Follow These 10 Steps to Build Long-Lasting Strategic Contacts
No matter the size of the company having a steady relationship with partners, firms, or individuals can help make or break a company’s reputation and standing in the market. Partnerships are a well-known business strategy, from tiny start-ups to multimillion dollar corporations they know it helps keep them going and growing in the competitive world of business. Here are ten steps to help you get to where you need to be and ensure a lasting business relationship that can help your company blossom.
Common Business Goals
Both parties will need to agree on the path you wish to take and what steps are necessary to get to the common goal. Make sure both you and the other party can visualize, route, and agree upon what risks and decisions both sides need to take in order to achieve the common goal. It will establish a good foundation and make joint decisions easier when the goal is visualized the same by both parties.
Contracts are a legal necessity and can give a sense of reassurance for both parties that their individual needs will be met by the other side. It outlines details of the agreement, responsibilities, individual and mutual tasks, service agreements and payments. They can also outline the rules of the partnership and define in even more detail how the parties will interact depending on the type of business relationship and what the parties are agreeing upon.
Collaboration and Planning
Each party needs to come up with their own version of a business plan and discuss the details with the other. Another route is to sit down and create one together but merging two plans into one can work just the same. As long as both partners are still moving towards the common goal the plan will be effective. Outline short term goals, objectives, and joint goals to help make the right moves together.
Senior Executives will play a big part in the planning and must be on the same page with the partnership. Communication plays a huge role in assuring the feeling of unity so keeping senior executives close to their counterparts is very important. Communication is key in keeping the higher ups in on the plan and feeling comfortable with the partnership.
Communication and Group Functionality
Each party is responsible for ensuring the service or product – from their respective parties – work well together. If there seems to be an issue, communication serves a great purpose. Be sure to have open lines of communication to address any issues and come up with a joint solution both parties are happy with.
Advertising and Marketing
Letting the world in on the partnership is just as important as informing the company’s staff. It creates a permanent joint value and ability to market as one to customers along with ensuring both companies get the credit for the product or service. Marketing jointly is yet another point where open and healthy communication will create an easy environment when thinking of marketing strategies.
Everyone from each side whether it’s just a few salesmen, a whole marketing team or a large firm representing the partnership must be on the same page in the message you are trying to sell. Information needs to be consistent and precise so that the point you and your partner decided on is sent out into the world. Consistency is just as important as efficiency.
When developing a business plan you must consider everyone involved. Will everyone be compensated the way they should be, will it be equal on either side when both parties combine to make one team effort? If the answer is yes then you should feel comfortable in moving forward as long as both parties agree.
Sales Floor Effort
Running two separate sales teams can be a struggle but making sure the information trickling down on both sides is the same can make a huge difference. Make sure they are collaborating and have the same goal in mind. Create a feeling of unity and that each party feels that they are one and all working with each other instead of beside each other.
Reviewing progress and sharing qualms or questions will help keep the partnership strong. Having successful pairings is not always easy and can be frustrating, but keeping a schedule of meetings and reviews can help put the plan on the right track if it’s not going exactly how you planned. Meet with Managers, Executives and Vice presidents. Anyone who plays a role can help the goal become a reality.
Partnerships take time to grow but if you follow these steps you’re sure to have a life-long business relationship.