When two businesses form strategic partnerships, they often draw from each other’s areas of strength and share their professional contacts. An example is a marketing firm that offers advertising and promotional services to its customers. This firm may find it advantageous to form strategic partnering relations with a public relations firm of a similar size, and with a similar type of client base. Through the strategic relationship, the marketing agency agrees to refer their clients who need public relations services to the partner firm. In turn, the public relations firm refers their clients seeking marketing services to the marketing partner firm. Both parties may also collaborate on pitching new prospects on combined services.
Individuals form strategic partnering relations that are often more personal in nature. Individuals typically develop strategic partnering relations through networking, business or lead referral groups. Individuals in these groups agree to refer others in their organization to clients and contacts who may be in need of particular services offered by other members of the group. Person-to-person strategic partnering relations are also developed between professionals seeking a quid-pro-quo relationship. An example would be an executive who regularly advertises in a newspaper with an implied understanding that if the paper needs an expert opinion or quote related to his industry, the executive will be on the short list of possible contacts.
The benefit of strategic partnering relations is that it allows businesses and individuals to expand their existing client bases without the time, expense and risk of launching a new line of services by themselves. It can also help with introductions to entirely new markets, including overseas markets. Strategic partners also become more valuable in the minds of their customers because they can offer a broad range of coordinated products and services. In strategic partnering relations where partners share financial contributions toward joint ventures, the risk of each partner may decreases by half.
A company owner knows his business, his employees and their talents and skills. Even if a potential strategic partner looks good on paper, until a project or referral has been successfully completed, there is no certainty about the quality of the partner’s work. Referring an existing client to a strategic partner without full knowledge of the way the customer will be treated or serviced puts the first company’s client relationship at risk if something goes wrong or if the service is below standard.