Surviving the Winter of Business Development: Nurture Relationships Until They Bloom

Posted by dscaringi on March 5, 2015

The past 6 weeks of winter have certainly been a difficult test for New Englanders. Basic things we were once able to do every day have now become quite difficult– two lane roads are now one lane, public transportation doesn’t run a typical schedule, ice damns are causing indoor floods and towering snow banks are causing blind spots that could unnerve an Indy driver.  All of this can certainly get you down.

But we can’t let it! According to the calendar, spring is only 16 days away and I see the signs despite the white landscape. The morning birds are singing, the trees are starting to get a reddish glow and the days are getting longer. We have no better choice but to power through and let nature take its course.

Sometime business development can feel like a long, hard winter that will never end. Even the best planned efforts can get side-railed by other distractions and difficulties. New business sometimes feels like it is buried under layers of competitors and reaching it seems impossible.  What to do?

STOP.  Yes.  Stop the downward spiral! Don’t get discouraged. Listen for the signs that people send when they trust and like you. Faithfully work at developing your relationships every day. Business will bloom if you persistently build meaningful relationships over time and ask for the work. Specifically, understand and prioritize your target audience, be yourself, offer help and build visibility. You will see the rewards if you consistently get out and make the effort to uncover new work.  Don’t give in to the excuses that cover your pathway–  shovel them aside and keep moving forward. Afterall, spring keeps coming back no matter what old man winter throws at us!  I promise you that.

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Relationship Appreciation: Recalibrating Marketing for the Holidays

Posted by dscaringi on December 17, 2014

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, many of us get stressed out… the feeling like we can’t keep up with the multiplying demands creeps in.  Specifically, I hear people stress over how to continue marketing efforts through this season. What can we do?  Balancing the end-of-year work commitments with the trips to the shopping mall isn’t always easy.

My suggestion… try recalibrating your outlook on marketing. Use the season as a time for reflection and giving. Focus on relationship appreciation this month and all will fall into place for the new year. Here is a short list of things to try:

  • Make phone calls to wish your key contacts a happy holiday.  Leave a detailed voicemail if they aren’t available.
  • Write personal notes and tell people that you value your relationship and look forward to working together more.
  • Have breakfast or lunch delivered to your top clients and referral sources.
  • Send out New Years cards between the week of Christmas and New Years.
  • Attend social holiday events and invite clients and peers to go with you.
  • Send a gift that recognizes your valued relationships.

Whatever you choose to do, always be sincere and helpful.  Part of being memorable is being real. Don’t let the holidays keep you from forwarding your goals. Relationships will always be the foundation of a successful business… so keep your outreach personalized and grateful.

Happy Holidays!

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“The Ask”… What you Need to Know in Order to Get Business

Posted by dscaringi on October 16, 2014

Asking for business can feel very daunting, sometimes unsavory, to some people.  The reality is, asking for business need not be so hard or uncomfortable.  Think of it as an extension of good service.  Here are a few things to consider the next time you feel weary about asking for work.

  • It’s not always about making the sale now.  Asking for work shouldn’t be the first thing you think about when you meet with a prospect.  Instead, think about how you may be the best solution, the most helpful and the most useful.
  • Building strong relationships are the foundation of your future.  Make sure that every time you ask for work, it furthers the relationship.  Everything you do should build value for the future.
  • Know your goal and how you will get there.  Clearly define actionable steps that will help you reach your client’s goals and you have already furthered your own success.
  • Keep your quick pitch in your pocket.  If you know your quick pitch cold, it will always be ready for you to use.
  • Uncover obstacles and brainstorm solutions before you encounter them. Anticipate delays for earning new business and work at removing them before they become a gating factor.
  • Be Yourself.  This may be the most important piece.  People hire people they like and trust.  Never give anyone a reason to distrust you.  Say what you mean and follow-up on your promises.

Asking for business may never be easy, but it can be more comfortable.  Build your relationships for the long haul and don’t be afraid to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

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