For getting better at business development, we started with Strategy #1. That is, choose and commit yourself to clear outcomes.
When people hear this strategy you’ll see their eyes roll. As I said previously everyone knows the importance of goal setting … yet many people don’t do what they know.
That wasn’t the case with Tony. He, unlike most people, made some changes. He decided to make outcome setting central to his work. In the first year of doing this he broke company records, closing deals amounting to 300% of his target.
But, he applied Strategy #2 as well.
Strategy #2: Understand the client’s pain.
It is important that the client likes you. And there’s lots of talk about rapport and relationship building in business development. This strategy is the high-road to achieving that.
We consultants spend far too much of our time trying to get clients to understand us. We pitch our achievements, our process, and our offer. It would be better to show clients that we understand them. Their pain, their desired outcome, and how important resolution is for them.
Why pain? Because pain is the driver of urgent need. And without that need persuasion falls flat.
Pain forges the client’s desired outcomes. That may be the pain of a problem, or the pain of missing out on an opportunity, or of wanting something to be better.
So, when we speak to clients we must speak to their pain and understand the outcome they want to create … instead of the pain. The client feels heard. Rapport increases. Trust develops.
What if they don’t already perceive the problem, or see the opportunity?
That’s where it’s helpful for you to bring an unconsidered need into their mind. Do that using a point-of-view, a piece of original research, or benchmark, or diagnostic etc.
Of course this must be significant enough to grab their attention … and help them feel the pain.
Strategy #1 gives you clarity.
Strategy #2 allows you more influence.
Next it’s Strategy #3. Are you already curious what that might be?
Apply Strategy #2. Look at the clients on your current target list. Write down what you know about the pains they’re suffering (that you can help with).