6 Tough Questions to gain Business Development Mastery

1. What business are you in?

This is not what you do. Customers don’t care about your differentiators.
This is about the outcome you provide for your customer, for example:

  • You aren’t in advertising, you make the phone ring
  • You aren’t in the Custom Software business. You make business run faster

What business is Costco in? It’s counterintuitive.

In 2018 Costco’s revenue from membership fees was 102% of their net income.  Costco loses 2 cents on everything they sell. They aren’t in the retail business. They are in the membership business, not in retail.

So, what business are you in? Explain it in terms of the outcome you deliver for your customer.

2. What’s your “Why”?

This Question comes from Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”

  • Until you know your purpose, you won’t be able to differentiate yourself with your customer.
  • What is your purpose?
  • What gets you going in the morning?
  • What value is your “Why” to your customer?
  • How does your “Why” show up to your customer?
  • How do you communicate your value to the customer?

3. What problems (pains) do you solve?

All customers buy to solve a pain. What pain do you fix?

4. What stories best tell what problems you solve?

People understand stories best. Keep your story short. 2 minutes is ideal. Use this pattern to tell your story:

  1. Pain: What problem did your customer have?
  2. Solution (one sentence). Don’t explain how you solve the problem. Your audience trusts you know how to solve the problem.
  3. Value: What return on investment did your customer get?

5. Who is your target customer/market?

Not all customers are the same, right? You need to identify your ideal customer from the rest of the market to target your message and resources to the right audience. That can be done by answering these 2 questions:

  1. What makes your customer different? Understanding what characteristics your target client is not, will help you exclude businesses that aren’t your target market? For example,our client’s aren’t Fortune 500 companies. Big companies view our services as a commodity. With them it’s all about price, not value. They select their vendors through a competitive bid. So we don’t spend resources target on big companies.
  2. Once you understand who’s not your target market. Identify what characteristics are common among your all your clients, so your message is directed to the right target. Understand the industry, size, type of business and which problems that your ideal needs solving? For example, our clients are business that are changing their industry by applying technology to improve the way business is done in their industry. Off the shelf software isn’t effective with their unique proprietary processes. We help them with a custom solution that fits their unique business processes.

6. How do you reach our target market?

  • What media, forms of communication, groups, and relationships get to your target customers and what methods do you need to practice to reach them?

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