1- Know Your Competition
Knowing the names of your competitors is not enough, rather evaluating what they offer so as to differentiate yourself from the pack. Working on the differentiation of the products might be the most powerful business development tool.
2- Add Value and Build Trust
Going after people’s hearts rather than their wallets might be more profitable in the long run. Business growth can come from adding value to every relationship, with prospective customers and existing customers. We can add value by providing information and knowledge, by being an adviser, by obsessing over treating customers right, both before and after the sale, and by having a reputation for great execution and white-glove service.
3- Ask for the Business
After you’ve met with your prospect, submitted the proposal, done all the due diligence and followed up, consider closing that phase by unabashedly asking for the business. Try a simple: “I would very much like to provide this service for your company. What will it take to get started?” This “let’s do business together” approach is direct and honest, and can signal your confidence in the value of your service or product. It’s refreshing. What’s more, it can give your prospective client the opportunity to decline.
4- Pay Attention to Your Website
It’s fair to say that most of your customers may start with your website. A tired looking website will most certainly result in missed opportunities. At a minimum, you can add a video to showcase what you do.As for your content, your website may not thrive if it just provides information about who you are and lists your products and services. Consider rewarding visitors who land on your site with ample free resources, information, knowledge and tools to help them succeed. Make it easy for them to share the resources with others without having to fill out forms.
5- Don’t Let Relationships Go Cold
It’s important to value the relationships and keep your loyal customers engaged.Set up a Google Alert for your clients so you can know what’s happening in their world and react as you see fit. Share useful content on a regular basis. Send a note on special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Connect with your clients on LinkedIn and keep in touch with them through the LinkedIn feature that allows you to “comment” or click “like” when they have a work anniversary or other change to their profile. You can also engage with clients peripherally by establishing an engaging social media presence.
6- Beat Your Competitors to the Punch
Inertia is not your ally. Share this information with everyone in your company. Make them aware that business development is everyone’s business so that a prospective client is quickly funneled through to the right person in the company. You should have implemented measures for rapid and efficient customer handling. Speed can make the difference between winning and losing.
7- Sharpen Your Business Development Skills
Today, there are many convenient options for busy leaders or business owners to develop their skills in this crucial area of business success.