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Curiosity is an intrinsic motivator. You should try to create curiosity for your services as soon as you can in a conversation. People are highly motivated to experience curiosity and it’s one of the key elements of a great buy-in process. Consider your favorite serialized show. It probably ends each episode with an irresistible cliffhanger. This is a great metaphor for what you can do within and between meetings. At the end of your next meeting, talk about the impacts of the next step and how you can’t wait to go over the results. If you move too quickly, you squash curiosity. You want things unresolved to give people something to look forward to in the next meeting. Think about what you can leave unresolved at the end of your next meeting.     Mentioned in this Episode: wikipedia.org/wiki/Curiosity
There is a triple-win when asking good questions. A person’s pleasure center in the brain lights up when people offer self-disclosing information. You learn your prospect’s priorities in their words. This would be impossible if you didn’t begin by listening to them talk. Sharing self-disclosed information is highly correlated to likeability. Asking great questions gives the other person more opportunity to talk. Great questions could look like: “If you could wave a magic wand and change your organization, what kinds of changes would happen?,” ”If one of your metrics could meaningfully move, which would it be?,” or ”If you could have a broken process fixed, what would the outcome look like?” Well-designed questions give the other person the opportunity to share something that only they know. With the bulk of your conversations, your prospect or client should be doing most of the talking.     Mentioned in this Episode: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361411/ The Snowball System by Mo Bunnell - amazon.com/Snowball-System-Business-Clients-Raving/dp/1610399609
There is an optimal order for how we like to buy. Step one is listening and learning. Break the ice, then quickly flip the conversation to the other person. As a buyer, you want to feel heard, and like the person on the other side of the table, understand the unique needs in your situation. You want to avoid beginning by talking about yourself because that triggers the fight-or-flight response most people have when being sold to. Step two is create curiosity. Find a way to be helpful that creates curiosity around going deeper. Step three is build everything together. People buy into what they help create. Talk about the basic steps of what it would be like were they to hire you to solve their problem. By engaging them in the process of solving their problem, you get the advantage of incremental buy-in. If you create a proposal without the prospect's feedback, the only feedback they can give you is negative. Step four is gain approval and get the final yes to the project. You want to avoid selling and skipping straight to yourself and your presentation. If you can construct a buying experience that starts with the other side, you will have far more success.     Mentioned in this Episode: teachthought.com/critical-thinking/the-cognitive-bias-codex-a-visual-of-180-cognitive-biases/
Mo explores the key business development mindset shifts that you need to make to become great at business development. Find out why business development skills are both learned and earned, how anyone can become great at business development, and how to stay motivated and driven to keep doing the work of building relationships the right way.   Business Development Mindset Is A Learnable Skill Dr. Kay Anders Ericsson spent over 30 years studying high-end expertise and discovered that every complex skill is both learned and earned. You can look at any expert and you would find decades of deliberate practice that got them to that level. No one is born with all the skills they need to be great at business development. Business development is a learnable skill that anyone can build on. If you take each individual lesson and apply them to your life, you will be successful. If someone tries to tell you that business development skills are not learnable or only for natural born conversationalists, they’re wrong. They just haven’t seen the research. If you want to be great at business development, break things down into bite- sized pieces. Break complex tasks down into individual pieces and practice each one as it comes.   Business Development Mindset Rule - You Don't Have To Be An Extrovert To Succeed Adam Grant did a study on salespeople and put them on a spectrum of introversion to extroversion. For most people they land right in the middle and end up being a mix of both introvert and extrovert, and most successful salespeople were exactly the same way. Ambiverts were the most successful at making sales, not extroverts like people assumed was the case. Full-on extroverts might actually have some disadvantages when it comes to making a sale. Their desire to be around people all the time may prevent them from following up effectively or being direct with someone when they need to challenge them. Extreme introverts likely just aren’t putting themselves around other people most of the time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get energy from interacting with them or can’t be effective salespeople. The magic in sales and business development happens at the middle of the curve, where you can connect with people in the moment and follow up thoughtfully later. Luckily for most people, that’s where they fall. You don’t have to be extroverted to be successful at sales. Great business developers have a wonderful mix of being around people, getting energy from the interactions, asking great questions, and giving great ideas. They can also go back to their quiet surroundings and find ways to follow up thoughtfully.   Becoming Great At Anything By Creating a Business Development Mindset Every expertise, no matter the field, is both learned and earned. You can become great at anything if you break it down into little pieces and practice each piece. You may not become world-class or be able to play in the NBA, but you can certainly become very good at that particular skill, and the key is deliberate practice. By breaking down the big skill into smaller micro-skills and deliberately practicing those individually, you build your overall skill set. The second component of deliberate practice is having a mentor guide you along the path towards expertise. When it comes to business development, what kinds of attractive content can you create to get your name out there? What valuable thing do you have to offer the world that you can get out there and expose others to your way of thinking? Once you’ve got a system for generating content and attracting leads, it becomes a matter of turning those connections into one-to-one conversations. This is where the Give to Get comes in. Start solving client problems in a small, bite-sized way, and it can open the door to bigger opportunities. If you think you can’t do what someone else is doing, toss that out of your mind. Narrow what they do down to a specific skill that you can improve on and get to work. Don't worry about how you stack up with others. It doesn't matter. Focus on your own skills, always getting a little bit better all the time.   