New business won’t last long if it’s one-sided. Both companies must benefit from any partnership for it to be worthwhile. Don’t focus on being top dog—focus on establishing an effective team with your new client.
Sometimes that’s difficult to do because of how you view your role in your new business development. If you’re in charge of the initial prospecting, you’re more concerned about determining whether companies are a fit for your services. If you’re in sales, you’re trying to get them to close. If you’re in marketing, you want to gauge their interest. In other words, you may feel like you’re not responsible for maintaining those business relationships, just fulfilling your part in the relay race and then handing off the baton.
When you look at your role as isolated, your partnerships are more likely to fail. The good news is, you don’t need “a company full of A-players” to turn this around—just the ability to work well together, says Inc. That includes how well you listen, if you can establish trust, and whether you are authentic.
All of this starts at the prospecting level. If you’re a proponent of using email to start new business conversations, that listening comes across in how well you answer your prospects’ questions and keep your answers brief. Trust is built through sending them informative content, rather than giving them the hard sell. Authenticity is shown by doing what you say you’ll do, whether it’s showing up for a phone call on time or providing the information that a prospect requested from you.
Use your role to establish an effective team—both with your potential clients and with your own coworkers—in order to drive new business discussions and solidify successful, long-term partnerships.