When it comes to list building, joint ventures can deliver the growth you are seeking. Students often ask me how to reach out to potential partners. A lot depends on who they are and the level of business success they have achieved. I recommend a different strategy for partners who are in a similar place as you versus partners who are more advanced.
Joint Ventures with Similar Business Size.
Approaching a possible partner who is at your level is fairly easy. You can offer to do an exchange where you do something for your partner’s list and then you promote them to your list. This benefits you both; I did this a lot at the beginning.
Joint Ventures with Bigger Partners.
If you approach a bigger business partner and ask them to promote you to their list, the answer will likely be “no.” See, there is nothing in it for them because of the inequality of your success. I learned this the hard way and realized I was going about this all wrong…
Offer Your Assistance First.
You need a different strategy to get the attention of a larger partner. Now, when I approach someone with a bigger list, I offer my help. Try this script:
“I really like what you’ve been doing. I like the message and think we target similar people. How can I help? How can I promote you to my list?”
Recently, I tried this with a well-known business owner with a much larger list than mine. After asking how I could help her, she said, “Then I can help you. I definitely want to promote you to my people and maybe create some strategic alliance.” That’s exactly what I was hoping for, but I started the conversation by focusing on what I could do for her.
Try the Intuitive Approach.
If you have the opportunity to speak with a potential partner privately, you can try this script. However, only do this if it’s true and feels natural, otherwise it won’t seem genuine.
“I just really love what you’re doing. I keep getting this intuitive nudge that we should be doing something together. I don’t know exactly what it looks like. Are you open to talking about this for a couple of minutes?” This works most of the time for me.
How Many Times to Approach People.
Many students ask me how many times they should approach a person about partnering for list building before walking away. There is no right number, but I have noticed the Power of Three. Show up three times on somebody’s radar screen in a short timeframe, like a week or two. It can really help if the person hears about you from different sources so it seems like you are everywhere. Then, the person is far more likely to pay attention to you and be open to a conversation.
Who do you know that would make a great joint venture partner? Who can help you meet that person? Check on LinkedIn to see if you have connections for an introduction. Then, try these scripts to discover which list building partnerships you can create.