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Biz Dev Camp Alumni

Biz Dev Camp Alumni

Business development can be pretty isolating. Without ongoing opportunities to connect with true peers, a lot of biz dev folks keep challenges and ideas bottled up. But a group of Biz Dev Camp alums have found the solution: a monthly accountability call.

Call it a support group, hangout with friends or a collaboration of different sales philosophies, approaches and perspectives—it’s an ongoing conversation built on trust and openness. Technically, participants are competitors, but they’re spread out enough geographically and by capabilities to make it work—and even find opportunities to collaborate.

So let’s meet some of these Biz Dev folks, shall we? Say hello to Adam Kurzawa, Head of Partner Development at ExpandTheRoom; Brian Skowron, President at Lullabot; Brandon Steiger, President of 2120 Creative; Jason Berg, President of Pixo; Jon Clark, VP of Business Development at Four Kitchens; Rob Harr, Vice President of Sparkbox and Tyler Byrd, CEO and President of Red Rokk.

 
 

Show Notes

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Carl: Hey everyone, and welcome back to The Bureau Briefing. Now today we're going to do something that we often do at the Bureau, taking extreme chance. Not only do we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven guests, plus your lovely host myself, we have seven people who manage Biz Dev. Now is that what you want on a show? Evidently it is. So today coming to The Bureau Briefing, we have got, well not just alumni from the Biz Dev Camp, because one of the attendees was not there, one of the people on this call was not there, but the Biz Dev accountability call, this thing that just sprung up out of nowhere, and today it is my pleasure to welcome to the Bureau studios Adam from ExpandTheRoom, Brian from Lullabot, Brandon from 2120, Jason from Pixo, John from Four Kitchens, Rob from Sparkbox and Tyler from Red Rokk. That's all the time we have today.

Now I want to go ahead and just dive in. And first I'm going to call on Adam, because Adam seems to be a little bit of the ring leader here. I don't want to Lord of the Flies this thing, but Adam, tell me a little bit about how this whole thing got started.

Adam: Wow, no pressure here, thanks Carl.

Carl: Come on, you thrive on pressure, I've seen you.

Adam: Okay. A little bit. It sprung up actually organically at Biz Dev Camp. I was talking with Jason and Brandon and John and Brian, and we found ourselves just in similar groups and having really great discussions, and we were all really sad that last day like, man, we're all going to go home now, we're not going to be able to chat with each other. So I said, why don't we just, let's get just a monthly check-in, just to see how everyone's doing, check in on each other. And it started back, I'm trying to think now, I think it started in April.

The first one I think, was just Brandon and Jason and I, because a couple of the other guys couldn't make it. And then right after we did the first one, Brandon was like, "Hey, my buddy Tyler was in a Biz Dev Camp, and I think maybe he'd have some really good input, and he joined the next month, and we've just been doing it for the last 10 months. I think you had a Bureau meet-up here in New York last fall, and I met Rob and Tyler was actually in town for it, so I finally got to meet Tyler in person, which was awesome, and we started talking about the call, and Rob was like, "Wait a minute, I want to get in on that, that sounds really great." And then Rob joined too.

So it's just been this really great extension of having really open and frank discussions about business development and the pains of not just pursuing business but just running our businesses. And it's been really a good self help group for lack of a better term.

Carl: Well, there you go. That's how it works, right? You're at an event, things are going great, and then you got to go back where people look at you, like look what the cat dragged in, why did you bring that in here, Adam?

Adam: Yeah, yeah.

Carl: We don't want to work on that, but these other people go like, "You know what? Screw them Adam, you did a good job, man. You did great." So I'm going to shift over to Brian now, and Brian, I want to find out, how does this work? How is it determined what's going to be discussed? How do you hold each other accountable? What's the nature of one of these calls?

Brian: Good question. Well, we're all in a Slack channel together, so a lot of times somebody will just throw out like, “Hey, on our next call I'd like to talk about this,” and topics and ideas come up organically that way. Adam also does a really good job of emailing ahead of time and saying, Hey, here are things on the agenda. Anybody have anything to add to that? And then ultimately what happens is we all jump on and then we spend the first half hour just talking about random small talky type stuff because we're all Biz Dev people and that's what we do.

