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I had the pleasure of interviewing James Barclay, CEO of Castle Inc.
Mo asked James:
“What do you wish you knew earlier in Business Development?”
"I think the key thing that I’ve learned is patience. That is the big one. I am deeply impatient and I still am, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t help. You don’t sell stuff by shouting at someone that they must buy it. You’ve got to work out what they’re buying processes and it isn’t your sales process, it’s their buying process. People like buying stuff if they need it and they want it and they realize that they need it and want it because you’ve done a half decent job of influencing them, but that can take time and you’ve got to wait until that right moment. So I would say to just chill out and don’t sweat the small stuff as much. Think about those leading indicators and think about the actions of what you can do consistently that’ll lay groundwork for outcomes as opposed to focusing on the outcomes. You don’t sell something in a phone call, you do it over time and that takes effort, but it takes time.
Mo follows up:
“I think that’s why we get along so great. Even the tagline in GrowBIG is designing a better buying process. So not selling but creating a buy. People don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy so you have to create that buying process that works for them. So question back to you. In the trenches of day-to-day life, we all still have goals. You know, some lawyer out there has a target. They’ve got a bogey. They’ve got originations that they are trying to bring in. You’ve got a consultant or account manager that has a certain retention percentage in a grown plan. All of that kind of stuff. It’s easy to have these things collapse. The weight of them just collapse on you and you feel that pressure. Get vulnerable. How do you personally somehow remove that weight, focus back on yourself, and keep doing the things that you know will make you successful.
“Number one I’m not sure if I do all the time. I think I accept the fact that you’re often fighting fires. I think what it is for me is surrounding myself with people who support that. I think that’s really important. I think that you have to have this as an environment and the culture in the firm. It can’t just be as an individual. When I get impatient and lose and start going off on one, I’ve got two or three people who will tell me quite specifically, “No no no you’re doing that thing that you do.” So really make sure that you are listening and you’re surrounded by people you trust and who have seen your vulnerabilities and who you have a completely transparent relationship with so that they are in a position to tell you when you to knock it down or speed it up. For me that really helps. I’m not sure I can do this in isolation. For me personally what I tried to do is just put some time aside. One of the things that you taught my was - on a Friday, make a list for next week, the three most important things… You either do them or you don’t do them. You write them down and you tick the boxes. Did you do them? Yes. Great! You didn’t do them. Why didn’t you? That takes five minutes.
Dive deeper into the conversation with James Barclay here.
Accept the fact that you are often fighting fires and won’t always be perfect at your business development habits. Having a team that can support you and keep you on track when you need it is a big asset. Make sure you are surrounded by people you trust.
Thanks for reading!
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