Tag Archives: business development

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

A (Simple) 3-Part Formula For Business Development Success

Business development in the professional services sector is not rocket science — complex plans, a distaste (or outright dislike) for “selling”, even personality type notwithstanding. Anyone possessing the will and the discipline to follow a simple formula can, over time, develop new business. What is this formula? {Target Identification} + {Understanding of Drivers} + {Solution … Continue Reading

Build A Robust Network And Create A Pipeline of Business

More than a dozen years ago I stepped into my first business development meeting with a lawyer. When I asked this individual to describe his target market, the reply was something like “my ideal client is the next person that calls or walks into my office, needing help putting a business deal together.” Translation: this … Continue Reading

The (Genius) Preschooler’s Approach to Strategic Business Development

(Note: this is a reprise of a post that originally appeared on  Alicia Arenas‘ Senera Camp Blog.) A university grad student challenged me to come up with a practical approach to marketing, sales and business development — one not dependent on mega-budgets, Big Data, or unlimited human resources. One the garage entrepreneur or corner donut … Continue Reading

The ABC’s Of Business Development

Business development is not very complicated. Granted, it requires many to stray from a comfort zone, and the combination of science and art is often disconcerting; but the formula for success is not difficult to understand. If you know of a business development effort that isn’t producing, chances are someone is making it more complicated … Continue Reading

Where Communication, Marketing and Effective Business Development Begin

Every student of communication theory is familiar with the concept of Shared Experiences. This is the coveted sweet-spot where barriers fall, gaps are bridged, and — thanks to commonalities — communication takes place. Theoretically. It is a beautifully simple theory. But in practice, it is far from simple. A recent Seth Godin post, The People … Continue Reading

Want Marketing That Connects and Resonates? Pick A Target Before You Begin.

Every marketer is familiar with the challenge of crafting a strategy that rises above the noise of a crowded marketplace. It goes something like…“If our name was just out there more…what can you do to help us stand out?” It is as if delivering the right artwork will transform a mere mark into a logo … Continue Reading

Dead Air Killed The Radio Show. (Don’t Let Your Business Development Efforts Become The Next Victim)

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. In that era, 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, The Client Experience, And Loyalty In The New Normal

It was early October a decade ago — long before talk of a “new normal.” And a BigLaw firm was very comfortable in its relationship with a satisfied client. By almost any standard, the comfort seemed well founded. In the four years prior, the firm had won a bet-the-company battle in court, and subsequently created … Continue Reading

Redefine Listening and Reshape Business Development

I am an old dog. Learning new tricks, techniques or skill sets does not come easy. My 20-year old daughter, my wife and, I suspect, the team I am privileged to work with will all agree. But as I listened to Neil Harbisson’s TED presentation from earlier this year titled “I Listen to Colors” (a 10-minute video that will … Continue Reading

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 relationship with clients / customers. 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 … Continue Reading

The DNA Of Strategic Business Development

Labeling something as Strategic does not make it so. The presence of a plan, no matter the number of pages or accompanying detail, should not be mistaken for the existence of a strategy. Desk drawers are littered with detailed business development and marketing plans that are decidedly not strategic. (I know this from personal experience.) And even … Continue Reading

4 Keys To Better Business Development Conversations

Dialogue changes things. It connects people, seeds ideas, and is a critical thread in the fabric of relationship. And (at the risk of meddling), one reason relationships are so difficult is that genuine dialogue does not come easy. Self-interest,  the superficial and the politics of the moment serve to frame much of what passes for conversation. But … Continue Reading
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