Rethinking Business Development

Rethinking Business Development

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. This pretty much applies to all the societal norms to which we’ve become accustomed, and certainly to business norms, as well.

In business development, we’ve used approaches that have been a part of our toolbox for decades: attend business mixers, exhibit at trade shows, schedule in-person meetings, present at conferences, or meet for lunch or coffee.

However, in recent years, we’ve witnessed a change in the landscape. Decision-makers have become more isolated. Clients and prospects have been less willing to meet with us. Sporting events and even meals have become prohibited activities.

In keeping with A/E/C tradition, we’ve been slow to transform our models, clinging to the tactics that worked yesterday. We’ve viewed each successive wall built in front of us as just an isolated incident. Part of the problem, of course, is that business development is far often more tactical than strategic. Just recently, I spoke with a client who still embraces the “keep throwing things at the wall until something sticks” philosophy, whether it’s spamming email or chasing every project under the sun.


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This article, written by Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM, first appeared in Marketer journal.

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