Business Development

"Business Development" is the most common name for that portion of a company responsible for bringing in new customers, clients or patients.

If you are ambitious, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is getting Business Development working. This is FAR more of a task than people think, if they've always gotten their new business from word of mouth, referral.

Everyone wishes they could get all the new business they want that way. Of course the best prospects come by word of mouth. They are already half sold.

But it just doesn't work that way.

I first ran into this working with Dentists. They would all complain about the quality of the new patients that advertising brought in. To which I can only say, "Yes. And your point?" because that is the way it is going to be.

At the risk of being incredibly obvious I'm going to list a few of the Big Rules for Business Development:

1. Business Development requires Wholesale, not Retail reach out. By this I mean you aren't going to succeed sending out a few hundred post cards or a few dozen letters. Think in large numbers and low percentages. That is just how it works.

2. A large percentage of prospects you generate through advertising are going to be unqualified. That is just the way it is.

3. Your first effort to develop a workable means of bringing in new business is probably going to fail. Your sixth may fail. No matter how smart you are, unless you have just rivers of money to throw at it, trial by error is a part of developing Business Development.

4. You haven't really arrived until you have a method of generating a volume of prospects which is cost effective (you make a profit off the new customers even when you take the cost of the marketing into account).

5. You haven't really arrived until you have a method of generating a volume of prospects which is scalable (you can increase the number of prospects as much as you want just by spending more on it).

When you do reach that point, it will all be worth it, because now you can start thinking about BMW's and vacations in Aspen - or retirement or buying that office building...
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