Are you leading important client relationships and also on the hook for growing them? The growth part can seem mysterious, but it doesn’t have to be! Business development expert Mo Bunnell will take you inside the minds of some of the most interesting thought leaders in the world, applying their insights to growth skills. You’ll learn proven processes to implement modern techniques. You’ll learn how to measure their impact. And, everything will be based in authenticity, always having the client’s best interest in mind. No shower required.
Henning Streubel, Linda Klein, and Mark Harris Discuss Why It's Time To Get Great At Business Development
Mo asks Henning Streubel: When was the moment that growth and business development was something you wanted to focus on?
Henning is intrinsically motivated to help people, but it’s less about business development and sales. Whenever he meets someone, he has a tendency to ask deep questions. Early in his career working for a utility client in Germany, he realized that the client’s company had many more problems than he initially thought which he discovered by simply having a deep conversation. Because of those conversations, the client was able to take Henning’s thoughts and ideas back to her boss and make positive changes. For Henning, relationship development starts with insights, which allows you to create an impact and trust. Many highly analytical people have difficulty talking about anything outside of the project. Henning recommends understanding that everyone is a human being which means they share a common foundation. Being genuine about being curious is key. Don’t just use small talk as a way to open a conversation. Follow up on the topics and go deeper. This shows your interest in them as a human being. Establishing a personal relationship makes connecting with them easier outside the context of the work. It creates an entry point that lets you have the impact you want to have. When you open up on your experience, you become more vulnerable and that creates a better foundation for trust. This was something that Henning had to learn and practice. Having a few stories in your back pocket can make it easier.
Mo asks Linda Klein: When was the moment that you realized that growth was great?
Linda separates the ideas of business development and building a relationship. In the beginning of Linda’s career as a lawyer, she spent a lot of time learning about her client’s business and that relationship building always paid off. It’s not about developing the business, it’s about developing the relationship. Linda tells the story of how her grandfather started a grocery business in the early days of the Great Depression, how understanding and getting to know the people in the community became a crucial reason for their success, how that also inspired Linda and how she built her career. When meeting new people, Linda is always looking for the things outside the day-to-day business relationship that are important to them. There is always a place where you can connect. It’s important to be hireable and to share your expertise, but it’s more important to be human first. Start with something relatable instead of leading with your area of expertise and what services you can offer. The number one correlation to likeability is commonality. Always look for the common areas you can connect on. Every conversation and interaction you have will be different, but the person you’re speaking with will always give you clues. By offering details and asking for details, you’re going to find areas of commonality. It’s extremely important for diverse members of your team to feel like they can find areas to connect.
Mo asks Mark Harris: Tell me a story of when you realized that you needed to focus on business development.
Mark takes us back to the summer of 1994 when he took on a job selling books door-to-door, a path that some of the most successful rainmakers have followed. It started off as a way to make more money than working at the local McDonald’s but it became a skill that Mark learned he could get better at. All skills are both learned and earned. Mark was initially not good at sales at all and after 12 hours of hearing no, he decided to flip his approach and try to make a connection with the person first. He also learned that he needed to create little wins throughout the day to manage his energy and motivation. The steps to a purchase are the same no matter what you’re selling. Connect with the person first and find out if you can solve their needs. Mark also learned how to deal with his emot
Scott Winter, Dennis Baltz, and Andrew Cogar Discuss Why It's Time To Get Great At Business Development
Mo asks Scott Winter: When was the moment that you realized that business development was great?
Scott started his career off in sales with LexisNexis and that developed into a role in consulting. Eventually he made the switch to a product management position with Interaction where he focused on CRM and client relationships. Interaction is the world’s largest CRM system for law firms and by coming up in that environment, Scott learned a lot about the technical aspects of the software which helped him better serve his clients. Scott had the typical mindset about sales in college that most people have, but he reframed his perspective after getting some actual experience in sales positions. The one key moment when Scott realized that business development was a powerful tool for growth was after having a simple conversation with someone on a plan. Just listening carefully and remembering what he learned blew that person away when they met again many months later. Scott has a knack for having a conversation on any subject and being able to find a point of connection. He also tends to add notes in his phone of a particularly interesting detail (powerlifting, ironman training, etc.) and makes use of his CRM to keep track of everything. Remembering details about someone is an art and a science, but there are tools you can use to make it easier.
Mo asks Dennis Baltz: When did you realize that business development is something that would be interesting to you?
