Partner people what is up?!
Today we have on an old friend of Jared’s, Mario Tarrabia, CEO of partnerpage.io/ for some lessons at the intersect of emotion and logic.
And a surprising first principle that’s probably your company’s most scalable component…
How you make people feel.
It turns out, give, give, give and make deposits before making withdrawals is the fastest way to scale a partnership culture that wins.
This is one for the books that I wanted to end with a hug, don’t miss the meditation master himself Mario on this less philosophical, less tactical, and more emotional PartnerUp!
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Mentioned on today’s episode:
– PartnerPage.io – if you’re lacking a scalable way to give first, boom. Now you’re not.
– Mario’s columns - https://partnerhacker.com/author/mario/
– INTRODUCING, PartnerHacker’s first ever First Friday! Join us Friday, August 5th at 2-4pm ET to hang LIVE with the PartnerUp crew and the secret return of the ORIGINAL PartnerUp co-host, Kevin Raheja <insert gasp emoji> Register here peeps for a great time: https://partnerhacker-21922054.hs-sites.com/en/partnerhacker-lp-page-0
Also, check out Eric Sangerma's takeaways from this podcast on LinkedIn below:
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Jared Fuller 0:00
Hey what is up, partner up? I'm back. If you heard the last one, my co host happened to steal that line for me and I have the most surreal experience this morning. I have to talk about this for a second. Because I realized in like 60 some odd episodes, this was the first one that I wasn't on. So like I was, I always listen to every podcast episode because I love our guests. And I'm excited to introduce the one for today. But this one this morning, I was like, Oh my gosh, this is the first part of the episode that I have legitimately only heard for the first time and it was phenomenal. So Isaac, man, thank you so much for covering for me last week during the crisis and emergency you deserve a ton of credit and also the guest. Mind blowing conversation
Isaac Morehouse 0:53
have fun. That was by Jared, I feel like I really I really kind of dropped the ball. That was my chance to say what is up partner up? And I feel like I didn't bring the right level of I don't know aplomb to it. You know, I just, it needs you. It needs you
Jared Fuller 1:12
know, I'm excited to be back. Thanks for filling in Isaac. If you didn't check out last week's episode, the gardening platforms analogy. That was kind of precipitated that that presentation. That deck is so good. So today, though, we're going to be taught I think we're gonna go a little bit less from like the science and the theoretical and the, you know, philosophical more to the heart today. And I'm really excited to bring on an old friend, Mario. So Mario.
Mario Tarabbia 1:42
Hey, what's up, Jared? Sounds like you still have a job. Good job. Yeah, it's great. too thrilled to be here with you. Old friend is putting it lightly. I think it's been like, got to be a decade now. Since we first connected back in San Francisco, so yeah, great to be here.
Jared Fuller 1:58
100%. Man, you would just it wasn't partner page back then. It was you started it as something else.
Mario Tarabbia 2:06
Yeah, was called outwork. When it was Yeah, the whole whole different products in the same space, solving a different problem, but related to partner go to market stuff.
Jared Fuller 2:17
And what's so interesting is like these parallel journeys, where you were, you're way ahead of the curve, dude. Like way ahead of the curve, like
Isaac Morehouse 2:28
too far. To say injury.
Jared Fuller 2:32
Like, no, I'm not kidding, though. Because, like, literally, I became obsessed with like partnerships. I'm doing this podcast and like, wait a second, this might be a legitimate thing. And then I remember Mario, I don't even remember, like, what prompted me to be like, wait a second, Mario? Or maybe you reached out? I can't remember. And I'm like, wait a second. How, how have I not been talking to Mario about this? Because he was the first person I knew that was building partner tech. The first?
Mario Tarabbia 2:58
Yeah, I think, you know, I was at one login. And I ran the partner channel there it for b2b SaaS. Yeah. And I, you know, you just kind of learned I just experienced it early. Like one login was only as good as the amount of companies that connected to because it was single sign on. And at that point, I was like, okay, like partnerships, we should, we should do this at one login. Then I learned about all the problems. And I thought, Well, it'd be great to build something that helps people who do this, like myself at one login? Yeah. And you were doing that too. At the time. I think I actually got connected with you because you had written some content about partner stuff at PandaDoc. Or it was someone had just said, Hey, this guy, Panda Doc is doing it really well. And you should go talk to him. And you guys are kind of like swirling around the same ideas. Yeah, so we met up for a drink. I forget the name of that bar. But that was a great time.
Jared Fuller 3:45
Yeah, back in the Gosh, that was I can picture the street. It was I here's what I remember. It's right by Mark Twain's old hangout spot. That's what I remember.
Mario Tarabbia 3:56
Yes, it's as good as mine at this point. Yeah.
Jared Fuller 4:00
Well, I said that we were going to be transitioning from the philosophical to the emotional today. And over the past few weeks, this is what's what's really cool is that we've got to reconnect and start geeking out about Wait a second, this whole partnerships moment, there is this ecosystems component, but then there's like this really visceral human real, like emotional component, that I think I did a video on LinkedIn that went pretty viral that got like, 50,000 Viral for me, like 50,000 hits, where I was basically quoting Joe rally where she said, like, show me you know, me, show me you can help me and prove that you care. And when we started talking, like you were approaching this whole thing from that same kind of sentiment, right? And you've written a couple columns now, where like, you know, the first mover advantage, where like, and partner people are saying like Dr. value first, you got to do these things first. And that's kind of where I wanted to kick things off today was not going down there. Grab a hold of the philosophical but more the emotional, why all of a sudden? Or maybe this because we were talking about this in prep Mario? How the heck is it for the past 20 some odd years in b2b, that it wasn't this way, meaning every relationship you've ever had every relationship you've ever had a good one, did you approach that relationship with Hey, before you, like, get any good stuff from me, I need you to give me something like money, or like something else.
