Prospecting for new partners can feel like shooting fish in a barrel, or like squeezing water from a rock. It all depends on the effectiveness of your prospecting strategies.
We tend to partner with people and organizations we know, like and trust. So what are the characteristics of a prospective partner that help you know, like and trust them? And how do you assess or measure these characteristics? Usually it boils down to three different strategies:
The Push Strategy: When you go looking for partners
A push strategy can be effective when you are new (to an organization, an industry, a market, to partnering), and when you have very specific partnering needs or requirements.
The Pull Strategy: When partners come looking for you
A pull strategy can be effective when you prefer to invest resources into qualifying partners that approach you, compared to investing resources in seeking partners. It’s a strategy more commonly used in organizations that are well established in terms of their leadership, brand, market position, and partnering experience.
The Magnetic Strategy: When partners find each other
Something magical happens when you find yourself in the right place, at the right time, meeting the right people, to foster a partnership. Of the three strategies, this is probably the one that is most intangible – it can be difficult to plan fate. But you can be prepared for it.
So which strategy should you use? First ask: What are you looking for?
You can’t find what you are not looking for, so regardless of the strategy or combination of strategies you use, start by having a clear partnership prospect profile. Create a profile that includes both the criteria of what you want, and the characteristics of what you don’t want (we call these deal breakers).
Creating a Prospective Partner Profile
- What results do you want to accomplish?
- Why can’t you accomplish these results on your own?
- What specifically do you want from a prospective partner?
- What partner characteristics are most important to you?
- What partner characteristics are deal breakers?
In short, you’ll likely leverage all three strategies to your advantage at the same time, but tend to focus on one depending on your current partnership priorities. Develop the capacity to implement all three strategies in order to increase your agility in finding the right partners.
- Posted by Enette Pauzé
- On August 22, 2016