How to Kill a Deal with a Potential Business Partner


I received a notification this morning from my Contact Us page. Yippee! Or, so I thought…until I read what it said…

Hey! My name is XXX and I run a very experienced XXXXXXX company located in XXXXX. I wanted to see if you are interested in partnering with our company, where we would do the back-end work while you will still deal with your clients—our rates are reasonable, certainly cheaper than you hiring in house or local XXXXXXXXXXXX. We have extensive experience with complicated development, including XXXXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXXX, and XXXXXX tools. Please email me at XXXXXXX.

For as long as people sell their wares, there will always be those who don’t know, or understand, how to best connect with others for the benefit of their own business. Hitting us with a sales pitch—without first taking the time to build a relationship—wastes everyone’s time and creates major brand damage for one’s product or service.

What’s Wrong With This Picture

This email—and other similar sales attempts—remind me of the notion of “what’s wrong with this picture.” And, just like the picture below, poorly implemented sales attempts lead no where.

Let’s see if we can identify some of them:

  1. There was no established relationship.
  2. Needs of the potential partner (i.e., me) are assumed.
  3. Weak value proposition.
  4. Requests the potential business partner to do the work with the statement “please email me at…”
  5. Failure to establish—or acknowledge—a potential pain point for which they have a solution.
  6. Flounders in solving a problem.

One’s initial contact with a potential business associate (and potential client) sets the stage, not only for the immediate request, but for the rest of the relationship.

Although it’s more time consuming and labor intensive to develop a long-term relationship, it’s well worth the effort.

  1. Start by building trust. “Web psychologist” and author, of Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion, Nathalie Nahai, says that a lack of trust is one of the biggest impediments to success. If you’re looking to build trust, follow the steps in Nine Steps to Building Trust Online & Offline for Your Small Business
  2. Conduct research to gain an understanding of the potential partners services, buyer persona, and possible challenges for which you perceive a synergy.
  3. Once a strong relationship is secured, remove all potential obstacles to connecting. If the potential alliance was initiated by you, by all means, make sure you keep the flow going by reducing the cognitive load (i.e., the amount of mental energy and memory required) of your potential enterprise partner.
  4. Believe it or not, when you reach out to develop a collaboration with another, make sure you keep the conversation focused on how your proposed team effort benefits their interests (See point #2).

Don’t wing it when reaching out. Whether it’s a potential collaborative relationship or a potential client, develop the strategy that nets you the best results. Done right, collaborative efforts with other entities pays off in spades.

Don’t have a strategy? Don’t worry! Contact us today to help you create energetic growth strategies for your business.

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Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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