The Importance of Dating

Darth Vader doesn’t date. Mind you, based on a poll I saw, Anakin Skywalker and Padme’s on-screen “romance” was judged the least believable ever – so Anakin barely dated either. But they – and “American style” 20thC manipulation marketing – belong in a galaxy a long time ago far, far away.

In our galaxy, here and now, different principles need to apply. In the second part of The Tao of BizDev YouTube trilogy on how Business and hence BizDev has changed in the 21stC I emphasise the importance of dating as an antidote to many of the challenges of 21stC business development.

The Tao of BizDev - Dating

In talking to folks subsequently it’s clear that many – or even most – agree, but few understand all the ramifications. I believe there are five main reasons why dating is vitally important (it is after all The Tao of BizDev’s second principle}:

  1. Dating and Search. If you think about it the whole dating process in real life is a search process. In the interwebly connected world search is terribly terribly important. You need to search for folks you can serve and folks need to search (and find) you and your products/services that will help them.
  2. Dating and mutual fit. The above point flows into dating as “Venn diagram” – you need to find where your company’s “circle” and another company’s “circle” overlap.Where you have something you can give to them and they have a – er – need that needs filling!
  3. Dating and making an effort! So far so good. But being “anti-salesy” or “not salesy” or “search driven” can go too far.  Wimpy efforts will not find top partners – it’s dating maaan.  And dating is about making an effort – you put on your best threads etc, you have to try and look and be your best. If you are the active one (and you are if you need the deal) you need to go out there and not just hunt but seduce.
  4. Dating and a world of overload. In a world of the five excesses – excess information, excess competition, excess choices, excess insecurity and excess stress – the only way you will get the deal is if you generate trust. How do you generate trust in a nascent relationship?  By demonstrating, by all your conduct and actions, that you are trustworthy as well as capable of a fine tap dance.
  5. Dating as prelude to a long-term relationship. Finally once we have landed the deal, enjoyed the honeymoon and come home we need the relationship to carry on being mutually beneficial. We need not only continued relations but in business in addition the invaluable market intelligence that will feed our next iteration of products and services. Just like human relationships if one forgets dating completely, thinking that is over and done with – well wo betide your chances of making your silver anniversary 😉  Stockbrokers always realised this –  they spring to mind as being folks who never forgot the need to entertain and seduce their clients. I guess literally in some cases – as principal or agent – but those are stories for another day 🙂

What are you like at dating – for real and in business?

Which of the above five are your naturally good at and which did you need reminding of?


2 thoughts on “The Importance of Dating

  1. Sabine McNeill

    Most delightful, Mike, and most fitting.

    Am definitely not the ‘seducer’ in terms of pestering and following up. But then I feel I’ve been ahead of my time and the Zeitgeist needed to catch up with me or my life purpose wanted me to embrace my ‘social life with meaning’ to get some distance from my ‘conceptual heaven’.

    When I see your blog, I do regret that I never kept my 64 hexagrams of Tao of Computing on a 5 1/4 floppy…

    Can’t wait to have coffee with you!

  2. TBD Post author

    HI Sabine.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think many folks instinctively do not like the “Dark Side” 20thC/”used car salesman” approach. Of course this Dark Side is continuing into the 21stC but also the Light Side. Coffee to follow 🙂



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