Business Development During Holidays

Friendly Gathering in LobbyBusiness development efforts during holiday periods often change routines. Use this change in business development routine to your advantage with a change in your business routine as well.

Here are three ideas to “fit in” to the holiday business routine with your business development efforts that produce a “WOW” factor:

1. Host a holiday party (can be any national holiday) via Skype.

Send an invitation to your key prospects and customers, along with a nice drink mix of their choice, inviting them to come together at a pre-determined time on video Skype for just holiday cheer.

2. Provide decision maker assistants drinks of their choice.

During encounters with people in your prospects’ and customers’ offices, find out what drink each person likes the most. Before a holiday break, bring (or have delivered) an inexpensive Styrofoam ice chest with a customized selection of drinks for people in that office.

3. Invite prospects and customers to join you for a charity event.

Holidays are the time when many charities hold events where volunteers are desperately needed. This can be a fishing tournament on the coast, a Thanksgiving meal at a coliseum for the homeless, escorting giant balloons at Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade… Find out, from event sponsors, details for volunteering and email/call prospects and customers inviting them to join you. Great chance for face-to-face relationship building.

Key is fostering an environment where prospects and customers feel like they belong and can relax. I have an annual “No Reason to Get Together But Enjoyment” mixer where my prospects and customers participate with NO expectations as to behavior. Because there are NO expectations for results, there are usually very productive results.

Business development is built on healthy business relationships. Create a fun and relaxing environment for your business community and revenue is guaranteed to increase.

People at Charity EventHappy Year-Round Holidays!

Mike McCann

Smart Planning Leads to Business Success

Online ShoppingIf you have a quality product, aggressive marketing and well-thought-out branding, you can achieve success quickly and leave competition in the dust.

Here are four suggestions to get your business development in overdrive quickly:

1. Keep quality high and affordable prices. Consumers LOVE both in the same product or service.

2. Be ready to take advantage of your competitor’s missteps and acquire market share from inept competitors.

3. Provide a simple shopping experience. If you have ecommerce, keep the checkout cart quick and simple. If you have a storefront, establish checkout lanes that move quickly.

4. Give customers what they want. Research, research and research to see what “flips your customers switch.” Figure out a profitable way to flip customers’ switch in your direction.

Rapid business development is easy when you focus on customers and keep a simple growth formula (four points above). All possible trips off the tree limbs of business development should be well thought out in advance to keep your growth momentum ongoing.Business Growth

Mike McCann

Business Development with Twitter

Twitter for BusinessIf you’re like many business development professionals, you may feel reticent about the effectiveness of Twitter’s social media. Twitter is undoubtedly a major social network…just how effective can it be for a professional in business development

You often see Twitter feeds on all media and often on business cards. Use this medium to communicate your “30-second pitch” in 140 characters. Interact with prospects and customers easily because all parties can be anywhere in the world and quickly communicate.

Here is a simple, effective method you can use to build an engaged following of prospects and customers in just a few minutes a day. This method is built around knowing both your own customers and the people who are your likely prospects, and who are active on Twitter.

Let’s look at each stage of this preparation so we know we’re starting off on the right foot:

1, Know your customers well – what do your customers like to do when not on the job (boating, traveling, cooking…)? What issues are important to your customers (building a profitable account base)?

2. Know several business development professionals who represent where you want to be when you become successful at building your business.

3. Find some of the business development professionals from number 2 on Twitter. Some of these professionals will have blogs, some will have e-mail lists and all of these things may become important to you in the future.

Next, let’s see how these three elements come together into a simple strategy to build your own Twitter following in just a few minutes a day.

Okay, here’s the plan…

It’s simple, and I’ve broken it down into six steps for you.

1. Search for the professionals in prospects and customers you’ve identified.

2. Go to their profile and click on the “Followers” link.

3. Set an alarm for 10 minutes.

4. Scroll through the follower list looking for similar people to your prospects and customers. Ignore accounts with the words “social media” anywhere in the person’s bio and accounts with no photo of a person’s face.

5. Click the “follow” button” on the people who look promising to you.

6. When the alarm goes off, quit for the day.

You’ll find that you can follow these steps quite quickly, and in 10 minutes you’ll be able to follow at least 30 people…probably more.

But keep in mind, this isn’t about numbers. What we’re doing is trying to find the people most likely to be interested in our products or services. Then, we let the human tendency to reciprocate when someone “compliments” us in some way – like following us on Twitter – come into play. It’s just natural to do it, especially if you seem to be part of the same community.

