There’s a whole lot more to effective and sustainable business development than continuously going after new accounts and clients. Most business developers are so fixated on bringing in those new clients that they completely neglect all the great stuff that can be done year-around to bring in more and more business all the same.
Read this article to learn more about five activities any business developer should always be doing to keep the business growing not only from new clients, but more importantly from within.
Keep revisiting those lost opportunities
Even if you’re a savvy business developer and have been doing this for decades, your success ratio will hardly exceed five out of ten. That is, five opportunities that are won out of each ten. This leaves you with a wealth in opportunities that at one point in time had you all worked up, but are now sitting idle somewhere in archives collecting dust.
Just because those leads or prospects didn’t decide to procure your product or service in the past doesn’t mean they are all lost opportunities. Schedule a half-day review session each quarter to go through previously lost opportunities and try to detect some that can be re-opened again. You will be surprised at the response you will probably get from some of these by simply calling them to say hello and to check how things have been going since you spoke last.
Inspect your current clients
Just because you have successfully sold your clients one particular product or service doesn’t mean it has to stop there. On the contrary, your clients are your best leads for new business opportunities. Why? Well, your clients are by now quite familiar with your company, trust you, and are presumably satisfied with what you’re providing them with.
So you have a lot of rapport going on with them that you can use to your – and their – advantage. As such, now would be a good time to schedule a few follow-up meetings to try and cross or up-sell some of the other products or services you offer, and which might go along nicely with what your clients need, but that you weren’t aware of when you started the relationship.
Integrate marketing and business development
A lost opportunity today might be your next large contract down the line. But if your leads or potentials have forgotten about you in a few months, it’ll be a lost case. Staying in people’s mind is the name of the game, and which is why you must have an effective marketing machine that takes over where business development leaves off for the time being.
By maintaining continuous contact with your leads and prospects (through a great set of communication tactics), you will ensure they won’t forget about you and call back for that next business opportunity that might materialize in a quarter or year. It doesn’t really matter when; what’s critical is that you always stay on their radar screen.
Spend lots and lots of face time
If you’re in sales or business development, you have no business being around the office for prolonged hours. And that includes time you may spend “marketing via social media channels”.
People do business with business, not ghosts behind computer screens. You therefore need to schedule as many introduction, courtesy, and follow-up meetings as you can humanly fit into your agenda. The more the better. And while you’re at it, make sure to schedule at least one lunch with a client per week for that extra quality face-to-face time with those who matter the most for your business.
Be productive when you feel like procrastinating
Let’s face it, our batteries run out of juice from time to time and we don’t feel much like spending time on the road and driving from appointment to appointment. Don’t worry, it happens to everybody sooner or later.
So you feel the urge of spending more time that you should at the office. Great! While you’re at it, you may as well take advantage of the down time and keep yourself organized; go through your address book to find new leads, make some calls and schedule appointments, organize your database of proposals, and update your templates. It’s not going to be your most productive time, but your work will come in handy when you’re back on track and are all energized to hit the road again.
And now that we’ve come out of a (forced) prolonged vacation – courtesy of Huda – get motivated and energized, and hit the road to make up for lost time.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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