Business Development Magic

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” –Seneca (5 B.C. – 65 A.D.)

Despite literally thousands of years of recognition that “luck” is something that we create, it’s easy to instead depend upon or hope for fortuitous luck when it comes to developing relationships and business opportunities. As for me and for the clients I work with on building business development skills, habits and cultures, I see it as a matter of magic – the magic that you can create when you prepare and take action in the face of opportunities. In fact, you can create opportunities simply by taking action, which is precisely what recently happened for a client of mine.

A business development client of mine (a lawyer) was walking through a hotel when he saw the registration table for another conference going on in the building (which was not the reason he was there). The group for the other conference was one that he was interested in speaking to, so he walked up to the table, introduced himself and told them he would love to speak to their group. Perhaps bold action, but simple nonetheless.

They took his card and told him they’d get back to him. While there are never any guarantees, they did get back to him and arranged for him to speak to their group. You would think that was the win from his action in stopping by that table in the hotel. But there’s more.

The organization introduced him to someone in his hometown who would work with him on the speaking engagement. Rather than limiting his interactions with her to the speaking engagement, he took the initiative (action) and asked to meet with her to discuss the speaking engagement AND to learn more about her business (and tell her about his business).

During this meeting she mentioned a client of hers that had a legal issue in an area in which my client is an expert. He answered some of her questions and then, a few weeks later, she introduced him to her client and he was hired for another significant engagement. There’s the magic!

Many of you would call this luck, but the math is really simple. My client saw an opportunity (a registration table in a hotel), took action on it (introducing himself and asking to speak), and then took more action by intentionally reaching out to the woman in his hometown to open the door to a business relationship (beyond the speaking engagement).

Does this happen all the time? No, but it NEVER happens unless you take action in the face of an opportunity (or even a potential opportunity). Certainly, preparation is vital in the formula for magic (e.g. developing relationship building skills). It’s also true that the more consistent your relationship building efforts become, the more opportunities you will recognize and create through your efforts. But in all of the preparation, no matter the quantity or quality of opportunities, the key to the magic is in taking more bold action.

Business Magic

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