Having a Business Development Mindset Means Knowing What Motivates a Buyer When you’re being sold to, you almost want to run away. You can tell the salesperson has only their best interests in mind, not yours. We are happy to buy when the reverse is true. When we’re learning and we feel like the other person is helping us discover the option that’s right for us, the experience is wonderful. When we buy something, we’re important. We are being catered to and we’re learning in the process. It’s like having a birthday experience where you feel like the people you’re interacting with really care. If you don’t like selling, you need to reframe your perspective. Instead of selling, think that you’re someone that creates wonderful buying experiences that make people feel good. Flush the idea of selling and focus on the idea of creating a wonderful buying experience. That one mindset shift will change everything. You are 100% in control of the buying experience. You’re helping people succeed, remember that. The more you do that, the more you will win and the more that people will talk about how great you are to their colleagues.   Start Crafting Your Business Development Mindset By Understanding Your Why Business development can be hard. You’ve got to figure out a reason to persevere and keep adding value to your relationships, even when it feels like you’re not making much progress. To discover your why, ask yourself the Five Whys? Go deeper into the core reasons you do what you do until you discover the truth. Start with the question: “Why is getting great at Business Development important to me?” When you’ve got your answer, add a why to the beginning and ask why that thing is important. Your fifth answer is where the rubber meets the road, and you discover what’s really driving you. Once you have it, write it down and put it somewhere that will remind you daily why you put in the work. Avoid staying too superficial with your motivation and realize that your why might change over time, so it’s a good practice to repeat the exercise every few years or when you feel like you’re not as motivated as you used to be.     Mentioned in this Episode: freakonomics.com/podcast/peak faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Grant_PsychScience2013.pdf bdhabits.com The Snowball System by Mo Bunnell - amazon.com/Snowball-System-Business-Clients-Raving/dp/1610399609
Business development can be hard. You’ve got to figure out a reason to persevere and keep adding value to your relationships, even when it feels like you’re not making much progress. To discover your why, ask yourself the Five Whys? Go deeper into the core reasons you do what you do until you discover the truth. Start with the question: “Why is getting great at Business Development important to me?” When you’ve got your answer, add a why to the beginning and ask why that thing is important. Your fifth answer is where the rubber meets the road, and you discover what’s really driving you. Once you have it, write it down and put it somewhere that will remind you daily why you put in the work. Avoid staying too superficial with your motivation and realize that your why might change over time, so it’s a good practice to repeat the exercise every few years or when you feel like you’re not as motivated as you used to be.     Mentioned in this Episode: The Snowball System by Mo Bunnell - amazon.com/Snowball-System-Business-Clients-Raving/dp/1610399609
When you’re being sold to, you almost want to run away. You can tell the salesperson has only their best interests in mind, not yours. We are happy to buy when the reverse is true. When we’re learning and we feel like the other person is helping us discover the option that’s right for us, the experience is wonderful. When we buy something, we’re important. We are being catered to and we’re learning in the process. It’s like having a birthday experience where you feel like the people you’re interacting with really care. If you don’t like selling, you need to reframe your perspective. Instead of selling, think that you’re someone that creates wonderful buying experiences that make people feel good. Flush the idea of selling and focus on the idea of creating a wonderful buying experience. That one mindset shift will change everything. You are 100% in control of the buying experience. You’re helping people succeed, remember that. The more you do that, the more you will win and the more that people will talk about how great you are to their colleagues.     Mentioned in this Episode: The Snowball System by Mo Bunnell - amazon.com/Snowball-System-Business-Clients-Raving/dp/1610399609
Every expertise, no matter the field, is both learned and earned. You can become great at anything if you break it down into little pieces and practice each piece. You may not become world-class or be able to play in the NBA, but you can certainly become very good at that particular skill, and the key is deliberate practice. By breaking down the big skill into smaller micro-skills and deliberately practicing those individually, you build your overall skill set. The second component of deliberate practice is having a mentor guide you along the path towards expertise. When it comes to business development, what kinds of attractive content can you create to get your name out there? What valuable thing do you have to offer the world that you can get out there and expose others to your way of thinking? Once you’ve got a system for generating content and attracting leads, it becomes a matter of turning those connections into one-to-one conversations. This is where the Give to Get comes in. Start solving client problems in a small, bite-sized way, and it can open the door to bigger opportunities. If you think you can’t do what someone else is doing, toss that out of your mind. Narrow what they do down to a specific skill that you can improve on and get to work. Don't worry about how you stack up with others. It doesn't matter. Focus on your own skills, always getting a little bit better all the time.     Mentioned in this Episode: bdhabits.com
Adam Grant did a study on salespeople and put them on a spectrum of introversion to extroversion. For most people they land right in the middle and end up being a mix of both introvert and extrovert, and most successful salespeople were exactly the same way. Ambiverts were the most successful at making sales, not extroverts like people assumed was the case. Full-on extroverts might actually have some disadvantages when it comes to making a sale. Their desire to be around people all the time may prevent them from following up effectively or being direct with someone when they need to challenge them. Extreme introverts likely just aren’t putting themselves around other people most of the time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get energy from interacting with them or can’t be effective salespeople. The magic in sales and business development happens at the middle of the curve, where you can connect with people in the moment and follow up thoughtfully later. Luckily for most people, that’s where they fall. You don’t have to be extroverted to be successful at sales. Great business developers have a wonderful mix of being around people, getting energy from the interactions, asking great questions, and giving great ideas. They can also go back to their quiet surroundings and find ways to follow up thoughtfully.     Mentioned in this Episode: faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Grant_PsychScience2013.pdf
Dr. Kay Anders Ericsson spent over 30 years studying high-end expertise and discovered that every complex skill is both learned and earned. You can look at any expert and you would find decades of deliberate practice that got them to that level. No one is born with all the skills they need to be great at business development. Business development is a learnable skill that anyone can build on. If you take each individual lesson and apply them to your life, you will be successful. If someone tries to tell you that business development skills are not learnable or only for natural born conversationalists, they’re wrong. They just haven’t seen the research. If you want to be great at business development, break things down into bite- sized pieces. Break complex tasks down into individual pieces and practice each one as it comes.     Mentioned in this Episode: freakonomics.com/podcast/peak
Mo asks Marty Fagan: If you could record a video about growth or Business Development, and send it back to your younger self, what would you say? First thing is to be authentic. If you truly are authentic, people can pick up on that. And if you're not authentic, they can pick up on that as well. If you’re talking to someone and you don’t think your solution is a good fit, don’t sell it to them. Closing the sale no matter what may work in the short-term, but it’s a terrible strategy in the long-term. The second thing is to have a passion for the solution you are offering to your customers. People pick up on your passion, which contributes to that feeling of authenticity. Having passion and authenticity establishes trust, and that trust needs to be in place to have a conversation result in a closed deal. If you’ve developed a deep expertise, it’s okay to be excited about it and convey that energy to people.   Mo asks Sandy Lutton: If you could record a message around growth and business development and send it to your younger self, what would it say? Early in her career, Sandy was intimidated by business development and felt that she had to win them over while being perfect, but it doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. Business development is simply about building relationships. Sandy would want to help her younger self take the fear out of the process. It can be fun and engaging, and you will learn a lot along the way. Practice for perfection, but play for progress. You start to see how brilliant your team is when you plan ahead, and even if you don’t win the business, you improve for the next one. When you’re in a meeting, look for the little wins and what the next step along the way is. Make sure you tackle all the issues and break things down into small steps. Moving anything forward during a meeting is a win, so keep that in mind. Instead of trying to wow the prospect, just give them what they are looking for.   Mo asks Andrew Robertson: If you could wave a magic wand and record a video around business development and send it back to your younger self, what would it say? There is very little in business that is as satisfying as business and relationship development. Landing a client and then getting them big wins is fulfilling and it’s a wonderful thing to be good at. Define victory as a series of steps, instead of an end result. This makes the journey rewarding and not just about the destination. If you can take the first step, which is the hardest, everything else gets easier. Start with the end goal in mind, and then break it down into the fundamental steps you need to make each day to achieve that goal, then celebrate when you take those steps. It doesn’t guarantee success, but it makes it much more likely. You can’t control whether a client will say yes, but you can control whether or not you ask them in the first place.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com linkedin.com/in/martyfagan sandy@designinginfluencers.com Her Journey Told Podcast andrew.robertson@bbdo.com
Mo asks Bill Ruprecht: If you could record a video around business development for your younger self, what would it say? You learn a lot more from failure than you do from success. Early on in Bill’s career, he had developed a relationship with an art collector, but after the collector passed away the business went to other people because Bill didn’t consider what would happen after that point or lay the foundation to make sure the family would work with him. It’s important to not rely on a single individual for your relationship with an organization. You need to create a team of advocates to work with a team of counterparts within the organization. Remove your ego from the equation and focus on building a team to team relationship. We tend to focus on our expertise and believe that’s how decisions get made, but that’s not the way it works. What should drive those decisions is that your company has a collection of skills to help clients solve their problems.   Mo asks Mike Duffy: If you could record a message to your younger self about how they should think about business development, what would it be? Mike’s message would be to essentially to cold call for a couple months right at the beginning to get used to hearing no. He would also tell himself to feed his brain. Read books and consume information that keeps you moving. Treat your profession like a profession. If you treat your profession the same way that a doctor does and invest in continuing education every year to be a better leader and sales person, you will be successful. Mike invests in programs that he’s heard about on podcasts and consumes books referenced in other books that have made an impact on him. You have to invest in yourself if you want to get better. Mike also builds relationships with people that are learning themselves and is curious enough to find out more about them. He’s always thinking about how he can add value to a conversation or relationship, and thinking about the questions that allow him to dig deeper. When you ask questions, you learn. When you learn, you connect dots, and when you do that, everyone gets better and the effect can snowball. Asking the right questions is instrumental to Mike’s ability to grow.   Mo asks Debby Moorman: If you could record a business development tip and send it to your younger self, what would it be? The bottomline is the idea of sales can be scary because we usually think of our worst sales experience and extrapolate that to everything. Debby’s advice to her younger self would be to take a breath, and realize that it’s all about meeting people and getting to know them, then helping them solve their problems. Changing the label from “sales” to “helping people and solving their needs” is a powerful mindset shift. People usually don’t realize that they are selling everyday, they just don’t label it that way. If you substitute “solve problems” for “sales”, you’re probably doing it all the time. Debby tells the story of an earlier experience where her job was traditional sales, literally going door to door, and how by simply asking questions and identifying the needs of the company, she turned a no into one of the biggest sales of the hotel she was working for. Everybody already sells, they just don’t call it that. When you substitute solving problems, you realize that you’re already great at what you do, and if you plug in a process like the Snowball System, you can keep getting better at it.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com Mike Duffy on LinkedIn debby.moorman@willistowerswatson.com Debby Moorman on LinkedIn
Mo asks Jonathan Reckford: You get to magically record a video and send it back to your younger self with some advice. What do you say? Jonathan spent most of his youth thinking about what he wanted to do instead of who he wanted to be. He would tell his younger self to focus on the ‘who’ before the ‘what’ first. If you never fail, it's likely you're not going big enough. Hope is built in the community. Volunteering gives you a sense of the community and how you can bring the virtues of kindness and love into the world. Following your passion is incomplete. You need to search for the intersection between what you’re passionate about and where your skills, ability, and talent lie. Jonathan tells the story of Doris, and how he grew up in a poor neighborhood in North Carolina and how his life completely changed after his mom qualified to buy a Habitat house in Optimist Park. Doris is the first person to grow up in a Habitat for Humanity house and to serve on the board as well. The story perfectly encapsulates the mission and purpose of Habitat for Humanity and how giving people a platform and foundation for a stable, healthy life can impact their community and society as a whole.   Mo asks Brent Atkins: If you could record a video on business development and send it to your younger self, what would you say? In the early days of Brent’s business development career, he did things very differently. The first thing he would say is to listen. Brent hears more things now during the course of a conversation with active listening, which is the opposite from how his younger self operated. There is an impulse when you’re young and fresh to tell everyone what you know, but listening and asking questions are how you really learn how to sell. Every product or service has multiple ways you can position it to win. If you listen, you can be much more effective in that effort. Brent is a student of business development even now. The first 21 days of a relationship are extremely important to solidify a bond. Reaching out to continue the conversation and creating that bond allows you to come back months or years later and pick up that conversation in the same way you would with an old friend. The final tip would be to build your brand. People are taught sales skills and usually want to apply them the exact way they are taught. Take what you’re doing and make it yours. Whatever sales skills you are working on, you need to make them authentically yours for them to be effective. The great business development rainmakers never stop learning. Brent is always looking to improve and work on his skills, especially in leverage tools like MIT’s and the Protemoi list.   Mo asks Monty Hamilton: If you could record a video and send it back to your former self, something around business development or growth mindset, what would it say? Monty would tell himself to not settle. Looking back, he can see that he didn’t always have the abundance mindset he needed to grow past barriers. He would also say to take more risks and that it’s okay to fail. The third thing would be to enjoy the journey more and be less fixated on the end destination. The pandemic has made celebrating the journey more difficult, but also more precious at the same time. You have to be more intentional in creating those moments.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com habitat.org linkedin.com/in/jonathanreckford Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World by Jonathan Reckford brent.atkins@progyny.com Brent Atkins on LinkedIn #MinuteWithMonty on YouTube linkedin.com/in/montyhamilton
Mo asks Katrina Johnson: If you could tape a message to your younger self about business development, what would it say? It would simply be one thing: Learn to walk the dog. When someone walks a dog, we assume that the person is in control, but that’s not always the case. Our brains work in a similar way. The dogwalker is the prefrontal cortex, and the dog is the limbic system that responds and detects threats. The big question is who is in control? The truth is that the dog is in control most of the time. Everytime we stick to known associates instead of unknown prospects, or when we expect every email to get a response, the dog is in control. The sooner you can learn to walk the dog, the sooner you get to do the work you care about on your own terms. Even with the best tools and strategies at our disposal, most of the time we are only half as effective as we could be because we are being dragged around by our limbic system. It’s not an issue of ego, as much as it is the part of your brain that has evolved to perceive threats. Threats aren’t always tigers, they can also be getting rejected, feeling embarrassed, or losing status. The first job is to get out of your own way so the tools and strategies can do the work. Katrina focuses on awareness first about her emotions and experiences. A quick, simple label can be very effective in reducing the limbic system’s response. Reframing it and considering other reasons something may or may not have happened makes it less emotional. Give your emotions context, label them, and reframe them. The more you do it, the better you will get at it. This is a foundational skill in business development.   Mo asks Cyril Peupion: If you could record a video around business development and send it back to your younger self, what would it say? Cyril describes a restaurant in Paris that is the best in the world in delivering a ribeye and has a queue lined up every single day no matter the weather conditions. Cyril would tell himself to become the master of one trade and become extraordinary at one thing. Follow your heart and become the expert in that area. Habits are what build expertise and world-class skills. There is a lot of joy in embracing the boring excellence that makes you great. Cyril does one thing and does it very well. He’s more than happy to refer work that’s not in his wheelhouse to other experts he knows can take care of it. If you can find something that you are passionate about, that the market will pay a premium rate for, and you are good at, you have found something worth pursuing. Cyril would also recommend never stopping learning. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Gandhi Block time to read every day. Set aside time every quarter to attend new training. Surround yourself with great mentors and a supportive community.   Mo asks Mark Harris: If you could record a message around business development for your younger self, what would it say? The first thing Mark would say is that business development is a marathon, not a sprint. The second thing is that the role is a learned skill. People are not born great sales, it’s something you can learn and master. The third thing is to help others when you can. You’ll be happier helping others with their success than you will ever be with your own success. When people first get into sales they often sprint towards their first sale, but when they do that they forget about the long-term marathon of relationship building. When you build relationships on that level, the tiny sprints toward each sale become easier over time. Sales didn’t come naturally to Mark, but when he realized that he was getting better each day that became a big motivation and opened the door to becoming excellent at it. Helping others when you can helps you be happier, which cycles back to building trust and reinforces the first three lessons.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com katrina@kcjconsult.com wslb.com Mark_C_Harris@glic.com linkedin.com/in/mark-harris-9ba1b53