Dennis’s interest in business development goes all the way back to his high school days in 1987, where he was trying to find people to participate in market studies. It was a tough gig and he had to stretch outside his comfort zone to get things done. Knowing that he had something of value to offer to the people gave him the confidence to ask for something they may not be initially open to. Dennis learned to be interested in the person first and think about the value he could provide, instead of assuming the ‘no’ right away. Dennis has been on all sides of the transaction when it comes to risk during his career, so that gives him some perspective on what potential buyers are looking for. Initial meetings are simply about identifying problems and how you can be helpful. Preparing for the meetings ahead of time is crucial to Dennis’s success. Following up usually involves finding resources or people to connect the prospect with that can help solve the problem in the meantime. Introducing techniques from another industry is a great way to appeal to a potential client’s desire for both safety and innovation. On the human side of things, Dennis realized that he needed to stay in front of clients at the beginning of the pandemic and that turned into a monthly blog post that he sends to clients and colleagues. Being open and vulnerable, and sharing some of the personal elements of his life, have had a tremendous impact.
Mo asks Andrew Cogar: When did you realize that business development was really important?
It really clicked when Andrew started thinking about business development not as a means of getting business but as a means for the firm to get the business they need to forge their own path. After one particular project that went exceedingly well, Andrew understood that those kinds of projects could become a habit rather than a lucky break. The GrowBIG System is essentially about doing the right things so that you have control over the kinds of clients you work with. Being proactive gives you so much work that you can pick and choose the projects that you want most. It’s easier to be reactive on the front end because you don’t have to do the introspective work it takes to shape your vision and be proactive on finding the right business. It’s easier in the long term to adopt the right principles to attract the right clientele. Mo and Andrew do a review of their recent experience working together. In terms of business development, Andrew was simpl
Brian Cafferelli, Katrina Johnson, and Cannon Carr Discuss Why It's Time To Get Great At Business Development
Mo asks Brian Caffarelli: When was the moment that you realized that business development was something you wanted to focus on?
Brian’s first job out of college was in selling automobiles as a wholesaler to dealerships. Everything began for Brian with his first sale, and how that came about because of developing a relationship with another human being. Seeing salespeople that were successful and respected helped Brian navigate what it took to grow in a sales career. So much of success is simply about being in the environment and paying attention. If you want to grow your skills, start with the fundamentals of communication and psychology. It’s also important to apply what you learn along the way instead of just taking it in. Consider what you’ve done well and what you could have done better. Translating his business development skills to a virtual environment is something that Brian is working on, as well as working on learning new things and being open to seeing things differently. A recent study revealed the Learned Dogmatism effect and how people tend to become more closed-minded the more expert they become in a specific domain. One of the keys to Brian’s success is striving against that and always being willing to learn.
Mo asks Katrina Johnson: Tell us the moment when you realized that business development was good and worth doing?
Katrina’s big aha moment was when she realized that the skill of business development can be learned. She started in academia and fell into consulting almost by accident, and she enjoyed her consulting work but she felt like her hands were tied. As a subcontractor, Katrina wasn’t able to deliver the work in the way that she thought would be the most powerful for her clients. It wasn’t until Katrina met Mo and learned about the GrowBIG system did she realize what was missing from her work. With a background in neural science, Katrina knew that the research and material were pointing her in the right direction, but in some ways digging into the research was also a curse. Katrina sometimes falls into the habit of using research as a way to hide and avoid putting it into practice. This is where her second big realization came into play, and that she had some underlying issue that was preventing her from executing. She decided to start off small and refine the process from a place of action. She began by going to networking events and trying to follow up with people, most of those efforts didn’t pan out though. She landed a few speaking engagements with small groups of people and used that as a basis to create a relationship with people. She embraced deeper relationships rather than looser connections and in doing so stretched herself outside of her comfort zone. She doesn’t set out to get meetings with important decision makers, but that often flows from naturally deepening relationships with people and being helpful. Katrina learned a lot about the value of targeting over the last year. She realized that when she can work with the management of an organization in some combination of assessment and coaching she’s at her best.
Mo asks Cannon Carr: When did you realize that business development was great?
There was not one moment, but a story stands out in particular for Cannon. When his father was retiring from the firm he was working at, he told him that he was a great analyst but not a great salesperson, and if he wanted to succeed, he would need to figure that out. When a professional services firm reaches a certain revenue threshold, the same things that got them to that point won’t help grow past it. Simply hiring a rainmaker won’t necessarily solve the problem. You need a broader team working towards business development to tap a broader network to grow a firm. The real mindset shift that unlocks the power of business development is “Are you selling, or are you helping to solve problems?” Take the sales hat off and integrate yourself into your cli
Craig Budner, Bill Ruprecht, and Andrew Robertson Discuss Why It's Time To Get Great At Business Development
Mo asks Craig Budner: When did you realize that business development is good?
