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How to grow your retail business with Endorsed Relationships

by Jim Connolly

I want you to imagine something for a moment. Imagine there are other great businesses out there, proactively recommending your store to their customers. How useful would that be to you? Well, in today’s article, I’m going to show you how to make that happen.

It’s all about something called Endorsed Relationships.

What is an Endorsed Relationship?

In brief, an Endorsed Relationship is a relationship you form with another person / company / brand, where they endorse (or recommend) you and your services to their customers and contacts. It’s both one of the oldest and one of the most powerful forms of marketing out there.

Why are Endorsed Relationships so powerful at driving sales?

The reason they are so extremely effective, is that people are far more likely to visit your store and buy from you, if someone they already know and trust has endorsed you.

Think about it: We have all made bad purchasing decisions in the past. As a direct result, we value the recommendations of those we trust, when it comes to spending our money. So, we use these endorsements as a short-cut in our decision-making process.

There are a number of things you need to do, if you want to build great Endorsed Relationships. Here are some of the key things you need to consider.

Find the right partners

Clearly, you need to identify businesses, which offer non-conflicting products or services to the same profile of customer as you. You also need to find businesses that have a great reputation, as these have the best relationships with their customers and their customers are more likely to trust their endorsement of you.

Tip: Pay special attention to Endorsed Relationship partners, who provide a newsletter. They can reach their most engaged customers with a recommendation of your services in their newsletter, quickly and with amazing results!

What’s in it for them?

Yes, you run a great business and provide tremendous value. However, that’s not enough to motivate a total stranger to recommend you to their customers.

Endorsed Relationships are like all successful business ventures, in that they have to be mutually beneficial. So, you need to think about how you will reward them for recommending you.

Usually, this is done via mutual endorsements… they endorse you to their customers and you do the same for them. This is another reason why you need to be selective regarding who you choose as your partners. Clearly you don’t want to recommend just anyone to your valued customers.

Here’s a great example of how to do it right: A local decorating store formed an Endorsed Relationship with a local carpentry business. It turns out that lots of people who buy decorating products are in need of a carpenter. They just moved home, are renovating their home or remodelling it, etc. Equally, lots of people who need a carpentry business need to redecorate the room where the carpenter worked.

Both the decorating store and the carpentry business do extremely well from recommending one another.

The key is that both partners need to benefit. Take time choosing partners, where there is the best possible opportunity for you both to prosper.

What next?

Spend some time thinking of businesses, which serve the same prospective customers as you. Then, do a little research on them. Check them out online – a quick search of their company name is often extremely useful.

Once you have a potential Endorsed Relationship partner in mind, it’s time to reach out to them. Whenever possible, this is something best done face-to-face. Yes, you can try writing or emailing them, but when it comes to relationships, you can’t beat the personal approach. It also gives you a chance to make sure they are the type of people you are happy recommending to your customers.

Call the prospective partner, with a brief outline of what you are proposing and ask if they’d like to meet. Many will say ‘no’, but you only need a relatively small number of referral partners in order to significantly increase your sales.


Throughout the entire process, remember that all the referral partner is interested in, is what’s in it for them. Focus your conversations around how they will benefit, how you will proactively recommend them. If they see the value and believe you, you stand a far better chance of getting the relationship established.

I hope you found this useful. Remember to check out all the other free retail marketing resources we have available for you here on the CTS Wholesale website.

To find out how CTS Wholesale can help your retail business, simply click here.