One of the defining characteristics between amateurs and Business Development Professionals is their early pursuit of “no.” Business Development professionals have moved beyond fearing rejection and understand that getting a no is a healthy part of the Business Development process. They also understand the value associated with a no.
When you reach an impasse in uncovering additional issues or moving a client to a decision point, it’s time to disengage professionally, tactfully and appropriately. This is the time you nurture the client in an appropriate manner asking that they say no to further discussions. Doing so will benefit everyone.
Once you get the no, you ask yourself, “Should I leave, or should I begin the real interview?” The professional begins where the amateur bails out. It’s as easy as asking, “Now that we’ve come to this point, would you be kind enough to give me a lesson?” By continuing the discussion and asking the right questions, you gain valuable insight on how to refine your dialogue with prospects and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your qualification process.
Be aware that you paid for this lesson with your time commitment and your purpose in trying to help the client. If you’re not smart enough to take the trip to no and get beyond it to secure the lesson, it’s your loss. There is great benefit in performing Business Development autopsies, discovering where things didn’t work out, getting to no early and then moving beyond it. More often than not, you may find this is an opportunity to move ahead with the client on a different course.
The ability to move beyond the amateur to the professional depends on the lessons learned after you’ve solicited noes.
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Founded in 1979, MBDi is a global Business Development services firm headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, providing expertise in Business Development best practices in the national security, defense, scientific, energy and engineering industries. MBDi’s mission is to transform our clients’ organizations and people into proven Business Development leaders by addressing the conditions and behaviors that assure positive culture change creating clear paths to professional success.