Here's some simple ways to partner to boost the value of a meeting or related partnership - and of your participation in it.
1. “Make Every Moment Count” is the title of a CD that a pharmaceutical company gave away at their exhibit booth at two major conferences.
Half of the CD covered the company’s new product highlights and *how-to’s*; the other half featured tips from a speaker at those conferences. The gift was announced with on-the-seat cards during the speaker’s sessions.
2. A fulfillment house inserts a speaker’s “Hot Tips” sheets on top of the informational updates that the fulfillment house mails out on behalf of their corporate clients in the fields of insurance, credit and healthcare. The tips on conflict resolution and persuasion are a welcome relief from the highly technical reading below it.
The speaker provides the fulfillment house with camera-ready tips sheets for each corporate client, who pays for printing their sheet.
The fulfillment house offers the sheets to their clients as a bonus service.
Each sheet has a line at the top, “(name of company) supports your personal success.”
3. Kingfisher Beer, the largest beer producer in India introduced an upscale beer for women.
Hanging from a gold cord around the neck of each bottle is a card entitled, “Live Well” that promotes a free 3” x 3” book of 100 lifestyle tips for women buyers.
Buyers get the book from their store when they turn in ten bottle caps. I co-authored the book with a respected woman CEO in Mumbai, India.
These are examples of profitable partnerships among people from different industries or professions. Like all successful SmartPartnerships, they are aimed at attracting and keeping a mutual market of customers.
Successful SmartPartnerships can build trust, visibility, genuine value and camraderie. Unsuccessful joint promotions can create irritation and lose credibility.
Some speakers are avid and adept alliance builders. Several have written about partnering and joint promotions including Jeff Slutsky and Ed Rigsbee. Some informally or formally share speaking leads. Some refer to each other in their speeches, articles, ezines, web sites, books and media interviews. Some sell each other’s products. That’s natural among friends and esteemed colleagues.
To truly stand out in an over-advertised world, some speakers are beginning to partner with people and organizations a step or two outside the meeting industry.
For your partnering opportunities, look more closely at your key stakeholders, including your “hot list” of fans who have heard you speak, meeting planners, speakers bureaus, exhibitors at trade shows where you appear, other speakers, vendors who support the industry.
Now look at the markets and organizations that are important to them.
In each case, you may have a way to partner with a stakeholder - or with an organization that is important to that stakeholder - to better reach or serve one of their markets.
As a speaker, your “product” is your message, delivered in person - AND in other packages.
More credible and efficient than traditional “solo” advertising or other promotion, speakers' helpful and inspiring stories, tips and examples naturally attract prospects to us and help our respected partners offer extra value or gain new visibility.
For a decade now I’ve been speaking to clients about joining forces with people outside their industry or profession to offer more dramatic media and customer-attracting cross-promotions. People are often uncomfortable with creating such partnerships because they are accustomed to talking with the people in the world they know. Only when a competitor launches an out-of-the-box SmartPartnership will others offer copy cat variations.
Do you speak to manufacturers?
What if your tips appeared on their packaging, along with your contact information?
What if your product was inside the package of a big ticket consumer product? For example, techno-savvy speakers’ helpful ideas could add a human touch if they appeared on or inside computer hardware or software packages.
Speakers to dentists might approach Sonicare and Colgate to co-brand and co-sponsor a national “What Makes You Smile?” contest for healthy, humorous one-liners.
The co-sponsors could announce the contest to the healthcare, womens’ and lifestyle media and send this media the contest results on the same day they were announced at the national American Dental Association convention. ADA attendees could get their free booklet of the winning collection at the sponsors’ booths.
Lexus, in five states, provides a bundled gift (from partners), left on the front seat for new car buyers. The gift is a speaker/singer’s CD, “It’s a Beautiful Life”, tucked in the see-through packaging for a floral bouquet, provided free by an online national florist, with a follow-up offer on the attached gift card. The speaker suggested the SmartPartnership to her two clients, Lexus and the florist.
For many years, speaker Bob Popyk has provided sales publications for retailers and other distributors of high ticket consumer products, ranging from boats to musical instruments. His clients are the manufacturers of those products. All these publications pull people to his “Creative Selling” magazine.
Agilent Technologies sponsored my presentation for their clients and prospects. Each attendee received a card pack with technology tips on one side and my communication tips on the other.
The bottom card lists Agilent Technologies’ email address for the “50 follow-up tips from Kare.” For the use of my tips I received an over-printing of 400 extra card packs, printed with just my tips on one side. I also receive a list of the emails from those who asked for the 50 extra tips.
Offer leaders in your niche markets the opportunity to co-author articles. Writing an article from scratch is more daunting than revising one for a particular industry or profession.
Make it easier for the leaders in the markets in which you speak to collaborate with you. Once you have worked with someone who is well-respected, offer to email some “template” articles from which they can choose.
Email the articles they select, with places marked to insert examples and quotes from their industry. Include brief instructions for completing the revision. Ask that they send their version back to you for your final approval. Offer to submit the article to their industry and professional publication(s).
Perhaps you’ve produced a short article, top ten list, quiz, opinion poll, “before and after” photos or checklist that might interest the lifestyle or business editors of local newspapers IF it had a local angle.
Consider how one of your stakeholders on your database (meeting attendee, exhibitor, company in their headquarters’ city) might benefit from adding their angle and submitting it to their local paper.
Now, more than ever, people are open to ideas about how to capture attention, offer genuine value without price-cutting and reach new markets. Your reputable partnerships can enable you to become the trusted, top-of-mind choice in your profession or market. With the right partners and methods you can attract more "customers" while spending less. In this over-advertised world where everyone is fighting for attention your extra value (via partners) can naturally attract them..