Success in the making with Joint Ventures!

I got this “Success Story” the other day from a client who is amazing! She runs a wall murals website and is an extreme “Success Story in the Making!” I look at this story as great proof that “Small Success leads to Big Success!” I really love what she shared about her experience with a joint venture or partnership pursuit. It goes to show that there still are really nice people out there waiting to give of their time and talents to help others without any expectation of return. Thanks for letting me post this Lisa! I’m sure it will help others to if they implement it in their business endeavors.

I am in the process of looking for business partners for my product. I have had to approach major corporations and the process has been interesting. Most executives are very hard to reach, and I usually have to make several phone calls to get a direct phone number or email.

Two days ago a Sunday I emailed the owner of the largest real estate agency in Orange County, New York. I had met the owner at a few social engagements, including a wedding, bar mitzvah and baby briss. As I do with all my emails, I followed up with a phone call. As usual, I was put through to a voicemail. I explained the nature of my business and asked if she would have any contact information, leads, information on anyone she knew who might be interested in my business. This was essentially a routine cold call.

To my surprise, this very busy woman called me back within the half hour. She said of course she remembered me and my husband. She was extremely friendly and said she probably didn’t get the email as she gets over 150 a day and deletes them for fear of viruses.

She said, absolutely, bring over business cards and she would have her secretary distribute them to all her brokers. I was so happy.

Then she offered advice: she said “Even though I don’t have to, I still work about 70 hours a week because I love what I do. In the beginning (1988) it was just a job that supplemented my husband’s salary and kept us knowing where out next meal was coming from.”

She said to distribute business cards to all the real estate agencies in the area. She explained that agents and brokers are salespeople and are usually very accommodating.

I came away from that phone call with such respect for this lady. It was easy to see how she was a self-made millionaire. She was very friendly, obviously a people person. She listened to me and said, “I love to help people whenever I can.” She freely gave of her time and knowledge. (bold added) And she said “I don’t ever want to guess where my next meal is coming from.” Humility, kindness, and sincerity–what a great work ethic.

This lady is how I aspire to be. She is still a regular person, but she is living her dream through her hard work and effort.

How do I start a Joint Venture or Business Partnership?

A Joint Venture is a “business strategy where two parties utilize one another’s strengths to positively grow their prospective businesses, creating a win/win relationship.” ( I truly think there is nothing better: utilizing one another’s strengths to effectively grow your business.

Here are a few steps I take when forming a Joint Venture:

Step One: Set Goals about what you want to accomplish with this new marketing strategy – the more specific you are, the better chance you have of realizing these goals. Write these goals on paper so you can see them. “A goal unwritten is only a wish!”

Step Two: Ask yourself: “Who already has a strong relationship with people to whom I might be able to sell a noncompetitive but related product or service?”

Step Three: make a list of company names on paper, then DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Research the companies you think would make great partners with your company. Find out what their clients like best about them. Look at the companies marketing: What do they do now? Who do they target primarily? How could it tie in with what you do?

Step Four: Contact those non-competing businesses and present them with a proposal that is hard to say no to. Show them how committed you are to making this work. Make a list of all the benefits your product or service will bring to their clients. Introduce them to your product or service. Supply them with plenty of information on what you sell, and some testimonials confirming its high quality.

What are steps you all have taken when forming partnerships or joint ventures?

Sponsorship and Joint Venture Sales

Since forming a partnership with Highlight Sports about a year and a half ago, I’ve learned many important things about Sponsorship and Advertising Sales. Here are a few ideas:

– Instead of talking about price, talk about “return on investment” or what they want out of the sponsorship (some may not care as much about ROI – they just want to show their support and brand their company name)
– When the question is asked about cost over the phone, set up an appointment to meet in person if possible
– Ask questions about what the company does for marketing
– Take notes
– Pick their brain about how what we are doing could benefit them, if not now, later
– Tie their needs back in to the presentation
– KISS: keep it simple stupid
– Listen for buying clues
– Don’t burn bridges: what may not work now could always work later if you leave a good impression.

Additional Notes I took on my learning curve:
– Mention competitors as options for sponsorship
– Use phrase like “We are considering your company as a potential sponsor…”
– Generally better to start a little high with numbers: you can always negotiate down, but not up
– Be willing to negotiate price and tools provided
– If they are hesitant with the pricing, ask something like: “Is there some things I could rearrange to make that package a better fit for you?”
– Show clients past work we’ve done

There are many different approaches that can be taken; these are some of the things that have worked for me. More to come….

What have you all learned?