For the Future

Click this link when you want to see a list of to-dos that you have deferred.

Project Worksheet

A project worksheet is the place where you document key issues regarding any projects you are planning or implementing. This sheet provides a place to describe the project, list the people who are involved, enter to-do's and on-going notes. You can archive a project by clicking on the Archive the Project link at the bottom. You can retrieve it by going back to the Dashboard and in the Projects section, click on the Show Archived Projects link.


Projects are activities that may involve several people and many to-do's. You create a project by clicking on "Add new" and click "Save." You can list all the people involved and all the to-do's in the Project Worksheet. The to-do's will also be listed in the To-do list on your dashboard with a hammer icon. You can archive Projects by using the link at the bottom of the Project Worksheet or by scrolling over a Project on the dashboard and clicking on the "Archive" link.

Send to PlanPal™

When you are ready to send your Biz Dev info to your Plan Pal, simply check off the information you want to send. When sending your Targets, you can redact their names and replace them with initials. That way you can discuss them without revealing their names.


An important exercise is to anticipate all of the objections that a prospect may have so you can address them before they are expressed (if ever) or as a response to a stated concern. This section provides an opportunity to list many possible responses.

The space for your responses is unlimited so your responses can be complete and powerful. For example, an objection may be, "The cost is too high." One possible response could be, " I know you are interested in the cost, as you should be. Let me share with you how we have come to quote that I gave you. Our goal is to provide the greatest value for you. And while the hourly rate may be higher than our competition, our abilty to be more efficient will result in a lower cost.  May I share with you our processes to demonstrate how our efficiencies will lead to a more rapid outcome?"

It is good to remember that explaining your processes is a very effective way to paint a picture of your ability to deliver.

You should practice responding to objections so your delivery is confident. You need to be proud of your answers and not appear apologetic. You might even respond with a quick smile and a nod that shows you are comfortable with discussing any concerns that may arise.

A good way to review and practice your Objections/Responses is to include them with the information you send to your PlanPal.


What are the benefits you provide?

Benefits are the good things that your clients will receive as a result of your assisting them. Your goal is to communicate all the benefits you provide in relation to the fees that you charge. It makes sense that your ability to communicate the benefits you offer is based on your awareness of as many benefits as possible. This is where you list all the benefits you can think of.  

Innovation Worksheet

This is where you clarify your thinking about key issues for pursuing your innovation.

1. What are the benefits of this innovation? List all the possible benefits for every stakeholder you can imagine. The more benefits you can identify, the greater your ability to appreciate its value.

2. What are the risks of implementing?  List all the risks you can think of at this time. Try to consider every risk that could occur if you were to implement the innovation.

3. What are the obstacles to implementation? List anything that might get in the way of your implementing your innvoation.

4. What are some possible solutions to the obstacles? List all the solutions you can think of. You will think of more later.

5. What additional research. should you pursue? List all the research that you think is necessary to consider your innovation. Notice that you have the option of adding your research ideas to your to-do list. When you do, a lightbulb icon will appear at the beginning of your innovation to-do.

6. Who are the people that could support your analysis? List all of the possible people who could give you input on your possible innovation. Be sure to only engage the support of people who you can trust to not steal your innovation or use it in a negative way.

7. What additional issues should you consider? This is where you list any other considerations that have not been convered by the prior questions.

8. What are your next steps? List all the steps that you now want to take. Notice that you have the option of addint your next steps to your to-do list. When you do, a lightbulb icon will appear at the beginning of your innovation to-do.

Innovation List

This is where you maintain a list of all your possible innovations. You create a new entry by clicking on, Add new." Then enter a title that clearly identifies your idea. You can edit the title or delete by clicking on the appropriate icons when you scroll over it.

Once you have added a title, you can begin to consider next steps by clicking on it to open its, "Innovation Worksheet."

If you want to propose your idea to someone else because you need their support, you can develop your proposal by clicking on, "Innovation Proposal Worksheet."

You can print or save the innovation list as a pdf by clicking on the appropriate icons.

It's a good idea to review your Innovations by including them in the conversations you have with your PlanPal.

Innovation Proposal Worksheet

This is where you clarify key issues if you want to propose your innovation to someone.

Innovation Worksheet View

This is the finished view for your innovation worksheet, which you can print, download, and share with people whom you may wish to involve in the planning and execution of your innovation.

Innovation Proposal

This is the finished view of your innovation proposal, suitable for sharing with people with whom you wish to validate or promote your innovative idea.

What changes, if any, do you want to make to your pricing structure?

Pricing is one of the most complicated issues in business development. It is so complicated that you should research the topic by reading the trade journals in your profession.

If you are in a firm, the management of your firm will probably determine your pricing. If you want to lobby for change, you need to be very clear about the impact of any changes.

If you have control of your pricing structure, an important issue is how much you think you are worth. If you think you are charging too little, you will feel frustrated that you are losing income and will feel motivated to increase your rates. If you decide to increase your rate, you may want to experiment with some clients before you make any over-arching changes.

If you think you are charging to much, you might feel inclined to lower your prices, but before you do, you might want to consider increasing the benefits you offer and make sure that you are skilled in communicating all the benefits your offer.

What is your current pricing structure?

This is where you describe the prices that you are currently charging. Make sure to include any alternative pricing structures that you have used, even if they are not the norm.

Group Administration

Welcome. This information is for the benefit of someone who wants to start a group subscription or for someone who is already an administrator of an existing group.


If you want to start a group account, you must first be in the system as an individual. If you have not yet registered, go to and click on "Register for a 30-day free trial" and create an account for yourself. Then, go to "My account" and click on "Start a group subscription." Then follow the instructions on the screen. If you have already registered, go to "My account"  and click on "Start a group subscription."


When you start a group subscription, you will automatically become the the Primary Administrator;  you will have access to the service as a subscriber and be included in the billing. There is no charge for you to use the system as an administrator if you are not also registered as a subscriber. If you want to stop using the software as a subscriber, but continue in your role as the administrator, you can go to the "Group Admin" link, find your name in the list of "Current group members", and click "Remove." You can also remove yourself as a subscriber in the "My account" section. Go the the "Group subscription info" section and click on "Leave group as subscriber."


As the primary administrator, you are the point of contact for the members and potential members. There is only one primary contact administrator and you can only be removed if someone else is identified as the primary contact.


It's a good idea to have at least two administrators at all times – just in case you want to remove yourself from the role or if you are not available to fulfill the duties of an administrator. Simply click on "Add new" in the Administrator section and enter the required information.  If they are new to the system, they will be sent an email invitation with a password.  If they are a current subscriber, the "Group Admin" link will be automatically added to their dashboard.  Be sure to advise them about adding an additional administrator if you leave so there will always be at least two in the system. 


Any administrator can edit the system and identify the new primary contact adminstrator. If you want to change the primary contact administrator, click on the "edit" link of the new primary administrator and check the appropriate box. A group must always have an administrator. If you are the only administrator and you want to remove yourself from the administrator role, you must add a new administrator first.


As a group administrator, you are in a position to edit credit card information and invite, edit or remove group members. When you initially enter a credit card, your group will have a 30-day free enrollment period. During that time, all members will have free access to the site.  After billing commences, new group members do not receive a free 30 day trial.  The credit card will continue to be billed each month until you terminate the account.  There are no refunds - even if an account is terminated prior to the next billing date.


To invite members, click on the "Group admin" link, go to "Current Group Members" and click on "Invite new members. Then add the email address(es) of the person or people you want to invite. Please enter one email address per line.

When you invite an already active subscriber, you must invite them using the same email address that they used as in their original registration. They must re-register as a group member by clicking on the link which is automatically provided when you invite them. When they accept your invitation, all of their data will be transferred to their group member account. Any earned future months on their individual account will be deferred and be available to them in the event they are removed from the group account.

When you invite a new member, their email address will be listed as a Pending group member and will automatically be moved to the list of Current Group Members when they register. You have the ability to resend an invitation if a potential member fails to register.

A subscriber can only be in one group. If you invite someone who is in another group, you will be notified and that person will not be allowed to join until they are removed (or remove themselves) from the other group.

If a there is only one group administrator and he/she is no longer available to act in that role, there are two ways to create a new administrator.

  1. Use the "Contact us" tab and notify us. We will get back to you and create a new administrator of your choice.
  2. Notify all the members to leave the group. The credit card will no longer be charged and you can identify a new administrator to open a new account. 

Wish List Prospect

This is a person or entity that you are aware and who might qualify as a good Target - but, you haven't met yet. They are a total stranger. Your goal is always the same - to obtain the contact information of the decision maker. You can do that by asking your contacts if they know someone at the entity. You can also do research on the Internet. You may also feel comfortable contacting the entity and inquiring about who the person is that you should be talking to.

Once you identify the right person, you can reach out and inquire about the process for getting on their approved vendor list. Some of your prospects may send our a Request for Proposal (RFP) when they plan on hiring a new provider. You may want to ask about the process for getting on their RFP list.

Then, you may decide to that the person or entity qualifies as a Target. If so, you can click on "Promote to a Target" and they will be moved from your Wish List to a Target Worksheet.

You can also promote a prospect on your Wish List by scrolling over their listing on the Wish List. 

Wish list (of strangers)

This is a place where you can list the names of complete strangers you would like to pursue. It could be the name of a person you have heard or read about - and/or an Entity where you do not have a contact. 

If you have identified a person, you should try to obtain their contact information. If you have identified an entity, you should try to find out the appropriate contact person.

Then you can reach out and introduce yourself and explain your ability to be of service. One strategy is to inquire about the process for getting on their Request for Proposal (RFP) list. An RFP list is a common process used by many companies and organizations to identify possible vendors.

When you have identified a contact, you can decide if you want to add that person to your Target Worksheet list. If so, click on "Promote to a Target."

What changes do you want to make to your website?

Your website is your electronic brochure. People who are referred to you will probably visit your site before they call you.  And, people will search for your website via the Internet when they are seeking your services. 

Your site needs to provide a comprehensive amount of information. But it should be easy to navigate with a variety of subheadings.  Visitors may easily become frustrated if they can't quickly find the information they are seeking.

One of the best ways to think of improvements is to be aware of the websites you visit and keep notes on the things that you like. 

Another key to a successful website is providing helpful information so that visitors actually benefit from their visit. It is a good idea to provide value in the form of tools, articles, videos, seminars etc.

There is a correlation between the amount of time someone spends on your site and their feeling confident in your ability to be of service. This concept is called, "Stickyness" and you should endeavor to provide elements that make people want to stick on your site.

A great use of your site is to invite your prospects to visit it when you are talking with them on the telephone. During your conversation, you can provide a tour of the site and point out the value it provides along with the issues about your business that you want to them to appreciate.

You will probably want to hire a consultant to help you develop your site. A good way to do that is to look at the sites of your contacts and when you find sites you like, you can ask about the developer.

If you want to enhance the number of visitors that come to your site, you may consider hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant. They may be able to help you identify key words that prospective visitors are most likely to use in their search for your services. Those words should be incorporated in your site.

There are many consultants who are in the businesses of website development and search engine optimization. Before you hire one, be sure you examine their prior work product and be sure to check references. There are many consultants who overpromise.

What is the condition of your website?

A website is a key component of biz dev for every business. It provides two fundamental functions. First, it may be a be a way for you to acquire new prospects. If your website appears in the priority listings in the search engines of your prospects, they may be able to find you when they are searching for your product or service.

There are many firms that claim to help you with your search engine optimization which could enhance the priority of your listings. If you hire a consulting firm, be sure that you get references and check them out. There are many companies who claim to be skilled in this area that may not be able to live up to their claims.

Second, your website acts as your brochure and informs your prospects about you and your services.  It is common behavior for a prospect to go to your website prior to calling you. The more information you can provide, the greater the liklihood of a prospect reaching out to you.

What aspects of your business are newsworthy?

Articles written by journalists and reporters about you and your business could be beneficial. For that to happen, youmust identify issues that may be interesting to your targets.

An issue may be as simple as your getting a promotion, but if you can identify more compelling issues, you increase the liklihood of having an article written. For example, are your pursuing some kind of cutting edge srategy - either in the way you run your business or serve your clients? Or, are you helping the needy and underprivileged or being of some other benefit to the community as a part of your business? 

If you do have a topic that may be if interest to the press, you should identify the publications that are read by your targets. You can document that information in your Target Worksheets. Then simply reach out to reporters and/editors. You could call them or send a letter or issue a more formal press release.

You may choose to use the services of a public relations professional who is knowledgeable about the process of reaching out to the press.


FYI is information from BizDevCoach. It will be hidden unless we have an announcement that we would like to share.



The tutorial will help you learn how to use the site and answer the questions in the Biz Dev Questionnaire. You can access the tutorial via your computer or your mobile device.  It can be downloaded from your computer and read in its entirety, or you can use the help icons as needed. 


Every action you take in 8 sections is recorded in History:

1. For the Future

2. Plan Pal

3. Referrals

4. Target Notes

5. Target Other Items

6. Targets

7. To-Do's

8. Top of Mind

If you want to see a prior action in one of these categories, select it in the Type box or select "All" for all entries. Then, click on Apply.

