Their Number One
Article by: Mike Enlow
my many travels and business dealings, I have found one most commonly
overlooked asset which few understand how to make proper use of. The asset
I'm speaking of is the relationships that business owners have worked
long and hard to build by treating their customers right. The remainder
of this article will not only focus on teaching you how to make good use
of this asset, but we'll also share some real life examples of what can
happen when a business deal is properly structured where everybody wins.
Sometimes I feel like I have the only pair of "macroscopic glasses" (to see the big picture) when examining businesses and the many opportunities for creating additional cash flow.
What I will be sharing with you is one of the most simple of these concepts I call "Joint Venture Alliances" or Co-Ventures. I will assume you have no prior knowledge of marketing for the benefit of those of you who are less familiar with my marketing techniques.
I've discovered many working marketing concepts and systems. All of them are centered around one thing. LEVERAGE! They are centered around HOW to leverage to get greater profits and greater satisfaction out of every dollar spent and every effort expended.
Over the years, I've learned, every business has one need in common - the need to create more cash flow than they spend on overhead. Tens of thousands of businesses do this very successfully. Unfortunately, they overlook many opportunities to gain greater leverage and reap greater rewards from what they do. However, this article is going to address one of the fastest and easiest ways you can teach almost any business owner to INCREASE HIS OR HER PROFITS BY AS MUCH AS 300% and do so with nobility.
One of the most ridiculous mistakes and oversights in marketing is the failure to recognize the true value of the relationship a business owner has with his or her customers, vendors and others they deal with on a daily basis. Properly utilizing this overlooked asset can mean thousands and often tens of thousands of dollars in increased revenue and the status of nobility as well.
When someone makes a purchase they prefer buying from someone they trust and who has treated them fairly in the past. If I were to rent a "cold list" (a list of names of people who know nothing about me, my company, product, service or offer) I may, with a well crafted sales letter or presentation, get a 1 to 3 percent response on the offer. However, if you go to the owner of that same list and structure a deal where the owner writes or presents the VERY SAME OFFER, you will see a response that is so much greater it boggles the mind. I've seen responses to this type of offer (we'll call this an "endorsed offer") that skyrocket to as high as 33%! This is an INCREASE in response of between 1100 - 3300 percent!
Accordingly, you can literally earn a fortune by showing others how to use this principle by creating win/win deals. A good example of using this concept happened this past Christmas with a client of mine who is in the pharmacy business. My client had approximately 10,000 customers on file, all of which loved and trusted my client for the excellent service they had received over the years. However, I discovered my client had never ever used this asset of trust to do a noble win/win deal to properly utilize this incredible asset.
Unfortunately too many business people are myopic (nearsighted ö cannot see the big picture) in their observation of their business. They fail to realize that although they sell pharmaceutical products and supplies, all their customers still purchase other products and services like dry cleaning, groceries, cars, insurance, accounting services, etc. The relationship with their customers provides a business owner with the incredible opportunity to use the "endorsed offer". By doing a Joint Venture, wherein they recommend or refer their customers to another professional and noble company, they could take a percentage of the profits from the newfound business they create for the company they endorse.
In this particular situation I learned they were friends with a jeweler in town and Christmas was rapidly approaching. I saw an instant jackpot. By the way, these deals can be created without a prior relationship with the vendor you will endorse.
Here's a brief overview of what can happen with Joint Ventures or "Endorsed Offers".
I immediately contacted the jeweler and interviewed him to get the "golden nuggets" to create a letter for my pharmacy clients to share with their customers. I learned he regularly flew to New York to purchase diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other precious stones but, more importantly, he purchased in quantity by teaming up with a fellow jeweler in New Orleans where he literally saved a fortune by buying in bulk. We drafted a letter something like what follows:
Dear Customers and Friends,
Last week my wife and I were browsing through the many Christmas card binders to select a suitable Christmas card to mail to you, our customer, to express our appreciation for your patronage.
