Omaha: The Xs and Os of Business Development

JD Supra Perspectives

It’s game time. What’s your marketing and business development strategy? Are you running the option, the wildcat or the annexation of Puerto Rico (if you get that, you are my people)? And, what about on defense, do you have a plan for how to protect your most important assets – your clients?

Below are a few plays to consider adding to your playbook this season.

Mine Your Referral Sources

Run the option or the wildcat. Get the proverbial ball in the hands of someone who can make some plays – your referral sources.

Reconnect with the people who know you, like you and can speak to your good work. Who do they know that could be a good prospect for you? Leverage LinkedIn to identify a handful of contacts they are connected to that you’d like to get to know. An easy play that will generate many, many first downs.

Conduct Feedback Interviews

This is what’s known in the business as, “the best offense is a good defense.”

One of the best ways to solidify and potentially expand existing client relationships is by obtaining feedback on your last engagement. Whether you scored high or have areas to improve, tackling these issues head on will keep you in the game with the client for seasons to come.

Be Consistent

Do you think players make it to the NFL by only working out when they feel like it or when they have the time? No. They build a consistent routine. Dedicate time on your calendar every week for marketing and business development.

Are you trying to raise your profile? Then perhaps your weekly time is spent drafting posts for LinkedIn or content for legal alerts. Are you trying to build your pipeline? Start outreach to one to three people a week with the goal of having at least one meeting per week. Remember it takes an average of eight touches to go from prospect to client.

Plan Ahead

Start thinking about what plays you want to run next year. Put together your marketing and business development plan for 2024. What to include?

  • Your key clients, prospects and referral sources.
  • The organizations you are involved in and any conferences you want to attend or events you want to sponsor.
  • Goals for any initiatives to raise your profile (i.e. events and/or speaking engagements).

It’s important to budget now so you have the money you need to take your game to a new level.


I hope you have found a play or two that you will consider adding to your playbook this fall. If all else fails, go for the Hail Mary – throw out a handful of invites for coffee or a catch-up call with good contacts that you haven’t had a personal conversation (i.e., not related to a current project) with in a while.

That could be the thing that puts you at the top of your division this year.


Rebecca Edwards Hnatowski is a marketing and business development professional with nearly 20 years of experience helping busy stakeholders establish, maintain, and grow client relationships. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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