Mo asks Linda Klein: If you could record a video around business development and send it back to your younger self, what would it say? Business development is about passion. Life is about passion. Don’t lose your passion for getting involved. Helping others is the most satisfying thing you can do. In so many ways it’s easier to make a dollar than it is to make a difference, but you can do both at the same time. Take the time to get good at what you do first, and then you’ll have something valuable to sell. If you’re going to say no, say it with kindness. “People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou Treat people right. People you interact with today may be future clients and you should treat them with respect and kindness. If you’re passionate about what you do, it will come through in your authenticity. Some of your best experiences will come from wasting time. If you rigidly plan, you might say no to something that is an incredible opportunity.   Mo asks Henning Streubel: If you could record a video around relationship development and send it back to your younger self, what would it say? Henning would send three points back. The first is that you have to care about the people. You can only develop relationships when you care about the other person and their issues. When you are engaging with them, it’s not about just showcasing your expertise and what you know. It’s about listening to them and what they want. If you come with a cookie-cutter approach, you won’t establish trust. Understanding what the other person needs and bringing a customized approach is the key to trust. This kind of work is a team sport. Think about how you can compliment your own skills and strengths with your team so you can offer a holistic value to your clients. The basis for all those lessons is that you aren’t born with these skills and consistently learning them over time is okay. It is vital to respect the individual clients and companies that you work with. Not everything goes to plan. For Henning, he overcomes setbacks very quickly by looking forward rather than backwards. Feel the pain and then move on. Everybody needs to find their own way of processing pain, leverage the learning, and move forward again. It doesn’t help us as a society or as leaders to dwell on setbacks for too long. For Henning, that means going for a run or a bike ride. For others, that could be having a conversation with someone they trust.   Mo asks Brian Caffarelli: If you could record a video around business development and send it back to your younger self, what would it say? If you think selling is hard, buying is harder. Brian would want to tell his younger self that if he was more in tune and empathetic to the struggles of the buyer, sales wouldn’t be as hard. When you feel stuck with sales, realize that the buyer is even more stuck. To create a great buying experience, deconstruct as many of the little decisions that need to be made before the purchase decision. Get a sense of where you are in the process and the personal motivations of the other person for the stage they are at. As the guide, it’s your job to help the buyer understand what the next step is and move them forward when they are ready. Look into the past and see if your organization or you personally did something similar before. You might find challenges that were overcome and lessons that can be applied right now. In the early stages of the buying journey, the buyer doesn’t necessarily realize the enormity or the complexity of the problem they are trying to solve. When trying to create demand, it’s problem knowledge and not product knowledge that moves the needle. Empathy is the keyword. Buyers are trying to make a really hard decision and the better you understand the buying challenges the more likely you are to being able to solve their problem.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com lklein@bakerdonelson.com linkedin.com/in/lindakleinlaw linkedin.com/in/henning-streubel-phd on.bcg.com/henning - Use the envelope icon on this page to get in touch with Henning directly brian.caffarelli@stsconsulting.com linkedin.com/in/briancaffarelli
Mo asks Andrew Cogar: Tell us a business development story that you are particularly proud of. There was one project that stands out for Andrew, where he and the founder of his firm, Jim Strickland, had the chance to not only create an awesome property but also restore and support the local ecology as well. During the meeting, Jim and the client discovered they shared a mutual friendship and instead of talking about the project they started geeking out on chicken coops. That kind of interest was exactly what the client was looking for, a firm that was completely authentic to themselves. Andrew set the table for that approach that allowed Jim to be Jim to the fullest. It’s all about being true to yourself, listening, and then connecting. The way that you win work is to actually start doing the work. The right thing to do is to start adding value. When you do those things, you aren’t competing anymore. This gets the client excited about the person who is facilitating their vision. It takes them from a leap of faith to “When can we start?”   Mo asks Bonneau Ansley: Tell me of a business development story that you are deeply proud of. When Bonneau started the business, he made sure that he was selling for a reason. Even when they weren’t making any money, he made sure that every sale gave back to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Hospital and it’s become the most rewarding business activity he’s ever done. Having clients is not about a single transaction. Bonneau wants to grow with his clients and for the company to have a footprint beyond real estate. By pairing sales with a noble endeavor, he makes the mission of the organization more than just profit. Visiting the hospital in addition to donating money is part of the company culture. When things get hard, the charitable aspect of the business helps but he has a deep desire to win that keeps him going. Overcoming his natural weaknesses and leveraging his strengths also allows him to stay motivated.   Mo asks John Tigh: Tell me of a business development that you are particularly proud of. During John’s time working as a consultant while working for a top-10 pharmaceutical company. He had a chance to meet another top-10 pharmaceutical company and help them implement a new technology. John had a productive initial meeting but hadn’t really heard from them for two years. Eventually, John was contacted to pick up the project after another consulting company dropped the ball. Disaster struck and the leader that was meant to guide the project left the company. John put his hand up to help them move the project forward as long as they were willing to trust the team to get things done. Over time, the team grew and John ran that project from the outside for three years and grew the business to the tune of multiple millions of dollars. All of that came from one initial meeting and building trust by offering some expertise and help with no strings attached. He was the one who wrote the strategy that transformed the business as well as the leader and operations person who helped make that happen. John’s biggest achievement during that time was in overcoming his own inner critic. By learning about and practicing meditation each day, he learned how to get out of his own way. Having a moment at the start of each day to throw off the doubts and the worries and focus on doing what he can do has changed the rest of John’s life. One of the biggest blessings of a high performing team that has your back and believes in you is that they can help you manage your own inner critic.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com historicalconcepts.com Visions of Home bonneauansley.com john@clevercognitive.com linkedin.com/in/johntigh clevercognitive.com
