What To Do When You're Really Busy

author
By Alexa Ward

What's On My Mind

Super practical this week!

(This article ties nicely with the piece I wrote a few weeks ago called Should You Be Busy Or Available? Check it out HERE.)

It's too easy to say you can't invest in relationships when you're busy.

Here's what I'm hearing in the market right now:

  • I've been slammed with client work. I can't reach out.
  • I started ___ outreach but I couldn't finish.
  • I have to do more on my own because we're short-staffed.

​Some of this is true, but thinking you can't "do" BD is a cop-out.

Enter: this week's article to the rescue!

​Below, I'll give you my top three ways to keep and accelerate momentum even when you're busy.

I've even included scripts you can use.

Super practical!

What We Just Created

Ever wanted to be more productive?

​Feel like you're making progress?

​Like you got it all done at the end of the day?

​I've got a treat for you!

This week's guest on the podcast is my friend and soulmate Cyril Peupion, one of the top productivity experts in the world.

​​START HERE: Watch THIS episode where Cyril and I show how to have the right productivity mindset, prioritize business growth and impact, and give a super practical way to accomplish what you want through implementation.

Watch THIS one to maximize your weekly BD productivity.

​And my favorite is THIS one (which builds on the two before it) to...

  1. Learn how to bring long term intentions into short term actions,​
  2. Align your tasks with your calendar, and​
  3. Say No to things not aligned!

We finished with two practical episodes where Cyril tells an inspirational BD story in THIS one and he finishes with something for us to linger on in THIS one!

Cyril's not only a productivity genius, but he's a compelling communicator. Listening and learning from him is a pleasure.

If you like our content and want to dig deeper into implementation because you're really busy, this series will give you what you need to succeed.

Last thought: this is a particularly helpful series to watch and discuss as a team.

Think broader than just client facing rolls too. Pull in your supporting teams–that'll get everyone on the same page, using the same productivity playbook.

What To Linger On

So what are my top three ways to keep your business development momentum going when you're busy?

First, realize you don't need to do much to get great results.

​Lower the bar for time investment and raise the bar for being strategic.

​You have your greatest insights, access, and impact when you're busy.

​Insights: being busy means you're learning and have a perspective others want and need.

​Access: you have lots of client interaction.
​Scarcity: your clients know and sense you are busy, so an offer or outreach means more to them because your time is scarce.

​Here are the top three ways to leverage all these strengths.

  1. Ask for a future meeting.

    I say this a lot: requests when we can see the other person are 34x more likely to get a yes.

    So use your access to your advantage!

    "Hey Sue, I'm having a blast as our teams prepare for the Board meeting. We should take our teams to dinner when this is all over to celebrate!"
  2. Ask for future check-in calls.

    Similar to the above, but different.

    You'll get farther faster asking for a series of meetings than a one-off.

    It's an annuity of helpfulness.

    "Prag, I've enjoyed getting to know you as we've done this work together. Maybe we should set up a series of ongoing quarterly check-to stay connected. That way can continue to help each other after this project winds down."
  3. Offer a Give To Get.

    The last two were more relationship-focused; this one's more commercially focused.

    You have the perfect perspective when you're busy to suggest the next commercial step.

    Leverage your insights, access, and scarcity!

    "Suzanne, as we looked at the data across all the divisions, we noticed success was highly correlated with ___. We'd like to have our global expert in ___ to take a look at this and offer her insights into what it means and what actions might make sense. We're knee deep in this phase now, so this might be something we should set up for about six weeks out so that we don't lose any momentum when this phase wraps up. Would that be helpful?"​

Fun math alert!

I just timed reading these three asks.

They take between 6 and 20 seconds to say.

​Wow!

That's not much time to get the conversation started.

Now, think of when you're not interacting with the client. When you're not busy with them.

​No insights. No access. No sense of your scarcity.

​Now you have to email and call to set up a meeting. Ahead of time, think through what to say, what to offer. Maybe have a call with your team to talk it through.

​Then you have to make the outreach.

​Wait for them to reply.

​Set up a meeting.

Sometimes they get cancelled.

​In a word, slow.

When we're busy with a client, we can accomplish a lot in 20 seconds.

Thumb to the wind estimate...

When we're not busy, it might take two hours to ask the same thing. That's 7,200 seconds.

That's a 360x difference.

(Wow, 34x sounded pretty good above.)

So here's the takeaway.

​Ask yourself:

​What can you do next week to keep and accelerate your momentum at your busiest clients?

A 20-second investment might make all the difference.

That's the beauty of being busy.

A little bit goes a long way.

Mo