There's a simple idea that is at the core of how I see business development done right: whenever you interact with them, your client or prospect should feel like it's their birthday.
I don't know about you, but I love my birthday. It's the one day of the year that's all about me.
My wife and family ask me what I'd like to do, and if I have any special idea on how to celebrate (or they just surprise me). Friends and acquaintances from around the world message me to say how much they care about me. There's barely any giving on my side - I just receive love and attention during the whole day.
Now put yourself in your buyer's shoes. What's a typical day like?
Chances are they're overwhelmed by many tasks and priorities. Jumping from one meeting after the other, all while replying to the never-ending emails and leading their teams. If they're at a big organization, they go through a "re-org" at least a couple of times a year - which is highly stressful and likely affects their personal life as well.
Just like you, they work hard and for very long hours. They feel the pressure to meet their goals and their peers' expectations. What's the only time when they expect to receive respect and attention?
When they buy - during the process of hiring an external consultant like you.
Ask yourself: When you meet a prospect or client, do you:
- Listen and pay attention to what they're saying?
- Ask questions about what they want to achieve, what are their fears and concerns, and how they feel about it? Educate them by sharing insights and challenging the status quo in a constructive way?
- Take notes and follow up with answers and resources that can help them out? Go out of your way to surprise them with more value than they expected?
This's not difficult to do. But if you've ever been in a position to buy something and haven't been treated this way, you know how disappointing it can feel.
Whenever you interact with a prospect, make them feel important. Listen and uncover what they want. And then give it to them.
The rest of the selling process will become so much easier that you'll wonder why you ever hated doing it in the first place.