Implementing an incentive partnership offer a spectrum of opportunities for smaller businesses to merge and coexist. Partnerships allow businesses to bring their resources and products together under one umbrella and share in both the failure and success of their ventures. With so many great ideas floating around the corporate social room, planning the next successful project can be mind-boggling. Why are so many businesses merging and what are their ultimate reason for doing so? First of all, an incentive partnership comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. The key to connecting with the right partner is to find a common ground and reach a mutual agreement.
If one company sells oranges, and you sell apples, let’s make a fruit salad or something like that. There is no guarantee that a partnership will or that problems will not exist. But if problems do exist, they can usually be worked out following the next meeting or two. Partnerships are not at all bad, even if they never work out, each partner can learn a valuable lesson from the other. That is to listen to others perspective incentive companies and take them seriously, and know that no one is an island. Words of Wisdom speaks louder than mere words of ignorance. Listed below are five keys to successfully implementing a successful incentive program;
Be Frank at the Meeting
Unless you let your prospects know what your expectations are, you may spend days or even weeks beating around the bush. Be upfront about why you think the incentive partnership makes perfect sense(cents). Time is money, and the more time you spend talking is less time you have to work on the next successful program. When everyone is sitting around the negotiation table waiting for someone to break the silence, now is the time to speak. State your position, show your strength, and be willing to ask and answer the tough question. Partners decide to merge because they are trying to solve a problem.
Find out what the problem is, and decide if you can become part of the solution. Partnering might not only solve your prospective business partner problem, but it could also be the solution to your problem as well. Get involved with the details, listen and offer your opinion. Everyone in the room is looking for a reason to partner, give them one. After all, be frank is about laying it on the line, and telling it like it is. This is the time to build business relationships and implement sale strategies.
Seek Out Flexible Partners
Flexibility is the ability to compromise. If you are looking for partners with the same goals and you but have different ideas, you might need to agree to compromise. Sometimes you have to take a risk, that might not work out like you had hoped. Nevertheless, if your partners are willing to go all the way, and support the project to the end, what more can you ask for. Some partners in your circle might have leadership skills, great strategy techniques, but very little execution experience.
If they are willing to share their thoughts and plans for improvement and need assistance to make it happen, jump on the bandwagon. Two heads are always better than one when it comes to executing plans and developing new marketing strategies. New partnerships are always the hardest to adjust to, because no one knows exactly what the other one is doing, or wants to do, or what route to take. But as time goes on, everyone will eventually end up on the same page. A partnership can only work with like-minded people with flexibility skills.
Learn the Language of Your Partners
You cannot walk the walk if you cannot talk the talk. This is how it works in the business world. When you talk about partnerships, you have to bring something useful and profitable to the table. You might have a hard time convincing one of your business partners to offer micro jobs to third world citizens if you fail to explain the benefits of hiring outside the country. You should be able to outline how the program works, how much outsourcing small tasks can save the company, and what is the projected return on the initial investment.
After all, business partners want to know three things, what does it cost, is it a quality product, and how much time am I investing? Is the turn-around time in sync with your expectations for this partnership. The incentive has got to be something worth fighting for. Speak in a manner in which everyone understands and be ready to defend your position. If you believe your incentive program is better, be prepared to back it up with facts. Even in a room filled with experts from every area of business, facts cannot be disrupted or dismissed away.
Keep a Network of Open Business Channels Onboard
Never leave the decision making in the hands of one person. If your partnership is going to succeed, you need a diverse group of individuals on your team. Regardless of how well the partnership is going, you may experience a turnover in personnel. Therefore, you need to have more than one key person on board, and working on any particular project. If there is a change of leadership in one of the partnerships, the entire partnership is at risk of being dissolved. Always have a backup plan in place. Reach out to others not inside the group, but just as knowledgeable.
Invite a Mixture of Partners to the Table
Partnerships are like marriages, they change over a period of time. The fact that they never stay the same could be good in a lot of ways. Sometimes the best of intentions among companies are not easily expressed. As the structure of your partnership changes, so will the companies in your group. You can get in the game quickly if you piggyback off one of your constituents. If you are looking to do business with a particular company, aim for partnering with a company that already has a relationship. Now you can benefit from having a well-rounded business relationship with a diverse group of like-minded peers.
Consider the investment cost you intend to make to ensure the success of your incentive partnership. You can expand your partnership group at any time to include other businesses with similar marketing strategies and ideas. The best incentives are the ones that get the most attention, and everyone wants to be on a winning team. If you can remember these 5 important keys to implementing a successful incentive partnership, you will excel in mastering the art of communication, and effective partnership.