The Gamification of BD

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Have you ever thought about gamifying your business development efforts? When you play a game, you are into it, you are focused, you are having fun, you know if you’re winning or losing. It can create tremendous amount of satisfaction and focus to get the right thing done.

My family and I love games. This past weekend, we were in North Georgia, and we were playing a game called Betrayal at House on the Hill and we were into it. We were trying to beat this haunted house, and it was a blast trying to beat it.

The reason you might want to have that kind of feeling with your business development efforts is because they are not at all reinforcing.

Everything else in the world seems to be reinforcing. If you check Facebook, you can get immediate satisfaction, right? You might see likes that you got. You might see somebody else doing something fun. Or if you answer some insignificant email from a coworker, you get immediate satisfaction. You get to remove it from your inbox. They might write back soon, and say thank you. But those might not be important things.

On the other hand, your business development efforts have almost no reinforcement at all. You might sweat over every word in an email you are sending to a prospect, with this perfectly selected and curated asset that you are giving to them, with a clever ending at the end of the email. You might send it, and you may never hear anything. It is the opposite of Facebook.

That is where gamification comes in, because if you can create your own game and create your own rewards, building your successes into the system, then you have more aptitude, or you have more of a chance, that you will actually do all those important things that do not necessarily have a reward.

Here is how you can do it in four easy steps.

The first thing is strategic.

What do you want to focus on that does not have a natural way of reinforcing built in already? Natural things that you might want to focus on are creating demand, moving things through your pipeline, or sending helpful assets to clients. Those kind of focus areas are different for every one of our clients, and we help them figure out what they are, but you can do it right now. Just ask yourself, “What thing do I need to focus on, to keep moving forward?”

Once you know what your focus is, the second thing you do is you figure out a crystal clear metric, which links well with the focus that you have selected.

Quick pro tip, make this metric 100% in your control. Here are some examples. We had one client that wanted to focus on moving things through the pipeline, so their metric was asking for the advance. How many times per week could they ask for the next step in the process? They would not measure whether the client said yes to it, it was just 100% in their control if they asked for it. Perfect.

We had another client that had a lot of capacity on her team, but they wanted to create demand, so their focus was creating demand. To measure it, they tracked how many Give-to-Gets did they offer. Not how many were accepted, but how many did they offer. In our system, Give-to-Gets are when you pull in an expert, and they give a little bit of their time, maybe an hour or so, on their dime to solve a problem with a client, get them started, and start the dialogue, not talking about what they do, but actually doing what they do. That is a give to get. And it really created a lot of traction in their pipeline.

So once you have your focus area and your metrics, the next thing you should figure out is how often are you going to measure?

Is it daily? Is it weekly? Is it monthly? Plug those times in on your calendar, figure out, tally up what you did, and be happy, or sad, or mad if you did your thing or not. That’s sort of the timing of it. That’s the process.

Then the fourth thing you want to do is celebrate.

We should celebrate if we accomplished what we wanted to, right? If we didn’t, we would get mad. Instead, we want to attach some kind of emotion to the system. So once we have our process or the things that we will focus on, have our measurements 100% in our control, and have our timing, then we want to figure out how we will celebrate.

Here is a simple example to wrap this up.

We had a client that wanted to keep things moving, even when she was busy, so she made her focus moving things through her pipeline. She measured herself once a day, where she would figure out what she decided her MIT, most important thing, the one thing was she had to do today. Her system worked by having her write that MIT on a Post-it note and stick it on her computer monitor. She would do this every morning and she would not get coffee until she wrote it down, so she had a little reward built in.

And then, at the end of the day, she would not leave the office until she did the one thing. When she did it, she would celebrate by crumpling up that Post-it note, throwing it in the trash, and leaving her office with satisfaction,  knowing that she not only did her core work, her core craft, but she had kept the pipeline moving forward too. And that was just a great way to do gamification.

As always, with these videos, we hope that we help you help your clients succeed.