8 Characteristics You Must Have to Work in Business Development

Jennifer Barker

Senior Business Development Strategist

Not everyone is cut out for the business development world, and I respect that. It’s a tough landscape, especially if you have a niche product with a small audience. As a hiring manager, how can you tell the difference between people who are ready to work in business development and those who are not? Listen to your gut and look for these eight characteristics.

1. Ambition

There’s a reason why many interviewers ask, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?” People who are ambitious have their goals laid out. They have a clear vision for where they expect to be and how they will get there.

2. Passion

Passionate people are the best sellers. They believe in the product they’re selling and what it means to their life. Customers who are looking to fill the same void or solve the same problem will be instantly drawn to this type of person.

3. Confidence

Confidence pays off when selling products and services. People want to know that they are in good hands, and an assertive, self-assured seller gives off this vibe. Confident business developers also tend to deliver fast responses and solid guarantees.

4. Honesty

It’s a myth that good business development professionals have to lie. All it takes is matching the right person to the right products and services. As long as they believe in what they’re speaking about, there’s no need to lie. Not to mention, if you hire someone who isn’t afraid to lie, what could this mean down the road?

5. Awareness

Being able to read people is an important characteristic. There’s no need to waste time on people who aren’t interested, though it’s important to pick up on certain social and conversational cues. For example, maybe the customer is interested but has hesitations about the warranty or price.

6. Learner

Some people learn faster than others, but being willing to listen and learn is what’s most important. Always look for individuals who are eager to discover new information and grow further in their careers. Know-it-alls don’t cut it.

7. Optimism

Business development has ups and downs, but the best people remain positive no matter what. This optimism is what allows people to bounce back and not let a lost sale bring them down. Having a positive outlook is also tied to long-term success and retention rates.

8. Organized

Being organized helps people feel in control of their professional lives. For example, coordinated people have a strategy method they follow that is effective and practical. They also tend to manage their time better than others.

When looking to add business development professionals to your team, keep an eye out for these eight characteristics. A more efficient and thorough hiring process rewards you with better employees in the long run.


About the Author: Jennifer Barker

Jen is the Business Development Strategist for SEMGeeks and the only team member born and raised north of the Jersey great divide, i.e. the Driscoll Bridge. Her BFA in multimedia design and extensive experience in digital marketing make her both an analytical and creative thinker. Jen has lived and worked for digital agencies in two major cities over the last 17 years but 3 years ago this “gypsy living, free bird” happily put her roots down at the Jersey Shore. The struggle to defend North Jersey to the rest of the team is an ongoing battle. #TaylorHam

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