Mario Tarabbia 5:26
There's like an old old saying, that's like, what have you done for me lately? And it just like perfectly captures that mentality of like, what have you done for me lately? Nothing. Okay, well, I'm not going to spend time with you. And it's sad that like, you know, b2b partnerships, for some period of time, most likely, like historically, because of the access problem like was that, you know, when I think about like b2b partnerships, like I sometimes think of like the telecom space, I think of like, Sprint, and like all the little agents like downstream agents who are selling sprint across the United States, and like, they just couldn't work with Sprint. So you had people in between who are like partnerships, but because SAS is just so available, and we have these companies that are smaller, or growing fast, that just are more accessible, partnerships is taking on like a new, basically just a new tune, where it's not just hey, I like because you're getting access through me, I get to make all the asks, it's actually like, we want to be mutually beneficial. And you said, the emotional and I actually just had this idea popped into my head, I was talking to someone about this recently, it's like a Venn diagram, where you have like, emotional on one side, logical on the other, and like, the overlap is like wise. And I feel like there's something there and like the partnership space as well, when you're like, kind of thinking about, like, what's the wise thing to do to like, make this work? And in particular, I think you know, where we're heading with this conversation is just that concept of the sort of two way street like this idea of, hey, I'm not just going to ask you to what can you do for me, like, what have you done for me lately, but instead, I'm going to approach this with some empathy and basically, think about what you need, and just sit with that before anything happens. And maybe start thinking, how can I use that to my advantage?
Jared Fuller 7:05
Okay, hold on. So I have to hop in right there, because Marya You just dropped into an emotional, rational, Venn diagram mental model, like 10 minutes into this podcast man, like, so emotional, logical wise, is the overlap in the Venn diagram? And I actually, I've never heard that before. And that sounds so wise.
Mario Tarabbia 7:23
I only heard it a couple of days ago. That's why it's still fresh. Yeah, I take no credit for that.
Isaac Morehouse 7:29
Yeah, what's interesting to me, you're reading your columns, you know, talking about, hey, like, somebody in any reciprocal relationship, somebody has to start it off. And the person who starts it off actually has an advantage. So that should be you, it starts off the giving process, right, and then your, your column on on the golden rule, this idea that like, who we are, at work, often feels or can feel like in conflict with who we are as a normal person outside of work or who we want to be. And I kind of like, I know, I am zooming way, way out. But I kind of see this as this. Always get these pendulum swings with any new technological development or big shift in culture. So you have all this, you know, software, eating the world, and everything moving to the cloud and all this automation. And so you tend to get these like things over, you know, they overcorrect to adjust to some new reality, and they go too far. And then everyone gets to a moment where they're like, this is too much. And there's this like, coming home, there's like a return to something that previously existed. But now when you come back to it, it's like the good parts about the old thing, plus the advantages of the new thing. And I feel like we're in that return process where it's like, okay, we sort of like pushed everything to the max in terms of what we can do with software and automation, but also in terms of the sort of culture of business and the orientation about the way things are approached. And now everyone's like it, like ran out of steam. And everyone's like, wait a minute, this thing has always been here, this idea of like, you know, starting by creating value for people of like, the golden rule of like, there's like something about there's something almost like ancient and like, timeless, about, I feel like the moment that we're in and certainly among partner, people where there's like this breath of fresh air, hey, you're right. The thing that I already wish I could do is the thing that's working better right now. And it's like, I get to come home to who I you know what I mean? I mean, maybe that sounds too whimsical. We're gonna all
Jared Fuller 9:30
get each other hugs virtually.
Mario Tarabbia 9:34
I think a lot of it like partnerships, and SAS is nascent, like you ask anyone doing this, and it's still the early innings. You know, look at what you guys are doing, right? Like there's this whole shift like every business has to figure out how to be an ecosystem. And ecosystem means your technology partners, that means your service partners and means your S eyes and everything in between there, like whatever you come up with, because there are all sorts of people who want to work together and Yeah, basically now that there's this big shift towards the ecosystem, the question is, you know, what, what makes it scalable. And the only thing that makes it scalable is golden rule is like, do all the others as you would have them do unto you. And your your instincts are like, hey, what can you do for me? Like, bring me some leads? Like what's going on? Like, are you going to help me hit my quota? But if you think like, Well, what do they need? You know, what is it that they're actually struggling with? And I think that's where that comes in. It's like, let's start with that. Let's flex some empathy. And just figure out like, Can I help you at scale? And in return, like, can we make this mutual?
Jared Fuller 10:32
What you just said was so simple, yet so profound, like, most people don't understand. Whenever, like you would not normally hear in the walls of like a go to market argument. So marketing sales, CS ops, finance, planning, how do we get to this number the board the VCs want us to get to an X, Y, or Z time period, you don't hear things like, we need to do something scalable, like Do unto others as you would have done unto you. But here's the thing though. What the heck change Salesforce from and I just had a conversation with Judy Lorre. Shout out, Judy. She's a good friend of Bobby Knapp. And it was early early at Salesforce, like driving marketing. In the bobby nap story of when Benioff basically just got up and said, Look, partner is a top three priority. And you have to have an answer for how you're prioritizing partner. That's the most scalable thing you can do not trying to give everyone the answer to everything, right? Like, it's completely unscalable to be like, Okay, here's the 37 page partner engagement playbook. And the 400 different things you need to do to work with partnerships correctly. That's actually not scalable, having a fully documented and unprocessed, but if you can say to your team, to your organization, and go, Look, here's a principle by which we live by, that actually scales from 10 employees to 10,000. It's absolutely scalable.
