Tip 3: Do a Proper Fit Analysis on Your Potential Partner

When choosing a partner for a relationship, any relationship, do you take the time to get to know them? Or do you simply decide you like them and hope for the best? Obviously, taking the time to get to know a potential partner is considered ideal. Right from the start, you develop an idea of whether or not this person is compatible with you and shares the same values with you. Simply deciding you like a person and hoping for the best more often than not leads to disappointment and wasted time, especially when you find the other party to be incompatible with you.

Partner selection is an important element in the alliance creation process. You need to select your partner properly because this selection will form a part of the solid foundation for your alliance’s success. It’s far too common to develop an initial liking for your counterpart upon meeting them at a conference, at a bar or on the plane and feel that your respective companies should work together based on this mutual liking. However, alliances that spring from these situations seldom lead to successful partnerships.

How then do you identify if your potential partner is truly right for you? The answer is in conducting a proper fit analysis between you and your potential partner. This proper fit analysis will help you select the right partner. It will also teach you where the two of you are different. Additionally, these differences will be your points of attention during the alliance management phase. After all, it’s better to have points of attention than points of tension.

The proper fit analysis doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process. As I described in my book, The 4-Step Guide to Successful Partner Selection, there are basically four essential steps in successful partner selection:

  1. The strategic rationale
  2. Needs and contributions
  3. The ideal partner profile
  4. Approach the partner

By following these four steps, you will increase the chance for successful partner selection. When you have selected the right partner, the chances of you creating a successful alliance or partnership also increases.

Even if you are planning to talk to only one potential partner and if you have no intention to approach others at all, it will still be good for you to follow these four steps and to practice the belonging exercises as described in my book. These exercises will teach you how to know your potential partner better before establishing a relationship with them.

When done right, the exercise will show you some of the possible differences between your company and the partner. From that perspective, you will also realize the points of attention for managing the partnership during its operation.

Remember that every tall building has a number of floors located underground. These underground floors are needed in combination with the building’s foundation to keep it stable. Every partnership needs its design and groundwork to end up on the success side of the 80% rule. Thus, partner selection is one of the basic and essential elements for creating successful alliances and partnerships.

A proper fit analysis ensures you choose the right partner for your endeavor, which in turn ensures success with the partnership.

I will publish my ebook “25 tips for successful Partnerships and Alliances” in parts here on my website. Every other week a tip from the book will be shared, in the weeks in between I will publish my regular column. If you prefer to read the tips in the ebook faster rather than wait a full year then click here to purchase your own copy of the book.