Network Builders Arizona - Creating Strategic Connections
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The Alliance Trap

by Jaclyn Miller Zoccoli
© October 2017



Scores of stories can be told of amazing alliances that created fortunes for businesses. The dollar amounts would stagger even the most experienced. The advantages are sometimes obvious, most times subtle. What is NOT mentioned are the alliances that turned out detrimental to businesses. Sometimes this interaction caused the closing of the businesses, at least there was a loss of time and lots of money. How does one avoid the Alliance Trap?


Far too often two business people meet at a mixer, or other social event, find common interest and focus, schedule a future meeting over coffee, then once they meet again they get a real high over possible outcomes. I know that rush really well. It appears that the targeted customer base is common. Both businesses do compliment each other, so why wouldn’t an alliance really work? Getting the “come on”, the “flirtatious enticement” is exciting. It is almost addictive. Trust me, I know. As a Networking Coach, it really feels good. Experience shows that the “high” is just that. A one-time rush. When the actual alliance workings begin, the hard work is needed, the commitment is required, does the other party do their part?


“Alliances are much like Thomas Edison’s definition of an invention: 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration”. John L. Forbis and James A. Finnegan had it right in their article “Alliances for Competitive Advantage: Why, When, and How”. So, if it’s that hard, and you never know if the other person is going to do their part, what do you do to assure success?


First off, review the Criteria for a Successful Team Member:

•   Are they open minded about sharing and exploring?

•   What past history have they had with alliances? Has it been good or has it been bad?

•   How willing are they to do their fair share?

•   Do they understand the Quality Contact concept? By that I mean, do they realize the value of

    aligning with people who see their customers?

•   Is their customer base worth it?

•   What repore do they have with their contacts and customers - perhaps they’re a liability. Customer Service is critical.

•   Will they represent you well as a sales team member?

•   Do you feel comfortable recommending them? Why or why not?

•   Will they work at promoting you?

•           Are they available? Is there good chemistry? All very important. Pay attention.

My first blog!

Adoring Darren Hardy

Mar 11, 2016
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I had the occasion to hire Jacque to assist in my networking abilities. Within minutes of starting, she was offering me resources to contact. Each contact has turned out to further my business and the work I am doing with veterans. I cannot recommend Jacque enough. She is direct, right to the point, and gets to the heart of the matter with her tremendous wealth of information and networking contacts. Carolyn CJ Jones, writer and speaker

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