Knowing this, you’ll want to make sure your own Twitter profile is what it should be, considering you now understand what role it plays. Your profile, including your photo, should clearly indicate the value you contribute and who is most likely to benefit from it. This allows people to qualify themselves into your community of followers. And that’s why this list will be engaged when you carry through on the promise made by your profile.

Twitter for BusinessFor just 10 minutes a day, you can build a substantial network quickly.

Mike McCann

Business Development Builders

ICANN - Global Business CafeBusiness development is not difficult…far too many people just create unnecessary work for themselves and lower effectiveness. Here are four business development builders designed to create personal and business success:

Business development professionals listen to learn.

Business development personnel consciously train to present themselves to colleagues, employees, business associates and investors for the maximum business effectiveness. In all this training, though, business development specialists may forget how to listen. People have been shown to cherry-pick what they want to hear and conveniently disregard all else.

Common is the business development professional who comes away from an important meeting or event thinking that all went well when, in fact, others had no interest in what you were communicating.

To overcome this communication block, business development professionals can create open-ended questions to discover what other people are thinking. For example, “What do you think of ___” indicating whether the other person is a good prospect or not.

Business development personnel cannot please everyone.

You cannot achieve any level of success in business or personal life without attracting detractors. Don’t let these detractors pull you down. Consider your detractors’ context. Were negative remarks made by an insecure rival? A disgruntled customer?
Address legitimate issues, but otherwise don’t let detractors de-rail you from your goals. Seasoned business development professionals realize it’s impossible to be all things to all people. As soon as you try to please everyone, you’ll no longer have a business that is different enough to attract business.

Business development professionals create their own networks.

Instead of joining a wide variety of networking organizations, create your own. Start your own Meetup group or host a special event.

When you start your own networking group or host our own event, it’s a way that others see you as different in a positive way. Selling is not the key here, but initiating and facilitating an event that adds value for your prospects and customers.

Business development personnel take time off to rejuvenate.

There’s a feeling that successful business development personnel need to be working around the clock 24/7. That strategy may work for a short time, but not over the long haul.

Successful business development executives religiously take time off from work to relax and stay fresh. Not only is a routine of relaxation beneficial for one’s health, it’s beneficial for everyone in this person’s periphery. For maximum effectiveness, a business development professional needs to maintain “recharged batteries” in a discharging world.

GB-1-FishbowlBusiness development professionals listen and create…prospects and customers respond.

Mike McCann

Business Growth = Right Connections

Social WorldYou’re working hard to get noticed online and you’re barely scratching the surface. You notice another businessperson, doing no more work than you, getting lots and lots of “likes” and “comments.” What’s the difference?

Right Connections

Carefully cultivate online associations with bloggers and other “connections” to grow your business quickly. Making the right connections with key people on the Web who routinely get many “clicks” and “shares” is the key. Here are three steps and five helpful companies:

1. Find Content Similar to Yours Attracting Many Eyeballs

Make lists of content that is similar to yours. Participate with Realtime to find current trending topics in your area of interest. You can think of Realtime as a hybrid between Google’s search engine and Twitter’s trending topics.

Searching with Realtime will give you a list of all related posts ordered by number of clicks per minute. Take a close look at famous blogs in your niche and note their leader (along with contact information).

Topsy is another great tool for finding trending posts on any topic. Topsy analyzes huge numbers of tweets for popularity and relevance to your search request.

SlideShare has a rolling banner for each of the major social Web sites showing what’s currently “hot.”

SeoGadget’s Content Strategy Generator Tool (CSGT) minimizes the time it takes to generate ideas for new content. CSGT allows you to search for content related to any phrase on a large list of news sites, social media sites…

GroupHigh speeds up your search for influential Web associations by allowing you to easily search and sort through millions of active blogs

2. Find Who Likes to Share Content Similar to Yours

Go to and analyze who is shortening links similar to your content. Dig deep on this analysis to make a list of who shares the highest number of tweets, “likes”…you name it…and details of their post to build rapport later.

3. Ask Your List of Key Social People to Share Your Post

Be sure to get in touch with people before you message them. The easiest way to reach out is to leave a comment on their blog…attempting to create a “connection.”

Keep comments and messages short and to-the-point. Ask the person to “share” your information (along with your contact information) with their group.

Social CirclesBusiness growth requires making the right connections. These resources offer a systematic program to identify like-minded professionals to increase your network quickly and efficiently.

