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There are many roles under the broad term of ‘Business Development’ but the most obvious and arguably important role is to create solutions for common problems and pains in the marketplace and use that solution as a sellable product. In general, it’s common practice for people to buy when they are convinced that it’s something they need, even if that need in reality is more like a ‘want’. Businesses experience these same needs in the form of problems and challenges in their business.

In theory, the purpose of selling your solution is to fulfill these customer needs. It sounds relatively simple, doesn’t it? Well, there is a little more to it than just providing a product in the form of a solution. Certain key elements are vital to consider when ensuring your solution sells and your business grows successfully.  So what does a top member of the business development department do in order to ensure their product sells?

  • They keep an eye on the marketplace, what’s happening in it and what services the market is demanding.
  • They watch the competition, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and try to out-manoeuvre them.
  • They define their target customers clearly.
  • They get their name out there and proactively pursue the customers they want.
  • They understand the customer’s journey clearly, with special attention to the buyer’s journey.
  • They know where the buyer is at every stage and interact appropriately.
  • They’re willing to walk away if a deal isn’t a fit or they refer it to someone else.
  • They pitch, sell and close business with efficient speed.
  • They choose partners who can make them more successful than they can be alone.
  • They deliver well (of course) and they use their customer base to get new customers and to provide valuable feedback.
  • They’re in a state of continuous improvement.

 

Key element placing customer experience centre stage-if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business.

A successful member of the business development team knows that pushing their product forward without the appropriate analysis of client or the knowledge of the marketplace could detriment their businesses potential success. Placing your customer’s experience and needs first, allows you to create a bespoke and personalised service. The added advantage of this is you will predictably spend enough time on a client to result in customer loyalty and a final purchase of your solution. It’s about listening to the customer’s needs, not about what you want to sell them. So here’s a table to compare the likes and dislikes customers experience with contrasting vendors:

CUSTOMERS DISLIKE VENDORS WHO…

CUSTOMERS LIKE VENDORS WHO…

Don’t listen.

Are clear about what they’ll do and how their actions are going to help.

Talk about themselves all the time.

Understand my business and how it works.

Try to ‘sell’ me something I don’t want or need.

Are interested in my goals and needs.

Don’t ask questions.

Ask lots of questions (so that I get to talk).

Don’t finish the work.

Help me understand how to fix my problem – if they’re not the solution, they say so.

Over-promise and under-deliver.

Change fees that are fair- get what you expected.


At best, your customers help you develop your business. The closer you get to your customers, the more clearly you will see how to develop and improve your business. By taking into account all the things a customer likes in a vendor and implementing these changes, the results will lead to further business development and a growth in the sale of your solution.

 

Having a plan B can you deal with a client specific crisis?

The sooner you start taking control of your business growth instead of just hoping this growth is going to happen, the sooner you will see results. If you are able to develop a plan to deal with any business challenge or crisis you can continue consistency in the quality of service and additionally provide a quick and easy solution to your client.

For example, RSVP is very used to providing reliable and flexible solutions to their clients, many of whom see big differences between their seasonal peaks and troughs. Some clients have a highly responsive medium such as television advertisement that requires an ability to change the forecast model and upscale or downscale staff at a moment’s notice. With an active waiting list of pre-screened staff, the requirement to increase team numbers doesn’t take weeks and weeks. Within just a few days RSVP can have a group of newly trained staff working on the campaign.

The ability to have a plan B gives your business the necessary skills to remove the difficulty in managing fluctuation and gives your client the insurance of knowing they have a responsive partner who can act quickly to make the most of any campaign. 

 

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