July 9, 2014
Why creativity in sales & business development is the key to success
Business development is a term that is often loosely thrown around. While the idea of business development can sound rather alluring and appealing, often people are at a loss how to describe it, let alone achieve it. The traditional definition of Business development is: a number of tasks and processes generally aiming at developing and implementing growth opportunities between multiple areas of organizations.
In it’s simplest form – Business development is the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers,markets, and relationships.
The most interesting word in that description is the word creation. Creating something of value that encompasses customers, markets and relationships requires experience, guts and a creative flare.
Creativity in business isn’t just for sexy new start ups or young hipsters, creativity in business is essential for long term growth.
And even the oldest and most entrenched businesses and companies need creativity in sales and business development to consistently evolve and grow.
In the New York Times best-selling book The E-Myth, (which is a must read for every business owner), author Michael Gerber writes a story about how he accidentally stumbled upon a hotel on the northern coast of California, called the Ventia. From the second he first entered the hotel lobby, he described it as other worldly. Simple things like the the outdoor lighting and turn down service to the specific brand of coffee that was brewing in his room the next morning had been perfectly orchestrated.
Michael, being the person he is, had to investigate and find out just how this amazing experience had come to be. And what he found was a huge three ringed binder in the managers office labeled “Operations Manual.” As he poured over the pages he found that book detailed and outlined everything that employees were supposed to accomplish to unlock this experiential magic. The outline was so specific that it even detailed things like how to light the fireplace, and how the beautiful outdoor lights were carefully timed to synch with the sun. All that to say Michael found out that this magic just didn’t happen, it was a result of creative planning and executing a detailed list of things to do.
Our customers, those who we are wanting to do business with and those who we are currently doing business with should never notice that to-list and our creative business development planning. But the truth is, you can’t have a unforgettable, magical and beautifully executed experience without it. That is why creativity in business development and sales is the key to success.
I had the privilege of hearing and meeting Lee Cockell the former Executive Vice President at Disney World earlier this year. One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. Customer service, sales and the overall enchanting experience at Disney World can be attributed to much of his work. Though as customers, we feel the magic, the truth is the magic is very practical.
“For the customer, the magic is a source of wonder and enjoyment. For the company and its employees, magic is a much more practical matter. Provide a promise, not a product. And always exceed the customers expectations” – Creating Magic
Spend a few minutes researching the magic of the Disney experience, and you will quickly find, things are done with creative precision. From the trashcans being exactly 23 feet apart, to the texture of the pavement, Disney has the magic making down to an art. Their business development strategy is as much in what you see, as in what you don’t see. Next time you are at Disney, check the ground and notice what you don’t find. I dare you to try and find candy wrappers, gum, or spilled popcorn.
When you are enjoying your Magical moment at Disney you are walking through the business development manual, the to-do list that outlines how everything should be. Creativity in business happens in the detailed planning. To be creative, to be truly innovative in business (and in life) you don’t begin with magical mystical moments of inspiration. You start with business development that plans and details the steps you need to make an unforgettable experience for your customers and the customers you are working to acquire.
Those who are successful in business aren’t smarter or more special than you and I. The fact is, they have a manual somewhere that you and I will never see, and with hard work and sweat equity they are executing that to-do list.
I have heard it said that from 30,000 feet, creating looks like art. From ground level, it’s a to-do list. If your ready to get creative with your business development and sales challenges, let’s chat. At SalesEvolve creativity is our passion. Business Development can be a dry and boring subject, but it begs for original and thoughtful content. We may not have all the answers, but we think we have found a few. Let’s talk and get your business development magic to-do-list started.