What Business Development REALLY Means, According to Debby Moorman

By Mo Bunnell

Mo asks Debby Moorman: What is your personal definition of business development?

Mo asks Debby Moorman: What is your personal definition of business development?

  • Business development is identifying high-value relationships, investing in them, and finding ways to bring value to those relationships.
  • It’s about matching what you have to offer with the needs of your market and customizing it for each person.
  • Figuring what the client needs is fundamentally about asking the right questions and listening closely to the answer.
  • The key in any conversation is that if you’re talking more about yourself than you are about them it’s not been a successful conversation.
  • Debby’s personal philosophy is if she can help the other person solve their problem, either with something she can offer or by pointing them in the direction of someone else who can help, then the day will come when she does have something that she can offer them.
  • For an hour-long meeting, Debby prepares for at least double that time to make sure she deeply understands the person and the company she is meeting with. The more she can become a student of their business, the more she can make that initial conversation helpful.
  • She will write out a handful of open-ended questions to get them talking and sharing about the challenges in their business.
  • One of the biggest gaps in a good conversation that leads nowhere is that there needs to be a next step. The questions and preparation get the conversation going, but coming up with two or three paths that could lead to a give-to-get or a second conversation is the goal.
  • The goal of the first meeting is to get the second meeting. You need a reason to get back together again.
  • A good rule of thumb for a meeting is that the other person should be talking ⅔ of the time. One of the skills that Debby has had to work on over the years is the power of silence. We have a natural inclination to fill the space, but it’s okay to wait. It takes practice to learn these skills but it’s more than worth the effort.

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Debby Moorman on LinkedIn