Many people typically rely on networking, referrals, direct marketing, Internet marketing and strategic alliances to get more leads.
There is one opportunity that is often overlooked and that is a host beneficiary.
Host beneficiary is often confused with strategic alliances— but they are different. A host beneficiary program is an alliance strategy where one business owner (the beneficiary) supplies another business owner (the host) with the offer of something of value to pass on to their clients.
Before you embark on a host beneficiary relationship it is key to know your acquisition cost. Understand how much money you need to spend to find a customer. This is crucial when talking about the offer for the host.
Here’s how it works.
Host beneficiary programs can take many different forms and open up almost unlimited possibilities for business owners with a creative streak. However typically they fall into a few categories which can be the gateway to getting leads:
- Complimentary services
The owner (the beneficiary) supplies another business owner (the host) with gift vouchers or incentive offers for products or services which the host passes on to his or her data base or clients.
An example of a gifts program is if you are a real estate agent you can arrange with local businesses to provide you with gift vouchers that you can pass on to new home owners. Gift vouchers can include local restaurant vouchers, a complementary lawn mowing or pool clean. Whatever works for you and for the new owner of the house you have just sold.
A good example of a rewards program is – you shop for groceries at Stop & Shop and receive gas points when you purchase specific products. The gas points you receive can be redeemed at your local Shell gas station. The Gas Rewards program allows you to save more on gas. This program has worked particularly well in the recent months when gas prices have been accelerated. Perhaps an unlikely pairing – these two Host Beneficiaries have made the synergy work to their advantage. And everyone is wins including the customer.
With a complementary service Host Beneficiary the Host company allows the Beneficiary company to provide some form of free service at their place of business. You provide acupuncture – you arrange with a local health food store to provide their clients with a free initial allergy assessment. The health food store is able to provide added value to their clients at no charge. You benefit when some of those clients decide to continue with your services.
The trick is making the offer LARGE—almost as large as the acquisition cost (lets say 50%+). Often times, people try to do Host Beneficiaries on the cheap—a free workshop or lunch. Put some meat on the bone so that that host and the host’s clients get excited about the offer and watch your business explode!
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