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Looking for how to build strong business relationships? Here's a checklist to help you connect more effectively with current and potential partners.
Suppose we gathered 100 dermatologist at random, lined them in a row and asked everyone to answer one question honestly: “Do you believe there’s room for doctors to improve their relationships with current partners?”
Practices of all sizes deal with a mix of partners - software/technology providers, product reps, even fellow doctors. More than ever, business success requires collaboration and communication.
These relationships are often viewed as standard rather than strategic. Aligning your goals with your partner’s can strengthen your alliances.
To turn that notion into action, here’s a slideshow checklist to help you connect more effectively with current and potential partners.
The best partners realize they have no control over whether people trust them, but do have complete control over whether they’re trustworthy. Working with partners that prioritize trustworthiness is a building block to success.
Effective partners openly communicate, ask and answer questions, and consider how both sides can work together to generate positive patient outcomes. To assess the potential success of a new partnership, ask yourself these questions:
· Does your partner share the same goals?
· Why do you need each other to create value for your patients?
· Will you gain an advantage by working together?
· What are the biggest challenges that your partner faces? What are yours?
· Does the partner have the capability and resources to address your challenges?
· Does your partner have credibility in the industry and with patients?
· What assets, talents, business systems and processes can the partner share?
· How will you jointly solve problems that arise?
· Can you define what you want as a result or outcome of the partnership?
· What are some reasons the alliance could end?
In successful partnerships, goals are clearly defined and understood by all participants. Partners should know their specific responsibilities and expectations upfront - both at the business level (what each side brings to the table) and the individual level (who’s responsible for what). The key question: What could you do together that you cannot do separately?
Incomplete information, exaggerated claims and false promises hurt partnerships and hinder new concepts and possibilities. In a true partnership, each partner is committed to providing the other with complete information on plans, progress and problems. As the adage goes, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Consider sharing relevant articles, reports on trends, videos and podcasts, and other information with your partner.
The best partnerships are created with long-term goals, and both sides should continually strive to improve the quality of the relationship. Like personal relationships, the best business partnerships are refined over time. Partners should not rest on past successes, but rather periodically review and revise with an eye toward long-term growth.