As professionals in Business Development we have to take responsibility for the nature of our relationship with our customer. Prevent issues from becoming negative issues by negotiating and agreeing on the rules of engagement at the beginning of the relationship. Create a win-win relationship and everybody succeeds.
Your prospects expect you to communicate your purpose, process and guidelines for doing business up front. Through discussion, discover right away if there are going to be difficulties in any aspect of doing business. Bring out the issues, discuss them and resolve them if possible. If an issue cannot be solved, you must have appropriate rules of engagement established to work around it. Establish your ability to manage a professional Business Development relationship by communicating the requirements and rules early on. This way, both sides can work in a positive and mutually beneficial manner, respecting the investment of each other’s time, resources and desire to seek solutions to problems. Maintain control of your “reasoning adult” side and don’t allow your “emotional child” to take control if something goes wrong because you failed to discuss it up front. Prospects and clients don’t read minds any better than you or I do.
Communicate the rules of the relationship early, avoid misunderstandings and hold yourself fully accountable for the outcome of the relationship.