The best time to develop business

It never fails:

Your pipeline of clients gets full and you pull back the throttle on developing new business.You slow down my speaking and writing schedule. You don’t meet with as many people in my network. You get a bit lazy in asking current clients for referrals.

And then you pay the price. Maybe not this month, maybe not next, but within a quarter or so, you notice that your pipeline starts to empty. And then — if you don’t take action — your revenues start to drop.

The best time to develop business is ALL THE TIME.

Business development needs to be your top priority as a professional. This is especially the case when times are good, even when you think you are too busy serving current clients. You have to carve out a consistent amount of time to continue to develop your network, nurture relationships, and get out in front of people with educational messages. Otherwise, you will cede (or never achieve) your position as the top go-to professional in your marketplace.

Remember that the most competent professionals are not always the most successful. It is not fair, but it is true. To avoid the fate of not earning the revenue you know you deserve, be sure to consistently invest your time and resources in business development, in good times and in bad.

The good news: There are many ways to develop business that are automatic, especially in these days of blogging, enewsletters, online article submissions, and content-driven websites. Also, business development never means that you have to “hawk” your services, and doesn’t have to be awkward.

The bad news: You still need to make a plan and stick to it. And you need to know the most effective business development strategies and execute them effectively.

Don’t let up!

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3 Responses to “The best time to develop business”

  1. Jim Klein Says:

    I totally agree with you. Most sales people suffer from the income roller coaster. Their income goes up and down because they are not spending time every day developing new business.

    A good balance I have found for dividing your time on a daily basis is to spend one third soliciting, one third selling and one third servicing.

    This helps to keep you focused every day on doing the activities that will make you successful and keep your income on a steady rise.

  2. Chris Hunter Says:

    Completely true. Until I read the ITBA, did I understand the importance of business development. Right now my pipeline is completely full until mid January, but you can bet I’m still working on getting more sales. In fact, we’re so busy that I’ve been considering either hiring more people or looking at an outsourcing model.

    In the past I’ve found that if I let up in the least bit, my pipeline really starts to empty out, so in 2007 I decided to put myself into a “sales-only” position. This way I can concentrate on keeping that pipeline full.

    Thanks Andrew for the reminder! Even in our busiest quarter (Q4), it’s good to hear that we need to keep first things first… business development!

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