The Business Developer's Playbook : Relationship Selling Principles and the DNA of Dialogue Selling book cover
1st Edition

The Business Developer's Playbook
Relationship Selling Principles and the DNA of Dialogue Selling

ISBN 9781138322585
Published September 18, 2018 by Productivity Press
158 Pages

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Book Description

This book is not about selling products -- it is about selling yourself, your ideas, and your services. This book explains an innovative dialogue sales process, and the relationship sales principles that underpin it. In every sales situation, there is both a seller and a buyer and, at different times, either the buyer or the seller may take the lead. The dance they perform may or may not lead to a deal, but it will leave them knowing a little more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. These two dancers are "connected" and follow the same steps -- The five steps they follow are to plan, connect, dialogue, record, and follow up. The five steps are the basis of the dialogue process.

In addition, this book provides easy-to-follow guidance for three groups of people: 1. Professionals wanting to sell their services and improve their business development; 2. Thought leaders, change agents, innovators, entrepreneurs, senior public servants, and advocates wanting to sell their ideas to others; 3. Mid-career job seekers and recent graduates aiming to sell themselves into a dream job role either full or part-time.

Table of Contents



About the Author

Chapter 1: What are You Selling?

Chapter 2: The Dialogue Selling Process

Chapter 3: Relationship Selling Principles

Chapter 4: A Business Developer’s Workday

Chapter 5: Other Important Sales Topics

Chapter 6: Conclusion

Appendix I: Relationship Selling Principles

Appendix II: Dialogue Puzzle

Appendix III: Dialogue Skills – PRESA

Appendix IV: Dialogue Opportunities and Methods

Appendix V: Negotiation Tactics

Appendix VI: Conflict De-Escalation Tactics

Appendix VII: Business Development Roadmap

Appendix VIII: Bulldog Opportunity Tracker

Appendix IX: RGB Dialect

Appendix X: Top 20 Negotiation Mistakes


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Peter Nixon provides training, advice, and inspiration for current and emerging leaders to achieve optimal outcomes through dialogue. As creator of The Potential Dialogue System he has helped thousands of private and public sector leaders achieve optimal outcomes in over 500 organisations and 60 countries. Peter’s slogan is "The Solution is in the Dialogue" and his philosophy is that "we have a duty to realise our potential while helping others realise theirs" (Potentialism).

He is founder and managing director of Potential Limited and author several books including: Dialogue Gap: Why communication isn’t enough and what we can do about it fast (John Wiley & Sons, Singapore, 2012) (SCMP "one of the best business titles published this century"), Negotiation: Mastering Business in Asia (John Wiley & Sons, Singapore, 2005), The Business Developer’s Playbook: Relationship Selling Principles and the DNA of Dialogue Selling (Routledge Taylor Francis, USA, 2018), Corporate Culture: Hurdles to being #1 in the private and public sectors today (Potential Limited, Hong Kong, 2018), The Star Negotiator Casebook (Potential Limited, Hong Kong, 2008). Peter is also creator of the popular Dialogue Playing Cards which featured in Cathay Pacific’s in-flight duty-free magazine.

Peter has worked with thousands of leaders from over 500 organisations in 60 countries advising on sales, sourcing, strategy, change management, family business, relationships, talent management, public sector, bilateral negotiations (Iran-US, Israel-Palestine, Malaysia-Thailand, Aceh-Java, Tibet-China, Sunni-Shia, HK-China), hostage negotiations, religious conflicts, regulatory change, compliance, shareholder disputes, mediations, and more. Peter early career was spent auditing for PwC (C&L) in Montreal, Geneva, and Hong Kong.

Peter’s workshops are popular for their pace, practicality, humour, and engagement and are often rated the best workshops people have ever attended. He advises mainly inside organisations but also teaches public courses at management institutes, chambers of commerce, universities, schools, and colleges around the world. Peter is CUHK (MBA) professor of Business Negotiation and visiting professor at HKPolyU, McGill, SFU, & Bishop’s. He is also Course Director of HKICPA’s Financial Controllers’ Programme; has appeared on TEDx, CNBC, Discovery Channel, TV5, TVB, & Media Corp. and has been showcase speaker globally for YPO and EO. His clients have received awards for his work including Colgate President’s Award, HKMA Training Award nominee, and recently Potential was named Best Independent Change Management Consultant 2018 in the Hong Kong Business Awards hosted by APAC Insider Magazine.

Peter has been detained in Bahrain, locked up in Tehran, deported from Austria and India, hit by lightning in a small plane in the Arctic, survived roadside shootings in Aceh, bombings in Pakistan, 7/7 in London, slept with lions in Africa, survived bear intrusions and forest fires in Alberta, nearly broke his neck playing ice hockey, and led his small business through the ravages of the Asian Currency Crisis, Bird Flu, SARS and the Great Recession. He joined a million Indian worshippers at Pushkar’s Mela (Camel Fair) where pilgrims achieve eternal salvation if they step in the lake during November’s full moon, which he did but despite this he still gets sick and pay taxes.

Peter was born and raised in Montreal, married in Geneva, and moved to Hong Kong in 1989 where he and his wife Marie raised their three children. Peter enjoys music ("the best form of dialogue"), reading (sociology, economics, religion), travel (to reach 100 countries), outdoor adventure (to connect with nature) and time with family and friends. Peter is immediate past Chairman of Discovery Bay International School, Dean’s advisor at McGill’s Faculty of Education and to the School of Religious Studies. He is also director of McGill’s Alumni Society and the Martlet Foundation in HK, Trustee of Outward Bound HK, HK Head of the Asian Cabinet of Bishop’s University, and a member of the governance committee of UNICEF HK. He is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of CPA’s and has degrees from Bishop’s (BBA), McGill (GDPA), and Leicester (MSc). He has also studied at Alberta, Harvard, INSEAD and Fielding. He is a Canadian Chief Scout (1st TMR) & Knight of Tamara.


This book is an absolute must-read. It’s not a book about “selling” in the limited way we generally
think of that word, it’s about influencing out- comes  and  making  a  difference,  both  to  your 
life  and  success,  and  to the lives of others. Buy it, read it, and dip into it again, and
again, as you encounter different circumstances. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. I wish I’d
read it 40 years ago.

- Professor Robin Stuart-Kotze, Chairman, Behavioural Science Systems Ltd.

As a health practitioner, I use my hands to dialogue with the body to sup- port health, negotiating
with restriction patterns in muscles and tissues, inviting space, opening to better circulation in
the system. As a dancer, I dialogue with the music and with the audience, negotiating different
movements  as  the  music  rises  and  falls,  and  as  the  audience  attention comes closer or
settles deeper; including the presence of all these elements is what helps me create my dance.

Communication, dialogue, negotiating is happening all the time in all facets of life and language
is diverse. Peter Nixon’s book reveals the fine art of communication and negotiation, reaching out
beyond the boundaries of individual ideas to create relationships in every field of life; a
practical guide to living and working harmoniously, peacefully. Everything we do in life can be a
graceful dance, and this book teaches us about meeting without conflict. Peter is giving us what we
really need, especially all the world’s leaders and politicians.

- Zia Nath, Founder, Quanta Health Care Solutions and Realms of Dance

When I set up my consultancy I had a so many questions about business development that I did not
know where to turn. Peter’s book has helped answer all my questions. If you want to feel like you
are in a casual con- versation  with  an  internationally  experienced  consultant  who  is  fast-
forwarding your learning with his twenty plus years’ experience, then you need to read The Business
Developer’s Playbook now.

- Stuart Gerrard, Managing Director, Innovate to Operate