Fundamentally, successful business development occurs when a professional has superior understanding of what a target client needs. To arrive at such enlightenment, the service provider has honed time-tested skills. The most successful ones have been very deliberate and intentional about the emphasis placed on the soft skills that wonderfully complement the technical acumen. In times past, such requisite skills for success were imparted through mentoring. However, the pressure to generate greater billings and profits today distracts mentors from their charge.
Why not outsource a mentor like other business functions have been outsourced? In fact, why not become very specific and outsource a business development mentoring service that teaches your staff how to become inspirational? If succession planning is about identifying capable replacements, preparing them to assume a more executive role and helping them earn the following of others, then organizations should pay more earnest heed to it! Within the preparation of staff for leadership, it would be argued that business development is not learned through osmosis (years on the job). The skillset that makes one inspirational/capable of developing business is definable.
Inspirational employees are respected, admired, and well-known. Let’s say that respect means that one is competent, as evidenced by subject matter knowledge, a displayed ability to lead others and self-controlled. Admiration may then be construed as being expressed towards those who are consistent, fair and care about the well-being of others. One cannot be inspirational if no one knows in what context, how often, in what ways and to what constituency the inspiration is directed.
Do your employees have a plan to become respected, admired, and well-known? To refute the counterargument that some do not aspire to become well-known, I simply posit that unknown service providers do not enjoy the opportunity to serve significant clients. As for the aforementioned plan, we have heard of personal development plans (PDP). If the PDP is meant to address one’s emotional intelligence, then what plans are in place to help staff:
- Become a subject matter expert?
- Learn how to discern client needs?
- Become referable?
- Network more effectively?
- Promote their personal specialty?
Savvy service firms empower their key staff to become inspirational leaders by helping them to produce a Personal Marketing Plan (PMP) that includes the PDP and the items listed in the bullets above. The PMP becomes the backbone of a succession plan, onto which other ligaments, tendons, and muscles familiar to HR executives can be attached. It is probably best developed by an outside third party who has no emotional ties to anyone internal to the organization and can objectively help staff develop and implement the Plan.
Organizations that are serious about the PMP have multiple Rainmakers and a system to produce more. Performance objectives and compensation systems can then be tied into succession management as all share the responsibility to grow personally and corporately.
Let’s become inspirational!!!