8 Skills Every Business Development Pro Should Have or Work On
Business development professionals typically focus on one or more of the following areas: account management, product management, marketing and sales, project management, consulting and business strategy. Regardless of which area they specialize in, business development professionals should have some similar skills to be successful in their roles. Here are eight skills every business development pro should have or work on to excel at their jobs and achieve goals.
1) Setting Goals
Before you can start working on developing your skills, you need to know what your goals are. What do you want to achieve in your career? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can start thinking about the skills you’ll need to reach them.
Some important skills for business development professionals include:
- The ability to set goals and think long-term – You need to be able to see beyond the immediate future and think about the long-term potential of your projects. What are the long-term effects of the decisions you make today?
- Strong research skills – In order to be successful in business development, you need to be able to find information that others can’t.
2) Networking Skills
As a business development professional, networking should be one of your top priorities. Get out there and mingle with other professionals, attend industry events, and join relevant online communities. The more connections you have, the better. But it’s not just about quantity—quality matters too. Nurture your relationships and build genuine rapport with the people you meet. Strong networking skills will help you open doors and close deals.
3) Presentation Skills
Being able to deliver a great presentation is a key skill for any business development professional. After all, you’ll often be required to present your company’s products or services to potential clients. And, if you’re not comfortable with presenting, it can be difficult to close a deal. Here are a few tips to help you hone your presentation skills:
- Know your audience – Before you start creating your presentation, it’s important to know who your audience is. This will help you determine what information to include and how to best deliver it.
- Keep it simple – When it comes to presentations, less is often more. Don’t try to cram too much information into your presentation; instead, focus on delivering the most important points in a clear and concise manner.
4) Communicating One-on-One
In business development, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively one-on-one. This means being able to build rapport, listen actively, and express yourself clearly. It also means being able to handle difficult conversations and conflict resolution. If you’re not comfortable communicating one-on-one, work on it!
5) Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is a critical skill for business development pros. After all, your job is to get the best possible deals for your company. The ability to negotiate effectively can mean the difference between a successful outcome and a failed one. Here are seven negotiation tips that will help you close more deals
6) Knowing how to ask for referrals
Asking for referrals can be one of the most important skills a business development professional can have. After all, if you don’t ask, you’ll never get them. But how do you go about asking for referrals? Here are seven tips to help you to ask for referrals:
1) Understand what it is that your client wants and how they want to get it.
2) Make sure that you understand your client’s needs before making an ask.
3) Keep it simple by focusing on one thing at a time when talking with your client – refer them only to someone who is able to meet their need or interest at this point in time.
4) It’s OK to offer an incentive as long as it is appropriate and not excessive. 5) Be humble in the way that you phrase your request by saying I wonder if I could make an ask. If they say no, thank them and move on; there will be other opportunities down the road.
7) Ability to work in teams
Business development is a team sport. No one can do it alone. You need to be able to work effectively with others in order to get the job done. This means being able to communicate clearly, collaborate on projects, and reach consensus when necessary. It also means being able to handle conflict and work through disagreements. If you can’t do these things, you’ll have a hard time succeeding in business development.
8) Create a great product or service
The first step to creating a great product or service is to identify a need in the marketplace. Once you’ve identified a need, you can begin developing a solution. The key to creating a successful product or service is to offer a unique solution that meets the needs of your target market. To do this, you must have a deep understanding of your target market and what they are looking for.