That’s BD taken care of in only in only 3 billable increments!
Most practitioners in professional services know that they have to do Business Development, and the majority do recognize that it needs to be undertaken regularly. The most successful BD practitioners or rainmakers within law, accountancy, engineering or architectural firms have all formed weekly and even daily BD habits which allow them to continually develop and build successful client relationships. However, many struggle to find the time to dedicate to BD, and even if they do dedicate the time, they don’t really know what to do with that time they have set-aside.
To assist with that, below is a list of 4 daily BD habits which will help create a BD discipline that will lead to greater client thinking, and should help those who follow it to develop better client relationships.
1. Update your top contacts list – time 3 mins (approx.)
Okay, I’ve said update a list, and you may not currently have one. However, this should be carried out as part of your BD Planning exercise (BD Client action plan template available here), and as an essential BD building block this alone can take longer than the 18 minutes a day you’ve set aside for BD. However, updating it so you’re ready to form your daily BD habits, is actually pretty quick.
To make it easy I would recommend you split your list into categories like the below:
- Industry colleagues/peers
The next stage is to pick the 3-4 people you will focus on contacting.
2. Start making contact and booking in meetings – time 6 mins (approx.)
The assumption on the list of contacts that you have made in stage 1, is that to some degree you know them. Pick two from today’s list that you most want to meet with.
The fact that you know them makes reaching out to them and getting a meeting somewhat easier. In some locations booking a coffee in is all it takes. Even though that is the case, make sure that you make clear the reason why you want to catch-up with your contacts.
The purpose for stating the reason, is that by making it clear that you want to find out more about what they are working on and their future plans etc., it keeps the meeting out of social chit chat and sets the expectations early in the piece around the potential conversation topics.
3. Find an article that is relevant to your clients – time 6 mins (approx.)
You now have 2 contacts left on your list. If they are in different sectors, focus on one and then try to find an article (google is great for this) that you think would be relevant of interest to them, have a quick read of the article and jot down the sections or themes that would be most relevant to them.
4. Send a link to the article to your contact – time approx. 3 mins (approx.)
Now you have the article ready to go and know the parts that are relevant to your client. Send it across to them in an email, explaining that you came across this article and thought it would be helpful or interesting to them, and share why you think that is the case and which bits they should focus on reading.
The 4 Powerful daily BD habits done in 18 minutes
Admittedly, the first few days you attempt this, it will feel as if you can’t get it all done. Like all things – the more you practice something the quicker and better you get at it. Even if you only manage the first two on one day, and the second two on the next day, you’re probably doing more regular BD than you ever have before. Which will still start to produce the results you are looking for and you’ll quickly begin forming you daily BD habits.
A bonus fifth daily BD habit for those with a bit of extra time – LinkedIn posting
The articles you have researched may well speak to a group or section of your clients, or even an industry you work in and would desire more clients from. If that’s the case, you can easily write a few short paragraphs summarizing, and then post it on LinkedIn. It will help boost your personal brand and help get you recognized within your desired target industry. This extra step can easily be accommodated into your daily BD habits, even if it does add in a bit of extra time.
Conclusion why daily BD Habits are so important
There is a lot more to business development than the steps outlined above. After all, I’ve not covered what to do and how to follow-up after each meeting, which is vitally important too.
However, having A daily BD habit will produce results. Focusing it on reaching out and making meetings with people, will take away the fear or natural reluctance to undertake these activities.
A daily focus on BD will make it part of your normal working day and in doing so you’ll get more confident at it. You’ll also start to see the results of your endeavours fairly quickly.