Mario Tarabbia 11:57
And there's also there's a third stakeholder, like, there's the partner, there's the SAS vendor. And then there's the customer, like, who's also sitting in the middle of all this. And it's like, if they're trying to be successful, let's say that they're using a product and all they've got is documentation. Also, they're eager to hire some help. Like, it's not, we're not in the era of DIY anymore. It's like, it's also the area era of do it for me, like the I fm. Like, let me hire an expert. Let me find someone who loves this stuff. Like, let me bring them in, save me time. Like do it for me, you know, we see, we see that like, some people want to DIY and they want to read the documentation. Some companies want to shoulder the burden and do a ton of the wiring together and implementation and success and support for some portion of their customer base. And some folks are looking for help. And the question is like, especially on whether it's service partners or technology partners, like hey, what's the right person for me to work with here? Like, can you help me? You have to have an answer to that. And especially if you're building our ecosystem first, and you're trying to be an ecosystem, every company has to have a way to answer inbound customer requests, and even requests from your teammates. If you're a partner person, it's like, how do I help my CS team figure this out? How do I help my, my AES, figure this out? Anyone in the organization who's like, Who do we work with that does X or Y? Like, where do you answer that? And the reality is, is the questions that are happening internally, that is also the problem, your property your partners are struggling with, like, hey, we, we'd love to be in front of those people who are looking for help, is there a way to like, you know, bring in your trusted, you know, favorite partners, the people that have been working with you for years, and kind of connect the dots on that, and the customer sits in the middle of it. And it's this big three sided sort of movement that you have to orchestrate. And I think that's because it's all digital now. Like, we're not dealing with physical products, like I don't buy 1000 laptops and put them in a warehouse, and then sell 100 to, you know, Isaac, who then sells 20 to the local school district, like we're dealing with software. So it's all happening in the cloud. So we can focus on the human part of the relationship and say, how do we orchestrate all these people in real time? And
Jared Fuller 13:55
I don't know. And we're just approaching end of quarter for lots of people. If you're listening to this, you know, this would be like, the second of the month, the day that it's out on August. And I used to tell my sales team look, look, fellas, look, ladies, look, everybody, guess what? The software last day of the month, it's off the shelf, it's gone. And they don't laugh. It's like, what is this urgency with this end of the month thing? Like, the software is still there. Like it's not like the inventory is gone. It's like that manufactured, you know, timing thing. It's like, it doesn't work. Like you have to have another reason. So like, we still even use those relics, right? Like, oh, it's end of month, it's end of quarter and end of month and end of quarter is never about the buyer. It's never been about the buyer. It's about hey, you know, like, you might sometimes get this personal appeal to emotion. Hey, I just got off with my VP of sales. And we're really trying really hard to hit this stretch target. And I know you're making the decision and you've you've already made up your mind that we're the vendor of choice. But if we can push procurement to get this into the next 48 hours is what Yeah, that's that's nothing to do with the buyer like even that relic speaks to the point you were just talking about. It's like, we're acting as if there was no more software on the shelves like, oh, sorry. That was it, you know, and a month we ran out of inventory? Well,
Isaac Morehouse 15:15
here's where, you know, when you were talking Mario about don't forget, the third leg of the stool, the act of the customer, right, it was reminded me Jared of our conversation a couple of weeks ago, with David Ivana just talking about so much focus on listening to customers and figuring out what they want, because the kind of like, partners exists to give you leads mentality. You know, we've been talking about how it's short sighted from a partnership standpoint, and creating long term, you know, valuable ecosystems. But it's also not what the customer wants, right. So like, if you were to if you were to promote your partners, whether it's a service partner, or a tech partner, you want to give them something for free to give them a lovely feature on your blog, or in your HELP section to say, hey, check out our partners, they do a great job. That's not only giving them something that increases the odds that they're going to give you something in return, that's actually giving your customers something that they want. Your customers don't care about you trading their leads with other companies that doesn't do anything for them. But they do care about, okay, now I'm using your platform, I need some help with something. I don't want to have to go to Google or LinkedIn and be like, hey, who knows that I who can I go to? If right on your platform, you say, hey, check out these people, they do a great job, here's somebody you can hire to come help you get it set up, here's somebody you can hire to do this, here's here's an integration that might solve this problem. Your customers actually want that even if that partner doesn't give you any leads in return, you're giving your customer something that increases retention. And I know that's like a talking point. But I think it's easy to get trapped in that. Like, if I'm going to give something to my partner, I gotta make sure they're giving me something. And without asking the question, can I give my partner something that gives my customer something at the same time? Or rather, flip it around? Can I give my customers something? And might that involve my partner? You know, any one of my partners?
