About once a week I receive an email or phone message that goes something like this: “I really like your site, I think we have a lot of synergies, we should get on the phone or go to lunch and explore ways to work together.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, with the exception of the use of the word synergy, I’m flattered that people are reaching out to me. In fact, it would be more worrisome if nobody wanted to develop these kinds of connections.
But here’s the thing – and here’s how it applies to you – in the crazy, busy world we all live in today, if you’re going to make the effort to reach out and connect, do it with an attractive purpose.
The vague, “we should get together” could indeed mean, we should get together because I have a brilliant idea that’s destined to make you lots of money or it could just as equally mean, we should get together so I can suck about an hour of your time trying to learn how I could benefit from your network.
Now, let me share a better approach. If you want to capture the imagination of potential partners come to the table with a very specific idea that’s attractive.
So, what’s attractive look like in this context? If your potential partner does not know you, either personally or by reputation, than it’s a pretty good bet that attractive looks very much like something that will immediately benefit their interests.
I don’t mean to imply that you don’t have incredible ideas to share and that working with you might indeed make a ton of sense, but just as in any sales environment, you first have to capture my interest and you do that by helping me clearly see something that’s in this for me.
So, if you want to be more attractive to potential strategic partners
- Suggest introducing them to one or two key people you know could help them
- Come to the table with a killer eBook that you would allow them to cobrand
- Ask to interview them for a segment on your podcast
- Offer to promote their product or service to your community
- Create a special offering, gift certificate or sample product and allow them to gift it to their clients
- Offer to provide some product or service free of charge to them
- Ask them to teach you the best way to refer them to your clients
I’m guessing you can see the common thread running through most of the above suggestions – one of the most powerful ways to be more attractive is to give before you get.
This is true in building any relationship – with potential partners or potential clients.
Once you’ve established trust through this initial, genuine purpose, you’ll find that the doors to “working together” may naturally swing open, but even if they do not, you’ll have established a much more potent method of building relationships in a way that will produce the best kinds of opportunities – those that are mutually beneficial.