It’s been a bit of a vaguely panic-stricken publicly unproductive week in terms of content dissemination, insemination etc etc. The blog crashed, we were under spam attack (yes it is an intergalactic invasion in cyberspace) , all sorts of red flags were raised, panic buttons hit, there was endless chewing of fingernails accompanied by nervous, yet cynical laughter wondering whether we’d be able to get the blog back on track without any loss of data. At this point, it seems like we’ve managed .
Rumour has it that most dilemmas and potential management/time management crises can be dealt with by the social media counselling method of writing a blog post, so here goes.Â
The theory of evolution in this sense probably states that the Manager of Marketing and Communications would eventually move on to dealing with the Business Development side of the marketing function. After all, if business development isn’t all about communication, then what is? I was recently asked about my take on the theories of business development, and to articulate them by means of a written post.
Business development, in our sphere of working, is not so much about hard selling our services as a product as much as it is about understanding what exactly we do in a nutshell and what we’re capable of as an organisation with our various entities and programs. The first thing that struck me when I was asked about my theory of work was pretty much the good ‘ol Jerry Maguire ‘Help me Help you’ , and on a slightly saucier note – We can be whatever you want us to be (repeat loudly in a slightly husky voice using a lower pitch) .
Jargon and technical talk is simply not going to work beyond a point. The ability to move beyond a sentence that sounds something like ‘So we’ll start with the SecRes and go into an internal FCA followed up by a CSW wherein we plan to explore……………….’ is oneÂ that qualifies as a bit of an art and one that is completely worth mastering. Right down to usage of quality of language spoken, breaking down of various terms into plain and simple English, using generic terms, examples even metaphors to put your point across to person in front of you. However, if you do come across a total wise-a*# who probably won’t feel that there’s something different about you and your work unless you pile on the ‘gyaan’ super thick, then by all means go and ahead and pull all stops.
Make a personal connection, small-talk to some extent especially when genuine (contradictory as it sounds) makes a world of a difference. Wishing someone the time of day and maybe exchanging a few thoughts on an event that’s globally talked about (eg-World Cup Football) can go a very long way. Talking about the weather, scotch, coffee, food, music, sports is always a good ice-breaker (unless of course you propose business ideas to close friends and family). However, you do meet that set of people who purely talk shop – as I’ve said before, keep it simple and go for it.
So what you see above is a seemingly confused, hap-hazard, contradictory and all over the place blog post. In its own way, it outlines and possibly articulates the true theories of Business Development. It’s a bit like Jeet Kune Do(go read what that is) or ‘there is no spoon’.
It’s simple, there is no hard and fast theory, just a few ‘guidelines’ (the Pirate Code).
Know the territory, be adaptable, Â keep a calm and clear head, understand the requirements (You’re an Innovation Consulting Practice – whatever it is, if you’re pitching for it, you could probably get the project done), understand the person (at least their professional side if not personal) in front of you, make a connection, and go out and do whatever it takes (governed by the laws of business ethics of course) to bring in the business.