Biz Dev Questionnaire


Is your contact database accurate and comprehensive?

Your contact database is the backbone of your outreach. It is the way you maintain the inventory of one of your most important asset - your contacts. And, it is one of the primary means of communicating with them.

You should be extremely diligent in collecting the business cards of the contact you meet who could be clients, referral sources or resources in the future.

Keep in mind that the selling process may take years with many of your contacts, so you must have a way of staying in touch. And the process of creating and maintaining your contact database make take a long time. You want to be ready at a moments notice to sent out an announcement or invitation.

Another important benefit is the ability to review your contact database to remind yourself of people you know who should be added to your priority target list. If you don't review your inventory of contacts, there is a good chance that valuable contacts will be forgotten and not receive the attention they deserve.

There are many contact management programs that you can use for your contact database. You probably already have Microsoft Outlook on your computer. More sophisticated systems include Act!, Sales Force, Sugar and many others.

Basic contact database systems will act as a sophisticated address book, with the ability to house both contact information and notes. Many are able to sort by variable fields such as industry, priority, etc. More sophisticated contact databases have the ability to inform you about who opens your emails and who blocks them.

Your contact database should contain the names and contact information of everyone who could be of value to you in your business development. It should include:
1. Every contact at every client
2. Everyone you have met whom you would like to see as a client
3. Everyone who has referred business to you
4. Everyone you know who could refer business to you
5. Everyone you know who could help you in your business development. We call this category "Resources." Resources could be publishers, program chairs of organizations where you might speak, marketing support staff at your firm, etc.

It will be helpful for you to obtain mobile phone numbers of all your contacts. With a record of a contact's mobile phone number, you may be able to maintain a connection even if the contact moves to another company. One of the best biz dev strategies is to remain connected to contacts, even if they move to another entity or entities over time.

Remain diligent in adding new names and updating contact information. You should review your contact database periodically to refresh your awareness of contacts who might be potential targets for new services or who may now be better targets than they were in the past.

The obstacle to creating and maintaining an updated contact database is that the process is burdensome. It feels boring and may not provide instant gratification. The solution is to remember that you must document your contact for the long run. Failure to do so will most certainly result in your losing contact with people who could be valuable to you in the future.

Try to spend a few minutes a day in updating your contact database. If you can delegate the process, be sure to tell your delegatee that this is an extremely important responsibility.