Avoid these Business Development Excuses

1. “The deal was wired.” I’m really tired of hearing about deals being “wired”. The only thing worse than proclaiming that a deal was “wired” after you lost is the decision you made to actually bid the deal.

2. “They low-balled on price.” In my experience, companies that are willing to be extra competitive on cost are typically more confident in their abilities to manage and deliver on the project. I understand some firms are just more expensive, but don’t complain if you failed to show the value behind that cost.

3. “I can’t get the meeting.” Calling once or sending a generic email about your company is hardly enough justification to quit on setting up a meeting. Does the potential buyer even know what you want to talk about? Have you done the research to know what interests them?

4. “Government budgets are shrinking.” At the macro level this is true but it’s your responsibility as the business development leader to find the good opportunities at the micro level.

5. “The competition has better solutions.” The grass is always greener, especially when the competition is winning. Remember…every company has advantages, your job is to identify those discriminators and exploit them to win new business.

6. “I don’t have enough resources.” Prove yourself by helping to close business first, and then ask for more resources. It’s much easier for management to fund new BD hires, proposal managers, and BD tools after you have already been successful.

7. “We have poor leadership.” Are you part of the team or not? Either get on the bus or get off. Management will never be perfect but if they’re truly terrible just do the right thing and walk away.

8. “My sales quota is unfair.” Your sales quota should be negotiated at the beginning of each year. If you feel it’s unreasonable then resolve it with management at the beginning of the year. Successful sales executives won’t complain about quotas because they’re too busy exceeding them.

9. “What we sell is a commodity.” Your job is to differentiate your company and add value. Be a team player and collaborate with the “experts” to develop solutions that stand out.

10. “I hired a bad Business Development Consultant.” Who hired the consultant? You should have called AlphaBrook!

Sara Coit