Nearbound Daily #524: The Psychology of Partnering

Nearbound Daily #524: The Psychology of Partnering

Andrea Vallejo & Ella Richmond 2 min

The psychology of partnerships

“Partnerships acknowledge that nobody buys in isolation.”
Franz-Josef Schrepf, Strategic Partnerships at StreamYard. 

This statement caught my eye last week when I was scrolling through LinkedIn. Accompanied was an image that looked strikingly similar to a psychology framework I studied back in school called Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory.


Just look at the similarities between these two images!


Ecosystem model versus Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Socioecological framework.


Urie Brofenbrenner developed his Ecological Systems theory to understand human development. According to his theory, an individual’s development is influenced by a series of interconnected environments.


Simplified and translated into B2B language, an individual is surrounded by varying degrees of influence.


Brofenbrenner showed that while each "system" or layer of this ecosystem is interrelated, the layer closest to the individual has the most influence.


This is a principle in psychology that applies to B2B, education, and beyond. Let me repeat that.


Every individual has layers of influence around them. The closer each layer is to the individual, the more influence that person, community, or idea has.


Action: Map out your customer’s layers of influence and make it a priority to partner with each layer, starting with the layers closest to your customer.

Crawl, walk, run partnerships

After building five partner programs from zero to one and reaching $150m+ in ARR, Nelson Wang believes one of the most critical elements of a successful partner program is the crawl, walk, run strategy.


A good crawl, walk, run strategy does four things:

  1. It gives you time in the first phase to lay a solid groundwork for long-term partner success.

  2. It sets proper expectations around timelines and outcomes.

  3. It mitigates risk. You don’t want to try to scale a partner program when you haven’t found a partner market fit based on the customer’s needs.

  4. It sets the stage for efficient resource allocation to ensure sustainable long-term growth.

Crawl—the first 90 days.


In the first 90 days, here are the most important things to get right (use this as a checklist):

Crawl, Walk, Run Strategy 2024-02-22 at 8.04.54 AM

Click here to get FREE access to Nelson’s full crawl, walk, run strategy.

Partner-led = breaking records

Just last week Sam Jacobs, CEO of Pavilion, shared they had a record-breaking January. 

We hit an all-time high for new member enrollment while improving retention and NPS.

He named four factors responsible.

  1. Amazing talent

  2. The power of self-organization

  3. Partner-led growth

  4. IRL events

Post LinkedIn 2024-02-22 at 8.14.19 AM

He followed up with a warning.

If you don’t have a partner strategy, you’re behind. Partnerships lower CAC and drive deeper efficiency with higher win rates.

Read the full post and get involved in the conversation here.

Social Proof-1

Partner leaders, excited to celebrate partner-led.

You’re in the inner circle

Send this Nearbound Daily to someone you trust. Odds are, you’re in their inner circle too.



Andrea Vallejo & Ella Richmond 2 min

Nearbound Daily #524: The Psychology of Partnering

Urie Brofenbrenner developed his Ecological Systems theory to understand human development. The theory also applies to the way buyers buy.

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