October 2, 2013
Without a doubt, when it comes to closing new business, your clients and your internal people and processes can have a big impact on achieving success. But external factors outside of your control can also have a considerable impact on whether your business thrives or just survives. Here are a few opportunities [“GAMES”] to look outside your client roster and your current business to ensure continued sales performance and success
- Evaluate Community, Business, and NPO Involvement: Giving back to the community is extremely important, but choosing the right organization is critical. Finding an organization that marries community participation with networking will increase your firm’s chances for landing new business. Continue with nonprofits or local associations, but also find programs that will contribute to your firm’s success. In addition, conferences, alumni groups, and nonprofits can be a great place to let new hires get their marketing “feet” wet.
- Stay Relevant and Keep Up With Trends: In every industry, especially with an ever-changing economic climate, keeping up to date with changes is important to staying relevant. Most universities and local chambers of commerce offer frequent updates along with national publications, conferences, and surveys. A variety of organizations provide insight into trends and changes that allow you to see how competitors are winning business. The information is available and pertinent, but it’s up to you to go digging and use the findings to your advantage.
The key is to focus on who you know and who you can get to know. With strong client relationship building and some internal and external improvements, your firm can significantly reduce complexity and streamline the business development process.
One of the best business development tactics has always involved word-of-mouth marketing [referrals] from your clients. A solid sales approach is to ask your clients for an introduction to their peers or other contacts. Rather than just asking your client for an introduction, however, why not mix things up a bit and go beyond that initial contact?
By asking your client to join you in a combined presentation, you can add value to the conversation. What is this version of business communication worth? Rather than simply offering one opinion, this blended presentation allows for your perspective along with another member of the industry. If you’d like to add even more perspective and value to the conversation, consider bringing in one of your partners – just don’t forget to ask for referrals, speaking opportunities, or even co-authorship opportunities for articles for trade journals.
Another client retention and business development opportunity involves bringing clients from non-competing industries together. By mixing things up this way, your clients will have the chance to learn from the others’ experiences, brainstorm tactics for growth and surviving in a down economy, and make connections within the others’ industry associations.
In other words, when you approach marketing, think of your processes, tactics, and strategies as part of a recipe. Take advantage of opportunities to bring all of the ingredients together. Not only will you get credit for great marketing, but by mixing it up you will also increase your reach and create even more business development opportunities For lawyers who need an extra push into the marketing and business development arena, consider placing them in attorney sales teams and suggesting these “activities” may be a good kick start.