ImageWe survived our impending Mayan doomsday until the next rapture (Look out for us Macho Man!) which means it is time to generate business contacts for the 2013 business year.

For 2013, most companies are looking to keep a tighter band around their spending budgets before deciding on the best option for their marketing plans. With that said, what is the best option to generate leads and business contacts? Thankfully there are options that make presenting your services and experiences in a neat and clean digital package.

Network like a Boss

LinkedIn has proven to be the professional’s hunting ground. LinkedIn serves as a resume profile that professionals can evaluate each other’s backgrounds and join in group discussions regarding industry news.

You want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is beefed up and totally complete before you go traipsing around asking for connections. If other professionals can endorse you for skills that you have, be sure to have them do so; make sure to return the favor as well!

You can build connections within your industry; there is no doubt about that. How you build those connections though is a different story.

Groups are a great way to meet business prospects that turn into possible leads. Each group has their own stipulations regarding what you can share or talk about so make sure not to step on the toes of people who regularly post in these groups.

Eliminate the “Cold Call”

Most sales relationships begin with the cold call. A cold call is a “pick up the phone and dial the possible lead” strategy that has become archaic and impersonal. According to Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, the key to eliminating the cold call is to try a more personal touch of interaction with possible leads. Networking does not have to be solely over the phone or through email. Going to an event or a conference where your possible leads would be (conducting the best research on your lead as possible) and simply finding the connection offers more solid results. A follow up email will then provide that digital connection that most business professionals covet.

Be Kind

Simple strategy – Don’t be a tool and the leads will more than likely call you back.

Create the Epic Presentation

Promoting your services can be as challenging as doing the actual work. Then after the promotion stage and the connection phase, comes the presentation phase. The presentation could make or break your company and if you are not prepared or your presentation lacks that special something, there is a chance that failure is eminent.

SlideShare is a reasonably priced professional sharing platform that can organize your company’s services and business strategy in a clever slide format. With SlideShare, your company will not only look good but will leave less for your future client to question when it comes to “what you do.”

This platform also serves a hunting ground for Biz Dev as well. Sifting through the different accounts on SlideShare, could be like sifting through the DVD bin at your local Best Buy. Any Biz Dev department head should take the time to analyze what companies are doing their campaign wrong and offer to fix it.