One of the biggest problems in business development is getting excited about selling yourself and your product. That sounds counterintuitive, but it's true. What we should be getting excited about is the opposite of this. We should be getting excited about what our clients and prospective clients want to accomplish.
We have to start with the client and work backwards to how we can help them. And, if we can't help them as an organization, we can help them find someone who can.
The opposite of this can be disastrous. The opposite of this is starting with you. It's starting with your company. It's starting with some ridiculously boring PowerPoint about you that you want to walk through with a potential client. Would you want people to do this to you?
Here's a good analogy. On your last birthday, did you ask for someone to spend an hour telling you about themselves while flipping through a PowerPoint? Probably not. You likely wanted to do something for you. Something you usually don't get the chance to do. Something maybe even a little selfish. Something where you're the center of attention.
When you're buying, it's should be a little like it's your birthday. You should be the center of attention. You should be what matters -- not the person selling to you. Being in a buying position should be one of the most enjoyable times of your day.
Anyone who's spent much time around BIG knows we love many of the traits of Steve Jobs. We've spent over 30 hours watching him in videos to decode how he thought based on the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI®)model. Our most favorite video is this one. It shows Steve in a candid moment. It shows him in a moment where, right after he returned to Apple, he was confronted by an angry employee that basically called him an idiot. This is raw. It's unscripted. It's real.
What Steve talks about in this video is his overarching philosophy that made him so successful in his second tenure at Apple: Start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. How he describes this is authentic. It's unpolished. It's unscripted. It's a direct link to the way he thought.
It only takes 5 minutes to watch. Watch it here.
His philosophy is analogous to our GrowBIG® method of Building Everything Together. In business development, you want to start with what the client needs and work backwards to how you can help them.
That means you have to take a risk. You have to ask questions. You have to listen and learn. You have to think. You have to leave the PowerPoint behind. But when you do this, you have a better chance of helping the buyer. And, they find it more enjoyable. Starting with them is the key to helping.
Starting with you isn't nearly as compelling.