The most powerful and under-utilized force in the universe. You guessed it, strategic partnerships. You can create extremely profitable relationships with partners that already have your customers, clients or prospects inside their database. These partners can build you long term wealth because they keep on giving back long after the initial transaction is done and the relationship is established.
There are many ways to create and secure these relationships, and today I will give you a few idea’s that can ignite some idea’s inside your mind on how you can create your very own strategic partnership strategy also.
Another thing to consider is if you don’t look at implementing these and creating strategic partners you’re missing out on potentially over six-figures in revenue or more. Isn’t that amazing? I think so.
What is a strategic partnership give an example?
An example of a strategic partnership is let’s say…
You’ve got someone living in New York City, and he is a construction contractor. Now, this company is looking for new relationship’s that they can build so they can secure new business.
Maybe a joint venture partner, or maybe just someone that would just mutually benefit from a relationship with them. They understand the value, they’ve just never created a partnership like this before.
So, one day this contractor was at a construction supply store picking up new material for a job site. He came across a husband and wife couple in an isle. Laughing and chatting and picking out paint colours together. He got curious so he followed them for a little bit and then after that they started picking out flooring too…
This guy specialized in painting, and he specialized in flooring! Coincidence? Hmm….
A lightbulb moment, “EUREKA!” he thought to himself…
“My customers and clients, people that could hire me are frequently coming into this very store, almost DAILY! This will be great for my company!”
The next question he asked himself…
“How do I get in front of them?”
There was a man that worked at the supply counter of the construction supply store, and the contractor asked him…
“Does anyone take care of your customers if they need painting, or any other types of construction services?”
The man behind the counter responded…
“No, no one has ever asked us to do that before. It’s a good idea, but we’ve never done it.”
The contractor from New York City decided alright…
“Would you be interested in sending my company business and becoming a partner?”
The man at the supply counter nodded.
He thoughts to himself…”Let’s take this guy for lunch, and let’s build a relationship with him. We will form a partnership and I will figure out some new way that I can also enrich his life.”
Later that week, they went for lunch, and a partnership was formed. The construction contractor now could count on a steady lead flow of business from the supply store.
It’s as easy as one, two, three…
I understand that this specific scenario, not everyone is going to oblige right away into becoming a partner with you. However now that you understand this concept a little bit more, who comes to mind for you? Is it someone you already know? How dramatically would a few partners shift your business?
How do you develop strategic partnerships?
In the last story I told you above, strategic partnerships are all about finding and identifying businesses that are congruent to your business. Figuring out what companies, products or services that other people have that are congruent to what you’re selling.
These relationship’s and services will be before you in a decision process/project or after you in a decision process/project. For example, if you install say drywall and you’re looking for more business and contracts…
I would consider making partners with electricians, and exterior/interior framing companies. These companies can easily hand you off valuable contacts and information and even put in a good word for you on the job sites because they would always be there before you in this scenario.
Step One: Make a list of 15-20 congruent businesses and reach out with the mission and end goal of forming strategic partnerships. Sometimes you might not be able to give back to a strategic partner right away, but as long as you don’t let their good deed’s go un-noticed, they’ll be loyal for life.
Step Two: Reach out to them, and let them know your intentions. Don’t conceal that you’re looking for new business, be brutally honest, but don’t be needy. Just see if they’re interested. There is some way you can add value to the relationship if you REALLY get creative.
Step Three: If they don’t respond, and they are important connections you can figure out what events in the community, locally, or even nationally that they attend. It might be worth it to buy that ticket to that conference if they are a key piece to a strategic partnerships strategy.
Step Four: Continue to build these relationships over time, sometimes they will not click right away. Small gestures over time is like water dripping and cutting through a rock. If you are constantly a giver, you can always ask for what you want strategically in these partnerships.
People want to form relationships with dependable service providers and contractors. It makes life convenient, especially if they are business owners. The steps above are quite simple and all it takes is literally asking them for what you want. If you can deliver on your word with the relationships you’re introduced to you’ll also make the person that you created a partnership with look great too.
That’s a huge bonus for some really connected people especially if you’re a specialized service.
How is a strategic partnership structured?
A strategic partnership is structured by having a conversation with a potential partner, and agreeing on any terms and conditions, and value adds that you both will and can potentially bring to the table. A partner is like finding a new client, you need to talk to them first and make sure they are a right fit and that you like each other so you can be in a longer term relationship and form multiple partnerships along the way.
You’re looking for long term financial success, and you want people and companies that want them for themselves also. You’ll begin to notice that these partnerships can eventually become close friendships that you create overtime. They will benefit your personal life and business for many years to come.
Another thing is you should always consciously be on the look out for your strategic partnerships you’ve created and be looking out for opportunities for them.
Sometimes these strategic partnerships can only be a one way street relationship where only one party reciprocates. However, it is just like a romantic relationship. If you can create it where it is a win-win for both parties. A two way street where you both send each other referrals, clients or commissions, anything that will make both parties be involved in a winning joint venture and partnership. If you can do that, it will continue for a long time.
Another thing is everyone loves being a part of a profitable partnership that is “oozing” with cash. No one likes being involved in something that takes too long, with extra time and extra energy and no return on investment. Eventually those kinds of strategic partners will and should fizzle out. You don’t want these relationships and strategic partnerships to drain you. You want these partnerships to light you up and add to your life.
Time and time again I see people and companies trying to create hundreds of partners and partnerships. Then they are forgetting about their original partners that were diamonds. Business can be business but if you let time pass for too long, again…these relationships with partners can fade away.
If there is anything you can take away from building many partnerships for your business or company, it is that it takes effort, and it takes a good strategy to get in front of some of these people.
If your company is looking to expand into the strategic partnerships arena, we should have a conversation. We’ve had success facilitating these relationships in the past for other companies. It takes someone continuously thinking about how these partnerships evolve and how they connect different key pieces of the business over time.