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Partnering with a Computer Service Company

What kind of deal?

     
4:26 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I was thinking, in an effort to bring in more customers, rather than cold calling local companies, I was thinking about working out a deal with the local computer repair company. They provide alot of the computers and service for local small business and would be a better "in" than a cold call. And their website, is a frontpage disaster.

I was contemplating, creating a new one for them, and presenting a few screenshots of it and proposing that we offer them the service of web design for their company...ie, they sell for us, and take a commission. Or something similar.

Any suggestions on how to work something like this out?

4:37 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, I'd tread carefully. They likely created it themselves and don't see anything wrong with the site.

If they are essentially a local business will they derive any great benefit from a fancy site? Do they ship goods/provide services all over the country? If not, then why use your services?

Even if you convince them there's a benefit do you really believe they are suited to "selling" your specialist services? Or do you envisage them dropping a leaflet and making a recommendation rather than explaining CSS 2.0 and your reputation for XHTML?

5:25 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you offer them an incentive to try and sell websites to the small businesses they are allready in contact with why wouldn't they want to?

They allready offer email solutions, networking, offsite backup solutions, pcs, repair, service, etc...wouldn't the ability to offer web design be an upgrade to their business.

With no added expense I can't really see how this would need to be treaded carefully?

5:36 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I meant be careful what you say about their existing site, it could have been designed by the owner's wife ;) .

With technical products/services I've found always found it better to work towards third parties recommending them rather than selling them.

And, if you do go ahead with the deal my instincts would be to protect from becoming The Free SEO/SEM/JS expert/HTML expert/Email Expert Who's Always At The End Of The Phone.

[edited by: oddsod at 5:42 pm (utc) on Nov. 1, 2005]

5:41 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well yea, I don't want them making the sale, just getting referrals my way...they wouldn't have the knowledge to make the sale, but since they are in contact with local businesses and have a relationship with them, their recommendation would carry more weight than a cold call.
7:09 pm on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Darn, I was hoping for more input on this topic.
4:53 am on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd suggest establishing a different type of relationship with this company. How about becoming referral partners with one another? Simply put, since you both sell to the same client base, you team up and refer business to one another. Then consider adding 3 or so other businesses to your group, ones that sell to the same client base as yours but do not compete with one another.
3:31 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, seeing as how I don't have many local clients there isn't much I can refer to them at all, so from their perspective, it wouldn't be worth it. That's why I was thinking of a commission on referred customers who I make a sale too.

Anyhow, keep the suggestions and input coming.