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Mike Deimler Talks About Most Important Lessons He Learned Becoming One Of The Top Trusted Advisors

Mike Deimler shares three incredible business development lessons that he’s learned over the course of his 30-year career at one the most successful consultancies in the world. Learn the secret to creating powerful client relationships, why empathy is one of the most important skills you can cultivate, and how you can apply the same transformation that Michael Jordan underwent to become the greatest basketball player in the world to your own career.

  • Mike Deimler is one of the best business development consultants among over 15,000 people that the Bunnell Idea Group has trained over the years. Business strategy has been Mike’s main focus for the past 30 years and he’s been working, thinking, or writing about business development for pretty much his entire career.
  • Being good at relationship development and business development is a lot like being a good father, they are learned behaviours and anyone can become better at them.
  • Mike tells the story of his near-death experience as a child and the lesson he learned when the surgeon told him that his eye couldn’t be saved.
  • At the age of nine, Mike learned that he had a choice to make. He could be angry at what happened to him or he could make the most out of every single day of his life. Mike chose the latter and applies that lesson to all of the relationships in his life.
  • If you’ve survived something difficult, you should look at it as a gift and make the conscious choice to value each day. You can pivot your strengths and learn new ways to thrive.
  • Taking a strategic perspective comes down to taking another person’s perspective by listening and understanding where they are coming from. When working with CEOs, Mike always strives to understand what their view is and what their strategic agenda should be. When you take someone else’s perspective and internalize it, it forces you to think deeply about what they should be working on.
  • For every client that Mike serves he writes down their strategic agenda on a single piece of paper. This requires him to be concise and sharp on the issues that matter most and helps establish a relative priority to the things that need work.
  • To move someone to take action, you need to move them twice, both emotionally and intellectually. At the highest levels this takes persistence and the willingness to explore other possibilities, combined with the patience to see the process through. Some of the most important topics Mike has ever worked on took nearly two years for the change to really take place.
  • If you’re pushing a product or service, you’re selling, and if you start with the client’s perspective in mind you are obligated to move them and encourage them to take action.
  • When you start with the other, selling is the consequence of doing the right thing.
  • If you’re ever uncertain in a meeting or a business development situation, just pause and listen to both the heart and the mind. You will rarely go wrong by taking a holistic approach to the other person’s perspective.
  • If you can think of the opposing pairs of facts vs. feelings and big ideas vs. tactics, you’re going to make every meeting and comment better.
  • More Judo, less Karate. Young partners often get anxious about business development and believe they need to push in order to sell. By coming at the meeting aggressively they end up defeating themselves. Sometimes the best thing to do in a meeting is to talk a lot less and listen a lot more. Talking is Karate, listening is Judo.
  • When you’re listening more than speaking, the other person is coming to you and sharing what’s on their mind. Be comfortable with empty space in a conversation, not every second of the meeting needs a slide.
  • There is always a balancing act between being proactive and waiting. Asking questions is important, but strategic perspective is about having a point of view. If you’re going to be a trusted advisor to anyone, you need to do the work to have a value-added perspective. The art of knowing when to pivot from asking questions to proposing solutions is an art.
  • There will be times where you have to take a stance and press your point of view. Asking permission is one way of opening the door and changing the other person’s frame of mind. Don’t be afraid of disagreement.
  • Starting off a meeting by asking questions first allows you to understand the other person’s position in their own words, which in turn allows you to propose a solution to their problem.
  • Mike tells the story of attending the same high school as Michael Jordan and watching him develop as a basketball player, seeing what made him special first hand. During the course of Jordan’s career, it wasn’t until he transformed from the best offensive player in the world to the best complete basketball player in the world. He truly became the best when he learned to move without the ball.
  • If you’re building a sustained relationship with anyone, the most important thing you can do is create opportunity for the client as well as your business. Putting your client in the right position so they can win is more important than scoring on your own.
  • Like most behaviors, when you try something new, you have to try harder but as you move forward it becomes more intuitive. Nurturing relationships outside of the usual business transactions is something that nearly all successful business development professionals have a system for. If you’re just getting started learning these skills, it’s best to have a more disciplined approach.
  • Mo shares a personal lesson he learned from his father that he applies to nearly every area of his life.
  • The most common question Mike gets from young professionals is “How is it you’re so successful at building relationships with senior clients?” Think about your closest relationships and what you or the other person do to make them successful, chances are you’re going to think about empathy, honesty, compassion, and asking for feedback.
  • Relationships require frequency, both parties need to put effort into communicating. The best relationships are fun as well, where spending time with the other person makes you feel good and you do the same for them.
  • The best relationships in your life are the ones where you are both willing to be vulnerable. In business, when a client is willing to be vulnerable with you, you have truly become a trusted advisor. If you strive to make your business relationships as good as the best relationships in the rest of your life, the business will take care of itself.

Mentioned in this episode:


Blasting Through Plateaus – bunnellideagroup.com/blasting-through-plateaus/

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