Mind Your International Business Development

Managing Directors of No Fuss Group, Claire Snowden and Norma Foster share their top tips on how to scale up your business during this uncertain period.

We have been talking a great deal to busy exporters this year about the stress and anxieties they are dealing with. Most tell us that retaining and winning new business during Covid-19 is top of their list of stressors.

It’s clear that the more time you have available for business development, the more you can achieve. Time, however, is precious and in crisis situations you are probably being pulled in many different directions, and that means you will most likely have very little time for scaling up your business development activities.

Our clients and own experience show us that the following 3 steps we use to do business development the No Fuss way will stand you in good stead:

1. Prioritise with rigour

If you are serious about your business development, you need to do something every day to be productive. And that means every day. We recommend you spend half a day each week on business development as a minimum.

2. Profile your key target clients

Be absolutely clear about the type of clients that you will target and create written customer profiles for each of your core target client groups. Successful business development begins with putting yourself in your customers shoes and understanding their wants, needs and preferences.

Your marketing and communications will always be more successful when targeted at a particular niche. It should also be ultra-focused at helping clients to trust that you understand them, their sector and are putting their best interests at heart.

Ideally you will start targeting one key client group, which you have narrowed down from some review work on the last 3 years of your customer database.

Certainly, at the No Fuss Group, we have found that our marketing delivers more for us in direct proportion to the more targeted our marketing efforts are.

3. Communicate from the heart

Decide on the right tone and approach for your marketing and communications. The best rule of thumb is to ask yourself “How would I talk to these people if they were sat in front of me?” What messages will make the best impression on them?

We find that communications that express what you can do for your clients, not just telling them what you do or offer, will work the best. Focus on the benefits and value to your customers.

Allocate your time wisely so you can check in with yourself and be sure that you are not stressing yourself out. Be sure you are making good choices about when and how you are working to get optimum results and remain stress free. If you try and go for every single lead, then you will undoubtedly run out of steam more quickly than you anticipate.

In our recent webinar we suggested the following 6 Top Tips to keep you in the flow, firing and wiring on all cylinders:

  1. Look After Yourself
  2. Go Back to Basics – measure your baseline and be clear on where you are now
  3. Keep Your Head Up – revisit and adapt your strategy so you are clear on where you are going
  4. Know Your Customers
  5. Mind Your Language – communicate with your clients the way they prefer to be communicated with
  6. Prepare to Plan – fail to plan, plan to fail. Get your plan down in writing, keep it updated and hit your deadlines. And above all be realistic and take things step by step

Some simple advice and steps that we are confident will help bring you good results.