Every now and then we should all read some of the stories on the Darwin Awards website. This site chronicles strange and often bizarre tales of how people find a way to eliminate themselves from the human gene pool. There is a parallel for those of us in Business Development.
Each of us has a pool of prospects, clients and opportunities (our gene pool) in which we are investing our personal and professional futures. At some point, all of us have dealt with unpleasant situations or people for a lengthy period of time. Bad prospects and customers have negative short-term and long-term effects on the Business Development Professional. No one finds it rewarding or even healthy to continually engage with difficult people and challenging situations for an extended period of time … regardless of the compensation involved.
In our careers, we all need a few bad prospects or clients to help us appreciate the really good ones. It really doesn’t take any more effort to develop positive relationships with great prospects and clients than it does to maintain a mediocre relationship with a bad prospect or client. From three decades in BD, we’ve learned there are always better prospects or clients to serve, if we have the courage to move on.
If you find yourself with a disproportionate number of bad prospects or clients, there are a couple of things you need to consider. First of all, you are the only person common to all those situations. So, this says something about you. Perhaps you haven’t pictured yourself working with a higher level of prospect and customer.
Stretch your thinking and always be looking for a better prospect. Learn to improve your gene pool. This change in thinking will raise your game and force you to be better at Business Development each and every day.