Tag Archives: business development

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Currency of Communication

Volume can be misleading. Increasing the decibel level is no guarantee a message will be heard. Exercising the loudest voice in the room doesn’t equate to connecting with anyone. Bigger and louder — shake-the-ground-you-stand-on-boom notwithstanding — doesn’t ensure anything will resonate. And siren call aside, the same is true for even the most seductive distribution … 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

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

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

The Best Business Developers I Know Share Four Characteristics

There are markets where sales is little more than a numbers game. 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 again. Call. Knock. Ignore. Persist. … Continue Reading

Great Marketing Events Are Catalysts To Business Development Conversations

The event you just hosted, sponsored or participated in represents a good beginning. Introductions. Conversations. A chance to build a bridge or two…or shore one up. This is what the event driven activities in your business development and marketing plan are about. Connections. Face time. One piece in a strategic plan of action. If you’re … 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

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

Begin 2014 Facing Business Development Truths

Countless hours are about to be spent in meetings, on conference calls, and in early morning or late night hand-wringing sessions among law firm and professional service leadership. The focus? Identifying strategies and creating plans that solve a glaring deficit in business development progress. Risking sounding negative this early in January, here is what will … Continue Reading

Winning The Debate or Collaborating Toward Success?

There are few things we value more than winning.  From t-ball to spelling bees to the professional sports franchise we adopt, nothing matches the thrill of finishing on top.  It impacts (some might suggest, disproportionally) self-image, the way we relate to those around us, and commerce. While it’s tempting to go off on the relative value … Continue Reading
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