The best joint ventures are with people in your own network – those that already know, like and trust you. However, there’s nothing to stop you from partnering with “cold” contacts – those you’ve never associated with before, and you would therefore need to build a relationship with. This simply means it will take a bit more time to execute joint venture because any “cold” contact would need time to evaluate your character and your business before committing to a partnership with you.
One of skills you need to acquire if you choose to joint venture with a “cold” contact is this... getting past gatekeeper!
Your potential joint venture partners may not pick up phone themselves. They may have a secretary, or an assistant, or a receptionist that screens calls before putting calls through to them, or someone that screens letters before putting letters in front of them. These people are known as gatekeepers. Your potential partners may even have a permanent voicemail kind of set up. In this case, voicemail is gatekeeper.
Here are some tips for getting past gatekeeper:
•When you call office, treat gatekeeper with same respect that you would treat potential partner. This will make them warm up to you. Sound important, but courteous e.g. “Hello there, please put me through to Joe Smith.”
•Develop a relationship with a source that knows your potential partner, and then receive an introduction from that source so that you go in with introduction from source. So, when you call potential partner’s office and gatekeeper asks what your call is regarding, you can say “His good friend, Jim Benson asked me to call him.”
•Adopt gatekeeper i.e. develop a relationship with them. Do this by engaging in a conversation with them whenever you call. Developing a relationship with gatekeeper comes in handy when you’ve been unable to reach your potential partner because they’re often out of office.