Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Expand Your Business Development Team with the Talents of Every Generation!

Business development professionals constantly beat the drum: ‘Everyone is a marketer!’ hoping that each staff member will then magically step up and contribute to the firm’s overall sales and growth.

One surefire way to increase results from your ‘expanded marketing team’ is to measure everyone formally— during performance reviews— on their business development contributions. In addition, it’s up to business development leaders to help the others find their way in terms of contributing to the bigger picture of firm growth.

Consider the generational preferences of each individual

There’s something to be said for stereotypes of the three generations that are currently in the workforce: Baby Boomers (1946-64); Generation X (1965-76); Generation Y, aka Millennial (1977-present). Without clarity on generational tendencies, you may try to force a square peg into a round hole. In this lean economy, there’s no room for that sort of mistake.

Generational frameworks play a role in determining highest and best use of staff talent from business development and marketing perspectives. Remember, it’s not that some generations work harder than others. Instead, it’s that our needs, priorities and preferences differ greatly.

Xers specifically need:

- Recognition in response to their individual personal preferences

- Collaboration, teamwork, dialogue.

Yers specifically need:

- Change and challenge. They will have an average of five careers (not just jobs) in their lifetime, and may stay only as long as 2-3 years unless you are able to allow them movement within the organization (or with partner firms).

- Ability to voice issues without fear. (It’s unpleasant for some of us to digest the venting of others, but it does help them to get it out in the open. The good news is that these same people are willing to make/execute/plan for change…not just sit around and complain.)

Common needs for both Gen X and Gen Y:

- Explanations as to the ‘why’ behind a project or a direction.

- Inclusion on the company’s bigger picture, regardless of whether it affects them directly.

- Aura of ‘fun’, not ‘grind’, when it comes to both the work environment and the work itself.

- Flexibility (where and when the work gets done) to accommodate family needs, extra curricular activities, wellness, etc, in order to accommodate their very full, robust, well-rounded lives.

Finally, less of a mystery to most, the boomers specifically need:

- Position, power and prestige. Respect, with titles that reflect authority and responsibility.

- Ability to stay connected with peer groups; enjoy working on projects with others whom they can relate.

- Longer-term commitment, with security in terms of salary, perks/benefits.

Looking for more tips on how to give ALL your firm members the skills they need to bring in new work and persuade current clients to give you more…send them to PSMJ’s 2011 A/E/C Marketing Bootcamp: THE Program On How To Get And Keep Clients. This spring, PSMJ is providing 5 locations all across North America to give your whole firm the tools and confidence you need to succeed in bringing in more work for the firm. Click here for more information.

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