10 step Business Development check list
Business Development is continuously evolving.
Business Development is split into: ‘Account Management’ (getting more business out of current clients) and ‘Business Development’ (bringing more new clients on board).
This article is focusing on getting more clients on board.
10 checklist behaviours that confirm you are on track!
Are you spending your time wisely? Do you know where your energy and effort are going? Do you focus on the most important tasks and reshuffle the day’s requirements as the day unfolds?
A seasoned Business Development professional will be planning their day, week, month and quarter (and often even year) ahead. They plan in time for the anticipated reactive, and they are disciplined with being proactive. They usually do this at the end of each day so they know what’s in store the next morning and can get straight into action.
Are you clear on who your perfect client would be? Are your clients categorized so that you ensure your focus is on the right person, in the right organisation? Do you know all key people of interest? (Often reps get diverted onto clients with whom they have built relationships yet are not necessarily the ‘right’ client or fit for your business.)
Are you sold on what you are selling? Do you agree with the pricing? You need to get this established before you head into Business Development. Build your product knowledge and that of the competitors so that you are clear on the points of difference with the customer. Read success stories before you start your day. See what value your reach out will bring to your next client.
Do you embrace each day as an opportunity to reflect, to learn, to evolve? After each client engagement, you can ask yourself ‘If I did that again how could I improve on it’.
Do your homework
Do you know your value? Your worth? Are you 100% certain of how your solution can assist the client?
Know their industry, their business, their challenges. Anticipate what questions they will likely ask you and what you need to find out. A well prepped rep usually is a rep that gets the business.
What’s your strategy to be ‘in front’ of them (physically/phone/video conferencing).
For example, if working through LinkedIn:
- Connect – short to the point connection
- Li comment – relevant and meaningful on their post
- Reach out – polite/relevant reach out message
- Add value – send something that’s helpful
- The key here is ‘breadcrumbs’ – allow time between each contact point.
Are you making your interaction with this prospect an positive experience? Are you making it about them: bringing interesting, meaningful, and relevant value to them? Will they get an ‘experience’ with you that has merit and impresses (or do you just blend in with every other supplier they’re engaging with)?
Stand out by being the best at what you do and focus on the client. Asking great questions and being present by truly listening. (Not thinking of the next thing you want to say!)
I’m breaking this down into 3 mini areas as a reminder of what to do:
- Expert – Are you positioning yourself as the expert and the authority in your field? When engaging with someone are you doing so with a ‘thankful, subservient’ headspace or with a competent ‘I can help you, I will guide and educate you’ headspace?
- Prepare – Before your next meeting do you undertake due diligence with thorough research? Connecting on LI with all those people ‘around’ your key decision maker? Calling the individuals you’ll be meeting with to see what they would like covered. You need to enter the meeting (be it in person, phone or via video conferencing) with full knowledge of what they think they need, and what you think they need. Be prepared for questions they may ask you, plus the questions you may ask them. Be aware of aspects you may need to educate them on. Have everything you need ready to show them. And when the meeting starts, you take firm control.
- Practice makes perfect. Yes, it’s true. You can then confidently relax into the meeting, be present and confidently direct the meeting.
After all, they are buying into YOU and how you act and behave.
It will show if you’re disorganised and ill-prepared with things unravelling, just as it will show when you are confident, conveying certainty in your worth and standing tall.
The ‘average rep’ follows up 3 times. The average decision maker needs 12 follow ups. I read that data in an article, which just blew my mind. Food for thought hey! You’ve done all that work – just keep following up.
Change the entry conversation to ‘I’m looking forward to helping you with A, B, C – shall we pick up on that conversation this week’. This is then focusing on the ‘outcome’ which is neutral, as opposed to the word ‘follow up’ which can imply it’s all about you and not about them.
Opportunities favour the bold
What are you doing that’s different? Are you getting on the ‘blower’ and knocking out 10 calls by 10am? Are you going above and beyond? Are you ‘giving up’ after 3 follow ups? What’s your own internal language doing? Is it ‘I’m bugging them, they are too busy, they are not interested’ or is it focussed on ‘I can help them, I will keep reaching out in different ways, they may not have yet got to my emails’. Are you all over their LI posts and adding relevant comments?
Business Development is all about knowing and connecting with the right person in the right organisation and hitting them at the right time with the right message.
To do that successfully, be prepared: get your headspace in order, be excited about what you sell, know the ‘ins and outs’ of what you sell (and your competitors), and above all, know the value in you reaching out.
What to do
Be organised, calm and in control of your day! Review the list regularly
Read more about ‘Account Management’ side of Business Development >>>
Watch the latest Business Development webinar >>>
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