Mo asks Jane Allen: Tell us a business development story that you are really proud of. Jane tells the story from the early 2000’s during a time when the people they were serving in corporate America were being overwhelmed by the explosion of data. One fateful dinner and “what if” scenario later, Jane started collaborating with a firm to solve real world problems with a solution that was unheard of at the time. As an entrepreneur, Jane didn’t take time to reflect on the success since she was so focused on the execution. Looking back now, finding a partner that was willing to take a risk and then deliver something that enabled her clients to practice law in a completely different way is something she’s very proud of. In terms of her career, Jane is most proud of the incredible people she worked with and learned from, as well as being willing to take the chance on herself and her vision for her business. Reach for your goals and take the chance. Rejection is a part of life, but you will never achieve anything if you don’t try.   Mo asks Read Davis: Tell me about a business development story that you are really proud of. Read formerly worked for one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, and when he first came to work with McGriff they were often David going up against Goliath. Read recalls several different stories where the relationships they built helped their clients take care of their people. Each experience gave Read additional skills and confidence to take into the next. One, in particular, stands out where Read was handling a casino in Las Vegas. As the real estate guy on the team, Read was meeting with banks and people on the team to help them through the financial crisis. They broke the paradigm by bringing people in from all over to show the client what they could do. The best part of the sales story is that four years later the casino was sold to Blackstone and the client referred Read and his team as the broker of choice to the new buyer. It’s all about the connectivity of the relationships and adding value while playing the long game. The team was what made the difference. By listening intently to what the prospect needed, that got the team motivated to deliver. They recognized that the deal was a major opportunity for the firm and they rose to the challenge.   Mo asks Katrina Johnson: What is a business development story that you are particularly proud of? Katrina’s story occurred five years ago when she went on a trip to meet a candidate for a President role at a textile manufacturer. Katrina knew she was skeptical, but didn’t realize how skeptical. After the candidate was hired, Katrina ended up working with her for the first six months and through her unique knowledge of how that particular organization functioned was able to help considerably. Her relationship with this one skeptical person led to additional relationships and business. To win her over Katrina did three things. She didn’t make it about her and take the skepticism personally, she got curious about why she was skeptical and what it could teach her, and she waited for holes to open for her to go deeper. It’s easy to take offense from skepticism, but Katrina had to learn early on as a physician that you have to earn respect. You can’t look at things from a scientific perspective when you’re stuck in your own head. Being curious about the root of the person’s skepticism makes it objective and less about you. Being candid with the client and honest about her perspectives was key to building trust and winning the skeptic over. Divorce yourself from the outcome and focus on doing the right thing. Quieting the anxious and emotional part of us can lead to more creativity and effectiveness. Focusing on process instead of outcomes is how you can control that.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com ec.co jane.allen@ec.co linkedin.com/in/readdavis rdavis@mcgriff.com katrina@kcjconsult.com
Mo asks Sandy Lutton: What is a business development story that you are really proud of? One moment in particular stands out from Sandy’s career in regards to business development. Part of her role at the Speaker’s Bureau was to secure talent, and Sandy was working on securing a famous world leader. The twist in the story was that the first in-person meeting with the CEO didn’t go well which made landing this client much harder than they expected. They spent too much time talking about who they represent. The big influencer in the decision was the Chief of Staff, and by uncovering their goals it changed the dynamic of the relationship. In listening to them and finding out what they needed, Sandy was able to put the right team in place to support them. Understanding what they ultimately wanted to achieve was critical in the decision-making Just like the Snowball System teaches, keeping them involved in the process was crucial, and in the end they won the business without giving everything away for free. Many people fold too quickly when it comes to high pressure proposals. Challenge yourself when you feel like you have to go in at your lowest price in order to win the business, because it might not be true. Sandy is most proud of the fact that they landed the client by identifying the right team and making it clear that going to the lowest price wasn’t the right move. Resist the urge to discount your service by negotiating too soon.   Mo asks Chris Graham: What growth story are you most personally proud of? Making the pivot from law to private equity is the thing that Chris is the most proud of. The pivot was hard and took a long time but it has allowed him to make more impact than ever before. One of the examples that Chris talks about is a company where Chris implemented his methodology of growth and after 19 months they grew from $2.3 million to $4.9 million in profit. Rather than just generate more sales, Chris helped them become more process efficient. Chris grew up in a trailer park back in the 70’s where there was still a sense of community. That experience is why Chris is so dedicated to the mission of rehabilitating those kinds of communities now. It was a long process of learning and growing before Chris was able to connect all the dots. Being raised in a poor community, Chris wasn’t exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship and the impact you can have at that level until after he began his career in law. Chris is insatiably curious, which is a trait that has propelled him throughout his career. That curiosity is what allowed Chris to make the jump from each level to the next. After working with families that owned businesses for 17 years, Chris could see things that they couldn’t. This was a big motivation for buying the first business. Chris realized that, over the period of growing the law firm from eight lawyers to 22 lawyers over 24 months, he got himself into a position where he couldn’t use his strengths. Instead of floundering, Chris made the hard decision to cut back to what was working before, which allowed him to eventually make the transition to bigger and better things.   