Summer is officially here! If you’re anything like me, you’re in need of a vacation. (You work hard! You deserve it.) When we say the word vacation your mind may immediately jump to the idea of beaches, relaxation, amazing food, and maybe even a happy hour or two. Luckily though, you don’t need to leave your office to get that same feeling of tranquility. Here are eight ways to take your partner program from coco-nuts to feeling like a Caribbean oasis.
1. Destination is key. When it comes to partners and vacations, the destination is everything. Choose partners that have the same end goal in mind, even if their itineraries look a little different. A successful partnership comes from a mutual understanding of what the end goal is, respect for one another, and a dash of contrasting opinions. There are so many ways to get to where you want to go.
Quick tip: Although each partnership is a new journey, it may be best to choose a partner who will leave their personal baggage behind.
2. Have your passport ready. If you want the best partners to do business with, you need to be the best partner as well. Is everything readily available? Is pricing on your page? What details can you bring to the table to lessen the workload for your partners? We know what our own stressors are, yet somehow we keep falling into the same loop. Focus on what you can control and other pieces will naturally fall into place—it can be that easy. If your partners have what they need then it’s a less laborious task for both of you. That leaves more time for you to kick your feet up, in true vacation fashion.
3. Pack like a pro. What would a vacation be if you weren’t prepared to take flight? Make sure your partners are ready for this new trip, and it’ll be smooth sailing for both of you. Ensuring that your partners are ready to sell is essential for the success of the partnership. Guarantee success by giving your partners a learning track that is easy, simple, and engaging. Gamification is a fantastic way to increase engagement and give your partners everything they need to check off their packing list.
4. Plan ahead. There’s nothing worse than assuming smooth sailing is coming and getting a hurricane. Pay attention to market trends, and communicate with your partners. Are all your partners in the same industry as you? To avoid a shipwreck, differentiate your partners. One partnership could be steering you into rocky waters while another is sunshine and pina coladas. When you’ve spread the risk amongst multiple industries then you won’t risk being faced with a Titanic-sized wreck.
5. Manage your expectations. There’s nothing worse than expecting an oasis and finding a kiddy pool. Denmark is the happiest country in the world because they manage their expectations, therefore they find themselves “pleasantly surprised” when fantastic things come their way. Onboarding a new partner is an incredibly exciting process! Appreciate your new partner for what they are and what they bring to the table. Unfortunately not every partner is going to be the goldmine we hope for. Manage your expectations about what you want to accomplish and give them the tools to be successful.
6. Dream big. Just because every partner you have isn’t a billion dollar earner doesn’t mean that one day they won’t be. Your California beach partner is just as important as the Bora Bora partner that will one day be on your roster. Live in the vacation moments that you have, but it’s okay to dream about future endeavors. Setting goals is a fantastic way to keep your partner program, and yourself, heading in an upward direction.
7. Say Yes. Don’t be afraid to go abroad just because you don’t speak the language. Each addition to your partner program is a new trip. What’s the best way to do something new? Say yes. It can be essential to adjust your strategy. Partners may send ideas your way that, at times, seem outlandish; take a risk and say yes. Try things that are a little out of your comfort zone. Who doesn’t love a good adrenaline rush? After all, you never know what could make your sales take flight.
8. Express Gratitude. The thing about vacations is that we are all so thankful to have them. Take that same positive, excited, thankful energy and place it into your partner program. It’s gratitude that really turns everything around and starts shedding stress. Send your partners a note acknowledging their sales, their efforts, and let them know that you’re thankful. Let your own team at your company know that they’re also appreciated. And use that last moment to take a step back and give yourself the appreciation you deserve. Your hard work has allowed you to finally reach the point where your partner program feels like a vacation. Congratulations! (And we’re proud of you too.)
Now that you’ve got these eight tips you can enjoy that feeling of vacation all year round, and while at work nonetheless. (I know, I thought it was impossible too!) If you want a few more ways to make your partner program the highlight of your work day, read 19 Ways to Elevate Your Partner Program.