Photo by Karolina Grabowska
I have had several client coaching sessions over the past few days where I have heard, in so many words, “I know how to do that. I just need to do it.” Well, that seems easy enough. Then why do so many experienced professionals struggle with getting back to the basics?
Business development does not need to be a complicated mystery. It is a combination of exercising our innate personal skills and incorporating newly learned skills to develop new relationships and strengthen existing ones.
Many smart and talented professionals look for new techniques and approaches in business development to help them reach new revenue goals, while at the same time, they forget about some of the basic things they did in the past that were successful. Additionally, the thought of having to try new business development techniques can lead to complacency.
“I don’t have time to learn something new. I’ll get to that later.”
It is human nature. The belief is that we need to tweak the system in hope of a better outcome at the cost of neglecting the core fundamentals that worked in the past. Often, poor results are caused by poor effort. We are not doing enough basic BD fundamentals such as checking in with our contacts, writing articles, posting on LinkedIn, and following up when we say we would.
I have always wanted to be good at golf and often get frustrated when I don’t shoot a good round. I recently concluded that I need to buy a new set of clubs. My current clubs are at least 12 years old, and I have no doubt that a new set will improve my game. Who am I trying to kid? The real problem with my game is that I only play 5-6 times a year. If I actually went to the range, worked on my swing, and played more often, the likelihood of my game improving would be high. For the most part, I know how to swing a club. I just need to take more swings.
Many of you know the basics of business development. You just don’t practice it enough to get good at it. You forget about some of the things that worked in the past. Not every client meeting, pitch, or outreach will yield the results you want, but if you do it enough times, you will get better at it. For those of you who are already good at business development, yet might be struggling with your revenue results, get back to doing what has worked well for you in the past.
Whether you are a seasoned professional or an apprentice in business development, the one obstacle that you will often face is complacency. It is a challenge I help my clients overcome on a regular basis. I hold their feet to the fire to stop thinking and start executing. Find ways to keep yourself accountable. Instead of overthinking what you should be doing, take that time and energy and start doing it. I recommend investing in small increments of time and building from there.
We all are familiar with the tagline “Just Do It.” It is one of my favorites. Make it a point during the second half of the year to push past the “I’ll do it later” thoughts, and get it done today. You will realize in a relatively short period of time that your results are directly tied to your activity.