Growth Tips: Boost sales through alliances

Offer a partner’s products to your market and visa versa

Strategic alliances offer two great ways to grow: you offer another manufacturer’s products to your marketplace; or have another manufacturer offer your products in its marketplace. But setting up such alliances can be very frustrating, so here are a few tips to help you get the job done:

• Sometimes size does matter. If a potential alliance partner is larger than your company, it will be concerned about reliable delivery. Always offer performance guarantees and show you have a willingness to scale up.

• When it comes to marketing your products, be an expert. There’s not guarantee your alliance partner can actually market and sell your products. View the arrangement as a means to gaining access with implied (or real) credibility. But you handle the sell.

• Don’t over-estimate the ability of your alliance partner to sell volume. Avoid granting exclusive distribution rights to any single alliance partner without minimum volume guarantees. It’s better to have several partners.

Andrew Shedden is an industrial marketing consultant and coach who helps manufacturers attract and sell more ideal customers. For free business growth resources visit