« Previous Article Next Article »

The Next Big Thing? - BizDevCoach

| 03.25.2016 |

BizDevCoach is designed to provide business professionals with the tools to help them take on an area of their careers they may not very good at: business development. Larry Kohn, president of Kohn Communications, created the software behind this endeavor, and he shared the story of BizDevCoach with us. 

Q: What was the inspiration for creating BizDevCoach and how long did it take you to develop it?


Larry Kohn: I’ve been coaching professionals in business development for 33 years. I’ve always had people asking if I knew of a way to easily store important business development information electronically. In the early stages, we used Excel and Word documents. When the iPad came along, we created an app but it was too hard to enter data and not everyone had an iPad. Storing information on the cloud came along but I initially had concerns about stability and security.


About two years ago, once I felt comfortable that those concerns were addressed, I began creating a web app for clients. I soon decided I wanted more than just a place for our clients to store business development information. I was also looking for a way to open a new market segment of professionals who could not afford our individual coaching services but who still needed guidance to help acquire new business. This lead to the addition of a comprehensive tutorial and other tools. The web app is much like an interactive self-help book for business development planning. Plus, it includes a powerful support system to motivate users to take action.


There’s a transformational buddy system called PlanPal that encourages interaction with those who are on BizDevCoach and a questionnaire that, when completed by the subscriber, lays out a customized business development plan with tutorials every step of the way. There’s a place to list and manage priority targets and to-do’s. It has an email reminder system so subscribers are held accountable every day. BizDevCoach.com is a game-changing hybrid between a CRM and a personal business coach. The design and programming took two years to complete.


Q: Why would business professionals want to learn more about BizDevCoach?


Larry Kohn: Most professionals don’t see themselves as sales people. That’s because their understanding of selling comes from being on the receiving end. They have developed a deep misunderstanding that selling means being pushy and invasive.


BizDevCoach presents a very specific process that based on the belief that the best way of selling is by being valuable. Once a professional sees that selling does not require bragging, or manipulating - but rather being helpful, it’s a game-changer. But they need more than that. Success comes from having lots of good ideas. Professionals who have not been involved in business development have a hard time knowing where to start. BizDevCoach provides many ethical and practical business development ideas, and, equally important, it teaches a process to help professionals develop their own--ideas that they actually want to implement.


Q: How are you marketing BizDevCoach, and how many people have used it to date?


Larry Kohn: After 33 years of coaching professionals in business development, I have a large database of contacts. I’ve done two email blasts and lots of phone calls. The web app has opened the door to a whole new conversation with current and past clients.


So many of my clients whom I helped over the years are welcoming my explaining the value of the web app and are excited to learn about this brand new approach. With BizDevCoach, they can provide support to all their professionals in their firms, while before, only a few could afford the cost of one-on-one coaching. At $7.99 per person per month, it’s a small investment for a potentially great impact. Also, I’m scheduling speaking at professional trade organizations and have hired consultants to provide content management and social media support. Since its introduction in January, BizDevCoach has over 250 users.


Q: What are you 2016 goals for BizDevCoach?


Larry Kohn: My primary short-term goal is to encourage my existing clients and contacts to try out the app. For 2016, the goal is 1,000 subscribers through current contacts and 500 through promotion and word of mouth. Of course, the product is completely scalable and can handle thousands more. Fingers crossed!


BizDevCoach is online at www.bizdevcoach.com.