How to identify a good business partner
Nowadays, people are sick of sales outreach from unknown companies. I am too, and most likely you are as well. If you do not know how to approach correctly and understand your target, you will end up with a snake oil salesman for your target. The current trend of partnership is one of the effective strategies to expand your solutions to overseas not by using sales.
It is easier than sales to open the door, but it is harder than sales to actually see the results of the partnership. To find out a good partner, there are 3 major critical elements that you might want to look at.
Like it or not, if your partner is not spending enough time amount to achieve what you and the partner agreed on, there is nothing expected. Generally, companies, in this case partners, survive because they bring value to customers — otherwise, they will be gone by now. So partners are, in general, capable of delivering a result only if they spend a sufficient amount. Therefore, time commitment matters.
Low time commitment creates a passive environment for your partner. Meaning if a partner doesn’t commit the time volume, they tend to execute only what you told them to do. Therefore, you get frustrated because generally companies expect them to be more proactive and aggressive about what they are doing more than you tell them to do. If your partner delivers less than you’d have expected, the relationship will end with the termination of the contract.
First things first, identify the time commitment then you can analyze the quality of the activities. In may cases, when a partner doesn’t deliver good output, it’s because they just don’t simply allocate their time.
If something is not going good, people try to hide it. That is because your partner is afraid of sharing negative information that might destroy the relationship. Doing business is all about solving problems. If there is no problems or issues, that is not business, therefore negative information cannot be avoided by anyone who do businesses. It, of course, doesn’t mean you can make a mistake, but means problems are simply inevitable.
Thus, if you can create, as google says, the Psychological Safety business environment, it is guaranteed that you can keep the highly trustworthy transparency with your partners.
One thing that you might want to be careful is that it is the vise-versa tactic. You cannot only force your partner to be 100% transparent. You must be also 100% transparent. You can demand this approach only if you can exercise by yourself. If what you demand and what you do is inconsistent, it is very easy and fast to lose the trust from your partner.
High transparency puts big pressure on your partner, so as yourself.
It corelates to the first point, the time commitment. In any business activities, execution matters. Planning, strategizing, discussing, whiteboarding, and post-iting get you nowhere. Once a partner commits their time, the next thing is to monitor how they operate the time. It is said that 20:80 is the golden ratio of planning and executing. Without enough planning, execution quality decreases. Without enough execution, planning doesn’t mean anything.
The execution itself is very unclear term, so it is hard to understand if the partner has a high-quality standard. The execution quality only improves if your partner understands the execution engineering process day in and day out. You might be tricked by a partner since they had achieved the impressive results with a similar industry customer in the past, which, of course, they have zero intention to trick you.
The point is whether your partner can adopt and improve their approach constantly or not. If a partner is sitting in their own laurels, you might not want to work with them because their successful case studies are very highly unlikely to fit into to your products or solutions. The market changes, customers do, information does, and trends do also. To be successful on your own current project is only possible by meticulously engineering the execution process consistently, not being relying on the past glories.
All three factors are interrelated each other. They don’t function by one element. If you can do it with your partners, it is the matter of time to see the result. Even if the result is not desirable, you can get the transparent feedback from the market through partners and you can go and think from different angles. If the feedback isn’t fully transparent, your future activities will be distorted.
Having those 3 elements working closely each other, you can have more healthy relationship with your partners. If you need a specific partner generation, feel free to contact us.