Be a workhorse, not a racehorse.
I sat back in my chair when my friend Glen Jackson said that.
He has so many clever turns of phrase, and this one really stuck.
So many people think about great business developers in the wrong way.
I've heard it all:
- Jane handled every question in that meeting. She was born with it.
- There's no way I could confidently talk about our fees like Karim did.
- How in the world could I ever have the network Phyllis does?
It's easy to think great rainmakers are racehorses.
Beautiful words. Fast moving. Smooth approach.
But it's not accurate.
Show me a great rainmaker and I'll show you a workhorse.
- Jane practiced answering those questions before the finalist meeting.
- Karim looked in the mirror before that call, reminding himself of all the work he did to become a senior partner. He's worth those fees.
- Phyllis invested in her Protemoi List for years to build that network.
So how do you become a BD workhorse?
Three simple ways:
- Treat BD like a project.
Write goals. Give deadlines. Block off time on your calendar to do the work.
Hold yourself accountable like BD is the most important project of your career. (It is!)
- Debrief every BD interaction to keep improving.
Ask your colleagues and self:
What's the #1 thing I should change?
What's the #1 thing I should keep doing?
- Do your BD activities first each day.
The rest of the day will sort itself out.
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"Great rainmakers really just do one thing. They treat business development as a craft. Always improving, ever forward. Doing the hard things first. Up every day, back at it. Workhorse."