Mo asks Debby Moorman: What is one moment around business development that you are really proud of? The current climate has been challenging, and there is one client in particular that she’s working with right now that she’s proud of. She had the opportunity to reconnect with someone she worked with 15 years ago that recently moved into a more senior role. She reached out to them, but with the way things are right now, she couldn’t meet them in person and have a face-to-face conversation with them. What Debby was able to do was have a conversation with this person and simply learn about their new role. She started to hear things that indicated the company was going through a number of changes and was able to offer herself as a resource to be more successful in their new job. This led to more conversations and helping them with relevant research, and eventually getting connected with the CHRO. This relationship from Debby’s past has developed into a conversation about how they can all work together. By cultivating a relationship with this person, Debby has opened the door to working with the organization in a deeper scope that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, simply by being helpful. For Debby, the commercial transaction is not a focus when connecting with someone. She brings a curiosity to the table that helps her uncover genuine ways that she can help and by following through, she adds value, builds trust, and creates a real relationship. Be helpful and honest, and the solution will happen.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com sandy@designinginfluencers.com Her Journey Told Podcast linkedin.com/company/crowncapitalinvestments linkedin.com/in/christophertgraham25 cgraham@ccfos.com crown-inv.com Crown Capital Investments on YouTube - youtube.com/channel/UCLstgUIyDH9bRFTHH0vWAbg debby.moorman@willistowerswatson.com Debby Moorman on LinkedIn
Mo asks Linda Klein: Tell us a business development story that you are particularly proud of. Many years ago Linda did a favor for an accountant without sending him a bill. Five years later, the accountant called mainly to thank her and ask if she could help a friend of his. The new client was entering a mature market with lots of competition, but after Linda helped him start and grow his business, within nine months his company was the largest client for Linda’s firm. Linda was able to make a difference in two people’s lives. For the client, she helped him start a business that changed him and his family’s lives, and for the accountant, she impacted him deeply enough for it to come back to her five years later. Linda has developed a business development program by volunteering. Linda doesn’t have a lot of free time, but for her, volunteering and being helpful is fun and enjoyable so the business development benefits come naturally. If you’re curious and read the news about your clients, you will find opportunities to reach out and be helpful. Being involved in your community gives you scale in meeting new people. Find what you like and get involved in that community. There are an infinite number of opportunities to get involved and meet like-minded people.   Mo asks Jonathan Reckford: Tell us a development or growth story that you're really particularly proud of. Jonathan tells the story of a complex corporate partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Hilty, and how they’ve worked together closely after building a relationship over the years. Each year, the two organizations began to work more closely together and started developing new innovative approaches to achieving their mutual goals. There's not only funding, but it's making both parties better. They are achieving their goals as well inside a full strategic partnership which is much more exciting than just a transactional donor relationship. Jonathan’s role was in building trust with the head of the foundation. Without that relationship, the partnership probably wouldn’t exist. It also taught Jonathan a lot about building trust and being direct.   Mo asks Henning Streubel: Tell us a business development story that you are particularly proud of. Henning’s story begins with a rough start where a client CEO read an unflattering internal email about himself that he was never meant to see. Henning went to apologize in person and ended up having a great conversation that turned into an offer to have a second lunch in the future. During the second conversation the client began to open up about the challenges he had been experiencing, and Henning realized that he had gained this CEOs trust. Henning engaged some of his colleagues to help with the challenges the CEO was facing and this created the basis for a larger transformative project with the company. Today, Henning and the CEO are good friends. Henning is most proud about being able to overcome his discomfort with the initial situation and doing the right thing. Growth and comfort can’t coexist. The skills needed to develop a relationship aren’t innate. You can start right away to develop your skills, and it is possible to add value to someone else’s career even when they have more years of experience than you. Henning is always thinking about how to take his professional relationships into a more personal realm because that’s where he can deliver the most value. The challenge is in connecting with people with different personalities and experiences and then helping his team do the same thing.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com lklein@bakerdonelson.com linkedin.com/in/lindakleinlaw habitat.org linkedin.com/in/jonathanreckford Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World by Jonathan Reckford linkedin.com/in/henning-streubel-phd on.bcg.com/henning - Use the envelope icon on this page to get in touch with Henning directly
Mo asks Andrew Robertson: Tell me a business development story that you're particularly proud of. Andrew tells the story of a client in London that BBDO had been working with for 20 years and how they lost most of that client’s work after delivering a terrible piece starring John Cleese. Instead of bailing on the client completely, Andrew and the team decided to stick with the unglamorous work that remained and deliver excellent results for the client, knowing that eventually, the rival company that won their former work would stumble. By sticking with the client, they had the opportunity three years later to offer a new brand campaign, which was informed by the fact that they were still involved in the business and understood their needs. Andrew signed Jamie Oliver, who wasn’t quite famous yet, after scouring London on Easter weekend physically to find him, and landed the business again. Andrew learned three key lessons from the experience: be gracious on the way out, treat a rejection as a “not for now,” not a never, and the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Even when you get fired, those relationships are still valuable and worth keeping alive. We show our true selves much more in defeat than in easy victories. How you behave during the bad times says much more about your character than when things are good. People are human, and it’s always hard to fire someone you’ve built a relationship with. