What Business Development REALLY Means, According to James Barclay and Mo Bunnell

By Mo Bunnell

Mo asks James Barclay: Tell me your personal definition of business development.

  • Growth is all about your leading indicators. Your behaviors, values, and what you do every day are what will put you in a position to win.
  • Focusing on the end of the pipeline will make you look desperate. With the right values and habits, you’ll come up with the right tactics for the people looking to buy from you.
  • Helping is the key to growth. If every time someone reaches out you help them, at some point they will ask you what you do and be interested in what you sell, which is way more effective than reaching out to them to buy your stuff.
  • When someone asks you what you do, turn it around and ask them about themselves and their challenges while looking for an area that you may be able to help them, either with advice or a connection.
  • Curiosity is an emotion that humans love to experience. By getting the other person to ask what you do twice, it increases the curiosity element.
  • Business development is about providing a solution when the other person needs it, and this takes patience and consistency is providing value.
  • It can be even more powerful to be helpful when the other person is unable to buy your services.
  • One of James’ key qualifiers when selling to someone is whether they like him and James likes them as well.
  • It’s common for highly analytical people to talk about anything other than their content and expertise. If you find yourself uncomfortable in a sales environment, your clients probably feel the same. Finding the place that you're comfortable with could actually be the sweet spot between you and other analytical prospects.
  • Reach out with useful content between billable projects. Sending an asset or an idea is an effective way to keep the conversation going.



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