Two weeks ago I started a new position as a Business Development Executive in an industry completely different to those that I have previously worked in.
It has been an exciting two weeks for many reasons…
Firstly I am now working for a manufacturer rather than a distributor, and that manufacturer is based in the UK. Sadly, that is a rare thing these days.
But that’s not the best bit. For me it is that I have returned to my roots in taking on a business development role.
What does that mean?
Re-awaking my senses
In business development, the key to success in my humble opinion evolves around your senses.
Listening is the most powerful skill you can have in business development. Active listening is much more than what happens with your ears, it’s combining your sight and your own body language to open yourself to the person or persons you are with.
Encouraging them, by using all of your communication skills to hear what they are saying. To draw out from them every piece of information you can to help you in your quest.
The skill of good business development is seeing what’s in front of you, as much as what isn’t. Visiting a business and seeing your competitors products and understanding what the implications of that mean. Was it a display range? A order placed to hit a carriage paid limit? Preferential terms? What is that competitor doing that you are not?
Joining up the dots
If you use these senses in isolation of each other then you are likely to fail in business development.
It is your powers of observation that enable you to development an understanding of what is happening in front you. To identify what you are being told, and not being told allows you to see the opportunities that exist.
For this to truly work though, the key is to combine this with developing relationships.
It also creates the means for me to meet new people, new businesses and use my experience to develop and grow relationships. Horrible phrase that it is, but it’s true. People buy people.
Relationships evolve to create benefits to both, and I am extremely excited at having the opportunity to do that. Relationships also creates collaboration, and that for me is best bit of working in a business development role.
What factors make you successful when it comes to business development?