‘The strategy for survival is visibility’
There are many different ways to bring in new business but regardless of which methods are used, one thing remains true: attracting and converting new clients is no easy task. Rainmaking and business development is nuanced and it involves humans, who are complex emotional creatures.
Business Development (BD) is not like turning on a light bulb. You can’t just watch a video or read a sales book and become proficient. It takes time to master. And Accountants need to be doing everything they can right now to ensure that they’ve enough opportunities in their prospect pipeline to see them through the coming hard times according to Rob Brown, founder, BD Academy who regularly coaches accountants on how best to win new business.
During our recent webinar on ‘How to Keep Business Development Alive’, Rob expressed doubts that business development even features in an accountant’s vocabulary at the present time and described it as ‘having flat lined.’ He said: “BD is very different now to what it looked like 12 months ago. The pipeline needs recalibrating and all those leads that existed before, need to be assessed again.”
For firms that need practical advice on how to replace lost revenues, Rob recommends shoring up existing customers and maximising the customer base with up selling and cross selling opportunities to fill up the pipeline. “We can’t do this in the way we always have done so we need to turn to digital and thought leadership. Raise the profile of the business and get out there remotely. The strategy for survival is visibility and turn that visibility into conversations.”
10 tips to help grow and recover
Here are some practical tips from Rob on what to do now to refuel the pipeline:
- Be intentional. Have a marketing plan or strategy that identifies your key targets or markets, plus the kind of problems they have. Then you can tailor your marketing messages towards them.
- Be visible. It’s no good being a well kept secret. The strategy for survival in today’s tough times is visibility. So find out where your target clients ‘hang out’ and get in front of them.
- Be more helpful. Be more curious. Ask more questions. Offer more ideas. Share more insights. Show your ideas and solutions. Create more content to showcase your expertise.
- Be proactive. You can’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Make yourself more relevant by being more purposeful in starting conversations, asking questions and offering solutions.
- Beef up your tech. To grow, you need the right technology and tools. Like a CRM or process to track prospects, leads and deals. Otherwise good opportunities get lost or forgotten.
- Work on your skills. Traditional ways of winning work like networking are ‘off limits’ for a while. Work on new ‘remote selling’ skills like video and content so you can win business without F2F.
- Recalibrate relationships. Look at your existing clients/customers. Their needs will have changed over the last few months. Check in. See what’s needed. Requalify them. Keep them close.
- Invest in marketing. Your brand needs to be strong. Your messages need to be consistent, recurring and impactful if you’re going to create awareness of the great things you do.
- Specialise. It’s hard being all things to all people. Pick some niches or specialisms. This could be in certain products or services you offer, certain sectors or industries, or certain regions or locations.
- Beef up your capacity. If you’re going to win new business, you have to be able to deliver on it. More stock, new people, new resources. Then you can keep your promises and bring in the work.
The world has been through a major reset and there are now very different rules in place. Nowhere is this more apparent than with BD.
It’s now all about remote, virtual and digital and everything should be about staying front of mind so that when COVID clears, accountants are in pole position to seize the advantage. The only strategy for survival right now is visibility – it’s as simple as that.
If you would like to watch the webinar or read more about ‘How to keep business development alive’ visit our page below: