Most established professionals have a contacts in their field for the occasional referral. However, a true strategic partner is much more.
In today’s highly competitive, super-connected business arena, partnerships have taken on significant importance. Part of our ongoing success depends not only on our abilities, but also on the capabilities, channels, and insights we can tap into via our partners. It allows us to compete with larger firms that provide a wider array of services while remaining internally focused on what we do best.
The reality is that forming strategic partnerships takes time and effort. There are several key factors that make for strong alignments and distinguish them from your other referral contacts:
In the end, your partners represent you. Their professionalism, support, and the quality of their products and services reflect directly on you.
Like any other type of relationship, being on the same wavelength makes working together effortless.
3. Connected Services
The best partnerships connect in some way to the service or product deliverable. These tend to be most consistently relevant and involve working together to provide a great experience.
While firms can refer work other firms even when they compete with each other, these may be convenient referrals but are not the basis for true partnership.
There needs to be a mutual balance in benefit to each party. These benefits might be different for each party. For example, one partner might receive more access to new clients while the other fills a crucial gap in their offerings.
Last but absolutely not least is knowing that you can trust your partner as if they were an extension of your team – because they are.
Over the past 7 years we have collaborated closely with Agility Networks, one of Chicago’s most trusted names in outsourced IT services, and the benefits have been tremendous. Our partnership was built on the ability to give each other’s clients a better customer experience. We took this approach by embracing a human-centered emphasis that pushed our partnership with Agility around solving client problems versus focusing solely on transactional benefits. For our mutual clients, their experience working with two providers that communicate and collaborate to consistently deliver what they need has been incredibly well received.
In the end, quality strategic partners will make your business more competitive and may be a critical aspect in its growth and success.