Most everyone knows Barney. In case you don’t … he’s a giant purple dinosaur that starred in a kids show where he ended every show with a song where he sang “I Love You … You Love Me” That’s a great song for kids, but it doesn’t have a place in business partnerships.
No Barney Relationships
The parallels to business partnerships and Barney are few and far between. I’ve said something for years and I still say it to this day. I don’t want to create “Barney Relationships” with any partners.
Three Considerations when Creating Partnerships
The following are not the only things to consider when developing a partnership. However, these three are a good place to start. Partnerships are both an Art and a Science. Building good partnerships takes time. Building good partnerships are a lot like building good gardens. If you are a business development manager, an alliance manager, or deal with any kind of business partner you should consider starting with these three:
1. Know What You Want
2. Know What You Don’t Want
3. Know What You Do
Before considering developing a partnership you should know what you want out of the relationship before you start. The corollary is also true. You need to know what you don’t want.
As an almost too obvious point you need to know what you do. You need to know your products and services in great detail. One reason for this is because you cannot effectively know or execute on points 1 and 2 without knowing what you do.
Take These Three Points
Think about them, munge them around in your head, talk with other BizDev & Alliances professionals. Do a little thinking outside-the-box and consider alternatives to what you want, what the potential partners want and how you can help each other grow your business. Part of growing your business includes understanding the bigger picture. The bigger picture may or may not involve partners.
Caveat: Every business does not necessarily lend itself to a partnering model. Consider this as you are thinking about what you really want from a partnership. Think about if a partnership even makes sense.
If you decide you want to go forward with developing a partnership just remember one thing, and
Say it with me …
No Barney Relationships
For more of my thoughts about Partnering and Partnerships take a look at these:
Image Credit: Lyons Partnership
Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, K2 and currently he is the Director of Strategic Alliances atGimmal. Tweet him @jshuey or connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+
He is a contributing author to Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, Yahoo, US News and to the Personal Branding Blog.