UPDATED ON 6/2/23:
We cannot overstate the importance of a strong business development strategy. Business development can absolutely make or break a business and maybe one of the biggest determining factors for its success.
That’s why it’s so important to invest time and research into doing it right. So we talked with Clancey Braxton Yohman and asked him for some of his most valuable tips for business development. Clancey Braxton Yohman has worked with countless businesses to create business development strategies and has experience in all industries across the board.
His experience and versatility are what attracted us to him and why we wanted to pick his brain. This is what Yohman had to say.
Research Your Competition
Know your enemy. This advice has rung true throughout time, whether in war or in business. There are many reasons to know what your competition is doing.
First of all, you should know what they bring to the table and ensure that you get something better, or at least different. Know their weak points and try to make those your strong points.
Look at mistakes that they’ve made, and avoid them for yourself. This step is crucial, as it will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
Clancey Braxton Yohman also emphasizes that it’s also important to know what makes you unique. So not only should you know your enemy’s weak points, but you should know your strong points.
Send out surveys and find out what your customers love about your business. Play into those strengths. You should also know your weaknesses.
While you don’t need to fix weaknesses entirely, you should analyze and think about which weaknesses need to be patched up and how much you should invest in patching them up. You don’t want to spend too much fixing a weak point that no one even cares about in the first place.
Think About Customers Longterm
Anyone can create a business and sell snake oil to their customers for a few months. However, those customers will not return, and word will spread like wildfire in today’s age.
Even if you don’t sell snake oil, it will be a death sentence if customers believe you do. Therefore, a strong business development strategy will emphasize customer care and customer success.
There are many advantages to creating happy customers, whether PR advantages or creating long-term value in customers.
Use the Numbers
Clancey Braxton Yohman believes heavily in numbers. Website analytics tells us everything we need to know about our customers and business.
Which products are they looking at the most? Which websites are they coming from? What methods are leading to sales? You can’t ignore the numbers, and you can’t go off of gut feelings.
Business loves the scientific method. So create a thesis, and test it. Use the numbers to determine if you were right or wrong, and you may be surprised by what you find.
Clancey Braxton Yohman has us look at a single customer. That customer has a question about a product or service and wants to call the company to ask about it.
The company they chose initially (yours) is not available for whatever reason. Maybe it’s late; perhaps it’s a weekend. So, the client does a Google search and finds someone else.
They’re available to talk, or have the answer on their website, so that customer buys their product. Unfortunately, this happens very often, and you need to avoid it by having a solid customer service plan built into your business development strategy.