How to do Business Development, by Freddie Mercury

Tony Wright

Published on
31 August 2022

Business Development is a big part of starting your own business.  It’s all about pursuing strategic opportunities, which often includes finding and forming lasting relationships with clients.

Being a business owner does not necessarily equal a natural ability to network or build lasting relationships, but it will be critical in your new business. So how do you do it? To answer that, we would like to turn to Freddie Mercury. Yes, you read that right. Freddie Mercury. From Queen.

I can hear you saying that Freddie Mercury was not in Business Development but hear me out. Or rather, watch this scene from the 2018 film, Bohemian Rhapsody.

The scene starts with Brian and Roger discussing the end of their band, Smile. Things have taken a turn for the worse, and they’re ready to pack it in. Along comes Freddie and strikes up a conversation with them.

Freddie employed some key Business Development tactics to get them to give him a chance. And aren’t we all glad they did?

If Freddie Bulsara had never “sold” his idea to the members of Smile, we would never have had Freddie Mercury and we would never have had Queen. And Smile would probably have ended there and then, meaning that Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deakin might never have reached the success that they did.

So, what lessons can we learn from Freddie Mercury?

1. Do your research

Freddie uses his knowledge of the band members and their backgrounds to connect with them. He gets his foot in the door, and they listen.

How often do you receive a LinkedIn message or email introducing you to a service that really has nothing to do with you? Where you can tell that they did a generic search for your job title and just fired off an email. Did you respond? Probably not.

In fact, in this scene, Freddie starts with a generic, “I enjoyed the show”, and the members of Smile just say thanks. If Freddie hadn’t done his research, he would have had no follow up, and that would have been that. Cue awkward exit and the end of the movie.

2. Offer a solution to an actual problem

Freddie has a reason for reaching out. “I write songs that might be of interest to you”. Straight away, he has identified his reason for reaching out. He has something that he feels could be of service.

When you reach out to new prospects, you need to already know what you have to offer them that can add value. Tell them up front, don’t talk around the issue – the worst they can say is no. And in this case, they did.

The no came quickly because Smile was breaking up – they had lost their lead singer. Freddie could have just said, “Oh no, so sad” and been on his way to peddle his lyrics to someone else. But lucky for us, this man didn’t give up so easily. He had a solution for their problem. “Seems like you need a new singer.”

If you have another solution that can help your prospective client, tell them. They’re not hiring right now because they don’t have an HR Manager? Well hey, you can get them one of those! They don’t need SEO because they don’t have a website? Well funny they should say that, because you also do web development!

3. Counter their objections with results 

Objections are a big part of BD, but that doesn’t mean it’s a no. Sometimes, clients are raising concerns or objections to highlight what’s important to them as a business, and to find out whether what you’re offering is the right solution for them.

So actually, objections and concerns are your opportunity to shine. In the scene from Bohemian Rhapsody, Roger tells Freddie that he can’t possibly be the band’s front man because of his teeth. RUDE! But it’s his way of showing his concern for the reputation of his band. Freddie starts to walk away, but he knows he’s got something that can help them, and so he shows it. And boy does he show it! Immediately, they’re hooked. He hasn’t just told them he can do it; he’s proven it.

4. Seal the deal with your skills and credentials

“I was born with 4 extra incisors. More space in my mouth means bigger range”.

He has shown them what beautiful music they could make together, and then tells them about his USP, the reason why he, above anyone else, is right for the job. He stands out and differentiates himself through his credentials.

Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up at this point. Be open about your skills and what you have to offer; you wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t think you had something special. So tell them what it is that makes your business amazing!

5. Give them time

At this point Freddie leaves, telling them he’ll “consider their offer”.

Brave move on his part, but he has the right idea. He’s shown them what he has to offer, but now he needs to leave them to think about it.

You’ve made your pitch, now give them a day or two to consider your proposal before you follow up. Hopefully you’ll have a new client, but if not, it doesn’t mean the end of the story. Business development is all about establishing relationships that are strategically relevant to your business. It might be a no right now, but circumstances change, and when they do, you’ll be top of mind.

Quantum Connect

Business Development is an important skill when you run your own recruitment agency. When you join with Quantum Connect, you will learn skills like Business Development through our coaching and mentorship plan, designed to ensure you have all the resources you need to make your business a success.

Contact Omar Carr on to find out more.