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Cross-promote for more customers

April 21, 2010
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During slow economic times like the present, it pays to start getting creative in the way you go about marketing your detailing business.

One of the best strategies for attracting more customers is to cross promote with other local businesses in your area that don’t compete with you. This strategy works so well because it’s really a win/win solution for everyone involved ? they get more business, you get more business, and the customer gets a great deal.

A great example of this is your local Blockbuster Video Rental Store. Often times in the past, they’ve offered special coupons for PaPa John’s Pizza to all of their customers who check out a new video. This is a great cross promotional because people who go home and watch a movie are often times picking up a pizza as well. At the same time, if you went in to buy a PaPa John’s pizza, you’d notice that they would have discount coupons off the next video rental at Blockbuster.

To get started, you want to approach local businesses in your area that target the same customers, but are not in direct competition with your detailing business. You could easily come up with a list of noncompeting businesses that serve the same types of clients you deal with everyday, but let’s narrow that list down a bit. If we targeted businesses that provide some type of automotive service, other that detailing, then we we’ve really found a great niche.

Which businesses to target

Businesses like auto parts stores, auto mechanics, car dealerships, tire and service centers, and insurance companies are just a few of the businesses that offer great opportunities to cross promote.

You might approach a local auto service center where people take their vehicles in regularly for an oil change. Offer to promote their services to your customer list in exchange for them doing the same.

Cross selling strategies

There are a number of ways to cross-promote. For example, you could offer to provide special coupons or gift certificates to all of your clients if they would also do the same. You could ask them to hand out a coupon for $20 off their next detailing with your business. You could make the offer valid for only 30 days also so that people take action on this offer right away.

If you have a website, you could use that as leverage, by letting them know that you will be placing their company’s ads and links on your site in exchange for them doing the same for you. If you have an email subscriber list, and their company has one also, suggest sending out emails to each other’s clients with special coupons attached.

Think of your local car insurance agent. How many potential great clients do they sit in front of every day? Ask your own car insurance agent if he would be willing to put a stack of your business cards (that have a special coupon printed on the back) on his desk in exchange for you recommending his business as well.

During a tough economy, you’re going to find that these businesses are very willing to work with other businesses like yourself in cross selling. It helps to bring them new business and also cuts down on their advertising costs.

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at

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