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Business Development

How to Get Superior Results

By David Ackert on December, 5 2017

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David Ackert

Chances are you've been focused on business development for so long that you've evolved your own approach: some combination of networking, writing, speaking, guesting, hosting, and golfing. We'll call this "X."
And through years of discipline, patience, and persistence, you've implemented that approach and produced the results you now have: We'll call this "Y."

graph with two arrows trending up and down

So far, X has consistently yielded Y. But you have a problem. You want more than Y. Significantly more. And while you could push yourself and commit another hour or two or perhaps even five per week, your results would improve only incrementally, because they'd be based on X. Multiply X by 10% and you'll see only a 10% increase in Y (e.g., If you have ten networking activities in an average month, adding an eleventh won't buy you much, and may lead to burnout).

For a significant improvement in your Y results, you'll need a new X approach. So, if your X has largely been spent on the golf course, take a break next month and host a couple of dinner parties instead. This will necessarily attract a new dynamic and new people into your X. If you typically rely on networking group functions to fill your business development calendar, repurpose that time to schedule a few speaking engagements instead. You'll find the outcomes will be vastly different than your customary results.


Here are a few other new Xs to try:

  • Gather your biggest fans at a local cocktail lounge and buy their first round. If it goes well, make it a monthly tradition.
  • Make a list of your top three referral sources. Call their office and ask their secretary about their favorite activity (e.g., wine tasting). Then, offer to take them to a wine bar for an evening of wine tasting so you can spend some quality time with them.
  • Schedule a lunch with the most successful person you know and ask about his or her X.
You've no doubt heard Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result every time. It's a good reminder that our behavior patterns, while comfortable, are not always productive. So break the pattern. Switch out your X for something new. Even if you only try it for a month, you'll see a different Y. And if your new X is superior, the results will follow.

Now it's your turn to share your thoughts. What are your most effective Xs?

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