No understanding of what activity is needed as a firm and as individuals
Do you know what sales and business development activity you need to do to achieve the results you want and how you can make the best use of your time? How much networking do you need to do? How many seminars do you need to run and who should you invite? How many potential clients do you need to make contact with to create one new client – as I said above not everyone you ask will buy from you?
Without understanding what actions you need to take across the whole firm to achieve desired growth you cannot plan for the resources, especially time, that you need to invest. The dangers are that you do too much activity and can’t keep up with demand (this is probably unlikely), do the wrong types of activity and waste time, or do nothing at all.
For individual professionals, the danger is that we see business development as such an enormous task that we don’t do anything or pay lip service to it by attending the occasional seminar or networking event.
Once again we can learn from successful corporates who use historical data to forecast sales activity to achieve their targets. Once you are clear on your goal and understand the concepts of the sales pipeline (how to convert targets into clients), you can estimate the amount of activity needed across the firm over the year, then break it down into monthly and weekly targets.
This then needs to be combined, with each fee-earner taking a share of this activity. The most successful professionals know what activity they need to do on a weekly basis – they have broken it down into manageable chunks such as telephone calls, meetings, networking events, etc.
One client with whom I am currently working and who has really increased her business development activity attributed it to taking personal responsibility and knowing exactly what to do.
For further information or for help in implementing some of these solutions please contact Jacqueline Harris of Auric Results Limited on 0118 969 0783 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author – Jacqueline Harris has extensive experience of helping professionals and professional service firms to grow and increase their fee income. Her work focuses on business development, sales, client relationship management, business communication skills and executive coaching.