Business development is a necessary component of every successful business. If you are having a difficult time networking and prospecting, this list of tips is for you.
Here are my top 8 business development tips for business owners:
1. Prioritize your efforts.
When it comes to business development, you need to be strategic. Your time is valuable, so you need to be able to discern which prospects are most worthwhile. To begin prioritizing, you need to understand your target market and ideal client. Once you have a clear picture of who you want to work with, you can better determine who are your best prospects.
2. Practice daily.
Business development takes practice and sustained effort. Set aside some time every day to work on networking and prospecting. Some days you may be researching businesses you would love to work with, or people you may be referring to connections in your network, or just answering questions with an active prospect.
3. Stay organized.
Keep track of your efforts. I recommend at the very least keeping a list of who you have spoken to. You should also keep a list of your clients and where they came from. Your referrals are often the best people to keep in contact with in your network. And if you keep a list, you will often find that there are a handful of people or clients that are referring you most of your business.
4. Focus on the relationship.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of relationship marketing. When practicing relationship marketing, you are not trying to sell them something or close the deal as soon as possible. On the contrary, you are focused on the person and what they need. Your goal should be to respect their time and provide as much value as possible. Be interested, not interesting.
5. Offer your value.
The key here is to know what your value is beyond your services. Define what your value is that sets you apart from the competition and make sure you incorporate it into your business development. For example, when I am networking, I make sure to offer introductions that I think would benefit the person I am speaking with. In the end, offering your help will add value to your conversations and improve your relationships.
6. Follow up.
Some of the best opportunities are lost simply because you forgot to follow up. Go through your emails from the last year or so to see who you have not heard from in a while and are still interested in working with. Too often we miss opportunities to rekindle relationships by simply not checking in or following up. Most of the time, the other person—much like yourself—just got too busy and forgot about your initial conversation. A quick and thoughtful follow up could mean landing a new client or referral partner.
7. Don’t wait.
Too often, I hear people say they really should reach out to so-and-so. If you think about a conversation you had or a person you need to follow up with, do it. Don’t wait or take a note to do it later because, more often than not, you will forget or put it off altogether.
8. Take advantage of LinkedIn.
Only a very small percentage of people are truly active participants on LinkedIn. If you start to post useful and educational content regularly, you will quickly become known for your work. And as a result, people will start to come to you for help in your area. So, as I like to say, be an active participant, not a lurker.
What are your business development tips? I’d love to know. Schedule a Java with Jim so we can chat!
ABOUT JIM RIES
Director of Business Development
firstname.lastname@example.org | 410.209.6455
Offit Kurman is a full-service law firm with over 225 attorneys focused on representing privately-held businesses. With deep experience and knowledge dealing with the issues that business owners are regularly faced with, we bring value to every relationship. As Director of Business Development, Jim Ries drives revenue growth for Offit Kurman by helping business leaders and families of wealth address some of their most difficult challenges. He also identifies and develops strategic partnerships and market opportunities. Jim has access to a deep network of attorneys in every practice area, and he is able to connect his clients to the right attorney who can resolve their legal disputes and protect their assets. Jim is a master networker, and his high-level connections call him for solutions when they don’t know who to call. Let Jim be your Google.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
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