Mario Tarabbia 17:12
Yeah, it's not, it's just not mutually exclusive, as we probably tend to think it's kind of like this abundance versus scarcity mentality. Anytime I'm operating from a scarcity mindset, like I'm making decisions that I look back on later, and I kind of regret them. But anytime I'm operating from an abundance mentality, or I'm like, You know what, there's so much of this out there, like, we're all gonna win together, rising tide lifts all ships, I feel so much better. Like, I'm like, Wow, I feel calm, not anxious, like things are going really well. And I'm able to make decisions that are logical, because I look at the pie. And I'm like, everyone can win from this. And, you know, I think back to the old partnership sort of tactics, I mean, like going on going golfing with people, like I mean, that still happens. But like, that was like, your first thing you would do when you're establishing a partnership with someone, or like these kind of like, you know, sending people Williams and Williams Sonoma bark in the mail on Christmas. Like, they have the right ethos, which is like, Let's build a friendship and like, let's get to know each other better. But the reality is that along the way, we lose that and we start thinking, Okay, now that that's done, like, give, give, give me give me give me. And it's almost like the position of power, like changes, and then something shifts and you start having quota. And he's, they're asking for more than you can then you can provide. So the first thing you have to figure out is, what can i What did my partner need? And what can I provide? How can I make that scalable, and then you have to go about actually delivering, and that builds a great relationship to just as much as a phone call to ask how someone's doing does. And just as much as going golfing with someone does, it's like actually helping them understanding what they're struggling with being empathetic towards it and making it your problem. Because it's kind of like that analogy of like running through a wall. Like if you run into a wall, enough, the wall is gonna fall down. But if you just take a step back, and you realize you can walk around it, it's kind of like that. That's where we're at, like, take a step back, like use empathy, like Be nice to your part, like, figure out what people need, put them where the point of pressure is in your organization where they want to be, which is like connecting support requests to serve as partners or helping with product discovery, you want to see SM is in a big account, and they're asking about the right person for X or Y. Find a way to get those requests into your ecosystem, make the ecosystem super valuable. And one of the many ways that it's valuable, it's valuable in tons of ways gives you defensibility helps you with customer acquisition helps you solve problems, all the teams in the organization that are go to market are facing, like connect the dots. And ultimately your partners will be like, Wow, you're on top of mine today. Like you will be able to stay top of mind with that partner because they will remember, people remember how you treated them, they remember how you made them feel. And if you relieve some sort of risk for their business, you help them hit their quota, then you're yours immediately at the top of the list of people they like working with every single time
Jared Fuller 19:42
when you said they remember the way that you made them feel. Let's think about this from a company from a perspective that is willing to give to their partners first versus not willing to give to their partners first. It's like they're only going to showcase the partners that give them leads first and then like maybe they can get the scraps later. Like you know the let them eat cake. You know, Marie Antoinette, I guess maybe or maybe not attributed quote, which was actually just scraps. That's all that that actually meant just meant scraps. What about how you make people feel before they do business with you? Like, if you're the type of company where you're searching for answers, and only you have the answers, right? It's only your company. So what kind of company? Are you? What kind of business? Are you? You're self centered? It's all about you. Meaning, do I matter to you? Your partners don't seem to matter your the people around you don't seem to matter, you have all the answers. Whereas a company that's highlighting how a greater network of people, aka partners, their community, how there is something bigger. I kind of feel like, I can judge and you make me feel a certain way. Okay, the type of business I'm about to do business with, they made me feel this way, versus another one made me feel this way, the one where I can easily see all of their partners. And I know that type of value those different partners can bring, I feel much better because I know that company is not myopic in their thinking of the world. They go, Hey, there's answers outside our walls. And guess what we do? We're not the type of company that says no, no, it's only us. It's only us. I mean, do you remember? I don't know if I guess it's made an impact on me when I was a kid. I don't know if it's the not the Christmas story. It's the one about Macy's and Santa. And like Macy's didn't have the stuff. And then there was Santa being like, actually, you can find the thing at the other store. Y'all remember that? What's
Isaac Morehouse 21:37
cool on 34th? Street? Maybe? Yes, yes.
Jared Fuller 21:41
Yes. I still remember that. I still don't think I've seen that skit, since I probably originally saw it 30 years ago, but I remember being like, I like that Santa. Like, as a kid, like a five year old kid. I was I remember that skit, I don't even know the movies name. But like how that makes you feel you're like, oh, I can trust you. But if you're not willing to do that with the people that surround your company, your partners, why not? Like your, there's something wrong there.
Mario Tarabbia 22:14
Yeah, just to even just to take another step back, like one of the frameworks kind of ways I love to think about it is like ability and motivation. And you know, if if someone doesn't know you exist, they can't talk about your product, whether they're a tech partner or service partner. So you have to solve some initial ability problems, like, you need to give someone the ability to know what you are, you need to give them the ability to be proficient in talking about you, if someone asks about you. And you can have all the ability tools in the world, you can have all the tactics and tools for ability in the world. But if someone isn't motivated, if you're just not the top of their list today, or tomorrow, they're not going to participate. They're not going to get through the things you need them to get through. So then the second piece of the equation is just how do you also do something that's motivating? You know, we can all sit on a call with someone and tell them, hey, here's what we do. But if the next thing is you need them to actually go be a part of your ecosystem and be a participant and you're a participant in there, it's equally like we build ecosystems, like each person participating in each other's at the same time. And in order to motivate someone I mean, at least one of the great ways to do that is to just ask like, Hey, what are you struggling with? What's like, top three things on your plate? You know, if it's a sales rep, they might say, Legion, you know, I'm trying to figure out Legion right now, if it's a tech partner, and they might say something around the integration, even like, oh, like, Man, I need a sandbox account. I don't know. Like, there's just things that don't come up until you ask the question of what can I do to help you? What can I give you? Like, I mean, it, it's kind of, you know, it's kind of a vulnerable question to like, ask someone in a business setting, hey, what do you need? What do you need from us? Like, what can I give you right now to help you in this exact moment that you think I can help you with? And if you can identify that, whatever the most important thing is to them, and genuinely, maybe it's as easy as just a tactic. Maybe you're just sharing some best practices. Man, I'm struggling with this, like, I can't figure out how to do this. And you're like, Whoa, we solved that over here. Let me tell you how we did that. That sort of knowledge sharing that approach, like starting with that, ultimately, is going to get you someone more motivated than not. And that helps move the whole thing forward for you. Whatever it is, you're asking them to do, whether it's part of your ecosystem, or
Jared Fuller 24:16
the eye care campaign, right, Isaac?
