Business Development – Doing it properly

One of the main reasons businesses fail to meet their sales targets is their lack of attention to business development. Done properly, business development will help you to raise the profile of your firm in the market. If more people know who you are and what your business does, the more likely you are to receive new sales opportunities.

What is business development?
Business development is about developing new business with both potential and existing clients. A sale rarely happens on the first meeting. It requires multiple and varying touch points such as the phone, social media and email over a period of time. Business development needs to be consistent in order to position the firm to maximise new sales opportunities and to create sales growth.

Creating new opportunities
The less you know about a potential client, the more difficult it is to succeed in getting a meeting. Strategies to connect with potential clients could include networking, email marketing, social media campaigns or seminars. Consider who in your firm knows people who work in target firms and use these networks to open doors.

Make it about the client
If you can relate your product or service to solving a problem for a client, you have a proposition that will appeal. Consider your target market. What keeps them awake at night? How can your product or service help to “alleviate the pain”? For example, if your client doesn’t like doing payroll and you can offer to provide outsourced payroll services, you will have a value proposition.

Successful business development requires persistence and consistency using a variety of touch points whilst focusing on stating value from the client’s perspective. You must ensure that your firm is visible to the client so that when they require your product or service, they call you rather than your competitor. You can do this by meeting them regularly, inviting them to seminars, sending monthly email updates, etc. This will provide you with the greatest opportunity to secure an initial meaningful conversation and a meeting which could ultimately result in a sale.