Today we started a new job coaching a young executive who is in their first job working in new business development. We agreed that I could blog about the progress they are making and write about the business development skills that are needed for the job.
This will show you what you may need to do better in the biz dev for your business.
The company they work for is in the financial services industry [can't say more], it is a startup and they’ve got little training, less guidance and are working blind.
This situation could drive you stir crazy – so to help our coachee and to help you specify a biz dev job description, we are writing this series.
Where to begin?
We started by listening to the list of tasks our coachee was given to do and tried to understand the target audience for the financial services the company sells.
They told us that they are finding it hard to sign up prospects and have tried a road show which is expensive to do but being led by the CEO. Lately they’ve added a public competition with a big money prize as an added inducement to get sign ups. I can’t say much about these tactics but since they aren’t working as well as they hoped there are only two conclusions to follow:
- there is no market for this service
- the marketing for the service is inadequate and not reaching the right audience
Step 1 – State your business
The first step in the Biz Dev Methodology is this – who are you, what do you do and for whom.
We discussed who the people and organizations are who might buy their financial services and came up with the following list:
- angel groups
- day traders
The first job is for the biz dev executive to get to know these types of people and organizations and so I set two tasks:
- Set up Google Alerts to search for news, blogs and forums where these types gather and are talked about. Objective: become literate in their language. Spend the next week reading these daily. Set them to a broad search and ‘everything’ to begin with. Experiment with different search strings [helpful article] and narrow your alert over time to become as targeted as possible onto the places which give you the best information. Make a list of the best websites / forums / publications. This will be useful later.
- Contact people you know via Linked In or Facebook and ask if they can introduce you to folks who work in those industries. Ask if you can meet them for a coffee or skype and listen to what they have to say about their work. Try to understand their point of view of the world.