|Question:||How do you motivate partners to act the way you want them to?|
|Answer:||Well, this is certainly a broad question and one that could take hours to explain. But there's a short answer you might find useful, and it is based on the work of some social psychologists some 40 years ago (their names are French and Raven).|
They tried to determine what would make someone have power over another, and thereby get them to do things. It turns out there are 5 sources of power, and you might think about which ones of these you could leverge. Here they are:
Reward Power - just like it sounds. Find something to reward your partner with, like extra commissions, etc. You probably knew this already.
Coercive Power - punish them for not doing what you want. Again, you probably know this, but appreciate that most recipients don't like punishment and it doesn't lead to much power.
Legimitate Power - this mean having contractual rights over your partners. Again, if you're not using this already, see if there are any means to gain legimitacy.
Referent Power - it turns out that if your partner believes that you're someone they want to hang around with, this gives you power. Ok, having a great brand name is one way to get referent power, but you might think of other ways.
Expert Power - if your partner thinks you're an expert, then you can gain power. This may mean understanding your partner's business better than they do. In any case, gaining expertise is important in any situation, but it serves to help you get your channel partner to do the right thing.
You can read more about other ways to "incent" your partners and problems that channels of distribution create in this tutorial.