8 Partnership Activities I'll Never Do Again


8 Partnership Activities I'll Never Do Again

  • June 7 2023
  • Ray

Hey there, fellow partnership professionals! After a solid decade of navigating the treacherous prosperous waters of collaboration and partnerships, I wanted to share a bit of knowledge that will hopefully help the next person. In this article, I'm gonna run through eight partnership activities that I'm never repeating. Ready? Let's go! 


One: Ignoring Clear Communication Channels


Duh right? One of the biggest mistakes I've made is not establishing clear lines of communication and defining realistic expectations. It's your job to make those “asks” and listen to those requests from your partner - ensuring both parties are communicating. Neglecting this can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and ultimately, a breakdown in the partnership.


Two: Neglecting Due Diligence


Don’t chase everything! You have quotas, goals, targets and yada yada, but failing to conduct thorough due diligence on potential partners will cost you time and energy. It's essential to thoroughly research and evaluate the credibility, reputation, and alignment of all partners. This isn’t built on “hope”, and hoping “maybe this partner will drive business” isn’t enough. You got to do better. 


Three: Overlooking a Balanced Value Exchange


Partnerships are about balanced value exchange, whether it is leads and referrals or marketing and branding. Its partnerships, not sales. Cold referrals work of course,, but the value is in partnership leads. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of collaboration, how the partnership will drive value for you and overlook whether both parties are benefitting. Ensuring fairness (as much as you can) in terms of resources, expertise, and benefits is vital to sustaining a successful partnership for the long run.


Four: Underestimating the Importance of Trust


Building trust takes time, but it can be lost in an instant. Maintain transparency, deliver on commitments, and address any concerns promptly – this is the job. This makes the tasks easier, and the job fun. Without a foundation of trust it all falls apart. Do what you say you’re going to do, like making an introduction to another client or partner


Five: Neglecting Regular Performance Evaluation


Check in, check up. Partnerships require ongoing maintenance to ensure both organization’s needs and goals are being met. Failing to conduct regular performance evaluations can lead to complacency or missed opportunities. You don’t want to have meetings with partners with nothing to share, but bad news can lead to good outcomes. Assess the partnership's effectiveness and identify areas of improvement to take corrective actions - optimize for funnel leakage 


Six: Focusing Solely on Short-Term Wins


Again, you want the win, you have internal OKRs and goals but partnerships should be viewed as long-term investments. Take the time to build it right. Focusing only on short-term successes will hinder the partnership's growth and potential. The goal is a healthy balance between short-term results and long-term sustainability, ensuring that both partners derive lasting benefits. Build the relationship and aim for higher value wins. 


Seven: Disregarding Flexibility and Adaptability


Do not be rigid, partnerships are a relationship business. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial for survival. Partnerships should be designed to accommodate changes and unexpected circumstances. Being resistant to change can hinder progress and create unnecessary friction. Remember you are your partner's advocate internally - this means you’re working on their behalf to get things done. (Hopefully they’re reciprocating.) 

Eight: Neglecting Relationship Cultivation

Building and nurturing relationships is fundamental to any partnership. Yes its work but yes it should be fun too. The goal is to look forward to seeing your partners on monthly/quarterly check-ins, and at conferences/events. Investing time and effort into building strong relationships, fostering open communication, and executing on a game plan together.

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