FAQ’s Accountability

Answering more of your questions.  If you have a question we haven’t answered email me at kschwartz@springboardbizdev.com.

How Do YOU know what we’re doing?

ACCOUNTABILITY – this can be an interesting word with business developers.  We used to do huge spreadsheets detailing everything.  What we found was that it detailed our networking as it pertained to that client, our partners, our prospect meetings, etc. but it didn’t allocate time for all the emails, calls and follow ups and no one read it anyway.  Business developers by nature aren’t much for time tracking and it took hours per spreadsheet to complete.

Recently we changed our entire communications structure and each consultant follows similar requirements.  While some do still prepare the big spreadsheet every month we are all in constant communication with our clients.  We’ve had some clients tell us to limit communication until we have a strong prospect on the line and need their involvement, we used to agree to such a request but that’s no longer the case.  We’ve found that even when the prospect asks us not to communicate they ultimately get frustrated because we didn’t communicate and so here’s what we’ve done to address the communication concerns.  After every networking event, meeting, partner conversation, strategy discussion that pertains to a client it’s documents via voice recorded email and sent to the Springboard office to be added into our CRM under the client and the prospect.  The office then sends the email to the appropriate client for a quick update.

This keeps our clients up to date in real time.  While some find the additional emails frustrating we’ve found that it’s the best way to keep our clients in the loop so they can prepare, send us necessary information, give us any pointers or dates we may need, and feel more confident in their business development efforts.

FAQ’s How Do we CLOSE deals?

Answering more of your questions:


How Do we CLOSE deals?

I’m not a believer in hard closes or sales tactics, either there’s a need or there’s not; either there’s a fit or there’s not.  We don’t want someone to buy your services and 3 months later having buyer’s remorse, terminating you and then telling all their friends how we talked them into doing business with you and you didn’t deliver.  3 months worth of revenue and commissions is not worth it!  For us it’s a simple discussion, are we the right fit and what do they need from us to make a final determination?  If there are additional questions, we answer them.  We do handle objections which quite frankly are just a need for more information – we’ve missed something in the conversation and so we ask what additional information do they need?

We’re also not naive enough to believe we’re the only firm they are talking with so we’ll discuss how things may have changed along the way, what if anything is different in the competitions presentation and should we consider that as well?  We want to ensure we are talking apples to apples and that when we deliver our proposals we’re all still on the same page.

So I hate to say it but there isn’t a closing style or tactic we use, many of our clients are putting together proposals and its a competitive process so there is a bit of a game to the process.  We need to be the right fit at the right price.  It’s the nature of the beast today.  We try to do more work up front so there’s no need for heroic efforts on the back end.

FAQ’s When do we need you?

Answering more of your questions-

When Do you NEED me?

Again it depends.  Just because we have relationships with these decision makers doesn’t mean that when we walk in the door they say “oh thank God you’re here and you brought me another vendor!”.  It’s still a process and they may not need your services so we need to do our due diligence.  Initially it’s networking and seeing how your message is received, it’s market research – what is and is not coming down the pike that may be of interest to you,  it’s creating partners that can help us expand into other markets more easily, it’s direct conversations with potential prospects.  At this point it’s our job to identify who is and is not a prospect and this takes a little time.  Once we’ve had initial conversations with prospects and know a bit more about what they need, what they are currently doing, what the plan moving forward looks like, who the decision making team might be and what the budget may be if they know then we bring you in to discuss the technical aspects of the service.  From here on out this is a joint venture – we manage the communications and you handle any proposals or technical follow up.   Its our job to open the door for you and assist in the closing.

FAQ’s Your Card or Mine?

I’ve compiled a very long list of questions we receive everyday and it typically starts like this “So, how does this work?”.  Over the next week or so we’ll be answering those questions and I suggest if you have additional questions please email me directly at kschwartz@springboardbizdev.com, we’d love to answer them for you.

Question 1 –

Do you carry our business cards or yours?  Do you act as us or you with the prospect?

We’ve done both and we find that it’s actually easier if the prospect knows we’re from an outside firm.  They typically tell us more information as they aren’t concerned about us “selling” them and we can really play the consultant role in determining if they are the right fit for you.  As an outsourced business developer it’s imperative that we remain focused on the goal – creating long term happy client relationships and that means being able and committed to walking away from deals that don’t work.  The prospect doesn’t really care if we show up as you or as us, what they care about is how we treat them.

Regardless of who we show us as we are representing you and the prospect knows why we’re there.  They usually ask how we work and what our relationship is to you.   We explain that we’re working with you to focus on business development and finding right fit clients while you continue to grow your business.  They know once we have determined a good fit you will come in as the expert.  They appreciate your dedication to your client base and they respect your efficiency in hiring a sales team.

FAQ’s What we need from you

What do you need from me?

Initially as we work through the market research phase and begin the build the pipeline we’ll need to learn more about your experiences with clients, what’s worked, what didn’t and why.  We need to know your ideas about target markets and review your marketing material.  We certainly do not rely on marketing material however it can be helpful; if you don’t have marketing material it’s not a deal breaker.  Case studies are always helpful for us to learn more about your business but also so we can share results with your prospects.

What we need most from you is to be a team member.  Our ability to be successful requires us working as a team.  We need to know enough about your services to be dangerous but we need you to be the expert.  We are able to open doors to extremely high level decision makers and we need you to shine or we risk damaging that relationship that has taken years to develop.  We’re very careful about who we bring in front of our contacts as we know one wrong move and we may never get that opportunity again.  So for you it’s about respecting all that we do today and all we’ve done to create the relationships we have that ultimately will benefit you.  We put those relationships on the line to help you grow your business.  We need you to recognize that you need to bring your “A” game to those meetings, you need to follow up in the appropriate manner and frequency, you need to deliver on what was promised at the time it was promised and you need to service the hell out of that account.  If you intend to raise your game by growing your business you need to start today with our very first introduction.