Generally, a trade alliance is a partnership between two companies in complementary trades with the goal of mutual growth. And the green industry especially offers unique opportunities for lighting professionals to develop such partnerships. Finding a few good ones can be unbelievably beneficial.
However, creating trade alliances can be very challenging. They aren’t as simple as attending a business-networking meeting and handing out a few business cards. If you’re serious about long-term trade alliances it will take time to set expectations and to build trust. Still, if you’re diligent, these partnerships can grow your company in ways you will not find elsewhere.
Here are some key things to keep in mind when pursuing trade alliances.
- Seek out companies that have a good reputation. There’s nothing quite like working alongside a company with a good name. You’re more likely to have a great experience with a homeowner who has had a great experience with a partner company.
- Give first. Once you’ve found other, good companies, find ways to introduce them to your customers. The best way to gain referrals is to give referrals.
- Setting up a referral fee agreement is a great way to show partner companies you value the hard work it takes to garner new customers. It’s nice to know they’ll get a little bonus when their customer becomes yours too.
- Keep it simple. Most contractors don’t want to add your landscape lighting to their own contract. Make sure they know that you’re happy taking care of the consultation process, initial installation, as well as future service calls, so they won’t have to.
We know that there are other things to take into consideration, but if you have ever considered pursuing trade alliances, we know these suggestions will help give you a head start. While the process can sometimes be challenging it is definitely worth it.