It really doesn’t matter what business you’re in: business development is almost always a part of the big picture. The people who are best at tracking down new business (and maintaining it) are generally the ones who look at it less like a transaction and more like a long-term friendship. This week on In Process, we’re revisiting our conversation with Moira Vetter, the CEO of Modo Modo Agency, and Ricky Steele, CEO of Steele Technology Partners, about how to make sales by primarily just making friends.
“A lot of today’s work force has started nearly every relationship they have—save for maybe their parents—with technology,” says Vetter, and looking around at the screen-filled social and working landscape, it’s easy to see why she says that. Even those whose professional contacts didn’t begin with an email, it’s hard to imagine keeping up with people long-term without employing some kind of digital communication.
“So much of what we all agree is fundamental to our success is the human element. It’s the foundation for all the success that we have,” says Vetter. “There are certain universal things that we can’t lose sight of.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure to sell yourself, but it’s important not to let that mindset trip you up.
“Everybody in this world enjoys buying things,” says Steele. “Nobody enjoys being sold anything. So people are going to have a tendancy to buy from someone that they like, or respect, or trust.”
Everybody’s had a conversation with someone who seemed like they were keeping one eye on the door, waiting for someone more important to walk in. Even if that person is fascinating or gifted at their craft, it doesn’t make them someone you want to interact with—especially on a professional level.
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so you’ve got to be who you are 24/7,” Steele says. That’s a daunting idea for people who don’t consider themselves extroverts, but business development is at its best when you’re not worried about making the sale.
Stream the conversation with Steele and Vetter in the player below for tips on building relationships that can lead to long-term, continued business development. You can also subscribe to In Process on iTunes to receive this episodes and future updates from the show on your smartphone.