Craig’s brother was a litigator and from an early age had his own firm. This taught Craig the necessity of creating a brand and cultivating referral sources in order to grow the firm. Craig took a slightly different path from his brother in that he joined one of the firms in Texas. It was there that he created the relationships and connections that made him realize the value of being an advisor to someone and not just on legal issues. After creating a relationship with one of the firm’s important executive clients, a partner encouraged Craig to run with what he was doing. During his associate days, Craig learned the value of doing a great job for clients and nurturing relationships. When he understood that clients were actual multiple sources of revenue, and that if he could cultivate relationships with people directly in his path of work delivery, he started to get the first call. He was being trusted by the people in charge of important projects, and that gave him the opportunity to do more fun kinds of work. How do you advise others to think about business development? Demystifying business development is the first step. The characteristics of good parents, friends, and listeners are the characteristics that make a good business developer. It’s not about the money at the end of the line, it’s about growth and learning, and getting better at putting yourself in the shoes of someone else. What do you think about mutually beneficial relationships? You have to be a better listener than a talker to develop deep relationships. If you’re always thinking about what you’re going to say, you’re not going to get enough information out of that relationship to make it mutually beneficial. Think about how you can be helpful to that person. You can leave a positive impression on that person by reflecting back that you have heard them and you’re going to try to advance their issue.
Mo asks Bill Ruprecht: When did you first start thinking about business development as something important that you wanted to do?
Bill spent many years in business when there were two kinds of business development. The first was a form of gunslinging more focused on extracting value and the second was centered around building more long term relationships. Inevitably, you come to realize that building relationships and adding relevance to potential customers is the way to go. There are three ways to differentiate a business: be an innovator and make things that no one has seen before, be cheap and provide the lowest cost service, or you can be customer centric and know more about your customers than anyone else in the world. Nobody should own a client. The team should always work together to get the job done well. If you have a lot of history with a client or they demand that a particular person is involved, that should be accepted. The end result of a deal is always a combination of relationship and price. In Bill’s line of work, certain clients tend to push on price but that always makes things tougher. Chasing the margins on a deal down to the point where the service provider doesn’t care about the outcome is always a poor choice. For another client, Bill tells the story of a semi-regular delivery of BLT sandwiches and how they were a barometer of the relationship. They may not have gotten the business because of the sandwiches, but they definitely didn’t hurt.
Mo asks Andrew Robertson: When did you first realize that business development or relationship development was a good thing?
The first time Andrew realized business development was fundamentally about discipline was while working as a barman in Maidenhead where he learned how to connect with people and build rapport very quickly. It was there he met an insurance broker that offered him a job. As a student working in the evenings, Andrew learned that if he made 100 phone calls on Monday
Cyril Peupion, Debby Moorman, and Mike Duffy Discuss Why It's Time To Get Great At Business Development
Mo asks Cyril Peupion: When was the moment you realized that growth was great?
Cyril started his own business with a partner after completing his MBA so he had an interest in business development right from the beginning. With time, he realized how much he had to learn about sales and relationship building. Impact is a keyword in how Cyril views the world. If he had only one principle piece of advice to give to people, it would be to prioritize your calendar according to impact. Cyril tells the story of a client he was working with and the impact on their life the work had. As great as getting to inbox zero and having an organized and neat work environment, being able to sleep at night and actually turn off her mind was completely life-changing. When you have something as powerful and impactful on people’s lives, business development becomes easy and natural. Cyril considers his business to be in service to his clients. When you change your way of working it changes your life, which is why Cyril doesn’t view his work as business development. Instead, he sees it as bringing his service to the people that need it. When it comes to prioritizing for impact, you have to start with a mind shift. High performers don’t look at when things are due, they look at the impact of the things they need to do first. Think quarterly, plan weekly, and act daily. Thinking quarterly is one of the most effective time frames to think about work while incorporating your long-term vision. Planning each week is an important tempo for progressing your top two or three priorities. A crisis will arrive eventually, but you need to run your tasks through the four-word framework of What Impact Long-Term.
Mo asks Debby Moorman: Tell me the moment when you decided that business development is something that you wanted to focus on.