Isaac Morehouse 24:17
Yeah, you know, it's funny journey you mentioned, you know, making making people feel a certain way and making them feel loved making them feel cared for. That's also I think, an integral part of the strategy internally. So like, let's say you're a marketer. You have to adopt a culture of making your partners famous, making your customers famous, which requires like this default mindset that gets really excited by those people winning and by those people feeling good. And one of the ways to do this is to make your team feel good. When they make your partners feel good. We have we have a channel a Slack channel and partner Hackard Jerry I'd set up from day one called hacker love. And it's just anytime anyone's feeling excited and motivated by something we did. Maybe we included them in the newsletter, or we had an article or it can be indirect, it can be more just related to I'm so glad to hear so many people talking about partnerships. Finally, this has made me feel more invigorated in my job, we screenshot it and we share it. And it builds this culture where like that, that channel, whenever there's a notification in that channel, that's like the most exciting channel and all of slack, you want to go look and see, how did we make somebody feel good? How did we make somebody's day, and that's become that it's like, it becomes part of the culture. And so if you can sort of help your team feel excited for the success of partners, even if it doesn't, even if there's not an immediate translation into, here's how it affects our bottom line, right? Everybody's gonna get excited about the revenue numbers going up, deleting them, that's easy. But if you can inculcate a culture of like, let's be thrilled when our customers and our partners when that's, that's, and people talk about, like, you know, you want you have to make
Jared Fuller 26:10
it you feel it before you're doing business. I think that's the point. Isaac, right. Like, if you're a customer coming to the table, and you see this business is highlighting everyone else and not themselves. Yep. I think that's the kind of business that cares.
Isaac Morehouse 26:21
Yep. And it's inspiring, right? I mean, look at look at Nike, like some of the greatest marketers of all time. Yep. They're gonna, they're gonna brag about, you know, what people what athletes are doing, they're gonna have their partners, the athletes that are partnering with them with shoes. They're just going about their business doing doing their sport and inspiring people, and they just happen to be wearing Nikes. It's not like, hey, look, what Nike helped this guy do on the basketball court. It's like, Hey, look at what this guy did on the basketball court. That's totally
Jared Fuller 26:48
why they killed it at this game. Like, let's imagine the case study for like a Steph Curry, Isaac, and Under Armour, like Under Armour actually trying to say that they can take any credit for Steph Curry, right?
Isaac Morehouse 27:01
Yep, it'd be it'd be it'd be really like gauche and tasteless if they tried, right?
Mario Tarabbia 27:08
I mean, after he got those glasses, he did start shooting better. I can believe him shooting such great baskets without even being full 2020. There's a you know, in management, there's like a, like a practice of like, like, we say it all the time at partner pages like train and motivate, train and motivate like, you have to give people the tools and the ability to educate themselves and become better at their job. But you also have to motivate them. And most motivation isn't monetary. Like yeah, we there is monetary reward. But a lot of its intrinsic. It's this journey you're on like, personally, if it's your career, it's like, do I feel like I'm growing? I'm learning? Am I doing more things that are interesting to me? Do I work for a manager, I like working for this, this whole journey that you're on. And train. And motivate is the same for relationships outside of your business as well, like you can train your partners till you're blue in the face. But if you're not motivating them, you still aren't getting results. I think a lot of people just miss what motivation actually means. Because you're not just I mean, there are monetary rewards. But there's generally things more important intrinsic things, things that they're struggling with, like, you know, a goal that is maybe causing them stress that you can help execute on, or something simple, like something simple, just like like you said it earlier, like spotlights. content, like just throwing something out there first to move the thing forward. You have this some I mean, in partnership, we always joke about the prisoner's dilemma where like, nobody wants to make the first move classic Prisoner's Dilemma situation. Or you can make the first move and say, Hey, we're prepared for this. Like, we actually have a systematic answer to this, like, every time we engage with someone outside of our organization, we give, and we give first. And we do that because that's what we want. We want you we want that type of relationship. So we're acting the way we want to be treated golden rule. And furthermore, it's empathetic. You're showing that you care and you're building relationship and you are in it for a long time, like partnerships are not weeks. They're months. They're not months. They're like quarters, and they're not quarter, they're years if they go well. And with that in mind, you know, you're running the marathon, not the sprint. It's not just hey, what can you What have you done for me lately? It's like, let's look at the history of what we've done together. Let's make it let's keep building on our timeline.
Jared Fuller 29:16
Mario, I have a couple questions. Have you ever done Vipassana? No, I just feel like you could lead one of those retreats that like turn business leaders that had gone bad. Like totally had gone off the deep end of like, they experienced some growth in that ground, their team, you know, through the meat grinder of like, you know, hyper growth, and you're just like, Look, you think that works, but then you experienced burnout and you realize it doesn't work, right. And then they experienced the layoffs, etc. It's like, here's this other way,
Isaac Morehouse 29:46
Jared, I'm just envisioning you talking to somebody being like, Isaac, we got to send them into Mario. If Jared ever sends you to Mario, it means that he thinks you're losing your way.
Jared Fuller 29:59
Yeah, you're Your way, like you're, you've got too caught up in the machinery. And you don't understand you don't understand that it's a system, right? The machinery makes you feel like you're in control, you're you're driving the car. And then when you realize, oh, I'm actually a part of the system, you're not, you have to let go of control. And you have to operate by this different way. Okay, second question, Mario. But you might have been the VP of Sonic. So you just have a very, like, I love the demeanor. Second question. Have you ever read or not read? I guess it's a TED Talk. Simon Sinek. Start with Why. And I think he's published a few things on it. I don't know if he has a book on it. But
Mario Tarabbia 30:34
I haven't No, I know the author. I know the book. I've seen it on several people's bookshelves. I haven't read it personally.
