Fly with the Eagles BD Panel: 18 Tips for Your Firm in 2018

By Jessie Duford, GRAEF, Guest Blogger

Local industry minds shared their top tips at January’s SMPS Wisconsin Business Development Panel, “Fly with the Eagles”. John Ferguson, Kahler Slater, moderated the panel which included: Dan Sisel, Berengaria; Kate Mullaney, HGA; Logan Dawson, Milwaukee7; Matt Dorner, Downtown BID. Here are 18 key take-aways from the panel:

  1. Cross-train: Conquer and master what you were hired to do. Then follow through with cross training to be technically knowledgeable in your work.
  2. On Brand, On Time: Establish strong and concise branded proposal templates to speed up your RFP turnaround time.
  3. Revisit Your Strategy: Come back to your value propositions in every go/no-go decision.
  4. Resist “Shiny Objects”: They take up your time, money, and stray from your business plan.
  5. Narrow Your Focus: Look at how your work fits with your clients’ needs.
  6. Know Before You Go: Walk into networking events knowing specifically with whom you want to invest your time.
  7. Quality vs. Quantity: A network is a living thing that needs care, follow up, and follow through.
  8. Don’t Love Them & Leave Them: Build a softer transition between nurturing a relationship to win work and after the work is won.
  9. There Cannot Be Only One: Build client relationships within multiple levels within your firm for deeper, lasting connections.
  10. Curate Compelling Content: Focus RFP narrative content to bridge specific client needs with your value proposition.
  11. Draw Empirically Pretty Pictures: Empirical data is vital to clients; develop gra­phically appealing proposals that empirically prove how you can impact the client’s bottom line.
  12. Focus On Impact: The best work samples hone in on the end product and how it benefited your client.
  13. Tell, Show Do: Quantify your value to the client.
  14. Make The Short List: RFPs come from deep, entrenched relationships.
  15. Initiate Thought Leadership: Get in the spotlight and share your knowledge through speaking opportunities to your key audiences.
  16. Market Research: Put energy into knowing your future client’s needs and challenges they face.
  17. Be THE Expert: Clients look to firms for expertise that will elevate their (client) work in their market.
  18. Google Yourself: Invest time into content beyond your website. Get names throughout your firm to pop-up with thought leadership articles, awards announcements, etc. to associate your firm with staff who know their stuff.
  19. Project Trend Impact: Look at trends shaping the industry, how they will affect your clients, and how you will be a key player to provide services.

The Author

Guest Blogger

SMPS Wisconsin invites members, program speakers and sponsors to author articles on our website. If you are interested in writing a blog, please contact  Patti Rohde, SMPS Wisconsin Vice President.
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