After two years as a Delivery consultant, four months ago I moved to solely focus on Business Development. It’s been a substantial change to my role, and as we know, BD in the current climate is tough!
Last month, my post went viral on LinkedIn, where I shared some of my top tips – the below are my ten key takeaways, based on my learnings over the last few months:
1: Research is critical
· It is essential to do your research.
· This information will help you craft a personalised email, and you MUST personalise the f**k out of your emails to get recognition in this tough market!
· You must stand out from the crowd, and you almost have to become a low-key stalker!
2. Networking is key
· This is an essential part of BD.
· If you can, attend industry events, connect with professionals in your industry, comment on their posts and use your current network for referrals. You will see the benefits - warm leads are easier to convert.
3. Nobody wants to talk to you
· You will be hung up on, ignored and told that the company is not interested in your service.
· Remember that rejection is part of the job.
· Timing is EVERYTHING.
· You need to be aware of the right time and I would always suggest being proactive and reaching out before a problem arises, otherwise someone will get there before you.
5. Patience pays off
· BD requires patience.
· You must work hard; work long hours and you must be persistent in your follow up and communication.
· Don’t become lazy. This role isn’t for everyone but if you are willing to put the work in, then you will see results.
6. Stay Organised
· In a BD role, you need to juggle multiple tasks.
· I would suggest tackling this with a sprint-based approach. Break down your day, set a realistic timeframe for each sprint (task) and most importantly STICK TO IT.
· I write my day plan out every evening, for the next day so it’s ready as soon as I come in and I know what I am focusing on.
7. Personal Development
· There is only so much your manager can teach you.
· Ask yourself, “Am I doing everything I can to personally develop myself?” If the answer is “no” – DO MORE.
· For example, listen to sales podcasts, read a sales book, find a mentor, conduct your own research.
· You will gain a competitive edge and increase your value in your organisation.
8. Work life balance
· Sitting at our desks for 10+ hours a day, with our eyes glued to the screens can take a toll on our physical and mental health.
· I believe you must do some form of exercise per day. If you struggle after work, go in the morning instead! Go to the gym, do a class, or go on a walk.
· Being active has really helped me stay focused.
9. Track your Data
· Track your data and do A/B testing to understand what works.
· Stick to your weekly KPI’s - you will see more success if you do this.
10. Have Fun!
· It’s tough but you must enjoy the Journey... Money will follow!
Ultimately, transitioning from a candidate heavy recruiter role to a BD role during a recession is tough. However, it can also be extremely rewarding if you develop the right mindset and skills!
I recently attended a live session with Hishem Azzouz, Founder of Recruitment Mentors, to discuss this very topic – reach out to The Recruitment Mentors for more information, and my inbox is always open to anyone looking for advice – you can connect with me here.