Archives: Business Development

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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

Business Development Success Is More About Asking The Right Questions Than Having All The Answers

The game show Jeopardy has had it right all along — knowing the right question is the way to win big. Conventional wisdom argues the point. And most of the time we buy into the argument. In virtually every venue — from personal relationships to building a productive professional network, from pitching a pizza franchise to … Continue Reading

Effective Business Development Strategies Are Built On This

The development of new business rarely occurs in a vacuum. In professional service firms where marketing and business development are silos at best, or necessary evils at worst, organic growth will be painfully difficult. And there will be consistent debates over where and how to invest resources. By contrast, firms that realize measurable success — … Continue Reading

The Best Business Developers Share These Four Characteristics

There are markets where sales is little more than a numbers game. Send enough emails, make enough calls, knock on enough doors, ask the question over-and-over, ignore objectionns, and you’ll close some deals. But you won’t build many relationships. And that means that next month…or next quarter…or next year you get to start all over … Continue Reading

Ready To Face The Reality of Business Development?

In spite of mounds of evidence to the contrary, when it comes to marketing, business development and sales we can’t help ourselves. We cling to the hope of a viral happending that will change everything in an “unexpected” instant. Others have pulled it off. Why not us? The luck-of-the-draw . . . the right set of numbers. … Continue Reading

Four Guiding Principles If You Believe Business Development Is About Building Relationships

For a moment let’s say we really believe the notion that relationship is the key when it comes to business development for professional service providers. What do we do with that? How do you build the kind of relational equity that is at the heart of a stable practice? Warning. If you’re hoping for a silver … Continue Reading

Five Reasons Business Development Can Feel Like A Tug-of-War — And What To Do About It

There are plenty of questions about business development and rainmaking — what does it take to win…can only certain personality types pull it off…is there a secret language…or a handshake…and so on. If you wrestle with the notion, and regularly move from the promises of one silver bullet to the next with minimal success, chances … Continue Reading

3 Characteristics Rainmakers Have In Common

What does it take to make it rain? Real rainmakers — the individuals able to connect with the marketplace in a way that consistently results in business — share three characteristics. They may engage in business development in a variety of ways and employ differing techniques. There are, after all, no cookie-cutter formulas that work for everyone. … Continue Reading

Will Your Clients Stick With You Through Thick And Thin?

A little over a decade ago a small technology start-up was out of money, and about to give up. But a professional service group showed the entrepreneurs a way to convert intellectual property into a revenue stream; and the start-up was reborn. An eighteen month revenue stream that defied even the most optimistic pro forma … Continue Reading

A CEO’s Formula For Progress In a Changing Marketplace

“Move more. Assume less.” This was the response of a CEO friend when asked about his success in turning around a consulting firm on the brink of extinction twenty-two months earlier. Don was retiring, and he was reflective. “In the early days we were determined to meet the market at its point of need. That … Continue Reading

5 Things Rainmakers Do That Put Them In The Right Place At The Right Time

Successful business developers seem to have an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time; but when it comes to consistently making it rain, this is rarely happenstance. In fact, the epitome of strategic business development and marketing is increasingly about executing a plan that connects with those most likely to buy … Continue Reading

What Does It Take To Turn Contacts and Connections Into Productive Relationships?

It is news to no one that when it comes to business development in the professional services arena, relationship trumps everything. Not connections. Or fans. Or followers. Real honest-to-goodness-relationships. Establishing a connection is relatively easy. Building a relationship is decidedly not. Do it right, and a single event can yield scores of business cards. Devote some time … Continue Reading

Want To Have Confidence Your Business Development Investments Will Produce?

What constitutes appropriate ROI on all that we plow into business development efforts? In a post on the similarities between business development and planting a tree, we recounted the story of French Marshal Lyautey. The story underscores the fact that growing something strong takes time. The practical challenge is that between the planting and tangible signs … Continue Reading
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