Business development – a secret method!

Expert AdviceEver found yourself in a position where you wish you had more client customers? Wish you could create targeted lists of businesses you know could be recruiting either now or soon? Especially over the past year or so there has been a decrease in new jobs. I have even heard rumours of a recession. Honestly, there have been some jobs – now that we are hearing stories of green shoots etc there is likely to be more. How do you know who is going to recruit?

Take a good look at all of the jobs you have dealt with over the past year. Have you always asked the classic “What’s the reason for the vacancy?” question? It is not always to replace someone, is it? Now, the more you think about it the more patterns you may see emerge. What is the underlying driver for recruitment in most cases? Change. Change creates unrest, change creates opportunity and change can create problems. Clearly we are there to solve those problems, settle the unrest and exploit those opportunities.

“But Recruitment Dad – how can I find businesses experiencing change? I can’t just type ‘businesses experiencing change’ into Google and shazam!”

Well let’s look at some common changes that businesses could experience:

  • Office relocation
  • New contract win
  • Site extension
  • New product launch
  • Merger
  • Acquisition
  • Systems implementation
  • Systems upgrade
  • Site expansion
  • Department expansion
  • Recent promotion for decision maker
  • Newly appointed decision maker
  • Redundancies
  • Industry awards
  • New customer wins

Imagine being able to produce a good quantity of calls to make every day that could start:

“I am aware that you have recently…” and insert one of the above change agents, then tag on a quality impact based question starting “What impact has that had on your department…”

Just with this list I have quickly produced I know it is now making you think of other examples. Perhaps it is also making you think about where you have seen these things in the past? Trade press, magazines, newspapers, forums, discussion groups, Linkedin (just think about that company page where it tells you the names of recent promotions and hires….) I know that many sales trainers talk about research and looking in papers and trade magazines. What they don’t talk about is what I am going to tell you about. A secret for finding new business, effectively.

I have two tried, tested and proven ways to do this quickly, easily and as even as part of your day to day job!

Ask candidates. Candidates are the customers who want to speak to us the most. Clients are too busy half the time to even acknowledge us and complain that we hound them with irrelevant unsolicited calls. Every candidate you speak to ask them “What changes have taken place where you are working over the past 12 months?” You may well find, as I did as a billing consultant, they would talk about the things on the above list. If they don’t, prompt them a little. Before you know it you will start to generate high quality sales calls for the next day from the candidates you are speaking to today.

Search the internet. Now I know there are more and more “internet search gurus” everyday, talking about finding passive candidates on Ebay and stuff – many of whom are standing on each others’ shoulders trying to come up with even more killer Boolean strings to pull a CV from the web. Very few are putting together sales planning search strings. This may even be so secret you have never seen this before. Given we all already know about reading the right publications to find out the news, why don’t we search for the press releases that generated the news in the first place? I read recently that only around 25% of press releases become press articles. What happens to the other 75%? They end up on companies websites on the page marked “news” or “press room” or similar. So let’s search those pages and find what we want in conjunction with the above change agents and a cheeky filetype search:

(filetype:doc | filetype:pdf) (“press release” | “news release”) (relocation | expansion | growth | “new product” | “product launch” | expansion | “sales growth” | “new appointment” | “contract win” | “recruitment drive” | acquisition | merger | “system implementation” | IPO | MBO | MBI | flotation) +distribution +uk

Although this is a longer search string than some of you may be used to, I trust you can see what I am looking for when you drop it into Google. 6080 results with +UK and 13,500 without. In both cases that is a lot of press releases. Yes, some of the results may be old; Use the “show options” tab and refine the date of release onto the web. Personally anything in the last 12 months will create a good reason for calling a client and could well yield business opportunities. Happy hunting!

2 Responses

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  1. Recruitment Dad, Check out Lead411. You can get a free alert on changes in the market. I’m a recruiter like you and it’s a good source for leads.
    Also, daily alerts from google, indeed, yahoo, etc… If there’s a target market it will provide needs they have.

    Bill Morgan
    The Job Swami Career Blog

    Bill Morgan 11 March 2010 at 6:31 pm Permalink
  2. Thanks for the heads up Bill – will take a look!

    RecruitmentDad 14 March 2010 at 8:01 pm Permalink

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