In addition to a well thought out, mutually beneficial proposal, it is important to research your target partners. To me this is like prepping for an interview. Nothing worse than realizing that the person you are interviewing knows nothing about your company or the issues you are facing but at the same time tells you how “passionate” s/he is about your business. Try to figure out what is top of mind for your potential partner. Is it facing a particular competitive thread, has it had a major product launch failure, has the team that you are speaking to experienced a recent change of executives etc. There are so many possible reasons that might make you want to tweak your approach, change your timing, etc. It is always hard to know for sure what matters most, but I am a firm believer that solid preparation will help you produce better partnerships.
Holger Luedorf works at Foursquare as Vice President, Head of Business Development. Prior to Foursquare, Holger worked at Yahoo Mobile as a Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships. Holger joined Yahoo! in 2005 after heading Portal & Partner Management at T-Mobile International in Europe. Holger is an expert in understanding mobile data and digital media business opportunities. His expertise in multi-million dollar deal-making and handling complex partner relationships makes him a well-rounded business development and product marketing executive.