As you’re getting started in BD, you may be eager to sign your first sumo. Maybe you even feel some pressure to succeed. That pressure is good and will propel you to success, but don’t get so focused on sealing a deal that you’ll do anything to make it a reality. Sometimes the best decision is to turn down a deal.
I walked away from a really big sumo early in TrueCar’s history. The other company was insisting that they co-own our intellectual property (IP) as we built out our business. That was an overreaching request and was completely unnecessary. It was ego driven, and this large insurance company thought that they could own us simply by agreeing to work with us. These deals are never worth it, yet it can be very hard for an entrepreneur to walk away from such a large opportunity. However, if the deal is unfair, you must walk away. Fast. It’s not worth it and will ultimately ensure misalignment in the partnership, and from there, it all breaks down. If the deal is unfair at the outset, it’s only going to get more unfair, not less.
BD can accelerate your sales, creating a springboard effect that vaults your sales into higher and higher levels. Once you identify and partner with a sumo that knows how you fight, knows how you think, and recognizes your strengths and your weaknesses, you’ll be unstop- pable. Landing that sumo is the first step, and once you’ve actually started partnering and collaborating, the sky is the limit as far as your sales are concerned.
I’ve seen it happen.