How to Develop Strategic Partnerships

Even though we see several indicators that suggest the economic downturn is winding its way up again, we still need to be feeding ideas through our systems in order to produce continuous growth.  One of the best ways to generate growth for our business is to focus on partnering.  And while this isn’t an earth shattering revelation, the key to generating growth with partnerships is to persevere. 

Just like your prospective clients, prospective partners are going to need to be nurtured too.  We all know it takes, on average, six or more touches before a prospect is ready to buy.  So too, does that relationship with a prospective partner take time to develop.  It’s just like educating a client about how you do what you do.  A strategic partner will want to understand all the benefits and opportunities of working with you as well.  And everyone has many more tasks on their plate than they can handle, so there’s always the challenge of getting your messages through the surrounding noise of obligations and commitments.  

The key is to be committed to the process and continue to educate the partner.  And you can do this with the following 3 tips:

  • Make sure they understand what’s relevant—things like cost or time savings because these are the points that will resonate with your audience. 
  • Persevere—not everyone is at the purchase point in the buying cycle when you’re ready to make a sale or a deal.  Keep the communication open, and regular, and show them how committed you are to the process.
  • Develop the partnership yourself—don’t delegate this one.  A strategic partner wants to know how dedicated you are to the process and wants to observe the kind of passion only an owner can demonstrate authentically.

Strategic partnerships are one of the best ways to grow your business.  They typically cost less to develop and come with even greater benefits than many of your other marketing endeavors.  The key is to respect your potential partner and nurture and educate to put your business in the best position possible.

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