Isaac Morehouse 30:40
This is Mario. By the way. This is this is the way that my really good friend TK Coleman always answers that type of question. He says, I have interacted with the ideas in that book.
Jared Fuller 30:54
Well, the reason the reason why so start with why it's this very simple diagram, it's a very powerful speech that actually changed my life. Back in the early 10s. Now I'm going to read in 2010 to 2011. Whenever it came out, it truly did changed my life, because I understood something fundamental about marketing, which is marketing requires people and people have to care. Like that means like, the four employees at your company or the 400. And if they don't understand why, it's really hard for that to come across. I think if you approach everything just from that simple like, hey, the way that you were describing that, hey, we have an answer. And we treat people the way that we want to be treated, we give first, and we practice the golden rule. And those are the types of people that we want to work with. That's the first time I ever heard you say that, I just repeat it back to you imagine how scalable that is? And in terms of like, starting with why that's like a customer experience, why? It's it's much bigger than just partnerships. It's like, oh, like, that's what made Tony Shea was Zappos great, right? Just, hey, we're gonna care about that's what made Amazon great, like Amazon's number one principle is the customer. Right? It has always been the customer, and how you treat them? I mean, it's indicative of everything else. And I think if you were to utilize this more base principle for relationships, the way you were describing it, I think that is actually a very universal Business Management principle. That is, I don't know, maybe emotional, logical wise, bringing a mental model. The why
Mario Tarabbia 32:28
is the Venn diagrams coming together? Yeah, I think there is, in fact that Tony Shea, it's like, you know, it's, there's this great book on positioning, and it's like, what are you in the mind of your consumer, and it talks about, you know, I think the example is beer, and like, someone creates a beer light, and it's like, all of a sudden via light is taking over the market. It's like, okay, this is the light beers in the mind, the consumer is healthier. You're when you get a customer as a SaaS company, you're, you're the partner manager, or a partner, marketer, or leader, and your business just acquired someone. It's not just vendor to customer relationship, like, it is a partnership. Like they're like, Okay, I'm relying on you now to help me do this activity well, and to get the results. We've talked about the job that you that we're hiring you for. And in the mind of that customer, that business is now there, like Bridge to Success. And, you know, it takes a village. You know, I think people said that about partnerships before. And I don't think like it's very village, you'd be like, cool, like, go read the documentation, and let us know, if you have questions. There's more you can do there. And I think if you talk to customers about what they think, like having, hey, like, we know, your platform can do this, but not this, like, Who can we integrate to do this? Hey, we know your platform does this, but we can't figure it out. Is there someone that knows how to do this around your platform that's certified by you like those sorts of other pieces, because the customer doesn't want to just be told, Hey, go go read the manual. They want to be told, like where do I go in order to get the outcome. And I think partners fill the gaps. You know, there's a support gap. There's a functionality gap. People who you've formed relationships with foreign advance of this particular customer are there for your customers, and it's just a matter of timing in just brokering this complicated three part system so that it works every time. Luckily, you can do it. I mean, it gets done every day. Look at Salesforce, and some of the other shining examples of that that are out there. Yeah, it does happen.
Isaac Morehouse 34:16
It's funny the it's difficult to game this right. So like you could you could read the you know, your first giver advantage article, for example, and be like, Okay, great. This is a growth hack, and it is a growth hack. But if you're doing it disingenuously it has this weird way of like, not quite working right? It's almost like that's like the paradox you have to mean it. In order for it to you can't be you can't be pretending to be something just pretending to be generous just so that someone gives you something it has a weird way of not working right and in my in my previous company is really funny. We were we were in this phase where our sort of content and marketing strategy everyone started get like really into the weeds about like, how do we, how do we create SEO optimized content and all this stuff and it just got like, stressful, no one was enjoying it, everyone was bogged down. Finally I just said, Alright, forget all that. Forget it. Let's, and we were we were in the business of helping people early in their careers, get jobs and things. So how about everybody on the team, think of like three companies that you genuinely love. And if you weren't working here, your top three companies you'd love to go work for, write a blog post about why you love them, and why you think they'd be a great place to work. Because our audience, early people in careers, one of the questions I ask all the time is, what are some cool companies. And so let's just, let's just do that, who cares? I don't care about SEO, or any of that stuff. We weren't partners with any of these companies. So we just started publishing all these blog posts, why MailChimp would be a great place to work, you know why stripe would be a great place to work, why would and they were written by members of the team genuinely saying, This is why I would love to work there. And we meant it. And guess what happens? Those blew up. And to this day, we're not even maintaining the site where they were posted. They're like, number one results if you search, like work at MailChimp, and these companies started tweeting, oh, my gosh, thank you, this is such a nice article emailing us partnerships came out of it, right. And it was kind of like one of those throw up our hands. Because we're so tired of trying to game the SEO thing. Let's just generously say out loud companies that we genuinely love and think are awesome. And give them free publicity. Basically, if there's something that happens, or something magical, like you said, word abundance mindset.
