May 27, 2020

Insights From the Habits of Kelley O'Hara - Three Crucial Skills Every Business Developer Needs to Create Tremendous Growth

Insights From the Habits of Kelley O'Hara - Three Crucial Skills Every Business Developer Needs to Create Tremendous Growth

Mo Bunnell breaks down the three most important lessons shared by Kelley O’Hara and applies them directly to growing your business and winning more engagements. Learn how to cultivate a growth mindset, create a powerful feedback system that steadily...

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Mo Bunnell breaks down the three most important lessons shared by Kelley O’Hara and applies them directly to growing your business and winning more engagements. Learn how to cultivate a growth mindset, create a powerful feedback system that steadily builds momentum, and why preparation is your ultimate confidence-building weapon.

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  • There are three major pieces of content that Kelley O’Hara talked about in her interview that apply directly to business development: having a growth mindset, focusing on what you can control, and preparing to make progress.
  • A common mistake that business developers make is in preparing to win engagements instead of preparing to make progress towards the goal.
  • It can’t be said enough, business development can be learned. It doesn’t matter where you start or where you are now, there is always another level to grow to. Business development is such a complex skill that no one is born with it.
  • Any complex skill is the roll up of dozens and dozens of skills, and because of that, no one is born with all of those. Nobody is born with everything they need. Business development is so in depth and requires so many hard and soft skills that it’s impossible to be excellent in all of them and there is always more to learn.
  • Self-reflection is crucial to a growth mindset. For Kelley, the off season is when she really hones her craft. For business developers that want to get better at a skill, build in some time each week to decode how you did because your off season is in between meetings. Use a journal to track your progress and see where you are improving.
  • Build in feedback loops for anything you want to become more skilled at. Any time something important happens and other people are around, ask them two key questions.
  • When you frame a feedback loop in that way you will get really good information and it will help you improve. The problem with vague feedback is you will usually get positive feedback without the area to improve upon. Remember, asking better questions will give you better answers.
  • Business development has less feedback than many other aspects of life, which can make it very difficult to know what to improve. Aim to disconnect yourself from the outcome so that you can keep moving forward.
  • Perception, action, will. Whenever you’re in a moment that doesn’t seem to be going well, pull back and get some perspective, do something about it, and then keep at it. People often quit sooner than they should, don’t get discouraged.
  • Track what you can control and use it as your motivation. Decode what you need to focus on to get results and develop a system to track what you can control to reach the goal. Even subjective measures are better than not tracking anything.
  • Another common mistake business developers make is either tracking way too much and getting overburdened and burning out, or not tracking things that can move the needle because they’re too subjective. Start with simple tracking measures and build it out from there.
  • There is no way that someone else can do the tracking for you. When you document what you do and your business starts to take off, you can go back and see what you were doing prior to the growth to connect the dots. Build in some time on a quarterly basis to do some deeper reflection and figure out what you need to prioritize in the next time period.
  • Focus on preparation instead of perfection. If your bar is perfection, you will end up disappointed and in a negative thought loop. If you feel prepared going in, you are far more likely to perform better. Alternatively, if you feel unprepared, you will spend a large amount of time and energy just being stressed instead of performing at a high level. Do everything you can to prepare and walk in confidently.
  • Do you know what your set pieces are? Think of a meeting as a bunch of set pieces that are put together in a random order. Prepare for those scenarios and you will be ready no matter what happens.
  • There are several things you can do to prepare for a meeting. Write down your goal for the meeting and how you can frame it for the other attendees. You are going to win meetings in the first five minutes, not in the last five minutes.
  • Plan for dynamic changes in every meeting. Think of the things that you are most afraid of happening and prepare for them and you will feel much more confident going in.
  • Think through the most interesting questions you want to ask the person on the other side of the table. Also think about some of the questions they might pose to you and how you can engage them in a compelling dialogue.
  • Think about the aspects of relationship building and how you can show commonality. There is a lot of research that shows commonality correlates to likability and likability correlates to purchasing.
  • Preparing for weeks is the most important thing to keep up your business development progress. The week interval is so ingrained in our minds that it’s the perfect cadence for planning. Consider what actions you're going to take in the next week to make progress towards your goals or move a client through your pipeline.
  • Rainmakers are the people that plan their weeks out and do a little bit each day to grow their business. Plenty of business owners end up in a roller coaster effect where when they get busy, they stop pushing business development forward, everything dries up.
  • A quick recap on three major things learned from Kelley O’Hara.
  • Mo retells the story of a company his team worked with and how they attacked a particular problem. The team figured out the three most important metrics to track and how those metrics improved over time.
  • Learn the concept of the Give To Get and how to create a 60- to 90-minute strategic investment in a relationship. Mo’s team picked a few Give To Gets to build on and included those in the metrics they tracked.
  • In terms of business development hours spent each week, the organization saw a 710% increase in time spent in only a few short weeks. They also almost doubled the amount of meetings requested with a jump from 60% to 96% in acceptance rate. They also saw a decrease in the Give To Gets scheduled because they became so busy with work.
  • Just by tracking a few key metrics can lead to some incredible, business transforming results. After getting through the first few months it can generate a huge amount of momentum.


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Snowball System

Dr. Anders Erickson on Freakonomics Radio

Peak by Dr. Anders Erickson

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Measurement Case Study