Biz Dev – Part II – 3 Business Development Tips For Success

Let’s recap my last post. A sale happens when marketing, sales and business development  combine into one lean machine… And business development is a fancy term for when you get your butt out of the office and start knocking on a customer’s door.

So here are three business development tips for you to use:

  1. Just F’ing do it (JFDI) – the easy part. You’d be amazed at how many don’t do it or get it. The VERY biggest client that I ever imagined or anyone else imagined of landing happened like this: “Hello, my name is Patrick Kedziora and I’d like to speak with Henry Kravis please”.  For those of you who don’t know who he is; he is the Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs of Wall Street – He’s one of the senior partners at the Private Equity firm of KKR – the world’s largest PE firm for many years and made famous for buying RJR Nabisco. And what did I use? A telephone. No, not Skype. Just a POTS line!
  2. Have something compelling to offer. Have something your client wants. “Yes, hello Henry, nice to meet you. I have some smart (e.g. risk adverse) money to invest and I like what you’re doing. Let’s meet and do some business”. Oh, you say… money… anyone can give away money. Well you try it. Have you looked at what money looks like? It’s green. It doesn’t matter who’s selling it. It all looks the same. So how do you differentiate yourself from the others? You need to know what your customer wants. And, it’s not more money. There’s lots of that around – even today. What they want to know is: are you going to be responsive to their needs, are you going to be there when they need you and are you going to leave them the minute something goes rocky in the relationship. Sound familiar? It should. It’s called relationship building – the same in life as in business.
  3. Just F‘ing do it (JFDI) – the hard part. Yep, so you thought getting in the door would be the impossible part. Sure it was hard. But, now they’ve met you. You told them what you could do for them. They said Yes, Yes, Yes, let’s do it now. And now, you’ve got to go back to your office, your team, your boss or your board and you have to actually make it happen. It’s nice when you’ve already done it before. If you’re a startup everything you’re doing you’ve never done before. In my case, I had no idea if my board would approve such an investment. You’ve got to remember, this is way before anyone heard of Henry or even knew what a PE firm was. But damn it, I knew it was a great piece of business and I was going to convince my board that this would make them money (’cause sometimes you gotta sell the client and your organization). And yes, I got everyone involved, I got our CEO to meet Henry and George and Jerry and what happened?… I got to invest in some of the most lucrative banking deals ever. Why? Because of one phone call. (I’ll tell you how I even thought to call KKR some other day – it’s another thing you’ll need to know).

So there you have it. Simple huh? 1) make the f’ring phone call, 2) have something the client wants and 3) actually deliver on what you said you’d deliver. That’s right, sounds simple but hey that’s the fun of having the rubber hit the road. ‘Cause when you get it right you can hear the screeching rubber and smell the fumes and feel the sucker hit 100 in under 5 seconds and feel your back slammed into the back seat from the acceleration. Now, that’s what I call business development!

[See the above video by Claude LeLouch. Warning: do not attempt this at home. This [the above commentary 🙂 and the video] were completed by a professional driver on a public road.  The film was actually banned in France. If you see it you’ll know why. Every time I go to Paris I dream of doing this! This is business development at its best! Controlled, focused, goal driven and with an objective in mind and pivoting and adjusting all the time.] [Note: March 29th, 2013 The original link showed the entire 8 minute film. YouTube pulled the link because of copyright issues. If you know what you’re doing you should be able to find the original online in about 10 seconds… Take the time, it’s well worth it].


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