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.
- 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.
One additional note: Remember Alliant National is a great resource to advise and educate independent agents on business development best practices.
To say we live in a “communication environment” is an understatement! We have so many communications options that it’s often challenging for businesses to know the most effective and efficient tools to use to reach their target audiences.
Investing in public relations and content marketing is an essential aspect of brand success. Here we offer three articles to get you thinking about ways to energize PR for your business.
Real Estate Corner:
Less than half of homebuyers and sellers between the ages of 35 and 44 believe real estate is a better long-term investment than the stock market, according to a survey from Redfin and detailed in the article from The Title Report:
PR fiascos can decimate a brand and/or business.
Business leaders, and anyone representing the face of that business, must be aware of how their words and actions can impact that business. The bottom line is: don’t be stupid. While it seems trite, those three words really get to the crux of avoiding PR nightmares.
If you are the leader of a business, your comments matter whether they are said in a public speech, private meeting, on social media or even a media training with your paid consultant.
In the business world, the phrase “any publicity is good publicity” doesn’t always hold true. Public relations crises can cause all kinds of issues for your business, including decreased sales and damage to your brand.
We all want a thriving website that draws people in time and time again, right? But, how do you find the time to create the content that’s needed for a dynamic website that people want to visit more than once? Here are some tips from the pros.
Consumers revisit company websites when they find quality content. PR pros have long known that “content is king,” but a new survey reveals that consumers also agree—more than half of people (55%) are likely to research a company and its products if they value the content it produces and markets.
Creating content is typically the most time-consuming part of developing or refreshing a website. Here are four pro tips for creating content for a new website.
Your business is a success. Congratulations! And why wouldn’t it be a success?
You’ve worked hard, faced and overcome many challenges, added some blood, sweat and tears, and worked many nights and weekends to ensure success.
You have professionally-designed ads throughout the community that promote your business. But, what does your personal Facebook page say about your business?
If you have crazy spring break pictures, online gaming stats, political messages and/or colorful language and extreme opinions posted on your public Facebook page, it’s likely to damage that business reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Here are some best practices for your personal Facebook page:
Utilize the privacy settings. If you haven’t done so lately, take a tour of Facebook’s privacy settings. You can choose who can view your page, as well as your posts, comments and images.
Would you want current or prospective customers to see each post, comment and picture on your page? If not, make the appropriate changes. Use the privacy settings wisely.
Know what your kids are doing on your page. Do you allow your kids to play games through your Facebook page?
Or, perhaps you are playing all those farming, candy-gathering and other trendy games on Facebook. If so, update your settings so that Facebook doesn’t notify and invite all of your friends to play, too.
And, sorry folks, your Facebook friends don’t care that you plowed a new field in FarmVille.
Chain letters are still frowned upon. Don’t. Just don’t. On behalf of all your Facebook friends and future Facebook friends, please don’t send out requests for people to “share this post to 10 other friends to avoid extreme misfortune.”
Think how your clients would feel receiving all those messages from you.
Be mindful of the opinions you share. It’s true. You don’t have to share your political beliefs, Vegas trip pictures and current mood on your Facebook page.
You can also disagree with someone else’s post without actually commenting on that post. Again, keep in mind the message these posts are sending to your wide range of clients, and use the privacy settings sensibly.
One additional note: Keep in mind your employees likely have personal Facebook pages that may pose a danger to your business reputation. You should ask them to read this article.
Don’t let your personal Facebook page scar your business reputation.