The 21 Common Sense Business Development Truths are points of business truths coined from the book “Financial Times Guides: Business Development – How to Win Profitable Customers and Clients” by Ian Cooper.
These down-to-earth truths, as Ian has coined, offer much wisdom on how to develop your business, whether you’re just planning to start out or you’re already running in traction.
The 21 truths in it’s entirety are titled as follows:
- Focus your efforts on turning your enquiries into business and not just on generating leads.
- Exceed customer or client expectations.
- Speak to potential customers or clients … and speak to them nicely.
- Be open for business.
- Don’t let your admin get in the way.
- There’s no job more important than helping customers or clients part with their cash!
- Don’t let technology get in the way.
- Quality and word-of-mouth count for everything.
- Actively strive for consistency.
- Recruitment is part of business development.
- Keep in touch with your existing and past customer and clients.
- Master social online media.
- Test your ideas, concepts, and prices.
- Plan, but keep things simple.
- Take complaints seriously,.
- Make your customer or client environment appropriate.
- Train your people to spot opportunities.
- Get out of your office or premises and mix and mingle.
- Find a niche and specialise.
- Model what works best.
- Be squeaky clean – you need to be trusted.
These truths pack a lot of punch. Without getting into the nitty gritty of things (I advise to read the book for details), I will summarize them into five points:
- Customers first. Your business exist for your customers. As much as possible, exceed their expectations. Ask their feedback. Take their complaints seriously. Talk to them and build your relationship. Make their life better and easier.
- Goals over processes. It is harmful to get short-sighted by focusing on the processes and procedures without thinking long-term and asking the following questions: What is our business here for? What do we value? What are our goals?
- Test your ideas, concepts, and prices. “Business is not, as some think, about taking wild risks. It is about making sensible and sound judgments based on information that is usually available. Test as much as you can, so you have as much information as possible. In this way any risks you take are calculated ones, which then ‘stack the odds’ in your favour.”
- Model what works, but find a niche and specialize! “If something has been consistently successful in the past, there is a reason for it.” At the same time, it is being different that makes businesses stand out.
- Build trust. I’ve built Progressia with zero financial capital, instead I built it all just on the economy of trust. Be clean. Have strong values. Be honest. Be a person of utmost integrity. In the smallest of things, realize that it’s an opportunity to practice your character. And then you will attract people who will want to help you succeed and do business with you.