It’s no secret that marketing acts as an effective inbound business development tool. Look no further than financial services giants like Goldman Sachs who embrace the latest digital trends to assert their brand, highlight their offerings, and maintain credibility.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated business development or marketing manager at your firm, simple marketing efforts are extremely effective in helping your firm stay top of mind in a crowded, competitive marketplace.
Listed below are a few simple, but important pieces of “real estate” that should have special attention from your firm if you want to ensure steady, high quality dealflow in the months and years to come.
Business owners and buyers are savvier than ever, and are guaranteed to rely on the internet to learn about your firm. If your website is old and outdated, small tweaks such as adding a “Contact Us” form, adding photographs and biographies of your team members, clearly and concisely defining your expertise/deal criteria, and highlighting the transactions you’ve completed will help increase the likelihood of connection.
If your firm already has these features, consider looking into how your firm appears in search results for keywords and phrases. Think about if from the lens of buyer and seller: if a business owner searches for “Business broker in Nashville,” will you appear? Similarly, you’ll want to be visible if a strategic acquirer searches for “healthcare services investment bank San Jose.”
Most industry professionals will tell you that deal origination does not happen on social media. However, most professionals (including business owners) are on LinkedIn.
Not surprisingly, people like the ability to “put a face to a name” and appreciate the opportunity to learn about an individual’s experience, education and skills before doing business together. While LinkedIn may not necessarily be viewed as a business development platform at your firm, easy updates such as ensuring everyone has headshots, has industry expertise listed, and has their personal profile connected to the firm’s company page can help buyers and sellers more quickly vet your team.
Many firms use LinkedIn as a business development channel, sending and receiving messages from business owners and buyers outside of their existing network. If this is a strategy your firm employs, keep it honest, and keep it organized. Take stock of the various private messages your team members send, ensure there’s no duplication, and pay special attention to the way the firm and its interests are being positioned.
While warm introductions are obviously preferable in this relationship-driven business, email programs remain an important aspect of business development. If your firm hasn’t taken the plunge and purchased an email marketing software, it is recommended that the firm at least set standards for email practices and email signatures. Ensuring that all signatures link to the firm website and the individual’s LinkedIn, for example, can help drive significant traffic.
If your firm does use an email marketing software, or is exploring doing so, it’s critically important to consider how these communications are being tracked and leveraged. What good is sending a deal teaser if your team can’t keep track of who it was sent to, who passed on it, and who was interested? Thinking strategically about your day-to-day communications via email can help your firm connect the dots more quickly and make decisions more quickly.
Connect it all to your CRM
Don’t assume that digital marketing efforts and day-to-day communications can’t win you business – they can! If your systems are in sync, the more likely it is that your team will connect the dots and triangulate the relationships that lead to deals closing.
Not sure where to start? Our team of account managers and integration specialists understand the complexities of dealmaking, business development and marketing. We can help your team bridge the gaps through smart, custom technology solutions that fit your needs.