2012 sucked you say. You’re working harder for smaller projects that take longer to close. Well welcome to the new normal. Let’s make 2013 different…better!
Make no mistake about it, regardless of who gets elected, the business economy will not turnaround quickly. Yes it is showing signs of improvement and will get better still but quickly, well, not so much.
So how to plan for 2013? These ideas might be self-evident but if you haven’t started yet or haven’t committed to doing these things consistently, then success might just be a little more difficult to come by.
Prospect smarter. Yes prospect proactively. If you have a newsletter they will come. Not. If you engage in social media they will come. Not. Sure demand generation is important but reactive is not the stance to take when things are tough. You need to be proactive and that means exploring how direct marketing, targeted email marketing, telemarketing, networking and other direct forms of reaching out to prospects can play a part in your business development efforts. And while you’re at it, set a prospecting goal. Quantify everything.
Network strategically. Oh my yes, networking is all the rage and folks are out and about morning, noon and night, shaking hands, exchanging cards, smiling, meeting and doing it all without a true networking plan of attack. Before you venture out, before you join groups, reflect on the following:
- Will the types of prospects and/or referral sources that I wish to meet attend this type of meeting or event?
- Does the group have a good track record of success?
- Does this group meet my personal networking style (i.e. rigid, highly flexible, expensive, no fee, etc.)
Face it, not every networking environment may good for your unique situation.
And remember if you want to meet “C” level executives in mid to large sized companies, you have to network in in an entirely different manner than if you wish to meet business owners and referral sources for smaller companies.
Clarify your points of differentiation. It’s tough out there and the world has become highly competitive. If you haven’t developed your points of differentiation it is quite possible that your competitors will soon be eating your lunch. Note that I did not say what makes you better. No, it’s what makes you different. (And of course these points of differentiation must equate to an improvement in your prospect’s situation.
Start with these simple steps and remember to do them consistently and exquisitely. I’ll be continuing with these pointers but the key is to start NOW. 2013 is coming up fast.