Alliances: What works, what does not

Why Alliances Fail

When do you know an alliance is falling apart?

An alliance will surely fail without good communication on both sides. It will also fail if the alliance partner is not capable of completing the tasks set out in the service level agreement. Service level agreements are usually put in place so that milestones in the process can be monitored. The agreement also helps to alleviate the number of complaints by the alliance partner (and also the complaints about the service being provided to the partner's customers). The basic premise here is that the products and services being offered are of excellent quality. If the quality is missing in the formula, your alliances will most definitely fail.

Finger pointing is one of the worst things that can happen in a relationship. The business relationship must be preserved at all costs. The saying goes "never burn a bridge as you never know when you need to cross it again". I had a partner that did not believe in that philosophy and, six years down the road, he found that he needed to deal with me again. Instead of repairing the damage, the information he needed was obtained by a mutual acquaintance. Since I did not burn bridges, I readily gave out the information. I still have not seen him again.

Alliances also fail because the return on the investment was not as promised. Relationships can be very fickle when it comes to money transactions. You need to build the relationship first and keep it intact, and then deal with the ROI. If the product or service does not live up to expectation, then a mutually agreeable term in the service level agreement should give an out to one or both parties. This will allow for an amicable departure and keep the relationship intact.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit

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