Quid Pro Quo: Cross Promoting Your Business With Others


In February, I wrote about a few February-inspired promotion ideas you could implement to drive traffic to your stores. Speaking with our esteemed Quick Lube Advisor, Ragan Holt, he again emphasized the importance of a shop being able to promote itself.

I received an email from a reader who was commenting on my “What You Can Learn From Other Industries About Customer Service” article in the March 2015 issue of NOLN, which you can view here. He mentioned his business offers Chick-fil-A coupons to his customers, which sparked the idea for this article.

Connecting with other businesses in your area not only solidifies your status within your community, but it’s the perfect opportunity to act on the Latin phrase, “Quid pro quo,” or, in English, “Something for something.”

What businesses are within a mile or two of yours? Scout out your area, and find ones that make sense to your customers. Fast food restaurants are usually a good go-to, such as how our one reader offers Chick-fil-A coupons.

In exchange for getting coupons for a free drink or sandwich from a dining establishment in your neighborhood, return the favor. Your first idea might be to give a coupon that offers a monetary discount off any service, which is nice. However, that might not entice people enough to stop by your shop.

Saving money is a big priority with any business, so offering to give away something that is perceived as having more monetary value than a “$3 off any service” coupon is key.

When exchanging coupons with other businesses, why not offer a free pair of wiper blades with any service? That’s sure to garner a lot more attention than a few dollars off a service.

Your overall cost for a pair of wiper blades should come out to $3-$4, but you might normally sell them for $18. Your cost of a $3-off coupon is the same, but the customer gets a perceived value of $18.

If you decide to go the free pair of wiper blades route, make sure your customer knows the value they’re receiving. Your coupon should read, “Come in with this coupon by (insert date) and receive a free pair of wiper blades, a $XX value!” Air filters are also a good suggestion as a giveaway.

Don’t limit yourself to just fast food restaurants to connect with for your cross-promoting adventure. With spring upon us, and summer fast approaching, people might enjoy a swing at the batting cages or any excuse to hit the links at the local golf course.

Summer also means no school, and parents are always looking for wallet-friendly ideas to entertain the little ones. What better way to stay out of the heat and in icy-cold air conditioning than spending two hours at the movies? I’m sure mom and dad would enjoy being able to snack on some free popcorn or get a free child’s admission.

The potential for cross promotion is limitless when you work with other businesses in your area. Not sure of how to get connected? Join your local chamber of commerce to introduce your business. More likely than not, you’ll find other business owners eager to cross promote with you.