The partnership hack: Never miss great opportunites, never waste time on worthless deals

by Steli Efti

One of the most precious resources for you as an entrepreneur is your time.

What’s one of the biggest time-suckers in business?

"Partnerships."

The more successful your company becomes, the more offers for partnerships you get.

  • People offering to sell your product for you
  • People offering to promote your product as an affiliate
  • People who offer to distribute your product
  • People who want to re-sell your product to a different market
  • People who have the perfect up-sell for your customers and suggest a revenue-share.

On the surface, this is a good thing, right? People want to help you grow your business faster.

Most partnership proposals suck 

But once you actually respond and engage with these people, you'll find that it's just a big waste of:

  • time
  • money
  • mindshare
  • equity

The opportunity cost of lost time

If you pursue and engage with these people who propose partnerships to you, you won't have time to run your business anymore. Following up with these people, setting up long meetings, negotiating details of a deal and putting together contracts.

The fear of missing out

While *most* partnerships suck, *some* can catapult your business into an entirely different stratosphere. You don't want to miss out on a deal that could grow your business 10x.

How to solve this dilemma?

There is a simple way to not miss out on a potentially great partnership, and at the same time not waste your precious time on worthless negotiations.

The simple reply email

Just send them this simple email template that almost magically takes care of this for you:

"Hey,

Thank you so much. I appreciate the offer. We feel honored that you're reaching out, and want to partner with us.

Right now, we're heads down in execution mode, and we don't have any partnership agreements in place, but here's how we typically like to work with others.

If you honestly think that this could be a good fit, and you have lots and lots of potential customers for us, why don't you close one deal to get us started? 

That would prove to both you and us that there is real potential here for a partnership. We're happy to compensate you for that one deal, no problem.

And once you brought that one new customer, we'll take the data of that result, and we'll jump on a call to discuss it further, and take it from there.

Sounds fair enough?

Best,
Steli"

I have done this hundreds of times now. I've told people: "Hey, we don't typically do partnerships, but bring us some customers. After you've brought them, I'll be happy to pay you some money, and then we can talk about how and if we can expand this into a full-blown partnership."

I literally did this HUNDREDS OF TIMES.

Every single time, the reply I get is: "Awesome! Sounds like a great deal! Look out for all the customers that I'm going to bring you! This is going to be huge!"

What happens next?

Nothing.

Zero.

Zip.

Zilch.

Nada.

nothing

Not a single time did someone ever follow up delivering a result.

This saves me shitloads of time. I don't have to evaluate anything. I don't have to meet with them. I don't have to check their background. I don't have to worry that I might have said "no" to somebody that might have been a great opportunity. I'm free to focus on what really matters to me: building the best sales software on the market, and helping entrepreneurs to make more sales and close more deals.

If there really is potential for a great partnership, and if they can truly deliver results ... they will! And then we can take these results as the basis for further decisions and discussions.

If you're a startup don't waste time on partnerships. Only consider that once someone has actually delivered results for you.