The Atrocities of Business Development

The Atrocities of Business Development

Every business needs to understand how they get more business.  Hands down, that is the hallmark of building a solid company; having a solid business development program.

The problem is that every business development program is not created equal, and every business development program is not for every business.  Worse yet, there are business development programs that can actually hurt a business.

One of the most prevalent tactics that I am seeing is using a software solution for LinkedIn or Multi-channel lead generation. The goal of the program is to generate a large number of connections per day/month, some of which guarantee results.  So, they identify the typical type of client you would like to work with, create your target avatar, and attempt to reach every single one of them with some sort of bait (“Hey…your LinkedIn profile looks amazing,“), hook (“I’d love to learn more about your company and see how we can work together“), and switch(“me, me, me, buy stuff from me…“).

Sure – there are people on LinkedIn who genuinely wish to build a network and connect with other business owners.  You don’t know who is out there and what solutions exist unless you put your preverbal “toe in the pool,” but no one jumps on LI with the goal of being sold to every single day.

Several things that this has taught us is:

  1. There isn’t a tried-and-true sales method that works for every single business, every single time. Notice that the ones that claim to work put the blame on the buyer’s willingness to do the work.  There is both process and ability that, again, isn’t the same for everyone.
  2. Bombarding everyone’s LI Inbox with “Quick Question” and similar tactics becomes annoying for the recipient, after a certain point, to the degree that the messages no longer become effective. It is similar to how you hear background noise all of the time, and begin to ignore it.
  3. Using one source for lead generation is going to result in diminishing returns for the same reason. The more people using the same lead gen channels, the more people receive the same messages repeatedly, which causes the platform to become less effective all around.
  4. There are companies out there that do want our/your products and services; the obstacle is getting to them and making them aware of what you do in a meaningful and impactful way which will cause them to think of you when they are ready to buy.
  5. Nothing new: not everyone who would be a customer is ready to buy when you are ready to sell them.

As a result, we are really taking a step back and asking the question: how do we take all of the information that has been gathered in order to create a business development  program that will work.  Essentially, this is the basis for a business development   strategy.  Strategy in and of itself is the way we look at a goal, gain and understanding of the environment and engineer a solution to achieve the goals.  If you think about it like chess, the goal is simple.

However, in order to win, there are a number of obstacles that have to be overcome.

Part of understanding the obstacles – the pieces in this case – is understanding each one’s strengths and weaknesses.  In this example, we need to understand how they move and how those moves would impact how we advance our pieces.

The interesting thing about chess is that there are different series’ of moves that a player will implement in order to win.

What do you suppose would happen if everyone used the same moves?  Chess would become very boring, very quickly.

The people that would win are those who are constantly thinking of new ways to win.

In business development, whether dealing with direct sales, social media, lead funnels, click paths, etc., you’ve got to take a strategic approach to getting the results that you are after if you want to be the most effective.  You must pursue your particular customer, offering them a solution set which creates value for them that they understand at a price they are willing and able to pay.  It needs to be an approach that you and/or your team can execute consistently. It must not be a “feast to famine” approach, wherein you go out and “hit it hard,” then have to put all of your effort into delivering the offering which, once it is over, puts you back into hard selling mode.

Building an effective business development strategy is just one part of what it takes to build an Extraordinary Company – one that stands out in its marketplace as a profitable business, a member of the community; One that creates extraordinary value for its customers and clients, a job creator, an innovator and a legacy builder.

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