Items are entered in History with the most recent entry at the top of the stack and is date-stamped.

Deleted or completed items can be returned to their original section.

What additional industries are potential referral sources in?

It is important to identify all the industries that are connected to your targets.  For example, if you are a CPA, you may be getting referrals from attorneys. However, your target market also uses the services of banks and financial planners. This is where you should document all of the industries that may be vendors or partners or associated in some way with your target market.  The members of these industries could be valuable referral sources.

The obstacle to pursuing new industries is that you may develop a comfort level in a particular industry. And that will be ok if that industry is large enough to support your referrral goals.

But the risk is great that the members of a particular industry that could refer you totheir contats will be too limited and stunt your growth.  

My Account

This is where you can edit your settings.


The profile settings include your name, user name, email address and location time settings.

Start a group Subscription. This link gives you the abiility to convert your individual subscription to a firm/group subscription. with a group subscription, you will be able to invite many subscribers to use the same credit card. 


The Preference settings include:

Frequency of reminders: One of the most important thing you can do to improve your biz dev effort is to make sure that you are regularly thinking about biz dev. If you accept responsibility to think about biz dev, you will begin to identify new ideas.

The best way to maintain your awareness of business development is to keep your BizDevDashboard always open. There is no need to log out. If you do log out, you can program the system to send you an email reminder to return to the site. Even if you keep the site open, receiving an email reminder to visit the site may be helpful.

The default setting for your email reminder is daily.  You can program your reminders with alternative options in the My Accounts section.

When you receive your reminder, we encourage you to promptly click on the BizDevCoach® link. By doing this on a regular basis, ideally daily, you will find that biz dev increasingly becomes woven into the fabric of your day.

Play "Ta-da!" when target marked as "Achieved the Goal": Just for fun, you can celebrate your achieving a goal with a brief fanfare. You can remove it if you choose.

Show introductory overlay on next login: On your first login, you will see an overlay screen that provides some tips on geting started. If you want to hide the overlay, unclick the box that refers to the overlay.

Account Status: This is where you can close your account. There are no partial refunds for unused days that may remain. Please note that if you close your account you will no longer receive reminders to visit the site or your your to-do reminders. Also, we may not save your data, so if you want to re-open your account, you may have to enter all new data. To close your account, click on "Edit preferences" and then click on "Close my account."

Credit Card Info

Card Number: This shows the last 4 digits of the credit card we have on file for you.

Card Expiration Date: This shows the expiration date of the card we have on file for you.

Monthly Cost: This is the amount we will bill your account for the next month where money is due. Remember that you can receive free 30-day segments when your contacts subscribe to BizDevCoach using a Win/Win introduction from you.

Win/Win Months Earned: This is where we show you the number of 30-day free periods you have earned due to your Win/Win introductions actually becoming subscribers.

Next Billing Date: This is where we show you when we will bill your account unless you earn more 30-day free Win/Win segments.




Target To-Do's

It is important to be clear about your next step with each target. This is where you document what you want to do. You can access a target to-do via your computer or your mobile device. If you enter data using your mobile device, you will need to refresh your main site to see your new data. Or the program will automatically refresh within 5 minutes.

When you enter a target to-do, it will appear on the Target Worksheet and also on your To-Do list (and be identified with the bulls eye icon).

Note. If you delete a Target, any to-do's will be removed from your to-do list.


For the Future

This section is a place for you to list things you may want to do in the future but that you don't want to have appear in your to-do list.

It is a place to document ideas or people that deserve future consideration. For example, let's say you want to consider new ideas for seminars but you are not ready to list your new ideas in your Biz Dev Planner. You could remind yourself in For the Future to consider new seminar topics.

You can add an item in For the Future by clicking on "Add new" or you can move an item from your current To-do list by clicking on, "Defer."

Of course, you need to periodically visit your For the Future link so you can be reminded of the things you entered.

How do you plan to use advertising?

Advertising may be used to motivate people to contact you and/or to increase your visibility - so when people meet you (or get referred to you) they may already feel more connected to you because of their prior exposure.

Here are some fators to consider:
1. Make sure your advertising dollars are invested in communicating with your targets. Every dollar spent on reaching out to a non-prospect is a waste.
2. Be clear on what you want to accomplish. Many people spend advertising dollars with a message that simply says that their businesses exist. For that kind of advertising, a prospect has to have a need. When a need matches a service, you might get a response.

But you may have a service where there is no immediate perceived need. For example, you may be a CPA and your prospects already have a CPA. You may offer superior services, but you will never get the attention of your prospect because the don't perceive the need. In that case, your advertising should quickly explain what your prospects should be enjoying.

If your goal is to motivate your prospect to contact you, you need to provide a compelling reason. For example, you might want to invite them to a seminar or offer a free booklet with valuable information.

Advertising is a complicated and expensive endeavor and you should investigate using the services of an agency. Any reputable agency should be capable of explaining how the advertising they propose is going to accomplish your goals.

Top of mind

This is where you list important concepts that you want to keep in mind throughout your day. It could include affirmations, guiding principles, key strategies, and talking points. Top of mind is a particularly valuable part of BizDevCoach. You will easily be able to review the things that motivate you and the wisdom that you want to impart to your targets. You should review it regularly - especially prior to communicating with a prospect.

You can click on the up/down arrow and drag and drop items in the order of their priority. The more you tinker with your Top of Mind items, the more they will become engrained in your thinking. You should constantly be aware of additional items to add to Top of Mind. This will enhance your entrepreneurial energy.

You can access Top of Mind from your mobile devices but it does not have the same functionality as on your computer.

We have pre-populated Top of Mind with some suggestions.

Be a Person of Value. This is a reminder that the best way to improve your business development is to constantly be improving the value you offer to your targets.  When you are valuable, you are attractive to your targets. Strive to help your targets before they hire you so that you can build trust. You will see in the Biz Dev Questionnaire that there are a variety of offers you can make to your prospects to help you develop and maintain your relationships.


Review your target list daily. This may be your most important new behavior. Reviewing your targets increases the likelihood that you will 1. Develop greater clarity about the criteria that make for a good Target. 2. Think of reasons to reach out, and that will enhance your ability to develop those relationships and produce business.

Of course you can delete the pre-populated Top of Mind items, but be sure to add other things you want to remember throughout your day.

The Goals section is a duplicate of the final question in the Biz Dev Plan. You can enter new goals only in the Questionnaire. But, you can access the questionnaire by clicking "add or edit goals."

If you want to remember a Top of Mind item but not show it on your active list. You can archive it by scrolling over the item and clicking on the archive link. If you want to retrieve it, you can go to the Show Archived Top of Mind link and click on it. Then, scroll over your item and click on the Unarchive link. 

If you want to print your Top of Mind items, click on the print icon at the bottom. If you want to print both current and archived Top of Mind items, click on the Show Archived Top of Mind link and then click on the print icon. 

If you want to download your Top of Mind items, click on the download icon at the bottom of the section and it will download both current and archived Top of Mind Items.


Your BizDevDashboard consists of four sections:

Top of Mind - Your list of sayings, quotes or important thoughts that you want to keep top of mind.

FYI - Announcements from BizDevCoach®

Targets - Your list of the people who you have decided are the most important to pursue.

 To-Do's - The tasks that you want to remember to implement - and you have a due date in mind.

You may want to keep BizDevCoach® open all the time so you can readily see the things that are important to you. If you don't log out, the content will always be immediately avaliable - unless we have updated functionality of the site - in which case you will need to log in.  We will notify you when we update the site with both an email and an announcement in the FYI section.

Keeping BizDevCoach® open all the time will increase your outreach. That's because when you see the things that are important, you will be motivated to improve. And you will be more likely to come up with creative ideas that you really want to implement.

Referrals In/Out

This is where you document the people who refer business to you as well as the people that you send referrals to. It will show all of the referrals that have occurred between you and your contact. This is a great way to make sure that you are rewarding the people who give you opportunities and vice versa.

When you receive a referral (In) or provide a referral (Out), here is the process:

To start, click on Add new person. A "Person" is someone who has made a referral to you or you have received a referral from them. Then, add a name and click Save. You will be returned to the complete list of people you have added into the system.

Then, click on Add referral under the name of the person who made or received a referral. You will see two fields, "Type" and "Notes."

"Type": In/Out. "In" refers to a matter that came in to you from a contact. "Out" refers to a matter that you referred out to your contact. The default is "Out".

"Note": This is where you should list the name of the individual referred, her/his entity and describe the matter. You could also estimate the financial benefit. For example,
Type: In
Note: Introduced me to Sally Smith of Smith Industries. Possible $20,000 contract.
Type: Out
Note: Introduced her/him to Bill Jones of Jones Industries. Possible contract of $30,000.

Be sure to click on Save.

Remember to edit a referral if it changes from a lead to a closed deal. For example someone could make an introduction to you and you document it as a referral In. When the deal closes, you should edit the entry and document that you received income as compared to just an introduction.

You have the option of deleting a person or archiving them. Archiving gives you the ability to remember prior referral relationships. If you delete them, they will be removed from the Referrals In/Out section. If you archive them you can retrieve them by clicking on Show Archived People.

Now, remember to refer good contacts to your current and potential referrals sources as a way to motivate them to return the favor! Also consider how you could reward your referral sources. The best way is to refer business back to them. But, that is usually not an option that is immediately available, so you should consider other ways such as a gift. Make sure that the gift complies with ethical and legal requirements.

If you want to print your list of Referrals In/Out People, click on the print icon at the bottom of the section.

If you want to print both current and archived Referrals In/Out People, click on the Show Archived People and then click on the Print icon

If you want to download a PDF of Referral In/Out People, click on the download icon and it will download both current and archived People.

What biz dev goals would you like to achieve?

This is where you can list your goals. Many people like to set goals as a way to motivate and measure progress. For example, you might choose to set a goal of implementing four seminars per year or meeting 200 new targets. Try to set goals over which you have some control and that can be easily measured.

One of the keys to achieving goals is to create systems that will logically produce the results. For example, if you want to meet more people, you need to identify systems for doing just that. You need to list the people you know who are well-connected. You need to identify the organizations that are populated by the people you would like to meet. You need to consider researching the names of strangers who you would like to meet and then develop outreach strategies.

When you enter a goal, it will automatically be entered into the "Goals" section in the Top of Mind section of the Biz Dev Dashboard.

What other ideas do you have that you want to include in your plan?

There may be other biz dev activities that you would like to implement that are not included in the Questionnaire such as promotional gifts or direct mail campaigns. This is where you should list those ideas.

What aspects of your life that are important to you could be blended with your Biz Dev Plan?

In an effort to be motivated to increase your biz dev effort, it is a good idea to select an aspect of your life that you could blend with your biz dev. For example, if you have children, you might be involved in your local PTA or booster club. If so, (and if your targets are local business owners in the school district) you might consider reaching out to the owners of those local businesses to support the school. That way, you help the school and also meet the business owners. The term for this kind of business development is "Cause-related marketing."

There are many ways to blend your interests with your biz dev. It could be connected to your hobby, or charity or political beliefs. Be careful, however, not to choose an activity that might make some portion of your target market uncomfortable. If you choose hot-button issues, you run the risk of alienating an important segment of your target market.

One of the obstacles to blending your interests with your business development is the discomfort you may have with mixing business and your personal life. In an effort to deal with this issue, you need to consider whether or not your concern is rational. It is common to hold on to beliefs that you may have developed years ago even though the beliefs are not valid.

Remember that if you can comfortably create situations where your personal and business interests merge, you may find the experience energizing as well as effective.

What offers do you make to maintain your relationships with targets?

In an effort to maintain relationships with your targets, you need something of value that you can offer that will motivate them to spend more time with you.

If you fail to stay connected, there is a great risk that the relationship will lose its momentum. So, after you have implemented your first follow-up offer, or a low-barrier closing offer that is not accepted, you need to offer a relationship maintenance offer.

Relationship maintenance offers are particularly important for people who have not hired you or people who have not referred you to a prospect. They are also important for clients who only use your services intermittently and who may meet your competitors in the interim.

Relationship maintenance offers could be some form of entertainment, seminar or event, or anything that will motivate your targets to respond and continue spending time with you. They may be provided at no cost or you may be able to charge for them. Of course it is best if you can get paid for staying in touch.

You should have an inventory of prepared relationship maintenance offers. And, as you interact with your prospects, you should constantly be listening for reasons to spend more time together in the future. Remember the rule: A goal of every interaction with a target is to schedule the next interaction."

What offers do you make to motivate a prospect to hire you?

Sometimes your service or product is too expensive or has insufficient benefits to get immediate buy-in. In that case, you may want to alter the service and therefore the fee.

If you can't do that, you may be able to offer alternative, interim services or products so your prospect can hire you right now.

This is where you list all the alternative offers you could make to close a deal sooner rather than later.



What offers do you make to new acquaintances that will allow you to spend time together?

A fundamental rule in your biz dev is: The goal of an interaction with a target is to negotiate the next interaction.  

When you meet a new prospect and want to follow up, a good strategy is to make an offer. This first follow-up offer should be something of value that allows you to spend more time together so you can guide her/him through the selling process. (There's more information about the Selling Process in the section on Target Worksheet).

