Archives: Business Development

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Building A Business Development Plan for 2019 — Part 2: With Whom Should You Connect

This is the second installment in a 14-part series dedicated to everyone working on a business development plan for 2019. Part 1 outlined the necessity of a strategic foundation, and suggested a framework that will help in identifying and articulating the strategy. If you haven’t come to terms with this first step, resist the temptation … Continue Reading

For Everyone Beginning To Work On A Business Development Plan For 2019

Over the next two-and-a-half months or so you may be among the lawyers, accountants, consultants and other professional service providers taking a long hard look at your marketing, business development and sales initiatives. The dye for 2018 is pretty much cast. Time to focus on market movement, emerging trends, lessons learned, and begin the work … Continue Reading

The “if-the-market-knew-my-story” approach to Business Development

There is a basic principle in communication theory — shared experiences form the basis for the most effective communication. Even if we did not formally study the science, most of us have first-hand experience with the validity of the principle — in intimate, social and professional settings alike.In the space where experiences of the communicator … Continue Reading

The Simple Complications of Business Development

Business development is not complicated. Hard work? Indeed…because effective business development (especially in a professional service firm) is almost always about building productive relationships. And that is no small task. But we shouldn’t confuse the hard work required to build rewarding relationships with the suggestion that business development requires something that is somehow inconsistent with our … Continue Reading

Are You Doing the 4 Things Necessary to Stand Out From the Crowd and Build a Pipeline of Future Clients?

Most professional service providers would welcome a more predictable, consistent and robust flow of qualified new business leads. Scratch that. When it comes to business development and sales, virtually every professional service provider I know is searching for an efficient way to connect with potential new clients. Marketing strategies promise it; the possibility is the siren … Continue Reading

Seven Signs Your Firm Could Be Facing Consequential Transition

Whether a new enterprise or a venerable brand, the realities of a market in transition are most likely having an effect on your firm. Responses to Altman Weil’s 2018 Law Firms In Transition Survey underscore the magnitude. 49% of responding firms failed to meet billable hour targets in 2017 59% say equity partners are under … Continue Reading

Four Cornerstones of Effective Marketing

Ask a dozen professionals to define marketing and you might receive a dozen different responses. From retailer to B-to-B enterprise, from service provider to widget manufacturer, from Fortune-listed to start-up — marketing is defined based on what we’re offering the market, who we’ve targeted, and what is required to create appropriate visibility. But all of … Continue Reading

The Four Keys To Acquiring Quality Leads

Most professional service providers would welcome a more consistent and robust flow of quality leads. Scratch that. When it comes to business development and sales, virtually every professional service provider I know is searching for a way to connect with potential new clients. So much so that this is the promise of marketing strategies, the siren song … Continue Reading

Here Are The 4 Keys to a Successful Business Development Initiative

In a recent conversation, the managing partner of a business law firm asked, “why is organic business development slow, painful and, for the most part, ineffective when it comes to actually developing new business?” He went on to cite the percentage of revenue his firm invests in marketing and business development efforts, and wondered aloud … Continue Reading

“I Don’t Get The CMO Thing”: 5 Ideas To Change The Conversation That Dooms Marketing Leadership From Day 1

The year was 2009. The law firm managing partner was confessing. Not in a contrite or inquisitive manner. The tone was incredulous. He didn’t get it; and he seemed to politely resent the idea that he should invest any time or energy discussing it. Ironically, he was elbows deep in the process of interviewing for … Continue Reading

How To Build A Marketing Approach That Delivers

Ask a dozen professionals to define marketing and you might receive a dozen different responses. From retailer to B-to-B enterprise, from service provider to widget producer, from Fortune-listed to start-up — marketing is defined based on what we’re selling, and who we need to motivate. But all of us, unique perspectives notwithstanding, count on our … Continue Reading

What It Takes To Build A Professional Service Practice

How do you build a professional service practice? Where do you begin? How much time do you invest? What constitutes progress? In a previous post on the similarities between business development and planting a tree, we recounted the story of French Marshal Lyautey, who instructed his gardener to plant a tree that would take 100 years … Continue Reading

Typesetters, Kodachrome and Taxi Cabs: Perspectives On Changing Direction

Long ago, before digital became the state of the art, the print industry hadn’t seen significant change for decades. Actually it wasn’t all that long ago in the scheme of things. Less than twenty-five years. Then someone figured out ones and zeroes. And norms for an entire industry began to shift. Seemingly overnight, what had once … Continue Reading

How To Build A Marketing Strategy That Will Deliver

Ask a dozen professionals to define marketing and you might receive a dozen different responses. From retailer to B-to-B enterprise, from service provider to widget producer, from Fortune-listed to start-up — we tend to define marketing based on what we’re selling, and who we need to motivate. But all of us, unique perspectives notwithstanding, count on … Continue Reading

Why Listening Should Be Your #1 Business Development Action Item

All listening is not the same. Consider the differences in the way you listen to talk radio as you sit in traffic; to the argument of an adversary; and, for the slightest whimper from the new born down the hall. The soundtrack of a day is complex. Most of us are adept at juggling multiple channels … Continue Reading

If Your BizDev Plan Doesn’t Specify Targets, Don’t Expect Great ROI

Two things are often true of professional service providers wrestling with how to build a practice, and we discuss both frequently: an anemic network — which translates to a severe shortage of connections that can either hire you, or refer and introduce you to the folks in a position to do the hiring; and, the absence … Continue Reading

Breaking News — Business Development Is Not Complicated

Business development is not complicated. Hard work? Indeed…because it is, at its core, about succeeding at relationships…and we all know that almost anything having to do with relationships is hard work. But the quest for formulas, fast-fixes and a magic planning template notwithstanding, biz dev success does not reside in a silver-bullet or one-size-fits-all solution. Strategically sound … Continue Reading

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
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