Facebook Role in Business Development – The New Face of Business Marketing

Business and community since ancient times, have correlated on a common platform, which has given way to collaborations, conglomerates and the corporate. From old-time barter to trade, the link to business was through communities. Tapping the same potential in the internet world are social networking sites such as Facebook.

What is Facebook’s role in business development?

The internet has helped business to assume global dimensions in the initial stages itself. What would have traditionally cost a colossus in terms of over-the-sea advertising, or trans-border marketing has now become much cheaper, with the evolution of the internet technology. It is not only the cost effectiveness but also time-zone-transcendental phenomenon of the “I” power, which helps you remain ‘connected’ always.

Now with such a scenario presented in the internet space, social networking sites such as Facebook helps you connect to serve your business interests. With a user-base of more than 61 million, there is a wider reach to business-profiles, entrepreneurs (budding and established), whom you can reach through the site.

In a way, social networking sites can give a jumpstart to your business if you have the directions and pointers right, and such as the ones like Facebook, can play a strategic role in business development in length, breadth and depth.

The first step is that of creating a profile for your business. Before you go about launching your business profile on Facebook, you need to frame your key marketing strategies, as to what are the objectives you desire to achieve for your business, and the scope of your business performance and your business viability in the online medium of marketing. Once you have these parameters defined, you have the foundation of a business profile, which you can build by employing some of the custom tools in Facebook. Some apps can also be downloaded as according to your business requirement. When you have the framework ready, you need to establish links/contacts for this framework, so that your business community expands or links to other businesses. There are sophisticated features and advanced search criteria in Facebook through which you can search for business contacts or get in touch with hi-profile business people. As the key to expanding your Facebook base it is imperative to create a profile which is attractive, authentic and achieving. As the first impression to a prospective business partner or a customer, your business profile is the first window of opportunity within the community of Facebook users and outside the boundary of the site as well. Your profile can be projected as a business badge in other networking sites, blogs etc.

From being the ‘face’ of your business profile, Facebook role in business development can be substantiated through various apps such as MyBox, Business cards which can be downloaded from the site. Apart from these, features and tools such as creating events, or writing notes or announcements about strategic business developments will help in maximizing your business potential; by being a medium of advertising and a platform for joint-ventures with other business of common interests.

Facebook has features to list out priorities for your business. You could categorize your friends’ list as top friends, blog friends, with socialistic apps, interactive friends graph, and apps for free conference calls. In view of establishing a communication interface and therefrom a platform for interaction, association and partnership, Facebook’s role in business development is significant. Additionally, there are also RSS feeds and email alerts utilities which you can customize for your business purpose.

Business is all about brand building. The techniques and ethics you would employ in real-time scenarios namely credibility, authenticity, commitment, a die-hard passion for growth, ambition is what you would need to project in sites such as Facebook, with the apps and utilities available. You need to translate projections into performance and make trust a very much existent element, in the extensive yet vulnerable web medium.

Sales Management – Selling and Business Development in the 21st Century

The marketing components that used to generate leads — product, performance, promotion and price –are no longer effective. The tools for selling — lots of sales calls, lunches, golf and give-always — are expensive and inefficient. In the 21st century, selling and business development require the following:

* Prospecting Using the Internet
* Relationship Selling
* Network Selling and
* Investigative Selling.

Prospecting Using the Internet

Cold calling is dead. It’s not productive. It’s demoralizing. It’s expensive. Prospecting in the 21st century involves setting the stage for people and companies to find you so that you can solve their problems. Flaunting advertisements and brochures is also a waste. Everyone goes to the Internet these days to find solutions to their problems. Therefore, the successful sales person will have to know how to use the Internet to generate qualified leads. Corporations should have an Internet program, but territory and product-line sales people should have their own Internet marketing program as well. And it’s not about having a website, it’s much more. This is the passive side of prospecting. This means that sales and business development professionals must set up an aggressive Internet Marketing process for their territory or product so that the people they want to do business with will come to them.

