I recently caught up with an old friend of mine, Tom P., who is the VP of Sales for an international electronics company. I asked Tom how his sales team is weathering the Covid storm. Tom responded:
“We initially didn’t know how to adjust to the changing market, so we just threw enough sh!t against the wall to see what would stick. Some of our ideas failed, and others were successful.”
We both laughed, and I applauded him for getting creative and trying new things without worrying about the possibility of some of their ideas failing. In this new market, you need to change it up and not worry about the outcome.
I have spoken to many professionals over the past few months who get stuck in analysis paralysis when it comes to initiating new BD activity. They are so worried about the possible failed outcome that they end up not doing anything at all. It could be as simple as writing an article, setting up a roundtable group, getting more active on LinkedIn, attending a virtual conference, or joining an association.
The number one paralysis is reaching out to someone they do not know well. Incredibly smart professionals who are talented at their craft let their imagination get the best of them when it comes to bread ‘n butter BD activity – reaching out to prospective clients. The “what ifs” come into play. The fear of rejection, or worse yet, the fear of receiving no response at all.
I understand the concern about managing your time, especially as it pertains to BD, which is often a scarce commodity for many of you. That said, your apprehension and lack of courage to try new things could stifle your growth in this changing market.
Start this year by asking yourself what you can do differently in business development to drive growth, and do not get hung up on the possible result. Push past your comfort zone.
If you need to ask a trusted friend, colleague, or coach if you are overanalyzing a new BD activity, you probably are.
This is not the time to be conservative. This is the year to put words and thoughts into action! It is the year to take risks and be willing to fail in some of your attempts.
If Tom’s group was not willing to risk failing in some of their BD initiatives, they would not be enjoying the successes of those initiatives that succeeded.
This is a “brave new world” we are in. If you want to continue to grow and succeed in 2021, get out of your way! Get creative, try new things, and go for it!