In Business Development, it’s easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble. What you do to establish the rules of the relationship up front is critical for setting the tone for the relationship. Good relationships in Business Development are typically the result of bonding, mutual trust and respect and agreement on the Rules, Rights and Responsibilities of the working relationship. These relationships lead to long-term, multi-year partnerships that benefit both parties. Business relationships that start without clearly establishing the rules often develop into challenging situations that tend to have an underlying degree of uncertainty or lack of an anchor. They seldom blossom into long-term relationships that can benefit both organizations.
Our experience coaching professionals in their Business Development relationships indicates that if the relationship starts well, the work, effort, and resources invested in it will almost always yield a positive return. This is true whether executing a single Business Development process or looking at a long-term relationship. Situations that start off on the wrong foot, awkwardly and incompletely, inevitably get worse over time. At best, the additional effort invested in these marginal relationships seldom return above average results. Take any situation you encounter and scale it on a level of 0 to 10. If a situation starts at a 6 or above, it can turn out to be outstanding with continued hard work. When a relationship starts at a 2, 3 or 4, the best result you will ever get with a considerable amount of effort is a 6 or 7.
Good matters get better, bad matters inevitably get worse.