It’s conventional wisdom to separate your work and your love life but apparently that didn’t stop a lot of successful business couples. However, when you learn that a prospect is in a similar situation, do you take part in any possible drama or can actually be a good lead for your salespeople?

You really can’t predict if a prospect has involved the special people in their life until you make contact. And in such cases, it’s not always sunshine and cupids either. Issues at work are now easily tangled with the personal side of things. This can be bad if you’re normally accustomed to strictly handling business problems. That won’t change the fact that this tangle will make those problems your problems as well.

Perhaps the first thing that makes this challenging is that it guarantees your prospect will bring another person to the table. Such situations can commonly spell friction as the decisions will be split between them. All the while, you still have to keep in mind that you’re still trying to build a relationship with a unified organization.

Still, solutions and success stories exist. There are also plenty cases where the entire family is involved. In eastern countries like China, families have run entire businesses for years.

Other successful examples include tech entrepreneur Mark E. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, who he just recently married. There’s the late Milton S. Hershey and his wife Catherine Sweeney, who not only brought in his family but eventually and entire city.

The second challenge is the presumption that objective business decisions are more likely set aside in favor of personal ones (and being personal doesn’t always make it right).

Regardless, research suggests that bringing in other parties can offset that. You also have to factor that both emotional and logical reasons can make for risky but still successful decisions.

Now there’s no doubt that bringing in anything personal to a business discussion is double edged sword. But if you want your and your salespeople on the same wavelength as them, you’ve really got to talk to them like a family. (Better yet, as a part of that family.) Your capacity to relate will be the key to giving them that right nudge and present yourself as the right course of action. Implement simple steps like:

  • Good communication – Keeping communications clear and simple has always been the first benefit your prospects are entitled, even if there is friction. It’s also the first safeguard against intricate and complex business problems.
  • Look back but move forward – Understanding their history will help you better identify what they were trying to aim for. And at the same time, you remind them of just how much they’ve already been through together.
  • Mutually set goals – Review each other’s goals respectfully and find ways to make them all mutual. This will make it easier for your salespeople to close the deal with everyone happy.

Plenty of successful businessmen are either family men or at least planning to be. Thus, it should actually be in the nature of any B2B company to expect the occasional involvement of their loved ones. The way you approach them will do more than just affect an individual prospect’s life.