Business Development

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A turn key business is a business that includes everything you need to immediately start running the business.

Defined a turnkey operation as "A product or service which can be implemented or utilized with no additional work required by the buyer (just by 'turning the key')".

A business that is being sold as a turnkey business would include tangibles such as inventory and equipment through intangibles such as a previously established reputation and goodwill. Entrepreneurs considering buying a turnkey business should always do their due diligence and be sure they know exactly what a particular turnkey operation includes; not all turnkey businesses are created equal!    

Business development is a combination of strategic analysis, marketing, and sales. Business development (or "biz dev") professionals can be involved in everything from the development of their employers' products and services, to the creation of marketing strategies, to the generation of sales leads, to negotiating and closing deals.

The job of the business development professional is typically to identify new business opportunities-whether that means new markets, new partnerships with other businesses, new ways to reach existing markets, or new product or service offerings to better meet the needs of existing markets-and then to go out and exploit those opportunities to bring in more revenue.

Since the field is a cousin of marketing and sales, even when an organization doesn't have a stand-alone business development department or employees with the phrase "biz dev" in their job titles, you can bet that folks in sales and/or marketing are handling business development responsibilities. You can find biz dev jobs in all industries-at everything from tech startups to huge pharmaceutical companies. What the work entails, exactly, depends on how big a company is and what industry it's in.

Getting To The White Board

During a conversation about sales this week with my extremely smart friend Chris, he told me about a sales idea that is both simple and brilliant. It's one of those "Why didn't I think of this?" concepts.

Chris sells extremely large, complex technical consulting projects. As part of this process, he makes very sure to use a whiteboard for any presenting he does, and insures that his prospective customers use it too. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what closes the sale.

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Think about it. There's Chris, up at the front of the room. He is at a whiteboard, and he begins do diagram . . . something. It could be the architecture of the network itself. Or the business processes and logic behind it. Or the financial impact of the project. Whatever. Regardless of the subject, he is careful to start building a diagram on the whiteboard with lots of little boxes and circles and arrows and stuff.

And as he works away at this, at some point, he invites one of the prospects to come up to the whiteboard and contribute to the diagram.

This is the Big Moment. First of all, nobody ever says "no" to this. Second, once they're up there, and start adding little boxes and arrows of their own, the entire dynamic of the meeting changes. It is no longer Chris trying to convince them of something. It's Chris and the prospect, working together to solve a problem.

This is a huge shift. Suddenly, the prospect is invested in the situation, and in the proposed solution to the situation. It's now his solution, too.

Whatever you're selling, get the prospect to participate in both defining the problem and crafting the proposed solution. A white board is an excellent way to do this. Once they do, the entire dialogue goes from whether they should work with you to how.

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