It is common to offer a free consultation as a first follow-up offer. Unfortunately, prospects often view that offer as a transparent strategy to sell services and may hesitate accepting it.

A first follow-up offer needs to be immediately appealing and not feel like an overwhelming commitment.  A good first follow-up offer could be a checklist of best practices in a particular area. It could also be a seminar or some other event that you are planning. The goal is to make it valuable and easy to accept.

An important time to make a first follow-up offer is when you are giving a speech. Your goal in giving a speech is to motivate the targets in the audience to reach out to you. If you offer something of value and ask them to give your their business card, there is a good chance they will comply. That will give you the ability to communicate in the future.

A common mistake that people make when giving a speech is to provide too many handouts. You should provide a minimum of handouts and make offers to provide the additional information if people give your their card.

If you don't acquire the contact information of the people in the audience, you will dramatically reduce the likelihood of communicating with them later. Even if you get the roster of the attendees, it is unlikely that you will maintain the momentum of the moment or have the willingness to contact them later.

You will find more information about other kinds of offers throughout the Tutorial.



What could you do to enhance your use of technology to serve your clients?

This is where you list possible additional uses of technology that you have interest in pursuing.There is a good chance that many or most of your targets are of an age when technology is an important part of their lives and they will appreciate and expect you to be technologically astute. It is not a good idea to live in the past. Imagine if someone wanted to provide a service for you but you were told that you could not call the service provider on the phone because they were not comfortable with that technology. Well, your client of the future will expect you to be deeply involved in the technologies they use and the sooner you can exhibit that you are aware and involved in technology, the better.

How do you currently use technology to serve your clients?

This is where you list the technological systems you currently use to help you deliver and to promote your services. Your targets are always interested in your ability to deliver on your promises. One way to convince people that you have the ability to deliver is by having processes that support you. Obviously, technology can provide services that support your ability to serve your clients. The key is describing any technologies that you use that help you be superior to your competitors.

One interesting aspect of technology is that the technology that you use may seem mundane and obvious to you, but very interesting and important to your targets. For example, if you are an architect, demonstrating your designing software may be very powerful in helping your targets see how you have the tools to convert their ideas into reality.

You should list all the technology you use in your business that may prove useful in helping your targets to see how you function and deliver value.

What is your plan for blogging?

Creating a blog on your your website may be an effective way for you to substantiate your ability to deliver and also to meet new contacts. Blogs give you the ability to communicate your knowledge and invite prospects to respond. An active blog may also enhance your position in your listings on Internet searches. Your interaction can create a community of people who share your interests.

This is where you list your blog topics and ideal frequency for submitting content. You could also list the people who can help you write the blog.

One of the obstacles to a blog is the time it takes to write it. Check out the tutorial on, "What client updates/newsletters do you plan to write?"

How do you plan to use Social Media?

This is where you list the Social Media sites you plan to use along with a description of how you plan to use them in your outreach and/or substantiation. Your blogging plans should be listed in the dedicated section on your Biz Dev Planner.

Social Media consists of Internet-based communities such as FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, SnapChat and interactive blogs. Social media is an effective way to both stay in touch with existing contacts and reach out to new ones. This is an important and growing topic and requires that you get familiar with all the social media outlets that might work for you. You need to spend time with each to get familiar with how they work.

The key is using the tools that are being used by your targets. For example, If your targets are in-house counsel of large corporations, they may be less involved in FaceBook and more in LinkedIn.

Be careful not to rely on Social Media so heavily that you ignore live interaction with your prospects. While Social Media can be an extremely effective tool, it does not have the emotional bonding quality of live interaction on the telephone or face to face.

What additional credentials should you pursue?

Increasing your credentials may be an important biz dev strategy. Prospects want to know that you have the ability to deliver and your credentials will help to make them feel optimistic.

You should make a list of all the possible credentials that would serve you such as memberships in professional societies, additional degrees, awards, etc.

You should regular consider this issue as your prospects may become more sophisticated and will find increasing your credentials more appealing.

What credentials do you have that substantiate your expertise?

Your prospects will need to feel confident that you have the ability to deliver what you offer. One of the ways to help develop confidence is revealing your credentials. You should list all of your credentials including your education, awards, memberships etc.

Your experience is also a credential, so you could include the number of years you have been in business, the number of clients you have served and any other issues that support your ability to deliver on your promises.

What client updates/newsletters do you plan to write?

Updates and newsletters are a good way to make sure that everyone in your contact database occasionally is reminded of your name. That way, when a need arises, they are more likely to consider contacting you.

But don't expect your prospects to contact you after receiving your updates/newsletters unless they have a need. The timing has to be perfect.

An important biz dev strategy is to spend time talking with you - even if they don't have an immediate need. Talking with your prospects by phone or in person gives you the time to learn more about them. As you learn more, you can communicate more about your business and how you can be of service.

You can use updates and newsletters to promote conversations by making offers that may be attractive, such as seminars or checklists. Remember, you goal is to create an opportunity to interact with your prospects so you can guide them through the selling process.

Another way to enhance the effectiveness of updates and newsletters is to limit the amount of information in the initial broadcast and require that people click on a link and log on to your website to read the rest of the article. This will notify you that someone has shown interest in the topic and may make you feel comfortable enough to reach out and offer to provide more information or customize the topic to their needs.

One of the obstacles to updates and newsletters is that they are time-consuming. There are several solutions:
1. Keep a folder with your ideas. When you get an idea, you may want to make the time to write about it. Every time you think of a possible topic, document it in your folder. Collect articles, updates and newsletters of your competitors.

2. Block out writing time in your calendar. Some people can develop new habits by scheduling them.

3. Delegate. If you have support staff, you can make this a part of their job. You could help them by arranging for them to interview you. You can explain the issues and they can write about them. Your support staff can also write about their own areas of expertise. Delegating not only produces the product, it is also an effective training tool.

4. Hire a writer. You can reach out to colleges and universities to to find students who can interview you and write your updates and newsletters.

What articles do you plan to write? (Topic/ Outlet)

There are many benefits to writing articles. In today's content-sharing marketing world, your ability to provide value through the written word is a huge asset. Articles document knowledge that can be segmented into blog posts and also be the basis of best practices checklists which you can use as offers when you speak or network.

Articles published in journals and magazines provide third-party validation. There is a presumption that your article has been vetted by others and determined to be of value.

An article on a topic of interest will be much more meaningful to a prospect than your brochure, which simply describes your knowledge. In addition, you can subsequently offer a reprint of your articles as a way to obtain contact information of your prospects. For example, when you give a speech, you could offer to send reprints of articles you had mentioned to those who give you their contact info - instead of providing the reprint as a part of your handouts.

One of the greatest benefits of writing and article is that it forces your to think about a topic. When you write clearly, you not only help your readers with valuable information, but also you enhance your ability to talk about the topic. This enhances your ability to demonstrate your ability to be of value. In other words, writing articles scripts your sales dialogue.

To publish an article, you need to identify the outlet for it. One of the best outlets is trade journals. They are often looking for content that is interesting to their members. You should become familiar with the publications that your targets read. There is a place to document that on your Target Worksheets.

Once you have identified a topic of interest, you can write the article and then reach out to the editors of the outlets that might be interested. You could also contact publishers before you write an article so that you can see if there might be interest in it. But it usually makes sense to write the article and just send it to interested editors. Even if you don't get it published, you can put it on your website.

You also have the option of hiring a public relations professional who is familiar with the process of getting published.

One of the biggest obstacles to writing an article is the lack of a topic. It is common to assume that if a topic has already been addressed by someone else, there is no place for your article. Of course, this is not the case. Any topic can be addressed by numerous authors.

It is a good idea to list article topics in the For the Future section BizDevCoach. Then every time you solve a client problem, you could list the issue as a possible topic.

Another obstacle is you may not be a good writer. The solution is to give it a try. You may find that your preconceived notions about your writing are based on a time in your life where you did not have interest in the topic. Start by writing down key elements of the article i.e. Why is it important to the reader? What is the history of the problem? What are the possible solutions? What are the obstacles to implementing the solutions?

As you collect key elements, you may be inspired to write more. You may find writing articles not only effective in your biz dev effort, but also extremely fulfilling.

What experiences have you had that reveal your superior characteristics?

An important biz dev goals is to reveal to your prospects that you have the ability to deliver. A common strategy is to simply claim that you have a particular skill or capability. But claiming capability may not be enough. You want to communicate your ability in a way that has more credibility and power.

One of the best ways to reveal your superior characteristics is to tell stories about your experiences. These "War Stories" make your experiences come alive. Telling stories has always been a primary motivational mechanism for helping people learn, believe and remember important information.

There is a fundamental belief that prior behavior portends future behavior. You should select experiences that are emblematic of the characteristics you want your prospects to know. For example, if you want to reveal your creativity, list experiences in which you were particularly creative. If you are proud of your ability to solve complex problems, list an experience where you solved a particularly complex problem.

Of course you cannot list all of your experiences. But you can list key experiences that will be motivational to the majority of your prospects.

Plus, this process, will teach you how to think about this issue and help you be prepared to use experiences as a way of motivating prospects. For example, if your prospect has a need that requires that you be very thorough, you will be trained in immediately telling a war story about a situation where you were particularly thorough.

You should review this section periodically because you will constantly be having new experiences that improve your ability to motivate your prospects.

What processes do you implement that ensure the delivery of your superior characteristics?

A primary goal is to instill confidence that you can deliver. Simply claiming that you have the ability to deliver may not have enough impact.

Your targets will feel confident in you if your processes logically lead to your ability to deliver a desired outcome. For example, if you want to communicate that your staff is qualified, you could describe your training processes or your hiring standards.

Processes include your rules, procedures, checklists, agendas, etc.

You should develop great clarity about how the processes in every aspect of your business lead to your delivering superior service. And you should always describe your processes as a part of building trust.

Is your bio up to date?

Your bio may be an important element of your website, brochures and other business development materials.

You should maintain a comprehensive biography that documents all of the information that will support your ability to deliver the benefits you offer. Be certain to include your philosophies about serving clients, processes, experience, successes, awards, organizational involvement, etc.

Try to be as comprehensive as possible. Don't be afraid of making your bio too long. Your prospects can stop reading when they want to, but if they want to learn more about you, you should make the information easily available.

It is a good idea to include a photo of yourself on your bio. Prospects will feel more connected to you when they see your face.

It may be appropriate for you to modify your bio when you present it to a particular prospect so that you communicate the most relevant information and so that it is customized to meet the prospect's needs.

If you use your bio as a handout when you give a speech. Be sure to include your contact information.

You should review your bio regularly to make sure that it speaks to your constantly- improving ability to serve your clients.

What events should you consider producing?

You should always be on the lookout for additional events to produce.

Be careful to not allow your events to be a burden on your prospects. This is often the case when you produce a charitable event where the attendees might feel pressured to contribute to your cause. You never want to be a burden on your targets. If you are asking for contributions, you should be focusing on your vendors - not your clients or prospects.

There is more information about events in the tutorial, "What events do you plan to produce?"

What events do you plan to produce?

A primary goal in business development is spending time with your prospects. One of the best ways to do that is inviting them to events. Events could be parties, outings, or any other event that might attract your target market.

If your prospects are located too far away to addend an event, you can offer webinars.

You should have at least three events per year. That way, you will always have something to which you can invite a prospect that is not too far into the future. And, three events will give you three reasons to contact your prospects to stay "top of mind."

You should invite existing clients, referral sources and resources as well as inviting the strangers you have added to your wish list. Be sure to tell your invitees that you welcome their suggestions of any contacts who could be added to your invitation list.

Do not give your invitees the authority to invite others without your prior approval. Otherwise, they might invite a competitor.

In an effort to maximize attendance, you should personally call as many invitees as you can. That will dramatically increase attendance and give you a reason to have a telephone conversation. Sometimes that call may result in being hired.

It is a good idea to develop a signature event that makes you well known in your target market. If you can create a "hot ticket," you will increase your credibility and visibility in your market.

The event should be worth the attendees time and should be positive in every way. It is better to invite fewer people and have a more pleasing experience. You should make sure that people feel welcome and never unclear about what they can expect. If you provide food, it should be good food. If you provide information, it should be interesting. And, you should validate parking.

Each event should provide you with an opportunity to spend some time with each attendee. Be sure to thank them for attending. Be sure that when you are interacting that you give them your full attention. Don't fall into the trap of allowing your eyes to dart around the room in search of other targets. When you are talking to someone, they must be the focus of your attention.

Keep in mind that follow-up is key to your success. Be absolutely certain that you negotiate your next interaction with that person before you part. If you don't negotiate the follow-up, the event will provide far less return on your investment.

In order to negotiate the follow-up, you should have an inventory of valuable offers that you can make prior to parting. Offers could be seminars, best practices checklists, other events, or socializing, etc. In addition to having an inventory of canned offers, you can create customized offers on the spot based upon the needs that your prospect reveals in the conversation. During your conversation, you can make your offer and ensure that you will spend time together in the future.

If you can't think of a valuable offer, simply getting their approval for you talk with them in the near future will dramatically increase the likelihood that you will do the necessary follow up.

