How to build a business development engagement strategy | Part 1

How to build a business development engagement strategy | Part 1

We LOVE to talk about business development here at Limitless Learning; in fact, it’s our #1 topic that all of you want to learn more about.

So, we thought we’d deliver a two-part series on how to build a business development engagement strategy from scratch.

Let’s dive in.

What activities can be in this strategy?

There are three key parts to focus on when building out a strategy.

Short Term


You can call us old-fashioned.

But getting on the phone with people and practising your pitch and business development techniques all need to happen in the beginning, and will always be a part of your strategy.

Whether you’re 5 months in or 5 years in, business development calls are key.

How did you switch your BD calls? 17:53 – 20:19 – GREAT for LinkedIn

It’s not “i” it’s about them.

Network building.

Specifically, LinkedIn.

Ensuring that your short-term strategy always consists of regular network building on LinkedIn will give you a consistent flow of new prospects to be reaching out to.

Discovery meetings.

Only some clients meeting in the short term is going to result in business.

So focus on them being discovery meetings and building the foundations of your network for business development.

They don’t need to be largely formal.

A coffee meeting with a client or candidate will suffice.

Medium Term

Personal branding.

Your short-term strategy consists of you connecting on LinkedIn – your medium term should be focused on engaging with them using personal branding.

For those who have subscribed to LL for a long time (as well as the podcast) will know just how valuable personal branding is.

It’s a long game and requires consistency, patience, and great-quality content.

How do you look to build your brand online? 9:56 – 11:36

Land and expand.

This refers to clients that you have won in the “short term” period.

Perhaps you’ve placed a couple of roles with them but you’ve never fully explored your options with them.

This is when you can start to land and expand.

Building out teams, starting to cross-sell and really embedding yourself into an organisation.

Long Term

Holistic service. 

Beyond just placing people in the organisation, what else can you do? Onboarding? Offboarding? Advice on culture? Other consultative services?

A lot of recruiters and agencies are moving to holistic offerings that enable them to do more than just transactional recruitment.

Establishing yourself as a trusted partner (as an individual or an agency) will require a holistic offering.

Cross-functional partnerships. 

Alongside landing and expanding, a long-term strategy is cross-functional partnerships; introducing other consultants in other verticals who will be able to work with the same client.

Whether this is through a business development function or a client services function (or even on your own) – cross-functional partners are the last step in a solid business development engagement strategy.

BONUS TIP: Get Organised:

Day plan/time management 50:46 – 53:15

If you don’t have a strategy you will lose.

So you now have all of the ingredients that might end up in your engagement strategy.

Now you must commit to executing these activities daily, weekly, and monthly.

Here is how it might be broken down into your calendar.

This is taken from an upcoming live learning session with have planned with Mark Long.

Design a set of BD tasks in your calendar that map to short-term, medium-term and long-term.

30 min sprints on references.

30 min sprints on cold calling.

30 min sprints on research.

30 min showcasing. (Speccing)

30 min sprints on personal branding.

30 min sprints of a week – course of the month this adds up.

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