10 Techniques for Accelerating Business GrowthOctober 25, 2009
1. Build a team of avid supporters.
Develop the people who understand your business goals and support your success. Invest in them. Teach them how to talk to others about your work. Educate them on your products and services
2. Adapt and integrate your products and services with multiple contexts.
Find unique combinations that are attractive to clients. If you are an expert in team-building, combine it with leadership and focus your efforts on the senior teams of organizations. If you are a graphic designer, integrate it with strategy and begin offering consulting in strategic graphic design. Work to match the heart of the market, designing new combinations that meet new needs.
3. Distribute easy-to-understand, teaching-tools.
Change your marketing mindset from promotional materials to tools. Instead of business flyers, create instruments your clients can put to work that express your unique style. If you have a client that is designing a special event to launch a new product, create and put an event design template in their hands that bears your brand.
4. Build a web of thinking partners.
Find people who understand what you are trying to do and have the professional experience and expertise to help you develop your activities. Go to them with your ideas and challenges. Engage them and reward them. Activate their intelligence on your behalf. Run new ideas past them, vet your inspirations, ask for their creativity. (Make sure they can tell others about what you do – always educate your team on how to represent you. #1 above)
5. Become expert in efficient and effective communication.
Learn how to write, speak, and think on your feet. Practice and role play. It is your job to express your value – build that skill. Start a blog, write a book. Create opportunities to speak extemporaneously about your work, such as at social events. Deliver presentations, too. Be ready to discuss your work and the value you provide whenever it comes up. Use media tools like email to disseminate relevant news immediately to everyone who is interested.
6. Choose a network over a hub-and-spoke relationship model.
Make it easy for your supporters to reach each other without going through you. Introduce them to each other. Take two of them out for lunch. Hold symposiums that attract them in numbers. Provide those who show up with email addresses, telephone numbers and everything that allows them to initiate collaboration on their own.Empower your supporters to move out and spread news about you and your work on their own.
7. Follow enthusiasm and commitment.
Go where there’s energy and excitement. Take time for people who are dedicated and supportive. Blow their coals into fire. Whenever there is excitement in the air over anything you are doing or engaging you, have patience for half-baked ideas. Get in their and help cook the initiative – make it a collaboration.
8. Provide as much face-time as possible.
Bring people to get together. Meet clients in their office, take them out for drinks, stop by to buy a cup of coffee. Showing up is one of the biggest secrets of success. The more we rely on electronic communication, the more valuable facetime becomes. Use it well.
9. Create time in your day to talk to customers and potential clients.
Don’t become so overloaded with tasks that you can’t have a conversation. Remember dialogue is the basic building block of engagement. Talk about topics that matter. Learn how to steer conversations so you don’t get waylaid. Speak graciously, efficiently, to-the-point. Establish yourself as an expert conversant, someone people look forward to interacting with.
10. Demonstrate your value, then explicitly offer to follow up.
“I can do that. I did that with a client just last month. Here’s how it went… I would be happy to stop by your office and show you how I can do that for you. Would you like to schedule a time this week?” This is a must. Build your ability to verbalize how you make a difference, then follow up with an offer. You alone are responsible for opening the door and engaging work.