One of the best ways to grow your business is to take on partners. There are many benefits of having partners—expanding your audience, increasing revenue, and giving your customers a wider variety in products/services. Often, it can (and should) be a mutually beneficial relationship.
It’s not always easy to get another brand to partner with your business—your company has to be attractive to the other party, and they have to see how it would benefit them too. Here are some of the steps that you should take in order to make your business more appealing.
Create a Solid Plan
Develop a game plan when it comes to your business model. This roadmap will show a potential partner that you’re serious about your business — which is an important factor if your business isn’t quite off the ground yet. If you’ve watched Shark Tank, then you know that this a foundational part of getting a potential partner. If they don’t like your business model, they might not be too interested in pursuing a partnership. Try to seek out other businesses who have similar models as yours.
Know Your Stats!
Another foundational part of partner negotiations is knowing your stats and making sure that they are impressive. To refer to Shark Tank once again, nobody gets a deal with a shark without giving them the following information:
- Sales numbers
- Growth rate
- Amount of debt
- Inventory count
- Cost of product vs profit margins
- The evaluation amount
Your potential partners will most likely ask for the same information, as well.
Give Samples of Your Product/Services
How can a person decide to partner with you if they don’t even know what your business does? Sure, you can explain it to them, but they might not fully understand the benefits of your business or catch the passion for what you do unless you show them. If your company offers a product, give your potential partners free samples. If your company offers a specific service, consider offering that service for free as part of a one-time-only deal or for an extended trial period.
By experiencing your product or service, they will get first-hand knowledge of what they’re about to invest in. If they have any suggestions that could improve it, take that into consideration and be willing to negotiate. Remember, the reputation of their business and brand can be influenced for the better or worse by associating with you and your product/service, so their input should be welcome and accepted. Be humble about it, and try to see how taking their considerations into account might actually improve both of your businesses.
Take Them on a Tour
Potential partners might be interested in seeing the location of your business. This allows them to see your processes, meet your employees, and get a feel for your company’s culture. Although you should always keep your office space clean, you may want to consider getting commercial cleaning done before their arrival. Anything less than pristine may put a damper on their opinion of your business.
Along the tour, have your top notch employees engage with these professionals. Make sure that the ones you choose have extraordinary communication skills and are well versed in your brand promises. Have them demonstrate their processes and give presentations if needed. Encourage the potential partners to ask as many questions as they can. This type of tour will allow them to leave informed and ready to make a decision about whether or not to partner with you.
Build Relationships with Customers
When another company partners with your business, they will most likely have the opportunity to engage with your customers at some point—perhaps through certain services that they might provide to them as part of the partnership agreement. Not only that, but your business may come into contact with their customers as well in the same manner.
If a potential partner isn’t impressed with how your business interacts with customers, you just might have a problem. When working with customers, you should always be focused on building a relationship that will lead to ongoing business, as well making sure that the customer is always satisfied and feels like their needs are a priority.
One way to do this is by utilizing CRM tools that can help your employees stay on top of their tasks so that your customers’ needs don’t get sidelined or, even worse, completely forgotten about. Such tools even have the potential to detect social signals, enabling your employees to better understand your customers’ interests. This insight can aid them in building more personable relationships with current or prospective clients.
Business is a tough and oftentimes scary world, and getting another business on board to be your partner won’t always be easy. Prepare for a huge process of negotiations to get a company to say “yes” to your proposal. You might even have to talk to a multitude of businesses before that happens. Be patient and trust the process, because the future of your company relies on it.