Relationship Selling

The other 21st Century prospecting element is the active side of prospecting. This is where you use professional relationships to find out about problems or opportunities where you can assist. There are so many opportunities for a sales person or account manager to discover within their existing and old/lost accounts. Using professional relationships make this prospecting method effective and easy.

Sales and Business Development people with professional relationships are seen as a resource to protect or enhance buyers’ careers. These people will be open to give information and coach you for cross-sells into their business unit, associate divisions and/or other product lines. If you develop professional relationships, these people will give you qualified leads, buy more and more from you, and refer you to others.

Network Selling

However, one has to learn how to use these relationships to get networked to others. There are two focuses for successful selling in the 21 Century:

1. You must spread like a virus in your customers’ organizations. I use the phrase – move up and out.

2. You must get to the profit-center leaders, C-level executives, and senior staff of the business units you sell into and develop professional relationships with these people to effectively close sales, cross-sell and be seen as the preferred supplier. Hanging out with the subordinates will never secure your position with your customers.

The only way you’ll move up and out and connect with the leaders is by using your professional relationships to network you to others. People with whom you’ve developed credibility — your Golden Network as I call it — will help you if asked. But if they are not asked for a referral and introduction to others, they will rarely offer to connect you with the leaders and others you should be meeting. So you must ask for their help.

To make the networking process productive, what you ask for, how you ask for it, and where you look for help will make all the difference between getting to the right people and getting to useless people for your initiative. This process is Network Selling.

Investigative Selling

Once a sales or business development person connects with a person of value, using his or her network connection, the goal is to convert that individual into his or her Golden Network. In other words the sales or BD person will have to develop a professional relationship with this new contact.

People will consider another individual a professional relationship only if there is something in it for them. So a sales or BD person needs to investigate the critical drivers of their target contact in order to learn what this person values that s/he can deliver. Everyone is different and without knowing each individual’s triggers, a sales person will flounder or worst yet, become annoying. But if the sales person can make the connections between the desires and the deliverables, a relationship can be established, and then this new contact will continue networking you up and out until you are connected to the leaders and their staffs.

The process for determining one’s triggers is Investigative Selling. It requires knowing the questions to ask and how to ask them. Although this sounds simple, it requires finesse, skill and confidence. Investigative Selling also requires effective listening, and the ability to expose and entice. Both of these are advanced skills never taught in schools and rarely taught in product or sales training. So the successful sales or business development person will have to learn these Investigative Selling skills and be able to take them seamlessly to the street.

The sooner the sales or business development person masters these Internet Marketing, Relationships, Network and Investigative Selling Skills, the sooner sales will close and closing ratios rise.

The Key to Building a Successful Home-Based Business – Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset

A successful home-based business is something that many people dream about. With it, they can establish their own work schedule, be their own boss, and save thousands of dollars a year on commuting and other work expenses – not to mention avoiding all that traffic! But the problem these people commonly run into is that they lack the entrepreneurial mindset required to move forward with their business in spite of challenges. They give up when things go sour and they become upset when they fail to generate the kind of income they expected to right away. That’s a natural reaction, but the entrepreneurial mindset requires a reaction of a different sort – and it can significantly alter the outcome of your home-based business.

Entrepreneurs who are successful find that they don’t see problems as insurmountable difficulties. Instead, they see problems as opportunities to be fleshed out and challenges to meet and conquer. They like to think outside the box and to devise new and creative ways to overcome adversity. A successful home-based business is operated by someone who can implement these strategies – someone with an entrepreneurial mindset. When an entrepreneur encounters something that is not going his or her way, giving up is never an option. Changing course is possible, but only out of necessity after considering all the alternatives. According to the entrepreneurial mindset, no decisions are made out of fear, anxiety, or misplaced passion. An entrepreneurial mindset is a positive mindset; it emanates success thinking, and thus it attracts success in the greater world.

