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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

It's part sales, part marketing, part branding, part market research and development.

But most of all, it's an art whose masters have made millions.

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Social Networking has moved Online and its implications for your small business marketing are staggering - Are you missing the opportunity of a lifetime?

 

Social networking is not new for business owners and entrepreneurs. Many of you belong to Professional Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Leads Groups, etc. For some of you, it may be your single largest source of business. Some of you have given up on social networking as a business generation strategy because it was a “waste of time”. Regardless of your opinion, when done well Social Networking can be an enormous source of leads, deals, and connections to resources.

Well, you’d have to be in a cave not to have noticed that the process has gone online – and that has some pretty staggering implications for business generation and lead generation.

Social Media describes a wide range of on-line applications which provide a technological backbone where you can manage and create relationships with current and potential customers, suppliers, vendors, team members, channel partners and experts.

In future articles, I will be exploring how Social Media can impact your bottom line by taking the documents, articles, photos, conversations, problem solving, and issue management that you deal with on a daily basis and involving the people in your networks in such a way that they come to know and engage you and your business deeply and profoundly.

Increasingly, the current and potential stakeholders in your business are going online to find out about you and your services. If you are not managing the process of strategically placing information about you and your business online, your current and potential customers will be migrating to your competition.

Where do you start? I recommend www.LinkedIn.com. It is one of the largest B2B centric Social Business Networks online. By completing the profile well, you will become instantly findable on the Internet.

In my next post, we will discuss the impact Search Engines have on driving business to you and examine why Social Media – worked into your already existing business networks – can make or break you as your stakeholders move online.

Raymond Chip Lambert
Network 2 Networth
Deep Business Development

 

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Getting to your Perfect Client via your Networks

I am constantly amazed at the resources that are available for those of us who work in the area of Business Development. In the last few weeks I've used the following resources to narrow down potential clients and potential target markets given my 'Perfect Client Profile'.  If you are taking or have taken one of our Business Development Intensives, you may find these resources invaluable.

Reference USA

ReferenceUSA - This database is available at your public library.  If you are not a member, go to www.scottsdalelibrary.org and sign up for a card.  It will allow you access to their databases. 

Scottsdale Public Library

Reference USA is an InfoUSA company.  You can drill down on local businesses by multiple criteria (which we talk about in our classes) and pull up a list of companies and contact info for those companies.  It's a great way to begin to narrow your search for your perfect client.

Linkedin

LinkedIn - Now that you know what companies to target, you can go to your LinkedIn network and see who you know or who knows someone who you need to meet.  It is likely that there is a pathway into these companies that will get you introduced to the right person THROUGH someone you know.  Can you cold call?  Sure.  If you have trouble cold calling, check out my friend Connie Kadansky from Exceptional Sales Performance.  Her programs get you out of the headgame you play with yourself.  I highly recommend her.  However, if you prefer to be introduced, LinkedIn provides a fantastic resorce to do that.

Furthermore, you can begin to do some research when you find the right people.  The old Axiom "Birds of a Feather Flock Together" applies here.  What groups do they belong to?  Where do they hang out?  Where might you "bump into" them or other folks like them?  This is where social media gets interesting.  You not only learn about the people you know, but you can learn about their companies, their interests, and as you aggregate this info across prospects/potential clients, you get some pretty serious intelligence about your markets.  This leads you to get ENGAGED with your markets.

Remember, from the Cluetrain Manifesto, "Markets are conversations". If you learn the conversations in the environment they are happening, you are positioned to deliver the the correct message into the correct context. It's like learning a foreing language - listen, repeat, learn, create.

These are a few of the concepts we cover in our Business Development Intensive.  If you fit our 'Perfect Client Profile', please consider having a conversation with me about how it could dramatically improve your results!

Raymond Chip Lambert
Network 2 Networth
Deep Business Development

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