Photo: Rob Young
Hundreds of digital media companies are vying to attract marketer dollars. Virtually every one says they want to be a trusted partner to agencies and brands.
It stands to reason. Partnership sounds great to a seller. Being a partner means longer contracts and, with a little luck, higher margins. A partner gets compensated in ways that a transactional seller just plain won’t be.
But partnership is more than a word.
In a business context, a one-way sales relationship doesn’t qualify as a partnership. Partnership is about collaboration - about shared risk and reward. It’s ultimately about nailing your trousers to the mast of a client’s success.
So what does it take for a seller to be a partner? I think it’s seven things:
Caring: Partnership is first and foremost a caring relationship. The vendor needs to attach import to the unique issues of a client company, and then care enough to shape their offering to actually solve problems. You don’t “pound to fit” a partnership.
Homework: Partnership is also about more than just ingesting what the client gives you. You need to add value and thinking in a unique and original way.
Attention: You have to be there after the sale. Partners don’t make... Read more