A great read on the topic of seeking partnerships is the book my friend and colleague Glenn Garnes (find him here - a MosaicHUB member) of Small Business CEO (www.SBCEO.com) wrote called "Let's Not Be Partners". He gives great insight into the questions one should ask and considerations one should make to determine with whom one should pursue for a business partnership.
Thanks, Ronald, for a frank and fascinating question. That stinks, doesn't it? Just by asking you've made an investment of energy and time and it feels pretty unfair when you get blown off. I totally get it.
Folks nailed this disappointing behavior in the comments. (Gayle, Charlie, Anirudn and Wayne, I'm looking at you). Sum it up this way. People just weren't prepared and ready on an emotional and/or tactical level.
As someone who is a business mediator and EQ focused marketer, I see this a lot in my clients. They got a brilliant idea for a product/service and resourcefully reach out for help, a partnership, but don't finish planning the vision. Fixed on the great result they see, they don't dig into the detail and shape the partnership relationship first before asking. Questions like: why do I want/need a partner? What will I do to support this venture? Can I handle it if I get a big response? What's my basis for saying yes and how will I say no to other interested folks?
On the flip side, as an interested party, you have to do your own due diligence. Ask yourself some questions before you invest your time in responding and save some aggravation. What kinds of partners do I work best with? What do I bring to the table and what's that worth? Is this a venture I'm willing to support going forward.
Too many people think of partnerships like speed dating. Make a connection. Get in and get out. It's should be more like a slow romance that leads to a successful marriage of ideas and good results. It's about learning to speak up.
When people mention partnership, they are sometimes not clear on what kind of partnership do they have in mind? This lack of clarity is sometimes the reason, why people dont respond when asked for more information. The communication needs to be crystal clear when we are talking of partnership and how it is going to benefit both the entities in contention.
I am unsure when people stop responding so I will be straight up.
Generally, people as an entire group act in a way that is reflective of you, not them. Individuals can be all kinds of things, but the population is a statistical response.
So, in response to your query, I would have to say people stop responding because of you. If this is a problem, don't be an entrepreneur.
Here is what you need to do.
1) evaluate how you find these people. Are you attracting the wrong people. If so, attract differently.
2) evaluate what you communicate. Is it enticing? If not, then fix what you are communicating.
3) Evaluate how you communicate it. Again, like number 2, correct what is wrong.
As an entrepreneur, I try to only blame myself because then there is something to change and path forward.
I'm surprised that none of the people who commented before me thought of this. By the time the person in question got your request for information they had probably dealt with any number of people who were either not serious or unreasonable. Taking on a partner that that you don't know can be a very stressful endeavor. When you advertise in good faith and then receive replies from strangers who act like they have come to rescue you and you should surrender your entire company to them it makes you not want to respond.You may have come into the mix late and they may have already gotten a partner and just stopped responding. It's also possible that after numerous attempts at closing a partnership deal they just gave up.
Regarding your question... I've found over the past 10 plus years online that there are quite a few folks online, supposedly doing business... looking for others to do business with, but have no idea how to communicate or follow-up with people.
It's more like they're posting their affiliate links all over the internet and praying people will sign-up or buy, rather than taking the time to build relationships and earn whatever they might make. They're just hoping to get lucky, rather than "earn" their way in life.
It is unfortunate, but quite widespread... with recruiters who fail to represent their company and products in a professional manner and leave whoever does happen to buy or sign-up to figure it all out by themselves.
Hopefully, some day they will learn before they quit and blame the industry for their own lack of skills and ingenuity.
Some people are lazy. They panic, ask for partnership, listen to all the 2nd hand advice from others who are just as stuck and then settle for the first answer that is thrown at them. You have to surround yourself with experts in getting the job done, ask for referrals for specific people when you know what your goal is. That is what I do. That is the basis of my company.
I tend to agree with Heidi, Those who indicate a desire to engage in any activity and then fail to follow-up on the opportunity to engage are not likely to engage on a consistent basis and that does not bode well for a productive partnership. The reasons for not engaging, while compelling are far less telling the the lack of action in general.
It's no excuse, but perhaps a reason: they get busy. Too busy. What looks today like a priority sinks lower on the list when something else takes precedence.
Not nice... but it happens.
It doesn't really matter why they don't respond; anyone that's bad at responding isn't someone you want to partner with...!
1) Some develop cold feet.
2) Some others are really not ready for partnership yet and they know it, but they are testing some theory about how many people would respond or what would be the response like
3) Most however don't have a clear business plan and haven't thought through certain things ( like Dennis said) and expect that the would-be partner would come in and work out all the 'boring' things like technology/marketing/monetization etc, now that they have the 'great' idea in place.
Some people fear doing things themselves, which is usually the best way, if you dare go it alone.
So they ask for potential partners and chances are that they may not have a formalized business plan or other significant information that is necessary to provide a prospective partner with a better understanding of what it is they are trying to accomplish. Maybe they simply have a "good idea" that has not been well thought out. Don't take it personally!