1. Read like your eyes are on fire, then read some more. Anything and everything that holds an interest or possibly impacts your development targets (especially new technology, your targets past performance and problems encountered by your target). It serves many purposes not only to enlighten and teach but also to support you in your dialog. Targets have vast interest from skiing to horticulture – one never knows. Normally for a first time ramp up meeting with clients the ramp up chit chat is very casually, everyone is trying to suss out everyone else by asking questions and they are trying to figure out the same thing you are…. who’s the fox?
2. Cultivate to the point of being “gifted” with the ability to listen. The ability to seek and dig out where the clients “pain” lies buried. Your company is the physician that cures the pain. Most deals fail in their infancy because the Business Developer talks too much – usually about themself. Stop it – kill it because it kills deals. Find the pain – you find success.
3. Keep personal handwritten notes (not on a computer – of your targets strengths and weaknesses and characteristics of the players that surround the “fox”. There will most always be a “Seymour” / See More types – who are most always assigned the task of digging, questioning, stonewalling and asking for more information. He/she is the one you derail first – obliterate them with information, bury them deep, so you never see them again because they are not your decision maker. They hate to work and they hate to read. Beware, they are a decoy and may knock you out first. NEVER, EVER share your information with anyone.
4. Know the company you represent – inside out. First learn their weaknesses and where they failed. Why they failed and how they cleaned up the mess – if they ever cleaned it up at all. Obsess until you get your answers. Your target must never surprise you with hidden secrets about your company – if they do, never act surprised. Know your target better, than they know themselves. Ask questions and LISTEN!
5. Surround yourself with your generals (specialists, engineers, whatever) your job is to open the door for the others to pass through. You are not in command of the theater. You are the ringmaster not the star. Learn to hand off to the experts, in their field of endeavor. They will make you shine so bright it will blind your adversaries. You fish’em and your team scales and guts them. That is the way of the fisherman. You are a fisherman. Find the right people to perform the right job.
6. Respect everyone including the parking attendant (the grunts). Speak to them as you wish to be spoken to. They are a plethora of secrets. Do not speak to them kindly because you can usurp – otherwise they will know you are a fraud and very superficial.
7. Learn to team all the components, sometimes even with your competitor if you know that they can do a better job at a specific task. Find the talent to team and wrap them into a package – you win the prize.
8. Never give up! Ever! Let everyone know you are relentless. Never fear the word “no” only fear when you get no response what so ever.
9. Learn what to say. Learn what never to say and learn what you can’t say.
10. Learn to be a good tipper. Targets notice things like that. Skimping on a tip means you’re a real jerk.
11. Never under estimate what may seem to be the least important person in the meeting.
12. Do the unthinkable! If you don’t have a cure, create a team of companies that can.
Credit to :Meg C. Maritsa
Business Development – Maritime