The art of business development is identifying and creating relationships that lead to increased revenue for your business.
Relationships may include business organization memberships, partnerships between one or more entities or simply one-on-one referral relationships.
For most successful businesses, business development is a combination of all the above. Here are 10 business development activities you should be doing today.
One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on business development best practices.
- Ask for referrals, from your clients (current and former), non-competing peers, friends, neighbors and other influencers in your network. Acknowledge your appreciation by thanking all of those who refer business to you.
- Join an organization (i.e., Rotary Club, industry/trade association, local chamber of commerce, etc.) where your target clients are likely to be members.Get involved with the organization, beyond just attending meetings. Join a committee, become a leader in the organization and network often with members.Once members get to know you and build a relationship with you, they are likely to contact you when they’re ready to do business.
- Become a good networker. Networking is about getting to know others and their needs so you can connect them to potential clients and influencers that will help their business grow. They will return the favor!
- Become a good social networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Publish great content that is helpful, informative, insightful and relevant to readers. Engage with your followers.
- Always carry current, clean and organized business cards in ample supply.
- Use easy-to-review infographics as part of your sales arsenal. Infographics are memorable and easy for prospective clients to refer to when calling you for more details.
- Remember important dates, including client business anniversaries, vacation trips, births and other important happenings in your network’s business and life. Keep a calendar to help you remember to send them a short note or bring it up in conversation when you see them.
- Host an open house at your business. Invite an eclectic group of people who will benefit by meeting and conversing with each other.Think of helping others to connect with prospective clients and influencers, as well. Develop a brief welcome to “break the ice” and get the conversations started.
- Have a clear understanding of your business offerings and be able to confidently and concisely share at a moment’s notice.
- Be curious. Get to know your prospective and current clients, their goals, their fears and their reason for existing in business. When you know them, you are in a great position to help them.
Content is king!
Savvy business owners know they must continue to engage, inform and entertain customers, prospects and influencers with relevant and current content.
Here are three articles to explain the basics of content, dive into the relevance of it and offer tips to make content more effective.
- One thing’s for sure: content marketing is not going anywhere. Moreover, estimates show that by 2021, the industry will be worth more than $400 billion. Here are some of the most important content marketing trends that you must be aware of in 2019. Read More
- Creative and strategic content writing is a way to build your brand and grow your business. Here are top trends. Read More
- More than half (53 percent) of businesses invest time and money in content marketing, and continued growth in this category is expected, industry experts say. Here are tips on cultivating excellent content. Read More
It’s a challenge, and very time-consuming practice, to continually create original content to promote your business.
The good news is, you don’t have to recreate the wheel every day! There are numerous ways to re-purpose your existing content that makes it interesting and attractive to readers.
- The worst example of a bad digital content strategy is not having one at all. If you have good content, then you owe it to yourself and your organization to build a strategy that will activate it to help achieve your goals. Otherwise, what good is it? Read More
- New research from loyalty and marketing agency Customer Communications Group (CCG) shows marketers three ways to recycle content marketing and conserve resources while keeping the content funnel full. Read More
Killer content? Well, not literally. But, your businesses’ marketing content needs to wow people and move them to action.
Marketing copy can make or break your business goals and leave a lasting impression—good or bad—with your customers, prospects and influencers. Here are tips on how to write killer content.
- Having good content for your business is a critical component of modern-day success. In today’s digital and knowledge-driven world, ignoring the relevance of purposeful and engaging copy could spell stagnation—otherwise known as doom—for your business. Read More
- Today, most businesses are aware that content marketing is an effective way to boost brand awareness and engage with potential customers. But just because they are aware doesn’t mean they know how to use content in order to successfully generate interest from consumers. Read More
- How can you ensure success of your content marketing program, to ultimately achieve your business goals? Here are five best practices for creating great content that will move the needle. Read More
Guide your business toward meeting your objectives and goals.
You have a marketing plan, right? All businesses need to have a strategic, logical plan that includes action items and timelines.
The marketing plan will guide your business toward meeting your objectives and goals.
What’s that? You don’t have a working marketing plan? No worries. Read the tips below to create a winning marketing plan for your business.
- A well-executed marketing plan is like a GPS. It guides your customers into your sales process. Done right, your marketing should result in more leads, higher sales and a stronger brand. Read More
- The marketing department can be referred to as one of the lifelines of any business. In this respect, spending your time, resources and efforts on your marketing plan and strategy is essential. There are various aspects of a marketing strategy that require focus and planning that collectively can ensure you are presenting your services to your target market in the best possible light. Read More