Forming Successful Business to Business Relationships

I hear a lot of the same questions over and over again.  Our distributors want to know who to sell to after they have talked to their friends and family.  They ask how to network, where to find new clients, and what shows they should attend.  One question I almost never hear is how to partner with other businesses, which is a shame because this is the question that you should be asking.  Our excellent distributors work long hours at shows, are diligent in helping and responding to the concerns of their downlines, and take the initiative to start and promote their own websites.  But our most successful distributors are the ones that partner with other businesses, and let those companies sell for them.

There are a few things that are essential when forming a business-to-business relationship.  First, both sides must be willing to take a chance.  For both sides to profit, both sides must risk.  Your prospective partner may be ready to take the risk by partnering with you to sell your products, but first, you must take the risk of approaching them.

Second, the partnership must start at the top. Forming a personal relationship with the senior members of companies you approach helps keep you in their minds, and makes sure that the relationship does not dissolve over time.

Third, real partnerships start with transparency. Be honest about what you are selling, and why you think it will benefit both parties.  Remember that they want to profit from the relationship just as much as you do!

Fourth, take the long view. Building relationships takes time.  Encourage your partner business to make a small purchase to test the waters.  There is no need to rush them.  Before you know it, you will see several business-to-business relationships blossoming at the same time, and everybody will reap the benefits!

Finally, put goals and expectations in writing. Though you want your business-to-business relationship to be friendly, it must also be professional.  Both sides will have expectations of the partnership, and by putting them in writing, nobody will be confused about what to expect or what is expected of them.

Stop working yourself to the bone!  Partnering with other businesses takes work off of your plate, and earns both you and them some extra income!

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