When to “Cut Bait” in the Business Relationship Game?

What is the one asset that is common to everyone, and arguably the most valuable?


Time does not discriminate.  It doesn’t care about your To-Do List.  Your Bank Account.  Your Brand Name.  Time just keeps on ticking.

So if time is so valuable, when do you know when you should walk away from a potential business relationship that doesn’t seem to be “bearing fruit?”

  • 5 attempts at connecting/meeting?
  • 10?  20?
  • How about if you measure in years?  1 year?  2?  A decade?

What if the answer is NEVER?

The past year+ LM Foods has been in in investment mode.  With that, comes the pleasure, and and in all candor, CHALLENGE of seeing all different types of sales people.  There’s a real bell curve with sales pros, A’s, B’s, C’s, and unfortunately a few D’s And F’s.  But like all professionals, there are always 1 or 2 that go to the top of the list and many would consider elite, “A Players.”

A-Players are the difference makers.  When you find them, you hang on to them and you nurture the relationship for as many years as possible.

One sales pro comes to mind.  He’s called on LM Food’s for over a decade, and if measured by a typical metric (revenue), he had nothing to show for a decade worth of knocking on the door.  A few elements change (ownership, growth, etc) and in 10 short months sales that approach 7 figures.  At a PREMIUM price point no less!  Did he magically get better, or did circumstances change where his core approach was simply valued today where it was not YESTERDAY?

It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is the fact that many people would not have the “GRIT” to hang in there, keep pressing, and keep adding value to potential relationships with a long-term view.  They are playing the short game, chasing today’s $ and prioritizing their time and energy accordingly.  

Business is very much a Long game, despite short term pressures that exist in many businesses.  It is a game of relationships, and sometimes those relationships don’t translate to money TODAY. Or tomorrow.  Sometimes it may even takes a decade.

So there’s an argument to made in the game of relationships.  Most will cut bait at some point.  Very few will NEVER cut bait.

I bet 90% of those in the NEVER category would be A-Players.  And those are the one that you want on your team.  

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