I’ve written about partnering a lot in my life. I have not felt great about all the partners I’ve chosen. I’ve made some bad choices in personal relationships and in business. But today, I have the greatest partner I’ve ever had. I asked her to marry me last week. She said yes.
Ok, so this post isn’t about me and it’s not about falling in love. It’s about finding great partners. But if you can’t find a great life or love partner, how will you know the right business partner? I have learned so much by my mistakes. I now use my W3 concept. It’s really simple. The partnership must benefit you, your partner and your customers. If all 3, then it has a chance for success. Missing one of the 3, forget it and move on.
Every relationship requires benefits for all involved. In love, you both must feel loved and be truly happy. In business, it’s about money and delivering value. If you and your partner solve each other’s problems and make money, that’s good. But if the customers also see the value, that makes it great.
Don’t get me wrong, liking or even loving your partner isn’t always a bad idea. But it’s not the goal. It’s not what keeps the relationship together. There must be gain on both sides, and for the customers.
Let’s have a look at Costco and American Express. They had a long standing partnership because:
- Costco wanted to provide its members with something special
- Costco wanted to ride on the AMEX brand
- Costco wanted a deal with AMEX and more than likely, information too
- AMEX wanted Costco’s customers
- AMEX also wanted information, buying habits
- Members wanted a deal
- Members wanted status
- Members wanted another way to pay beyond debit cards or cash
So W3 works perfectly here. But why has this relationship ended after 16 years? Well, nothing lasts forever and quite frankly it came down to money, but more specifically it came down to money related to one of the 3 Ws – Costco wanted a better deal. So they found a new partner in Citigroup and VISA. AMEX either made a terrible error in judgment or they didn’t see one or more of the 3 Ws anymore, so they let it go.
I wrote this post for those that are considering partnering with companies like CorpNet. W3 works here, well. CorpNet gets sales without massive marketing spend. Partners get paid commissions, big ones. Customers of the partners now have an easy and awesome way to form their business structures and handle compliance through their trusted advisors. Get it now?
BTW, W stands for win. Look for a win/win situation in partnering with CorpNet, and you’ll end up ahead of your competition and a little richer and happier. Good luck!