Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Hunting For New Business

Over the past couple of days in conversations with friends, associates and clients the same subject keeps on coming up: seeking new business.

‘Getting New Business’ is always top of most of our to-do lists and the subject of much effort and agonising. And rightly so; it’s the lifeblood of all we do.

One of my clients asked me recently, ‘how do you get new business?’ as if there were a proven procedure for getting new clients and projects (if only).

However much we strategise and plot sales and biz dev initiatives, you cannot always contrive new business; you cannot create a guaranteed path to picking up new clients. Because so many business wins are about being lucky.

Being in the right place at the right time. Getting an email or voicemail landing in your lap just like that. An approach out of the blue, or a referral. All that is lucky.

But you can’t build a business on luck. So you need to make sure you have a simple and effective communications strategy in place to optimise every opportunity.

Stuff like: be distinctive in how you set out your stall, be smart, be better than the competition AND stay on your targets’ radar at all times.

Sometimes success is just about being local, being available and providing something your targets want. So don’t overcomplicate it.


Sean said...

You'll find that acquiring new clients is about determining your extraordinary selling point (ESP) and making potential customers aware of it on a continuing basis. Think about how Apple positions their ESP – we’re different and better than a PC. There are any number of examples of companies that have determined their ESP and make it “top of mind” for their audience. This helps one remove luck from the equation, or as much as possible. If you communicate this ESP to your prospective clients on a continuing basis (7 points of communication minimum), they will think of you when they need an ESP you offer.

Ian Sanders said...

You are quite right Sean - at its most basic, selling your business and acquiring new clients is about communicating your point(s) of differentiation to the marketplace. Those points of differentiation are your ESPs...