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6 Business Development Tips for Professional Services

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Written by Bob Croston
Vice President, RAIN Group

When it comes to business development for professional services, one of the biggest challenges professionals face is finding time to do it all. After all, you don't sell full-time. Your work, whether it's consulting, accounting, IT, financial services, or engineering, is what you do full-time. And that makes it very difficult to find time to create and develop the relationships necessary to bring in new business.

There simply are not enough hours in the day to do it all.

As a result, business development activities are unplanned and inconsistent, which leads to limited touches and prospects slipping through the cracks due to lack of follow-up.

While I cannot create more hours in the day, I can give you some business development tips that will help you become more effective with the balancing act of selling and doing.

6 Business Development Tips

Sacred Selling Time in Action

Stop stressing out about your long to-do list. Follow these business development tips, and your days could look something like this:

It's Friday morning, and you have blocked off three hours for uninterrupted sales time. You sit down at your computer, and an alarm goes off instructing you to call back Jessica Smith of Smith & Jones Manufacturing, whom you met at an industry event two weeks ago.

You open up your contact management system, peruse your notes, and see that Jessica is a Boston Celtics fan. You pick up the phone and call her, making a point to congratulate her on her team's recent win.

The conversation continues, and you mention how you read a Harvard Business Review article that relates to the manufacturing industry. When the conversation ends you set a task in your calendar to follow up with Jessica next month. There is no immediate need, but you realize you can help Jessica's business be more successful in the long term. Using your CRM tool, you add her to your e-newsletter list and send a quick email to one of your associates, asking him to retrieve the article from HBR and send it to Jessica.

You move on to the next person on your list. By the time noon rolls around, you have moved four leads forward and left messages for ten others.

This afternoon, you are off to deliver that big consulting project you've been working on all month.

The result: Your sales efforts are consistent and organized. You are developing relationships and moving prospects to the next stage of the pipeline. And it's all because you made the time and added selling to your priority list.

What's next? Download: The Future of Consultative Selling


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Topics: Consultative Selling