3 Ideas to Amplify Your Business Development Efforts

Want know what it takes to grow your business? Here are 3 concepts for business development that are worth sharing.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

One of the best sessions we attended at AAM 2018 was Focus Groups from Hinton Burdick’s Kacey Jones. We’ve been talking about it for years – your success in business development and marketing initiatives is dependent on a deep understanding of your clients, staff, and market. Taking a concept like this from chatter to best practice requires a technical approach. At the crux of her session, Kacey explored the how asking the right questions is an artform, and better the questions =  better information. The best takeaway is, consider what you are asking and how you are asking it. Using non-leading questions will get you the best information in a prospect situation and can provide you with the right information to help you position your firm more competitively. What’s a non-leading question? First, focus on open-ended questions like who, what, when and where. Second, avoid asking vague questions that don’t get to the heart of what you really want to know. For example, instead of asking, “what do you value in your relationship with your CPA firm,” you might ask, “what is the most impactful thing our CPA firm can do for your business?”


  1. Show More Value

Asking the right questions will help you build and show value in the sales process. However, in the quest to uncover what matters most to your prospect, you’ll also have to answer a few questions. What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) encourages CPAs to differentiate their firm on the basis of value from a prospect’s perspective. Being able to identify your prospect’s primary and secondary drivers will help you uniquely position your firm and win more business. Wade Clark, Growth Strategist at WadesWorks highlights 4 key areas of value for prospects in the image below.

  1. Build a Better List

We obtain lists from various sources, but most of us fail to verify those lists. Prospect lists are critical for marketing and business development efforts, but our marketing and business development efforts are only as good as our information. A final takeaway that we want to share with you is a tool that helps safeguard IP addresses and aids content deliverability. Brite Verify is an email validation tool that helps you decipher real email address from fake or mistyped email addresses. Unverified or bad addresses can impact your domain name and digital reputation, cost you money and hurt your marketing and business development efforts. If you aren’t verifying your emails addresses, you should start.


Conference season is a great time to learn and try new concepts. Some of these ideas may immediately strike a chord, while others may need to ruminate for a while. Wherever you stand, we love helping firms take their business development to the next level. If you need help putting these ideas into practice, we’d love to have a conversation with you.


About the author

Ranked twice by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People, Sarah Johnson Dobek of Inovautus Consulting is an accounting marketing growth advisor. She helps Accounting firms identify and implement strategies to help them grow their firms and distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Connect with Sarah to learn more at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.comorwww.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson