The Art and Science of Business Development

While the reasons behind failure still remain mysterious, we always strive to learn about the successful people and business around us. However, one of the most common trait for success found in thousands of books, hundreds of studies and countless examples is grit. But how does a gritty person’s mind work?


Grit is a combination of perseverance and passion. It’s a mindset, a personality trait that keeps you working towards a long-term vision despite setbacks and uncertainties. Recently, in a two-day long session with GPAccelerator Batch 5, Saleh Anam, Group Head and the Senior Vice President at MasterCard talked about The Art and Science of Business Development. From his 22 years of functional experience in Business Development and Marketing Strategy Consulting in financial services and payments industry, he explained how the right mindset brings success for a business.


Saleh started off his two-day long workshop by explaining the ways to develop grit or determination. The first thing the founders need to understand is that bad things happen. In the course of an entrepreneurial journey, it is essential to expect drawbacks, setbacks, and disasters. You should maximize the learning opportunity while minimizing the cost of it. At the same time, you have to act immediately rather than waiting for the scenario to change itself. Secondly, you should quicken the cycle of denial and blame. You must recognize your emotions. If you have to express yourself, do it with maturity. Thirdly, if you ever come across difficulties, take a moment to accept and renew yourself.

The next thing Saleh talked about is Sales Planning. Before approaching a potential customer, you must have their complete profile at your fingertips. Sales Planning has three phases; Prospect, Preparation, and Pitch.



Prospect:  Who are your customers?

Identifying the ideal customers is very crucial for any business. To qualify to be your customer, a person must not only be ‘willing’ but also should have the ‘ability’ to pay for your solutions. For example, a kid may be willing to buy toys from you but is not able to pay for it. Instead, his parents may have both the willingness and the ability to pay for the toys. Hence, not the kids, but the parents are your ideal prospects or customers.


Prepare:  Why are you right company to support them?

The second phase of Sales Planning is profiling your customers. Recognize the key factors that make YOU the right fit for their needs. Distinguish what stands you out among countless alternatives your customers have and find out what their value priorities are.


Pitch: What’s your story?

Before pitching, spend some time analyzing the client’s industry, market, and competition. Make sure to keep your pitch precise and clear. Focus on building a strong relationship with your customers and earn their credibility. Whether a customer would listen to you or not depends on how empathetic you sound. Make your customers the center of your story. Address their pain-point and make them believe how your most attractive features can solve their problems better than anyone. That’s exactly when they decide on doing business with you.


On the second day of the workshop, the teams of GPAccelerator had a one-on-one session with Saleh Anam. He shared his insights on Business Development with the startups and paved the way for growing their business. Above all, he urged the teams to develop grit to combat against adversities.

Ashfaqul Haque