Mario Tarabbia 36:30
And you can get tactical about it. I mean, you have a funnel, right? You I mean, we want to have a funnel, if you don't have the funnel yet, start measuring, let's get a funnel going, we need a baseline, once, you know, hey, this is what it looks like when people do this thing in my partner program. Here's when they get on that first call with me, here's when they get to this next step, and so on. And you identify wherever that biggest drop off is in your your quantitative metrics. And you insert the give first mentality into that particular Oh, sorry, guys gonna fall into that particular place where the funnel drops off, you basically say, hey, you know, people aren't engaging with us what's going on, it's probably because they're not motivated, because they're not seeing a dotted path towards mutual benefit. They're just seeing a one way street, and you talk to any partner manager. And I think the, the terminology two way street comes up, like 90% of the conversations I have, like, Oh, we're trying to figure out both sides of this, you know, it's a coin, it's two sides of the same coin, it's a street, there's two ways on it, like we got to give to get, and that mentality takes you really far. And it's it is that marathon versus the sprint approach. It's like keeping your partners fueled and charged, while you're also getting things that you need from your system that you set up as well, because you are a business and there is a go to market strategy here. And ultimately, the funnel needs to convert well, and this also helps at each stage of your funnel, you start at the top, you get more people through the top, and it's going to influence the bottom of the funnel. Without getting too specific into the actual, like marketing metrics. That's just like the general rule of like, it is a mentality. But it is also tactical, because like motivation must be there, you can train partners until you're blue in the face, but you have to do something that gets people excited about working with you, and it keeps you top of mind.
Jared Fuller 38:10
Let me throw something at you, Mark, I'd love to hear your response to this. It's kind of like I say the same things over and over again, until either I make myself believe them. Or they get sharpened, you know, battle tested in the field. One of the one of these things is something around compound interest. Like sales to me, it's just you start a new sales job. And you're starting at zero, right? There's no there's nothing that benefits you have to do year one, year two, year three, year four, like you're really Day Zero. But if you really do partnerships, right, in an industry, you can really take something to the next position, the next career move, etc, right? There's some compound interest. And if you think about the word account, the word account means a company. But the word account can also mean like a checking or business account. And I've always thought, well, the best kind of accounts are ones where you can make deposits, and ultimately make withdrawals. But you can never make a withdrawal. Before you've made a deposit. Like just that simple of a concept like give, give, give, get not just give, get Give, give give get meaning I'm earning more interest by giving into this account. It's compounding. So whenever I make my withdrawal, my withdrawal has a greater return than where I could have otherwise allocated. That deployment. That feels like something that's much bigger that's tied to like the emotional side and the logical side. You can just because you've thought about this a lot. I'd love to hear your take on on
Mario Tarabbia 39:45
that. I love the word compounding. Who doesn't love a good compounding thing? I think you know to quote someone who says it really well. I think it's if you guys are ever reading the Vols stuff.
Jared Fuller 39:59
That's it. You know what, that's why we get along so much a navall Raava Khan,
Mario Tarabbia 40:03
he's got some great stuff. That's why That's why you're the Whisperer. Maybe read the ball as this, you know, you got to play a long term game with long term minded people, which is a really simple way to just say like, short term is short term long term can get you something that compounds and like relationships, compound knowledge compounds up there it is, you got his book. Yeah, and it's probably written in that book, I'm paraphrasing it. But the reality is, is like the first year you get to know someone, your friends, that's great. The second year, you start opening up being a little more vulnerable, you start to learn about each other, you start to support each other man, the third and the fourth and the fifth years, like that's where the really good high value life support comes from. And like just that, that enrichment. And, you know, investing is similar, you know, put it in the market, watch its compound. Look at Warren Buffett, you know, he's got a strategy for that. But also in relationships with partners, it compounds, which is why I think what we're kind of saying here is that there's a value to just showing up and doing the thing that doesn't take away from the relationship over and over again, and scaling that the important thing is scaling it because if you figure this out, and you're doing everything manually, it's all like one on one phone calls, like you can only talk to so many people in a week before you're you just have no more time left on your calendar. So then the question is, okay, great. Like, I believe, like, what do I do to scale this thing? And how do I how do I give that scale? And those are the types of places where we got to turn to technology for help. Because, you know, one plus one equals three in partnerships. And then we scale that, you know, with a tool that can automate something for us or provide something that we just can't manually do every time and it becomes a part of this system, you have the high touch stuff and the low touch stuff. Yeah, so there's just some ideas, I think about
Isaac Morehouse 41:41
it. It's funny, you said, figure out how to scale it is something I've been thinking about today, in particular, actually funny enough, that there are sort of two things that need to scale. One is the actual procedures that you alluded to, if you're manually doing everything with humans, it can't scale. So you need to find ways to automate and use technology to scale any of those processes. There's also like the judgment, the decisions of what activities to do, that has to scale. And if it's always somebody telling you, okay, now do this, now do this, that doesn't scale. And so what you need the sort of human or social equivalent of what software does on the procedural side is culture. Culture scales, if you have a culture of giving, you don't have to tell everybody to do it all the time, because they come into the company. And they just like get acculturated, oh, it's normal around here, to behave in this way. And to do this, and so then you don't have to train and tell people bullet point by bullet point, right. It's like when you have a new employee, and they get acculturated, and this is this is how fast people in this company respond to communications, you don't have to tell them respond within however many hours because the culture sort of does the heavy lifting for you. It's a scalable mechanism. So it's like scaling the procedures and processes with software, and then scaling the kind of like, what do the humans involved do? And how do they decide what to do? That has to be a cultural thing, you have to create that culture and let it do the heavy lifting. So you don't have to explicitly train every employee on every action they should take. Well, what's
Jared Fuller 43:20
Mario? What's the first four letters of culture?
Isaac Morehouse 43:26
Give was a trick question.
