First of all, allow me to clarify what I mean by the term ‘business development’. Business development means the act of participating in actions that will help grow the business. In simple terms then yes would be the answer.
But why do so many financial advisers not actively business develop?
The following answers may surprise you:
1. I don’t have time to business develop
2. Business development is a sales role, and I’m not in sales
3. We get all our new clients through existing clients
4. We wouldn’t know where to start
5. I don’t need any more work at the moment
When we look at advice businesses that are growing a large percentage of them, use the act of business development to help that growth. Whether your advice business is small, medium or large, I would suggest that everyone needs to have a business developer within the company.
7 Benefits of business development
The benefits are vast. However, I have listed the top 7 below:
1. Makes the business more visible
2. Helps create a reputation for the business
3. Informs others that you are open to introductions [new clients]
4. Expands your networks
5. Expands your thinking
6. Starts to position you as a thought leader
7. Leads to increased revenue and more value
7 Tactics you can implement.
Firstly I would recommend you have a strategy. What is the aim of your business development, what do you want to achieve, what is your message etc.?
Here are 7 business development activities for you to consider or perhaps share amongst the team:
1. Attend ‘outside’ industry events. Attend at least one new event each month. An event where you won’t meet other advisers.
2. Target other organisations where your target client works. Propose some educational seminars/workshops that you could hold to bring their employees up to speed with all things financial – related to them of course.
3. Use content marketing to create your reputation and visibility. Commit, share and build your online audience.
4. Consider developing professional groups where other professionals come and network – this can be online or offline.
5. Develop a ‘call register’ to stay top of mind with all strategic business partners.
6. Develop some key sponsorship relationships that support your brand value and attend the events.
7. Participate in some research – look at partnering with another organisation to complete it. Develop the research paper and attend presentations where you talk about the findings.
Business development should undoubtedly be part of your overall growth strategy; the question is, do you have one?