Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Marketing People Have Egos Too -- (Why Partnerships Can Have Bitter Breakups)

"Creative" people -- artists, writers, musicians and, yes, perfumers -- can have big and fragile egos. They can be tempermental (though perfumers are often restrained by the corporate environment in which they work.) Some of the greatest promoters (read "sellers"!) have succeeded in making creative people rich by stroking their egos, catering to their whims, and understanding that these "creatives", if handled right, can make the company lots of money.

But what about the marketing artists ... those people who go out and sell it to the public ... who make the cash registers ring? Would it surprise you to hear that THEY have big egos too?

Yesterday I wrote about how a perfume creator with NO selling ability might prosper by getting involved with a person talented in selling. Yes, this suggests a PARTNERSHIP and many fear partnership due to the horror stories that are told about partnerships breaking up. (And, YES, I've gone through that too!)

But look at the "partnership" issue realistically. Some partnerships break up because of dishonesty on the part of one or the other of the partners. But this is a rare. In fact, it is a police matter. In truth, more partnerships break up over EGO issues ... becase marketing people have egos too.

What happens when egos collide? ACCUSATIONS! "You're ripping me off..." the perfumer cries. "No!" says the marketing person, "Look at our agreement!" "But you took advantage of me!" the perfumer shoots back. "Until I met you, you didn't have a pot to piss in!" the now very annoyed marketing person replies. "I made you what you are!" And so it goes. Two egos clashing. Nothing more. No true dishonesty. Just hurt feelings. Feelings that are hurt because one side does not appear to APPRECIATE the contributions made by the otehr side.

How can these problems of partnership be resolved for happy endings? First, both sides need to cool down. Second, a third party, who both sides respect, may need to get involved to LISTEN to what each party is saying and help find a BALANCE between the complaints.

Holding a profitable partnership together makes tremendous good sense as in so many cases, once the partnership breaks up, neither side benefits. In fact, it may be the end to both partners' success.

So how do you keep it all together? Beware the egos! Focus on points of mutual respect. Try to talk things out before they get out of hand. A good partnership can be a very profitable way to do business.

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