If you want to run a successful home-based business, developing an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial. Fortunately, you can train yourself to do this; i.e., it doesn’t have to be an innate characteristic of your personality. You simply need to commit to its development and promise yourself that you’ll never give up, as it won’t happen overnight. For any entrepreneur who is running a successful home-based business, you can be sure that it took time and patience to get there and that the journey was fraught with trial and error. The entrepreneurial mindset won’t make you immune to challenges, but it will show you how to turn these challenges into short-cuts to success.

Generally speaking, the entrepreneurial spirit comes in two different flavors-DIY and KISS. DIY of course stands for Do-It-Yourself, and refers to the entrepreneurial mindset that would rather build everything from scratch. If you do this successfully-think Bill Gates or Steven Jobs here-you can make a massive fortune. The sad reality is however that not everyone has the same drive to succeed as Gates or Jobs. (We all have the same potential for greatness-some of us just don’t use it as effectively as those guys did.)

The KISS approach (for Keep It Simple, Stupid) is generally much more appropriate for those of us who don’t want to reinvent the wheel while trying to launch a successful home-based business. With the KISS approach anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset can look for and find a veritable business in a box that provides a turnkey solution for a successful home-based business startup. Either approach can work-the key is to find the one that works for you.

Opportunities Are Endless With Business Development Careers

Careers in the business development area require a good sense of business management. It also requires the ability to think outside of the box and create areas of opportunity for the business that you are managing. If you have the drive to make big changes that will result in much higher revenue then this field may be the right one for you.

The business development jobs require someone that can juggle. They need to be able to juggle a large variety of responsibilities and maintain above average results for a long period of time. Business development is just what it sounds, finding ways to advance the company into higher revenue. This can be done but it does take a strong attention to detail.

To advance a company to this level, the Manager will have to make sometimes aggressive moves in order to be successful. They must be able to manage and motivate the staff to get to the necessary levels of quality and output. This may require making drastic policy and procedure changes and getting the changes in place with no negative impact on quality or quantity of output.

Careers in this field require a person that has extremely strong personal skills and business foresight. Dealing with the employees is a primary function in this position. Jobs like this cannot be filled by someone who is not willing to interact and motivate the employees. Growing a company requires a complete by in by the employees as they will be the ones doing the work.

Tracking progress and steps in the wrong direction is another big part of jobs in this field. Because you are implementing new ideas there may be times that the approaches that you take are not successful. You must have the insight and communication levels with the employees so you can shift directions with the plan quickly if things begin to fail.

Careers in business development are only successful if the person in the position can make quick adjustments. Putting experimental changes in place may require that things are altered. You also must understand the field you are in so you can put realistic changes in place. If the change would devastate the results of the company due to market regulations then you should have enough knowledge to know that the change is not feasible.

Sometimes business development managers are hired by a company with the specific purpose of saving a company. The existing company may be reporting losses quarterly and must being to gain a profit or they will find themselves closing their doors and going under. When they hire someone with this goal in mind they will have high expectations for the position.

In order to meet these expectations, the person that they hire must be aggressive. They must be able to look at the financial information for the company or department and decide quickly which areas are not doing well and what changes need to be made. Sometimes restructuring the departments can lead to a gain in profits. Sometimes it takes more than this, like cutting staff and combining responsibilities.

Either way, to be successful in careers like this you must be comfortable with being the bad guy. People at the business that hires you may resent the fact that you are making changes. Change is a very hard thing to deal with for most people. If there are some very opinionated employees you may find that you have a fight on your hands.

Being familiar with fair disciplinary steps and the policies and procedures of the company that you are hired by is crucial. You do not want to break any policies or procedures in your quest to improve the company. You must work within the guidelines set by the company and find ways to manipulate the business into a very successful position.

If you are considering careers and jobs in business development and feel that you can make a difference in the performance of a company then give it a try. It can be a very challenging position to be in but someone with the right personality and drive to succeed can do a great job and be very successful. While this type of work is not for everyone, having the right abilities and qualities can lead to a very satisfying job and maybe even exciting careers. Many people that are employed in this field decide to do this until they hit retirement age. It feels good to look back at the accomplishments and the successes in a business that were driven by you.