Mo asks Kara Goldin: What is your best advice on how to focus on business development, grow our book of business, and grow our career?
The first thing you can do is take care of your existing customer base since they were the customers that got everything started.
Our natural instinct is to fear the companies with more money and more experience, but historically speaking those are the companies that end up in trouble because of their inability to change.
The key to great business development is to figure out how to think differently. To look for new opportunities you need to come at them from the point of view of the underdog with passion and curiosity.
As a consultant, sitting back and waiting for an RFP to land in your inbox is not a good strategy. You become stuck in reactive mode and more commoditized, with a low chance of winning. Creating your own opportunities is much more important.
Kara learned early on not to listen to all the rules, and by doing so she ended up gaining access to an incredible amount of opportunities. She relates the story of landing her first job out of college and how the skill of “half-listening” and just being willing to learn and put herself out there opened doors for her all over the country.
Don’t answer for other people. When it comes to pursuing relationships, don’t dismiss yourself before you try. Overthinking is what prevents people from creating the relationships and networks they want to have. Have fun with it and brush off the rejection.
Perseverance is 100% a skill that you can learn and master.
History definitely helps us if we allow it to help us. Look back at what worked and what didn’t.