Developing powerful partnerships is a great way to increase your visibility and have a ‘sales force’ to market your business, but it’s not always clear how to go about it.

Knowing where to start when looking for a partnership can be tough. You might have the perfect service or offer, but you need the right partner to help you reach your goals.

These three tips will help you develop win/win partnerships. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to successful business collaborations in no time!

Are you looking for ways to boost your business? If so, consider developing powerful partnerships. You can exponentially grow your reach by collaborating with others who share your target market. Here are three tips for forging successful partnerships that refer business to each other: 

Determine if This Could Be a Win/Win

Before seeking partnerships, it’s important to figure out what you have to offer potential referral partners. Answer these questions:

  • What do you want to partner for? An ongoing referral relationships, special event like a workshop or summit, podcast collaboration, etc.
  • Why would someone want to refer business your way?
  • Who is your community (including your target audience, social media channels, size of your email list)

Once you know what you have to offer then ask…

  • Who else can help your ideal clients accomplish their goals?

Consider businesses that serve the same target market. When you partner with another business that serves the same target market, it’s a win-win for both of you. You can refer business to each other, knowing that you’re providing value to your clients.

When considering potential partnerships, look for businesses that complement your own. Do they have complementary products or services?

For example, if you’re a web designer who specializes in working with small businesses, you could partner with a virtual assistant who also works with small businesses. Or, if you’re a social media expert, you could partner with a content writer who creates blog posts and articles.

Do their strengths supplement your weaknesses?

If you’re good at marketing but don’t have the time to implement all of your ideas, you could team up with an assistant or virtual assistant.

The next step is to do your research on any potential partners BEFORE you reach out to them. I caution you to build partnerships slowly as starting with 2- 3 of the right people is easier than trying to manage more.

9 Must Ask Questions to Help You Choose the Right Partner

The type of referral relationships you choose to create will depend on the goals of your business. Start by looking at the relationships you already have. These are the folks who’ve made great introductions and/or referred you to business opportunities. It doesn’t always mean that you’ve closed the business, but it shows they have the right mindset when it comes to relationships. Too often, people want someone to feed them business but they aren’t referring.

Tough question: When was the last time you referred a client to someone?

Looking for businesses that share your relationship values. When you partner with someone, you’re essentially forming a relationship with them. You want to be sure that you have common values so that the partnership is healthy and lasts longterm. 

Referral Relationship Questions

  1. How interested are you in growing your business?
  2. Are you taking on new clients or just getting more business from existing or both?
  3. What do you do to get new business? Example: referrals, networking, etc.
  4. Do you make referrals to other business professionals? is not an option but they could be a great resource for you.** If yes, continue with the questions below. If no, then they a referral relationship
  5. If yes, how many on average in a month?
  6. What type of professional service do you refer most often? Have them give you an actual example.
  7. How do you go about making introductions? Example: give them a card and say to call / email introduction / schedule and facilitate an actual meeting between the people you are referring 
  8. How many people are on your list?
  9. What social media platforms are you on and how many followers do you have?

Depending on the collaboration, here are ways to categorize your relationships.

PARTNERSHIP: This individual works with the same target market and would easily be able to refer you and vice versa. The partnership could be for a workshop, summit, podcast or video collaboration or offer promotion. 

TRIBE: The three to seven people you’re closely aligned with—also help you make things happen. These are the connections who are always top-of-mind for you. Know whom they’re looking to meet and the resources they need, too.

REFERRAL RELATIONSHIP: These alliances expand beyond your inner circle to include the people you turn to often and have taken the time to get to know. You also have a general understanding of how they can help your clients and impact your brand in a positive way if you made an introduction. 

Most people underestimate the power of a great partnership. When two businesses work together to create a win-win scenario, magic can happen. Not only do both businesses get new customers, but they also get access to each other’s customer base, resources, and networks. In order to develop some powerful partnerships that refer business your way, be sure to choose your partners wisely.

Create Good Communication

Good communication is essential to creating powerful partnerships because it allows both parties to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in each other’s businesses. This way, you can refer clients to each other more easily and effectively.

To ensure good communication, commit to meeting or speaking with your partners on a regular basis. This could be monthly, biweekly, or even weekly if you’re working on a workshop or launch together. During these meetings or calls, share what’s happening in your business and ask your partners how you can help them. This is also a good time to find out if they have any referral opportunities for you

If you’re not able to meet or speak with your partners in person, then make sure to keep them updated via email or another communication platform like Slack. Just be sure to set up a system that works for both of you so that important information doesn’t fall through the cracks.

If you are working together on a launch that requires a landing page, email series, and tracking of attendees, then determine who will be responsible for each piece and the timeline. 

By communicating regularly, you’ll build a strong relationship with your partners and be top-of-mind when they need to refer a customer or client.

In today’s video, we discussed determining if a partnership is truly a win/win situation, and the nine must ask questions to help make that decision. We also shared some tips on how to create clear communication with your partners (which will help prevent any miscommunications down the road).

By following these tips, you can develop some powerful partnerships that refer business your way, helping you boost your bottom line. 

If you are creating relationships in your local community and want the guide to Hosting Collision Events I mentioned in the video, grab it below. This is the step-by-step process our tribe used for each of our ‘executive happy hours’ that resulted in new business. One happy hour even resulted in the sale of a $4 million dollar company because of the introductions we made. 

Grab the Hosting Collision Events Guide

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