“I don’t know… the whole ‘getting clients’ thing… it just feels like a mystery.”
This was a woman who had great conversations with potential clients, but they went nowhere. She had been ghosted by prospects who started out so excited. She sent out proposals but didn’t hear back. It didn’t make sense.
“I must be doing something wrong, but I don’t know what.”
With empathy and love I could absolutely understand that the process of bringing on new clients probably did feel like a mystery. But if she was going to start to land new clients, the first step is understanding one concept:
The process of landing new clients isn’t a mystery. It’s a PUZZLE. And that’s an important distinction.
A MYSTERY is something shaped by forces outside of our control, and rules which are hidden from us. Mysteries are inexplicable, beyond our comprehension.
The workings of the universe are a mystery. Someone’s disappearance can be an unsolved mystery.
A PUZZLE, by contrast, is comprised of pieces that can be put together in a logical way to arrive at a solution. Puzzles can be challenging, but they can be solved by understanding the pieces and where they fit.
Filing taxes is a puzzle. And obviously, a jigsaw puzzle is a puzzle.
The process of getting new clients isn’t a mystery, it’s a puzzle. You just have to know the pieces, how they fit together, and the order they go in.
Of course, there’s no assurance that clients will say yes 100% of the time. But when you know how to solve your part of the puzzle, you have an unfair advantage to getting a yes, and you can dramatically increase your win rate.
But you know the thing about puzzles? They’re hard. Even when you know they’re solvable.
There are two ways to make it easier:
But don’t take my word for it. I looked on Quora and here’s what Puzzlemaster Prasanna Sheshadri had to say:
If you’d like to “take advice” from me so you can learn to solve the biz dev puzzle, reply back with “Clients” in the subject line and we’ll set up a 15-minute call to see if I can help.