#3 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/SALES – From my 8 part Series ‘Understanding Marketing: There’s a lot more to it than you think!’

Business Development is the deep understanding of the service or product of the company with a specific target audience in mind. It is the finding of new and innovative ways to attract business to the company. This includes thought-leadership campaigns or initiatives that have a …

#3 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/SALES - From my 8 part Series 'Understanding Marketing: There's a lot more to it than you think!'

#3 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/SALES – From my 8 part Series ‘Understanding Marketing: There’s a lot more to it than you think!’

Business Development is the deep understanding of the service or product of the company with a specific target audience in mind. It is the finding of new and innovative ways to attract business to the company. This includes thought-leadership campaigns or initiatives that have a long-term strategy of solidifying current client or customer relationships as well as attracting new ones. This approach by the company is essential for current and future profitability. Business Development is one of the most important aspects of the company’s business strategy.

It doesn’t always have to be grand ideas or big campaigns – a lot can be said for simply keeping the lines of communication open over time, keeping you front-of-mind in the hope of being first in line when the next opportunity comes up for them to buy. Remember, people buy people first – the product/service is often secondary – if someone likes YOU, they will more often than not buy what you’re offering, even if you are slightly more expensive than your competitors. Why? Because you have built a relationship with them, they have come to trust you and believe they’re in good hands, and they value the simple fact that you have continued to build a relationship with them even when they weren’t buying.

Business Development, from a corporate perspective at least, is a very human experience. When trying to get past the gate-keepers when calling on new business, it’s about finding an angle that is going to be of interest and of value to them as a company; you need to give them a reason to WANT to meet with you, and it’s your job to give them one. It could be something like an article you read that made you think of them, a law or regulation that may have changed that will affect their business, or even market trends based on a survey you have had sight of in their industry/sector. Find purpose in every call you make – not only for new business, but also in the building of your relationships with current clients (in the hope of continuing to sell to them, but also potentially being able to cross-sell other products or services in future).

As with all means of building your client/customer base, there is a time and a place for everything. Utilise what you can as and when you feel appropriate, continuing to develop your strategy for growth over time. If one approach doesn’t work for you, try another – it’s an evolution, a constant state of change, so don’t be discouraged.

If there is anything at all that I would want you to remember from this knowledge bite, it would be that people buy from people first and foremost. Just a little change in thinking, can be the missing link you’ve been waiting for.