Marketing

Golden rules for forming partnerships

- January 8, 2015 2 MIN READ

Partners are those you have a mutually beneficial business relationship with. By forming partnerships that work well, the results can be greater than going it alone.

So we’re in the world of ‘I’. Or, as soloists, so we think we are.

I’d been working on my own for so long, creating and carving a name for myself that when I needed to launch a new program, I was lost.

How would I market this? How would the world receive this new fancy thing I’d created? Why would people care? How could I expect a relationship and interaction from a new group of people?

In asking all these questions, the answer became blindingly obvious. If I was going to launch something to people who weren’t already following me, they needed to trust me. If I was really going to connect with them, I would need to be introduced to them.

Cue partnerships.

One of the reasons partners create such mutually beneficial business relationship is because they have a client base of people who are valuable to you too.

Golden rules for forming partnerships

Ensure relevance

To avoid a scattergun approach, ensure your preferred partners actually have a customer base (list) of people you really want to sell to. Are these customers your target market? And vice versa, do these partners also see value in your list or customer base? (Although there is an exception to this. See next point.)

You don’t need to exchange list for list

If you don’t have a relevant list, maybe there’s something else you can offer in return? Maybe a free service or product, or introducing them to someone of value? There are a myriad of possibilities. Just think outside the square because you are valuable.

Approach with honesty, integrity and the desire to reciprocate.

If you’re asking your new-found partner for help, be willing to offer the same in return, and always behave with integrity. If you’re open and trustworthy, your potential partner may let you market to their list simply because they like you, and want to form a valued relationship. In some instances they may not want anything in return.

Ask

Here’s the kicker. You are going to have to approach people about your partnership ideas. For some people this can be a real pain point. A lot of us just hope that people will naturally offer to share our events/products/services on our behalf. But it doesn’t work that way.

When you do finally get the courage, use collaborative language like, “I was hoping we could work together and help each other out”. And offer insight into how the partnership will benefit them by using the old “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM) principle.

When all’s said and done, partnerships can provide an enriching experience, boost your sales and increase the pool of very cool people you associate with.

What are your thoughts on forming partnerships? What do you perceive to be the benefits of partnerships?