Selecting and Managing Local Partners

Whilst there are several benefits to working with local partners in the Middle East and it is in fact compulsory in many places, do not rely on being flooded with leads and new orders. Local partners can be difficult to manage and require generally high maintenance.

 

The best way to approach a partnership is to look for commercial synergy between the two organizations and intellectual synergy between the people from both parties.

 

How does your business compliment the local partner company and what difference will it make to the local partner to be aligned with your firm? What are the incentives for the local partner to help and support you and are these incentives considered a big deal? Can your would-be local partner really open doors for you? Do they have the resources and intent to use  their political muscle (if any),  or leverage their contacts and market position to secure new business for you? Have you clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of both? Is there real enthusiasm about the product from senior management in the local partner company?  These are questions that you should answer before selecting your local partner.

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Be sure that the people you will be working with from your partner company are like-minded individuals with a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.  Always maintain regular contact with the senior most management team in the local partner company.

Keep them up-to-date with progress and inform them of good news as well as bad. You must ensure you secure and maintain mindshare with the management at all times.

It is in your interest to spend some time establishing a rapport with key contacts and stakeholders both personally and professionally, so that you’re confident the partner is someone you can definitely work with before you sign anything. slide2_btnslide2_btn