Creating Profitable Business Partnerships

Today, we’re going to talk about how to attract profitable business partnerships, whether for Facebook advertising or any other venture. How to go about and how NOT to go about it.

Let’s start with…

How NOT to seek a business partnership

Do you ever watch Shark Tank? It’s a great show where entrepreneurs go in front of the Big Dogs to pitch their business ideas in an effort to win over an investor.

When I watch that show, nothing makes me more frustrated or upset than when I see entrepreneurs go in there, make their pitch to the investors, and then end up begging for business.

“Oh my God, Mark, you have to invest, you know the math, this could be huge! Daymond, please you just have to… my clothes, I know they’ll be a huge hit! Barbara, I’m a nice person, I know we can be great together!”

Read that last paragraph again.

Read it out loud.

Do you hear how pathetic and weak and slimy that sounds? Makes me want to grab those people by their pathetic lapels and and yell at them to shut up! Shut up! Stop begging for business!

Approach potential business partners from a position of strength

Here’s an example of the right way to land a business partner. I own a harmonica. I love my harmonica. I just bought it a couple of weeks ago and I already know how to play because I practice, practice, practice. I play my cool harmonica every chance I get. At home, at the office, in the car …

Now, if one day I called Reena into my office and said, “Hey, Reena, I’ll trade you this harmonica if you bring in lunch tomorrow…”

Do you think she would go for that trade?

According to Reena, she’d go for that trade in a New York Minute!

Why is that?

Reena doesn’t love my harmonica. Reena doesn’t love when I play my harmonica. In fact, Reena hates seeing me pull it out of my pocket.

Oh, she’ll make that trade all right. Just to get me to shut up.

And that is an equal trade, my friend. I got something I wanted, lunch (yeah!) and she got something she wanted, silence. So we made a trade; we formed a partnership.

Too many times I see business owners trying to form partnerships that are unequal, and doomed to fail.

Here’s a hypothetical example: Let’s say you have a physical product and you want to sell it in a retail chain, like Target. Instead of contacting one of Target’s merchandisers, saying, “Oh my God, please sell my product in your stores; it will change my life, forever; I just need someone to help me out!”

What are the chances that merchandiser is going to sign a contract with you? Chances are much greater that she’ll have security haul your butt out onto the street.

Now, instead, what if you approach that merchandiser and say, “Hey Target lady, you really need to get in on the awesome new product I just invented. I’ve already got 3,000 sales just standing on the street corner and showing my product to people. Imagine what would happen if it was put in your store where all kinds of people will see it. Just look at how much money Target could make!”

What are the chances she’ll sign now?

You see the difference? Now it sounds like a huge opportunity!

We get messages all of the time from people asking us to promote their products, or provide their services along with our own. And just like on Shark Tank, they come up with pitches like, “Hey, I have this cool product I want to sell but I could really use your help.”

Instead, why don’t you answer the important question of all in business: What’s in it for me? What’s in it for us? Why should we partner with you as opposed to the other 200 people sending emails to us every week?


How to make your pitch get a potential business partner’s attention

Let’s get down to the meat — let’s talk about some good-ass ways that you can truly make yourself more attractive to a potential partner.

Money, money, money! Let me give you a perfect example of that. So there’s this guy that you may have heard of, Justin Bieber.

Now, Justin didn’t just walk into a music label’s offices and say, “Will you please sign me? I’m Justin Bieber and I’m so cute… and I’m going to make this song called ‘Baby’! Sign me!”

No, he didn’t, he made songs at his house strumming on his guitar, playing the drums and put the videos on Youtube. He built this massive following on YouTube, like literally millions of subscribers.

The Beliebers.

This kid gets a bunch of Beliebers, as they call them, to follow his YouTube channel, which grabbed the attention of two of the biggest artists in the world, who then got into a bidding war for him. Number one was Justin Timberlake and number two was Usher, do you know why that is? Because they both saw how much freaking money they were going to make as a result of signing this kid. Usher won the war and guess what, he was absolutely right. Bieber has made him a ton of cash.

2. Skills. If you can’t prove you’ll make your potential business partner a lot of money, you need skills in something that someone else can’t do.

For example, I have incredibly awful handwriting.

I type, I don’t know how to write.

So, when we have team meetings, here at the agency, I cannot write on the white board or chalk board. So I have Reena do that for and in return I pay her better money.

It’s a fair trade. She can write, I can’t, so we trade currency for her skill set, ok!

Now, here’s a situation I see all the time. Say you really want to partner with someone whose really big in your industry. If you’re not really experienced at what you do, there is a good chance that you’re not ready to reciprocate the level of skill that they’re currently at.

For example, if you take myself three years ago, I couldn’t just go up to huge businesses and ask to do their marketing and expect them to give me even a minute of their attention.

No, it took me years of case studies and agency experience to finally be at that point.

Now I can walk into any room and feel pretty comfortable with anyone in business because I’m really good at what I do – which is Facebook advertising campaigns and Direct Response Advertising. I can talk to someone else who is really good at their thing and we can kind of trade our skills, come together and help each other because I can do something they can’t, and they can do something that I can’t.

So, when you’re approaching a potential business partner, you have to make sure that trade is very even. If you can’t reciprocate on the same level, then guess what … you shouldn’t be partnering with that person because that’s not a fair partnership. That’s not how profitable relationships work. Get the skills first, then get the business partner. You’ll have a far stronger partnership for it.

Have you tried forming business partnerships? What was your experience? Why do you think it was good or bad? We’d love to hear from you.

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-by The Billy Gene Is Marketing Squad