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4 Thoughts on Business Development From Amy Dordek Dolinsky, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of GrowthPlay

Question One: Please introduce yourself, including what you do.

Amy Dordek Dolinsky – I’m known as a leader in sales and business development and expert at understanding how to scale businesses. I have spent most of my career in leadership roles in professional services companies selling complex solutions. I co-founded GrowthPlay, a Private Equity backed sales effectiveness firm four years ago and it’s my 4th startup so I’m a serial entrepreneur. I also own a pizza tour company called Pizza City USA with my husband ABC 7 Chicago’s Steve Dolinsky. I am very passionate about developing and mentoring future women leaders. As an example I started a formal mentoring program/cohort with another Chicago female co-founder to develop a dozen early stage female startup founders. I am also a board member in a global women’s leadership forum.

Question Two: What are your top 4 tips for successful business development?

1. Changing the paradigm from getting something (selling people something) to giving something – Selling is about developing authentic relationships and requires being other centered. Creating generous, productive relationships involves understanding someone else’s needs. It’s not about what you want to get from someone but what you can give or share with them. One of the most powerful ways to build relationships is to make a person feel heard and understood. If they know you get them or are clear on their personal or professional objectives, trust often follows. Without trust you don’t have a fruitful relationship and without a fruitful relationship business will be difficult to develop.

2. It’s not what you do but HOW you do it – People will remember how you interact with them and how you make them feel. If they feel better as a result of spending time with you then you’ve made an impact that will be long-lasting. Therefore prepare for meetings and do great discovery. Listen then talk or share.

3. Be Responsive – it’s a differentiator – Following up, timely has now become a way of differentiating. People are overwhelmed with information, emails, voicemails and many people no longer follow up on what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it. When you deliver on your promise, when you follow up with definitive next steps, in the timeframe outlined you will look like a rock star.

4. Help people understand what you do so they don’t have to work so hard – If you can answer the question about what problems you solve and for what types of people/companies and how you are different you’ve outperformed most people delivering a typical elevator speech. Instead of saying your title describe a problem you’ve recently solved for an organization and the result. Share your ideal client. Even better say it all with passion and enthusiasm. Who doesn’t want to work with someone who loves what they do and does it well?

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