As I mentioned in a couple of previous articles, hot and warm contacts are the very best prospects for JV deals. But there are millions of cold prospects out there too. It might take a little more effort to find and convert them, but cold prospects can still result in some very lucrative partnerships.
Cold JV prospects are the people you do not know at all and, probably, know nothing of you either. Often, however, these people are already well established, selling to the same target market as you. So they can present very good opportunities to put together a fantastic JV.
In fact actual, cold selling is the conventional method most businesses use to find customers. You just need to recognise that while this method does work it is more difficult to get the attention of a cold prospect – since there is absolutely no existing relationship to leverage upon.
The good news is that it is, at least, fairly easy to find cold prospects! Here’s how:
1. Think about what keywords and phrases customers in the market for your products/services would enter into a search engine when looking to buy.
2. Draw up a list of these keywords and phrases. Then go to your favourite search engine and search for them.
Tip : Using one search engine like Google is often fine to locate cold JV prospects. But many search engines provide different information for the exact same keywords – what is the top ranked listing on one might not be on another at all. So, instead of searching through a whole pack of search engines I suggest you download the free tool Copernic from www.copernic.com This tool saves you time by searching multiple search engines at once, de-duplicating and displaying all the results for you. (I explain more about Copernic in another article.)
3. Visit the top twenty (or so) sites listed for each keyword and see exactly what they are selling – if they are selling anything at all. Look for good opportunities – but just make sure their product/service does not compete head-on with yours.
Another Tip : When you do this also look for how marketing-savvy they are. Check to see if they have an opt-in e-mailing list, an affiliate program, sell backend products or recommend other products to their customers. If they do they will not only be a much better prospect for your JV deals but much easier to sign up too.
Now, if they seem like a good fit for your product or service search for their contact information. Try the ‘Contact Us’ page. If there isn’t a contact do what is known as a ‘Whois’ search to find them. Use a site like Nominet at www.nominet.org.uk (for co.uk addresses) or Internic at www.internic.com/whois.html (there are others). Put in the address of the site and you’ll often get the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of the owners. (And very often it will be top quality contact information too – bypassing all the secretaries and office staff and going straight to the business owners!)
Once you have this valuable information draw it up into a spreadsheet, also including details of the product/service they sell. You can then use this spreadsheet as a ‘hit list’ to fire off JV proposals whenever you need to!
Lastly, here are two great ways you can turn a JV prospect from a cold into a warm or even a hot one very, very easily :
- If the Cold Prospect offers an opt-in newsletter sign up for it. But, don’t contact them the day you subscribe. Stay and lurk as a subscriber for a while …. and take time to understand them …. before making an approach.
- If they sell something that would be useful to you – buy it! Study it in order to check that what they are selling compliments your product/service. If it does -and you think it would be a good match – then contact them, introduce yourself as one of their customers, and offer them a JV deal on your product.
- If they have an affiliate programme sign up for it and begin making some money for them (as well as yourself) by promoting their product/service. This will certainly make you stand out more when you approach them for a full-sized JV.
Of course, approaching cold prospective JV partners does take more time …. and there is no chance of success. It is better to go for hot or warm prospects first wherever possible. But I’ve found some of my best ever opportunities this way – so whatever you do don’t overlook this route!