Spending my lunch hour on hump day discussing the latest topics with others who have a networking mindset and understand the shift to inbound is usually a pretty lively discussion. Last week's discussion with the Inbound Networker's group was no different, and if you watch the first 2 minutes of the recorded live meeting, you will see why.
Leveraging partnerships to add value for your product or service offering just seems like a no brainer. If we are in a connected economy then doesn't it stand to reason that developing those affiliate relationships is key for exponential growth?
In each of our businesses we know that there will be times that we need to involve someone in our network. That is why we invest in relationships even without knowing what it will end up looking like.
Here is a summary of what other Inbound Networkers had to say:
"There are things that we don't do for clients and so having affiliates helps you to deliver an entire solution for their problem. Affiliates can also help you find the right prospects to test new markets and solutions for the first case study."
"Partnering up just makes sense when you have a small team. Affiliate marketing is typically seen as an advertising model."
"How do we help our clients through joint ventures and affiliates? As companies are seeking to grow you have existing products and customers, having relationships with affiliates allows you to ride along with their products and customers. You gain a commission only salesforce with very little risk."
"A strategic partner that we are pulling in is important to position it as a member of the team. It takes a significant investment in time and materials. Make sure everyone knows what is expected and who is doing what. You have to look beyond 1-2 months to see ROI. Don't think about having competitors, have industry counterparts instead."
"To be able to tap into the trust that others have spent years developing means that your prospects are transferring the trust to you. Don't make it too complicated."
"Affiliates who get paid for referrals in some ways cheapens both parties. Do they really care about your business? A collaboration is key. A joint venture changes the way we do business."Are the days of the traditional affiliate model going away? What are the differences between a joint venture and an affiliate in the 21st century? How do you vet strategic partners when clients are looking to you for a long term relationship? Share your comments below.
Is there value to having these discussions in a networking group? Are you looking for new ideas and ways to get more customers and grow your business? Join the Inbound Networkers Linkedin group and vote on our next topic, or suggest a topic in the comments below. Maybe you will meet some other like minded people that could help you grow your business.