1. Refer to your enterprise as "small but mighty" and be prepared to define what you mean by that with 3 major sexy points that can benefit a strategic partner. Approach them with "I had a crazy idea I had to run by your team and I definitely need your help navigating through this! I'm running a loved company that is catering to X Audience and we're amazing at Y. Do you think I'll get shut down if I run a marketing idea by your director that can help them eat up major market share?...and it benefits us too, so we wouldn't charge a penny" (THEN SHUT UP:)
"No's" are MUCH easier to achieve than yeses! (Study Chris Voss)
2. Define your most ideal buyers (not necessarily your users...but your decision-makers or major referrers) and make sure you think about those early adopters who will be "easiest to convert" because you're saving their lives or bringing them profound value and "solution excitement".
3. Think about the strategic partners out there who are spending TONS on sales and marketing (have a sales force and traffic generator you can exploit to THEIR advantage. While I was running ActiveForever, our strategic partners like our service providers, drug companies, surgical parts companies spent hundreds of thousand$ on our I.T. and MILLIONS on our marketing and media, with GLEE. They made billions from it, we made millions. Also, as a product sales company, most of our revenue came from the marketing and lead gen programs/services fees and product sales became the "cherry on top". We truly didn't predict this. We simply paid attention, got smarter...like AI...as we went, and adapted as we went!
4. CAREFULLY/THOUGHTFULLY craft your pitch to the strategic partner...the benefit to them. Mention NO COST TO THEM AT ALL...it's mutually beneficial and you're hoping they appreciate this innovative approach to growth (eating up more market share) as much as you will.
Make sure you are the craved, efficient, effective, delightful and brilliant team they need and have been dreaming about. Swoop it away and cause delight and success for your partners; win for you, them and your market!
5. Think "Easy Yes","Pilot size". Make sure your plan differentiates your target strategic partner and solves some issues for them. 5. Be happy with baby steps to your decision-maker in your strategic. Shoot for the top of course, but the dept head or admin for the dept can be made an invaluable mentor/navigator/advocate for you if you approach this from their perspective and also make them laugh (enjoy and trust you). Just remember...as you build the trust, as your partner makes special requests, you say "WE CAN ABSOLUTELY DO THAT FOR YOU!" then charge them for it...stay competitive and keep the "easy yeses" flowing. It adds up!
6. Every big company loves having secret weapons...a bright, energetic and substance-filled tactics lead who they can rely on to deliver.
Make sure you have the minds and talent around you that can pull this off! It will not work if you don't authentically care about your partner's success or if you are unable to deliver on your promises and vision. As long as you deliver on each promise, step-by-step, the purse strings loosen AND you get to leverage THEIR workforce to accomplish each phase of growth!
These types of relationships also create barriers to entry and unique market value for your company, and theirs. Plus, what you propose from start to finish should also deliver extreme value to your target market/buyers...all the way to those Laggards. Everyone wins.