Business development: The basics still apply
We've spent a lot of time here recently talking about change -- burdensome new regulations, overwhelming complexity, the overall rate of change, the so-called "new normal."
It's comforting to know, though, that some things never change.
I sat down recently with Business Learning Institute Senior Fellow Greg Conderacci to talk about business development. Surely, I surmised, in this toxic environment of change and uncertainty, the ways in which CPAs and other leaders build their businesses have changed as well, right?
In fact, says Conderacci, the stuff that worked in the past still works today. Don't just sell yourself. Get to know your clients -- really know them. Figure out what they need, then figure out a way to meet those needs.
"The most important thing CPAs need to do is be genuinely curious about everything that's happening with their clients," Conderacci said. "The truth is, we probably provide solutions for more needs than we know. If we don't ask our clients what they need and make an effort to understand the client's business really, really well, chances are the solutions we think are meeting those needs might not be working.
"Also," he added, "if you ask and understand their needs really well, you have more of an opportunity to sell other services because you've asked and you understand, you've exposed needs -- perhaps needs the clients didn't even know they had. You are highly credible when it comes to offering solutions to those needs. If you don't ask about their needs and you just try to push solutions, it's going to be an uphill battle."
Ask what they need and provide it. What could simpler ... or more difficult? Heck, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
Listen to what Greg has to say about business development in its entirety in this MACPA interview.
How are you meeting your clients' needs? Let us know, then check out these related BLI programs:
- Find a Need and Fill It: Your Key to Business Development
- At the Helm in the Storm: Seven Survival Strategies for Leaders in Turbulent Times
- Champions of Trust
- Distinctions Between Marketing and Business Development
- Selling for CPAs: Using Your Problem-Solving Skills to Promote Profitable Business Growth
- Turning Trust into Value: Business Development Boot Camp