How far can you go based on your relationship with an alliance partner?
The imaginary line you draw in the sand will let you know when an alliance is getting close to failing. I would suggest setting the line a little higher than the disaster point. As a matter of fact, the line should sit around the seventy-five percent position. This way you can work with the partner before the relationship dips too far down. A partner that experiences lulls in sales may be a fairly normal occurrence, but when it is compounded by lack of communication and lack of marketing, you know that something else is the underlying problem.
Alliances and partnerships are simply a way for you to market your goods and services. They will always have lulls and marketing efforts will sometimes be lax. If you take the time to monitor all the details and be consistent with your support, then the alliance partner will not feel that you have over-committed with other partners, and they will still feel that they are important. You should also remember that having a service level agreement in place to define sales, marketing efforts and first rights of refusal will add to a successful alliance. You must remember that you are the expert in the field and that they will rely on you for help and support
A word of caution when it comes to support: You should always support the customers of an alliance partner. You should always monitor the amount of support you give to each of your alliance partners. You should always educate partners that need more help than others. There always needs to be a number of touch-points in order to be aware of a potential failure.
Bette Daoust, Ph. D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people’s attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the “Networking Queen”. Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com