Brent Atkins on Brand Building – Time To Get Great At Business Development

By Mo Bunnell

Mo asks Brent Atkins: Tell me about the time  you realized that business development was awesome.

  • Brent learned early on the need for business development because he has done sales throughout his career. The one thing he realized from all his different work experiences was that he loved interacting with people and connecting with them. He understood that there was far more depth to sales than just telling someone your story.
  • He had a desire to learn more and be more successful in his relationships in business and very quickly realized that there is a huge difference between talking to someone and listening to someone.
  • Through the course of interacting with one of Brent’s early bosses, he learned he needed to be prepared for the questions he was going to ask Brent, but also that he needed answers to the questions from their perspective in order to serve them better. He needed to have a dialogue with the customer because all his knowledge about what he was selling was only one small piece of the overall business development process.
  • The transition from talking to listening is a key mindset shift that all business development professionals need to learn.
  • Brent now leads a team of many younger salespeople and helps them better understand the business development process. The first step is to help them want to learn more about business development, because without that desire, nothing else sticks.
  • When setting meetings, Brent teaches people to set an objective for the meeting that you want the prospect to take away.
  • If you have a lot of slides in your initial presentation, you’re making a mistake. Brent likes to start with a very light slidedeck in the beginning because his goal is to understand the reason for the meeting in the first place as well as the roles of the people he’s talking to.
  • Brent is a big proponent of the pregnant pause. When you get a response, follow it up with another thoughtful question. Follow ups are where you get traction in a relationship.
  • When it comes to the fertility space, Brent starts out with curiosity. Asking them about their familiarity with the space and exploring their experience is the foundation for a more fruitful conversation and almost always leads to how his solution solves their issue. It sets the tone for the conversation and allows him and his team to come back with a robust solution for their problem.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Brent Atkins on LinkedIn