The last two blogs I posted have been focused on providing you with some 'easy' tips for connecting marketing to business development. My first two suggestions (just to refresh your memory) were to create a hot target list and then to ask clients and contacts for help. These were designed to give some structure and consistency to your efforts.
The third step is the tough one: it is called follow up. Frankly, those firms – large or small – that make the time to follow through and continue a dialogue with new prospects have a far better chance of gaining new opportunities. Most marketing studies point out that it is in the follow up where firms lack a commitment, If you speak at a program, attend a business networking event, exhibit at a trade show or are introduced over a game of golf - you must have a plan for the ‘next step.’ All too often we meet a banker or other center of influence over lunch, discuss the weather, sports, and the economy, and the leave the table without any commitment or formal discussion of how we can assist each other.
I am not suggesting that every opportunity calls for a ‘hard sell” but I am encouraging you to plan to take fullest advantage of the golden opportunities that come your way. I imagine you are thinking that this sounds too simple to be really worthwhile advice, but I find that even though the advice is obvious - it is not implemented with any consistency in most firms. Here's what I suggest: Follow up – stand out – make an impression!