The world for marketers is rarely seen in black and white. Sometimes we are asked to go beyond our role of traditional marketing and enter the world of business development. In fact, for some, business development is an expected part of their daily responsibilities. Whether you are a seasoned business development pro or new to the concept, there are a few key skills that are beneficial to have in your toolkit. This article is going to focus on some of those skills and why they are key to improving your business development game!
Being able to adapt and pivot (sometimes very quickly) is an essential skill – especially in today’s environment. The world around us is constantly changing. Even though it may feel like a lot is on pause, a lot is NOT on pause. Our clients and prospects are still moving and growing, and so should we. Adaptability to new work hours, environments, methods of communication, and more is a necessity.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
For some folks, the utilization of technology such as Zoom, Skype, and the like has been a total culture shock. We all know someone (it might even be you!) who was very comfortable living in a safe space of scheduling meetings over coffee, lunch, or drinks after work, and suddenly – overnight – that reality became nonexistent. We have had to get comfortable having those same kinds of meetings through a computer screen. Although some states may be opening back up, that does not mean that everyone is going to feel comfortable meeting in person right away. Allowing yourself to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the tools available for “meetings” will contribute to your success in the short and long term.
Speak and write with a purpose.
Following along the lines of item two, it is safe to say that we are all inundated with email, webcasts, virtual conferences, and more. It is imperative to find a way to break through all of that. Admittedly, this can seem kind of daunting. How can you differentiate yourself from all of the other virtual noise out there? Be purposeful. Thank people for their time, and let them know you appreciate them. Be the person who speaks and writes with a purpose – not to fill empty space.
What I am about to say might seem a little contradictory to number three, but it is not. Calling up a prospect or current client and inviting them to a cup of coffee may not be as easy as it once was for all the reasons listed above. You might be thinking, how do I maintain and nurture current relationships and cultivate new ones right now? Establishing a regular schedule of check-ins with key clients and prospects is a great way to stay connected. Do not check in to make noise – check in with a purpose. Get creative and have fun with it, if the situation allows.
Practice regular self-care
Even in normal circumstances this one would have made my list because I believe that regular self-care is essential to a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The person you take care of on your own time is ultimately the person you bring to the workplace and to client and prospect meetings. Self-care does not have to be a $1,000 day trip to the spa. It can be as simple as taking a day just to lay in bed if that is what you need. More than ever, we need to be conscious of taking care of ourselves.
Although this toolkit may not be your traditional business development tips and tricks, sometimes these simple, yet effective, skills are often overlooked. It is imperative to get back to basics so we can propel forward into the best versions of ourselves.
We will get through this, and we will be stronger than ever. Do not give up. The best is yet to come, and we are all in this together!
About Teresa Hansen
I am responsible for comprehensive marketing support to the Long Island office and Food & Beverage Group assisting professionals with practice, industry and individual business development as well as marketing planning and implementation. In addition, I coordinate professional and client development seminars and events, conduct market intelligent research, and manage CRM and sales pipeline reports.
I am a highly motivated worker both individually and in a team setting. I am capable of balancing creative thinking with detail-oriented practicality, I am eager to take initiative, influence change and enjoy bringing the organization I am working for to the next level. I have experience in accounting marketing in the food & beverage, construction, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, not-for-profit, architecture and engineering, heath care, and financial services industries. I believe that it is imperative to grow and learn from every experience I encounter. Something as simple as being observant and asking questions may open doors that might have otherwise been closed.