Business development tips from Goldfinger

Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
by Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence on January 20, 2020
Polish-Anglo networking & culture (FIVE)
December 28, 2019
Being memorable
You may not be so memorable!
November 27, 2020

The current pandemic situation requires a rethink for business development. The starting point for a rethink is essentially this;

‘Only restart the parts of your business development activity that have a high likelihood to be successful in your ‘new normal’.

What may not be immediately apparent is that the James Bond feature film Goldfinger contains many valuable lessons regarding business development. The film is well worth a look regardless of Rainmaking and is ranked #70 on the BFI Top 100 British films list compiled by the British Film Institute.

Therefore in this five-minute read we will equip you with some Auric Goldfinger  lessons for business development.

Auric Goldfinger played by Gert Frobe has a business plan to make his own reserves of gold even more valuable. He intends to detonate a nuclear device in the US gold reserve at Fort Knox. The idea is that by rending this gold untradable his own bullion will become more valuable. However, the plan he has developed doesn’t appear to include dealing with James Bond.

Load the Rainmaking odds in your favour

Goldfinger getting help!

We discover very early in the movie that Goldfinger is quite prepared to ask for additional help. In this instance he is getting information and guidance from Shirley Eaton who is spying on his cards game. She is loading the odds in favour of Goldfinger. You need to do the same by asking for help.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Right now it is vital to get as much help as you can. Go through your LinkedIn profile and your pre-LinkedIn black book. This is to identify contacts that are 1° of separation away from an opportunity. (1° of separation means a direct connection who can introduce you to a 3rd party).  Opportunity may not be a revenue opportunity. It could be an opportunity  to get information. It could be the opportunity to sourcing further knowledge regarding the market you are in. It could be a further introduction or a new potential stakeholder within a potential revenue target or at the very least to refresh this relationship so it remains robust.

Be prepared to pivot your pre-COVID plan

Based on new information Goldfinger is also quite prepared to alter his strategy. An early plan is to cut Sean Connery in half using a laser. (He seems quite comfortable with this).

James Bond: ‘Do you expect me to talk’?

Auric Goldfinger: ‘No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die’.

Be precise

Goldfinger on target

Luckily for Bond, and also for the content of the rest of the film, Goldfinger is able to change his mind based on new information. If that extensive business plan that you put together in January now appears to be redundant or at least under threat then do change your mind and be prepared to change the mind of others who helped build the plan.

You will need your own specific definition for success which can range from surviving and recovering to thriving and succeeding. The ‘new normal’ should be based on what you are able to measure and approximate as your own market place reality over the coming 3-months, 6-months and 12-months. The opening point of this restart has to be based on a review of your current business. Goldfinger gives an example of this by reviewing his current business partners with the unfortunate consequence that they are all gassed.

Take the trouble to plan

Using the Goldfinger strategy, consider it from the point of view of your business development partners and collaborators. What has changed for them? Are they still relevant to you and are you still relevant to them? What actions should you now take?

Does your network currently value you?

When you are a Rainmaker you need to represent a value that is easy to identify with by your target audience. Goldfinger holds a specific position in terms of his network. It is clear what he represents and he is able to create meaningful introductions quickly by using the power-of-association as he is part of  SPECTRE.

‘Oddjob’ is not a Centre-Of-Influence but he is an influencer especially with his steel rimmed hat.

Use your existing connections to support your reputation

Take on bigger targets

In this new period there is an outstanding opportunity to displace existing vendors and develop new relationships. Look for the strengths of your offer

‘So, your big questions are: who and what are you competing with now?’

Goldfinger decided that he can now take on the Bank of England. Think big and use the following process to identify how your professional offer is now positioned. Take it further by looking at which parts of your existing services should now be considered as:

  • Best-in-class and superior to all options in your market place.
  • Can hold parity with the top tier within the market you compete in.
  • Are recognisable as above average to clients and prospects you seek.
  • Would be estimated as good enough and viable to continue with.
  • Services that should be removed from your offer and not restarted.

Be creative and even the Oddjob in your market can be displaced.

Even the strongest offer has a weakness

Know your numbers!

Use the situation to consider where you intend to compete in 2020 and 2021. Take time to look for where you will win and where you can compete. Then reach out to your target audience remembering that everyone else you are competing with is in exactly the same situation. Take a long hard look at the revenue figures to be sure that you focus your Rainmaking effort into the areas that are profitable for you too.

Know your numbers!

Use technology where it makes the difference

Not every single on-line tool available to you will improve results. Although James Bond has a car in Goldfinger packed with gadgets in the end he has to talk his way out of being cut in two by a laser beam. (The Aston Martin could not get him out of that).  Talking to the key contacts in your network may well be the best way of getting results. 

Use the technology that makes sense to your market

This business development article is is written for Rainmaker PRO Law Tech software by Bob Spence business development coach at legal consultancy Wilkinson Read & Partners. (They have celebrated their 26th anniversary). Bob also works alongside Bratislava based people development specialist Ivan Kosalko and cross culture communication coach Kasia Lanucha.

J. Robert Spence © 2020

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Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
Johnny ‘Bob’ Spence
5next co-founder. Trainer, networking coach, writer & author. Educated at L. S. E. & Wits University. ‘$1,000,000 Round Table’ sales qualifier. Author ILM accredited: ‘Executive Programme in Professional & Business Networking’. Rainmaking experience in RSA, UK, France, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Dubai, Poland, Germany, Slovak Republic & the USA.
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