It has been challenging for business development professionals to find ways to stay relevant and connected to clients and project management teams. In a Google search for best business development quotes, I was amazed at how many apply perfectly now. For example:
“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” Sigmund Freud
“Every problem is a gift — without problems we would not grow.” Anthony Robbins
"All progress takes place outside the comfort zone." Michael John Bobak
We are certainly outside of our comfort zones right now so how do we conduct business NOT as usual?
Sourcing the 2016 Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Domain 3, Client and Business Development we learn that business development has a nine-stage process from the client’s point of view. The AGC of America Business Development Steering Committee has collaborated on a few of the most critical steps to formulate ways your B.D. approach can still follow these guidelines even at your most vulnerable times--or as we now call it―social distancing.
Awareness: This is the very first step (and most logical). Your client has recognized the need/demand for the next project and will be looking for a solution provider. In typical times you would be staying top of mind via networking events, coffee meetings and other face-to-face opportunities. In today’s climate there are still ways to maintain your credibility and visibility:
Knowledge: Whether your client or potential client is familiar with your firm or not, they will need to be updated on the entirety of the services you provide. Take the opportunity to conduct in-depth research of the type of work they have done in the past and tailor your message that aligns with their goals.
Association with the entity: As a result of your hard work, the client begins to see the link between hiring your design/construction firm and achieving their goal. It is particularly critical to stay sensitive with the current environment. Realistic conversations on deliverables and timelines need to be addressed up front.
Stay safe, Stay home.
“No matter what has transpired over the past weeks our goal hasn't changed; the goal has always been to help solve our client’s problems. Now we have to find new ways to be of assistance, to help solve the problems of today and be prepared for tomorrow”. Julie Brown, Founder JB | BD
About the Author:
Lisa Frisbie, Director of Business Development & Marketing AGC MA
Lisa’s role at AGC MA is to increase engagement with member CM’s, GC’s, Subcontractors, and Service Providers by implementing and overseeing innovating new communications and social media strategies & tools. She oversees multiple committees and their respective programming, including; Building Women in Construction (BWiC) and the public relations and marketing efforts of all Chapter news, events, programs, and activities.
Resource: 2016 Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Domain 3, Client and Business Development, p. 15.