Business Development: When did we forget to dream?

I meet with and speak to a lot of people whose primary role is business development and sales.

These are folks across all industry segments, not just insurance.

Banking, professional services, durable goods, financial services, tech, etc. And, many of these professionals are entrepreneurs, business owners, the rainmaker of their firms.

Big and small.

I’m not sure what made me realize this or think about it, but what I often see and hear in these conversations is that everyone is SOOOOOO busy.

But if I ask about how they’re doing relative to their sales goal I often get an uncomfortable response like – oh, I’m doing okay. Or, an “I’m swamped” refrain.

Look, I’m not a coach or consultant.

I’m more of an observer of human behavior.

I use my observations to improve my behaviors and results.

Now, in my circle of friends and connections, there are a handful of really high-performing people and, there are a lot of moderate performers – people who regularly hit their goals.

Now, this group of moderate performers is mostly still very highly compensated people. they do very well and I’m not throwing shade at anyone.

Instead, I wanted to communicate today that I think a lot of business development professionals, myself included, get caught in a rut.

They fulfill expectations, they develop slightly more business this year than they did last year, and they exceed goals – even when it’s their business and their own goal, and they’re happy.

But what happens to these good or moderate performers is that I think they’ve forgotten to dream.

We’re not thinking big.

We think that ten percent more than last year is crushing it.

The idea of producing twice or three times or five times as much revenue is so out of the question that it doesn’t even enter our minds.

But there are some really great top performers that do shoot for 2 or 3 times or even 5 times their normal production range and they hit it or they get close.

Shit, if you set a goal of 5x growth and came in at 2x – wouldn’t that excite you?

Now I can hear the rumblings right now.

Gordon, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I do dream big but it’s impossible to grow 2x.

Or, You have no clue how difficult it is out there. etc, etc, etc.

You may be right, but then my goal today is to challenge that thinking and to get you to think bigger.

I’d also encourage you to surround yourself with people who do think big and take action to be better, be more productive, and those that aren’t afraid to dream and create action steps to fulfill those dreams.

There’s a famous quote by Henry Ford that I think is really applicable:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right!”

If you change your mindset, you may actually be able to hit those outrageous goals.

And like I said earlier if you had a big hairy audacious goal and you hit a large portion of it, what would that do for you and your family.

Here’s the bottom line.

Business Development is tough.

It’s really tough.

I totally understand that because I live it every day, just like you.

The way you dream big or think big is by doing it.

You need a support group, a mastermind, a peer group. You need someone to kick you in the ass every week or so to encourage you, to make you think more strategically, to make you think outside the box we all too often get stuck in.

I also think you need some time to yourself.

That may be an early morning where all you do is brainstorm ideas and set a course, or it could be a retreat just for yourself where there are no phone calls, no emails, and no disruptions.

We’re quickly approaching the mid-way mark of the year.

How are you doing on your goals?

What would it take to blow the doors off of them?

What are you willing to do to make that happen?

I’d love to hear your comments, suggestions, or ideas to help our community grow, dream, and to be better.


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