If you are like most professionals, you didn’t get into the business to sell your services, but to perform them. Yet your career success is dependent on finding new clients for whom you can do your work. Here is a simple tool you can use to coordinate, prioritize and align your activities to get the maximum benefit from your new business efforts.
Begin by creating the tool. Draw a 4-box matrix and label across the top as Inside and Outside, and down the left as Passive and Active. That’s the matrix. Now go to your calendar, identify the business development activities you have planned for the week and populate the matrix. Here are some examples of what you might have and in what box they would fall.
1. Inside-passive: wait for the phone to ring or someone to stop by. “I’ll hope my work and reputation are enough. In the meantime, I’ll work on what I have until someone contacts me.” As you can imagine, this is the least likely to get any results. Using the goal of being efficient while you wait is pretty lame. Yet how easy is it to fall into this quadrant?
2. Inside-active: make phone calls or send emails to connect with your contacts and prospects. While this is a good first step, it is insufficient by itself. There will always be an outside-active follow up required.
3. Outside-passive: put yourself in the right places. Just being out and meeting new people is important. While attending the right functions, you can observe, collect information and be seen. If you do this consistently with the same gatherings, you become familiar and known—both important.
4. Outside-active: cause action where your prospects are. Speak at meetings, present at conferences, write for niche newsletters and serve on an association committee or board are ways to meet people who should know you. This is the most effective and efficient way to stimulate movement. It’s also requires to most thought and effort.
So how balanced are you? Are you more passive than active? Are you more inside than outside? What should you do more of? Less of? Add and edit as necessary. Using this tool over time, you will generate all the business you need.