Mo asks Bill Ruprecht: When did you first start thinking about business development as something important that you wanted to do?
- Bill spent many years in business when there were two kinds of business development. The first was a form of gunslinging more focused on extracting value and the second was centered around building more long term relationships. Inevitably, you come to realize that building relationships and adding relevance to potential customers is the way to go.
- There are three ways to differentiate a business: be an innovator and make things that no one has seen before, be cheap and provide the lowest cost service, or you can be customer centric and know more about your customers than anyone else in the world.
- Nobody should own a client. The team should always work together to get the job done well.
- If you have a lot of history with a client or they demand that a particular person is involved, that should be accepted.
- The end result of a deal is always a combination of relationship and price. In Bill’s line of work, certain clients tend to push on price but that always makes things tougher. Chasing the margins on a deal down to the point where the service provider doesn’t care about the outcome is always a poor choice.
- For another client, Bill tells the story of a semi-regular delivery of BLT sandwiches and how they were a barometer of the relationship. They may not have gotten the business because of the sandwiches, but they definitely didn’t hurt.
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