Working with local businesses and developing strategic partners should be a critical aspect of any business. The fact of the matter is that you’re always going to be stronger together than you are apart!
The hardest part is actually going out and developing these relationships because we’re afraid the other businesses might say no or they won’t like us.
But the fact of the matter is that if you don’t actually try, you’ll never get anywhere!
So how do you go about approaching other business in a way that isn’t salesy or will be looked at with frustration from other business owners and then leading to them point to a no soliciting sign?
The good news is that I’m going to walk you through the process of developing a relationship with other businesses so it turns into a mutually beneficial relationship that everyone is happy with!
First off pull out a map or use something like Google Maps to pinpoint all the businesses you want to work within your area. Map out 5-7 of them to approach and being the conversation with. This will be your base as you start.
Once you get this done what you want to do is walk into the businesses you mapped out. Let's say one of them is a coffee shop, what you're going to do is walk into the coffee shop, buy a coffee, sit down close to the counter and you're going to talk to each one of the employees and learn a little bit about them and the place as a whole.
Then you are you going to leave, this is because you're not trying to sell or offer anything right off the bat. Remember we are playing the long-term game here.
Then you're going to come back again weekly and continue to talk with the employees and learn more and more about the place and more importantly you’re going to begin to build and develop a relationship with the staff members and hopefully the management in your time there.
Make it a point to talk to all the employees each and every time you go in, get to know every one of their names and make sure they know yours.
Start to get them to understand what your name, what you do and who you are. What you're doing is essentially developing and building a relationship with these people inside this facility so the being to trust you and feel comfortable around you.
You're going to do this for several weeks and eventually you get to that point where they all know you really well, they all know your name and they are incredibly comfortable around you. The staff should be excited when you walk in the door because you’ve become a regular.
Then at this point, you are in a good position to ask them for something and that something is the potential to work with you and your business.
Now what you're going to do is say hey guy’s what do you think about taking your stuff and let's combine it with what I do and let's do a joint workshop together, let's do like a coffee tasting at my facility and I’ll give you and your staff and your customer’s a fitness day at your place or do a combined event every month where you alternate facilities.
Workshops are the best in that you can get their customers and use their network in addition to yours to get people inside your facility. Now that you set yourself up with a local business and a good relationship with them.
It’s important to maintain that relationship and work to always be in contact. If you don’t maintain contact the relationship will fade and the work you put into building it will be for nothing. So invite these business owners you start working with for coffee or breakfast once a week and then build that into a little networking group that you created all on your own!