When it comes to relationships I am a big believer in compromise. If you really think about it there is no other way to successfully steer your way through the complications of life than to practice a little give and take.
But when it comes to anything else I think compromise is dangerous especially in business development. Let slip on quality, service levels, values and your promises and you have effectively decided to settle for the ordinary, the substandard and the third-rate.
I have a 1 minute podcast on the subject of not compromising when it comes to your team. Whilst this is a crucial element in your drive for greatness it takes longer to achieve. One area where this is not the case is in business development where “small and immediate” are the words of the day.
Here are three small but powerful ways you can avoid compromise in your business development activities: –
- Never make a promise you can’t keep: to do this you need a) a complete understanding of what you are promising; b) an accurate understanding of what your current capacity is and c) a system to record the “what and the when”. Compromise on this and the effect on trust and relationships can be devastating.
- Always pass on the bad news: sometimes situations conspire against us and we are unable to deliver what we have promised. When this happens contact the people concerned, tell them, explain why and then suggest an alternative course of action. Remember: only when things go wrong can we truly show how good we are!
- Small details have to be right: there is a psychology here. If we get the small and easy things right our clients will assume that the bigger things will also be right. This is also true in the reverse of course. Emails drafted without spelling or grammatical mistakes; notes taken during a meeting and a summary email sent; small preferences remembered and acted upon and so on.
Now, here’s an interesting thing to close on. Easy to read, even easier to dismiss as obvious but soooooo many people do not do them. As with many things it isn’t what you know that counts it’s what you do.
I think compromise should carry a government health warning don’t you?