Business Developer’s Dilemma Part 1: How to Balance Marketing Requests for Help
Use the Goldilocks Rule
When your marketing department requests proposal help, what is your first reaction?
- Of course! I’ve been working on this opportunity for a long time, and this is a “Must Win!” No matter what!
- No way! You have all the intelligence, details, strategies, and data in the CRM system. I need to get onto the next opportunity!
- It depends.
When you get pulled into proposals because marketing needs your help, think about the Goldilocks Rule: Not too much, not too little, just enough.
Is this an emergency or an isolated event?
Of course, BD client meetings and events come first. Don’t cancel a client meeting unless there is a real crisis (as we all remember from BD 101). As a BD professional, we’re on the same team with marketing and technical peers. Willingness to help is a good thing, but don’t become a scapegoat. BD’s role is to be the door opener, not a door mat.
If the time needed is less than four hours, go ahead and chip in as long as it doesn’t interfere with a specific client meeting or event. Stay late or come in early, whatever it takes to meet the deadline, as long as a client isn’t paying the ultimate price when you divert your time.
Notice if this becomes a pattern. Voice your concern after the urgent event is over. Make sure your boss is aware of your willingness to help—and then show your concern that Marketing is a) understaffed b) needs better processes in place to get through deadlines successfully or c) doesn’t have the right people on the bus.
The Goldilocks Rule gives you a great framework to assess your response when the requests are occasional or even rare. You choose what you’re willing and able to do: not too much, not too little, or just enough.
Stay tuned for the next Business Development Guild message when marketing asks for help on an ongoing or increasingly regular basis. How do you determine your response?
Remember to comment below so the BD Guild network benefits from your experiences and insights.
Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM, President, Everest Marketing Services, [email protected], (m) 602.686.4616. Thanks to Beth Harris, F.SAME, FSMPS, CPSM, Vice President, Business Development, Versar, Inc., [email protected], (m) 404-808-5067 for her wisdom and insights on this article.