I’ve been speaking to several people of late about the continuing challenges that the current business evironment / economy bring. Eventually discussions turn to business development and how difficult it can be to generate new opportunities in a market that is comparitively flat.
So, my what is strategy for dealing with this?
You simply have to snog a frog, or two….
It’s fair to say it is more difficult to know where your core business opportunities are in a difficult market as there are simply fewer of them and they are harder to spot. Chasing after the usual tried and tested routes also means you can often find yourself competing with several other service or product providers for the same “scraps”. Which makes it increasingly difficult to actually pick up the work.
So, I suggest you take a different approach and snog a frog on a regular basis…
The frog in this case is, metaphorically speaking, a less obvious contact, perhaps someone quite random but interesting. Maybe someone who wouldn’t be able to give you buisiness directly but may possibly be able to refer work to you in some way.
And by snogging, I again am metaphorically speaking of course and in this case I mean networking or meeting. Best not to cross the line too far at first meeting and maintain business ettiquette, especially if you want to live happily ever after.
And if you do, it may just turn into a prince. Once upon a time, political correctness wasn’t quite so important I guess…so to avoid stereotypical fairytale gender bais, it may also turn into a princess. Either way, this is the metaphor for a winning a new piece of business.
I made a point last week of catching up with several interesting people that I have been meaning to follow up for a while, but never quite got round to as I have been too busy chasing more obvious business development targets…with limited success to be honest.
Interestingly, through meeting people who would not normally have been on my immediate radar for generating new business opportunities, almost all of them have done just exactly that. Not directly but by refering me to a business they know that has a requirement we could help with.
So after what looked like some relatively random meetings last week with people as diverse as a comedy film festival producer, a lawyer, a marketing consultant and a social media trainer, I generated 6 or 7 new and very tangible HR related business opportunities.
Best thing is most of them are at such an early stage that nobody else is even aware of them yet. 🙂
I appreciate it’s early days and I can’t honestly say I have found my prince / princess just yet, but I’m quietly confident I’m just one snog of a frog away from it…
So pucker up, you gorgeous Toad!
(In case of any doubt , the picture above is not one of the author. 🙂 )