One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my clients about Joint Ventures is… the partners didn’t DO what they agreed to do.
And the frustration is usually followed by the realization that “Oh, I don’t think I was very clear about the expectations”. A common mistake but all is not lost…
You can dramatically increase the success of your joint ventures by partnering with people who are ready and willing to be “fully on board” and this requires what I call “the stinky shoes conversation”…
A bit of back story…
One of my former VIP clients is a Home Stager. Together we created a joint venture approach to her marketing where she markets solely to Realtors. Staged homes sell faster and for more money so, it’s in a Realtor’s best interest to gift their clients with a home staging consultation.
One clear benefit of this partnership for the Realtor is the home stager gets to have all of the awkward conversations that Realtors used to dread (or avoid totally) like “I’m not sure if you realize this but your front entrance is filled with smelly shoes, you’ll need to clean that up and deodorize” or, “Is there anyone that can babysit your cat (along with it’s litter box) during open houses and home showings?” or “Do you own a rake? A quick tidy of the leaves and weeds in the yard will give the home a bit more curb appeal”.
These “stinky shoes” conversations support the Realtor/Home Seller relationship and get the Home Seller thinking about what they can do to influence a faster and more financially rewarding sale of the home.
Would you agree that these conversations – as awkward as they may be – are in the best interest of everyone involved?
So how does this relate to your joint ventures?
It is essential that you ask your JV partners to confirm two things before they accept your invitation to come out and play (this is YOUR stinky shoes conversation):
#1) Are they aligned with the mission/purpose of the project?
#2) Can they confirm that their marketing calendar supports the co-promotion plan (i.e. they wont be heading into a bottle neck)?
This conversation is vital to increasing co-promotion participation AND protects the quality of your relationships. It is designed to let your partners know that you are actively seeking partners who will be 100% committed and on board and prevents any “misunderstandings” as the project unfolds if that partner realizes (after saying yes) that they just have too much on their plate.
My best advice here is that you become unattached to the outcome of your joint venture invitation. The individuals you’ve invited either WILL or WILL NOT say yes to partnering with you.
Now, a teensy rant…
Please, don’t let anyone tell you that asking your JV team to send a solo email is a no-no or bad JV etiquette. This simply isn’t true.
Not only that… if you ask ANY of your potential partners if they only send one email when they launch a product or program what do you think they will say?
If being bold and staking a claim in our marketing is important to standing out and attracting our ideal clients… why would we not be bold about attracting ideal partners?
TIP: One of the thing’s you’ll hear me talk about when planning a joint venture is “project pop”… and what I mean by this is your idea needs to be remarkable. Take a page from Ted TV and develop an idea worth spreading. When you do this, there’s no need to hope or convince partners to do anything. They’ll be proud and excited to be involved and will often go above and beyond to spread the word.
What if you decided NOT to compromise?
Yes, you CAN set your intentions to attracting high quality, motivated joint venture partners who are 100% committed to the success of the project.
You do not have to settle for what you get. Your prospective partners will either say yes or no to the specifics of your project.
It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be personal… this is about business. The moment I realized this it completely transformed the results I was getting with joint ventures.
Just as you create an ideal client profile so you attract high quality clients, you should create an ideal JV partner profile so that you attract high quality partners.
Does your partner profile include experts who don’t participate in the co- promotion part of the project? No… I didn’t think so.
One last thing on this to really drive it home…
If I tell my partners that it’s okay NOT to send solo emails knowing it’s the method that gets the best response, and then my partners experience poor results i.e. little to no commission or list growth, do you think they’re going to be happy at the end of the JV? Nope… So it is in EVERYONE’s best interest to design a project and co-promotion strategy that gets results. Agree?
And here’s what I know to be true… email broadcasts play a starring role in a powerful co-promotion strategy. I teach my clients to structure their co- promotion plan around an Invite, Remind, Last Chance communication series that serves the collective audience (it’s not salesy at all).
On occasion you may make an exception for a partner who:
a)Negotiates with you i.e. “It doesn’t look like I can schedule things exactly as you have planned here but here’s what I can do is this…” In some cases, their idea and offer is better than your original co-promotion strateg
b) Is a “big name” that adds credibility or wow-factor and becomes a magnet to your target audience. In this case, if they are unable to do anything specific to promote, it’s still beneficial to bring them into the team.
There you have it. The stinky shoes conversation designed to increase your JV success and the success that your partners experience through the JV project that you lead…
Do you have the stinky shoes conversation with your partners? If not, do you see this increasing the results you experience in the future?
And I’m curious… if you participate in a lot of JV’s, do you appreciate like I do, being part of a project where the person who invited me to participate actually LEADS it and is truly invested in seeing me benefit too?
Always love to get a conversation rolling. Please take a moment to comment about your experiences.
P.S. If you want to be more joint-venturous this year and get this powerful strategy working for you in new and innovative ways, step inside the Meet Play Love program to plan your joint (ad)venture of a lifetime! http://ginabellinc.com/meet-play-love
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