Establishing connections effectively, the business marketing community can be a valuable partner to your locality group or association. Looking ways to involve small and local businesses requires a bit of creativity and the ability to “sell” your ideas to other businesses. Even those who are nervous about approaching a potential business partner can be encouraged by the fact that a partnership proposal to a business is an offer to improve their business; you’re not just asking for a handout. This blog presents some suggestions of how to involve a business in your marketing community efforts. Know that the rewards of your efforts will be greater than results produced by either your organization or the business alone.
Find the right person within the business to contact
In establishing connections effectively, some businesses are big enough to have a marketing community liaison, but many do not. Within your locality group or association, ask if anyone knows employees in the organization, or knows someone who knows someone. Using the personal connection, explain the partnership opportunity and ask who would be in the best position to make the decision on the involvement of the business. See if the person would approach the decision maker to set up a meeting. If no connections exist, you have found an additional motivation for the business to establish long-term relationships within the community.
Present the idea to the business
As part of a community in establishing connections effectively, a local business thrives or deteriorates along with the surrounding neighborhood. Keep this in mind as you prepare presentation materials that represent your vision of the community. Offer short-and long-term opportunities for the business to be a part of the locality improvement. List other businesses or note the numbers of members and any achievements. People cannot resist joining a success story. Be able to communicate personal commitment and enthusiasm while being professional.
Closing the “deal”
Like any business deal in establishing connections effectively, you’ll want to leave contact information for the decision makers. Ask when a decision may be made. Don’t hesitate to make a follow-up call a few days after the decision date, on a slow business day. If the business is not interested, indicate your willingness to maintain a relationship anyway. Good relations will pay off in the long run.