Of the many hundreds of Christmas cards we had to select from we couldn't find a single card that expressed our heart felt feelings and appreciation to you as a customer. After all, it is customers like you that helped us to send our two children through college and build our business to be one of the most successful pharmacies in the city. Frankly, I decided to say thank you in a very special way - with actions, not words.
Let me explain.
One of my dearest friends is a local jeweler, who has the largest selection of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, watches, and other inventory in the area, but more importantly, he has developed an incredible method of wholesale purchasing that allows him to save a fortune.
As we were talking, I explained how I wanted to do something very special for my friends and customers this Christmas that would express my gratitude for your business. I further explained how I wanted to do something that would benefit you and thus express my thanks with ACTIONS rather than just WORDS in a Christmas card.
After a bit of "arm twisting" he agreed to allow my customers who bring in this letter to his store, during their Christmas shopping, to have a 20% discount! This is good for any purchase you may wish to make this year. In doing this I am saying Thank you to you in my own special way. Since he is providing you with the finest quality jewelry he believes that you will continue to be his customer for years to come. He agreed.
So, feel free to take this letter to XYZ Jewelers anytime between now and Christmas and you will receive a "privileged discount" of 20 percent off any purchases as well as VIP treatment from my friend.
Since almost everyone buys jewelry during Christmas my wife and I felt this to be a much better way of saying thank you than any card we may ever send.
Enjoy, and Merry Christmas.
Don and Susan Smith, XYZ Pharmacy
PS. Oh yea, he did request that I ask you to "slide this letter" to him in an inconspicuous way so his other customers won't feel slighted. They aren't getting this VIP discount. Please do me this kind favor when you go in.
This letter of endorsement became the pharmacy's "Christmas Card" for this past year. We had pre-arranged a special deal where XYZ Pharmacy would receive half of the new found profits from everyone who came in. Because of that we earned an incredible $87,550 mailing Christmas cards instead of the $2500 loss one would normally have when mailing 10,000 people.
The jeweler was delighted after a brief "marketing education" of how a certain percentage of these new-found customers would become lifelong customers.
This education is the key to getting the most from deals like this.
Let me share the approach...
First, you have to understand that most people fail to realize the lifetime value of a customer. This is where the Joint Venture associate you wish to approach has to be educated.
Few realize the "residual value" of newfound customers. Not all customers will come back again. This will be true even if you give them the best quality, pricing and service. However, a certain percentage of them will come back. In this case over 2780 people took the pharmacist up on his offer. The jeweler gave away the lion's share of the front end profit but he will earn *much more* than most realize. Here's a hypothetical example:
Assume only 10 percent of those who took advantage of the offer were to return, the following year and the average purchase the following year was only $500. The jeweler not only profited from the initial deal but he will earn an additional $70,000 he may have never had if it wasn't for the pharmacist's referral. Jewelry is generally "keystone" pricing (meaning the jeweler sells for approximately a 100% mark-up). If only ten percent of the people return and spend an average of $500 that will bring in an additional $139,000.
At keystone pricing that's an additional $69,500 profit the jeweler will enjoy from this deal!
This doesn't even take into account the fact that satisfied customers may return year after year creating profits the jeweler would have never enjoyed without the referral and Joint Venture of the pharmacist. Are you beginning to see the possibilities? They are astronomical!
Deals like these can be made with car dealers, contractors, dentists, restaurants and almost any kind of business you can imagine. The beauty of it is that THIS IS A WIN/WIN DEAL FOR EVERYONE and you get paid for arranging the deals.
In the example above we used Christmas as a "reason why" but a host of reasons to do deals like these can be created... You may approach the market with reasons like:
*"We've just discovered the most incredible..." *"We've learned of a secret method..." *"Since my friend is just getting off the ground..." *"This is the most incredible way for you to..." *"It's only fair we tell you before the rest of the world learns." *"We felt we would be remiss if we didn't get you the first opportunity to try..."
The number of approaches are unlimited!
I can't think of a single business that couldn't make more money by properly utilizing their customer base through endorsing a quality product or service.
How To Insure You Get Paid?
