Monday, July 12, 2010

Taking the B’s out of B.D.

If you want to be successful in building Client relationships, the key to successful business development, there are two B’s that you need to forever banish when dealing with Clients. The first one is the word ‘busy.’ 

Be Careful Not to “Busy” Yourself Out of Business

Imagine you are sitting in your office, trying to get through the thousand-and-one things on your to do list for the day . Then, unexpectedly, the phone rings and it’s a Client. You pick up the phone, attempting to seem engaged - or at least somewhat interested. But in reality, you are distracted. You can feel the minutes ticking away and emails multiplying exponentially in your inbox. 

The Client asks politely, “How are you?”  and you respond, “Oh just buried - as usual. Don’t know if I’ll ever get it all done. What’s up?”

What message have you just delivered to the Client?  What if she had something important she wanted to discuss  – or some even some additional work for you? Well, if she did, you will probably never know because now she is thinking that you don't have time to handle it - or, even worse, she may be wondering how focused you are on the work you are doing for her already. 

What if instead, when the Client asked how you were, you responded, “I’m doing great! How can I help you?”  Now that starts the call off in a whole new context. It projects to your Client that you are enthusiastic and  focused on her needs instead of your busy day.

The same focus is just as important face-to-face. Before meeting with a Client, take a minute to collect and compose yourself. Make sure you are organized and prepared. Double check your appearance - and your attitude. You don’t want to appear as if you just completed a marathon on your way to their office - even if sometimes it may feel like you have. Greet the Client calmly and confidently, with your focus completely on her and her needs. 

These things may seem like basic common sense, but just think about the number of times you have seen someone fly into a meeting, completely disheveled, and explain that they were so busy with their other commitments that they haven’t even had a moment to breathe. It leaves an impression – and not a good one. These are not the people you want to work with - and neither do your Clients. They want to work with people who appear prepared, composed and confident. 

So take the word “busy”  our of your B.D. vocabulary. You've got better things to say. 

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