Building win-win relationships

Today’s lean organizations can’t survive without strong alliances to help them grow. And the best way to build these alliances is to focus on your potential partners first.

This can feel counter-intuitive. When we meet someone we rush to tell them about all the great things we can do with their help. We want to make a stunning case for support, and the temptation is to focus so much on our organization’s goals that we neglect the very people that will help us get there.

The hard truth? You’re approaching everything backwards! You need to focus on first learning as much about your potential donor, partner or sponsor as you can.

1. Remember that the goal of the first meeting is to get a second meeting.

That’s it! Save your sales pitch for a later day. Learn as much as you can, and come back to that second meeting ready to hit it out of the park with a plan for how your organization can help them succeed.

2. Win-win relationships are created when you help others reach their goals.

No matter who you’re talking to, figuring out how you can help them reach their goals should be your first step. Only then can you uncover the space where your partner’s needs and your organization’s goals meet.

3. Follow up and stay in touch.

You never know when you might be able to help. Just because a project or partnership isn’t a good fit now doesn’t mean you can’t build a foundation for the future.

Follow these three secrets, and you’ll change the tone of every relationship your organization has. When you and them becomes US, win-win relationships are born!

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