If you know me well, then you’d know that my natural tendency is to just get on with things, aka wing it. Not because I’m lazy, but I’m just trying to squeeze too much into the day. Sound familiar? It’s a constant battle being a doer who just gets on with things. As a busy partnership manager time is against you. It’s often easier to wing things whilst you balance the quantity and quality of the work you are creating. From personal experience, the results are always better who you spend a bit of time on planning what you’re going to do.
Years ago, I was flying over to Perth to assist in a partnership meeting. It was with an existing partner who was a large mining company. A few days before this meeting a natural disaster had set off a triple disaster in Japan. Some quick research before the meeting enabled me to discover that 3 of their competitors had already given large sums of money to this humanitarian crisis. It took five minutes max to do this research. I knew this would be a conversation point during the meeting and slipped in that we’ve had incredible support already, including from mining company 1, 2 and 3. I secured $200K from the partner in that meeting. The additional time I spent researching paid off.
It’s these small 1% improvements that can make a huge difference to the results you reap. It’s always a good idea to research what a company’s competitors are doing before you step into the meeting. A quick search on Google news will tell you about anything recently announced by a business or check out their website for press releases. It can be a great conversation starter to find out what they are doing in response to market changes. Only if you do the work beforehand though.
There have been countless times when I’ve messed up by winging it. My oven was known as a cake graveyard for a little while. A place where all good cakes went to die because I didn’t slow down and read the full recipe. My favourite stuff up around partnerships was organising to meet a potential partner. I’d built great rapport with the key contact, discovered what was important to them and as it had been a while between wins, I was super excited. As I organised the date to meet with them and their Managing Director I’d forgotten one small detail. I didn’t send them a calendar invite. I was quite confused and disheartened when I rocked up to their offices to be told they weren’t there but had gone to a meeting in the city. It didn’t take long to establish they’d gone to my offices, whilst I had turned up to theirs. The calendar invite would have confirmed the meeting place. Thankfully it didn’t end in tears, but I could easily have missed out on this partnership.
Slowing down might seem counterproductive. If you slow down to focus on your skills and applying best practise knowledge you will see the difference these small improvements make. They’ll be reflected in your long-term results. Give it a try and think about where you’d like to improve by 1%. What have you got to lose?
When you’re ready, here are are three ways we can help you:
- Subscribe to our Partnerships News in the box below and get our latest blogs, tips and free resources.
- Register for our next group training program Partnership Acquisition Skills to sharpen your sales skills.
- Book a free 30 min health check about your partnerships: firstname.lastname@example.org