Complicated co-marketing agreements use up a lot of time and often produce no results. How many times have you met with another company at an industry event and talked about how great both of your products would sell to your respective customers, go home with high expectations only to have nothing really happen.
Here are two questions you should ask yourself before proceeding:
- How much time and effort would I expend promoting/selling my new partners product instead of my own?
- Will they do the same thing for me?
If the answers to these questions are ‘not much time and effort’, politely move on and find a partner with a better fit. If you really believe that your partner’s customers would appreciate learning about your product and vice versa, read on.
When your product and theirs together might be valuable for some of your respective customers, this can work. You have an instrument – they have analysis software—you have a reagent kit –they have the instrument etc.
Handshake Agreements Start Very Simply:
- Determine value proposition of both of your products together
- Pick a few of your current customers that might be interested in your new partner’s product and contact them on behalf of your new partner
- Provide warm introductions for you partner to these customers. They should be doing the same thing. (Suggest starting with 3 or 4 introductions)
- Assess how valuable the leads that you got were from your new partner.
Continue or dissolve the relationship based on how well this is helping you with your sales.
Keeping things simple will allow you to avoid wasting money and time on initially exciting but ultimately ill-fated relationships. Once you have developed a successful relationship based on your handshake (i.e. informal agreement), transitioning to a more formal agreement will be much easier and productive.