A strong partnership is like a strong marriage. On the outside, it’s obvious to everyone you were made for each other. On the inside, it takes a lot of work and skills to keep it flourishing. Every relationship is unique, and partnerships in tech demand a specialized and versatile talent portfolio to encourage reciprocity and rapport-building to obtain and maintain buy-in across all stakeholders.In the tech world, connecting two entities in a mutually beneficial partnership is a profession. It’s important to develop a culture of nurturing and trust that extends from politely opening the door all the way to your 50th anniversary. Without that, no profit margin will ever be high enough to keep the relationship going. By prioritizing these 5 core values of partnership in every connection you make, you can build and maintain the bridges that make partnerships profitable, practical, and passionate.

1. Trust

“Trust is a great force multiplier.” —Tom RidgeThe difference between a transaction and a partnership is that partnerships are founded on reciprocity. And reciprocity? It’s all about trust. From day one, partners lean on each other—because they’re equals. Of course, establishing a culture of trust takes time. Tech companies deal in numbers, and fostering trust is about establishing behaviors and patterns that let your partner know you are in this together. State your goals, make your promises, and then follow through. Every time. Trust is earned and then validated time and time again, and it’s a powerful catalyst for decisive action that is far greater than the sum of its parts. If your counterpart sees you’re doing your best in good faith to make the relationship successful, the sky’s the limit for what you can achieve together.

2. Strong Relationships

A good partnership draws on complementary skills and strengths. After all, this is about making both of you stronger together, not just maximizing your company’s profits. And strength isn’t necessarily about knowing what you do well, either. Understanding what you need and looking for that in a partner signals that you are committed to excellence and growth. It’s also important to be a reliable resource for your teammate as they explore options and troubleshoot problems. Stepping up for your partner when they need help not only instills confidence but develops trust. One of our partnership leaders, Scott Pollack, remarks: “Partnerships is about achieving a balance between company strategy and partner advocacy.” If they know you’re rowing hard for them on your side of the boat, they will keep pulling with you through the current.

3. Clear Communication

Clear communication is critical to a successful and fruitful partnership. That means communicating clearly and simply about your goals, expectations, and responsibilities, and building rapport with prompt response times. Our advice: never leave your partner talking to a machine. Clear communication involves transparency. Transparency is one of the most resonant values of partnership because every partnership entails a degree of individual risk and vulnerability. Investments of blood, sweat, and tears are also investments of dollar signs, and transparency shows that you both respect each other’s exposure.  

4. Leadership

No relationship works when one person has to drag the other along, and demonstrating leadership in your individual fields signals that you are a force worth partnering with in the marketplace. Before you enter into a partnership, get straight about the value that your company can bring to the table and why you’re the best in your field. That way, you’ll attract partnerships that complement your strengths and shore up areas you need to develop. Leadership is also about confidence. If you aren’t prepared to be a thought leader, then go back to the drawing board about your own values and strengths.

5. Creatively Overcoming Challenges

An exciting partnership is not about doing what works for everyone else and assuming everything will sort itself out. You reached out to a partner because of your unique position and challenges in the marketplace, and you’re looking for solutions you haven’t thought of. And you know what? So did they. A great partnership is built by putting your heads together over a hundred cups of coffee to find the strategies that will drive you both toward greater success and market penetration. If you are collaboration-minded and creativity-oriented, you’ll be well on your way to a dynamic and invigorating partnership.

Learn More About Creating Lasting Partnerships with Firneo

If you’ve found yourself in a partnerships role nobody trained you for, you’re not alone. Firneo is committed to empowering professionals with the skills and techniques for establishing lasting partnerships in tech that open doors to new clients, markets, and products. Understanding the values of partnership is the first step towards taking care of business, and with Firneo, you can get the guidance and support from experienced peers and mentors you need to create successful partnerships that take your business to the next level.Join our community of partnerships leaders and watch your business flourish.

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