You are there to support, inspire, and encourage one another, and this is just as valuable as anything you can do to bolster one another’s businesses. You don’t want to fake this sentiment; if you don’t feel it, it’s not a strategic alliance worth having.
Building strategic relationships, like building any relationships, is a long process. But make sure that you try and meet in person, face-to-face if possible, at least once in the early days, and go from there.
Of course, you can’t begin building a strategic alliance network until you know who these alliances are.
So here is a handy template you can download to help you brainstorm who your top 10 alliances are, what you can do for them, and what they can do for you.
Download Your Top 10 Strategic Relationships Template Here
Download your “Strategic Top 10 Relationships” template here.