All partnering is based on a few common denominators:
Partners have a common objective. Each partner wants to improve profit.
Partners have common strategies for achieving their objective. Their methods are based on mutual need-seeking and mutual need-fulfillment. In both cases, needs are arrived at through negotiation.
Partners are at common risk. Each partner has something of value to gain or lose.
Partners have a common defense against all others who are not included in the partnership. Each party deals as an equal. Outsiders range from being less equal to being perceived as competitors.
Cooperative negotiation strategies enable partners to treat each other as equals. This is the principal rule of partnerships. There are ten additional rules that can help in partnering:
Add value to each other. Teach each other new ways to improve personal achievement and professional productivity so that both partners profit by the relationship.
Be supportive of each other, not competitive. Form a staunch team.
Avoid surprises. Plan work together and work according to plan.
Be open and aboveboard. Always level with each other.
Enter into each other's frame of reference. Learn each other's perceptions in order to see things from the other's point of view. Learn each other's assumptions to understand the other's expectations of the partnership.
Be reliable. Partners must be there for each other when they are needed.
Anticipate opportunities and capitalize on them. Forecast problems and steer the partnership around them. Keep the partnership out of trouble. If trouble is unavoidable, give the partnership a head start in solving it.
Do homework. Know what's happening. Know what may happen.
Treat each other as people, not just as functionaries. Be willing to provide the personal "little extras" that make a partnership a humane as well as a mighty force.
Enjoy the relationship and make it enjoyable. Both partners should prefer to work within the partnership rather than within any other relationship because it is one of the most rewarding associations either of them has ever had.
The customer decision makers who must be partnered as clients are multimotivated. They rarely act on the basis of one motive alone. Status, money, autonomy, and self-realization propel them. Of all their drives, three are likely to be major: power, achievement, and affiliation.
In Figure 6-3, three aspects of client needs are illustrated in typical proportion. They contrast with the proportions shown in Figure 6-4 for the consultant's need set. The major difference lies in the relative significance of self-actualization income and psychic income. For the consultant, self-actualization must always take precedence over the psychic rewards of power, prestige, and promotion. For the client, however, you should assume that power and promotion—which represent realizable objectives for a client—supersede self-fulfillment. By remembering the primacy of power and promotion when you negotiate, you will be able to keep your client's perspective in mind. You will also be able to visualize your role fairly accurately in the way the client sees it: to help the client obtain increased power income and maximize money income as well.
Figure 6-3: Client need set.
Figure 6-4: Consultant need set.
There are three aspects of consultant needs. Each represents a certain type of income: money income; psychic income, representing such rewards as power, prestige, and promotion; and self-actualization income, including self-fulfillment, competence, and the realization of talent potential.
These needs are present in every consultant's motivation set. Yet they vary widely from one consultant to another. To negotiate effectively, your need set must be proportioned something like Figure 6-4. The money drive you have should be significant. But your use of it to give you power, especially the power to dictate solutions or appropriate a client's leadership, should be small. Although you may enjoy great prestige, you will always be required to work through your client to accomplish your purposes. You can help a client achieve power and promotion and thereby share vicariously in them. But you will often work unheralded, usually anonymously.
On the other hand, consultants must have an unusually large amount of self-actualization in their need set. This aspect is the key to success. You must have, and be driven by, a need to realize your own fullest growth and development by growing and developing your client partners. You must want to utilize all of yourself in your clients' behalf, engaging your full complement of skills and expressing your widest range of knowledge. You must need to translate these qualities into unique profit projects that only they and they alone should ever know have originated with you.