Creating Business Development Relationships with Mo Bunnell and Linda Klein

Linda Klein drops the mic with her incredible insights and hard-won wisdom in this episode where she shares her experience working with clients as a lawyer and creating relationships through her passion to help others. Find out how to prepare for a meeting in a way that will make you more confident and comfortable and capable of helping a prospect with their issues, the most important life lesson she learned from her father and how it applies to growing a business, and why you shouldn’t ever lose your passion for getting involved and helping other people.


Mo asks Linda Klein: When was the moment that you realized that growth was great?

  • Linda separates the ideas of business development and building a relationship. In the beginning of Linda’s career as a lawyer, she spent a lot of time learning about her client’s business and that relationship building always paid off.
  • It’s not about developing the business, it’s about developing the relationship.
  • Linda tells the story of how her grandfather started a grocery business in the early days of the Great Depression, how understanding and getting to know the people in the community became a crucial reason for their success, how that also inspired Linda and how she built her career.
  • When meeting new people, Linda is always looking for the things outside the day-to-day business relationship that are important to them. There is always a place where you can connect.
  • It’s important to be hireable and to share your expertise, but it’s more important to be human first.
  • Start with something relatable instead of leading with your area of expertise and what services you can offer. The number one correlation to likeability is commonality. Always look for the common areas you can connect on.
  • Every conversation and interaction you have will be different, but the person you’re speaking with will always give you clues. By offering details and asking for details, you’re going to find areas of commonality.
  • It’s extremely important for diverse members of your team to feel like they can find areas to connect.


Mo asks Linda Klein: What is your personal definition of business development?

  • Adding value to a client’s business by solving the problem. Service professionals often only look at a client’s issue through the lens of their own expertise, but that’s not the way to grow a business.
  • Asking for the sale before solving the problem (or diagnosing the problem) isn’t going to work.
  • Linda looks for ways to solve client problems that keep them from growing their own business. Sometimes that means referring the client to someone else when the issue is outside her area of expertise.
  • Linda starts solving the problem before a transaction has occurred. We can sense when someone is trying to sell us before any value has really been added to the relationship and it usually makes us want to run away.
  • Go into the first meeting simply to get to know somebody instead of trying to close the sale. When you help someone achieve their goals, you feel great and you increase the odds of them turning into a paying client.
  • When following up, think about who you could connect the person with and what the person said in the initial meeting that you continue the conversation with.
  • If you have taken your time to get to know the industry your prospect is in, you will know where the pain points are and have opportunities to help.
  • The number one thing you can do to be proactive in building relationships is writing down your top five to ten people that are important to your career and using that to make sure you’re constantly being helpful.


Mo asks Linda Klein: What is your favorite science, step, or story from the GrowBIG Training or Snowball System?

  • Linda never wants to be unprepared in her work, and the same is true in meeting with a client, which is why Dynamic Meeting Prep is Linda’s favorite strategy.
  • A potential client’s business always has important area-specific language that they use that you should know.
  • It’s amazing how much companies have on their website and what you can learn by doing some research. Those insights are invaluable during a meeting, and preparing for a meeting pays dividends when you land the business because then you have a huge head start.
  • Everybody prepares for delivery meetings but rarely do people prepare for the initial meeting.
  • You can’t prepare for the first meeting at a dinner before the meeting day. Research is crucial. Make preparation a priority and get the team strategy outlined ahead of time.
  • Your team needs to show the client that they are seamless, working together and solving the client’s problems.
  • Figure out what your goal for the meeting is, what the frame for the meeting is and how to kick it off, what the big questions that might be asked, natural next steps, and potential cliffhangers you can use to get the next meeting.
  • Being direct can be a challenge but being authentic about the fact that you want to simply be helpful is the best approach.
  • Be ready to discuss what the client wants to discuss. The more prepared you are in advance, the easier it will be to switch gears and the more comfortable you will be.


Mo asks Linda Klein: Tell us a business development story that you are particularly proud of.

  • Many years ago Linda did a favor for an accountant without sending him a bill. Five years later, the accountant called mainly to thank her and ask if she could help a friend of his.
  • The new client was entering a mature market with lots of competition, but after Linda helped him start and grow his business, within nine months his company was the largest client for Linda’s firm.
  • Linda was able to make a difference in two people’s lives. For the client, she helped him start a business that changed him and his family’s lives, and for the accountant, she impacted him deeply enough for it to come back to her five years later.
  • Linda has developed a business development program by volunteering.
  • Linda doesn’t have a lot of free time, but for her, volunteering and being helpful is fun and enjoyable so the business development benefits come naturally.
  • If you’re curious and read the news about your clients, you will find opportunities to reach out and be helpful. Being involved in your community gives you scale in meeting new people.
  • Find what you like and get involved in that community. There are an infinite number of opportunities to get involved and meet like-minded people.


Mo asks Linda Klein: If you could record a video around business development and send it back to your younger self, what would it say?

  • Business development is about passion. Life is about passion. Don’t lose your passion for getting involved. Helping others is the most satisfying thing you can do.
  • In so many ways it’s easier to make a dollar than it is to make a difference, but you can do both at the same time.
  • Take the time to get good at what you do first, and then you’ll have something valuable to sell. If you’re going to say no, say it with kindness.
  • “People will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
  • Treat people right. People you interact with today may be future clients and you should treat them with respect and kindness.
  • If you’re passionate about what you do, it will come through in your authenticity.
  • Some of your best experiences will come from wasting time. If you rigidly plan, you might say no to something that is an incredible opportunity.



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