I use a contract of non-disclosure, stipulating the terms of the arrangement, before I ever share the secret to using this incredible concept.
Again, the rules are not set in granite. You should be as flexible as you need to be to get the deal. It all depends on the size, volume and type of deal and your involvement in the deal.
Getting started is easy. All you have to do is identify the deal and write a letter similar to the one above in the example between the pharmacist and jeweler. Also, be sure you follow up the letter with a phone call. DO NOT share the intellectual property you have to offer until you have your agreement signed and "in hand" by both or all parties who will be participating.
How To Get the Sweetest Deals.
If I were starting from scratch I would seek out product sales companies. These deals are the easiest to get. When you work with attorneys, accountants and others the money trickles in slowly. With product sales the money comes in over a two to three week period.
Look for those companies who already have an established customer database and, more importantly, have a good, strong relationship with their customers. A stronger relationship provides a stronger endorsement. A stronger endorsement provides greater profits. Here are some examples of companies who have a strong relationship with their customers: newsletter publishers, software vendors, chiropractors, radio stations, internet service providers, insurance agents, pharmacists, landscaping experts, etc. They're too numerous to list. Just look for deals where the endorser has a lot of contact with the customer. Preferably, they should at least be in contact with their customers on a monthly basis.
The world is a big ocean of products and services. You only have to find the one or two products which will yield the greatest possible success to your clients. Not only does this make you more immediate income but it also sets you up to do similar deals with the same clients in the future.
How to Maximize Your Cash Flow from Every Deal.
You should look carefully at the easiest client in the world to get - a satisfied and convinced client. This helps you to maximize leverage on every deal you do in order to gain greater and greater income without having to re-sell your concept every time.
For example, if you do a deal with a chiropractor to sell shark cartilage or other pain reliever, the person selling this product also has customers... You can almost immediately find a deal for the endorsee, which will make them a surge in cash flow - exactly as you've done for the endorser. There are no limits to how far you can take this concept, in fact, it is the single greatest way to leverage I know.
Here are a few examples of the kind of deals I would put together right away:
I would marry car dealers with detail shops who maintain the appearance of cars - and structure the deals where the detail company offers long term (1 year) contracts at a savings of X percentage.
I would introduce dental patients to companies who sell teeth whitener. Get them on a monthly purchase deal where their credit card is automatically billed and the whitener is automatically shipped as long as the customer wants the product.
I would marry Internet service providers with schools who teach how to get more out of the Internet. Also, I would do deals where I bring in software vendors (for an extra profit center) to be introduced to the students each week, month, or whatever period with a contract for a percentage of the profits when students upgrade the software in the long term. This is a trilateral Joint Venture. As you see, the profit potentials are endless!
Another example would be a Joint Venture between a radio station and a restaurant. I would arrange deals where radio advertising sales representatives receive restaurant meal credits for a percentage of the trade value. This gives them an extra edge in their sales efforts by allowing them to take their clients to dinner. Then, in return, have the radio station give the restaurant the benefit of "cost" advertising. (Radio spots selling for $300 may have a true cost to the radio station of only $100. Which gives the restaurant a three to one savings on the radio advertising they are already buying at full price.) You arrange the deal under intellectual property law to receive 20-30% of the "true value" you are rendering to the restaurant.
I would arrange deals where software vendors would share lists and make offers to one another's customer base. Of course I would set it up to take my piece of the pie... This is a very lucrative area, especially if you arrange the deal where you continue to get a percentage of upgrades, etc.
I hope you are beginning to see that this is an untapped area of marketing where you as a consultant and/or business owner can cash in on other's lack of observation or understanding while doing a noble win/win service to the business community.
I've tried to provide you with a general overview of this incredible concept. Please do take advantage of the incredibly successful and lucrative concept of joint venturing which IS the greatest leverage for your time, efforts and energy.
"This Joint Venture Report is (C) Copyright 1996 - 1999 by Mike Enlow, All Rights Reserved. You may not reprint this report in any way, shape, or form without written consent."
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