Jonathan Fitchew

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. There is much we can learn from this day when applied to a business context. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of a couple’s love and affection distilled into one day. But what does one day really do for a relationship, whether it be romantic, platonic or professional?

There is no quick fix for any relationship. Mending fractured ones is a gradual process, but they can be torn down instantly with a throwaway phrase or a misgiven look. I’ve seen deals break down at vital junctures due to an ill-judged comment or action far too many times. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways to avoid a Valentine’s Day massacre this February.

The adage ‘love is blind’ is a saying that chimes well with new business development. Unbeknownst to a prospect, your solution or product may be just what they’re looking for. I try to impress upon my team the lessons I learned in the formative years of my career. When trying to connect with a potential client, there is a fine line to tread between persistence and harassment. If you’ve done your research, you know there’s no need to get flustered over gatekeeper resistance - keep your composure and allow time for a client to recognise their need.

Whether you heartily embrace Valentine’s Day or regard it as a money-spinning novelty, you can’t deny the excitement it brings. When it comes to nurturing existing relationships, it’s sometimes the smallest gesture that goes the furthest. Even the most granular things, such as ensuring client presentation handouts are unruffled in plastic wallets, mark a serious contender from a pretender. Attention to detail is king. Making a pre-determined, well thought-out move look serendipitous is of equal import in both a romantic and business setting.

The key to a strong relationship, be it romantic or professional, is transparent dialogue - the sharing of information between parties. I’ve seen both buyers and sellers withhold key information, which has precipitated the collapse of massive deals. Agreed upon, fixed contact will serve to remedy the loss of information that a scattergun approach to communication presents.

When it comes to creating and developing business relationships, don’t blindly shoot arrows like Cupid. In any industry or business sphere, a little foresight goes a long way.