1. Identify and develop strategic alliances & partnerships
You need to define what your business could stand to gain with strategic partnerships. It generally is one of two things, leverage of the reach and reputation of other more established companies, or, tapping into their knowledge and expertise as it applies to your business.
Find where you are lacking in reputation and product/content quality and start making a list of companies/experts that could provide what is lacking.These need to companies you are able to offer some value in return for their involvement. Be thinking of what that could be.
2. Contact those experts with methods that get results….
This is where people tend to fail. “Well I sent them an email but I never heard back, they must not be interested.” WRONG, it’s not them, it’s you. (yeah, reverse from the Seinfeld saying).
Use this methods that we show you that is much more likely to get you a response. I recommend looking at your first version and then cutting out as much as possible while still retaining the main points. These are busy people. Also, look for “I” and “We” and weed tem out when possible. Finally, in your follow-up, don’t ask “did you get my message” rather add a compliment/feedback to a recent press release or new company feature with an edited version of the original message.
3. Use this GPS to find destination YES
Getting someone to answer is just part of the battle. You have to show them why they want to work with you, why you will bring them more bang for the buck than many of their other methods. If they know your goal is to make them look good, it’s very difficult to say No.
Find out what their goals are, where are they looking to distribute, who are their customers, can you bring them to new places or make them look rockstars to existing members. Do your research on each potential partner then use WIIFT :: What’s In It For Them.
4. Use the Three-Way-Win Strategy …..(Who doesn’t love a good three-way)
You know the Win-Win saying; well we take it one step further. This is a strategy where all people involved stand to gain significantly. With the partnership the business helping you gets more client/branding, your company gets more credibility and sells more, and the consumer/user gets a superior product/service. Win-Win-Win
Locate those direct benefits and highlight them until the pen is dry.
5. Take those relationships and expand, bigger and faster than before.
With some good first partnerships and if done right, you have your foot in the door; you’ve gotten under the tent. Now take advantage of these newfound developments. Leverage the existing projects and relationships to show others you can do the same for them.
Build a list of new potential companies. Better if there is some connection to the other companies, always keeping in mind that it benefits and not undershoots already established partnerships. Divide and conquer.
The following strategies have been implemented with over 100 companies in the last 3 years, including 99designs, Retargeter, Unbounce, Appsumo, Baylor University, Techstars, and the Government of Costa Rica.
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Category: Startup Advice