How to build a business development engagement strategy | Part 1
In our last edition, we spoke all about the pieces you need to build a business development engagement strategy.
So, how can you elevate each part and get better at it each day?
We’ve broken it down and given you two tips for each part of the strategy so you can consistently improve.
Set yourself a daily goal of how many business development calls you’d like to make – think of these as connected calls to a hiring manager where you discuss potential partnerships.
They don’t have to result in winning a role, but it’s instead being one step closer to building that relationship in the business development process.
Make doing the thing, the thing.
Focusing on the process and detaching from the outcome will enable you to win.
A quote we love from a guy call Alex Hormozi to remind you of this is, ‘Reminder to make “doing the thing” the goal, not “what you get” from doing the thing.’
Define what constitutes a “good” business development call.
This can be difficult to do as we are often taught that a successful business development call must result in winning a role (We’re not a fan of this)
But there can be different types of business development calls that can be equally as successful.
You need to define what that looks like for you so you can measure your performance and ensure that you’re keeping yourself accountable to your BD goals.
For example, you could agree that a good business development call results in a follow-up.
This could be a secondary call, a meeting, or an introduction to someone else within the business who is hiring.
Top Tip: Pre-plan your call sessions, so your blocked-out time for calling is only spent on calling. Go into this time equipped with talking tracks, scripts & credible questions.
Attend one event a month. It could be an event you host yourself, a networking lunch or something related to your vertical. The amount that you’ll learn and the amount of market insight and understanding you’ll develop will enable you to be even better at business development.
Set a goal of how many new introductions you’d like to make.
Whether this is through current clients and candidates or through market mapping and learning the ins and outs of an organisation, introductions and building new connections are always easier when you have a mutual individual in your network to facilitate this.
You should also utilise your colleagues and their network so you can cross-sell – this way, everybody benefits.
Top Tip: If you want to accelerate your networking-building skills, aim to connect at least 1-3 people in your network with other people in your network who you think could benefit from the connection.
Be remembered as the recruiter who made an amazing industry connection that they may have never made on their own.
Define what constitutes a “good” discovery meeting.
Ultimately, discovery meetings aren’t always going to result in roles – if they do, that’s great, but the whole point is that a discovery meeting is still fairly early on in the business development process.
Instead, focus on what your core goals are at the current stage you’re at in your recruitment career.
It could be that you want introductions to more hiring managers – so make that a key metric for your discovery meetings.
Or, it could be that you want to learn if they have a specific challenge that you know one of their competitors have had which you helped them solve so you can sell a specific solution in line with their problems, for example, retainers or exclusive partnerships.
Always end with an action.
It can be easy to book a ton of discovery meetings and feel productive, especially if you’ve hit the goal in your head of what constitutes a good discovery meeting.
But, you must ensure that each meeting ends with an action.
What is the follow-up? Who is going to do it?
Try and ensure that you have an action but the client/candidate also does to test commitment and accountability.
Top Tip: Again at this stage, make planning your best friend.
Work out what your power questions are & make sure you go into every single one of these conversations armed with your power questions.
The ultimate goal?
Have the potential client say ‘I have never been asked this question before or what a great question’ (Taken from Amber Penrose’s podcast)
Showcase your credibility with your questioning.
Start small but stay consistent.
For those who have been subscribed to Limitless Learning for a while will know the journey that I’ve been on with personal branding.
My biggest piece of advice to make this successful as part of your BD strategy is to start small but stay consistent.
If you can only post twice a month to begin with – that’s fine. But, stick to it.
Recycle your content.
No one is expecting you to be a TED talk pro and create endless videos, impressive monologues and push out visual content 2-3 times a week.
Recycle your content – and lean on what othres in the market are talkin about or what is on the news as inspiration.
Even if you’re sharing an article you read on your commute in to work, it’s better than sharing nothing (remember, consistency is key).
Work smarter not harder with your personal branding techniques.
Top Tip: If you want to utilise content in your strategy, then we love the – I Saw This & Thought Of You Approach.
Taken from our recent live session with Mark Long.
When you see content that you think could be useful & valuable for someone you are trying to build a relationship with.
Use the simple I Saw This & Thought Of You approach with your outreach – it works a treat & will enable you to stand out.
Land and expand
Get others involved.
The whole concept of “land and expand” isn’t just to benefit you and your desk, it’s to benefit the whole business.
Two brains are better than one – so start your land and expand strategy with another consultant in another vertical who you know will be able to deliver and impress your client.
That way, you can tackle meetings and communications together, and really start to bring your land and expand strategy to life.
Ask for client feedback (so you can expand in a way that suits your client)
Expanding your relationship with a client relies heavily on feedback, dont just assume you know what the clients’ needs are.
Explain to them your intentions – that you want to grow the partnership.
How is this possible? What have you done well so far? What more can you do to ensure that you can expand in the future?
My biggest tip for offering a holistic service for your clients and candidates is making it personal to what their needs are.
And, the only way you’re going to be able to do this is by asking them.
Don’t just follow what is trending in the recruitment world – sit down with your key target market and find out how you can offer them a better service.
Whether it’s salary surveys or regular coffee catch-ups, or even looking at how you bill and partner with clients.
Define what your USP is.
Everybody is offering a holistic approach to recruitment – but what makes you stand out from the crowd? What are you specifically doing differently, and how is it going to benefit your clients and candidates?