But the second half of that half hour tends to be really deepened and substantive, and then inevitably we're all like, “Oh, I got to jump off to this other call,” right? When the conversation is really heating up, so sometimes it goes a little long, sometimes we go after the fact, some people stick around, some people don't, but yeah, it's turned out to be a really valuable experience.

Carl: So is there ever a statement may or somebody says, I'm going to hit this number of deals or I'm going to follow up on this, I mean, it's called an accountability call. So I'm just wondering, are there efforts to keep each other accountable for something that's committed to?

Brian: I think there was, I need some help on this, I think there was at first, but it just turned into more of a Biz Dev hangout than an accountability group. I mean, there was a while we were reading the same book, the name and title of that book escapes me at the moment, I think Brandon would know, but in recent meet-ups we've more been talking about the state of our business, where our pipeline is, what kind of broader trends and things we're observing in the industry, and those fun, deep, strategic conversations, like should you have a product or not? And if you are going to have a... if you are going to pursue a product, what's the best way to go about it? Hiring and just all of the Biz Dev topics you could imagine.

Carl: I think having a support group is probably better than having an accountability group in most instances. So let's go ahead and turn it over to Brandon. Brandon, I saw you had your hand raised, go for it.

Brandon: Yeah. I think there's some level, I don't think there's the accountability, where we come together and hold hands every week and say, well how did you do with your numbers? And how many times did you go to the bar? And all that type of stuff. It tends to be more of, almost more like something that's more natural and fluid, that we don't have to deal with within our businesses. So again, I'll give you a prime example of that is at the end of the year we actually went around and said, “How was your year? What did your numbers come at? Did you hit your goals? Was it good?” So in the protection that we're all technically competitors, if we were all in the same city, but because we have such distances, we actually find almost security in that. So there's a sense of being fluid, we're able to share our numbers, and then we also talked about what are we looking for, for next year?

So while there wasn't a hard and fast like here, “I'm going to make 100 million next year, and I missed it by 100 million,” there's more along the lines of my numbers are good or I'm hitting a little low. And we talk about that sometime in the calls where it's, "Hey, I'm hitting this low right now, or I'm trying to get into this account, give me some ideas.” So I would say there's some sense of pure, the ability to lean on each other or even in a sense to grab advice when one of us get stuck on a business development issue, or just trying to get into a different area from that perspective.

The book that Brian was talking about, we read this book called The Sales Development Playbook and we all read it together basically over a course of a month. So we're like a book club for a month, and what we would do is we keep going back to it and saying, “Well, what did you think about this? What about this scenario, etc.?” And I think for most of us, we're all now preparing to go back to Biz Dev Camp in March, in DC, although we're all a little, Adam and I are a little disappointed about the location. It used to be a little bit more like Belize or something more exciting, I mean, we are Biz Dev. [crosstalk 00:08:25].

Carl: So there's little getting bugs, man, you don't want Belize.

Brandon: But we need something a little bit more exciting, I mean, a bunch of politicians, I mean, in March.

Carl: Wait till you see what the scavenger hunt is going to be like.

Brandon: Oh no.

Carl: Jason, I see that you got your hand raised.

Jason: So I was thinking about the accountability part of this, just like Brandon was saying even though we're not saying like, “Hey, this month we're going to make this many calls or we're going to hit this kind of revenue for the month, whatever.” There is a comfort in knowing that you can say, Hey, I'm struggling a bit, or I'm falling a little short. It's something that is hard to reveal to other people at our own businesses, and it's hard to reveal to anybody in general, but to know that we're all doing, we're all hitting the same thing, some of us are doing really well right now and some of us are still struggling to do what we need to do. Having that level of accountability of just being able to put voice to something that might be hard to say out loud to other people I think is really important.

And then the rich conversations around, are you seeing more restrictive contracts that are shifting the burden for things from the companies to now us the vendors, and being able to have some of those really interesting, rich conversations intermingled with that, I think is what makes us a really great group and something that I can't wait to get back to every month.

Carl: That's great insight. Tyler.

