Common Joint Venture Proposal Mistakes

Common Mistakes

Some businesses are approached at least once a week with Joint Venture proposals.

When this is the case, they have to reject a lot of offers.

Many offers get rejected before they are even read.

Sometimes, even sincere approaches may not be right if the potential partner doesn’t feel you would be a good fit for their business.

There is a right and a wrong way to approach a potential partner.

We’ve discussed how your should approach a potential partner, so here’s how NOT to approach them.


1. Don’t Send a Form Letter

A template email that simply suggests they promote your product will be immediately deleted.

If you use a template, which you do not customise sufficiently, you probably won’t get a positive answer either.

By all means start with a basic outline of your invitation but if you are going to base your letter on a template, at least use the person’s name, not “Dear Business Owner.”


2. Don’t Start by Asking for Something

Remember the favour bank starts with a zero balance.

If you begin your request by asking them for something, its as if you are attempting to make a bank withdrawal before you ever made a deposit.

You might have an awesome idea for a product, but if you want a potential partner to help you develop it, you’re asking them for a favour.

Don’t make your first approach by asking for something.

Don’t dive in head first by suggesting someone do something – even if the venture promisies to make them a lot of money.

Establish a relationship or they won’t trust you.

They don’t know you and you haven’t done anything to warrant respect or justify that they give you their attention.

When you’re talking to them in an impersonal format like email, you need to go beyond human courtesy.

Let them know what you can do for them first.


3. You Will Probably be Rejected – Don’t Take it Personally

Just because someone denies your request to join you in a joint venture, doesn’t necessarily mean they think you’re a risk.

They also may not think your product is bad, or that you have bad ideas or goals for the venture.

Sometimes, they’re just not in the position to join a venture at that time.

Don’t feel it is a personal attack if they reject you, and definitely don’t send back an angry email.

You may want to work with that person in the future, and you not only close, but SLAM the door shut if you do that.

It will let them see you as a bad potential partner.

You’ll go through many no’s before you receive that yes.

As a venture capitalist once told me. “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.”


4. Don’t Start with People you Don’t Know

Joint Ventures work best if you have a prior relationship with the person you are approaching for a potential partner.

You’ve had time to warm up to that person and have them warm up to you.

Going in cold usually will get you a cold response in return.

People you’ve built a relationship with will at least listen to you.If they’re not able to join you at that time, they may make suggestions or give you referrals with people they think can.

If you don’t know anyone who can fill the need you have, then build a relationship with someone who can before you approach them.

Get to know them first.

You should know what they’re working on at the present time, and listen for a chance to help them.

Doing them a favour first, put a balance in your favour bank.

You are invoking The Law of Reciprocity.

This “law” says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.

As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed.

So if you do something nice for them, your potential partner will be more apt to help you, because they will want to reciprocate.

You may want to promote their product.

You should at least be prepared to buy something from them.

If you help them make money, it is a big motivator for them to help you.


5. Don’t Approach Someone With a Bad Offer

Have you ever been burned by taking someone’s recommendation for a product or business that looked good on paper, but wasn’t?

Because of that, you are now careful about the offers you consider, and wary of any recommendations made by the same person.

When someone recommends you, they are risking their own reputation.

It’s a waste of both your time and theirs to approach them with a bad offer or with a product you don’t believe in.

Sometimes, you might think you have a good offer, but it might not be.

If you want to be sure, you should consider these things:


– Customer Support
Do you stay on top of customer support? Do you have satisfied customers?

– Follow-up Process
Every prospect is a potential customer. How do you follow-up to turn these prospects into customers?

– Sales Page
You need to have a sales process that is tested. It needs to be converting well. Is yours?

– Proof
I’ve stressed over and over how important it is to research a potential partner. Since they’ll be researching you, it is important that you can backup what you say. You need to be able to prove your own results. Can you?

– Testimonials
What do the customers you’ve helped have to say? People will read your testimonials and consider this as proof from your customers.

– Your Ability to Present
If you’re promoting someone else’s product, you need to be able to present their ideas even if you get nothing in return. Sometimes it may work that they profit more from the joint venture than you do. Can you do that?

– Your Intention
What is the intention of your offer. Do you sincerely want to help the person to whom you are sending the offer? Or is your only intention to make money for yourself?

A good offer shows that you are on top of your game and that you understand the importance of relationships.

You need to understand how things are done if you want to be a successful joint venture partner.

Be sure to evaluate your offer before you send it.

It could make a big difference, especially if, and when, it comes to negotiating.

We will cover negotiation in next week’s article.

Written by 

Co-Founder & CEO of Link Management Group. An Investor & Coach to Small Business Owners, for the past 30 years I have helped startup and early-stage businesses to enter new markets and achieve sustainable growth of both revenue and profits. I have experience across a diverse range of sectors including central government, information services, software, health insurance, pet products, couture fashion, entertainment and aviation.  How can I help your organisation accelerate growth and achieve its full potential? 

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