If you fail to negotiate the follow up, you can still contact your invitees after the event. You can contact those who did not attend and, if applicable, provide a recap. You can also offer an invitation to a future event. For those who did attend, you can call to make an offer for future interaction. But the burden on you to make follow-up calls that have not been pre-arranged is great; and there is a great likelihood that you will hesitate to reach out.

Which new seminars/webinars should you consider developing?

You should constantly be thinking about new programs that you could implement that will attract quality targerts. Every time you help a client, you may be dealing with a topic for a seminar or webinar. Accept responsibility for identifying possible topics throughout your day.

Which seminars/webinars do you plan to deliver?

Seminars and webinars are one of the most effective biz dev strategies. They are relationship maintenance offers for existing contacts. They are first follow-up offers for new acquaintances. And because they have a scheduled date, they force you to do your outreach.

Unlike speeches that you provide through organizations, this sections deals with the programs you will produce. They are a subset of events you plan to implement.

The biggest obstacle to implementing seminars and webinars is developing the content. You can minimize this problem in several ways:

1. Keep it short. The seminar does not have to include every important detail. In fact, it should have just enough to be responsible.
2. Make it a panel. That way the responsibility is divided among several speakers.
3. Just be the host. You get a lot of benefit by just being the host and let others do all the speaking.

A key to your success is producing programs that are interesting to your audience. Make sure the content is filled with actionable tips.

Remember to invite not only the people you know but also the strangers on your Wish List. Also, be sure to ask your invitees to give yo the names of people they know who might be interested in being invited. But, don't give them the authority to invite anyone they choose. They may be thoughtless enough to invite your competitors.

It is a good idea to personally call as many invitees as possible to invite them to your program. Personal invitations dramatically increase attendance.

When attendees arrive, be sure to make them feel welcome and validate their parking.

Since you will be in charge of inviting your guests, you will already have their contact information. But don make the mistake of thinking that you will follow up after the program. You should still make offers during the program that motivate the attendees to reach out to you.

Which additional speeches should you consider developing?

You should always be on the lookout for new speaking topics and opportunities. Every problem you solve could be a topic for a speech. All advice you give is a source of possible future speeches.

Be sure to ask program chairs of targeted organizations about the topics they would like to schedule. And, keep an eye open for speeches and articles by your competitors on topics that may be appropriate for you.

Which speeches do you plan to deliver?

Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to meet new contacts. This is where you should list the topics of speeches that you have decided would be worthwhile to deliver.

One obstacle to giving a speech is the fear of being embarrassed. The key to solving that problem is to select audiences that know less about the topic than you do. When that happens, you won't have much to worry about.

Another obstacle is the amount of work it may take to write a speech. Rest assured that it is likely that you will be able to deliver the same speech many times to different audiences and amortize the time it took to create it.

The best way to arrange speaking opportunities is to identify the organizations that cater to your targets and reach out to the program chair. You could simply ask if they invite outside speakers. If they do, you can discuss topics you are ready to present and you can also ask what alternative topics they have an interest in.

When you schedule a speech, be sure to find out if you are allowed to invite your contacts. That way you can use the speech as an offer to your targets.

Remember that the goal of your speech is to get the contact information of your targets in the audience. You must have the contact information so you follow up. The best way to do that is to make an offer of something that is compelling but does not create the fear of making a commitment to you.

Offers could be a copy of your PowerPoint, copies of articles, best practices checklists, invitations to future programs, etc. Don't make the mistake of giving too many handouts. Instead, hold back some of the handouts and use them as offers.

Which additional events should you consider attending?

You should always be looking for additional events that may attract quality targets. Ask all your contacts about the events they attend. You should do Internet research. If you can't find events that meet your needs, you should seriously consider producing one yourself.

Which events have you attended that are worth continued attendance?

Attending events is one of the best ways to meet new people. The most important criteria of the events you attend is access to quality targets. If the targets are not good, the event is a waste of your precious time and money. And,when you meet those new contacts, be sure to negotiate the follow-up by making a first follow-up offer. Without following up, there is very little benefit in attending.

You might also consider becoming a speaker or sponsor so you enjoy the added credibility and access to more contacts.

You could also use the event as a reason to contact your targets to see if they plan on attending.

If the event is in another city, you could use the opportunity to visit them as long as you are already going to be near them.

You should list the dates of the events you want to attend in your To-do's and schedule a reminder well in advance so that you can register and plan any associated biz dev activities.

Which additional organizations should you consider?

You should always be considering different organizations that attract the people you should be meeting. Be sure to ask as many contacts as possible about the organizations they support.

You should know the trade organizations of all your clients. Also do research to identify organizations that your contacts may not know. Remeber that if you can't find an organization that meets your needs, there may be an opportunity for you to form one.

Which organizations do you currently support?

This is where you list the organizations that you have decided are well-targeted and provide access to the participants and members.

Your goal should be to meet as many targets as possible. You should consider being a sponsor of an event or being a speaker.

Remember, the value of an organization is to stay connected with existing contacts and meet new ones. Don't make the mistake of joining some committee that results in your doing a lot of work with little exposure to your targets.

The best committee to join is the membership committee. In that role you can reach out to all your targets in the organization and help them identify the people they know who should be members. Then you can reach out to them to introduce the organization and introduce yourself in the process.

In the role of developing membership, you can also reach out to complete strangers who you think would benefit from joining the organization. Building the organization will not only help you, but it will help the organization as well.

Too often, people are involved in organizations that are no longer good biz dev opportunities but because they support the cause of the organization. Supporting causes is wonderful, but unless the organization is well-targeted, don't include it as a biz dev opportunity.

What industries are your current referral sources in?

This is where you list the industries of the people who currently refer business to you. You may be getting referrals from CPAs or insurance agents.

You should be aware of the industries of your current referral sources so that you can identify ways to meet more people in those industries. Check out the tutorials, "Which additional organizations should your consider joining?"

Do you have a list of strangers you would like to meet? (Wish List)

The first step in the Selling Process is meeting new targets. (See more about the Selling Process in the Target Worksheet help link.) While meeting people through referrals or by attending events can be effective, simply reaching out to strangers may be very effective as well. In order to reach out to strangers, you can advertise. But advertising may not capture their attention as effectively as a direct approach.

If you want to implement a direct approach, you need to identify the names of the strangers that would be worth meeting and start making a list. We call this a "Wish List" because you will ultimately prioritize the strangers that you would really like to meet. You can maintain your Wish List by clicking on the Wish List link at the bottom of the Target Worksheets section.

Here are some ways to develop your Wish List:
1. Noting the names of contacts that your contacts mention
2. Asking your allies for suggestions
3. Making note of names as your read articles
4. Noticing advertising
5. Researching the Internet
6. Purchasing mailing lists

Once you add a name to your Wish List, you will be motivate to acquire their contact information. You can do this by asking your contacts if they have any ideas about how to connect. You can do research in social media and the internet. If you purchase a mailing list, you will also acquire their contact info. If you can, try to negotiate a guarantee from the list provider that the information you purchase is accurate.

When you obtain contact information, you can reach out. You could send a letter of introduction. You could offer to talk on the phone about some way of being valuable to them. Or, you could invite them to attend your webinars or seminars.

There are many obstacles to creating a Wish List of strangers. One obstacle is that you may feel that it is unrealistic that you will be successful in making contact. Of course, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don 't try, your odds of meeting are of course much worse. Also, you may be surprised at your ability to become skilled at this.

The key to being successful in reaching out to strangers is providing something of value so they want to meet you. It may be that your service is so valuable, merely learning about it will compel a target to interact with you. But, many of your targets will not immediately perceive the value you offer, so just informing them that you exist will not be enough.

If that is the case, you need to think about something of value that you could quickly describe in a letter, email or telephone call that would be compelling. A good example would be an invitation to a webinar or seminar.

Another example of a valuable offer is a brief discussion via telephone about best practices that they should be following in their business. Let's say you are a CPA. You could offer a best practices checklist for how to prevent fraud, or how to increase the value of your business.

Your success will completely be dependent on the value of your offer. If someone learns about your offer and does not accept it, then you need to improve your offer.

Another obstacle is the concern that reaching out to strangers is unethical. While you must follow the ethical rules of your profession, there most certainly will be ethical ways to reach out to strangers. The key to your success is to not assume that all outreach to strangers is prohibited, and then find out the methods that are acceptable.

What are the titles of the people who have the authority to hire you?

As you become aware of the titles of the people who are in a position to hire you, you will enhance your ability to find more quality targets. This may seem obvious, but many people mistakenly reach out to too large a market and spend valuable time interacting with people who are lower-quality targets. It is true that you might meet someone who may not have the ideal title but could introduce you to you to the right person, so interacting with potential referral sources can be beneficial. But, you should maximize your biz dev time with those with titles that you have determined are best for you. Titles could be:
"C" Suite (CEO, COO etc.)
In-house Counsel

In addition, as you become increasingly familiar with and understand the titles of your best targets, you will be able to identify the organizations they support and attend, the publications they read and other activities they pursue that may create opportunities to meet and interact with them.

Is your contact database accurate and comprehensive?

Your contact database is the backbone of your outreach. It is the way you maintain the inventory of one of your most important asset - your contacts. And, it is one of the primary means of communicating with them.

You should be extremely diligent in collecting the business cards of the contact you meet who could be clients, referral sources or resources in the future.

Keep in mind that the selling process may take years with many of your contacts, so you must have a way of staying in touch. And the process of creating and maintaining your contact database make take a long time. You want to be ready at a moments notice to sent out an announcement or invitation.

Another important benefit is the ability to review your contact database to remind yourself of people you know who should be added to your priority target list. If you don't review your inventory of contacts, there is a good chance that valuable contacts will be forgotten and not receive the attention they deserve.

There are many contact management programs that you can use for your contact database. You probably already have Microsoft Outlook on your computer. More sophisticated systems include Act!, Sales Force, Sugar and many others.

Basic contact database systems will act as a sophisticated address book, with the ability to house both contact information and notes. Many are able to sort by variable fields such as industry, priority, etc. More sophisticated contact databases have the ability to inform you about who opens your emails and who blocks them.

Your contact database should contain the names and contact information of everyone who could be of value to you in your business development. It should include:
1. Every contact at every client
2. Everyone you have met whom you would like to see as a client
3. Everyone who has referred business to you
4. Everyone you know who could refer business to you
5. Everyone you know who could help you in your business development. We call this category "Resources." Resources could be publishers, program chairs of organizations where you might speak, marketing support staff at your firm, etc.

It will be helpful for you to obtain mobile phone numbers of all your contacts. With a record of a contact's mobile phone number, you may be able to maintain a connection even if the contact moves to another company. One of the best biz dev strategies is to remain connected to contacts, even if they move to another entity or entities over time.

Remain diligent in adding new names and updating contact information. You should review your contact database periodically to refresh your awareness of contacts who might be potential targets for new services or who may now be better targets than they were in the past.

The obstacle to creating and maintaining an updated contact database is that the process is burdensome. It feels boring and may not provide instant gratification. The solution is to remember that you must document your contact for the long run. Failure to do so will most certainly result in your losing contact with people who could be valuable to you in the future.

Try to spend a few minutes a day in updating your contact database. If you can delegate the process, be sure to tell your delegatee that this is an extremely important responsibility.

What aspects of your practice do you want to improve?

A key for success is being proud of the services you offer. So, you must constantly consider how you can improve your deliverables.

You must be alert to the changes being made by your competitors. You might want to ocassionally review the websites of your competitors to see what they are offering.

Your should periodically review every aspect of your business to reduce costs, improve your ability to serve clients and enhance business development.

One way to improve your business is to list a reminder in the Top of Mind section of your Biz Dev Dashboard. You could enter, "Is there a better way?" And by doing so, you will see that question every time you look at your dashboard. You should ask yourself that question every time you work on a business project. You should remind the people that work for you to do the same.

By accepting responsibility to improve yourself, you will find the process both profitable and energizing.

Should you expand, contract, or maintain your geographic reach? Explain.

It is a logical strategy to increase the size of your potential markets by extending your geographic reach. Your ability to increase your geographic reach is dependent on a number of factors.

The first is your ability to serve your clients without being geographically close.

Another is your targets' perception of how close they think they need to be to you. While you may feel comfortable serving your clients from a distance, your prospects pre-conceived expectations may be too deeply entrenched.

Another is the cost of travel or satellite office space if you need to have face-to-face meetings.

With current technology, you may be able to serve clients that are at far greater distances than you had previously imagined. You should periodically consider your geographic reach as your situation changes.

What is your current geographic reach?

This refers to the location of your targets. For instance, they might be limited to your city, county or state. Clarity on the location of current clients will help you decide whether or not to make changes and will also help you decide which organizations you should support or any advertising you might consider pursuing.. Keep in mind that if your targets are close, you can maximize personal interaction. If they are far away, you will need to rely more on phone calls, emails and webinars to connect.

Which additional market segments should you consider serving?

Market segments are always changing. If they are growing, you can grow with them. But if they are shrinking, you may be at risk.

You should be constantly thinking about new market segments. Analyze the vendors to your current clients and consider their customers to determine if they have potential as new market segments for you.

