your shot of strategy

Partner Jam: Building Strong Relationships with Potential Business Partners (1/4)

Announcing a very special series: Jeremy Schwartz of Squarespace, blogger and business growth savant, has generously offered to do a blog jam session with me on the topic of strategic partnerships.

Jeremy is one of those people who makes doing business even better. He’s smart, he’s well-connected, he has a diverse background, and above all, he’s kind and generous. Exactly the kind of business (and blog) partner an entrepreneur strives to know – and become.

For the next four weeks, we’ll post our best, most useful advice on building strong partnerships that can build your business. Enjoy!


Hey Jeremy! How do you meet and build relationships with your best partners?

Given that you can’t partner with someone who does exactly what you do, it’s important to find opportunities to meet people who are different than you. One way to do this is to attend networking events outside of your industry. It’s great for an insurance broker to know all the other insurance brokers in her neighborhood; it’s even better for her to know all the realtors in her neighborhood.

Once you’ve met someone, building a relationship will be about developing sincere and long-term connections. Here’s how I do it: I ask questions when I meet people, I pay close attention to their answers, and I make notes about the people I meet. Taking notes is the key step in developing continuity in relationships when weeks or months go by between contact.

Ciara! What about you? How do you meet your potential partners?

Definitely through my other best partners. Not all audience is created equal; every professional or business should identify its MVPs: the people who go out of their way to connect you, to promote you, to sell for you. These are the people who get personal updates from me, event invites, holiday gifts. Good people run in the same circles as other good people. Then we go out of our way to reciprocate favors like intros or cross-promotion.

Next Up: Making Sure Partnerships are Equal – Tuesday 11/18. Stay tuned!

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