The Golden Rule for Creating Marketing Alliances and JV’s

By John R. Aberle | Small Business Management

Mar 17
Graphic to show formation of Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance

Frank Robertson was a small business owner of a brick and mortar service company. He’d started the company on credit cards so either had to hire technicians or salespeople. He could sell himself but not do the repairs so his money went to hire technical help while he did the selling. That, of course, limited his reach because like other small business owners, Frank had other tasks to do as owner and general manager of his company.

 Graphic to show formation of Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance

Eventually he did figure out on his own how to form some alliances that generated service revenue, like subcontracting to national service companies to do repairs in his area. However, had he understood the concept of joint ventures and strategic alliances better Frank could have formed even more alliances, such as with consulting companies who were experts in software but not in hardware, especially not in printers.

Could You Benefit from Revenue Brought in by Joint Ventures?

Can you see how Frank’s experience of forming alliances to generate revenue could be applied to your small business too? Then you next question is, probably, how do you make it happen?

Take this tip from an expert who has put together numerous online joint ventures, some worth millions. Gina Gaudio-Graves and Linda Feinholz interviewed Mark Harris, founder of The Thought Leadership Alliance and Host of the Joint Venture Summit on their BlogTalkRadio show, “Breakthrough Directions.” about how small businesses and entrepreneurs can quickly and, relatively, easily reach more customers without hiring more sales people.

Screenshot of Mark Harris on the MegaHangOut 2, a Google+ Hangout about the JV Summit

Harris’ recommendation was to use joint ventures.

“Instead, you do the Golden Rule of Joint Ventures. Which is, when you give, then you have the right to receive. You don’t even have to ask. But if you need to eventually, you can ask.

“And so the first step is not to approach your joint venture partners with, ‘What can I get?’ or ‘What can you give me?’ or ‘Will you give me this?’ and ‘Will you give me that?’ That’s not what they want to hear. Okay, what we want to do is we want to practice the Golden Rule and say, ‘Okay, what would we want if somebody was approaching us for a joint venture and we had 100,000 person list, or whatever?

“So, what you do is instead, you say, ‘Look, I have a way that I believe I can help you. And here’s how I believe I can help you.’ And it shouldn’t cost them anything. It shouldn’t give them any risk. It should be exactly what you would want if you were in their shoes. So literally, every kind of deal that you approach people with is something that they only have an upside potential.

“You’re actually thinking about them and not yourself. That’s really, if I had to give you only one rule on this entire interview here, that’s what I’d give as the first step.”

The above comments are transcribed from the Breakthrough Directions BlogTalkRadio show interview, December 17, 2014.

Brick and Mortar Joint Ventures with Online Marketers

While brick and mortar companies can form natural alliances with other brick and mortar companies, don’t rule out joint ventures with Internet marketers either. It all comes back to that key marketing question, “What’s in it for me?” If you can see the benefit to the marketer, you can propose a mutually rewarding relationship that benefits their customers, themselves and you.

Just like retail stores and restaurants, online marketers are always looking for innovations or new products to offer the members of their communities. If your product fits and is risk free, you might soon find many new customers you would never have reached on your own.

The key then to putting together successful joint ventures is to put yourself in the other people’s shoes, think about what they want most and what they might risk by joint venturing or allying with you. Put your proposal together as a win-win-win and approach marketers, whether brick and mortar or online, to find new customers, increased sales and greater profits without increasing your marketing expenses.

Building your profits through strong relationships,


John R. Aberle,

Your Retiree Business, a division of Aberle Enterprises


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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.