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The “Three C’s” to Success

January 13, 2011

Industry Observations

I’ve been doing business development for a long time and it seems as if you can boil success down to three “C’s”: Competence, Cost and Chemistry.

With all the competition that exists, the first two C’s are almost a given. If you don’t come across as knowledgeable about your prospective client’s industry and your aren’t cost competitive it doesn’t matter how good the chemistry is. Well at least in most cases. Unfortunately we’ve all experienced a situation where on the surface you appeared to be the winner but then because the CEO went to college with a competitor of yours, you lost the business based on that relationship.

If all things are equal it’s the the third “C” or chemistry that plays such a vital role in trying to win new business. If the company you are trying to do business with or the person working at that company just doesn’t click with you, well you probably aren’t going to do business with them. This is why it is so important to try to understand the prospective client’s corporate culture and to determine how well this culture aligns with your own. If it does, then that could be a good indicator that you might have a shot at the business. It’s this last “C” that separates those who have success in new business from those who do not.  Your ability to get along with the indviual whom you are trying to sell will make the difference between a successful relationship or an unsuccessful one.

As with all good things, developing a relationship that may lead to a successful business transaction takes time. It’s not unlike dating and courting your future spouse. After all you didn’t ask her to marry you after the third date.

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