Debby fell into business development almost by accident when she was in college after taking a sales job one summer. The key realization was when she figured out that she liked helping people solve their problems, and that was when she decided to shift her focus to professional sales. Debby went on to a professional sales role out of college where most of the training was technical in focus. It wasn’t until Debby moved into a national leadership role did she realize that business development skills are just as important as technical skills. That was when she became connected with Mo and the GrowBIG system. Now that Debby is consulting, the focus on business development is even more important. As a service provider, the reality is that you are helping your clients solve their problems, and that is the essence of business development. Companies tend to focus on technical training because there is often so much information to learn and such a large need for that information, businesses are incentivized to pay attention to it. An organization that wants to grow has to invest in its people beyond the technical side. Companies often throw structure at an issue in an attempt to solve a problem. Take the word sales out of your mind if you’re just getting started with business development. Retool your brain to frame the conversation as a way of figuring out what the other person needs and how you can help. If you can do that, the conversation becomes less intimidating.
Mo asks Mike Duffy: When was the moment that you decided that business development was important and you needed to get great at it?
Mike’s dad started in sales so he had a front row seat on making sales from the very beginning. He started his sales career by selling ad space in a travel magazine, and once he got out of college, Mike started selling ladies clothes in California. He took a $500,000 territory and in 18 months turned it into $2.5 million. He won salesman of the year at the age of 24 and ended up having a beer with his sales manager which led to a conversation that changed everything for him. Mike took a deep dive into discovering wh
Jonathan Reckford on Changing the World, One House at a Time
Jonathan Reckford shares his incredible experiences at the helm of Habitat for Humanity and how he’s helping to change the world by creating strategic partnerships with other organizations, and how it all starts with building relationships first. Find out how the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, one of the biggest non-profit organizations in the world, can still make time each month to work on his Protomoi List and why aligning a potential partner’s desire for impact with your goals is a great foundation to build a valuable long-term relationship on.
Mo asks Jonathan Reckford: When did you realize you wanted to grow something big and make an impact?
Jonathan had a lot of great role models growing up, with his grandmother being one of the first women in Congress. She would always ask Jonathan what he was going to do to be useful, a mindset that he eventually adopted and grew into. Jonathan assumed he would follow her footsteps into politics and law, but quickly realized after college that law wasn’t what he wanted to do. He later talked his way into a job at Goldman Sachs, received a grant and moved to South Korea to work for the Seoul Olympic committee, and ended up working with the rowing team as their coach for a few years. That experience allowed him to reorient his perspective and after returning home, Jonathan came back with a mission. He went into business school and spent the next 15 years helping large organizations grow. After that time in the private sector, Jonathan went to India on short-term mission trips. Seeing the challenges and suffering in rural India touched his heart and he realized the power of small interventions in dire situations. Jonathan began focusing on helping churches grow and contributing to the mission of alleviating international poverty, ultimately culminating in working for Habitat for Humanity nearly 17 years ago. You can’t always connect the dots going forward, but when you look back you see how everything got you to where you are now. Jonathan’s experiences in his career lend themselves perfectly to his current role as the leader of Habitat for Humanity. Work on the ‘who’ before the ‘what’. Build your character and skills instead of looking for some grand career plan. No matter what you do in your 20s, consider it continuing your education. As long as you’re learning and aligned, you will eventually find your vocation where you have an impact that lines up with your passion and skills. Habitat for Humanity is thinking big for the future and is focused on making markets work more effectively to create just societies where really everyone can access safe, decent, affordable housing. Really bold leaders are ones that reframe everything. If you have the right mission for the problem you're trying to solve, you'll gain the power you need to get there. If you're focused on gaining power, that's ultimately going to be self-defeating. Start with crafting a story around why what you’re doing is making the world a better place and get clarity on your true purpose.
Mo asks Jonathan Reckford: What's your personal definition of growth?
Ultimately, it's all about impact, but in order to make an impact you need fuel. Creating complex partnerships is very aligned with good development practices, which is valuable for Jonathan because growth at Habitat for Humanity means having conversations around fundraising. When he made the mindset switch to solving someone’s problem, raising money became much easier and simpler. It's not about pressuring, or trying to get somebody to do something they don't want to do. It's about really trying to understand what people are trying to accomplish or the impact they want to have, and then looking for a fit and where there is one, finding ways you can help them have that impact in a really joyful way. Before a big meeting, you have to do the research. Jonathan will have a brief on the person’s biographical information, passion, and ov