Which market segments do you currently serve?

Market segments are groups of prospects that share similar characteristics. Market segments could be industries such as manufacturing, health care, energy, etc., or much smaller segments within an industry. Segments could be entities in different industries but which share common qualities such as government contracting.

Look at your list of clients to see what similarities they share. As you identify entities with similarities, you will be able to identify other entities that share those characteristics.

Keep in mind that referral sources are also a market segment. Understanding your market segments will help you identify better ways to develop business in each.

What services should you consider offering in the future?

You should always be thinking about new ways to serve your target markets. Learn about the services that your competitors offer. Always ask your clients about additional services that they may need.

Remember that each new service may open the door to additional target markets and additional biz dev strategies.

How are you superior to your competitors?

Everyone with whom you want to do business uses the same decision-making process. They analyze the relationship between the benefits they will receive compared to the costs. This is a Benefit/Cost ratio. Another way of describing it is, "The most for the money." This decision may be made consciously by your targets through deliberate analysis or casually with minimal conscious effort.

When you can convey to your targets that you offer superior benefits, you can justify charging higher prices and still provide greater value than your competitors. So you need to constantly seek ways to be better than the competition.

Having confidence in your ability to offer superior value may be the most important thing you can do to improve your outreach. When you are confident in the value you offer, you will be excited about reaching out. When that happens, business development is not a burden, but rather the very energizing experience of letting people know that you are a valuable person.

Your superior characteristics may be in the level of your expertise, your efficiency, your ability to provide introductions, etc. When listing your superior characteristics, be as specific as possible. The more detail you provide, the easier it will be to develop ways to communicate your superiority.

One of the obstacles to identifying how your are you are superior to your competitors is you may feel that it is inappropriate to consider yourself as superior to others. If this is the case, you will have difficulty communicatining your superior characteristics and that will be a problem. If this is the case, you need to understand that claiming superior characteristincs in business is not claiming that you are a superior person. It is saying that you have unique business characteristics that allow you to serve your client more effectively.

Another obstacle is feeling that claiming superior characteristics is bragging. The key here is accuracy. Your are correct that bragging is a problem. But bragging connotes exaggerating. So you must develop an ability to describe your superior characteristics in very precise ways. When you are accurate, you will lose the concern about bragging.

An interesting obstacle for some is that they feel they have superior characteristics to offer but are not good at explaining them. You must regularly look at how you are superior and practice accurately describing the characteristics so prospects will be able to appreciate them.

Of course, you may not be superior to your competitors. If that is the case, you can still maintain a high Benefit/Cost ratio by lowering your price and/or offering additional services that create a more competitive package.

The key to developing the highest benefit to cost ratio is to immerse yourself in looking for ways to improve your offers. You should remind yourself every morning that it is your job to identify better ways to serve your clients. Try to notice how everything you do can be improved. You might want to add a the question, "Is there a better way?" to the Top of Mind section on your Dashboard. Remind yourself to notice how the people you hire are providing superior benefits to you and try to apply those principles to your business. If you accept responsibility for thinking about being superior, you will certainly be more likely to figure out ways to do it.

What services do you currently offer?

List all of the services you offer so you that can be certain that you have a strategy to promote each. As you list each service, you should consider whether or not you really enjoy providing that service. If you don't enjoy providing the service, and want to maintain your ability to provide it, you should consider how you might delegate the delivery.

You should also make sure that you are always aware of all the services you provide as you interact with your contacts so you can educate your prospects about everything you can do for them.

Documenting your services also enhances your ability to explain them succinctly, which is important for motivating your prospects to ask questions about them.

You should review this section periodically because you may be developing new services and that you'll need a separate biz dev strategies for each.


A PlanPal® is someone you select to create a biz dev support system. A PlanPal® will help you clarify your thinking regarding your Targets, Biz Dev Plan, Projects, Objections/Responses and Innovations. Also, a PlanPal® will gently hold you accountable so you are more likely to stay engaged and implement. A PlanPal could be a colleague at your company or firm. Or, you could select someone outside your firm - even in a different profession. You may want to have several PlanPals - especially if you are working as a team.

You and your PlanPal(s) should commit to having periodic conversations (possibly monthly). Prior to each conversation, each PlanPal can email his/her target list, plan, and/or innovation worksheets and/or proposals to the other(s) using the BizDevCoach® PlanPal® system.

Note: Your browser may have a safety mechanism with an offer to block future emails. Don't accept the offer. If you do, you can refresh the page and send the email again.

If you have chosen a PlanPal who has not subscribed, you can send an invitation using Win/Win and if he/she subscribes, you will both receive an extra 30 days for free.Then, during the conversation, each will help the other improve his/her biz dev planning and implementation.

To protect your privacy and the privacy of your targets, the target list that you e-mail can be redacted to remove names that you may not want to reveal to your PlanPal. Note: Be careful to choose a PlanPal who is not a competitor. Even though the names on your target worksheets can be redacted, you could reveal information that you don't want a competitor to know.

PlanPal® Process:

To begin, click on Add a PlanPal and enter his/her name and email address and click on Save. You will automatically return to your list of PlanPals.

Then, set a time to talk with your PlanPal. You can meet in person or on the phone. Phone is easier and likely to be more efficient. You should agree in advance as to how much time to dedicate to your conversation. 15 minutes devoted to each is a good beginning.

During your conversation, each of you should take the role of both "Planner" and "Guide."

The Planner is the person who has created a plan. The Guide is the person who is asking clarifying questions and helps the Planner identify areas of the BizDevCoach Tutorial that would be of assistance.

Make sure you divide your time as a Planner and Guide evenly. Don’t let one PlanPal monopolize the session.

Make sure you are prompt in calling and available if you are being called. If you are inconsistent or unavailable, the relationship will be less likely to succeed.

When you are ready to send your biz dev information, click on the appropriate PlanPal® and choose the information you want to share. You should redact the names of your Targets if you wish to keep them confidential. Redacted target names will show Target initials so you can still identify which notes apply.

Note: Even though you can redact the names of your targets, you should review your biz dev information to make sure you are not sending information that you don't want to share with your PlanPal.

During the conversation, each PlanPal® will take turns being the “Guide” or the “Planner.” A Guide is not a business development consultant, advisor or mentor. Rather, the Guide is focused on helping the Planner justify and clarify biz dev decisions.The Guide should review each document sent and ask questions that help the Planner develop certainty that their entries are valid.

Regarding the Biz Dev Plan, the Guide should ask questions such as:

1. What were the factors that lead you to this answer?

2. Where could you find more information to help you learn more about this issue?

3. Who could help you in this effort?

4. What resources will you need to implement this?

Regarding Targets, the Guide should address issues such as:

1. Why does this target qualify as a good investment of your time?

2. Why are you convinced that your next step will be effective?

3. When do you plan to implement your next step?

Regarding Innovations, questions could include:

1. What was the thinking that led you to this entry?

2. What are the reasons your believe your entries are valid?

The objective is to review as many of your PlanPal's targets, Biz Dev Plan and Innovations as possible in each session. If you can't complete a full review in a session, make a note to pick up where you left off in the next session.

While the Guide is not a business development consultant, if she/he is aware of resources that would be helpful to the Planner, it is appropriate to mention them. The Guide should always suggest that the Planner review the BizDevCoach® Tutorial. The Guide should never be pushy or demanding.

Note re giving opinions: Guides who are not acting as a biz dev team should be aware that it may not be a good idea to give their opinions about the biz dev ideas of the Planner. If a guide wants to voice an opinion, she/he should specifically ask for permission to do so by saying something like, "Would you like my opinion about that?"  If people are working together as a biz dev team, it should be understood that opinions are welcome from the team becuase everyone should agree on targets and strategies.

Note re receiving opinions: If a Guide does give an unwelcome opinion, the Planner should feel free to remind the Guide that the role is to be supportive and stick with the questions listed above. The Guide should be gracious and agree not to give opinions in the future

Remember that getting support is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your momentum. Always schedule the next conversation with your PlanPal® before you end your conversations. If you don't it will be more difficult to schedule or it may result in delays. If the relationship between PlanPal®'s is not working, you should feel comfortable in saying that you want to put it on hold and no one should take it personally.

Note re. ending a PlanPal® relationship: There are many reasons a PlanPal® relationship may not work out. There is no need to provide a reason for putting the relationship on hold. Both should be gracious in the parting. Your goal is to create a PlanPal® partnership that works and benefits both parties for as long as possible, with the full understanding that PlanPal® relationships will probably change over time.

Biz Dev Plan

Your Plan is the document that is generated as a result of your completing the BizDev Planner. If you want to make changes in your Plan, you must make them in the BizDev Planner, and they will be reflected in the updated Plan. You can return to the corresponding questions in the BizDev Planner by clicking on the topic on your Plan.

The benefit of a plan is to help you use your time wisely. With no plan, there is a great possibility that your biz dev effort will be random acts of outreach. You are likely to be influenced by less-valuable opportunities that cross your path - rather than being clear about strategies based on the BizDevCoach tutorial.

While we will make every effort to securely save your Plan on our backup system, you should always save a current copy of the PDF on your computer and print a copy as well.

You can send a copy of your Plan to others, including your PlanPal®, by using the PlanPal link on the menu bar.

You should review your Plan frequently. Many changes are likely to occur in your business and in your target market over time, so you need to make sure that your Plan is adapting.

Keep in mind that an effective biz dev plan requires that you are engaged in a variety of activities. Don't fall into the trap of believing that you should only focus on your strengths. Too often, people who like to write will focus exclusively on writing articles. And while writing articles could be a valuable component of a biz dev plan, it is not enough.

You need to develop your skills in all five steps in the selling process.

1. Meet new targets.
2. Build trust
3. Clarify needs
4. Get approved
5. Close

You will find more information about the selling process in the Target Worksheet and Introduction help links.

There are three fundamental processes that will help you improve your plan.

1. Study the tutorial. Don't assume that you know how to answer the questions in the BizDev Planner. If you make that mistake, you may be locked into preconceived ideas that may not serve you well. It is a good idea to read the entire tutorial as soon as you can. That way you will be able to answer the questions in the BizDev Planner within the context of your entire plan.

2. Develop your ability to notice biz dev opportunities as they present themselves to you. For example, you may be driving down the street and see the sign of a company. You might normally just ignore that name. But if you could develop the ability to let seeing the name be a catalyst to your biz dev planning, you might ask yourself if there is a biz dev opportunity learning more about the business.

3. Reviewing your BizDev Planner. Develop the habit of reviewing your BizDev Planner frequently. In the early stages of your working with BizDevCoach, you might want to review your plan daily. It might surprise you how quickly a single experience could dramatically alter your biz dev plan. For example, let's say you meet a prospect who is in an industry in which you do not have other contacts. That single individual could be an ambassador into an entirely new and fertile environment. You may not have realized it at the time you met. But by answering the BizDev Planner about what new industries you should consider, you might remember the new contact and add the industry to your Plan.

Biz Dev Planner

You will use this form to create your Biz Dev Plan. The Biz Dev Planner is also where you will make changes to your Biz Dev Plan. Since the Biz Dev Planner and Biz Dev Plan are connected, you should read the Tutorial about your Plan as soon as possible.

There is a help button for each question with some guidance about how to answer a question. Be sure to click on the help button for every question because the tutorial may provide you with new information.

Most of the questions provide a fill-in box for the answers. Every time you use a box, a new one will appear so you can have as many answers as you would like.

Be sure to review your Planner frequently. In the early stages of your using BizDevCoach, you may want to review your Planner daily. This may seem to be a burden, but your goal is to increase the number of biz dev ideas for you to consider. Reviewing your Planner teaches you not only what to consider, but also trains your brain to be more aware about biz dev opportunities.

If you have difficulty answering a question, you can skip it and come back to it in a few hours or the next day. Also, you may want to consider enlisting the support of a PlanPal. Check out the PlanPal link for more information. They will provide support on a different part of the plan each week and also provide a wide range of biz dev tips.


When you introduce your contacts to BizDevCoach®, not only will they receive the normal free 30-day trial period, but also - when they subscribe, they will receive an extra 30 days of the service at no charge. Plus, when they subscribe, you will receive 30 days for free. You both win.

Note: When your contact registers for BizDevCoach for the 30-day free trial period, we define that as, "Registering." When they decide to proceed and provide us with their credit card information, we define that as, "Subscribing."

So, to be clear, you will receive your free 30-days additional access to BizDevCoach when the people you invite actually subscribe. You will not receive an extra 30 days additional access if they register, but do not subscribe.

If you are a member of a firm/group account, your additional free days will be available to you only when you leave that group.

BizDevCoach® maintains a record of the contacts you have notified and if they register and subscribe. It will also maintain a record of how many free 30-day segments you will receive as a result of subscriptions from the people you've introduced.

You can send up to 10 multiple invitations at a time. If you do, the personal message will be the same for everyone in that group. If you want to send individual personal messages, you need to send them one at a time.

If you see that someone has not registered or subscribed, you can resend your invitation and remind them. That way they don't have to find your original email.

Reminder: There is no cash value to the free 30-days segments you accrue. If you decide to cancel your account, no refunds are owed to you.


