You scratch my back. I’ll scratch yours. A time-honored philosophy that very definitely applies to marketing your business.
If you’re a retailer, place some brochures on your check-out counter for other retailers. They of course will have your brochures on their check-out counter. Or maybe you have a bulletin board for this kind of thing.
If you send out monthly invoices, include a promotional piece for another business that you would like to send your clients to. You’ve arranged with this business to do the same with their monthly billings.
Then there’s simple word-of-mouth. If a customer comes to you and needs a product or service that you do not offer, tell them to go see “so and so” and ask them to tell “so and so” that YOU sent them their way.
Whether you have a reciprocal relationship formally in place here is not necessarily crucial. Doing this enough times should and often does bring new business to you.
An example of this came to me not too long ago. A blog that reviews other blogs sent me a link to their site in which they wrote a nice review for one of my blogs. I was asked to link back to them and after looking at other reviews on their blog, I agreed.
Helping others out isn’t just a morally correct thing to do, it makes very good marketing sense.