Bringing Business Partners Into Your Community
In this day of “do more with less”, one of the most powerful tools in any company’s toolbox is developing powerful business partnerships. The right partners can expand corporate capacities, increase expertise and, in the end, positively impact the bottom line.
The challenge right now is how to make your company the company others want to partner with. Anyone who is halfway decent at what they do is probably inundated with requests from myriad companies to participate in partnerships. You want your company to rise to the top of the pile and quickly so that you bring the best of the best to the table.
How do you accomplish this? By bringing them into your internal community. I don’t mean by paying lipservice, “it’s great to have you onboard” like everyone else does. I mean by brining them into your community so powerfully that they actually feel important and valued. Even the busiest, most highly thought of partners want to know that their presence and their contributions are hitting the mark.
There are two solid benefits to creating this kind of relationship:
1) Your partners will become committed to your success.
2) They will tell their friends (ie other potential partners) that you and your company are a great place to invest time and energy.
Let me illustrate with an example that happened to me just yesterday.
Earlier this summer, Nextiva approached me about being a content partner for their website. I was immediatly impressed by the fact that they understood the power of creating a destination community for their business clients and prospects. We talked about what format to use in content creation, what kind of subjects to cover, etc. Even in those early conversations, Nextiva made it clear that this was a long-term partnership and their focus was on creating a win-win for everyone involved.
We eventually settled on a podcast that I would create – the Fierce Loyalty podcast sponsored by Nextiva. I’ve had so much fun bringing incredible experts to the table each week for a quick and dirty, no-more-than-10-minutes podcast. I’m also incredibly grateful for the freedom and the support Nextiva gives me in making this podcast happen.
(And just FYI, they would have been well within their rights to ask me to call it the Nextiva Podcast. And if they had, I would have graciously complied because I like working with them so much.)
Yesterday, I tweeted about my gratitude.
Imagine my surprise when I got a tweet from Nextiva a few hours later with this video:
If you have business partners as part of your company model, what can you do to cement that relationship? To make them feel like a valued part of your internal community. And make the excuse of “I don’t have time.” No one has time. But the companies that make the time are the companies that will have Fiercely Loyal partners who are fully commited to their success.
So get going!