Archives: Strategic Planning

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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

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

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

If Your Approach To Business Development Doesn’t Include THIS, Think Again

Recently I came across a McKinsey article titled Getting Beyond the BS of Leadership Literature. It’s worth the time (and was a bit indicting); but this is not a post on leading. This is about business development BS. Or, more accurately, what often goes unsaid when Biz Dev is the topic. If you’re concerned with … Continue Reading

Business Development Efforts That Put You In The Right Place At The Right Time

Some seem to have an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time; but when it comes to business development, success is rarely happenstance. In fact, the epitome of strategic marketing and sales is taking the steps necessary to reach the right target, at the right time, with precisely the right … Continue Reading

For Business Development Clarity, Begin With A Focus On Target Identification

When it comes to business development, few things bring the clarity that comes with a focus on targeting. But for who-knows-how-many-reasons, few things are more difficult for many professional service providers. It is a heck of a lot easier to discuss getting our name out there. Or, building a list of all the XYZ type companies in a given geography. … Continue Reading

4 Cornerstones of Strategic Business Development

Any discussion of business development should be required to begin with this disclaimer: There are no one-size-fits-all solutions or formulas. Silver bullets and cookie-cutters might work elsewhere; but not here. With that stipulation, there are a number of solid cornerstones that will ensure the resources invested in your plan for the coming year aren’t experimental in nature, leaving you to hope the … Continue Reading

Is That A Marketing Opportunity or Distraction Knocking At Your Door?

These days, anyone with something to market has unprecedented opportunity. And that’s the problem. More specifically, better opportunities are one of the major reasons your marketing efforts flounder and fail. Mobile capability, competitive intelligence, data analysis, up-to-the-minute tendencies and trends — never have we had so much at our fingertips. An array of message distribution … Continue Reading

3 Keys to Better Conversations and the Strategic Innovation of Your Business Development Plan

There is a reason so many of the issues we face today are the same ones we faced last week. Or last year. Or three years ago. Or . . . you get the idea. From individual relationships to global politics…personal finance to marketing a business, often the solution on which we land is little more than a reordering … Continue Reading

The Key To Identifying The Best Targets For Your Business Development Efforts

In our last post — You Say The Market Isn’t Beating Down Your Door — we suggested two things that are often true of professional service providers wrestling with how to develop new business — an anemic network, and the absence of strategic targets. The post suggested the way to address the network issue. The … Continue Reading

Is Your Business Development Strategy Really Just To Hope The Market Picks You?

Does the success of many of our marketing or business development plans hinge on the hope that our market somehow finds and chooses us? Oh, we talk about strategies and grand plans. We might even flirt with data, throw a few targets up on the whiteboard, and make a pass at mapping relationships. But reality sets in. … Continue Reading

Contrary To Conventional Wisdom, These Are The Good Old Days Of Business Development

Fifteen years ago a know-it-all business development and marketing guy was given a career-limiting assignment: to create national marketing plans for a dozen practice groups in an AmLaw 100 firm. Naively certain, and with the finesse of the proverbial bull in a china closet, the not-so-smart hot-shot asked a practice leader to describe his ideal target … Continue Reading

Targeted Business Development, Or Pursuit Of The Broad Side Of An Empty Barn?

Where business development efforts are consistently slow-going, there’s a good chance the issue is related to smart targeting. Specifically…the lack thereof. Here’s a quick exercise. Pull out a business development plan (it’s likely stashed in that lowest drawer), and comb through it for two things: the names of individuals that are the subject of the action … Continue Reading

Two Steps To Better Business Development and Marketing in 2015

It is our annual ritual. Marketing and business development professionals hunker down to create fresh plans that will make the best use of resources, resonate with management, and somehow penetrate the market more effectively. We did it last year, and the year before that. And most of us will do it all again twelve months … Continue Reading

Closed Circuit To Legal and Professional Service Marketing Teams: Clarity Is As Close As The Matrix

Full disclosure — Allen Fuqua is a friend as well as a respected colleague. He ushered me into the legal marketing arena, and I had the pleasure of being a member of his team for 7 years. He takes seriously his skills as both a mentor and strategist. Allen is currently the CMO at Winstead, … Continue Reading

Smart Targeting: Does Your Business Development Begin Here?

(Note: This is an update of an early 2012 post on one of the cornerstones of effective business development.) If you wrestle with knowing where to begin, and then actually executing on a strategy designed to develop new business (you’re not alone!), very few things will bring the clarity that comes with a focus on Smart Targeting. From … Continue Reading
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