This is part of a segment on entrepreneurialism, a reality…
Every Millionaire was Once Where you are Now
Is it real tough to get your business development process going? It is tough, especially for small business. Richard Branson, Larry Page, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others you know were at this point long ago. What they had was a mission statement, belief, and a willingness to trudge blindly forward.
There will be lots of failure. You didn’t see their failures but it took them decades of struggle before they found their niche. You don’t have time for endless trial and error though. You need to expedite and optimize your Biz Dev process now.
“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible”
A while back, I created a new definition of new business development. We needed clarity on the term Biz Dev. Now we need a strategy to put things in action. Once we get into the process, you’ll get rolling. Questions are a great way to lubricate the process and get motion and ultimately do the right things.
After you’re laser focused about what you do and the value you offer, you move onto the networking phase where you multiply your contacts and gain access to your most ideal B2B prospects. The better your groundwork in business development basics, the more unambiguous your networking will be. Cause let’s face it, networking can be a huge time-suck.
A Strategy is a Set of Answers to Key Questions
This process is an iterative one, or cyclical, meaning you keep refining it until it’s perfect. Sort of like a sculptor chipping away at a solid block of granite until suddenly, a perfect form appears. Round and round he goes, and so will you.
You’re going to chip away at your block of granite with questions, and your answers will clarify the actions you need to take. Relax and let the process lead you to the truth.
Never stop asking questions. Ask yourself why. Why are you in business? Why here, why now? What makes you think you’re right for this? What are you not doing that needs to be done? There’s no end to questions, just as there’s hundreds of different chisels and angles a sculptor uses to create his vision.
The dirty dozen: Roll your sleeves up and get answers to these 12 questions.
- What is your passion and what do you want to do or create for your niche customer? What is your product/service in detail and will they really appreciate what you do?
- What are you not willing to do? What would spoil your passion and ruin your day?
- Who is your perfect niche clientele and where are they? Draw out a profile of your bullseye customer.
- What is your unique value proposition? What do you offer that is better than your competitors and which your customer can’t live without/
- What does the market want and what is your competition? What is the demand and why does it exist, and how are others trying to do the same things as you? Are they doing it better.
- What are your prospect’s doubts and dreams, and what do they believe? Do they believe big, name brand suppliers are the only ones worth considering using?
- Specifically, how will you help them improve? How will their product be improved and how much more revenue will they make?
- What actions will make you a noted market leader? Will you write thought leader level materials, hold seminars, do videos, travel, build a better brand, advertise more, publish project results?
- How will communicate a perfect match with your target audience? Web and social content strategy? excellence in copywriting, web design, and free demonstrations?
- How will you get them to pay attention and respond to you and give you the info you need? What will you do for them that they would spend their valuable time on you? What insight will you give them that will blow them away?
- How will you lead the relationship and exchange of value instead of following them? Do you offer things for free such as advice or services, or will watch their business intensely to act at the very time they need you most?
- How will you network and find suitable business partners if necessary? Who else is important in making this happen? How will you meet them and work with them? What will they want?
Write down all your answers and get your business coach or other advisor to poke holes in your answers. This repetitive questioning process will strip away the unnecessary and wasteful and lead you to the perfect vision of who you are and what your business is.
Once you understand your value proposition and who your ideal customer would be, you start thinking about how you can reach them and what you’ll say to them.
Let’s Get Rolling
Once you know who your perfect niche client or bullseye target customer is, and what your unique value proposition is, it’s easier to know what actions are needed. Your action plan doesn’t need to be a template. It comes into view as you get answers to those questions above. But you’ll be writing down your action process from 1 to 12 too.
One thing for sure, is that you’ll be networking and asking the right people about their needs, views, and priorities. You’ll get better at finding them and reaching them too, whether it’s via Twitter, Linkedin, Google search, or networking meetings. Your conversations with them will really improve your 12 questions above. You’re in a pursuit to find the best questions.
Now you’ve got a specific product for a specific customer in a specific market. Your customer profile will help you know what medium to use to reach them whether TV, or direct sales, or inbound content marketing.
What actions can you take right now that will create the most value for you? What decisions can you make that will force you to take action? Some will advise you to begin projecting sales goals with action plans, but that’s not organic and it’s high pressure. At this point, don’t think about sales. Think about how you will create exceptional value for your client and how good you will feel. Feed your passion and your foot will release from the brake pedal.
So go forward by speaking with the people you need to know to refine your value proposition, build your website, give you the funding you need, run your social or ad campaigns, create your branded content, advise you on how to package your services, and meet the right people. Actions mean get things done regardless of the order.
Soon, you’ll be ready for the last task: consultative selling and asking prospects tough questions!
Here’s some additional resources to help break out and get rolling: