One of the most common issues an entrepreneur faces is partnerships. There are many things that draw us into “wanting” to partner. It can be cash/investment, connections, division of sweat equity, and yes, even “fear of the start”.
The problem of course is, how is that partnership divided? Is it a 50/50 split. Well, what of one person works more than the other. What if one person puts in much more money that the other. Who’s the boss? Does one persona have to be the boss?
All these and many more questions come up as you start on your path to building the business of your dreams. Take them all into consideration BEFORE you agree to give up ANYTHING and you and your new business will be all that much more healthy and happy.
Met with a friend the other day. He told me about the cookie cutter email campaigns they you at his place of work. Each week, if not each day, his company (well not his…) “reaches out” to their “target” group with a “personal” message asking them if they are current seeking a solution to problem X.
Well, one of those “friend” took the time to reply in kind and wrote the following:
“Hi <fill in sales person’s first name here>, thank you for your standard email reply template, but it didn’t really answer my question as to how you were triggered to contact us.
So perhaps you can tell me that.
Yes we are seeking <a solution to problem X> for our company.”
This potential customer certainly sounds like they are seeking solutions. One thing that very much stands out from between the lines though is, they want their solutions to come from real people and not database driven automated emails/marketing “content.
Its all about the relationship. As more and more marketers are coming to realize, and better yet, commit to, its the sincere relationship that makes the sale and no just the product features or even benefits. And certainly not price,
though that of course is quite important as well. And hey, a fair price (not just a good price) will be given by someone who is trustworthy in any case. That’s part of the trusting relationship.
Had a great meeting the other day with the authors of a new Asian Kosher Cookbook. They are an amazing mother and daughter team. The discussion turned to networking and how to “work the floor”.
WORKING THE FLOOR I explained is ok, if you do it the right way. Problem is, if you do it the right way, you won’t have time to work the floor.
THE RIGHT WAY is to nurture relationships. Don’t go around the room looking for the people who will write you a check on the spot. It just won’t happen. What you should do is see how YOU can help others.
ASK people how you can help them. What projects are they working on? What problems do they need solved. Yes, it takes time. Time to have these discussions. Time to follow up. Time to get to enough events to reach that critical mass that will allow you to connect OTHERS with THEIR solutions.
Once you start doing that, the reciprocity starts to happen. One thing to keep in mind though. Be sure to do it with integrity and NOT as a strategy.
Had a converstion with someone recently. He was convinced that a certain service provider was obligated to provide a higher level service for no extra fee. Why? Because the service was not working properly. Problem, this individual was basically in breach of contract by virtue of not using the service properly. ( I am obviously leaving all names and company references anonymous so as not to offend anyone…)
THE QUESTION becomes one of world view. Is the world, or more specifically, the people I do business with serve me, or do I serve them?
THE ANSWER of course is both. If my supplier does not serve me well, my business day, my business success, becomes that much more dificult. But if I treat my supplier with less resepct for his bottom line, in the end I will lose. I will lose in better service, in better relations with suppliers when I really need them, and at the end of the day, in a better and happier life for all.
Yes, I need to watch my bottom line. I need though to keep in mind that everyone needs to do that if there is to be an economy at all.
It seems that there ahs been talk about, and even action upon, providing customer service. It is seen as the basis for success for any business. Truth be told, that is very true. The questions becomes however, what can we in business do to stay ahead of the competition if EVERYONE is providing that great customer service?
THE ANSWER I believe lies is integrity. By being true to ourselves, our businesses, our families, and ultimately, our customers, we can shine. We will come through in the “relationship” economy as the ones that EVERYONE will want to deal with.
So, you may ask, what if everyone does that as well? Well, what can I say, the world will become a much better place. Until then though, let’s strive to get there.