As featured on LinkedIn, May 16, 2022.
Sometimes objects seem larger than they are in real life. I’m always reminded of this when I fly and I see the outsized ratio of the plane on the seat-back map ahead of me. (And no, I’m not flying in extraordinary large planes.)
Business development can be viewed that way as well. It can seem overwhelming when you focus on your own personal plan: Should I be reaching out to my former clients, posting on LinkedIn, or foraging for speaking engagements? Each year I take on a few executives and leaders at law firms as coaching-consulting clients. It provides a balance to my other work, which generally focuses on large marketing issues. What I’ve learned is that while each professional will have their own approach to developing business, there are tactics that may help reframe and resize the effort. Here are just a few.
Take baby steps – don’t try to do everything all at once. Develop your own plan and break it into small components. That may mean doing one BD exercise a week or spending an hour a week dedicated to BD activities.
Start with existing clients – your best source of business is your existing client base. You want to be certain you are providing best in class service. These are companies and individuals who already know and hopefully love you. You may be able to build that relationship and also see it develop as a source of future referrals.
Look at prior referral sources. Where has your business come from in the past – from which activities and people? While there is a world of companies out there with issues where your help is needed, as a first step, see whence your business came and revisit those contacts and activities.
Comment on LinkedIn posts – if you are reading this you are, at a minimum, lurking on LinkedIn. When you see something that resonates with you, respond and add a comment that adds value to the conversation. It’s an easy way to be involved in your LinkedIn community.
So don’t try to boil the ocean (an object that unlike the plane on the map, is as big as it seems) but rather start in the pond or in your own backyard, by taking small and manageable steps.