This is a list of the things that you want to do. You can access your to-do's via your computer or your mobile device. Note: When you enter data on your mobile device, you will need to refresh your main site. Or, your site will automatically within 5 minutes.

There are two categories: 1. Your target-related to-do's and 2. Your non target-related to-do's.

When you want to add a target-related to-do, you must enter it on the Target Worksheet. When you do, a target icon will appear in front of that to-do on the general To-Do list.

When you want to mark a to-do as completed, click on the blue square in front of the to-do and it will remove it from the list, but will be saved in History. The link for History is in the Footer.

Note: When you delete or archive a target, all associated to-do's will be removed from the To-do list. If you mark a goal on a Target Worskheet as "Achieved" the to-dos will remain since you have the option of creating a new goal.

If you want to add a non target-related to-do, you can enter it directly on the To-Do list.

You can use this list for all your to-do's so BizDevCoach® becomes your home page throughout your day. The more you are aware of your biz dev to-do's, the greater the likelihood is that you will take biz dev action.

You can prioritize your to-do's by clicking on the up/down arrow on the left of each to-do and moving it. It will be very helpful for you to regularly prioritize your to-do's. By doing so you will always be aware of the most important to-do's each day.

If you want to send yourself a reminder email about a to-do, you can select the date. An alarm clock icon will appear to show you that a reminder has been programmed. You will not be allowed to send a reminder on a date that is after the due date.

The due date will default to the date you enter a to-do.

Due dates are color coded. Grey means the due date has not arrived. Green means the to-do is due today and red means the due date has passed.  Make it a practice of noticing the to-do's with red dates and either do them or give them another due date. That way, the red dates will stand out and continue to have meaning. Or you could drag and drop the past due to-do's so they are always at the top of your list.

Note: If you visit BizDevCoach without logging out, you may notice that on the following day, the color-coding will not be correct until you use the site or refresh it. So, if you keep BizDevCoach open all the time, you may want to make it a habit to refresh the site when you return the day after using it.

All new to-do's will be entered at the top of the list.

Note: In order to enter a to-do on your list, you must save it. If you move to another page before saving, you will lose your entry.

When you complete a to-do, check the blue box  . The to-do will be removed from the active to-do list and added to the "Recently completed" section at the bottom of the list. You can return the to-do to the active to-do list by clicking on the checked blue box. The Recently completed section only stores three most recently completed to-do's. All completed to-do's are listed in the History section and can be readily restored.

If you decide that you want to remove a to-do that is not completed, you can send it to the trash by clicking on the trash can icon. Trashed to-do's are also listed in the History section and can be restored as well. 

If you want to defer a To-do, scroll over it and click on Defer. That will move it to For the Future.

Note: You can save and/or print your to-do list. While we will do our best to insure that we never lose your data and we are relying on the servers of reputable companies, there  is always a chance that the data could be lost. Therefore, it is a good idea to save your to-do list by creating a pdf. You can also print your to-do list in case you want a copy and do not have access to the Internet.

Target Worksheet

This is where you document important information about each of your priority targets. You access a target worksheet by clicking on a Target. You can do that from your computer or your mobile device.  When you enter data from your mobile device, you will need to refresh your main site to see the new data. Or your site will automatically refresh within 5 minutes.

Remember that targets are the contacts that you have identified as people who deserve your focused attention. Not all of your contacts will deserve the status of a Target.

Your goal is to increase the likelihood of reaching out by identifying a worthwhile reason to call and one that you really want to act upon. Completing a target worksheet may feel like a lot of work, but the more information you have at your fingertips, the greater the likelihood of developing a reason to call. This practice will serve you well over the term of your relationships.

It is a good idea to review your target worksheet before communicating with a target. Be sure to keep adding information about your target as you collect it.

And, don't hold on to the belief that you can remember details. You will be interacting with many people and things that you think you will remember can easily be forgotten.

You should use a separate contact database, such as Outlook, (there are many different contact databases)  for all your contacts - including your targets. That way, your targets will be included in your email broadcasts. But, the Target Worksheets give you a place to record important information that you might not remember to enter into your larger contact database.

A Target Worksheet is initiated when you enter a name and/or entity into your Targets list on the Dashboard. It will be added to the bottom of your Target list. Then you can click on the target to add information onto the Target Worksheet.

If you want to edit the Name or Entity of a target, you can only do that on the Target List.

The lines in the Additional Information section of the target worksheet are limited to 50 characters. If you need more room, you can enter it in Other which has unlimited capacity.

You can print a Target Worksheet, down load it and save it and you can download all of your target worksheets.

Goal for this target: To enter your goal, click on the edit button after the words Add New. 

While your ultimate goal with a target will be to close as a client, or get a referral or resource, there are many interim goals that you should set. As you achieve interim goals, you will feel motivated to continue to pursue the target. There are five steps in the selling process. Each is a goal. (This topic is also addressed in the Tutorial in the Introduction).

1. Meet. The greatest weakness of most professionals is that they don't know enough good targets. You should develop systems for meeting as many good targets as possible. Even if you already know many people, there is a great likelihood that many will not become clients. Keep in mind that it may take years to take prospects through the selling process or for prospects to have a need. Therefore, even if you are currently busy, you should continue to seek out new quality prospects.

2. Build trust. This is the process of demonstrating that you are capable and compatible. That is often accomplished by substantiating your ability to deliver superior benefits. You can learn more about substantiation in the Substantiation section in your Biz Dev Questionnaire.

3. Clarify needs. This is the process of learning about the needs that prospects have already identified and explaining to prospects other needs that you may be aware of due to your knowledge of their industry or situation.

4. Get approved. Everyone who hires you will need to approve you - either formally or unconsciously. A good strategy is to always ask prospects, "What is the procedure for getting on your approved vendor list?"

5. Close. Closing means finalizing the deal. It often is easier when you can develop low-barrier closing offers that reduce the difficulty of making a decision to hire you. Low-barrier closing offers are addressed in the Biz Dev Questionnaire. Remember, your job is to consider where you are are in the selling process with each target and how to proceed with the other steps.

Mark the goal above as achieved: When you achieve your goal, click on this link and trumpets will celebrate your success. You can edit this function in the My Accounts section. When you mark a goal as achieved, a note will automatically be entered in the Notes section and you will be given an opportunity to create a new goal for that target. If you don't have a new goal, you can leave the target on your Target list for future consideration or archive it.

Target Notes: This is where you document what has occurred in the past regarding your relationship or interaction with a target.

When you enter a note, the date of entry will automatically be displayed at the end of the note. You cannot edit the date of the entry. When you edit a note, the original entry date will remain. So if you want to document the date you did an edit, you should mention it in the note.

You have the ability to prioritize your notes by clicking and dragging them. This way you can keep notes that are most important at the top of the list.

Every time you complete a task or have an interaction, you should make a note. Looking at your notes will not only allow you to remind you about your conversations or thought, but also it will help you decide your next step. 

When you add a new note, it will be entered at the bottom of the list.

Target To-Do's: This is where you document your next step in dealing with your target. It could be research or it could be outreach. There are three categories or reasons to reach out.

   1. Value. You make an offer of something of value that will be appealing to your target. It could be an invitation to an event or an offer to co-author an article, etc.

   2. Research. You have a question that the target could answer such as the name of the trade organizations that serve her/his industry or you might inquire about the process for getting on the approved list, etc.

   3. Social. If you are friends with your target, you can make a social call, and, if she/he brings up a business issue, you can discuss it without feeling pushy or invasive.

Additional Information: This is information that will help you consider how to further develop the relationship. It is extremely valuable to see how much or how little you know about your targets. The information in each category is limited to 50 characters.

Phone: List land lines with an "L" preceding and and mobile lines with an "M" preceding.

Email: You may already have the email stored in your contact managment system, but it may be helpful to re-enter it here for convenience.

Qualifications: This is where you document why you think this person qualifies as a priority for you. One of your most important biz dev skills will be deciding your best targets. This section will help you develop the criteria.

A qualifying target could be someone in several categories:

   A client who could use more of your services

   A client who could use the services of one of your colleagues

   A referral source who could continue to refer more

   A contact who should be a referral source

   A contact who has been a resource in the past. ( a resource could be program chairs of organizations where you want to speak or editors where you want to publish, etc.)

   A contact who could be a future resource.

Source: this is where you document how you became aware of or met this target. It may be the name of a referral source, an organization, event or research. You must become very aware of your sources. When you do, you will become more effective in zeroing-in on your best sources.

Thanked. If the target came from a referral, this is where you document whether or not you thanked her or him. It is very important to thank your referral sources. An appropriate gift is a good idea as long as it meets the ethical standards of your profession. A personal note is always a good idea. Phone calls to thank are good and emailed thank you's are OK but a last resort. Be sure to enter the referral into the Referrals section of BizDevCoach.

Assistant: This is where you document the name, phone and email of your target's assistant. Remembering the name of the assistant can be very helpful in pursuing a relationship. Always be friendly and respectful to assistants.

Team Target?: Your target may also be a target of a colleague(s) in your firm. If so, you have to decide if you want to pursue the target by yourself or as part of a team. This will depend on whether you are compensated as a team member and if there is a team that is qualified and wants to act as a team. If this is a team target, enter "Yes."  If it is not a team target, enter "No."

If yes, who?: This is where you list the team members. Every team needs a chair. You may want to identify a chair with a "C" preceding her/his name.

Spouse/Significant Other: Document the name of the spouse/significant other the moment you learn it so that you will have it for future reference. It really enhances a relationship when you are talking with a target about a non-work issue and you can say a name instead of being vague. You may also choose to document interests, birthdays etc.

Children: Same as above.

Mutual Contacts: This is where you list the names of people who are known to you and your target. Seeing these names may prompt you to produce an event that involves everyone. Or, you may see an opportunity to request support from one to help you strengthen the relationship with another. If you have more than 3 mutual contacts, you can list a few on each line and also enter more in Other at the bottom of the form.

Organizations: It is very important to document the organizations of your targets. This is how you will develop your skills for identifying and benefiting from well-targeted organizations that may be new to you or where you might benefit from increasing your involvement with the organizations you already know. If your target is involved in more than 3 organizations, you can list a few on each line and also enter more in Other at the bottom of the form.

Hobbies/Interests: As you document the hobbies and interests of your target, you may find that you become more aware of reasons to reach out. You may invite her/him to an event you know will be attractive. You might send articles that she/he will find interesting. You may discover that many of your targets share the same interests which could result in your creating an event that would be well-received by many targets.

Potential Introductions: This is where you document the names of people whom your target knows and whom your target might be willing to introduce to you. This does not mean that you have to ask for an introduction, particularly if you feel that is too invasive or pushy. But you may have some kind of offer that would be easy for your target to make to others on your behalf. For example, you might invite a target to a seminar and suggest that she/he invite others that you have in mind.

Publications: This is where you document the publications that your target reads. These are publications that may be read by your target market and could be a good place to publish. You should also read the publications so you are aware of the issues that are important to your target and her/his industry.

Known needs: This is where you document the needs your target knows that they have. For example, your target may tell you that she/he needs a new CPA. If you can make an introduction, you will benefit your target as well as the CPA, who may be or become a referral source. You will learn more about the issues a target is aware of as you interact and explain what you do for a living.

Unknown needs/issues: This is where you document needs or issues that you know may be important to the target, but the target is not familiar enough with the issue to know there is a need or issue. For example, if you are an estate planning attorney and your target just had a child, you are more aware of the importance of changing the will than the target might be.

It is the area of unknown needs/issues that will be most likely for future expansion of the relationship. When you bring up these needs/ issues, it is important not to be a fear monger or to overstate the concern. Rather, you are mentioning them because you are sincerely concerned about the well-being of your target and you feel compelled to make sure that she/he is properly informed.

Compatibles: This is where you document the interests, hobbies, activities, values, etc. that you and your target share. For example, if you both like golf, it will remind you that golf is a potential reason to reach. If you both have children, it will remind you that a discussion about a family vacation could be a topic you both relate to. This is important because a big part of building trust is identifying shared values. 

Required Research: This is where you document information you need to research that may help you pursue the relationship. If there is research that you want to to do, be sure to list the specifics in the target to-do section.

Other: This is where you can document key things to remember that you don't want burried in your Notes such as a birthday or something the target said that impacted you. The entry date of each Other item will automatically be entered at the end of the line.

Archive the target: Click on this link when you want to remove the target from your Target list, but want to have access to it in the future. You can retrieve the target by clicking on the Show Archived Targets link at the bottom of your Target list on the Dashboard.

Target Worksheets

Targets are those individuals whom you are most excited about pursuing. Target Worksheets are where you maintain a record of your plans, experiences and details about the Target.

Keep in mind that your list of target worksheets should be a revolving door. It is not a Contact Database. It is a list that constantly changes. You add new names, get them into the flow of your business development effort and then archive them. You should also have all your contacts listed in some other contact database, such as Outlook. Be sure to include your Targets in your general contact database as well so that they will receive your general outreach messages, such as updates or invitations. But listing your Targets separately on BizDevCoach will teach you how to prioritize your Targets and will help you use your biz dev time most effectively. 

