Where do you look for the appropriate alliance?
One of the most asked question is “Where do you find a good alliance partner?” It is actually fairly easy. You can find potential alliances by taking some time to research potential partners. Remember that you should start by focusing more on finding the potential partner than you do on implementing the alliance.
You should rely on your own business relationships and referrals from your current customer base or contacts. It is through referrals that the best possible linkages are obtained. Yes, there are other ways to get potential partners and those can also be explored, it is just that they take a little longer to cultivate.
Looking at the associations you belong to is one way you can add candidates to your list. Only choose those that are not offering the same product or service as you. Trade groups, such as trade organizations are an excellent source as well. Your local Chamber of Commerce has many members and you will find several potential alliance partners in their directory.
You should also search job boards for companies that are looking to hire in your area of expertise (especially if you are a consultant). The important thing is that you make an extensive list of candidates.
Having made a first draft of possible candidates, the next step in your careful planning is to make sure that the potential alliance partner is open to adding your products or services to their current line of business. You also need to make sure that there is sufficient profit for the alliance to work. Besides profit, there also needs to be a market for what each of you offer.
Once you have made your short list of candidates, make sure that you do some research into their business ethics, customer testimonials, and general business dealings. If you do your homework, you will have a better chance of finding the right alliance partner.
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