How business development crosses industry borders
When I worked in TV advertising, an important aspect of providing a 360 service involved delivering timely, tailored ‘calls to action’ with clients in order to win their future business. All the award winning work delivering advertising campaigns across TV and digital was pursued with vigour, yet there was a sense that more could be done. This is often the case in ambitious sales and business development teams, where focus is reserved for the ongoing development of future business with multiple stakeholders and clients.
Moving into recruitment threw up a number of questions for me ahead of joining the Marketing Practice at VMAGROUP; the main one being a question over being able to leverage my business development skills from media advertising in a completely different industry. Securing incremental revenue through selling the Gogglebox Platinum special to Microsoft is a world away from signing terms with a new client as a specialist resourcing partner. However I was delighted to find many commonalities across both areas. What I discovered hones in on the importance of having a truly consultative approach with both clients, candidates or any business partner. With aspirations to build on the wins of yesterday, I share below my cross-industry cornerstones of effective business development;
Balance needs with seeds
Listening to the needs of a potential client and offering a solution that could manifest as part of a long-term vision can be enticing from a service perspective. It not only demonstrates you care about the particulars of a client’s situation, but it also embues standout values of collaboration, ambition and partnership for the long-term. Managing expectations adds trust, and provides balanced, pressure-free timescales for a client to consider the real value of your proposition. Focusing on the alleviation of pressure points helps to differentiate you from those who overpromise and underdeliver.
Tailor the growth
Managing the needs of multiple clients at one time can be challenging as their needs may be at different stages. Ultimately, being adaptable and dexterous in your communication style can build rapport as well as assist in generating organic ideas. Within advertising, adopting a customisation or personalisation approach is great for strengthening engagement with an audience in a more powerful way, which is also the psychology involved in providing a specialist recruitment service. Being bespoke in your approach adds further specialist value within the development of your business partnerships. Maintaining close, tailored business relationships can be beneficial in the wider sense. For example, if a candidate becomes a client who is seeking to expand their team, any inherited good-will could potentially manifest into future business.
Harvest our investment
If something goes wrong or stalls, be frank and direct with all handlings. Treat each client with the respect and attention you would like to receive. If this is not upheld, the development of your partnership and potential for future projects is impacted negatively and can kill any budding sense of good-will. Showing due diligence like this should not be underestimated, and can go a surprisingly long way to preserving early crops in the event of an unforseen business storm.
Taste the fruits
Needless to say, deliver what was promised. Upon completion, celebrate the successes and enjoy a sweet slice of social time with business partners. There is a very special sense of teamwork and camaraderie that develops when you achieve success with a client you get to know well. A realisation dawns on all parties that whilst your day to day duties and responsibilities are a world apart, you were both capable of building an effective fruitful relationsphip – whether you were the one presenting a knockout candidate or the one choosing to partner with a specialist recruitment company like VMAGROUP! Committing to opportunities like this helps to get to know the individual behind the job title and this brings that tantalizing horizon of your next joint success ever closer!