Cloudshope follows different tips for effective business development that can help you hit the ground running.
Know Your Competition
It may not be enough to know the names of your competitors. Evaluate what they offer so you can help differentiate yourself from the pack. As the old adage goes, don't define yourself by your competition. Analyze what makes you stand out in a crowd. You should obsessively work on this differentiation. This may be your most powerful business development tool.
Add Value and Build Trust
Rather than going after people's wallets, consider going after their hearts. Business growth can come from adding value to every relationship, with prospective customers and existing customers. We can add value by providing information and knowledge, by being an advisor, by obsessing over treating customers right, both before and after the sale, and by having a reputation for great execution and white glove service.
This mindset and approach build trust and goodwill which are your calling card for business development. But building trust takes time...
Use Testimonials Wisely
Testimonials can be a crucial part of establishing credibility in the initial stages when you court a new prospect. It can help to know a few tips in this area. For example, it may not be effective to use "one-size-fits-all" testimonials. Rather, you should tailor your testimonials to your prospective target. If you're dealing with a mid-sized company, for example, you should use testimonials from other mid-sized companies you've done business with, rather than from your largest customer. This taps into a fundamental principle of human behavior referred to as the Consensus Principle or Social Proof: We feel more comfortable in making a decision when the source of the information comes from people similar to us..
Also, beware of inundating your prospects with a large number of testimonials. It could look as though you're protesting too much. Only use testimonials that are authentic and have the ring of truth. Sometimes, when asking for a testimonial, the person writing it does so reluctantly to please you, but their heart is not in it. You can end up with a perfunctory, factory-style testimonial that savvy clients will quickly see through.
Keep an Eye on Online Reviews
Increasingly, consumers may turn to online reviews to decide whether or not to do business with a local company. Set up a Google Alert for your company so you can monitor and respond to these reviews when necessary. It can help show that you care about your business and about the people who use your services or products. A caring attitude may engender goodwill and attract new business.
Ask for the Business
After you've met with your prospect, submitted the proposal, done all the due diligence and followed up, consider closing that phase by unabashedly asking for the business. Try a simple: "I would very much like to provide this service for your company. What will it take to get started?" This "let's do business together" approach is direct and honest, and can signal your confidence in the value of your service or product. It's refreshing. What's more, it can give your prospective client the opportunity to decline. It may be better to know this so you can refocus your energy and attention on the next potential customer.
Pay Attention to Your Website.
As for your content, your website may not thrive if it just provides information about who you are and lists your products and services. Consider rewarding visitors who land on your site with ample free resources, information, knowledge and tools to help them succeed. Make it easy for them to share the resources with others without having to fill out forms, deal with constant pop up windows and other annoying interruptions. This is passive business development that will possibly pay dividends and doesn't cost you anything.
Don't Let Relationships Go Cold
There are many ways to engage with customers periodically. Set up a Google Alert for your clients so you can know what's happening in their world and react as you see fit. Share useful content on a regular basis. Send a note on special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Connect with your clients on LinkedIn and keep in touch with them through the LinkedIn feature that allows you to "comment" or click "like" when they have a work anniversary or other change to their profile. There's no exact science on how often you should connect with a client, but one rule of thumb for maintaining top of mind awareness with your clients is to show up on their radar once a quarter. You can also engage with clients peripherally by establishing an engaging social media presence.
Beat Your Competitors to the Punch
Share the information with everyone through cloudshope company. Make them aware that business development is everyone's business so that a prospective client is quickly funneled through to the right person in the company. You should have implemented measures for rapid and efficient customer handling. Speed can make the difference between winning and losing.
Sharpen Your Business Development Skills
Hone your skills in business development. Today, there are many convenient options for busy leaders or business owners to develop their skills in this crucial area of business success....