Are you struggling with BizDev? Are you kind of “carrying on” but sense that something you are not addressing has changed?
Read more about our services here. Read more about our approach below …
“Picture and Pixels” BizDev
My belief is that 21stC BizDev is uniquely challenging due to the overload on us all from the technological revolution of recent decades. Unique times call for unique – not “me too” or “business as usual” – responses.
As noted in 21C BizDev is Challenging all of us are too busy, too stressed – you, me, your clients, your potential clients. Old ways of BizDev won’t work – they just increase the overload and pressure.
“Picture and Pixels” BizDev is what makes The Tao of BizDev approach unique. Too much of 21stC thinking and BizDev is tactical or tool-focused. “Picture and Pixels” starts with the Big, Strategic picture, gets that straight and only then drills down to the pixels.
We apply this in two contexts:
Firstly on the macro-scale – responding to the world you are doing business in – it is vital to address both the top-down, societal wave of change and the bottom-up, technological wave of change.
Secondly on a micro-scale – within your company – it is vital to address both the top-down, “overall business” perspective and the more bottom-up, silo-ed, “product, marketing, sales, client” departments/functions perspective.
Three Tao of BizDev Tools
This “Picture and Pixels” design philosophy is embodied in a number of unique tools.
1. The Tao of Biz Dev Map
I have spent the past couple of years noting down every formula I come across where folks introduce themselves on business podcasts, or pitch structures, or simply where I meet someone and they are really clear and I “get” where they are at (and that is rare – we could all be “simpler, clearer”).
Out of all my notes there are ten key questions that I found are time and time again the most helpful for building your business development messages. If you like they are the ten ingredients out of which almost all message “recipes” are made – be it personal or product pitch or just simple hello.
In the process of doing this I have found that this is not just useful for “downstream” marketing and sales purposes (see Value Encapsulation – the 21stC Key) but also “upstream” – The Ne Plus Ultra of BizDev Secrets – Value Mining and Refining
And about recipes – you know “how to pitch and all that”. I have found that once you have the ingredients it isn’t necessary to learn some spin-y, sales-y format to “kill ’em on the spot”. You can be a shy introvert but if you tell me a few of the these 10 points I will get it far faster than any Slick Joe who has “practiced his pitch” 101 times.
So these ten questions, these ten ingredients are mapped out as below. How simply and clearly can you answer them re your business/product right now?
2. The Tao of Biz Dev Circle
In addition we need to have a nice simple model of Business Development. Taking my “picture and pixels” philosophy – picture first – we can start with this simple circle and then drilldown to the next level (and the next and the next..). However nine times out of ten the K.I.S.S. approach means the highest level is the one we need to refine most. Indeed clarity on these four issues alone – even in many cases with my clients, the difference between marketing and sales – can make a huge difference. Once you have “the picture on the jigsaw puzzle box” what to do with the individual pieces becomes obvious.
Very importantly this is a “value-circle” not a “value-chain” – good businesses must be fed by client needs and use this to generate new products and services (rather than the more old-fashioned “decide what they want then try and sell it to them” approach). Sometimes a new product “comes out of the blue” but it’s very rare.
In the narrowest sense BizDev has come to mean “marketing” or even just “advertising”. However your business can be developed at many points around the circle – Product, Marketing, Sales, Client. It is only by starting with this top-down perspective to your business, by getting “above the silos” (a principle which of course enables start-ups and early stage companies to develop fast) that you can maximise your business’ potential.
Full Circle BizDev #1 represents this integrated, whole value-circle, approach to business development (rather than the more usual siloed or pixel (bottom-up detail) approaches in the market).
Full Circle BizDev #2 also addresses the “full circle” in the brain in terms of both using and appealing to both hemispheres. Most notably by being visual as well verbal.
Finally Full Circle BizDev #3 is a reminder of another circle in the human body – this time vertical. You must encompass gut, heart and head in your approach. Too many people try and “sell to heads” – but, as any good salesman knows, we buy with emotion, with heart, with “gut feel” and rationalise later.
3. The Tao of Biz Dev Five Design Principles
All of the above could perfectly be used to start a Dark Side BizDev process or a 20thC process which would increase the overload we all feel. So the essential work is to apply five key design principles to each and every component of our process. These principles are designed as antidotes to the five BizDev challenges of the 21stC:
“Simplicity/clarity/brevity” is the most important given the overload we all feel. “Dating” gives us the mindset of finding a long-term partner – this overcomes sales resistance, decision fatigue, mistake-avoidance and flight-or-fright. The potential client doesn’t feel they are being sold to (as they are not!) but rather as part of a dating process rather than you looking for some transactional, “business one-night stand”. “Speed/adaptability” are necessary in a fast changing world where your competitors can copy tomorrow what you do today – there is a very fast “arms race” out there. “Purpose” helps recruit people to what you stand for as Cialdini (the author of the 20thC classic “Influence”) says “the secret to the 21stC is ‘be more human’ “. The fifth design principle – “Magic” is what will beat any competition – don’t be a dull also-ran, don’t tick every box in the “how to win business book” – be magical (somehow, anyhow, even a tiny sprinkle of fairy dust) and you will be remembered.
These are described in more detail in the following YouTube talk where I give a short tutorial to explain in more detail how to apply this approach to your business. Of course if you want us to help – let us know 🙂