Jared Fuller 43:30
No, no, no, no, it called right. I mean, the point behind a cult is that people don't have to have a rulebook. Yeah. Right. Like, they they believe. And people follow people, they believe, it's just a much more believable thing. So people that care and they give, it's just like, oh, there's just a much more believable person. Like, why would they do this? If they didn't care? Like, I'm trying to figure this out? This person's helped me multiple times. What's the catch? It's like, no, that's, that's why those things tend to work versus just this the transactional relationship that doesn't have compound interest, right? That doesn't follow the golden rule. You're, you're really like, man, every time I interact with this person, they're trying to get something out of me.
Mario Tarabbia 44:19
You strange you you've
Jared Fuller 44:20
had your boss lately, there's, there's
Mario Tarabbia 44:21
already something really hard to you, you know, you're not excited about getting on the horn with that person the next time. Yeah, and, you know, we talked a lot about like, the, the high level stuff that like, you know, sometimes you got to hear like a good nugget and like stare at a wall for a while until it sinks in, and then like you can internalize it and maybe work that into your strategy. You know, all those little kernels ultimately, like come out in our day to day interactions. When we start building our program. When we started thinking about structuring it or we started thinking about who we're going to talk to and how we're going to pitch we're going to pitch it and making it scalable. Definitely is the part that comes after making it work. They make it work, make it scalable, kind of hit Tip for tat, and then grow, you know, everyone goes through the different phases in their partner journey of like zero to one, one to 100. And then like 100 to infinity. And each each stage of that process has different things you have to give, or you want to give or that you different problems that you're addressing different places where you need to give, like a great example is if you're just let's say, you're just starting out and you're like, I want to maybe find some great people to work with, you know, how do I engage them, give them something high level that can get you engaged, let's say that they're already engaged with you and give them something that they want from you that they're asking for, because they reached out to you. Let's say you've got this great brand, and people are really leaning in. They're like, man, we need to be circling around this platform, because they're bigger than us. And we can grow with them. Answer that question, how can they grow with you? So every stage of your business, as you grow into platform, like your gift can change, because people will look at you a little bit differently. And it becomes like, what are you in the mind of your partner? And I think that's the ultimate question. If they if you can answer what you are in the mind of your partner, and deliver on that value prop consistently. And that just puts you in a great position for them to think the same thing about you, what can we be for you?
Jared Fuller 46:07
100% Mario, this is like meditations with Mario. Like you, you are the business coach that so many people need, because you did a very good job of the tech, like you just anchored with that mental model from the beginning, emotional and logical. And you were like writing that line between wisdom this entire time. Dude is so great to connect back up with you. And I'm actually gonna use this as a quick transition. Because when the prep call you were, you were like, Hey, is this live? Because we I actually tried to do this live handful of times. And it never really worked. The format wasn't quite right. But Isaac came up with a great way to do something live that I'm really excited about is basically we'd have a party every first Friday. I don't know if you've had First Fridays in some towns, some towns have First Fridays. So like, 4pm, you can have everyone sign ours. Outside, we're gonna do, we're gonna be doing our first First Friday where we're doing every single First Friday, we're gonna have like a two hour event where we kind of party hang out, I say party, geek out, have fun, you know, talk about partnerships do the stuff that we're doing here. And we have our first one on the first Friday of August. So this week, August 5, and I'm super excited about that. So to register, it's super simple. We only ever have one add on partner hacker. This is our own ad. So just go to partner hacker.com. And you can register right there. Come hang out with us and the folks that keep flow. And then a special special surprise retreat. I think it's someone that you know, Mario, I believe you do anyways. It's Kevin rahasia. Yeah, so So Kevin, Kevin and I started the podcast, the first 10 episodes together, Kevin and I are coming back together. So for any oh geez out there that we're listening to the first 10 episodes and remember, Kevin, Kevin and I are finally back together first Friday, we get to catch up after all sorts of cool stuff. And if you don't know Kevin and our story, how like I really got into partnerships. It's phenomenal. He's an Alaskan crab fisherman tattooed head to toe and it was like the HubSpot partner executive that is just like a one. Like, he took all of his Alaskan crab fisherman money. And he dumped the iPhone came out, he got the check and Steve Jobs dropped. He put it all in Apple stock that day. Like Kevin is just one of the most crazy people ever. So I'm super excited to hang out with you all for First Friday. I feel
Isaac Morehouse 48:20
like Kevin Kevin coming back. This would be like if, like Eddie Van Halen coming back to replace David Lee Roth, who had replaced him for van, you know, something like that. I don't know, Sammy Hagar. We got I don't know how I feel about this. Kevin's gonna He's gonna take my job. But no, I'm really excited. I love that you mentioned the first Friday that some cities do because they shut down the street to cars, and then everybody can kind of walk and mill. And that's kind of what it's what we're doing. It's like, alright, let's let's shut out everything else for a minute. And everybody come out and mill around in the streets in the streets of partnerships and have a little have a little party wants to
Mario Tarabbia 49:00
drink some wine or maybe something else. Whatever you drink. Yeah. Go ahead.
Jared Fuller 49:04
Go ahead up your city. So we'll we'll be out before the happy hour starts. We're kind of starting in early one. But Mario, thank you so much, man. I'm really enjoying getting to work with you and bring your message to the world together because it's, it makes me feel good about what we do.
Mario Tarabbia 49:20
Yeah, I love seeing the movement, buying partner hacker. You know, the ecosystem. movement in general is so exciting. So just glad to be here with you guys sharing some content on it.
Isaac Morehouse 49:29
Sign me up for your sweat lodge if you if you launch it.
Jared Fuller 49:34
All right, everybody, partner up. We'll see you all next time. You can catch Mario. He's writing some columns now on partner hacker.com Check out partner page. We will see you all next week. And at first Friday, August 5 Go to partner hacker.com register there. Peace