Smart Partnering: How Speakers, Exhibitors, Meeting Planners & Others Can Generate More Money, Value and Visibility—Together

* "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 news 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.

* A fulfillment house inserts a speaker's "Communicate Clearly" 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 are a welcome relief from the important, but highly technical reading below it.

The speaker provides the camera-ready tips to the fulfillment house that offers them as an extra benefit to their corporate clients.

Those clients pay for reproduction. Each sheet has a line at the top, "(name of company) supports your personal success."

* 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. The book is co-authored by an American woman speaker and a popular Indian woman journalist.

These are examples of SmartPartnerships among speakers and people from different industries or professions. Like all successful cross-promotions, they are aimed at better reaching and/or serving a mutual market.

Successful partnerships build customer-attracting visibility and value. Unsuccessful joint promotions can create irritation and lose credibility.

Some speakers are avid cross-promoters. 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.

To truly stand out in an over-advertised world, some speakers and other consultants are beginning to partner with people 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.

Your "product" is your message, delivered in person, or in some other package.

More credible than traditional advertising, your helpful and inspiring stories, tips and examples can naturally attract prospects to you and to your cross-promoting partners.

For speakers who present to manufacturers:

What if your helpful 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' pertinent ideas could add a human touch if they appeared on or inside computer hardware or software packages.

Two Lexus dealers will be placing a speaker/singer's CD, "It's a Beautiful Life", on the front seat of their newly sold cars.

For many years, speaker Bob Popyk has produced sales publications for retailers and other distributors of big 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 their technology tips on one side and my communication tips on the other.

Offer your clients the opportunity to co-author articles with you for their professional or industry publications. Tell them some of the titles of your timeless articles so they can choose one to revise.

Via email, send your client the article she selects, with places marked to insert examples and quotes from their industry.

Include brief instructions for completing the revision.

Ask her to send the version back to you for your final approval.

Offer to submit the article to the appropriate industry and professional publication(s).

Now, more than ever, people are open to innovative ways to capture attention, offer genuine value without price-cutting and reach new markets. Your suggested cross-promotions can demonstrate your care for customers and your capacity to be cutting edge.

Sayitbetter E-Zine, Copyright by Kare Anderson, author, speaker, and founder of the Say it Better Center, All rights reserved.

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