Power Partners

Reciprocal Business Partners are a necessary component to success

  

I’ve written before about networking and some of the associations where you can meet other business owners. The best connection that you can make is with someone who becomes your power partner. A power partner is another business owner that services clients in the same target market as you, but does not compete with you. An insurance agent may say that an accountant is a great power partner. An accountant sees financials from their business clients and if a client asks about measures to trim costs, the accountant could funnel them to the insurance agent to quote their current plans. Sounds easy enough, but how many clients will the insurance agent have that ask them for advice on who takes care of their taxes? That’s why a reciprocal relationship is so important. I see many business owners who identify a strong one-way power partner relationship and then attempt to have someone ‘join forces’ with them every time they meet someone in that profession. That won’t work in the long run because for every referral sent your way, your partner wants you to send one back.

Through networking, you can meet a plethora of tremendous individuals. Deciding who to partner with is not a race, but a strategic alliance. First, identify what industry the majority of your clients talk with you about besides your own.  That will narrow down the fields of who to search for. Once the few targeted professions are identified, think about who you already use for those services.  Are you happy? Why do you use them? Perhaps you’ve done business with them for years and their service and pricing are fantastic. Well, start with this individual. You may have a relationship that’s already strong and both of you just haven’t thought of this alliance before.

If you’re new to business, don’t think about trying to align with the individual who has been doing a great business in your area for the last twenty years. They likely have a relationship with someone and you need to be more established before they connect long time clients with someone new. Look for someone that’s been in business roughly the same amount of time as you have. Choose only one or two from an industry. You need to feed business their way as well. Having a successful power partner relationship can be like a good marriage and just like a marriage, being selfish can weaken the relationship. Both partners must look at this as an opportunity to give a gift to their clients of another industry that they need to be connected with. You each give your clients the gift of knowing they will be taken care of well. If successful, both partners will do their best to refer one another at every turn because it’s good for their client first & for them as a business owner second.

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