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  • Writer's picturePetra Ras

Defining (your) Partner Moments

Partner Success is a long-term proactive commitment to excellence towards your partner ecosystem, based on a defined audience and their input on touch points when working with your organisation.

The times are gone that your customers are willing to accept products or services that only ‘meet requirements’. So why should it be any different for your partners?

When setting up your partner journey make sure to plan for ‘defining moments’. This term was coined by Chip and Dan Heath in their book “The Power of Moments” and describes a “short experience that is both memorable and meaningful”.

In other words, wow your partners.

Don’t let chance define what your partners think of when they are asked by their peers (and your prospects) what working with your organisation is like. Make the collaboration with your organisation memorable, something positive that partners immediately think of when they think of you.

In “Power of Moments”, Chip and Dan mention characteristics of an experience with an extraordinary impact. They don’t use the acronym EPIC, but it is an easy way to remember it.

A memorable experience should include one or more of the following aspects:

· Elevate: Going above and beyond, by making for instance an everyday experience special

· Insight: Create that Aha-moment, the light bulb moment of insight

· Pride: Celebrate the achievements, for instance with awards or ceremonies

· Connection: Address the human aspect in your relationship (in an acceptable way, of course)

In addition, you want to make sure the experience is sustainable; something that is repeatable, but not too often with the same partner (even exceptional experiences get a bit dull after encountering them multiple times a week).

When I was working at a distributor in the Netherlands, our HR department would send out baby packages to employees who recently became parents. Nothing huge, just a couple of things a new parent could use including a onesie with our company logo on it. In our team, we made the decision to send these packages to our key partner contacts who just had a baby. The result: very proud parents sending us pictures with their little ones in their branded onesies. A great way to connect on a personal level during an exciting and proud moment in someone’s life.

In some cultures, this kind of personal approach might not work. When I suggested the same approach after moving to Germany and working at a different company, I received looks of pure horror that I would dare to overstep a professional boundary like that.

It might be better to focus on a purely professional level, like with a Partner Onboarding Deck. When working for a start-up that attracted a huge amount of interest from prospective partners, we had the luxury problem of having more active partners than the partner team could manage directly. This was used as an opportunity to empower our partners by developing an exceptional onboarding process, which set partners up for success from the very first moment they signed their agreement with us. This gave them clear direction and insight, while providing a much loved onboarding experience – confirming they made the right choice by partnering with us.

Trying to create a defining moment will only work if it is seen as exceptional and positive by the partner. In my early days at a distributor, I was in the process of closing the largest training deal we ever had. I thought I knew what the Partner needed and did my best to offer that solution – without actual checking that this was what he needed. The result: a lot of effort spend on something that for the partner was just an ‘ok’ part of the experience.

What is something you could include in your partner success journey that would positively define your partnership and could become your signature activity to delight your current and new partners?

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