We all wish for magic wands and other saviors to give us the gist of what we see as a complicated topic. Business development, marketing, and sales are no different. While I can’t give you a magic wand, this cheat sheet should enable you to grasp a framework within which you can operate simply.
- Understand the conditions under which your service can be of help to the prospective client. Know what evidence you need to get the prospect to conclude that 1) he has a problem, and 2) he might need someone like you.
- Confirm that the suspected conditions apply and that the need is one that your firm or you can fulfill.
- Identify and initiate contact with each person in that organization who has a stake in the problem or condition that drives demand for you. Identify the buying Sponsorship group—the critical mass of influencers who, collectively, have the authority to make a decision and allocate funds for a solution, and the logical Champion within that group who, for his or her own reasons, wants to advance this sale to a decision.
- Find out how important the underlying problem or condition is to each of these influencers, the value of solving it, and the cost of doing nothing.
- Determine what result the organization wants and how each influencer will personally benefit from solving this problem.
- Differentiate yourself from competitors by showing a unique value obtainable only from your firm.
- Confirm that each influencer favors your solution as the most sensible means of obtaining the necessary results, and that the value offered is sufficiently attractive relative to cost.
- Facilitate an informed, sustainable decision among the stakeholders.
If you follow this simple discipline, you'll get a decision reliably, quickly, inexpensively, and painlessly -- for both your prospect and yourself.