If you were to think of business development as a sport, what kind of sport would it be? Football, with all of its intensity, competition and rivalry? Hockey, with its emphasis on hitting the goals? Basketball, with the excitement of making and scoring on a long shot? Baseball, where you have to ‘touch base’ or you are out of the game? Soccer, with the strategy of advancing the ball – and sometimes having it hit you in the head. Tennis maybe, with all of the volleying back and forth that goes on? Golf, with all of its emphasis on focus and concentration – not to mention the occasional frustration? Maybe it’s a little of all of these things, but one thing’s for sure: successful business development is definitely a team sport.
That’s because, as with most things in life, business development requires building and leveraging relationships. It requires collaboration in working together with clients to help them identify problems and find solutions. It involves the give-and-take and sharing of roles and responsibilities. It sometimes requires relying on others to get things done – and the idea that a partnership can allow you to accomplish more than you could have alone. Sometimes it even requires building relationships with other members of your firm, creating a Client team to support your best Clients or a pitch team to acquire new ones.
Of course, the ultimate goal in the game of business development is to have your Client consider you to be part of their ‘team.’ That is how you know you’ve won.