Mo asks Craig Budner: When did you realize that business development is good?
- Craig’s brother was a litigator and from an early age had his own firm. This taught Craig the necessity of creating a brand and cultivating referral sources in order to grow the firm.
- Craig took a slightly different path from his brother in that he joined one of the firms in Texas. It was there that he created the relationships and connections that made him realize the value of being an advisor to someone and not just on legal issues.
- After creating a relationship with one of the firm’s important executive clients, a partner encouraged Craig to run with what he was doing. During his associate days, Craig learned the value of doing a great job for clients and nurturing relationships.
- When he understood that clients were actual multiple sources of revenue, and that if he could cultivate relationships with people directly in his path of work delivery, he started to get the first call. He was being trusted by the people in charge of important projects, and that gave him the opportunity to do more fun kinds of work.
- How do you advise others to think about business development?
- Demystifying business development is the first step. The characteristics of good parents, friends, and listeners are the characteristics that make a good business developer. It’s not about the money at the end of the line, it’s about growth and learning, and getting better at putting yourself in the shoes of someone else.
- What do you think about mutually beneficial relationships?
- You have to be a better listener than a talker to develop deep relationships. If you’re always thinking about what you’re going to say, you’re not going to get enough information out of that relationship to make it mutually beneficial.
- Think about how you can be helpful to that person. You can leave a positive impression on that person by reflecting back that you have heard them and you’re going to try to advance their issue.
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