Your Growth Guide: Why Most People Suck At Business Development With Jay Baer

Why Most People Suck At Business Development With Jay Baer

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Welcome LinkedIn friends! Your weekly insight to grow your relationships and book of business.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay Baer, author of Youtility, as well as Keynote speaker and B2B influencer.

Mo asked Jay:

“What’s your best advice on how we can deepen relationships?

Jay responded:

“I think, first of all, understanding the more transactional you think about the relationship, the more transactional the relationship is going to feel. So I think philosophically, it’s about valuing the relationship as a relationship more than what you’re going to value or what you’re going to yield from that relationship.

See, a lot of people have relationships because they believe it’s going to create some sort of business development victory for them. They have relationships because they believe they’re going to get paid. If that’s your philosophy, ultimately, you’re not going to have deep and rich relationships because people see that coming. You might be really good at hiding it.

Eventually, they understand that you’re here because there’s money at stake. In the same way that dogs can smell fear, potential clients can smell desperation. So the best way to go about this, Mo, is quite literally to build relationships that you want to have because you want to have a relationship. If it ends up that somebody gets paid, great, but if not, that’s okay too. That’s the first piece.

The second piece is to be there before the sale. My friend Chris Brogan and his co-author Julien Smith wrote a book called Trust Agents, It’s terrific. I really recommend it. One of their key tenets is to be there before the sale. The idea is that you are to say – if we want to try and sell something to somebody at some point in the future, build those relationships now even if you don’t have anything to sell or you’re not the right answer today. Maybe someday you will be.

This idea that – Hey, let me build a relationship. “Build” a relationship with you. Then 7 days later, I’m asking if I can send you an invoice. That’s not actually a relationship. See, you might think it is, but it’s not actually a relationship. So, their idea is, to truly build a relationship, you follow people on social media, you comment on their posts because you’re a human being, and you have conversations with them that aren’t about business.

Then eventually, maybe, there will be a commercial relationship, and that’s the keyword, Mo, that nobody actually embraces, the keyword in all of this is eventually. The reason most people suck at business development is because they’re not patient, and in some cases, it’s not their choice. I understand that, but ultimately, it’s because they’re not playing the long game. They are playing the short game and trying to convince themselves it’s the long game, but it’s really not.

So, if you’re trying to figure out what relationships to build today, it should be the relationships that you might try to monetize at a later point in time. When’s the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. When’s the second best time to plant a tree? Today. Relationships work the exact same way. I wrote a whole book about this called Youtility, which is about the fact that marketing is about help, not hype.

If you really want to build deeper and more valuable relationships that yield victories eventually, then it is your responsibility to add all the value to the relationship. People always think of it as a quid pro quo like – well, I’ll give them something if they give me something. No, that’s totally wrong. You give them something every time, and if they choose to give something back, that’s a gravy. That’s their philosophy.”

Dive deeper into the conversation with Jay Baer here.

If you want to build deeper, more valuable relationships that will eventually yield victories, it is your responsibility to add all the value to the relationships.

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Thanks for reading!


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