Ad hoc. That’s the primary theme when it comes to most people’s business development effort. When our schedule lightens up, we do some networking. When things get busy, business development grinds to a halt. What’s the ROI for all the lunches and meetings and mixers and tweets? Most of us don’t bother to measure such things. It all gets stirred into the generic bucket from which our referrals trickle out.

Ever heard the expression, “You can’t change what you don’t measure”? Well, here are five things you can measure to change your book for the better:

  1. New relationships: If your goal this year is to expand your network, set a target for the number of prospects and referral sources you intend to meet.
  2. Existing relationships: Some of the smartest time you can spend is on the relationships you’ve already developed. How many of your key clients and referral sources will you visit during the remaining months of 2018? How often?
  3. Referrals you give: If you’re giving more than you get, it’s time to have a conversation with your referral sources. Either they don’t understand the concept of reciprocity or you haven’t done a good enough job branding yourself and your services.
  4. Referrals you get: If you’re getting more than you give, list your top referral sources and make a concerted effort to send them a relevant introduction (or at least treat them to lunch a gesture of your appreciation).
  5. Non-billable business development hours: Create a budget for this so that you have a minimum number of hours you intend to invest, as well as a maximum so you don’t burn yourself out with unrealistic expectations.

In my opinion, business development is more art than science, but metrics can be helpful as you seek to convert time and energy into tangible results.


Authored by David Ackert, President, Ackert Inc.