I handed someone my business card at a conference, and it identified me as the President of my company. In talking with him a bit, he recommended that I lose the “President” title on my card, and I think he has a very good point that I want to share.
Although it might feel “cool” to hand out business cards to identify yourself as “the main man,” “head honcho,” “big cheese,” or whatever nickname you see fit, it may actually be to your detriment. Whether you are dealing with a vendor, or if you are negotiating a domain purchase or sale, being the decision maker has drawbacks.
When you are dealing with a vendor or a potential vendor, the last thing you want is to be hassled while you are trying to make an important decision. Endless emails and phone calls seem de rigueur, and if the vendor knows you are the person that can decide the fate of a significant agreement, you will continue to be pestered until a decision is made.
Similarly, if you are negotiating a domain deal, you often aren’t given enough time to really digest the acquisition or sale. The person on the other side of the negotiation wants you to move fast so he can close the deal. Trust me, I am usually the person on the other end of the phone or email trying to close the deal.
When you bring a business partner into the equation, whether phantom or real, you slow the negotiation and can relieve some of the inherent pressure that comes with being the decision maker. You can tell a vendor you appreciate his candor, but your partner wasn’t interested. You can also buy some more time in negotiations with a line like, “I need to discuss this with my business partner before giving you an answer.”
Having a business partner can be a solid business move, allowing you to get more than one vested opinion. However, even if you don’t actually have a business partner, there’s nothing wrong with operating like you do have one.
** The caveat is that you should never back out of a deal as a result of this invisible business partner, since you’ll sully your own reputation.