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The B2B business development keepers of 2020


2020 was a year that we will not forget. Many will want to try and confine it to memory and move on. However, before we do, there really are some things that all B2B firms should keep from 2020 in their marketing and business development plans of the future, writes Claire Rason of Client Talk


2020 was a year that we will not forget. Many will want to try and confine it to memory and move on. However, before we do, there really are some things that all B2B firms should keep from 2020 in their marketing and business development plans of the future.


No 1 – Listening


2020 was the year business listened.


For some this was true pre-2020, but there seems to have been a universal acceptance this year that we need to listen more deeply and more honestly. To clients. To employees. To other stakeholders. In a business development context, listening can help move us from know, to like, to trust, with our target market.


It has been said that hard times call for soft skills and active listening seems to have been at the top of many firms’ lists of where to start. We believe all times call for soft skills, which is why this is a keeper.


No 2 – LinkedIn


This is not something that landed in 2020, but this year does seem to have been the one where LinkedIn has come into its own. Gone are the days when LinkedIn was merely a place to find a job, or perhaps connect with clients and contacts. Interaction on LinkedIn has moved beyond posting business updates and shouting about the latest industry award that a firm has won.


2020 generated an authenticity on social media that was not there


before. Yes, some have struggled, but many have embraced it whole- heartedly. LinkedIn is more than just an online CV now. LinkedIn has become a place to network, and not just with people you know. It has become a space where you can reach out for virtual coffees or where you can create links that strengthen and enrich your brand.


We hope this newfound love for LinkedIn is one of the keepers. All firms should have a social media strategy in place for 2021.


No 3 – Collaborations


2020 was the year we realised we grew stronger together.


There have been so many collaborations that we have seen that empower and delight. Burger King encouraging people to buy a Big Mac? Okay, so perhaps there has not been anything quite so extreme in professional services or B2B arena. Notwithstanding, from cross-over podcasts, through to joint webinars, examples abound.


Collaborations for us are a keeper. No 4 – Fun


2020 has not been much fun. However, there has been a recognition of how important fun is. Many firms have embraced fun in 2020. Whether that be by creating shared experiences online, involving family members, or trying to make interactions entertaining. Having a strategy to maintain the fun was important in business development in 2020.


We believe that keeping an element of fun in business development is a keeper from 2020.


No 5 – Authenticity


Everyone is just a little bit more human. Cats on laps, were accompanied by children on Zoom. The virtual backgrounds in March, gave way to paintings and vases of flowers come May. Ties and suits morphed over time into jumpers and slippers.


Everyone is just a little bit more human. Let’s hope that is the biggest keeper of them all.


Claire Rason


Claire Rason is the founder of Client Talk, a firm which helps professional services firms grow.


To find out more visit: clienttalk.co.uk


If you’d like to join Rason and an expert panel as they explore which firms are ripping up the rule book, then you can take part in her latest webinar on the January 26.


Book here – fun guaranteed.


8


businessmag.co.uk


THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE – JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021


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