In #BusinessDevelopment you must understand how your thinking impacts your role behavior.
In your life roles you receive treatment that is consistent with your level of thinking. One of the keys to success in Business Development is understanding how your thinking impacts your role behavior. Most of us have been programmed to think in a manner consistent with what other people have established as role expectations. Changing this programmed thinking/role expectation is challenging. The objective is to learn to think like an “intrepreneurial” business person. You are challenged to see yourself and think like the CEO of “You, LLC.” You are your best product.
In our Business Development education programs, we engage in an exercise to help people understand that role performance, in any role in life, is tied to how they have been programmed to see themselves (i.e. self-perception). Similarly, the level or status of the role they are in is quite often formed by how they have seen themselves in previous roles. One of the interesting things we’ve found is that an individual’s level of thinking tends to constrain role advancement.
If you have a tendency not to get to the decision maker, that’s a pretty good sign that you still have some problems with self versus role in Business Development. Instead of seeing yourself as equal to a high level executive or flag officer, you will find yourself filling a subservient role during the interaction. Another manifestation is to avoid calling at the top level in an organization and to prefer calling on those at a level you are comfortable with regardless of whether or not they are decision makers.
In Business Development, it is essential that you learn to think on the same level as the individual you wish to engage. When you get your thinking on an equal basis with your prospect, you will see yourself on an equal basis with your prospect.
Here are five practical steps to begin overcoming this hurdle:
- Identify the conceptual or psychological limitations that are holding you back. Figure out why you think the way you do and identify the underlying cause. This is conceptual, psychological self-analysis. It’s not easy or pretty, but it will change your life.
- Do your homework. Fear is best overcome with preparation. If you are prepared and have done your homework and research, you will present yourself more credibly to the prospect.
- Define your purpose. Do you have a defined goal and purpose in Business Development? If so, are you owning your purpose statement and articulating it to your prospects?
- Be a decision maker. Decision makers like to deal with other decision makers. Complete a personal and professional Goal Setting and Planning exercise or revisit your own personal and professional goals and plans to see if they’re in alignment.
- Challenge yourself to take risks. There is no growth without pain. Make sure you are pursuing success more than you are avoiding failure. You’re not growing if you are not psychologically uncomfortable. Remember… no one ever died doing Business Development; some only wish they had.