The 10 Keys to Business Development

Transcribed article based on the video above.

Here are my tips for better business development

  1. Get warm introductions. You always want to go into a company with a referral. You never want someone to be wondering who you are and who they are talking to. If you can’t figure out how to get someone to get to refer to get you into a company, you’re not worth your own weight for business development.
  2. Deal with decision makers. You always want to figure out ahead of time who are the people what actually can sign off on your deal and spend more time upfront getting to the right people. Because I promise it will save you a lot of time on the backend of the deal.
  3. Only pansies are not prepared. What do I mean? Find everything out there is to know about the company and the people you are dealing with. You have LinkedIn, read articles, the information is out there. You have to be bullet proof when it comes to being prepared to talk about your potential business development deals.
  4. Ask, don’t’ talk. The single biggest mistake we make in business development is we tell everybody about how great we are, our products and services and we don’t ask them; what are you looking for? What do you need? What are the problems you are trying to solve? Always start off by asking them to focus what they need.
  5. Provide as little information as possible. When do you do this? It’s when people say things like “Oh this sounds kind of interesting, send me some information and we will go from there.” Guess what, they are not interested, they are just trying to find a way to push you off. So until you’ve really got buying from somebody and they want to know more about your product or service, don’t spend a lot of time putting together complicated decks.
  6. A picture is worth a million words. So when you get to the point where you actually do send somebody information about your company, product and service don’t send someone a deck with lots of text in it, send pictures that show examples of what it is your actually going to do. It will go a lot farther way to getting your business deal done.
  7. Manage the follow up process like they are a kid in a summer camp and you are their counselor. You want to set up the time to talk, you want to tell them what things to know, you want to be the person pushing forward all the communications and setting the rules of that exchange. Why? Because they have a million priorities and you want to manage that process like you are going to take control of everything. That’s’ what you need to do to get it done.
  8. Persistence and pressure please! There are so many completing priorities that we all have during the course of a day that if you’re not constantly persistent in getting a business deal done, it won’t happen. You need to do it politely, but you need to keep pushing on that deal.
  9. Keep the excitement up until the deal closes. A lot of us are great when were coming up with ideas for deals; were excited, this is great, were going to do this or that. Well guess what, then it goes back and forth over emails, it goes to lawyers, you get into the details and the minutia. That’s where it needs the most energy, not at the beginning of the process, because those are where a lot of the deals stall after you put in a lot of the time upfront to try to open up those doors.
  10. Most important! The sale begins after the deal is done, not before. Ya, we did a lot of great work, we signed our name on the dotted line. But now becomes the real challenge of exchanging value, helping our partners company, making revenue. That’s where the business development sales process starts, not where it ends. If you remember those ten tips I promise you will always be better at business development then all the other folks.

Jason Nazar is the co-founder and CEO of Docstoc. He’s a frequent author and speaker on small businesses topics. You can read more of his posts here on Docstoc and at his