Top 3 Factors for a Successful Business Development Site Visit

February 4th, 2019

Every year, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership hosts corporate executives, site consultants and foreign delegations with the goal of showcasing Northeast Indiana for potential business investment. These business development trips are often the first experience these individuals with have with our region. While a site visit is only one step in the overall business development process, when done correctly, it can be the key to winning projects, growing jobs and increasing wages. 

Sometimes a site visit is our only opportunity to introduce Northeast Indiana before a company or site consultant makes their final location decision. Prior to the site visit, a company or site selector is only reviewing our community on paper; a site visit brings our key selling points to life.

So, what is the key to an excellent site visit? Our business development team identified three keys to success in selling Northeast Indiana to inbound visitors.

  1. Exceptional Customer Service – Each visit we host is unique. Clients have varying needs, interests and timelines that we must make every effort to address. Even beyond specific needs, the details matter most. Whether it’s a welcome sign at Fort Wayne International Airport, a gift basket of locally-made goods in their room, or appetizers preset at dinner, we are always looking for ways to provide best-in-class customer service. We’ve gifted dog treats for a site selector who loves their pets, included a map of brew pubs for a beer aficionado and sent tickets for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo for clients staying for a long weekend. The extra attention we provide our customers leaves an impression they can’t find when they visit other communities. It’s not only our customer service model, but it’s also our Hoosier hospitality.  
  2. Engaged Regional Leadership – By far, the most powerful asset we have in Northeast Indiana is our people. Business and community leaders regularly participate in meetings, meals and entertainment when our clients visit the region. The business development team knows their key messages when speaking with clients. We talk about our business climate, quality of life, talent, momentum and more, but the real magic happens when our regional leaders get involved and are emphasizing the same key selling points. The power of our collective voice cannot be denied.
  3. Unique Collaboration – It takes a team to make these visits a success. Partners at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Indiana Works, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (the NIIC), Start Fort Wayne as well as the 11 local economic developers across the region and our Northeast Indiana Colleges and Universities network all have a role in making a successful site visit. When we work as one, we demonstrate our ability to meet the needs of a business.

At the Regional Partnership, we are often positioned to be the front door to the region. We take that responsibility very seriously. We work hard to make sure everyone from a site selector to a startup experiences a first-class visit when they come to Northeast Indiana.

If you would like to be contacted to participate in future site visits, please contact Stakeholder Engagement & Experience Manager Ashley Spranger.