Did you know you can create business opportunities by focusing on interests as excellent negotiators do?

Secrets Negotiators Know. Negotiators know they can find hidden opportunities in if they (1) learn about the needs of the other person as well as their own, (2) learn as much as they can about the situation, and then (3) develop creative options that suit both sides. You can do the same thing when you are trying to develop lead for new business.

How To Do It. Think about the things you and your firm love to do, the subject matter you want to focus on, the special abilities you’d like to use, and the geographic places you’d like to use them. Then, pay particular attention to the special needs of firms in the field you’re interested in. As you learn things, see if you can develop some not-so-obvious projects you could do that could help someone you’d like to serve.

Example- Stadium Finance. For example, imagine you are going around talking to people on a background basis about your firm’s interest in stadium finance. (Holding informal conversations like this is known as Information Interviewing.) Imagine you hear that several sports organizations are increasingly struggling to respond to the hundreds of licensing agreements vendors ask them to sign each year.

Imagine you learn that many old-time front office managements know little about the complexities of cross-marketing or the financial aspects of various offers, and generally have a hard time dealing with complex offers from outside companies.

This suggests a not-so-obvious project– sports licensing management. Now do some brainstorming and research to develop the idea. Find out if anyone does work like this somewhere in the industry. If someone does, it may strengthen your case that (1) this work is valuable and (2) other firms pay for others to do it. If no one does this work, you may have discovered a hidden opportunity that could give a wise firm an advantage over other firms.

Test Your Best Ideas. Test your best idea with further information interviewing to find out what people think of it, and use their insights to refine (and expand) the idea. With this groundwork, you can develop one or more proposal(s) you can pitch to someone in authority at the firm you’d like to serve. In this way, you can actually create a project or a service that your future client didn’t even realize it needed, but really does need.