Scott Winter, CRM Evangelist, shares his thoughts and hard-won experiences on business development and how his perspective changed over the years from “selling is bad” to “business development is one of the most important things you can do. Learn about Scott’s three favorite GrowBIG strategies that he uses all the time to help land new clients, the mindset that allows him to sell with confidence and genuine empathy, and how business development is the key to changing the world at large.
Mo asks Scott Winter: When was the moment that you realized that business development was great?
- Scott started his career off in sales with LexisNexis and that developed into a role in consulting. Eventually he made the switch to a product management position with Interaction where he focused on CRM and client relationships.
- Interaction is the world’s largest CRM system for law firms and by coming up in that environment, Scott learned a lot about the technical aspects of the software which helped him better serve his clients.
- Scott had the typical mindset about sales in college that most people have, but he reframed his perspective after getting some actual experience in sales positions.
- The one key moment when Scott realized that business development was a powerful tool for growth was after having a simple conversation with someone on a plan. Just listening carefully and remembering what he learned blew that person away when they met again many months later.
- Scott has a knack for having a conversation on any subject and being able to find a point of connection. He also tends to add notes in his phone of a particularly interesting detail (powerlifting, ironman training, etc.) and makes use of his CRM to keep track of everything.
- Remembering details about someone is an art and a science, but there are tools you can use to make it easier.
Mo asks Scott Winter: What is your personal definition of business development?
- The first component is being genuine. If you’re not, people will see right through what you’re doing.
- Scott has been fortunate to work with companies that he authentically believes in, and that confidence in the product makes being genuine possible.
- Drinking your own champagne helps. Scott is an avid consumer of the products he sells, and that makes the conversations easy and learning more about what the prospect needs simpler.
- Be genuine, love what you do, and treat it as a learning exercise.
- When you love what you do, it will come through in your enthusiasm for the client and the results you can get them. Think of it as a partnership where their victory is your victory and you will convey your pride and energy for what you do.
- Think with empathy, get excited about the future and help the prospect create that future.
- Business development has to be flexible because this is not a one-size-fits-all world. You have to be able to take your service offering or product, listen to what the other person’s needs are, and show them how it can help solve their problem.
Mo asks Scott Winter: What is your favorite science, step, or story from the GrowBIG Training or Snowball System?
- Whole brain thinking is a concept that Scott always gravitates towards when he’s putting together a pitch or presentation. It helps shape his storytelling and the way his message connects with the people he’s talking to.
- The Give to Get is another tool that Scott uses all the time. It’s highly valuable to the prospect, builds the relationship, and helps them out, and for a trusted advisor, that’s very important.
- Building it Together is the third favorite technique that Scott uses all the time. Working with Index naturally lends itself to customized problem solving for clients so it makes this kind of collaboration easy. If you can find a way to do that for your prospect, it can be incredibly powerful in developing the business relationship.
- In terms of Give to Gets, sometimes that takes the form of simple advice but it can also take the form of creating a solution to a prospect’s particular problem, which can then be leveraged later on at scale.
- In the course of business development, you are constantly building a repository of knowledge and the more you do, the more tools and knowledge you have to help people.
- Scalability comes from a project management mindset. You can build something that can be leveraged by multiple people, it just takes a little foresight during the initial build. If you love what you do, you are constantly thinking about how you can help people which makes having the A-Ha moment much easier.
Mo asks Scott Winter: Tell us of a time when you were doing something with business development that you are really proud of.
- Scott was working with another firm years ago that used Interaction, and there was a big push to bring them on board as an expanded partner. It took many months and using a lot of the GrowBIG strategies to provide enough value and develop the relationship to the point where they said yes, and that client became one of Scott’s favorites to work with.
- There was a tremendous growth in confidence for Scott, since he was not a natural salesperson, and that partnership revealed how important business development really is and how good he could be at creating valuable relationships.
- There are four big incremental yes’s you need in order to build something together. You have to get agreement that the strategic fit is there, determine the practicality of what you’re going to do, get the team and all the stakeholders on board, and then get the “yes” on the financial aspects.
- Accountability is a major component of Scott’s approach to business development. When he works with a client, he makes himself available to them and gets invested in their success instead of just moving on to the next sale.
- Scott focuses on building trust and giving the client a personal commitment to see the project through.
- Everything about the GrowBIG Training and Snowball System is about building long-term relationships.
- Scott trusts in his team and his product, and that trust allows him to support his clients in their success. If you don’t stand behind your client and service, you’re never going to be able to sell to them again. It all comes down to trust.
Mo asks Scott Winter: If you could send a video back in time specifically on business development, what would it say?
- The first thing Scott would say to his younger self would be to buy as much Bitcoin as possible. Seriously though, he would try to help his younger self get past the limiting belief that sales is a bad thing.
- No matter who you are, you have to sell. Do what you have to do to learn that skill sooner in a way that brings you enjoyment, because it’s going to serve you for the rest of your life.
- Do something you’re passionate about, and embrace the idea of business development.
- If you only have deep expertise, no one will know you exist and nothing will get done. If you only know sales, you will never do anything really meaningful. When you have both you can change the world.
- Deep expertise gives you the foundation for building trust and confidence with a prospect that you can actually help solve their problem, and you can use that to inform your ability to communicate that well.
- Even now, Scott struggles with how to structure emails perfectly and doing the right amount of outreach. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to put in the work consistently and genuinely care about the prospect or client’s outcome.
- Just like sports or any skill that you want to improve, business development takes practice.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Scott Winter on LinkedIn