How do you build stronger partnerships with centers of influence? What does it take to build key partnerships with people who can help you build your practice? Can building extraordinary partnerships be a successful client acquisition strategy?
Over 80% of sales leaders believe that their partnerships have not met their expectations for results. In many cases. these leaders are not certain how to determine who they should invest their time with.
Most financial service professionals believe that successful partnerships are critical to their practice’s success. Most receive little training on how to build successful partnerships. How do you successfully build successful partnerships with other financial advisors and accounting professionals? Who are the best people to partner with and why?
Most partnerships fail because advisors spend little time understanding what makes a strong partnership. Its not enough to share a common interest with a potential partner. You must know what the partners in a referring relationship want and need. You must know where you can add value to their client’s lives. You must also know what value the partner can bring to your clients. The partner must be clear on the value they create in your clients’ lives.
Successful partnerships work both ways. They must be win-win, or they become part of the 80% of partnerships that fail to achieve the results needed for the time invested. There are several questions you can ask that help you build successful partnerships. They may seem soft on the surface, but they help ensure success and results from your partnerships over the long term.
Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to work with Peter Drucker and his team. They shared their thinking on successful alliances and partnerships. I applied it to my work with Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Nationwide Insurance. The results were amazing. Over 90% of my clients and partners exceeded their expectations with their partnerships and alliances. These partners generated millions of dollars in partnership revenue on their projects. Want to earn how we did it? Let’s get started!
What is the purpose of the partnership? Clearly defining the purpose of a partnership is a foundation of partnering success. How does the person define their mission? How does it match with your world view?
Ask yourself what the challenges and opportunities are in this partnership? Are they clearly defined? Are your partners realistic with their expectations?
Who is the client? Are you and your potential partner working with similar clients? What clients do you want to work with for this partnership? Can you deliver better value to these clients?
Make sure you target your initial partnership to a specific client base. It allows you and your partners to get to know each other better. By targeting certain activities, you are better at understanding your partner’s strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your early partnering attempts are built on both organizations’ strengths.
What does the client value? Take time to better understand the value this new partnership creates for your clients. Don’t invest your time going after things that won’t give significant upside to clients.
When working with partners it’s critical that you are impacting your clients lives and businesses. How does your potential partner position their expertise and clients’ success? How does it align with your client development activities?
What are our results? Does this partnership have clearly defined results that are easily measurable? I’ve found the more you can predefine what success looks like, the more likely you are to achieve success.
Taking time to have measurement tools in place helps you and your partner understand what is expected from the partnership. These measurement tools can vary by stakeholder and partner. The critical fact that you are investing time to define success increases the odds of this partnership’s success geometrically.
What is our plan for success? Many partnerships I’ve worked with have these four earlier questions answered. They fail because there is no plan to implement the partnership. Walk into almost anyone who is involved in developing critical partnerships for their organization. There are shelves full of binders on partnership they have tried to do successfully.
Want to know my 60 second test to determine if a partnership will succeed? Ask to see their implementation manual. So many great partnerships fail because there is no clearly defined implementation schedule. No clearly defines roles and responsibilities. No clear accountability built into the partnership program.
If you don’t have a written plan for implementation, your chances of success are less than 20%. How do you build an implementation plan for your partnerships? That could easily be several blogs or a book in itself.
If you’re just starting out trying to build successful partnership you might want to get a copy of The Five Most Important Questions by Peter Drucker to jumpstart your thinking on how to build successful partnerships. This book focuses on non-profit partnerships. I’ve seen these programs work with many of my financial service clients. You will be amazed at what you can do as you get more involved in your communities.
I will be applying it to professional advisors and financial planners over the coming weeks and months. It’s one of my favorite ways to transform a new financial advisor’s client acquisition process. Later this week we will share how to build trust with your key stakeholders. See you at Market Leadership Journal this Friday
See you next week!