Mike McCann

Business Development Via YouTube

Business Development via YouTubeVideo is in! So is business development for your business. Here are seven ways to use YouTube to build your business:

1) Brand yourself as an online personality and establish a following. Demonstrate products or services and speak directly to your audience worldwide.

2) Share information and how-to information. Prospects and customers can tune in to learn how to use your product or service.

3) Introduce a new service or product and direct viewers to your website.

4) Show video footage of business presentations you’re facilitating establishing you as an expert.

5) Share information on your company’s and your backgrounds to come across as more “human.”

6) Encourage viewers to take specific action (“call to action”) such as a “like” of your video, subscribing to your YouTube channel, ordering your product or service…

7) Share highlights of an event that is relevant to your prospects and customers.

Lily Tomlin Uses YouTubeBusiness development using YouTube need not be cumbersome. Keep videos short (15 seconds to 3 minutes) to “wet” your viewers business appetite and your business will grow.

Mike McCann

Business Development?

Business PresentationBusiness development is bandied about so much nowadays that I want to get to a “down-home” definition of a “business developer.” Frankly, I’m tired of seeing and hearing all these high-brow job descriptions of a business developer…results matter.

Let’s acknowledge business developers use CRM, A/B splits and other technical techniques to analyze as best as possible who to spend resources on. What, exactly, is a business developer supposed to do during a “routine” day to increase business?

The business developer, to me, is responsible for identifying viable markets for the products or services they are selling. Business developers strategize with other relevant people in his/her company to figure how to get their company message in front of decision making prospects to get these prospects to “get off the fence” and buy. Examples of getting the company message in front of prospects include:

* Social meeting online (especially using groups)
* Personalized business letters to senior-level executive prospects
* Hospitality suite at trade shows where prospects frequent
* Professional e-newsletter to prospects with useful industry information

Once the business developer starts programs to develop business relationships with prospects (and customers), he/she begins to analyze how well different methods of communication (four examples above) are working.

Business development is a constant educated “try this, see if it works.” “If it works, keep it and discard whatever effort doesn’t work.”

Success in business development comes from training and experience over a number of years. There is no substitute for successful experiences because a business development person is handling two valuable resources: money and people.

Business developer making presentationKeep business development simple. Gain experience and build successes.

Mike McCann

“Thank You”

GBC - Thank YouHow many times have you been the recipient of “thank you” from someone to whom you gave your business? Chances are, not often enough. Continue reading

Authenticity in Business Development

They are everywhere: fakes in business clothing. Long-term business relationships depend on authenticity.Authenticity Continue reading

Breaking the Business Development Barrier

Business DevelopmentI have just completed what seems like an exhaustive search on “business development” on the Web and, frankly, bored to sleep. All I see are the same old offerings and a parade of government agencies promoting the same resources. Give me a touch of humanity, please! Continue reading

Business Development Begins with Planning Your Target Market

connecting with key decision makersEffective business development starts with strategizing who is the most apt to buy your product or service. Here are 10 points to consider when creating your business development system:

1. Who would pay for my product or service?
What problem does your product or service solve. Use this information to help create your business development system. To start, use Google’s keyword tool to see how many people are searching for words related to your product or service. Continue reading

WordPress Plugins to Encourage Business Development

GBCPluginWordPress is one of the easiest and most aesthetic ways to create a Web presence for business development. Here are 24 plugins to consider for making your WordPress site worthwhile for encouraging business development:

…Many great features you can utilize for business development, including displaying site analytics, creating photo galleries and even spell checking your copy. Continue reading

“Screencasting” for More Business

ScreencastingTrainers often use a screencast, or snapshot of what’s happening on a computer screen. Business development professionals can also use screencasts to create an interactive business presentation for a product or service to recipients anywhere in the world. Continue reading

Unlocking Customer Feedback for Business Development

Time for FeedbackLong-term business development depends on knowing what customers and prospects think about your company through interactive customer feedback. These 10 customer feedback services tell you what visitors to your website like and don’t like about the online experience you’re providing…giving you the power to quickly adjust your offering. Continue reading

The Right Font Will Grow Your Revenues

From blog articles to a homepage on a website, the “look” of your words can be more important than what the words actually mean. Fonts we see create emotional responses. If you choose a font matching your business purpose, your revenues will grow through “connecting” with your reader. Here are five font services worth a look. Continue reading