Over the years you’ve heard lots of business development tips, and maybe even tried some of them. Here are what we think the worst two business development tips we have ever heard. Have you tried them, or even worse still do you believe them?

Staring through the window for some business development tips

Just in case you’re wondering – they are real!

 1. Do a good job – and the work will flow in.

The classic way firms think they will get referrals or more more work. One recent quote was:

“Don’t worry about going to go out and win new clients, if you do a good job the work will eventually come to you.”

This might be true, if you are well established. But work doesn’t just flow in because you’re good! These days, doing a good job is not enough; you need to go out to get the work. That might be using your network, keeping in touch or other types of marketing.

2. Get yourself out there – and the work will flow in.

My second favourite of the all time worst business development tips is that if you just get out there, the work will come in.

In the past a favourite business development activity was to go networking events, in other words “getting out there”. Times have changed. Have you noticed a reduction in the number of networking events? Have you also noticed a reduction in the quality of attendees at many networking events?

Nowadays you need to do more than just go to networking events. You need to build a strong personal brand, grow a decent profile and reputation AND be prepared to go out and meet people. If you choose to ignore your online profile or refuse to engage in the online world, you will be leaving business on the table.Why does this ridiculous piece of advice hang around?

Why do so many business development tips hang around?

These tips probably come from people who created their personal brand many years ago when things were different. Maybe it’s what they did, and they haven’t been as affected by the changing market place as you. Maybe they’ve forgotten what it is like to start from scratch. Winning business is easy when you are well-known and have reliable referral sources to fill your pipeline!

These are probably the same people that don’t think that social media is relevant to business, or focus on the many other changes in the marketplace. Winning business 10-15 years ago was very different to winning business now. As a result the best business development advice from 10-15 years ago many actually be poor quality advice now.


Written by Heather Townsend. I help professionals become the 'Go To Expert'. I am the co-author of 'How to make partner and still have a life', 'The Go-To Expert' and the author of the award-winning and bestselling book on Networking, 'The FT Guide To Business Networking'. To find out whether I can help you read 'is this you' Connect with me on ,  LinkedIn and Twitter 


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