Are you creating the
opportunities you want? Explore ten keys to tweak your business development
efforts to get what you want for your business and for yourself.
1. Networking: The Speed
Business moves at
the speed of relationships is a great networking strategy. If you
constantly manage your relationship assets, your business will move at a
constant speed. However, Networking is not enough! If you are only networking,
your client base will grow very slowly. The key is to link networking with
marketing and sales activities to form a robust business development plan that
is easy to implement while billing time.
2. Finite Set of
Nobody NEEDS your
services. People need air, water, food, shelter not your services.
Understanding that there are a set number of possible reasons why someone buys
the kind of services and products you provide allows you to step aside from the
personal attachment to getting clients. Once you know the list, you have more
control over your reactions to the process. People buy from you because they:
a. like you b. trust you c. value the service you provide d. want your
expertise e. have a specific problem that you can help them to solve f. trust
the person in their life who told them about you.
3. No One is On
Business development is
not a spectator sport. You have to be in the game, and you must think of
everyone else as being in the game with you. None of your interactions with any
other human being is ever wasted. Every moment is an opportunity for building
relationships, for speaking your vision and personal platform to everyone all
the time. Operate from the assumption that everyone wants to help you. This
mindset lets you make big, bold, outrageous requests that encourage and invite
people to contribute to your growing business.
4. Its a
Sales has a process. In
order to leverage that process, you must understand the numbers involved.
Typically, it takes ten phone calls to reach six people to set up one meeting.
It takes ten meetings to get one client. That means we have to call 100 people
to get each client. The sales cycle can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 7
years, depending on your circumstances. Your personal hit rates may be
different from these numbers, but until you know the numbers, it is easy to get
attached to specific outcomes, and to take it personally when you do not get
clients. Persistence and resilience are part of this game. Recognizing the
numbers game, keep your pipelines fully loaded and create the bench strength
you need to continually generate sales.
5. Youre as
Good as Your Weakest Link
Know your limits and learn
to leverage your strengths. Have a strategy to counter your known areas of
weakness such that they manifest as strength. Perhaps you get into trouble when
you operate from a know-it-all perspective during a sales conversation. You can
interrupt that pattern by asking questions, seeking input, and becoming
interested in the views of others. What is your weak spot, and how can you
6. Helping Professions
and the Conflict With Sales
Are you like other helping
professionals who sabotage their own efforts by not engaging in
prosperity-generating mindsets? To succeed in business, we must think like
business people and we must consider ourselves to be the sales executive in our
own businesses. If we think of sales as helping others to determine if our
services and products would be useful to them or not, we can begin to integrate
our commitment to helping with our need to sell. Approach every sales
conversation seeking ways to help, with no pitches, no agendas, no attachments
to closing. You can feel good about selling if its about making a
difference with people. Identify your current mindsets about sales and see how
you can reframe sales to align with your values.
7. Asking for What
Closing the deal becomes a
non-event if youve been listening for the opportunity to ask for what you
want. Yes, you have to ask for the buy. You have to ask your client
to contract with you. You have to ask for the money. However, if you have been
selling in your natural style, using an inquiry/curiosity approach to sales,
leveraging your experience and personality, having an abundance mentality and a
helping mindset, then closing is as effortless as falling off a log. Produce a
shift in your money conversation to generate a breakthrough in asking for and
getting what you want.
8. Thinking Big,
Leave scarcity thinking
behind and start to invent. Without the shackles of thinking small, whats
possible? Can you double your client base? Whats your sales strategy? If
the restraints are off
what do you really want? Do you have a law practice
or are you building a legal business? How big is a big enough business? Do you
have the right team around you to build something that will continue to support
you, sustain your continual learning and development, allow you to focus on
continual improvement in the areas of customer service and product development?
Are you working as much or as little as you wish? Do you love all your clients?
If you could have anything in your law practice or business, what would it be?
What will it take to get there from here?
9. Harness the Sales
Knowing that sales is a
process, respecting the numbers involved, and increasing your awareness of your
own sales cycle will allow you to take your business to the next level. In
order to work the system, you must be in continual action. It is also critical
to understand the distinctions between networking, marketing and sales so that
you can track your progress in all three areas. It takes activity in all three
domains to produce dollars, clients, and business.
10. The Power of
As stated in Seal the
Deal: The Essential Mindsets for Growing Your Professional Services Business ,
Successful rainmaking begins with developing your own concept of what result
you want from your business development efforts you cant get
there if you dont have a clear idea of where there is. Know where you
want to go with your practice and design steps to take it in that direction.
The first step for many of us is to perfect a deep understanding of the sales
cycle and when and how to bring our best targets into it. Key
strategies are to zero in on prospective clients you have identified in or
through your network and to never, ever fail to ask for referrals. In other
words, rainmaking means you are in perpetual business development mode
continually networking, marketing, and selling.
No matter where you are in
your growing business, there will come a time when you wonder whats next.
Choosing which door to open next requires reflection and inquiry. Perhaps the
key to opening the next door is one of the ten keys described above?
© Suzi Pomerantz,