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Developing Strategic Alliances in Like Industries

When we look for referrals, most often we look from without rather than from within: We cold-call outside our industry partners. The fact that it is easier for many of us to talk to a stranger usually stems from a lack of confidence in our presentation. We also may be embarrassed to ask people who already know and love us for a referral or a new prospect, because we feel we should be able to forge our own success. I say that kind of thinking is wrong.

People who already know and love you are one of your best sources for new prospects and referrals. Your competitors are another excellent source. Yes, your competitors.

Take attorneys, for example. They are the best referral sources for other attorneys because each usually specializes in a particular area of law. When a family counselor’s client is headed for divorce (I know that this rarely happens, especially to those family counselors who are reading this), that client can be referred to a real estate attorney to facilitate the sale of the house.

Look deep into what you do. If you think everyone in your profession shares your specialty, I challenge you to contact me (1-888-584-7073 or gerry@integritysd.com). I can show you how you differ from those you consider your competitors. Most importantly, I can show you how to develop strategic alliances with them to help each of you ‘give to get’ and ultimately grow your businesses.

The convenience in forging such strategic alliances is that, in most cases, you speak the same language. Lawyers may have different specialties, but they share a language all their own. Whether you’re in retail, engineering, or automotive repair, the language within your industry is the same’and the learning curve is shortened. We get to know someone sooner, develop a line of trust sooner, and feel comfortable referring them sooner.

Find the best in people whose products or services you do not necessarily endorse or use. The return on your investment can be great, because your clients could benefit from those products or services’and gratefully send you new prospects and referrals. The first story below illustrates this point.

I hate negative amortization mortgages; all the homeowner does is pay interest on the loan. The only advantage is that some renters might be able to buy a home sooner. I never will have a negative amortization loan because I don’t believe in them. However, my friend Sandra does; as a mortgage broker, that’s all she writes. (I tease her that she arranges for people’s financing in the dead of night behind the grocery store.)

Back when I was selling health insurance to my self-employed clients to help them protect their assets, many of them wanted to buy a home for the first time. But between groceries, insurance, and young children most could barely afford their rent, and a home loan was out of the question.

I referred Sandra to my clients who desperately wanted to become homeowners. They were able to get homes so easily that they sent me all their friends who needed health insurance’whom I then sent to Sandra for home loans. Everybody was happy because we all got what we wanted. I became one of Sandra’s best referral sources and she one of mine. We no longer live near enough to refer on a regular basis, but I think of her often. Although I don’t need her product for my family, she provides a valuable service to her niche market’as I do to mine.

Less successful is the case of two financial planners, the first dealing exclusively in secure-risk financial management and the second in less-secure transactions. Each has a niche and serves a different clientele. The first is my client, who is seeking more prospects and referrals. Emphatic about not believing in less-secure transactions, he made it extremely clear that he would not recommend those investments to anyone, client or not. However, someone with a more open mind might choose to build a relationship with the second planner, because certain investors are interested in less-secure offerings. In the end my client lost a valuable opportunity to develop a strong referral source.

Expand your sphere of influence. Be open to exploring different relationships with people outside your normal lines of business. Build relations with people of the highest morals, values, and ethics. Be flexible and open-minded about their products and services while making sure that they service customers who share values equal to yours. If you do, I can assure you unlimited prospects and referrals.
Biography: Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking

Solutions in Oceanside, CA. He works with realtors who want to attract the right prospects and their affinity partners who want to generate more referrals. More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability. Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His books, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, 101 Tips to Attract Prospects, 101 Tips to Generate Referrals and Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Giving Your Clients What They WANT, So You Get What You WANT are currently available. Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, Using Your Time, Energy, and Creativity to Create Value, will be available in 2006.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses. He is a networking dynamo. Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together’which is why he started Integrity.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is an Accomplished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations. To contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information, call (888) 584-7073. You can contact Gerry by mail at 2103 Wedgewood Drive, Suite 100, Oceanside, CA 92056. Fax to (760) 439-5043; e-mail to. For more information, go to http://www.integritysd.com/

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