Business Development: What to do when Plan A doesn’t work...

We all know that Plan A will work because the plan is so awesome and couldn’t possibly fail right? WRONG!!

In business things change so quickly and you must be ready to change your plan and direction to best serve your clients.

I’m going to take you through my process for business development, so that if your 'plan A' doesn't work, you know what to try next. After all, the alphabet has 25 more letters:

And it begins. Your plan of attack. You have a hit list of companies you want to engage with and your product/service is so awesome they will be falling over themselves to buy it from you, right?

Back in the real world this doesn’t usually happen. You may well have a great product or service but it’s not going to be for everyone, and it almost certainly won’t be for everyone on that list at that particular time.

Calm down; don’t panic. If it’s not for the first person you call, it may be for the second, or even the 10,000th….

Don’t get disheartened, get to know people. Talk to them, find out about their business and what issues they face and how you could assist them to make is easier.

Embrace the rejections and make an effort with the people who are willing to talk with you to understand their needs. Your offerings may not be what they are looking for but what they will remember about you is that you took the time to listen and learn about them.

Find that common ground. Make friends. Arrange to go for a coffee; you may know someone else who could help them out. Be a good connection.

Go to business events, make more connections, make more friends, and generate more interest in your business. Shout about how awesome you are!!

Have the minerals to realise and admit when something isn’t working. Look at how you are approaching people and think about the responses you’re getting. Are you missing something?

In most cases you just need to regroup and look at alternative ways of doing business. Look at other industries, look at your competitors and make sure you look at yourself.

Just because Plan A didn’t work, let’s not give up. Don’t throw your toys out of your pram, you haven’t failed.

Keep the faith. New plans don’t just work over night. It takes time to find your place in the market and to build solid relationships with businesses.

Love what you do and believe in your business. If you don’t believe in your product or service then you won’t convince anyone else to love it!

Make more calls and send more emails (in accordance with the upcoming GDPR parameters obviously), go to more networking events and spread the word.

Network, network, network. Did I mention network? How will any of your plans work if people don’t hear about your business?

Open yourself up to new and exciting opportunities. You never know who you’re going to meet. There is a world of opportunities out there, so embrace every meeting or conversation with an open mind.

Prepare for great things and don’t get bogged down with disappointment. Great things will come if you stay positive. Make sure you’re prepared for that YES!

Quit being negative. If everyone gave up at the first hurdle there wouldn’t be a business community at all.

Resources are there. Make good use of them. Social media, email, mobile phones, business events. Get yourself out there. People don’t buy products, they buy people.

Step out of your comfort zone. Whenever you do this you open up even more possibilities. Fear stops so many people achieving great things, embrace the fear because you goal is on the other side of it.

Today is what counts. What you do today will shape your tomorrow. No one wants to do business with anyone who keeps putting things off. Show your customers how important their business is to you. Go the extra mile!!

Usp’s. What are yours? Be different; be yourself. No one else can be you. Your product or service is an extension of you and how you do business. Be the person people want to do business with.

Vision. Have it! Don’t lose sight of your goals. Keep the fire in your belly. Your passion will shine through when talking to people.

Widen your search for new and great opportunities.

X marks the spot. See an opportunity and run at it. No one is going to gift wrap it for you!!

Yesterday cannot be changed. Today is where the magic happens! Make today count.

Zero. The number of excuses you should use.

If you take anything away from this I hope that it’s the world of business is an ever changing thing, so be prepared to reinvent yourself and come up with new ideas. You can be whoever you want to be just have the courage to be different!

Nicola Mathias
Business Development Manager


About the author

Before joining RWA Nicola was a recruitment professional holding posts such as Senior Recruitment Consultant, Senior Account Manager and Senior Business Development Consultant.

Nicola joined the RWA team as Business Development Manager covering all areas of the business before moving into the role of IDD / T&C Scheme Specialist.

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