To add a Target click on "Add new." Add theTarget name and/or entity and click "Save." When you click on their name it will open the Target Worksheet which provides an opportunity to enter more information.

There are three categories of targets:

1. Clients - This includes existing clients who could be sources for additional business, and people whom you would like to have as clients.

2. Referral sources - This includes people who have already referred business to you and could refer more, and people who are well connected to good targets and could refer them to you.

3. Resources - This includes people who could help you, such as editors and program chairs.

You may be excited about them because you already know them well and are confident that they would be interested in your services or products. You may be excited about them because among all your contacts they are the most likely to benefit from your offers. Or, they may be particularly appropriate referral sources or resources. 

It is important to maintain a list of your priority targets so that you invest your biz dev time wisely. You may want to maintain a list of ten top targets. If you can't think of ten targets, that's okay, but you should regularly review your contact database until you develop a list of at least ten. This process will get easier as you practice. 

Regularly review your target list. As you do, you may want to prioritize your list by dragging and dropping targets in the order that you want to see them with the most important closer to the top. Or, you may want to order them alphabetically so you can quickly find a name when you want to make an addition to the Target Worksheet. You will notice that the number of to-do's for each target are listed after each name. You may want to prioritize those targets who don't have a documented to-do.

Schedule frequent reminders (in the My account section) so that you consistently review your targets and next steps. As you develop your outreach skills, you will be able to maintain a larger target list. You may want to move from 10 to 20.  Remember, your success is directly related to increasing your outreach to quality targets.

The system is designed to allow you to quickly add a target to your list and his/her entity. The entity is the company or organization of the target. If you list a person and an entity, the entity will appear in parentheses. 

New targets will always be added to the top of your Target list. You can drag and drop a target in order of priority. After you add a name, you can click on it to add additional information.  The more information you add, the greater the likelihood you will be able to think of reasons for reaching ou

Keep in mind that your target list may change (sometimes frequently). As you meet new people, they may become priorities. As your services change, your targets may change.  Review your targets regularly - even daily - to ensure that you are very familiar with each  target and aware of the next step to pursue each.

You can archive the targets you want to remember but which you may not to show on your current Target list. To archive a target, scroll over the name and click, "Archive."

You can print your target list by clicking on the print icon. If you want to print the archived targets, you need to click on the Show archived targets link and then click on the print icon. 

If you want to create a PDF of your target list, just click on the download icon and it will include both current and archived targets.

Wish List

Your Wish List is a place to list and manage prospects who are complete strangers, but who you would like to meet. Click on Wish List and you will be able to enter the prospects that are strangers and that you want to pursue.








Free 30-day free trial registration

You can use the entire service for free for 30 days. You do not need to provide your credit card information. 

Create a group subscription

A group subscription allows you to invite multiple subscribers who all register using the same credit card. You can convert your individual subscription to a group subscription in My account, in the Profile section.

Our goal

The goal of BizDevCoach® is to help you create and implement an effective business development plan.  It will give you new ideas to consider and it will also provide a system to help you develop your own ideas. It is for people who want to meet prospects through referrals, networking, implementing seminars/events and public speaking. It's for consultants, professionals such as lawyers and CPA's, architects, etc. It will help you create a business development plan. It will help you in your follow-up. It will keep you organized and constantly thinking about new and better ways to reach out to better targets. It will help you think of new and more effective business development strategies. It will also help you develop better ways to serve your clients.

The most effective way to develop business is to create a plan that you really want to implement. The site will help you think of new ideas that fit your personality and situation. Keep in mind that you may currently believe that business development requires that you do things that are unpleasant and that you will have to force yourself to implement your plan. You may see business development as pushy, invasive or manipulative.

Of course, effective business development does not require these negative behaviors. In fact, the reverse is true. Effective business development is a process of revealing the value you offer and demonstrating your interest in promoting the well-being of your prospects.  But, if you maintain the belief that business develoment behavior is unattractive, it is unlikely that you will even give it a try. Therefore, it is important that you learn to identify the things about business development that you enjoy and that you will be proud to implement. This will occur as you review all of the different business development opportunities that are available to you.

Using the Site

This tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of creating your plan and also taking action. It is designed to help you answer the questions about how the site works and also teach you business development concepts. 

Mobile access

You can access To-do's, Targets, Top of Mind and Tutorial from your mobile device. But these have only limited functionality. Full use is available only via your computer.  

In order to immediately sync your mobile device with the main site, you will need do two steps

1. After entering data on your mobile device, you need to move the cursor to another line so the data you entered will be saved.

2. You will need to refresh the location where you did not enter data. Use of the software will also prompt the sync. Also, the site will auto refresh and sync every five minutes.

Functionality tips

1. The site can remain open on your computer 24/7. Keep in mind that doing so could provide access by others. for maximum security, you should log out when not using the software. But, if you don't log out, you should refresh on your first visit each day.  You can do that by clicking on the "Refresh" icon on your browser, the BizDevCoach logo or any link. That will update the calendar entries on your To-do's.

2. You can put a shortcut link to BizDevCoach on your Desktop. The process will vary depending upon your browser. It may be as simple as highlighting the URL ( and dragging it to your desktop. You can also bookmark it as a "Favorite" by following the instructions provided by your browser.

3. You can also program your computer to automatically open BizDevCoach when you start your compter. Go to the Settings link and follow the instructions regarding opening a program upon Startup.

4. As you are using the site, the best way to visit a prior page is to use the links on the top and bottom of your screen. Don't use the "back arrow" becuse you may lose your most recent entries.

5. All rust-colored words are links.

Getting started

One way to learn how to use your Biz Dev Dashboard is to start using the To-Do's section. Just start adding the biz dev things you need to do.  You will quickly see how valuable it is to have all your biz dev ideas in one place.

Another good way to get started is to list a few people in the Targets section. Enter the names of a few people you know who could be clients, referral sources or resources. Then, as time permits, start filling out their target worksheets. You can do a little at a time. You don't need to completely fill out each worksheet for it to be helpful to you. If you enter a to-do for a target, it will be duplicated in your general To-Do list.

Note re terminology:

Clients: Different kinds of businesss use different words to describe the people with whom they do business i.e. customer, patient, client.  We will use the term "Client" as the term to refer to the people with whom you do business.

Referral Sources: These are people who know your prospects and may be willing to make an introduction.

Resources:  These are people who could be helpful to you. Maybe they could help you arrange a speaking opportunity, publish an article or invite you to an event that is well-attended by quality prospects.  

Another way to quickly get started is to start filling out the Biz Dev Questionnaire. You don't need to fill it out completely - just get started. The answers you provide on the Biz Dev Questionaire will be reproduced in your Biz Dev Plan, which will become a practical and actionable document. Some of the questions will be easy for you to answer. Others may be very difficult. But, rest assured that with consistent attention, the answers to each of the questions will reveal themselves to you. So, be patient and keep following the processes that are available to you through the BizDevCoach® system

As you consider the answers to the questions in the Biz Dev Questionnaire, you can click on the "Help" icon for guidance.  You can continue to "learn as you go" by visiting each section and clicking on the help icons as needed.

We recommend that you read the entire tutorial to get an overview of the process. You can read it on your computer or download and print it. 

Keep in mind that your business development plan will be in constant flux. That's because your situation will always keep changing. As you learn more about the needs of your targets, as you identify new markets, as you become more skilled, you will want to consider new strategies. That's why BizDevCoach® is designed to stay with you on a long-term, consistent basis. As you and your business mature, BizDevCoach® will continue to help you create the most effective business development plan for the moment.

Much of the site is designed to save data automatically. But some sections require that you use the "save" button. Do not rely on using the "back arrow" because it may result in undoing information that you have entered. This definitely will happen in the "Archive" button. The best way to return to a prior page is to use the appropriate section tab.

You have the ability to edit your entries. But the system only allows one edit function at a time, so if you begin an edit, be sure to save it if it is requested before you edit another entry. If you fail to save when required, you will lose whatever you initially entered.

Secure encryption

All information that is transmitted between your browser and the BizDevCoach server is encrypted. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser,  or looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the web page.

Our backup system

Our software is programmed to back up your data every evening. So, if the system crashes, we should be able to retrieve all the data from the prior day. Of course, we cannot guarantee that the technology will be 100% reliable. Therefore, we strongly urge you to print or download a pdf of key information such as your Target Worksheets and To-Do's.  And, we strongly urge you to periodically download a Master PDF which is located in the footer of the site.


Several sections offer the ability to archive an entry. For example, you may have  Targets who are no longer a priority. So, you may want to remove them from your Target List -  but not forget them completely. In that case you can archive those  Targets. The names will be hidden but can be retrieved by clicking on the Show Archived link and then click on Unarchive.

When you print a  section that has Archive capability, it will only include archived entries if you show them on the screen before you click on the print icon. When you download a PDF, it will download both the current and archived entries.

Using PlanPal®

For many people, having a PlanPal is a very helpful support system. A PlanPal is someone you choose - maybe a colleague or contact who is not a competitor. Ideally, on a periodic basis (maybe monthly) you will send each other your plan and target list and have a telephone conversation to assist and support each other in implementing your respective plans. The goal is to ask specific questions that motivate each other to make smart biz dev decisions.

PlanPals should not give advice about business development. Rather, in a friendly way, they should act as a support system, making sure that both are using BizDevCoach regularly and taking action on their plans.

Using Win/Win Referrals

You can reduce or even eliminate your cost of using BizDevCoach by referring others to the site. If you let a contact know about BizDevCoach and he/she decides to register, that person will receive not only the free 30-day trial period but also will receive the first month for free, upon subscribing. And you get a free month for making the referral. For example, if you refer 12 people who subscribe, you get 12 months for free.

A complete list of your Win/Win introduction emails will can be found in the Win/Win section. It shows the date you sent the email and the date a recipient becomes a registrant and or subscriber. You can resend an invitation if you notice that a recipient has not subcribed.

To facilitate your introducing larger numbers of contact to BizDevCoach, you can invite as many as 10 contacts using the same personalized email. If you want to create invidivual email messages, you need to send each individually.

Frequency of Reminders

BizDevCoach® has a default setting to send you an email every day to remind you to visit the site. If you really want to be more successful at business development, t is extremely important to make it a habit to visit the site frequently. It is best if you keep it open all the time. The more you see the information on the site, the greater the likelihood that you will notice opportunities for outreach. Remember, "Out of sight, out of mind!" But, if you don't want to receive daily reminders, you can program the email function in the My Account section.

Top of Mind

This is a place to document concepts that are driving forces in your business development effort such as, "Be a person of value. " Or maybe there is an important concept or quote you want to see throughout the day.  We have pre-populated Top of Mind with some suggested entries. Feel free to remove them, but be sure to keep thinking about the things you want to keep top of mind and add them to the section.

For the Future

During your day, you may think of things that you don't want to do in the near term but are important to maintain quick access. For example, maybe you want to remember that you have a credit at a store that you want to use. Or maybe you have met a vendor whom you are not ready to hire but you want to remember the name.

Improving your business development

The following information in this part of the Introduction is designed to help you think about improving your business development strategies.

Identify your Obstacles

A good way to start thinking about business development is to consider the obstacles that you are facing. Many obstacles are beliefs about business development that are completely inaccurate. If you really given them the attention they need, you can remove the misconceptions.

For example, it is a common (but incorrect) belief that business development requires that you develop a friendship with prospective clients. If you believe that, you may think that business development is a process of making friends with people and then, when the friendship is established, leaning on the friendship to sell your services. Well, that is a manipulative and frankly distasteful thought.

In reality, the goal in business development is to communicate your ability to be of value to the people you want as clients. It does not require a friendship. Of course, you may end up becomming friends with clients and that is certainly fine when it happens. And you may have friends that become clients. But your strategy should not be to make friends for the purpose of converting them to clients.

There are many possible obstacles and you only need one to stop you. That's because there are so many other demands on you that you feel pressured. When you are under pressure and you run into an obstacle in business development, it's easy to immediately move to another activity.

Once you have identified an obstacle, you need to decide if it is irrational or rational. If you can label an obstacle as irrational, you need to ask yourself why you are holding on to an irrational obstacle. Over time you will be able to think about how to deal with it. If the obstacle is rational, you need to think about possible practical solutions.

But nothing will happen until you document the problem. Here are four common obstacles and how you might deal with each.

Obstacle #1: You are not familiar with business development strategies - you don't know what to. The solution to this problem is to start filling out the Target Worksheets and the Biz Dev Questionnaire. They have help icons that will give you guidance every step of the way.

Obstacle #2: You feel too busy. The reason you feel too busy is because you have filled your life with the things that are important to you and realistically available to you. The best way for you to make time for business development is to decide that it is both important and also that it is achievable. You need both. To decide that it is important, you need to think about all the things you need to accomplish in your business and decide where acquiring new clients fits in. When you make the analysis, you may realize that business development is much higher on the list than you had imagined. To decide that it is achievable, you need to identify practical steps - which is what BizDevCoach® will help you develop.

Feeling too busy is due to two possible problems. The first is that you really don't like the biz dev options that you are considering. The fact is that people do what they want to do and since there are already so many other things in your life that demand your attention, it is easy to label your lack of biz dev activity on being busy. BizDevCoach® will help you identify and develop desirable strategies that you will want to implement to help you meet your goals.. 

