VBM Pro | Virtual Business Manager

Business development. Do we ever really master it? What is the right and wrong way of doing it? One thing is for sure – business development never ends and there are numerous ways, tricks, tips, advices and secrets of doing it successfully.

Where and how you go about generating a business greatly depends on what you have to offer, what are the benefits of your product/services, who your target market is and, especially, on how and where to reach the target market the most efficiently. Once you have these answers, it’s time to put words into the action. Business development takes skill, consistency and time, a lot of time (as many will attest).

Two of the techniques are attracting customers and going after them (or both). To attract them, you need to offer them something – utilize social media, blog and video posts, and share your expertise, advice, experience. If you belong to any professional organizations, offer your expertise to the fellow members – prepare a presentation, a workshop, etc. You will get the much-needed exposure while attendees will gain some valuable knowledge and insights. Most importantly, they will recognize you as an expert and a go-to person. Referrals that will help you boost your business will start following when that initial trust and relationship are established.

The “old school” sales such as direct mailing and cold calls are considered as “hunting” after the clients and there are many clashing opinions out there on whether the return on investment is worth the effort… The decision is yours.

There are more techniques available so you need to experiment to discover those that work best for you and your business. Meanwhile, don’t waste your time on those that don’t generate business. Once you develop a system and routine that has been generating results, stick with it. However, keep improving, ask others for their opinion on things they feel you could improve. And try to be creative, think outside the box, develop an unexpected approach to your customers – they will appreciate a breath of fresh air. A great idea I just came across is that when you receive an email from somebody inquiring about your services/products, change the communication medium, pick up the phone and call them…

Sometimes, however, it’s not so much about thinking outside the box as it is for us to step outside out comfort zone: as business owners, we sometimes need to do what we dread doing – let it be cold calling, in-person networking, blogging or Tweeting…

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