Tyler: So just have to start off by saying, Hey Brandon, I take offense to that whole politician thing, I mean, come on man, low blow, low blow. This call I think is awesome, it's one of the things that I look forward to every single month. And I just wish it would go longer or we would do it more often usually. Usually I think I spend most of my time on the call listening and try to figure out how I could possibly clone a couple of these guys and get them to come work for me because that'd be fantastic, or at least partner with me. But one of the things I think about, or that I came to this call with today not knowing what the format was going to be was a request from the group, and so if it's alright, I'd like to maybe just do some of what we usually do.

Carl: Yeah, go for it.

Tyler: So guys, I have a podcast, we've been talking about it, I launched it, I was planning on having a bunch of episodes launch at once, the production company that I had set it up, they accidentally let the first one go two weeks early, we're getting awesome feedback on it, not ideal, but it happened. So I have about 10 of them, so my plan was to launch the first five at the same time, and then have one for each week. Right now it's been very industry focused, but what I'd like to do is bring in some experts from outside of the industry because I think overall they've been too inwardly focused over the last few years. And so what I was wondering is anyone on our group, would you be interested in joining me on a podcast and just talking about maybe your favorite marketing strategies and what you do and how you implement them? It'd be a big help for creating that content, we are getting good feedback, and I think this is going to be a great strategy for us creating the content wise and getting some publicity out there for the company.

Carl: You never said you were going to hijack my show, man.

Tyler: I'm just, this is what we do.

Carl: You're still the guests.

Brian: Yeah you do [inaudible 00:12:02].

Carl: Everything I heard Biz Dev is true.

Brian: No.

Brandon: Hey Tyler, I was going to ask the question. So we're helping promote your business?

Tyler: Actually, I've thought a lot about that. That's an interesting one, because at first I was like I didn't want other agencies on there, because I don't want to showcase other agencies and possibly be sending people that direction, but at the end of the day, I think it's a win win, right? So if someone hears something at the end, I mean, we ask the same questions that most podcasts asks, which is if you want to get a hold of this person because you have more questions, how do you do it? So I put links to your website and we put your contact information, everything else, and if there's a listener that wants to reach out to you, they can reach out to you. Of course I expect the commission, but I'm just saying, so.

Jason: I will just say, as being Biz Dev people, I think all of us on this room would be stupid and foolish not to take up a free opportunity to tell our business.

Adam: Yeah absolutely.

Brian: Exactly.

Brandon: Oh yeah. He'd take us anytime.

Jason: I mean, I recently did a podcast with another studio and the feedback that I've gotten has been great. People reaching out of the woodwork saying, “Hey, I listened to this, like even the other day my father-in-law was like, I listened to this podcast that I saw your company tweet that you were on and somebody else, and I took notes and I really, really liked all the things you had to say,” and just blew me away.

Tyler: All right, slow down.

Jason: Yes Tyler.

Brandon: Tyler, maybe what we should do is just hijack this and let's just make our call a Biz Dev... We'll make our own Biz Dev podcast, where all of us are on it, we can help other companies.

Tyler: That's going to be a thing for sure.

Brandon: Absolutely.

Carl: I can't wait to get the call from the transcription person. What the hell have you done? I can't tell anything. So Tyler, first of all, I think it's a great idea and I think everybody's going to say yes, but I am going to take control at this point, and I'm going to ask Rob, Rob, what was it like coming into an established group, and what was it that wanted you to be part of it so much?

Rob: Yeah, so I got to meet Adam at the Bureau New York meet-up, that was the day before the workshop I was teaching and he was just really easy to talk to, really liked him. Tyler was there, I've met Tyler couple of times over the years, and my favorite thing about the Bureau over the years has been the communities that I've been able to build and the networking and the people that I've been able to meet and just the information sharing back and forth, there is not a ton of great resources for some of this stuff out there, but the people are so willing to share, and that's my favorite thing about the Bureau, is just the relationships we get to build with each other and just be a part of.

So I just, after talking with Adam for about an hour at a noisy bar, I just asked him, “Hey, you mentioned this Biz Dev meet=up accountability thing, I know I wasn't at camp, but I would love to be involved.” And he was like, “Oh, absolutely.” He's like, “Let's figure out a way to get connected.” Which was awesome, thanks Adam, and all of you for welcoming me in. And even just joining, what a great group of people, just openly sharing everything the Bureau wants them to be, sharing what's going on, how things are going, we've got a decent friend DNA or whatever that word is.

Carl: [FrienDA 00:15:37].

Rob: Where, yeah, frienDA, where we can talk about things, but nobody's required to say things that they don't want to talk about, but it's been a really, really cool place to just know that it's going to happen once a month where we can talk about Biz Dev, it's a safe place, and there's been several things where I've written down and gone and done research or just looked into or I've got a couple of followup questions. I'm actually going to Biz Dev Camp this year, partly from being part of this group I can't wait to get to know the people who are going to be there even better.

Carl: That's great, Adam.

Adam: I'm just going to say, I mean, it's been great, now that we've had this established group for so long now having someone like Rob jump in and get a little bit more outside perspective, that's been really great. I mean, I was thinking a lot about, as we were getting ready for this, just the things that I get value out of this. And I was able to go through, I mean, like each individual person in this group, there's been at least a topic or something that's challenged the way that I've thought about how I'm doing things at our company, and how we can improve, and that openness, I think, I mean we'd gushed about Biz Dev Camp, how there aren't many opportunities for people in sales or business development to really be open and honest, because everyone's got that kill or be killed, eat your competition mentality.

Like Brendan said earlier, we're all geographically spread out enough, and also doing just a little bit of different things here and there, that we're not really directly competing in a lot of ways. So that openness and that ability to just be really open sheet. “Okay, hey guys, look, I've got this issue, how have you guys tackled it?” It's just been really, really beneficial for everyone. I was just going to say I wouldn't be a good steward of the group mentality if I didn't say we should get over to John Clark at some point and have him chime in too.

Carl: Funny you should mention that, John just raised his hand. Go for it John.

John: Yeah I think it's a really unique opportunity where Adam was going with this. People have gotten together outside of the meeting, they actually gotten together in person, I think Adam and Tyler got together recently. Brandon, I think you met up with some folks and I saw Adam in New York last week. So it's great to see the personal connections developing that way and really feeling like we have a business development focus network, it can be lonely networking with clients and potential clients all the time and to be able to have those connections with real peers who are doing different things, have a different angle of, a different perspective on really similar work is really valuable. Yeah, it's great to be coming up on the next year and looking forward to getting all together, and seeing what we can come up with after getting together, after spending another few days together, I think we might have, I mean, we already have a podcast idea, maybe we need to go video.

Carl: That's great John. Brian.

Brian: Yeah. So John said what I was going to say before I said it, which is, one of the huge benefits out of this has been the personal connections that happen out of band and meeting people in person, having side calls, those sorts of things. But I'm surprised nobody's mentioned this yet, one of the things that is also pretty fantastic about this group is, we have actually [deved 00:19:31] some biz with each other, because we have this connection, there have been times when somebody has said like, “Oh, I didn't know your company did that, I have come across this opportunity”, or “Hey, you know what, we should talk about this thing or that thing.” I know, I've had a conversation like that, Jason was talking to us about one of our products Tugboat, which that connection wouldn't have been made and yeah, that's pretty awesome because it's what we're supposed to do, right? We're out there deving the biz every day.

Carl: And it's the opposite of what people would expect, right? They would expect, Oh no, I've got to hold on to all of my marbles, I can't let you see any of them, but instead it's like, “Hey, let's see what we got together.”

Brian: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Carl: Yeah, Rob.

Brian: Yeah. I think at some point there's going to be a co-pitch, I'm sure [crosstalk 00:20:26].

Rob: Oh, that's totally coming at some point. I mean, I think the neat thing that is unique about this group or any of these groups is the fact that you actually get to know people, and that's what all this is about. There are so many people who have asked me that I get to talk to, they're like, “I just feel so alone in what I'm doing, or this, that and the other.” And that is in my opinion, what the best business case for going to a camp is, that the Bureau offers is you're going to sit in a room with 20 some people and actually walk away with real relationships. And every event that I've been to, every camp that I've been to with the Bureau, I've walked away with a group like this or a couple of relationships and people that I can lean on, and there's not a good reason to do this stuff alone in my opinion.

Carl: John.

