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Gauging Which Partners Are Worth Keeping

While some partners may be good for short-term revenue, they may not be good for your business in the long run. The cost of managing a demanding relationship can exceed the benefit of all that revenue.

An important litmus test for any partnership is not, generally, how well things are going, but how well you navigate through the rough spots together. Many challenges and changes have been faced in the past and will continue to rear their ugly little heads for time eternal. Partnerships that can withstand problems and change are the partnerships worth keeping.

Think about a partner and ask yourself how this partner might react to the following news:

• We were just acquired.
• Our (loved-by-all) VP of Channels is leaving.
• The product’s late.
• We’re reducing our partner discounts (or cutting back on co-op).
• We’re bringing on more partners.

While they may not like the news, the partners that embrace change with an open-mind are those worth keeping for the long haul. And, of course, it works both ways in that your partners expect the same flexibility from you when they present an unforeseen challenge.

So, in the spirit of the age-old axiom “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” here’s to partnerships that rally through thick and thin. Will yours?

December 1, 2011  ·  

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