As you are hunting for new business, it may occasionally occur to you to take actions that are beyond your comfort zone. In most cases, your survival instinct will take over and dissuade you from "going there." You will tell yourself it's not reasonable. You will convince yourself that your instincts are guiding you wisely. But chances are, it's just your fear talking. Here's how it will sound in your head:
“Don’t bother calling that business leader to propose a lunch. They won’t take your call anyway.”
"Don't introduce yourself to that prospective client. They will probably think you're being pushy."
“Don’t go to that conference, it will be overpopulated with competitors.”
You will follow its advice with a sigh of relief because the truth is you were scared to make the call or approach the prospect or spend the time and money required to make the conference worthwhile.
But if we are to be successful in business development, we must learn the difference between our “gut” and general gutlessness.
The best way to discern between your instinct and your resistance is to make an informed choice. You can’t do that unless you pick up the phone and propose the lunch or greet the prospect or attend the conference. Your gut will inform you in the face of the opportunity. Anything prior to that is speculation.
Chances are there is at least one person in town you'd like to be meeting with right now, but you've convinced yourself that the relationship isn't there or the timing is off or some such excuse. Instead, try this experiment: Compose an introductory email that explains why you want to meet with them. Make a compelling case for why they should set aside some time to get to know you. Then, be gutsy and click "send." You'll often find that the experience is far less scary and more fruitful than you imagined.