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Business development (a.k.a. biz dev or BD) and Partnerships are critical components to many organizations. People working under these departments must do all necessary measures to ensure the growth of the business side.
Proventa International, a management consulting firm that specializes in biz dev, knows what it takes to succeed in this fast-paced, usually tough environment. What do you have to do to close that deal? How will you bring in more profit? Here are the techniques you need to know:
1. Talk to the one who makes the decisions
Dealing with the right person is paramount. You wouldn’t want to waste your time selling to someone uninterested or uninvolved. It is your assignment, as early as possible, to know who the decision-maker is and not waste resources on those who don’t have the capacity to call the shots. Mark Broñola, one of our Business Development Executives, said that he “always treats his first pitch as the most crucial pitch.”
“Once I get to talk to the big boss, I can then play my cards accordingly,” said Broñola. “It doesn’t mean that it’s easier to sell to them, but it cuts the amount of selling time because you’ll get a definite answer head-on.”
2. Focus your resources on clients that give you the most profit
Sometimes we focus on clients who give us the least financial return. We’re not saying that you should not entertain the small players; we’re saying that you should allocate your time according to the profit a client brings in.
Time spent away from your best prospects and biggest profit is time NOT spent right.
3. You don’t learn as much when you’re talking
A lot of salespeople only know their clients superficially, focusing on giving their spiel rather than actually listening. Ask questions. Analyze what they need. Listen carefully. Part of your job is to be a consultant who they can talk to regarding their business woes. And when you’ve gathered enough necessary information, you can then swoop in and save the day.
“Hearing is different from listening,” says Rose Sanchez, Program Partnership Executive. “Understanding client’s needs will give you a better grasp of the situation and will guide you about what solutions to offer.”
She also shared that effective listening is a rare skill that will give you a sustainable, competitive advantage over your peers and your competitors.
4. Sell what the client needs
An advantage of a consultative approach is that you’ll know exactly what to sell to your prospect. Finding a connection between your product or service and what the client needs is a surefire way of hitting your goal.
The best salespeople engage the client. They understand their challenges and provide solutions that are tailored to their requirements.
5. Important people want to engage with important people
Wallflowers rarely succeed in sales and business development. Participate in activities that align with the interests of your prospects. Widen your network. Try to connect with them on something not work-related like sports, volunteer programs, associations, or out-of-office gatherings. These people would most likely want to do business with someone they relate to.
Proventa’s strategy meetings are perfect venues to engage with decision-makers in your target field. With our unique and casual format, we lay out a program that is beneficial to both industry leaders and business development professionals.
6. Always walk on the greenest pasture
Take advantage of industries that are picking up economically. Proactively meet prospects early in the booming stage while your competition is still low. The ones that earn the most profit in their own businesses are usually the ones that are enthusiastic to invest in business development.
7. Happy clients are your best ammunition
Important rule — be ready to help to your client and do everything in your power to solve the problem. Happy clients are satisfied clients. Always remember that they chose to work with you to solve a specific problem or to reach a definite goal.
You can use their testimonials to close new deals. Better yet, they might endorse you to their peers and colleagues if they’re happy. After all, word of mouth is still the best form of marketing.
8. Never overlook after-deals service
You’ve made the deal. You’ve reached your quota for this quarter. You’ll face the same challenge next year. So once you’ve sealed it with these big clients, prove your calibre. Give them pleasant service. Meet your deadlines. Be a stellar account manager so they’ll become a repeat client and send you new opportunities — minus the struggle of pursuit in the beginning.
“It is much cheaper to retain a happy client. And when we say cheaper, we don’t just mean saving money. We save our most important currency — time and effort,” says Neslyn Dungca, Business Development Executive. “It saves you from the hassle of repeating yourself about who you are, what you do, your proposals, and the benefits that they’ll get, because they already know all those.”