John: Yeah, we kind of have some mind reading going on, but I felt like that's really where I was going. The relationships are really, really valuable, and it's interesting to hear Rob talk about that being the really valuable thing to get, the big opportunity to get out of this is real relationships. I think it's so authentic, because one, there's very little posturing and people are very forthcoming about challenges and the state of business at a given time, which is up and down. And those relationships are based around really similar work and similar goals and similar challenges. So it's not merely a bunch of really great people, which it is, but it's people who you could actually relate to, you can learn from, you can share with, lean on, that's really rare, I don't know of anything else like that for the kind of work we do.

Carl: Just to say we've been working on trying to figure out why, like why different events that we're doing exist, and we've gotten to this one core concept, which is, they exist so that people can give and get support when they need it. And so this to me is the fruition of that idea. This proves that it can happen, because you did it on your own. So for me this is a, I got to say, it's a little teary eyed moment, it's really awesome to see that it's happening. Jason.

Jason: Yeah. I think it is worth a tier or two, to have for many of us we at the top of our organizations, our own organizations, or we're the top of whatever group, the Biz Dev group or whatever. And so to have a cohort is really important, and I think that, I had a one on one this morning with my lead account manager, so is the person I'm leaning on the most for the Biz Dev stuff here at Pixar, and one of the things that she was talking about is, several people were coming to her and she was being able to help them out. And when she meets with me and other principals at Pixar, she often feels like there's so much that I don't know. And then when she's then turning around and helping out other people, she's like, Oh, there's so much stuff I do know, and the confidence that that builds, and so I feel like it's one of those moments, like, Oh, I listen to all these guys talk and I'm like, damn, that's great, like I'm really impressed that you guys are doing that.

And then I start sharing about what I'm doing and I feel like it's valuable, and so it's both inspiring in terms of I'm impressed by the efforts and the knowledge and the expertise of everybody. And I also feel like I can hang and there's very few areas where I feel like I can just talk about this stuff and people don't get bleary-eyed and bored, anyway, what about maintenance? Should we do this? We fight with this all the time and John saying, “This is how many people we have devoted to this 100% of the time, ”and Brian's saying, “Yes, we're really making a play at this,” and I'm thinking, okay. Well, I mean, just, it's just very helpful to think about, to get out of your head and say, well, what are other people think about this specific aspect of the work that we do. So.

Carl: Yeah, that's great. I remember once telling somebody, "Maintenance is 12% of our revenue, and you want to just get rid of it?" And they were like, "Well, yeah." I was like, "All right." Okay, Tyler.

Tyler: I got to go back to what you were saying about the value of the Bureau in general, I'm personally just so tired of the wannabe experts out there that have never owned an agency, or the group of people who tried and failed and are going to teach us now how to do it. The Bureau is that source over the last couple of years where I can go and actually meet with other agency owners that are still in the thick of it and try to figure it out and have real value as far as input and knowledge that they can share. Time and time again, every Bureau event I've been to whether it's going out there to New York for the class that Rob taught or it's one of the Summits, it's just I constantly meet people that are giving me something where all of a sudden I'm passionate about coming back to my business and working on it again and trying to apply those ideas, and just take it forward. That in itself, I can't find it anywhere else, so every year has got me coming back to the summit, I'll be there Saturday, hopefully I'll find a way to catch around a golf. But, Carl, thank you for that because it's a huge resource and I think other people should find it because there's not a lot like it and I really, really appreciate it.

Carl: Thank you, Tyler. That's amazing to hear, and these are the things that give us energy to keep going, it's like when you see this, when you hear this, when somebody gives you feedback like that, it's like, ah, Hey, maybe I do know what I'm doing, right? To the earlier point Jason had, Hey wait, maybe we do know some stuff, because so often we feel like we just don't, Brandon.

Brandon: Yeah, I was going to say the other thing I feel like helps make this group really, really work, and I think partially it's the commonality that we all share, and just the people, but I think it really comes down to two other really important things. I was once told by a mentor, you want to surround yourself by five other people that you want to attain to be, and that's how you better yourself. It's like the whole adage of when in sports, like you play up to your competition if they're better than you, I will tell you every day or every time we've gotten together or picked up the phone and talk to each other on a one on one or just shooting the breeze on Slack, ego is checked at the door always, no one comes in with an ego regardless of what our positions in our organizations, no one ever comes with an ego, no one ever comes with an agenda, maybe Tyler on his podcast, but.

Carl: Yeah, but he made up for it with that statement. [crosstalk 00:28:00].

Brandon: He did, we give him credit for that.

Carl: [crosstalk 00:28:01] Tyler, you saved the deal.

Brandon: But we all come in with really one goal, and it's how do we help you? And I think that's really been such a... And that's such a unique thing, not only in the Biz Dev world, but even in that digital world, because I see other digital agencies around here, and it's almost hostile, but we come in and we're all like, Hey, how can I help you? And we come out of these meetings and I agree a lot of times I'm like, I wanted to go longer, it's the best meeting of my entire month, I block everything out for this meeting. I had a Biz Dev meeting this morning and I asked them to meet at 7:30, just so I could make sure I was here, because this is so important to me, but I think the other side of it though, overall I think we trust each other, and so we're willing, and that started day one, we didn't grow into it, it's like we just started, and we all trusted each other.

Then the aspect about knowing five people that you can grow up to attain to, I look around this room virtually, and these are all people I aspire to be like, and there's different characters and characteristics that they all have, I love what Tyler said. It's like, man, if I could clone every one of these guys and bring them into my organization, including you Carl, I would do it in a heartbeat, it's that meaningful to me, so.

Carl: Thank you for that, John.

John: I think what Brandon was talking about, things starting from day one comes down to a silent agreement that we all seem to behave this way, at least, that we're going to get as much as we give, and we're going to get clear unfiltered insight from other people if we do bring the same. And so people have just been extremely open and chose to trust each other from the beginning. And yeah, it feels really great, it's strange to be a year into this almost, and the year flew by from the context of this meeting, it's great to be here at this stage and looking forward to this next meeting, because I think there's something coming, maybe it's Tyler's podcast, but I feel like we're going to develop something else out of this next get together. So no pressure guys, but we got to come up with something.

Carl: I think it's going to be a Biz Dev boy band.

Brian: Or not.

Carl: [crosstalk 00:30:48] Jeez, it's a tough crowd.

Jason: Yeah, you too.

Carl: Adam.

Adam: Well I totally want to challenge that key to our comment, because I'll fight you for that one. Building on what Brandon was saying, in addition to just the openness and the trust factor of this only works if we're all respectful of each other and each other's businesses and our own challenges, we can all learn if we come to the table with really open and Frank discussions about our struggles and then coming in with that attitude of can I add value to the group? Can I help someone? That kind of thing, it's not about necessarily, what can I get out of this? What can I learn to get a one-upsmanship on someone else?

I think the second level of it though is also, Carl, you started off with the word accountability, right? The accountability group and funny enough I think the accountability aspect of this comes from me being on a call with other individuals, to what everyone said here that each month when we get on, I'm like, wow I haven't been diligent in doing this one particular thing that maybe we've talked about on two or three calls and I see that Jason's doing it or John's doing it, that accountability, it almost becomes self accountability where these guys all make me better because I am like, Oh shit, if they're doing it, I've really got to stay in check and make sure that I'm being honest to myself to improve, so that next month I can say, Hey guys, I'm so glad we talked about that, I implemented it, here's what I learned. And maybe then that helps someone else in the group.

Carl: That's great. Rob.

Rob: I think that one of the things that, like anybody who's listening to this, it's really thinking like, man, I need one of those, I need a group to talk about whatever the topic is. Just know that I've never asked somebody to do a call that I've met at a Bureau event that's turned me down. And what that's led to is being involved with this group or I've got other monthly calls and weekly calls in other groups that I'm a part of that are all relationships and the first time you ask, it's a little weird, but I'm always surprised that people are always willing to say yes, they're always willing to sit down and talk. And I think that's something that can be the next phase of those relationships is just like regular and I love the way Adam talked about the accountability.

Accountability isn't always I'm going to do this, make sure I do it, it's feeling that external pressure to be like, no, I talked about this, I said this and now I'm going to do it. These groups should be able to form up and they can, it just takes a little bit of initiative and all the credit to Adam and the other people who were originally part of this for getting this going, but just ask, if you meet somebody that you've got something to learn from and it's my opinion that all of us can learn something from anyone else, and I think that's the spirit of what's at the core of this group and all of these conversations that are a part of is just the core belief that you can learn something from everybody and you have something to offer everyone as well.

