This month, we sat down with the brilliant Jane Heath, Founder and MD of Growth KnowHow to talk all things business development.

“Funnily enough, prospects aren’t sitting around just waiting for you to engage with them.

We have to have a reason to speak to them. And we have to basically earn the right to play in their playground. It’s not a quick fix.”

Jane Heath, Founder and Managing Director at Growth KnowHow and Chameleon Brands, is a firm believer in hard graft and making new business connections with a careful and considered approach, delivered with a personal touch.

The main reason being that in her experience, the scattergun method just doesn’t work.

“It’s a complex jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces need fit.

Whatever your strategy and your budget and your campaign plan looks like, those things still need to fit, otherwise, it won’t work. It needs to be strategic. It needs to be consistent, and it needs to be joined up. Any touchpoint that a prospect has with your brand, it needs to basically look and feel the same across everything.

A lot of the prospects you’ll be talking to are busy people they get a lot of approaches from lots of agencies. Your job is to stand out from the noise and all you need to do is to get them to go:

“Hmmm… that sounds a little bit different.””

But as well as having continuity in our specific branding across all platforms, we also need to be offering tangible benefits – people don’t care about the mechanics of what we do as a business, they care about how the result of what we do is going to do for them:

“Your message has to have the “So what” and “Why you?’ factor.

People come to me and say:

“We’ve got this great idea for this offer or this message.”

I’ll go:

“So what?”

If it doesn’t pass the so-what factor, you need to go back and we need to drill down to find a reason to make sure that it does pass the “so what?”, the “why you?”, and also the “what’s in it for me?” factor.

However, this is not a one way street – having worked hard on our business, we don’t want to waste time and money chasing prospects that turn out to be a dead end.  The key is qualifying those prospects. And they key to that may be a little more lo-fi than you might imagine:

If you get a lead of any description, it is just as good to qualify out than qualify in. There is no point having a database full of terribly nice conversations and dialogue with people who can’t follow through and can’t afford your services.

Qualification is an art, and it’s a way of being able to get rid of the prospects that aren’t right for the business.

And the best way to qualify is undoubtedly through the phone.”

The phone?!

“It’s a channel that a lot of people don’t use because a lot of people are scared of the channel.

And how to communicate with people on the phone is slightly different. But if you can then engage with people, you can find out what they’re genuinely interested in. You can find out what their what their costs are, what their budgets are, what their challenges are.

And then you can fill those needs through the other channels.”

A picture of Jane Heath, a white woman with blonde hair with her glasses on her head.

Jane Heath, Founder & Managing Director at Growth KnowHow

Jane is a highly experienced and successful business development and marketing strategist, mentor and business growth expert.

Passionate about helping agencies grow by increasing sales and marketing effectiveness, and helping ambitious companies get the best from their sales and marketing approach.

Jane has decades of experience helping both brands and agencies grow.

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