During the Covid19 era, there are more companies and brands that have and are partnering to bring their customers more and better products and services with increased speed. And, while those partnerships might be very beneficial, you might be in a position to decide ending a partnership is best for both partners.
If you have or are just ending a good partnership with another brand, event, influencer, or agency, you are excited about the work you did with that company and are looking ahead to what’s next. But, before you totally forget about that current, ending partnership and you’re onto the next project, use the following guide to be sure you do the right things to end that relationship.
Say “Thank You”
Show appreciation for the opportunity to work together. This has to be one of the most important steps and yet one of the most forgotten or least done gestures. This can be as simple as sending a note to thank all the team members who participated in the partnership. I prefer written, physical notes. In addition, add positive details and emphasize how far you came in just a matter of days or weeks or months (depending on the duration of the partnership) from start to finish. It is also important to let them know at least one specific thing you really appreciated about working with them.
Schedule A Debrief
I encourage my clients to schedule their debrief or postmortem soon after the partnership ends, so it’s on the calendar and no one forgets about it. This action is important to both you and those you teamed up with. This is an excellent learning forum so be kind, but truthful, so you don’t move on without course-correcting and addressing any challenges that were faced with this partnership. Ask what you can do better next time. Refer to specific challenges and how they were handled and now in hindsight what other ways might that challenge have been addressed or managed better.
Store Assets Securely and Carefully
If you developed any original copy/photography/content that was used in the partnership, be sure you keep your records secure as well as organized. I highly recommend a Partnerships folder wherever you store your docs and photos. Within that, keep your original copy stored, final content, planning documents, videos, photographs and any used or unused assets pertinent to this project. This allows you to easily find these items, if you or your partner, needs to access these later. It will help you manage your next partnership with increased efficiently. Completing this task will also help you organize and keep records for future partnerships.
Continue tracking the Return on Investment (ROI)
Depending on your partnership, you’ll want to understand the impact the partnership had on your business. Take inventory beforehand of followers/engagement stats and refer back to them after the partnership is over. During the project, tracking of ROI is beneficial for focusing on what is working and what is not. Continue to keep track of ROI even when the partnership has ended. You should also plan a quarterly review of best-performing blogs, social media posts, clickthrough’s in newsletters, stats that are helpful to you and your business. Track wherever your partnership was shared. You want to know how well this partnership worked for your business and learn new and more creative ways to further the ROI when entering into another partnership.
Ask for a testimonial.
Depending on whether you might do more partnership work with this partner or not, request a testimonial. One or two sentences is adequate. Developing the testimonial during the debriefing makes sure thoughts are fresh and, more importantly this task is done. As both you and your previous partner move to the next project, you could become too busy with your next projects to do this task. A good testimonial can be used to further your knowledge of how the partnership worked and can be used to market to other companies looking to partner with you. As added information, develop a one sheet review combining what was learned at the debrief with data demonstrating the benefit of this partnership.
Stay in Touch
Now that the partnership has ended and it was successful with mission accomplished, keep in touch with this company and team members. You never know when a new opportunity to partner again will arise. And, you want to be in their thoughts as those opportunities appear.
Partnership not helpful.
On the opposite side, if your partnership was not successful and did not end on an amicable note, a debrief with your own team will offer ways to improve and ideas on what not to do next time.