There are many ways to prospect for business. Cold calling, inbound marketing, client referrals and even knocking on doors. But, what I have found over the years to not only be the most effective business development technique but one that works over and over again is strategic alliances. Creating relationships with specific professionals that sell to the same buyers you do, but offer a different solution. The key here is that it has to be a mutually beneficial relationship to make this work, but if you are willing to help other people succeed, then this tactic, implemented correctly will pay dividends, month after month, year after year.

First, define them. What are the 3-5 vendors (by solution) that sell into your prospects? As an example, if you are a Financial Advisor it might be Realtor or CPA or Divorce Attorney. They are professionals in a prime position to know when their clients need a fiduciary, and you are in an ideal position to know when your clients may need their services.

Now, find out who you are already connected to on LinkedIn that you can explore a referral relationship.

1. Click on the search bar on the top left

2. Choose People from the drop-down

3. Click All Filters on the top right of the filter choices

4. Click on the 1st-degree connections filter

5. Choose your ideal location(s)

6. Scroll down and add the titles of your targeted partners. If you want to add more than one title at a time, you will need to use asearch string.

Next, you will want to search each of their connections to see if they are connected to people you’d like to meet. So, in a new window or tab repeat steps 1-5 above, but instead of adding the title of the referral partner, add titles of your prospects. ie. “Business Owner” OR CEO OR CFO. If they are connected to multiple people, reach out.

Template example: NAME, We’ve been connected on LinkedIn for some time now and I noticed that you are connected to a few people that I’d like to meet. My guess is, I am probably connected to a few people that you’d want to meet as well. Are you open to a quick phone call to explore the potential of a referral partnership? If so, let me know a good time next week to chat, or to make scheduling easier, here is a link to my calendar please pick a time that works best for you.

Another way to grow your list of strategic partnerships is to ask your clients who they currently use, and if they love them, could they make an introduction. There are two reasons you want to ask if they love them.

  1. If they don’t love their adviser, you certainly don’t want to introduce them to any of your other clients.
  2. If they don’t love their adviser, you can introduce them to a new adviser in your network.

Once you are connected, get to know one another and explore who else each of you know that you can refer. Once these partnerships develop, inbound referrals become more consistent and opportunities close faster.

Now go build referral relationships, and let us know how it goes!



Are you looking for better ways to grow your business? Let’s chat – I’m always happy to offer up some ideas.