We all know business development is a process whereby you plant seeds and nurture them, and, at some point, you start to see something blossom and see an ROI on your business development efforts.

Some strategies take a long time to execute; others can be done much faster, so for the impatient among you, here are three things you can start immediately:

1. Start to prospect now. Be proactive. Don’t depend on the phone ringing and don’t expect that referrals will keep your pipeline as full as it needs to be. Another good reason to prospect is it helps you to keep your sales skills sharp. Living on referrals tends to make you a somewhat lazy business developer.

2. Get seriously involved with social media and develop a social media plan of attack. I don’t mean updating your Facebook and LinkedIn status once per day. I mean learning how to use these tools to their best advantage, initiate and engage in conversations, use the search capabilities, showcase your firm and its capabilities, etc.

3. Reconnect with dormant accounts; follow up consistently; and reach out to small, marginal accounts. The sad truth is many companies do not mine the gold in their existing account base. This should be started immediately.

There you go. The good news is if you don’t have the resources to execute any of these efforts, there are resources out there that can do them for you.

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Adrian Miller has more than 20 years of experience as a sales trainer. She is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training, which offers real-world solutions to real-world situations for clients. To find out more, go to http://www.adrianmiller.com or visit her blog at http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.