I’ve had my share of business development (or “bizdev”) while running my own training and consulting company. I get to do some as part of my responsibilities with my current organization as well. Really blessed to do that! Because I sincerely believe it’s the best way to learn about the market, your competition and your own business.
In fact, without an exception, I think learning bizdev along with negotiation and dealmaking is the best investment you can make towards a brighter future.
That said, I would like to simply (as in strip it down) business development for people who think it’s a big deal. It’s not. And mind you, this is coming from someone who’s a practitioner.
- It’s not about the pitches, tenders, newsletters, alerts, websites and social media at all. It can be, it that’s all you care about. But that’s not business development. It’s something else.
- It’s about the relationships that you build, nurture and trust.
- And it’s about figuring out what you can bring to the world that can make it a little better. It’s not just about creating value. It’s about creating massive value!
I think Scott Pollock described bizdev the best:
Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.
The key is to always seek to provide long-term value to the relationships that you build and nurture.
I know businesses who get the relationships bit right but aren’t able to fix the product or service they’re selling. In my opinion, if there’s a gap in the perceived and actual value of the product or service you deliver… you probably shouldn’t be in the business.