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Kelly Campbell's New Approach to Business Development

Liston Witherill
Liston Witherill
4 min read

About This Talk

This talk is by Kelly Campbell and was recorded on October 7, 2020. You can learn more about Kelly by:

Kelly also mentioned the book Attached by Levine and Heller


00:00 Intro
03:37 The Great Pause of 2020
05:17 How We Convey Our Value
09:24 The Being Approach
11:55 A New Approach to Prospecting
14:14 How to Qualify Leads
17:09 Approaching Discovery
20:55 Changing Your Presentation
28:49 Benefits to this New Approach
32:50 Money Follows Value
35:53 Relational Attachment Styles
40:49 Why a More Feminine Approach is Crucial

The Great Pause of 2020

A global pandemic has slowed down business but it’s also given us the chance to reimagine our approach to everything, both in business and in our personal lives. It’s a chance to usher in a new “emotion economy” that could give us a more integrated approach and drive more personal and business growth.

How We Convey Our Value

There are two ways to convey your value.

First there’s Approach A. On the one hand, you can show curiosity, and listen to understand, and offer considerations. You can ask rather than tell. This approach is more inclusive and emphasizes dialogue.

Then there’s Approach B. On the other hand, you can state your experience, purport to solve problems without knowing much about them, and unfurl a long list of accolades to impress your clients. This approach excludes and emphasizes monologue.

Approach A is the more feminine style approach, while Approach B is the way most business development has been done in the past: distinctly masculine. How are you conveying your value today? And how would you like to start conveying your value in the future?

The way you convey your value should be reflected in your firm’s sales process.

The Being Approach to Business Development

Being is feminine, doing is masculine. Collaborating is feminine, winning is masculine. Moving toward a more “being” approach can help balance your “doing” approach. The goal is to find a balance between the two, rather than adopting a singular approach to business development (you don’t want to be all “being” or all “doing”).

Approaches to Prospecting

The first question is how to align this new approach and style to your prospecting. Kelly recommends you ask the following questions:

  • Are your personal values aligned with your firm’s values?
  • Is your agency well-positioned?
  • Do you consider your current clients to be ideal?
  • What are the human traits or characteristics they possess?
  • Do your buyer persona sheets include role-related pain points, motivation, common questions, etc.?

Approaches to Lead Qualification

Kelly and I (Liston) agree on most everything, but we might be most aligned on the importance of qualification questions in particular, questions in general, and listening as much as or more than you talk.

Kelly suggests you emphasize how your client will be better off from working with you. Getting that info should be a core part of your qualification process, again ensuring that you vet clients early for a fit with your values, culture, and the results you can provide.

Approaches to Discovery

The first meeting with a prospective client could lead to an ideal 10-year relationship OR it could be a valuable learning experience for your agency. There’s always room to learn something new, right?

A few selected discovery session pointers from Kelly’s talk:

  • Ask more questions (i.e. why is now the right time?)
  • Listen to understand, and for emotion
  • Resist monologuing about your firm, and wait for them to show curiosity about you instead

Changing Your Presentations

Presentations need to change. Period. They’re too much about you, and not enough about how your can help your clients, or what they’re experiencing right now. Change is a journey from now to a future state, and that should be included in your presentation. Here’s the basic format Kelly recommends for your presentations:

  1. Cover
  2. Mirror
  3. Findings
  4. Restate Issue
  5. Relevant Case Study
  6. Investment Sample
  7. Partnership
  8. Team
  9. Q+A
  10. Gratitude

Relational Attachment and Business Development

The way you approach relationships in your personal life will almost certainly impact the way you approach business development. Here are four relational attachment styles – think about which one you fall into, and how it affects your professional relationships:

  • Secure: able to express emotions appropriately, draw boundaries, and focus on solutions; the secure style is typically detached from the outcome of the sales process
  • Anxious-Preoccupied: may come across as desperate, get defensive or withdraw from dealing with someone who criticizes you or your company
  • Dismissive-Avoidant: may struggle with empathy, vulnerability, and authenticity that prospects desire
  • Fearful-Avoidant: might have a hard time delegating because they don’t trust others, may fear success, and avoid conflict

Money Follows Value

Money always follows value, and this new approach to business development will begin to improve your entire firm. It starts with your employees feeling valued and supported, which leads to higher productivity and lower turnover. Higher employee retention leads to happier clients, accumulating trust in your firm, and eventually, you can expand engagements, drive additional revenue, and increase word of mouth opportunities.