One of the things I teach to my clients is the art of cultivating referral and joint venture partners. Now, I adhere to the adage that we teach what we need to learn, so I say ‘teach’ in the humblest sense, and whenever I do teach something, I take away at least as much information as I impart. So it has been with these types of partnerships.
Briefly, a ‘joint venture’ partner is anyone you do something with, whether it’s throw a party or create a webinar, the goal of which is to generate business or grow the mailing list of one, the other, or both parties. A ‘referral’ partner is pretty much what it sounds like, except it’s more formalized. If you’re partners, you EXPECT each other to generate referrals for one another.
The way to meet such co-creators is to start with whomever is right under your nose, the ‘low-hanging fruit’ as they say… social media networks, friends and friends of family etc. The way to keep forging such relationships is to network, meet people, and then extend an invitation to meet one-on-one.
Whether you meet in person, by phone or via Skype is not important. In fact, once you start doing this, it’s a good idea to telecommute until you know there’s something worth getting on the subway for.
What is important is that you take complete responsibility for the outcome of the meeting by approaching it pro-actively. For instance, do some research on the other person and come up with some ideas and strategies for working together ahead of time. If you don’t feel the meeting was productive, look at your side of the table first, especially if you initiated the meeting in the first place!
Now, silly me, I thought all that was self-evident. I have come to learn that it is not, and when you’re the one showing up saying ‘do me’, usually ain’t nothin’ gonna get done.
Lets just leave it at that.