When it comes to Business Development (BD) for professional services, one of the biggest challenges any executive faces is not finding time to do it all. After all, you don’t sell full time.
A typical job description for the role of managing business development will certainly involve prospecting, identifying new opportunities to create proposals and executing projects. And, this list doesn’t end here.Business development professionals need to have wide array of skillsets in order to create successful partnerships for their organisations. This is a one of the prime reasons which makes finding the right person for the job to boost sales and business, a matter of paramount importance. With the upthrust in technology and web connectivity, internet has enabled BD professionals to conduct extensive research in order to quickly identify and prepare customer profiles, to suit business needs.
Sometimes, there are just not enough hours left in a day to pursue all your leads and prospects. While I don’t have the cosmic ability to add more hours in a day, I can surely help you with some business development tips to master the art of hunting, prospecting and getting business.
1. Make an Offer they Can’t Refuse
So, finally the client whom you have been pursuing has picked up the call? Now, without much ado, fix an appointment. But wait, fixing an appointment doesn’t guarantee that you have bagged a deal. It merely means that there is a window of opportunity. To make the most of the opportunity, you need to be prepared. Be attentive and listen to what he has to say. He will ask you a lot of questions and he will enquire about the slightest of the details. You need to be equipped with all the answers and have a strong proposal or an offer to make. As the Godfather legacy says – make him an offer, he just can’t refuse.
2. Do your Homework Diligently
Without failing, get your facts and statistics right…always! A BD professional is supposed to be witty and proactive. You need to be a people’s person, who can answer questions and not get tired of it ever. It could happen that you have to repeat yourself but the key is to not get irritated. Before approaching a prospect, gather all the knowledge you possibly can about his priorities, past professional choices, market reputation, etc. Thereby, striking conversation should be an easier job.
3. Know your ‘why’
Now that you have done your fair share your research (homework), you should have great knowledge about your products/services and your organisation’s unique selling points. This way you will be able to lay a strong base. Thereafter, the best place to start a conversation with your prospect would be to begin with the ‘why’. Start with ‘why’ before moving on to the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of things. This means that you have to explain to your prospects ‘why’ should they purchase the products/services of your organisation.This shows that you are passionate about your job and organisation. If you aren’t excited and don’t have trust in your firm, why would they be interested? Think about it.
4. Develop a Strong Network
By instinct, humans want to go after the ‘low-hanging fruit’, and building a strong network will help you to meet this objective. Your network doesn’t need to comprise of people you know directly, it can be via LinkedIn groups, conferences you attended or, the school you went to. Take advantage of your social circle, as it can help in connecting with new prospects. New prospects can be your best window of opportunity. Having a strong network also makes it easy to bank on people – to be able to get a pool of suggestions if you are struck somewhere, and a strategy or any advice you need.
5. Humility. A Must
While you know how great your product or service is and how beneficial it will be for them, pushing them like a car salesperson will do more harm than good. Rebuttals are important. They are in fact the most imperative, yet unsaid part of a business development professional’s job description. However, pushing your prospect too much can make them frustrated and the deal might not happen very quickly. On the other hand, the positive relationship that you will build with the space you grant them, will definitely do good in the long run, for your business.
Keeping these five tips in your mind, you can expect to get a lot more prospects for your business. If you want to add more such handy tips, feel free to let us know in the comments section.