You likely need partnerships to grow your business.
Here are some tips I’ve used to close partnerships with such companies as Disney, Microsoft, Sprint, Sony Music and NBC.
- What’s Your Endgame — As Stephen Covey says in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, start with the end in mind. Imagine the press release you would like to announce your partnership – be as specific as possible.
- Establish the “What” before the “How” — Make sure to be clear with yourself and partner on “what” it is you’re both trying to do before you dive into the how. An example of a “what”: you may want traffic from your partner’s Web site to your own; and they may want you to pay them to advertise on their Web site. An example of a “How” would be: Your partner will put a link for your Web site on their Web site.
- Those Who Listen, Win — Don’t talk too much: focus on your partner’s challenges.
- Ask A Lot of Questions — As I pointed out in my article on Spin Selling, ask a lot of questions (especially about what your partner’s objective is). A favorite question of mine is: “What’s your biggest challenge?”
- Be Direct & Honest — Don’t beat around the bush. Be as honest and direct with your partner on what you want as possible.
- Determine the Fit First/Business Model Later — Focus on getting to know each other and finding the partnership fit first, before you get caught up in negotiating. The business terms will be much easier once you’ve fallen a bit in love as partners.
Best of luck!