Business Development Tips for the “Non-traditional” Business Developer

August 27, 2010 at 11:22 am | Posted in accounting marketing, Adrian Miller Sales Training, Marketing, Networking, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment

CPAs and Lawyers…lend me your ears. Your respective professions have undergone major changes and business development (aka “rainmaking”) is now EVERYONE’S responsibility. Embrace it—it will not go away!

If you’re feeling less than sanguine about this entire matter, here are 3 tips to put to work immediately:

Add value to the relationship BEFORE there is a matter or retainer!
Business development in professional services is a lengthy and protracted activity. Potential clients approach the situation warily and slowly. Oftentimes, an introduction to a potential client means years of “staying on the grid” and trying to win the business. How terrific would it be if you were able to add value to the prospect before you were engaged in the business relationship? Talk about standing out from the competition!

How do you do this?

Well, consider the three I’s (information, invitations and introductions). By seeing how you can utilize one or all of these outreach attempts, you can, indeed, add value before your professional meter is ticking. By connecting and staying in touch with something of “value” like the three I’s, you are perceived in a much more positive light than someone that is merely trying to “touch base”.

Dare to be different. Think about how you can improve the prospect’s situation.
Let’s face it. If you look at the web sites of similarly sized accounting or law firms you will notice an amazing similarity in presentation and service offerings. Sometimes it is virtually impossible to tell the firms apart. (Trust me, I looked at 10-15 different accounting firm web sites and they were virtually identical down to template design, verbiage, newsletter, etc.)

How can a prospect make their selection when everyone looks the same? Yes, referrals and testimonials are critical but could you possibly present your firm in a somewhat different manner by examining what prospects want and not always what they need. These two things can be very different and want trumps need every time. (And if you don’t know what prospects really want, simply ask!)

How fast are you?
The most frequent complaint that clients have about their accounting or law firm is that they are slow to return calls or emails. Now understand that if I ask 10 firms they will all say that they are most assuredly responsive and never keep a client waiting for a return call or email. Funny but if that’s the case then who are these firms that clients mention. The ones that return calls 2-3 days late and sometimes not at all. (One of the most prevalent reasons that firms switch their corporate counsel is because of the firm’s lack of responsiveness.) If EVERYONE says they are responsive and timely, well….you know where I’m going with that line of thinking.

So there you have it. Three quick and extremely doable tactics that can help your business development efforts.
(And remember, business development is up to everyone.)

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