Your Business Development Director (BDD) walks over to the government Program Manager at the program award debriefing. They shake hands in a manner where it is clear they are happy to see one another. It is obvious there is a strong business relationship, likely built from many meetings and encounters. Your company won and your front line BDD did her job; she won and the program promises to add to your companies’ bottom line – profit.
Your BDD can make all the difference in the success of your company. These are your hunters, those that fill the company’s financial coffers. But what is it that makes these individuals successful? What skills or attributes set them apart from those that follow the pack? No doubt the list varies by type of company, but there are 6 skills/attributes I have found that are the true separators of those that win more than their fair share of opportunities.
Most people think in a consistent manner, the next step following the last, seldom getting a step out of order. Thinking out-of-the-box drives a new direction, one not expected, with the unexpected becoming the expected.
Listening; Going Beyond Hearing
This can well make the difference in the shape of a bid. It is one thing to pick up on the problem or the challenge, but to understand the subtleties of the cause of the problem or challenge can differentiate a solution as well as a bid.
Knowing What You Do Not Know
Anticipating or being aware of factors, events or circumstances not immediately identifiable is valuable. You do not have to know exactly what you do not know; rather you need to be on the lookout, plan for the unknown, and be ready when it rears its head.
Unrelenting Focus On the Client, and the Client’s Client
Having a client focus drives a totally different mindset and manner of thinking that is invaluable to a BDD. Going an additional and very important step is to focus on the client’s client, as this is after all what drives client performance.
Asking For Help When You Don’t Need It
Any work product can be improved; help is often available simply for the asking. Seek those having diverse backgrounds, as you will see views you haven’t thought of before.
You must be genuine, to yourself, to your colleagues and to your clients. Imitating someone else is weak and apparent. You cannot remember someone else’s behavior and get it right every time.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts on each skill/attribute of a bonafide Business Development Director provided by Bob Lam.
Bob is the principal and founder of Bob Lam Solutions and is affiliated with GovProp. Reference Bob’s forthcoming book People Buy From People at his website BobLamSolutions.com.