Archives: Business Development

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When And How To Evaluate Your Business Development Efforts

How do we measure progress? What constitutes ROI on what is plowed into business development efforts? The practical challenge is that between the initial work necessary for productive business development efforts and any tangible signs of growth, it can be difficult to see the progress that is being made. This is especially true if real progress … Continue Reading

Four Ways To Deliver Value Through Your Business Development Activities

When the goal is to develop new business relationships in a competitive marketplace, simply being visible — having your name “out there” — isn’t near enough to differentiate you from the crowd. And though there are certainly approaches to visibility that can elicit a Wow, if your marketing focuses solely on name recognition, you will … Continue Reading

How To Deliver Value To Your Network — Even In Uncertain Times

I was struck by the idea shared by David Ackert on his blog last week, and I highly recommend you check it out if you haven’t already. We spend considerable time and space exploring tactics for effective business development, and frequently note that — when it comes to professional service practice development — relationship is the name … Continue Reading

Three Things That Form The Foundation For Effective Networking and Business Development Efforts

Once you have identified the target for a business development pursuit, then what? The answer is simple. Whether you’re considering initial and broad based networking or a single focused pursuit, the success you seek hinges on the (often time consuming) work of building and nurturing professional relationship. Specific action steps will vary depending on the … Continue Reading

For Everyone Sick Of All The Talk About Networking

Let’s cut to the chase. Why do you need a network? Because your network is your market. Every day many professional service providers wrestle with how to develop new business — not because of inferior work product or poor client service; but because their network is not large enough to supply the connections, generate the referrals, … Continue Reading

We Might As Well Be Speaking A Foreign Language

When it comes to the challenges of communicating — telling a story, marketing a practice, stating a case — old dogs often wear blinders. Our attempts at conveying a message stem from our personal understanding or experience, utilize the language we’ve always used. Understandable. After all, we talk about what we care about, and use … Continue Reading

Essential Elements of Business Development Success | Part 2

If business development is causing you sleepless nights, chances are the source of much of that angst is an anemic professional network, or the absence of strategic targets. Or both. A healthy network connects you to opportunity flow. We discussed this, along with three ways to address challenges associated with “networking” in a post a … Continue Reading

Two Essential Elements of Business Development Success

We’ve said it before — business development will never be mistaken for rocket science. It isn’t even Algebra I…unless you employ the most basic of formulas — Success = X + Y. But this isn’t to suggest it is easy. Strategic business development requires a combination of factors: focus; tasks and activities that are difficult … Continue Reading

3 Keys To Business Development Conversations That Don’t Sound Like The Same Old Bull

Honest dialogue can change things fast. It creates connections, seeds ideas, and is the critical thread in the fabric of relationship. It is about seeking to understand. The fact that dialogue doesn’t come easy is one reason relationships are so difficult. Self-interest, posturing, and the need to be certain we make our case tend to frame … Continue Reading

The Most Important Conversation Yet

If you want to test the viability of your approach to business development (or maybe even the quality of your most valued relationships), few questions will reveal more than this one: “Have I built a bridge to the next conversation?”. When considering business development and marketing efforts in today’s environment, the temptation — in fact, … Continue Reading

My Market Used To Come To Me!

“Describe your ideal target client,” I asked. After shooting me a look that said that is the dumbest question I’ve ever heard, the law firm partner said, “My ideal client is the next person that walks into my office or calls me on the phone in need of a lawyer.” Translation: “My market comes to me.” … Continue Reading

Wondering How To Turn Connections Into Relationships?

If you’re marketing something, you’re likely investing resources in the development of connections. Social strategies, networking events, content marketing efforts…there is a long cafeteria line of tools, strategies and processes designed to get you connneted. Then what? Business development is about relationships. Not connections. Or fans. Or followers. Real honest-to-goodness-relationships. Today’s tools make establishing a … Continue Reading

That Negative Client Experience Could Be A Real Business Development Opportunity

Everyone has experienced a client / customer experience nightmare. Call it whatever you like; the fact is that almost every enterprise is going to have a bad day. What is done in the wake of the experience is the real stuff of being client / customer centered. The Bad Experience Since the first time we … Continue Reading

Hoping The Market Will Knock On Your Door in the Coming Year?

If you find yourself wondering where work will come from in 2017, two things may be true about your marketing and business development efforts. Your professional network needs some attention; and you have a shortage of strategic targets. Many have been led to believe that a quality work product combined with excellent client service will … Continue Reading

5 Guiding Principles For When, Why and How to Use Social Media as a Business Development Tool

If you’re considering a deeper dive into social media for business development punposes, are attempting to evaluate your current investment in social, or are among those just now waking to the reality that social media is actually out there changing the market, this post is for you. And it is a response to the fact … Continue Reading

Entertaining The Ultimate Business Development Question

Several years ago Fred Reichheld, among others, began working on a conversation and a system that would prompt organizations to rethink clients / customer relationships. In his book, The Ultimate Question (now available in an updated 2.0 version), the discussion zeroes in on what the author defines as the ultimate measure of loyalty — whether a … Continue Reading

A Formula For Business Development Success

Business development in the professional services sector is not rocket science. Anyone possessing the will and the discipline to follow a simple formula can, over time, build a thriving practice. (Okay — “over time” is the hard part. Much of the time we expect immediate results.) What is this formula? {Target Identification} + {Understanding of … Continue Reading

Unlocking The (Not Too) Secret Combination For Marketing ROI

The setting was a business development workshop, and a law firm leader was raising a question: what should we be doing to get the highest value from our marketing and business development investments? The context was a familiar drill. Plans are drafted…and they gather dust. There is talk (hours of it at times) about websites, … Continue Reading

Musings From The Radio Studio — On Effective Business Development Communication

A lifetime ago, in what seems like a galaxy far away, I spent some time in the broadcast industry. More specifically, in a radio studio. At the time the fast paced “Top 40” genre topped most markets, and was designed to sound slightly anti-establishment with a shoot-from-the-hip tone. In reality, it was a highly structured, … Continue Reading
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