Let a Colleague Hold Your Feet to the Biz Dev Fire



Or how to leverage your allies to help you achieve your business development goals.

I'm talking specifically about using the PlanPal feature of BizDevCoach, which walks you through the process, but the ideas are the same with or without it.


The Point

The point of PlanPal is to help you build a business development support system. A PlanPal helps you think through your targets, biz dev plan, and innovation, and holds you accountable.


Who to Ask to be a PlanPal

Your PlanPal could be a colleague within your organization or it could be a someone from the outside, from another profession who is a trusted ally. You might also consider having multiple PlanPals as this increases the range of opinions (if you want them, though they're not necessary for the process) as well as increases the likelihood of successfully holding PlanPal discussions when juggling your and your PlanPal's schedules.


How to Begin

Set a time for a call with your PlanPal. Be on time. Respecting oneanother's schedules will help to ensure you're able to continue the relationship and further your biz dev success.

Divide the time on the call evenly, so that each participant takes turns as Guide and Planner.


The Planner

The Planner is the person who created the Plan/ Target List/ Innovations under discussion.

Remember that the purpose of this role -- of this process -- is to get support in your business development, so be gracious. But, if you are receiving unwanted opinions from the Guide, feel free to let the Guide know that their role is to act as a support and you'd prefer it if they stuck to the questions below.


The Guide

The Guide is the person asking clarifying questions of the Planner.

The Guide is not a professional coach, but if she/he is aware of additional resources that could be useful to the Planner she/he should feel free to mention them.

Don't be pushy.

Unless on the same business development team, it may not be a good idea to give opinions about the biz dev ideas of the Planner. If the Guide feels they have important insights to share, she/he should specifically ask for permission, for example, "would you like my opinion about that?" If the Guide is on the same business development team as the Planner it should be understood that opinions are welcome as the two should be on the same page about targets and approach.


Asking Questions

Below are suggested questions for the Guide to ask the Planner.


On the Biz Dev Plan:

1. What were the factors that lead you to this answer?

2. Where could you find more information to help you learn more about this issue?

3. Who could help you in this effort?

4. What resources will you need to implement this?


On Targets:

1. Why does this target qualify as a good investment of your time?

2. Why are you convinced that your next step will be effective?

3. When do you plan to implement your next step?


On Innovations:

1. What was the thinking that led you to this entry?

2. What are the reasons your believe your entries are valid?


Remember that the purpose is about getting support in your biz dev efforts. If you can find an ally who is likewise interested in improving their business development, leveraging one another for support and accountability will go a long way towards sticking to your biz dev plans and reaching your goals.

For more on using the PlanPal feature of BizDevCoach.com, take a look at the tutorial entry for it: https://bizdevcoach.com/tutorial/1156?scroll=y