Partnerships are built with people that you do and don’t know take time. Take note of the language we’re using here – partners, not clients. Connections lead to partnerships.
I would like to make the point that it is about building a community based on respect and trust and not a quick fix approach where you grab all you can and offer very little in return to the other party.
It’s important to identify the process you go through to make a connection. Following a more intimate, creative approach when building contacts can help cut out the competition and lets you influence the way your partners perceives you.
Let’s go through the process of making connections that lead to real business opportunities.
Know your target
Identify industry sectors that fit your brand. Research what industries are growing and emerging. Where is the future potential? Where do you currently find this information? Who do you need to speak to? Find organisations that fit your ideal partnership picture and cultural aspects underpinning your brand.
Know your purpose
To get the desired response it is key you adopt a longer term, more tactical approach to making contact and building a community. Why are you contacting them and where is the mutual benefit?
Always give serious thought to not only your method of communications but the message. Remember these people are unlikely to know of you so building credibility while making the other party feel important is key.
Contact your ‘partner’
Got names, now what? First thing, send them a personal letter in the post. This will make your brand stand out as you choose a more thoughtful and intimate form of making initial contact. Make sure you keep track of your connections in order to drive and manage this process.
Meet them in person
If/when they give you 20-30 minutes, use this to make your best impression. Always make sure you stick to the time limit and always write later that day in an email or a letter to thank them for their insights and contact. Discuss why you wrote to them, your plans for the future, and how they can benefit from working with you. Think about more creative angles as well – you want to be able to learn about the business and show curiosity.
Post-chat – the all important “F” word
After your meeting is an important step that many people don’t focus on. Partnerships take time and there are tactics that you need to follow to maintain contact. Businesses fall down because they don’t know how to manage the connection after a conversation. They let it go cold – they get hundreds of cards but don’t think ahead of how they will make this work. People are going to enter a partnership in they feel you’re trustworthy and credible. This takes time to build.
Now, over to you. How could you maintain contact after your first conversation – what’s your excuse? If you need help making real, respectful connections, let’s have a chat.
At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or email@example.com.