Carl: That's great. This whole thing is going to be a book, we're just going to turn this into a book, and even if I'm the only one that reads it, it'll be fine. I'll give it out at Christmas, Brian.

Brian: So, yeah, I'd be interested in reading that book. There's a nuance to this that I just wanted to mention also building on what Brandon and Adam were saying about this being an aspirational group where we all look to each other and we all think like, wow, not only would I love to have these people on my team, but I'd like to learn from them and do what they're doing. One of the things that I feel like has made this very successful and a thing that I appreciate a lot is the fact that we're really pretty different, these types of groups can quickly devolve into an echo chambery type of situation. One of the things that I have a ton of gratitude about for this group and for the Bureau events as a whole is the fact that we have different sales philosophies, we have different approaches, we all bring those to the conversation with no baggage. And I think we're all pretty savvy in terms of looking at what other people are doing, seeing how it's successful or not, and cherry picking the things that can work for our own approaches as well.

I actually really appreciate the fact that I can look across this group and be like, yeah, they have a totally different Biz Dev approach and a different style and that's great. I wonder if I can pick some things out of that? It's more having complimentary skills than us all being the same and doing the exact same thing, which is pretty awesome.

Carl: Yeah, I think that's a huge point too, most digital service shops are built based on the DNA of the people who started. So we're all different, our context is also different in how we approach things. And it's been said a dozen times, most people who start shops aren't business people. So there's a certain amount of making stuff up, which I guess is true in any business, but there's also that commonality of certain pains that you all feel, there are certain wins that you've all had that when you can see across the room, like you're saying, Brian, you're like, ah, that totally solves this one problem, it's never going to be a cut and paste situation. Jason.

Jason: Yeah, I really appreciate that. I also wanted to give a quick shout out to Adam, just for helping keep us organized and on track, we're all such crazy busy people, and the main thing is I think that we're all committed to this time, because we all get a lot out of it, but it's important to feel that commitment from everybody. I know those guys are going to be there, I'm going to make sure that I don't over-schedule this because that's our thing, we're going to do this, we're going to make the time, unless something else crazy comes up. But just having someone like Adam who's willing to like step in and just say like, I'm going to poke us and make sure I'm going to get these details, and that's been invaluable too. So I just want to give him a shout out for helping keep us together.

Adam: Thanks Jason. I'm virtually blushing.

Carl: Well Adam, I'm going to turn it to you now. So you seem to be at least the steward of this community, of this Biz Dev call. Why is it so important to you and why do you keep it going?

Adam: It's important to me because I care about what I do and I've never found a common ground with other people who do what I do before the Biz Dev Camp, and it's just a fact, the individuals that I met, even individuals that aren't even on this monthly call, right? And that's another thing about this call, is it's actually forced me to think about who else did I meet at those events who I've not been in touch with, right? Who else can I learn from? And I've reached out to some of those individuals as well. But it's important to me because I think this is a group of people that is both owners or senior leaders in sales that, that don't have that opportunity to talk about what we do, frankly, and honestly, sometimes even within your own organization, right? Because sales can be viewed a pariah or ah, you're just trying to sell a deal, that kind of vibe.

This is an open way to just talk through it, work on a problem, air it out with the group, get some good feedback, and then build and come back, and because we each get so much out of it on a monthly basis, it doesn't feel like a chore for any of us to block out that time. If anything's, I think because we do it the first week of every month, I really think it just like sets the tone for the month for me, I know that I can't speak for everybody, but it certainly jump starts my month and I'm like, all right, what did I get out of it this month? What am I going to try this month? What am I going to come back to in the following month and report back worked, and who can I follow up on the needed help in some way? so to me it's just an extension of like, if you'd like to connect with people and you want to help people, which I think all of us do, this is just become a really great outlet to do that in a macro way.

Carl: Well I appreciate that and I think that's a great way to wrap this. I have to say the energy I've gotten out of hearing you talk to each other and hearing you share why this is so valuable. I'm going to be riding this energy all the way into Austin, so I'm pretty excited about it. But thank you all so much for being here today, for taking the time out of your very busy Biz Dev lives and sharing with everybody how this came to be and why it's so valuable. And for everybody listening, thank you so much, and we'll be back next week. We'll talk to you then.


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