Dorie Clark shares the long term strategies that generate lasting business development success. Learn how to create relationships with interesting people and how that can lead to incredible outcomes, a simple system for saying no so you can say yes to the right things more often, and how pre-commitment can force you to create better business development habits, and more.
Mo asks Dorie: What’s your big idea when it comes to business development?
- One of the key things that professional service providers need to grapple with are the long term and short term needs of business and life. Long term relationship building is what really drives results, but in the short term we still need to generate business.
- When it comes to networking and building your network of relationships, there are three ways to go about doing it and the first is the most commonly thought of and also the reason the majority of people dislike networking.
- Short term networking is all about making the sale and what you can immediately extract from someone. When you already have a relationship with someone you can be direct and ask for the sale, but it’s not conducive to creating a real relationship.
- With long term networking you’re not trying to immediately get something out of the other person, and in Infinite Horizon networking you cultivate relationships solely because they are interesting and you never know where people will end up over time. It’s about having an infinite perspective of what’s possible.
- It’s about being helpful and meeting interesting people. When we think about networking most people think of it as a chore, but reorienting it towards meeting new and interesting people can change how we feel about it. Just getting to know someone is more than enough to build a great relationship.
- We are all pressed for time but we can all find an hour in our week to make this kind of networking possible, it’s just a matter of prioritizing it. In the era of the pandemic it’s also possible to host virtual cocktail parties to get to know people.
- Optimize for interesting, instead of money. Follow your curiosity, meet with interesting people, and you will go in interesting directions.
Mo asks Dorie: How can we use The Long Game to grow our book of business and create more opportunities?
- One of the things that frustrates a lot of people with big goals is that the goal seems so unattainable in the moment.
- 20% Time is a concept that a number of companies use to make it easier to achieve those larger, more long term goals. Business development professionals can use a similar concept within their own careers and pursue ideas that are interesting and have potential.
- You can accomplish almost anything, the key variable is the runway. Planning methodically to achieve your goal can make incredible things happen.
- You don’t have to make a leap of faith, if you have an audacious goal and give yourself enough runway while devoting small amounts of time to it consistently, there is very little risk involved.
- 20% Time is a way to achieve big goals in a way that derisks the proposition. Your 20% Time can take a number of forms from networking, to creating a podcast, to crafting a compelling keynote speech, and more.
- If you want to build a business development process that works it’s going to take time and you have to dedicate the time to make it happen.
Mo asks Dorie: How can we use the concepts of The Long Game to establish and build the relationship advantage?
- Turning down offers and clearing your plate is how you free up your time and space to connect with the right people. The more successful we become as professionals the more in demand we are, and the people who want to spend time with us may not be the people that we should be spending time with.
- Being able to say no more often and being comfortable while doing it is the key to being able to dedicate your time to the right things. One of the easiest ways to deflect well meaning people that you don’t want to commit to is simply asking for more information. Just by making them jump through some simple hoops and provide some more info you can screen out the tire kickers.
- The next step is to ask for a certain level of granularity in the request. Asking for an agenda is advance can be very valuable so you can focus directly on the important topics and cut out the fluff.
- Ask if it’s possible to discuss things asynchronously where they send you their questions and you reply with a voicemail when you have time. It’s also an option to simply invite someone to something you are already doing, which makes creating these kinds of connections scalable.
Mo asks Dorie: How can we hold ourselves accountable, hack our own habits, and keep doing what we know we should be doing?
- The first chapter of the Long Game deals with the question of why we seem to be so busy in our modern lives. One of the most critical aspects of senior leaders is setting the strategy for their organization and yet when asked, 96% of senior leaders say they don’t have enough time for strategy.
- We need to be honest with ourselves and realize that many of the constraints of “busyness” are in many ways things that we put on ourselves. For many of us there is a culture of busyness and research has shown a link to busyness and self-worth.
- We can set up structures in our lives to create pre-commitment and push us towards better behavior. Accountability groups are great examples. Creating accountability structures for yourself enables you to make habits of good behavior instead of negative patterns.
- High achieving professionals generally hate breaking commitments. Having activities in your calendar that you know you should do will make it much more likely that you will actually follow through.
- If you do the hardest but most beneficial activities early in the day, the rest of your work will sort itself out into your schedule. This avoids the chaos of the day from pushing those activities off indefinitely.
Mo shares his insights from Dorie's habits.
- Build time into your schedule specifically to interact with people that you find interesting. When Mo was originally designing the Grow Big principles and training he created the concept of narrowing your relationships to people that you can proactively commit to reaching out to once a month. One of the categories is interesting people because interesting people spend time with interesting people.
- Relationships with interesting people can lead to incredible places, even if there is absolutely no expectation of any commercial benefit to begin with.
- When someone asks you to do something that is not quite the best use of your time there are four simple steps to say no nicely. Dorie has another simple three step system of triage you can use to filter out the most egregious.
- First, ask for more info. Second, ask for more granular info. Third, suggest a different approach once you know what’s being asked of you.
- The power of pre-commitment to hack your habits is a great tool to ensure you do what you know you should do. Put those activities on your calendar and make them the default, instead of trying to fit them into the chaos of your day where they will be endless pushed off by the whirlwind.
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