Your time is scarce. You are more accessible today than you've ever been. You have at least three phone numbers (home, office, and cell); at least two email addresses (work and personal); and at least two social media accounts (Facebook and LinkedIn). You can be texted, tweeted, emailed, snail-mailed, and even faxed. So, it's no wonder that you are inundated with messages from clients, friends, colleagues, strangers, and advertisers. It's no wonder you feel pulled in too many directions. It is expected that if someone wants to reach you, they should be able to almost immediately.
Add to that the evolution of our professional landscape—the fact that being an expert in your respective field requires a more complex understanding of facts and trends than ever before. A rudimentary knowledge base is hardly sufficient. To earn and keep their business, you have to impress your clients with information they didn't already know (or Google).
Then there's business development, an endeavor that used to be sufficiently addressed with a listing in the yellow pages, an ad in the paper, and a membership with the Rotary club. Now, it requires constant networking, social media, charity involvement, PR, conference attendance, competitive intelligence, and persistent "pinging."
The only way to survive this frenzy is to prioritize—to cut low-yield activities out of our lives so that there's enough room for the ones that produce the best results. For some, the highest use of their time is spent in networking breakfasts and lunches. For others, it's a conscious choice to exclude social media from our lives. But we all prioritize our time so that we gain the best leverage from our efforts.
Given that, I'm interested to know what you've found to be the best use of your business development time. Personally, I find that public speaking generates more opportunities for me than networking, writing, or direct prospecting. In fact, as I write this blog, I'm reminded that I should increase my efforts to secure more speaking opportunities. What about you? What single business development activity is the best use of your precious time?