Virtual Partnerships

by | Jan 14, 2011 | Building Relationships, Marketing & Selling

virtual partnershipsThis month’s theme is “Creating Business Partnerships.” Throughout January, my posts will be exploring the many ways that we create partnerships within our businesses and how to leverage them to grow our business.

“If a fox is unable to befriend a tiger, then the fox should create an illusion of close association with the tiger by carefully trailing behind the cat while boasting of the deep friendship they share. In this way, he creates an impression that his well being is of great concern to the tiger.”
~ Chin-Ning Chu

You can have business partnerships without ever actually meeting the person you are in partnership. This is a virtual partnership … and there are two types you can have.

The first is the more obvious one: the virtual partnership where both parties are aware they are in partnership. This is very common in online marketing with the growing number of joint venture partnerships and affiliate marketing relationships.

Most of the times, these types of partnerships are created over the phone and via email. Sometimes the two parties have met in person, usually at some networking event, but many times they haven’t.

Virtual partnerships are more often than not limited in both scope and time. Two parties get together to accomplish the launch of a project or product and once the launch is over and the services rendered, the two either go their separate ways or develop another partnership for another product, project or service.

And then there are the types of virtual partnerships that are suggested by the quote from Chin-Ning Chu above … the type of virtual partnership where only one party is aware of the partnership at all.

These types are usually mentorships. For example, I greatly admire the work of Carl Sagan and his work has inspired me to be and do much in my life. I’ve never met him. I don’t think he even ever was aware of my existence. I wrote him a letter once and was answered by someone on his staff (a year later). But, in a very real way, he has been a partner in the growth of my life and business.

Who do you admire? Who inspires you to be better than you are at present? Does this person know about it? Does it matter?

If you look at the heroes in your life, I’m sure you’ll find that you’ve had several virtual partnerships over the course of your life.

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