One of the basic rules of psychology states, “If you are working harder to help someone than they are working to help themselves, you are in fact the problem.” When applying this to the Business Development role, it becomes apparent that too many traditional sales people are working much harder to sell something than the prospect is working to buy it.
In a balanced relationship, it is incumbent upon the prospect to acknowledge their problem and their desire to solve it both to themselves and to the Business Development Professional. The willingness to identify, quantify and detail the scope and depth of their problem is the responsibility of the prospect. It is the Business Development Professional’s responsibility to ask insightful questions regarding the situation that solicits thought, reflective evaluation and motivation to act. A Business Development Professional comfortably and inquisitively engages the prospect in Socratic questioning, allowing the individual to discover and focus on the actual problem, acknowledge the scope of it and become motivated to solve it. The Business Development Professional simply facilitates the process wherein they allow the prospect to seek a solution to their problem, whether they provide it or not.
It is through this reflective dialogue that trust and understanding are established, the scope of the problem is understood by both parties and a partnership is established to seek the solution. The prospect is indeed working just as hard to get their problem solved as the Business Development Professional is to provide a solution.