According to the Business Performance Innovation Network, 85 percent of companies say strategic partnerships are crucial to growing business; however, 45 percent of executives say keeping those partnerships mutually rewarding is the biggest challenge.
Creating these partnerships has generated more than 60% of my growth and profit over the past decade. Along the way, I have developed key strategies to follow in order to guarantee the mutual success and longevity of these advantageous alliances so that you don’t fall into the category of the negative statistics.
My clients often ask me how to go about initiating a strategic partnership. Probably the most important thing to understand is this: A strategic partnership is about creating a mutually beneficial alliance and providing support on both ends. This is the foundation for any successful partnership. They can work in SO MANY ways to help you grow your online business, but if you lose sight of this, your efforts will be wasted.
In my business, I offer an array of valuable services for the clients my strategic partners send my way. We provide done-for-you marketing services in which we train your team to handle online outreach to leads so you can focus on your business. We also provide branding and website design services, and bestseller book launch campaigns for authors. These are all added-value services to my strategic partners’, which helped me earn their business in the first place.
Now, let’s talk about the strategies that I’ve developed to help you land those partnerships:
Lay the groundwork
Before even approaching a potential partner, you need to lay the groundwork within your business and mindset. Identify your core values. Who do you want to serve and how do you want to serve them?
Next, develop an authentic relationship with the business or person with which you’d like to work. I care about a connection first with the individual and/or business, without expectation of where it’s going. I also want to be sure we have potential for a win-win partnership.
While developing a relationship and identifying a need or a gap between our businesses, I think about how I can serve them first so that we can both rise.
Creatively propose a partnership
Always keep in mind that you want to develop a mutually beneficial strategic partnership. Neglecting this is where so many fail.
My strategy for partnering boosts the value and reputation of a partner’s company because it enables them to provide additional services to their current clients simply by referring to me. My partners can use my company for fulfillment of services their businesses didn’t previously offer, which is a huge added value to their business. And of course the benefit on my end is receiving an influx of clients.
Another added value to their business: I offer a commission for client referrals.
You need to demonstrate all of this when approaching potential partners, rather than just telling them what you can offer. I have landed my strategic partners by showing them a mock-up (as in an actual unique website link or beta test) of what I will provide.
Develop, Document & Deliver
Once you’ve secured a partnership agreement, develop a process for delivering on the service. And be sure to document that process along the way! Your partner is opening up their community to you, so you better be ready to provide a predictable, reliable, responsible, integral and high value product or service for every single client they send your way.
Documenting a consistent process is also important so you and your team will be ready when your strategic partner sends you clients in bulk. With a documented process, our team can go through the entire process of sales fulfillment consistently and in total harmony.
Be sure to deliver high-value results every time. Elevate every experience, over deliver at every turn — these are my core beliefs. This is what facilitates growth for everybody. Part of this is doing what others are not willing to do to get to where you ultimately want to go. This isn’t about me; it’s about my partners and being an extension of their reputation.
Receiving positive feedback from satisfied clients is an excellent way to solidify the relationship with your strategic partner. When they see that their referral is beyond happy with the results you provided, they’ll be even more excited to carry on the relationship and continue sending customers your way.
We have hundreds of video testimonials from happy clients who were referred to us through strategic partnerships. We leverage that positive feedback to keep the mutually beneficial strategic partnership going, and to land new clients or partnerships.
Remember, as you go about both securing and delivering on a strategic partnership, you have to be trustworthy, responsible, reliable and integral. PLUS, your strategic partner has to be profitable! It is your job to grow the value, profitability and respect of their company.
I want you to be fully informed before you initiate your first partnership, so I’m providing this crash course that will teach you the major components to getting it right the first time.
- What you need to do before even reaching out to a potential partner
- How to ask potential strategic partners for support (your approach is everything!)
- What you must do to ensure a win-win outcome