Not Making Time for Business Development for your Fractional Business? You’re not alone.
Busy with your clients and don't have time for business development? You're not alone. This is incredibly common among fractional executives and our community members.
But, you're running a business. And if you were advising a client on the importance of sales and marketing for their business, what would you say? We'd guess you'd tell them it's one of the most important things they could be doing.
Reframing Sales For Your Fractional Business
First, let’s ask yourself a question. Do you genuinely not have time for sales, or are you choosing not to make time for sales?
The latter takes accountability. If you knew exactly what actions to take that would be successful, could you spare 30 minutes each day in the spirit of keeping a pipeline full of clients? I bet you could. But the reality is, many don’t know what they should be doing, they have imposter thoughts, and thus they end up “stuck,” and don’t end up spending the BD efforts.
Or worse, they fill their plate with clients, and then completely stop doing business development, only to wish they had kept doing their outreach efforts 3 months down the line.
Uncertainty in Business Development Leads to Inaction
The reluctance to dedicate time to sales is often rooted in fear, uncertainty, and insecurity. Fractionals grapple with putting themselves out there, fear of rejection, the uncertainty surrounding outreach efforts, and the challenge of articulating their unique value proposition.
It’s not necessarily a tangible thought of “oh, I’m scared.” It hides itself in procrastination and inaction, when those are the exact emotions that hold us back from being productive and eventually successful.
If you could take one small step forward, get a small “win,” would you be more likely to keep going? Probably. But that’s not always how it works. It often requires multiple steps forward before we get a win, and it’s at that exact point that many give up, or stop their current efforts.
What we can do is put in place processes that have a very high chance of working, execute on them every single week, and let the efforts compound over time. If we’re working with the right process consistently week over week and month over month, we’re bound to see successful results.
“So, what do I do?”
Let’s dive into the 3 most successful strategies to fill your pipeline and never worry about finding a client ever again.
Effective Strategies for Business Development
#1 – Outreach to Your Existing Network
A consistent cycle of outreach efforts is at the heart of business development.
As a first step, start by tapping into your existing network. They may not be able to hire you directly but could potentially offer warm introductions and help you expand your connections.
Develop a systematic outreach plan that incorporates outreaches and follow-ups.
Compose an engaging email or LinkedIn message that conveys your desire to connect, outline your value proposition, and propose a conversation. Most importantly, hit the send button.
Your note might not be perfect, but it will improve over time. What you perceive as flawed will likely go unnoticed by others.
To streamline the process, use a CRM to manage your contacts and schedule follow-ups at regular intervals, such as once every four to six weeks. This system continuously reaches out and schedules calls on your behalf.
#2 - Thought Leadership on LinkedIn
Cultivating thought leadership on LinkedIn is a powerful way to elevate your brand and expand your network. Demonstrating your expertise, you position yourself as an industry authority, making it likely that your target audience will choose you.
As you network with new contacts, connect with them on LinkedIn, and engage in a wide automated outreach, aiming to add 100 new connections every week. Then, publish content consistently to showcase your expertise. Share stories from your professional career, including learnings, failures, wins, and mistakes to engage your audience but also establish your credibility and expertise, potentially generating unsolicited inbound leads. You are simply offering intriguing anecdotes that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your field.
This approach reinforces your status as an expert, enhancing your chances of getting a response when contacting your target list. We have seen this tactic deliver successful results repeatedly.
#3 – Targeted List Curation
Curating a targeted list of decision-makers at ideal companies for your expertise is another essential strategy.
This requires 3 parts:
- A curated lead list of companies and contacts
- An outreach tool
- Data monitoring and iterations
Mylance, Sales Navigator, and Apollo are options for obtaining lead lists, providing a range of tools and resources to efficiently target and connect with potential clients.
To enhance effectiveness, consider these criteria when compiling your lists to ensure a good fit:
- Select companies within your niche that allocate budgets for external expertise.
- Prioritize organizations that are fractional-friendly.
- Identify businesses with gaps in the areas where your expertise shines.
Leverage outreach tools like Woodpecker, Lemlist, or Expandi to streamline and automate the process. This enhances efficiency, ensures consistency, and reduces the intimidation of manual outreach, making the process more manageable and less overwhelming.
Prepare your message, upload it to the software, and kick off your campaign. Dedicate time weekly to review analytics, track open and click-thru rates, and refine your approach. Automation works for you even while you are sleeping, helping to remove fear and procrastination.
For those unsure about their niche or offer, reflect on your unique experiences, skills, and accomplishments.
Consistency and persistence are so crucial in outreach efforts that at Mylance, we strategically design our funnels with multiple follow-ups for maximum effectiveness.
Persistence in follow-up is crucial. Initial emails typically have low response rates; multiple follow-ups are often necessary, each providing potential clients additional opportunities to say yes.
Seek feedback from trusted peers to fine-tune your approach and build confidence in launching a business development campaign.
Remember, striving for perfection in your messaging is not necessary. The worst result is receiving no response or a decline, but on the flip side, the best possible outcome is securing new business opportunities. Focus on the potential gains rather than getting every detail perfect.
These tactics help you break through self-doubt and inertia stemming from impostor syndrome.
Shift your mindset and reframe how you view time allocation for sales and business development. Overcome fear, tap into the power of your network, and utilize efficient marketing tools to optimize your limited time.
By addressing these elements, you can maximize your efficiency and effectiveness in business development activities.
Remember, perfection is not the goal; strategic action leads to results. Take the leap!
This post was written by Mylance. Mylance specializes in identifying the highest quality, most curated leads for your fractional business. We use 5 different criteria to identify companies and decision-makers who are likely to need your expertise:
- Matches your niche / unique expertise.
- Likely to have the budget.
- Gaps on their team in your function.
- Are fractional-friendly.
- Have warm connections from your network.
To apply for access, submit an application and we'll evaluate your fit for the service. If you’re not ready for lead gen, we also have a free, vetted community for top fractional talent that includes workshops, a rates database, networking, and a lot of free resources to support your fractional business.
I help tech professionals refine your consulting niche so you can land 5-figure per month consulting deals.