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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 Resonant, Authentic Voice Of Leadership

Some accomplish it with a pen — mightier-than-any-sword. Some with eloquent oratory. For some the tool is as simple as an invitation — how may I help you? Or the offer of a cup of cold water A few speak volumes with the sheer force of example. Whatever the avenue or methodology, the voice of real leaders encourages … 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

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

“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

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

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

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

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
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