By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.
“We’re up 22% so far this year, and….it’s all about our new business development skills and activities….that we’ve learned” ….Business Development Director’s Peer Group Member
Our Agenda for our Business Development Director’s Peer Group -- over two days --- was full……..several attendee said it was, “loaded”.
My opening comments on the 1st day focused on:
1. Lack of Delegation --- our industry does not teach… or practice this executive skill, and so many organizations remain smaller than they should --- in fact, there’s a profound, pervasive industry practice of…. “delegating up to senior management”.
2. What do you think is in place…. and correct….that possibly isn’t…..? Examples were given of companies that didn’t check several basics --- and paid an unnecessary economic price.
3. Business Development Leadership --- Is it THE Organizational Priority...and…. does it include (Time was devoted to each of the following):
1. Research Skills…
2. Relentless Education & Training
3. Contacting Neglected Customers
4. Developing Your Inside Sales Team
5. Trade Show Opportunities
6. Measuring and Posting Results
8. Quote Log Management
9. Effective follow-up of Quotes – for Winning More Work
10. Production Team Relationship Development --- Before You Need It
11. Self-Promotion – Focusing on Customer Content, and not the Supplier
- Every Month
- Current Customers
- Target Prospects
- Internal Personnel
12. Buyer Turnover Program Development
13. Multiple Buying Points at Major Customers --- Too Often Neglected
14. Supplier Development – for doubling your profitability
15. Recruitment --- (how and when) --- especially for CSR’s and Sales Reps
16. USPS Regulations
17. Web-to-Print Opportunities
18. Why develop your “Creative Department’s Profit Center”
20. Storage & Fulfillment
21. Periodic Business Reviews
22. Association of Fundraising Professionals --- for Digital Imaging and Fundraising
23. Developing Appointments --- how and why
25. Wideformat Programs
Like any strategic leadership skill, “Business Development” can be exhausting…. for your Leader…….That condition makes “Renewal and Updating”….all that more important.
In too many organizations, “Business Development” is acknowledged as THE corporate priority, but receives neither the time nor effort from senior management --- the top company priority --- deserves.
Why did I reveal all the above…especially when associations are in the midst of their annual Print Awards?
I’m still somewhat of an idealist --- still believing that we can elevate the standards our associations hold themselves to --- for improving their membership’s financial performance.
That’s why we selectively invite folks to experience our CEO…Plant Management..and..Business Development Director Peer Groups --- one invitation at a time……and as one recent attendee --- an Alpha Graphics Franchisee from Texas volunteered after his 1st Meeting…..”I came away with far more than I imagined possible……that I can use immediately..…and I’ll be there next meeting……in July.... in Oregon.” (And that Meeting’s Agenda --- is already --- in motion.)
“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” ……….Pablo Picasso