“…neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds. Ever.” – 2001 USPS commercial
Even with the rapid rise of digital communication, postal workers still personally deliver millions of messages every day. It does not matter whether it’s good news or bad news, important or junk mail, the postal worker has no reluctance delivering the message. The reason is simple… they are not emotionally attached to the message, so they have no reluctance to deliver it, even face-to-face. They are simply delivering a message.
Professionals in Business Development have learned to be like the mailman, emotionally removed but professionally engaged. They plan and prepare for each interaction with a client, which helps them overcome any reluctance they might have. As BD professionals, they have learned that they are either gathering intel or delivering a specific message to influence the prospect.
Those that struggle with being emotionally removed and professionally engaged have a tendency to make assumptions or project their own thinking upon the prospect or client. Prior to making a call, they invest a great deal of mental and emotional energy, and as the time approaches to engage, they create mental barriers that sometimes require extraordinary effort to overcome. When assumptions about an upcoming event impact someone’s present behavior, they are suffering from “reachback.”
A way to avoid reachback is simple planning and preparation. With a good Account plan, Intel plan and Call plan, you are already three steps ahead on the call. Know what you want and need to accomplish during the engagement. Focus on the task at hand, be professionally engaged and keep your emotions out of the transaction. Your role as a BD professional is to ensure the message gets delivered, just like the mailman. You can’t control what somebody else thinks or feels; you can only ensure that the message is delivered to the best of your ability. Planning and preparation will assist you in looking forward to the call with anticipation and confidence, not reluctance.
A well-planned call in Business Development should be as stress free as delivering the mail on a spring day in a dog free neighborhood!