Loving BD

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Hi. This is Mo. In this video we’re going to talk about how to fall in love with the craft of business development. We hear all the time that people think sales is this awful, icky thing.  Every time they do some kind of sales activity, they want to take a shower afterwards. I get it. I don’t like the idea of the bad version of sales either. The bad version of sales is: we’ve got stuff and we’re pushing it on the client or the prospect whether they want it or not. Then we leave and go talk to the next person. The relationship isn’t important.

That kills me. The relationship is everything. It’s everything.

So, how can we fall in love with business development, even if we call it sales, in a way that we have a higher likelihood of doing it?

Well, the behavioral science behind this is amazing. A woman named Kaitlin Woolley has done my favorite research in this. Woolley’s academic background includes a PhD in behavioral science from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In her research, she measures the impact of extrinsic motivators versus intrinsic motivators.

Extrinsic are things like, “Are you going to get your bonus or not if you do a certain thing? Is your career going to proceed quickly if you do this particular thing?” So, extrinsic motivators around business development are things like: Are you getting your bonus? Are you going to rise through the ranks quickly if you do this thing well? Well, it turns out with Kaitlin’s research, those extrinsic motivators aren’t nearly as powerful as intrinsic motivators.

Intrinsic motivators are, “Do you love the activity just for the joy of the activity?” That’s why it’s important to fall in love with business development. If we don’t love the activity, we will postpone it. We’ll postpone it another day, another week, another month. We’ll do the minimal amount of effort. We won’t give it discretionary effort. We won’t throw our heart and soul into it, and that’s bad. Business development takes that focus, because there’s a ton of extra effort it needs to be done really well.

Here’s what you can do. If you can think of the things you really enjoy and recast business development within the light of those things, now you have a higher chance of doing it, falling in love with it, and doing it really well.

Here’s my example. I absolutely love learning. I’m crazy about it. I can’t help but keep up with 30 or 40 different blog feeds, and I read every one of them. I can’t help but ask people questions about what their industry is and the nuances of how they do their job, and dig into every last detail of how they do what they do. I absolutely love learning. So, if I can recast walking up and introducing myself to someone at a conference, which I might not normally be excited about, as I’m going to learn stuff from this person, now I have a higher likelihood of doing it.

Another thing I love is helping people. So, if I can jump on a phone call with somebody I’ve already met and worry 100% about, I’ll ask myself, “How can I help this person? What are the questions that I can ask? What are people I can introduce them to? What are the studies I can give them? What are ways I might be able to improve their process?” I’ve got to dig in and ask questions and learn, and then find a way to be helpful. If I’m doing that, I’m going to love that call. But if I think of it as, I’m going to be pushing my stuff on them and trying to make a sale, that feels awful to me. That doesn’t sound fun in any way.

So, this is the question I’ve got for you. What are the things you really love doing? Is it creating new things? Is it being great, being known as great at what you do? Is it making your process more efficient? Is it being helpful to others? Find out what you really love doing. What do you really wake up and get a thrill about when you do that thing? Now, recast business development within that lens. Now you’ve got a great chance of falling in love with business development, and if you fall in love with it, you’re going to have a higher chance of doing it and perfecting it to be the craft that it is worthy of.

As with all these videos, I hope this one helps you help your clients succeed.