The art of marketing and business development (not)

csc ottawa
My final presentation as chair of the Ottawa Construction Specifications Canada chapter. Association participation has incredible value when you put the organization's interests ahead of your own.
mark giving a presentation
Speaking and presenting can be truly effective for marketing and business development

One of the most intriguing challenges for marketers and business developers (salespeople) is that you succeed the most when it seems you aren’t doing anything to win the business.

Of course, the “seems” is important — if you aren’t actually doing anything to win the business, then clearly you aren’t doing any marketing or more significantly, business development work.

However, the challenge is that the more overt it seems you are in shouting out or declaring your intentions to win the business, the more likely the potential client will head for the hills — anything to get away from you.

(There are exceptions to every rule and quite often, yes, it makes sense to be up front and outspoken in your “ask” — especially when there is an immediate, receptive and obvious need for your services.)

The challenge: Building and earning the trust for potential clients to ask you to do business or, more likely to be receptive at the right moment for the gentle nudge “ask” to work with you. To do this, you give the potential clients reasons to work with you because they truly trust you.

Client stories

If your really satisfied clients can tell their stories, either in words or even better in video, you’ll have a strong starting point, especially to the people for which the clients are important. This marketing will be far more effective than blowing your own horn.

Community and association service (genuine)

Genuine community and association service sends out all the right signals — to all the right people (if ?you of course engage with the correct community and association groups.) You are working on a common cause, and contributing and supporting a worthy ideal. You are friends and you share some similar values. Your foot is firmly in the door.

Speaking at association gatherings, lunch-and-learn events and conferences

Undeniably, this can be one of the most powerful approaches to capturing worthy leads and clients. Your speech should of course deliver value beyond a promotional pitch — and be directed to an audience which would find your services relevant.

These ideas don’t scream “I’m marketing or selling to you.” Instead, they focus on relationships, trust and trust-building, which of course, is the best way to build your marketing success potential

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