Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the first ever #BizDevNYC meetup (amazing that there wasn’t already a Biz Dev meetup here). There were some really great questions, and I actually have quite a few takeaways of things I want to implement myself.

One thing that came up that I think warrants further discussion is this:

Is Biz Dev all out warfare? Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed or is everything fair game?

I completely agree that it is your responsibility to feed your family — make sure there is enough food on the table for everyone to eat their fill. I am all about doing what has to be done in order to accomplish this goal, but I draw the line where one panelist forges ahead.

Is it ok to “lie, steal and cheat” in the name of the biz dev as this one panelist put it? Is it ok to do anything and everything “short of a restraining order” to try to make it happen? Should you tell white lies and make up stories of potential partnerships and customers to make your company look better?

I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on this, but for me the answer is clear. I’m going to do whatever it takes to succeed at business development, but I am going to do so in a moral and ethical way. I’ve gone as far as being called a marketing d-bag and I’ve certainly showed up places I don’t belong in order to make things happen, but never at the harm of anyone or anything else.

Our reputation is much more important that any individual sale or partnership. I plan on being in this industry for a long time and avoiding the route of a one-hit wonder, so for me the answer is clear. But to each his own…