[IMGCAP(1)]I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like blistering 90-degree days with high humidity and quick-forming violent afternoon thunderstorms to get your adrenaline going. Or going in the wrong direction.
Somewhere between early July and the end of August we have the Dog Days of Summer according to ancient times. Stagnation. Periods of inactivity. Lethargy…sounds like my two teenage sons’ year round!!!
According to the Romans, the star Sirius or Dog Star is the brightest star and is associated with the Dog Days of Summer. So if the Dog Days can have the brightest star, why can’t accountants turn the sultry Dog Days around and make them the brightest days in business development and maybe even become a star within our own firm?
So as the temperatures heat up outside, let’s turn up the heat to create more revenue opportunities:
• Go through all your sent and received emails for the past month or longer and see what you said you were going to do but didn’t. Do the same thing with all of your voice mails. You might be surprised as to what golden opportunities you find.
• Those names of prospects that you were given by bankers and or attorneys but never followed up on…this may be the time to give them a call and set up a meeting.
• Send out handwritten thank you notes for a change.
• Thank all the people that have given you referrals recently and give them a status update on them. Talk to them instead of emailing. Express your appreciation of their trust in you. You might even hang up the call with another opportunity.
• Take a road trip. Visit all clients and prospects that you might otherwise say during the course of the year, “They are kind of far away” or “I don’t have time to call on them.”
• Communicate to clients and prospects on any new services, new colleagues or other offerings that the firm has recently launched.
• Bring out “The Boss” (not Bruce Springsteen) to a new client or prospect or to a longtime client that may not feel the love these days from the firm. Having the managing partner go out shows commitment and appreciation, and that can go a long way, given the quality of the competition that’s calling on your current clients daily.
• Meet with any new employees that you have not had the opportunity as of yet to sit down with and begin to build a working relationship with them. Get to know them both professionally and personally and let them get to know you. Make them feel part of the team. Leadership is not restricted to only the managing partner.
• Clean up or update LinkedIn, Facebook and your other social media avenues. Contact your IT person or consultant to bring you up to speed on the latest technology trends that you can then share with your clients and prospects.
• Become a “Connector.” Introduce clients to clients, clients to prospects. Prospects to prospects. Centers of Influence to clients and prospects.
• And no, not “everyone is on vacation.” The last time I looked, the entire business community did not put up an ON VACATION sign for all of July and August.
• Those organizations where you are a member but don’t attend any meetings because you don’t have the time…go to them. Reintroduce yourself to the membership and support the cause. Who knows, you may even end up with a new contact.
• Look for events in your community such as evening concerts, where you can bring out clients and prospects with spouses/significant others for a causal gathering while building the relationship and at the same time supporting your community. Make an event within the event.
• Write an article for a trade, business, organization, prospect or client publication to highlight your expertise, knowledge or opinion while creating and building brand awareness for yourself and the firm.
Whatever you do or however you do it, keep reaching out to your clients, prospects and COIs. There is not one correct way of communicating to them or with them. Let your creativity flow during the Dog Days of Summer. And when the calendar turns over to September as the end of the year draws closer, don’t stop your summer activities in business development. Sometimes in marketing, we can turn the simple into the complex. Keep it simple. Keep your focus on serving and providing for others.
Finally, if you keep these suggestions and others that you think of in your mind during the Dog Days of Summer, I guess you really can teach an old/young dog new tricks to produce new opportunities for new business. Stay cool.
Nicholas Keseric, president of The Marketing Seeds Co., is a provider of outsourced marketing and business development initiatives and services for banks, accounting, law and investment management firms and can be contacted at (708) 508-8503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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