People often ask what the secret is to successful business development? The truth is, there is no secret. Successful business development starts with being proactive – something that sounds simple but in reality is very effective. Proactive business development is a mindset and starts with the right attitude. Anyone can be proactive but to achieve results they must be driven to succeed.
When I recall my own experiences, one of the most important factors is maximising all opportunities. A business trip can be extremely valuable if it is conducted in the right manner. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve came across BD guys boozing down the pub instead of sitting in meetings. This is a disappointing example of business development and one that tends to give the rest of us a bad name. I of all people know the importance of entertaining but just sitting in the pub on expenses doesn’t cut it! These types of people are the ones who tap out an email from their desk, don’t get a response then tell their boss they “tried.”
I’ve always ensured my trips to London were completely planned out before stepping out the door. If you are fortunate enough to be sent on a work trip, ensure you are maximising every minute you are there. Start by lining up four meetings in a day instead of the one you had originally intended.
Be strategic with your timings by researching the locations beforehand. If the companies’ schedules permit it, try to tie in meetings in similar locations so that you’re not zigzagging around the city. Failure to do this will only result in wasted time, money and unnecessary stress.
If you’re attending events, don’t just sit back and expect the work to come to you. If you do this, you will find yourself waiting a long time! Leads are there to be chased and unless you are putting in the ground work they are fair game. Don’t let opportunities slip from your grasp due to your complacency. Make every introduction and every conversation count because it could be the one that closes the deal for you.
All of the leads on the DQ Intel platform are early ones, allowing you the time to make yourself known with the company. If you don’t get a reply first time, take matters into your own hands and head down to the office. Catch the person at an event or in a coffee shop and have something different to say rather than the typical regurgitated sales chat.
As the old saying goes, “Fortune favours the brave.” Take action, make plans, be persistent. Nothing in life is easy and if it were, I’m sure it wouldn’t be half as desirable.