What Business Development REALLY Means, According to Dennis Baltz

Mo asks Dennis Baltz: What is your personal definition of business development?

  • Helping people with a purpose. Being strategically helpful is the name of the game. Sales can be fun when you are offering something of value to someone, not just making a sale.
  • Dennis has a stewardship mindset which fits very well into the risk and insurance industry. Helping protect clients from things like cyber risk is both rewarding and extremely valuable to clients.
  • The first step is to understand how people think and what they care about.
  • There are three questions that all prospects think about when they are making a decision about you: “Do I like you?”, “Do I trust you?”, and “Can you help me?”. Those three questions are the guiding principle in all Dennis’s business development pursuits.
  • To become likable, look for uncommon commonalities. When out of the office, Dennis puts where he’s going on his autoresponder message. The more specific you are, the more opportunities you have to discover those uncommon commonalities.
  • Dennis shares as well as asks for engagement from the people he knows.
  • Every meeting has an agenda and gets a follow up right after.
  • Communicating helpfulness starts with understanding the person’s challenges. It’s about introducing the prospect to things and people that can help them in a way that’s not overwhelming.
  • Starting with small projects where you can build on the relationship and add value can open the doors to bigger engagements.


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