Growing a business is a difficult task. Finding the right opportunities – be they business opportunities, professional connections, new markets, or anything else – can be a tiresome and grueling slog. It can often seem that every lead results in a dead end, which, over time, can sap morale and drive. There is a solution here though. Many of us explain away the lack of conversion or growth as something along the lines of “It wasn’t right for me” or “It wasn’t right for the business” or “They didn’t know what the wanted”. Regardless of the excuse itself, it is just that: an excuse. Conversion is not altered by the client but by the business developer.
There are several techniques and checkpoints that any business development manager should be focusing on to unlock new business potentials. These are by no means instant-win tricks, rather helpful information and tactics to utilise as and when appropriate. No guide or information is as useful as gut instinct and interpersonal skills. This does not mean, however, that we shouldn’t have a few tools to fall back on when it looks like a potential client is slipping through our fingers.
Confidence is Key
This one may seem like the most over-used piece of advice, but people seem to love saying it but not following it. Exuding an air of confidence will put the other party at ease and lend credibility to your own assertion as an expert in your industry. If a potential client turns up to a meeting with a professional who is nervous, makes poor eye contact, or any other number of unnerving personal presentations, it casts doubt on their self-confidence and ability in their chosen industry. If I know I’m good at what I do, I should be confident in talking about it.
The classic counterargument is “Well, I’m just not a confident person”. There’s a secret here, and it is as follows: almost every single “confident” person you see, whether they are truly confident now or not, started out with the “fake it till you make it” attitude. It doesn’t matter if you’re screaming on the inside or not, you should be smiling on the outside. Present a calm, collected front in client meetings and you shall see the results.
Remember The Numbers Game
Focusing on one lead can be fine, as long as the lead converts. Focusing too much on one lead, however, will leave you with a massive income gap that can be hard to cover should the lead fail to convert. Make sure you have a plentiful list of leads being constantly generated to ensure you and your company have enough business to be dealing with at all times.
Know What Works
Many “professionals” enter meetings with an “Ad hoc” or “laissez-faire” attitude. They attempt to make meetings seem natural and unforced by spinning them off the cuff. This tactic may occasionally make you appear relaxed and confident, but will often backfire and make you look under prepared and unprofessional. Not only that, it also doesn’t take into account what did or did not work last time. Ensure that you note what worked for clients, usually within the