With this article, we wrap up a series on how not to structure strategic alliances. In my opinion, it’s almost as helpful to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. But don’t worry, beginning next week, it’s all about how-to.
I wanted to take this week to highlight a major mistake that I’ve seen many advisors make in their joint venture relationships, one I came close to making myself. Before making the transition to a 100 percent professional referral-based business, I had been a successful direct mail seminar producer by most people’s standards. However, as my direct mail responses plummeted in 2008, I knew I had to find a smarter and more strategic way of growing my business. I couldn’t deny the power of seminar marketing, but the declining response to direct mail was killing my business.
That being the case, I asked myself, “How can I continue doing seminars but market them in a much smarter way, a way that will fill my seminars with high-quality prospects on a basis of trust?”
The answer came to me surprisingly quicklyform alliances with other professionals, namely CPAs, enrolled agents and accountants, and do jointly sponsored seminars. It sounded easy enough at first. But what wasn’t as easy was implementing this concept successfully. One error I almost made, but fortunately avoided, was jumping too quickly to the jointly sponsored seminar. That’s the big idea I want to convey to you this week.
I’ve talked to a number of advisors who at some point have had the idea of hosting jointly sponsored seminars, but found the response and results they got from these events was nowhere close to what they were hoping for. Why?
By forming an alliance with another professional (the CPA in this example), and then jumping right into co-sponsored seminars, you are circumventing the most important part of the Strategic Alliance process: “The Transfer of Trust.”