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be, and keep adding value to the relationship after the fact. How you behave afterward will be remembered. Even if you don’t win a project, that’s an opportunity to ask for feedback and give the prospect the opportunity to stay in touch. One loss is not the end, it’s the beginning of the next potential project.   Mo asks Kim Davenport: What is one moment around business development that you are really proud of? Kim’s most proud moment was the first real significant opportunity she brought into her firm – the friend, who’s a vice president at an energy company, who she had a conversation with and who realized Kim and the firm she’s part of could help her business. Kim is proud of what she did, of having the courage to go outside of her comfort zone a little bit to bring business into a conversation among friends. This was her first success story, and it happened before Kim was a partner at her firm. That’s one of the moments that made her realize that BD isn’t about going around knocking on doors trying to sell something, but it’s about helping people, about leveraging and building relationships… and, yes, it’s fun! Even though she’s process-driven, Kim recommends not to overthink things too much. Her advice is to just be a little courageous, and give it a try. Just ask the first question, make it natural. Don’t worry about what comes after that, just take the first step and see where it takes you.   Mo asks Bill Ruprecht: What is a story of business development that you are particularly proud of? A business like Sotheby’s is a transaction business so Bill had been involved in thousands of transactions over the course of his career but one tale in particular stood out to him. Bill traveled down to Florida to help an older lawyer sell $20 million in vintage cars and that began a 9-month process of negotiating. After months of back and forth, they finally signed the deal, and the auction itself was widely successful. In extended negotiations, as the professional, you know what it will take to make the deal successful. It’s common for the other party to not fully know what they want and the key is to just keep the conversations going. When the other party doesn’t know what they want, negotiating becomes a marathon or experimenting and exploring until they land on what was missing from the conversation.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com andrew.robertson@bbdo.com linkedin.com/in/kim-davenport-7732751 kimberlydavenport@scottmadden.com
Mo asks Bill Ruprecht: What is your favorite science, step, or strategy from the GrowBIG Training or the Snowball System? Bill began working with Mo because he believed a more disciplined approach to building relationships was critical to the continued growth of his organization. When you have 90 offices over 40 countries is an enormous task. Bill recalls a meeting with a number of executives at Sotheby's along with Mo where it became very clear how some people struggled with the process of articulating value, even those who had been in the business for 30 years. Every business believes they are unique so they often believe a system of business development couldn’t possibly apply to them. But once they realize that almost everybody runs into the same problems and barriers, they see the value of a disciplined approach to relationships. The default assumption that most people make is that business development is not a learnable skill. That some people are just born with it and that assumption prevents them from seeing the possibilities. Bill is a born introvert and a learned extrovert. Giving speeches and connecting with people didn’t come naturally to him. Being a salesman is something to be proud of because it means you’re being an advocate for whatever you’re walking into the room and trying to do.   Mo asks Cyril Peupion: What is your favorite science, step, or story from the GrowBIG Training or Snowball System? The overall mindset of the Snowball Training is what stands out for Cyril. Going from selling to serving and being proud of the value that you are bringing to your clients is pivotal. Cyril also appreciates the concept of nurturing raving fans and uses the strategy to make sure he’s always working on the most important relationships associated with his business. There is a strong link between performance and joy. People value what they help to create. Cyril noticed that the clients that contribute to the work in more of a partnership style relationship usually value the work more. Without the mindset shift of going from selling to helping, you will never achieve your true potential in your career. “The secret of living is giving.” -Winston Churchill When you understand the giving mindset, it will change the way you look at business and life. When planning your ideal work for business development, relationship building with your raving fans and developing yourself and your team, are the things that will have the most significant long-term impact. How much time each day do you need to protect to get those done each day? The rule is that you can move this meeting time with yourself around, but you can’t delete it. Business development is often composed of a lot of little tasks. Cyril uses the Outlook Task tool to categorize emails and tasks he needs to address during the time he’s set aside each day to focus on business development. Your calendar should be filled with Meetings With Yourself and you should respect them as much as you do meetings with other people. You say no all the time. When you say yes to something, you are saying no to everything else, whether you are conscious of that or not. When someone asks you to do something, pause and run through the “Hell Ya/No” framework.   Mo asks Katrina Johnson: What is your favorite business development strategy from the Snowball System or GrowBIG training? Instead of a favorite, Katrina wants to emphasize one strategy that often goes unrecognized for how important it is, which is targeting. Targeting is critical to business development and as a student of minimalism, Katrina is always thinking about trade-offs. Minimalists understand trade-offs as an inherent part of life, but instead of thinking about what needs to be sacrificed, it’s more about what to double down on. The subconscious emotional layer is what makes targeting tricky. We are evolutionarily primed to avoid loss and are naturally averse to subtraction. We only have so much time in our life. We can’t just take on more, we have to target and figure out what are the things to go big on and what to let go of. Mo had a similar experience with the training GrowBIG. Every time he refined his method and message and who he wanted to serve by letting go of certain markets, it was a terrifying change but resulted in incredible growth over time. Working with a small niche can be scary, but it often leads to greater success as your effort is more refined and focused within your skillsett. When Katrina is doing her job well, she’s often not operating at the forefront. In an ideal world, her clients are getting better and she eventually works herself out of a job. When someone comes to Katrina with a referral that isn’t within her core focus, she always sets up a call with the person and leverages her own referral network to help that person. She always circles back to the person that refers them to let them know they’ve been taken care of.     Mentioned in this Episode: GrowBIGPlaybook.com wslb.com katrina@kcjconsult.com
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