By Annie Pettit

One of most common acronyms you’ll hear among business developers is ABC – Always Be Closing. Always be finalizing a sale. Always be bringing in the bucks. Always be doing whatever needs to be done to close that deal.

Just as this goal is, the best goals are always actionable and measurable. Job sold. Invoice paid.

But a goal of reeling in dollar bills on a fishing hook isn’t something that resonates with me. Instead of paying attention to the client and helping them succeed with the most relevant solutions for them, this goal seems to focus only on the dollars.

Successful business deals are grounded in trusted relationships and genuine partnerships. Long-term strategic partnerships allow you to better understand the nuances of a company, understand their long-term goals, and learn from past successes and failures so that you can propose solutions that are uniquely appropriate for them. Those long-term partnerships based on collaboration, respect, and trust save time and energy, and allow you to create solutions that could never otherwise be dreamed of.  Long-term relationships that never truly close are better growth strategies for both partners.

So stop trying to Always Be Closing. Instead, focus on Always Be Collaborating.