Business Developers – Spotting Their Generic Approaches

Over the years at Winning Pitch, we’ve come across all sorts of different business developers with their own unique blend of skills. What’s also been clear to us, however, is that it’s relatively easy to categorise business developers, each with their own generic approaches. In our view, there are four core categories of business developers, see if you can recognise them …

The Rough Diamond – These are fast-talking business developers who possess low levels of functional mastery skills. Their inability to understand the needs of their prospects or customers leaves them typically “wining” their way in their relationships. Rough Diamonds tend to:

  • Exhibit high levels of energy
  • Lack of specific evidence of successes
  • Communicate rapidly
  • Use jargon without always appearing to understand what it means
  • Ignore prospect/customer wants and needs
  • Use pressure tactics
  • Lack team focus

The Crashing Bore – Crashing bores possess high degrees of functional mastery skills but their interpersonal skills and use of selling methodologies tends to be low. Such individuals:

  • Are highly technical but only really understand their own market offer
  • Miss buying signals because they are so keen to talk only about their offer
  • Overwhelm prospects and customers with jargon (the difference here being that they actually understand what they’re talking about!)
  • They often fail to excite
  • Cannot adapt to different types of buyers personalities
  • Poor interpersonal skills

The Steady Eddie – Steady eddies are often the backbone of many organisations and ensure a steady stream of business from both new prospects and existing clients. Typically they are:

  • Well versed in their offer and have a good command of functional mastery skills
  • Convey confidence that their services will be competently delivered
  • Their interpersonal skills require development
  • May have difficulty working with certain types of decision makers
  • Recognise the importance of a team approach to selling
  • Offer reliably modest levels of business development success
  • Are usually mildly receptive to innovation, but ultimately like to do it the way they have always done it

The Winner – The winner exhibits a high degree of competency and entrepreneurial flair and is the true star of a successful organisation. What marks these people out? In our experience, these individuals possess most of all are these attributes:

  • Have a clear sense of purpose and self direction-leadership
  • Excel in interpersonal relationships and are charismatic in their approach. They have and ability to empathize at all levels
  • Usually demonstrate high degrees of functional mastery. In instances where this is lacking they use a team-based approach
  • They provide specific examples of success
  • They utilise leading-edge problem solving tools and have an open mind to new tools and techniques and apply them
  • They can create and innovate to apply new ways of tackling customer challenges
  • They practice what they preach
  • They have high moral standards and personal values
  • They can interpret the needs of clients and translate them into no nonsense solutions
  • They are excellent time managers
  • They are highly motivated and resilient to challenges
  • Think of themselves as their customer’s peer
  • They sell from the heart and are passionate about their job

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