One way to identify biz dev strategies that are appealing to you is to begin to notice the biz dev opportunities that are right in front of you. Biz dev opportunities are constantly presenting themselves. For example, if you are talking with someone, it could trigger your awareness that the person you are talking with probably knows other people who might be good contacts. Or you could be solving a problem for a client and it might occur to you that the solution could be the topic for a speech or article.

Learn to notice biz dev ideas that cross your mind and write them down. The more ideas you capture, the more likely you are to think of ideas that might be worth scheduling some time to pursue.

Keep in mind that even if you come up with a good idea, it is unlikely that it will take up much time right away. You will take small steps and make more time available in the future - if you want to.

The other reason you feel too busy is that you really are too busy. In that case, you need to analyze how you might change your systems to allow adequate time for business development. Can you delegate more? Should you cross-sell the services of your colleagues? Should you hire more staff? Freeing yourself up for business development is a key component to your effectiveness. For many, an important goal is to create a business where you can delegate the lead generation and also delegate the implementation so you can make money without being directly involved.

Obstacle #3: You feel embarrassed.

The reason you might feel that business development techniques would be embarrassing to implement usually is the result of experiencing a lifetime of bad sales people imposing on you. Effective business development strategies will not be an imposition on others.

The strategies you will learn in BizDevCoach® are based on your being a person of value. Everything you do will be perceived as valuable to the people you want to target. When you are valuable to the people you want to serve, you will never be seen as an imposition. You will always be welcomed.

Another reason you might feel embarrassed is the false belief that the act of business development reveals to your targets that you are not good at what you do or that you need more income.

This is common among those people who believe that if you are really good at what you do, business will automatically come to you. When you look at that rationally, you will readily conclude that effectively reaching out to people and revealing your ability to be valuable to them will communicate that you are valuable – neither incompetent nor needy.

Obstacle #4: You feel skeptical.

There are many reasons to feel skeptical. You may feel that you don’t have the personality to be effective. You may feel that you will never learn the skills. The fear of futility is a powerful deterrent.

But you will come to see that your skepticism is unjustified. As you go through the BizDevCoach® process, you will learn that you already have the personality. Even introverts can be great business developers. BizDevCoach® will teach you the necessary skills.

As you spend time considering the issues, you will develop ideas that intrigue you. You will feel motivated to try things. As you do, you will learn how to make improvements and refinements in your biz dev activities. 

There are likely many other obstacles that are stopping you from implementing business development activities. Write them down so you can consider them and decide how you will be able to overcome them. You can list them in the Top of Mind section.

Regularly using the tools in  BizDevCoach® will help you identify strategies that overcome your obstacles.

Guiding Principles:

The definition of business development: Business development is "A process of creating and communicating your ability to be valuable to your targets."  So, first, you need to be certain that what you offer is really a good deal. Confidence in the value you offer is probably the most important issue in your success.

Guiding Principle #1: You must have confidence in the value you offer.

When you are confident in the value of your service, you will be proud and excited to reach out. There are are two components of value - benefits and cost. Value is a benefit/cost ratio. It is the relationship between the two that creates the highest value. If you increase the benefits or reduce the cost, you increase value.

Your goal should be to charge a profitable price that your targets are willing to pay. The way to do that is to reveal all of the benefits that you offer so that your target knows the price is a good deal. One obstacle that you may have is that you are not clear about the benefits your offer. If you are not clear about the benefits you offer, you will likely have difficulty communicating them to your prospects.

You should maintain a list of the benefits you offer and identify those that are superior to your competitors. Then you can list your superior benefits in your Biz Dev Questionnaire. You can raise your prices and still offer the best value by increasing the number of superior benefits.

Guiding Principle #2: You need systems for meeting new prospects.

Too often, professionals are of the belief that just being qualified is enough. While being qualified is important, your reputation may not spread as quickly as you would like. You need systems to meet new targets.

There are three ways to meet new prospects.

     1. Introductions.

One of the ways you will meet new people is by being introduced to them by your existing contacts.  One way to motivate your contacts to introduce you to their contacts is to actively introduce people to your contacts.  If you introduce an existing contact to others, there is a good chance that he/she will return the favor.

Another way is to simply ask for introductions. But be aware that strategy has the risk of your being an imposition. An alternative is to ask for guidance about how you might expand your network and see if your contact has any suggestions.

Another way is to implement biz dev joint ventures. If you have an ally who is not a competitor, but shares a common target market, you could join forces and implement a joint venture biz dev seminar or webinar. You each invite your contacts to attend the event. With this structure, your joint venture partner is introducing you to the attendees invited by your partner. The best people to contact regarding introductions are those who have access to the most and best targets. You should list your contacts who are are known and trusted by your potential clients in the Biz Dev Questionnaire.

     2. Organizations.

Organizations can be important environments to meet new contacts. To be effective, they should be populated by quality accessible targets.You should identify as many quality organizations as you can. One way is to ask your contacts about the organizations that serve their industry or that serve the industries of your other targets. You should then pursue opportunities to speak at the identified organizations, participate in their webinars and attend events.

It may be a good idea to get active on committees as a way to meet the members, but be careful not to get stuck in a committee that creates a lot of work with little exposure to the members. For some, the best committee is the membership committee. That's because the best way for an organization to grow is for current members to recruit their contacts. Your involvement in the membership committee could put you in the best place to meet current members and their contacts. You could also act as an ambassador for the organization and reach out to potential members who could also be people you want to meet.

Try to attend as many events as you can at well-targeted organizations. Also, be sure to continue to analyze the reason your are investing time in an organization. There is a risk that an organization that has been targeted for biz dev purposes may lose its value over time as you penetrate it. While there are lots of reasons to stay involved, if your goal is business development, be sure you are clear that the benefits are still there.

You should identify as many organizations as you can that cater to your target markets. You should ask all your clients and contact about the organizations they support. When you find the organizations that seem right for you, in addition to attending their events, you may want to consider speaking at their programs and/or writing for their publications.

     3. Invitations to strangers

An efficient way to meet new contacts may be to reach out directly. But your outreach must immediately demonstrate that interacting with you will be a valuable experience for them. You could invite them to an event such as a seminar, networking even or social activity.

If you provide a seminar, make sure it is on a topic of interest. A frequent mistake is to invite people to educational programs where you have expertise, but is of no interest to the prospect. A good example is when an attorney does a complex legal seminar for business owners. One solution is to arrange for guest speakers who are interesting to your targets. For example,  a seminar on how to maximize profits may be attractive.

Other events could be charity or community-based efforts. Your success in this area will depend on the quality of your invitation list and the attractiveness of the event. 

If you want to reach out to strangers, you must have a list. You may be able to purchase a list. But another way is to notice entities as you go through your day. Notice advertising, signage, subjects of articles and the names others mention in their conversations. You should also research the names of entities on the Internet. Once you have selected the entity, your next step should be to identify the decision makers as potential invitees. You can also ask your existing contacts to give you the names of their contacts who should know about your programs so you can invite them. At a minimum, existing contacts may be willing to forward on an invitation.

A note on cold calling: Some professionals may want to use cold calling as an outreach strategy. The same principle of an invitation may be the best strategy for creating a willing listener. For example, if you are a real estate broker you could call people and invite them to hear how they could improve the value of their property. 

Guiding Principle #3: Reveal your value.

Being valuable is not enough. You need systems for revealing your value. The best way to reveal value is to make valuable offers that your targets will immediately want.

Initially your offers may be free. At some point, you will feel comfortable to start charging for the value you offer. The Biz Dev Questionnaire will ask about several ways to offer value to both new and existing relationships. Offers are anything of value that you can provide to your prospects to motivate them to spend more time with you.

Keep in mind that it usually takes a long time to develop the trusting relationship that is required to close a sale (unless you are referred by a trusted advisor). It is most beneficial to you when an offer is immediately attractive to the prospect so that he/she will not delay in accepting. A delay causes loss of momentum and may require you to initiate a follow-up call, which may not happen and which may not be effective.

As an example, an offer could be some form of entertainment. You might be planning to go to a sporting event and have available seats to give away.

An offer could be to provide a seminar, but keep in mind that if your prospect is currently using the services of a competitor, he or she may feel uncomfortable inviting you to conduct  a seminar out of fear that their current vendor might find out.

We frequently suggest providing some kind of "best practices checklist" coupled with an offer to customize the checklist to the prospect's needs. You should develop a large inventory of offers. You should also be familiar with the offers of your partners. A prospect might not immediately need your services but might be interested in the services of your partners.

It is a good biz dev strategy to create offers that respond to the needs of the people you meet. If a prospect you meet describes a problem he or she is facing, you should simply try to help them - even if the assistance is not related to your profession. For example, if you are a CPA and someone you meet needs an attorney, you could offer to introduce them to an attorney contact of yours. In this way, you help your prospect and also provide a referral to the attorney. Be sure to list the referral in the Referrals In/Out section of the BizDevDashboard.

You should expand your network of advisors and vendors so that when you meet a prospect, you have the ability to install the services of your allies. That way, you provide value to your prospect and create a "referral  receivable."

The Selling Process

Every target who hires you needs to go though the same process. So your job is to stay very focused on improving your skills and strategies in these 5 steps.

1. Meet new prospects 

This is discussed in Guiding Principle #2 above.

2. Build trust

Building trust is a process that involves demonstrating that you are both capable and compatible. There are many ways to build trust. One way is to offer services that your targets need at a reasonable price. This is discussed earlier in your ability to offer value under Guiding Principles. 

You also need to demonstrate that you have the ability to deliver on your commitments. This is called substantiation and can be done in a number of ways. You substantiate with your bio which documents your skills and achievements. Articles you publish substantiate your knowledge, as do, update, blogs, speeches, etc. You can substantiate with stories (war stories) of your delivering value to others in the past. You also substantiate by providing valuable offers so your targets can experience your value.

Demonstrating that you are compatible involves demonstrating that you have the personality that feels appropriate for your prospects. You need to reveal your shared beliefs and values. The best way to do that is to preface your advice with words such as, "This is what I believe...", or, "I think it is important to...". Compatibility also is built around shared interests and contacts.

3. Clarify needs

There are two categories of needs: The first category is the needs a prospect is aware of. For example, if someone wants to sue an individual, he or she is aware of the need for a lawyer. Always try to learn identified needs. Sometimes, the easiest way is to ask. Sometimes prospects will simply tell you what they need.

The second category is the needs that a prospect may have but is not yet aware of. For example, a prospect of a CPA might have tax-planning needs, but the prospect may not know enough about tax to realize the need to plan. By educating the prospect about unidentified needs, you open the door to providing those services.

Be careful not to exaggerate the importance of an unidentified need. You don't want to be seen as a fear monger. On the other hand, accurately describing important things for targets to consider is not only a sound business development technique,  but also, it is the responsibility of a professional service provider.

4. Get approved

Getting approved means different things for different professions:

If you are a financial advisor, it is your proposed investment strategy that needs to be approved. That means you should ask, "Does this strategy meet your requirements?"

If you are selling a product such as an insurance policy, it is the coverage and cost that need to be approved.

If you are a real estate broker, buying or selling criteria need to be approved. 

If you are an attorney, your firm may need to be an approved provider. In that case, the best way to pursue getting approval is to ask, "What is the procedure for getting on your approved list?" There are only four answers to your question so you can prepare your response in advance. 1. "You need to fill out some forms." Your response -  "Great. Can you get me the forms?" 2. "There is no procedure." Your response - "Would you like me to help you develop a procedure"? This is value in advance and will give you an opportunity to explain why what you bring to the relationship should be in the procedure. 3. "I don't know if there is a procedure." Your response - "Can you find out?" 4. "We're not hiring now." Your response - "Sure. May I get on the list to be notified when your needs change."

In all cases, you need to make sure that your prospect is clear that you, your firm, your strategy and/or your product meet the identified criteria. Of course, if they don't, you need to identify the areas of weakness and fix them. 

5. Close.

The culmination of the selling process is usually a contract being signed.

The best way to get a contract signed is to review it in person with the prospect and make sure that they understand all of the issues. It is best to do it in person so your personal energy can assist in maintaining trust and motivation. But, reviewing a contract over the phone is an acceptable alternative.  It is not a good idea to mail a contract and wait for a signature.

Closing happens when you have satisfied the prospect that you offer the value they seek. If you have communicated your value and have not closed, you may want to inquire if the prospect has any questions or issues that are stopping them from proceeding. You can use the Objections link on the menu bar to help you think about possible objections and your responses. 

If you can't close, one good strategy may be to offer a lesser product or service that may not accomplish your entire goal but develops a business relationship. You may offer to do a paid seminar or do a paid consutation. Getting approved to do a smaller deal will make it easier to close. Once you get started, and dollars pass, the prospect is now a client and you will be able to spend more time together discussing additional services that you could provide.

Start using the site

Now, the best thing that you could do is start using the tools on the site. List all of your to-do's. Add some targets to the Target list. Start filling out the Questionnaire.  Think about someone who could be your PlanPal.

There is a lot to do and the best way to be successful is to start! We look forward to being of value to you.