How do I turn coffee conversations into new opportunities?
06 Sep 2019
Answering this question is like trying to answer an inquisitive teenager when they ask you “how many dates does it take to … (well you can fill in this bit!)?”
It’s impossible to give an accurate response as every relationship is unique; there are simply too many variables and unknowns.
I suspect my answer hasn’t satisfied you so in order to try and give you a bit more clarity – not only on the many parallels between business development and the dating game but also on how to turn coffees and conversation in to new opportunities – I’d like to share 5 of the most important BD lessons I’ve learnt during my career:
1. You can only move as quick as the other person is comfortable with
2. You won’t get anywhere until you’ve established rapport and built trust and this requires meeting, listening and patience
3. Building trust can take a long time (almost certainly longer than you’d like to keep your pipeline topped up) and that timescale can vary significantly between different industries and different cultures
4. ‘Givers gain’: the smartest networkers know that helping others will pay dividends in the long run so think about how can you help your contact whether that means making an introduction or sharing something that’ll benefit them
5. And most of all, you need to have confidence to take the initiative. This means following up and following up the follow up. The following up again!
This blog was one of Bernard’s regular LinkedIn posts but helping lawyers, accountants, patent and trade mark attorneys and barristers build genuine and productive long terms working relationships with clients and referrers is one of Tenandahalf’s specialisms. If you’d like to discuss how you can develop your professional relationships, please drop us a line and we’ll find a convenient time to talk.
Posted by Douglas | 0 Comments