The role of a Business Development Manager (BDM) can be many things and it really depends on the company structure. This role can easily be transitioned across many industries and I know this because as of 2016 I have started helping BDMs in other professional networks. The key role of a BDM is to source new strategic opportunities for the business, build and maintain relationships with referral partners, prospects, clients, and local community.
Many businesses with try and over complicate the role and incorporate too many expectations which leaves the BDM lost and uncertain if they can achieve the expected targets. To ensure you get the most out of your BDM you need to have a clear understand of the difference between marketing, sales, and business development.
Marketing - attracts customers to the website and the front door of the business. Sales - convinces the customer to go from the door and the website to ask more questions. Business Development - works to create new opportunities and build a strong growth pipeline.
Business Development can help identify and execute new areas of business, new opportunities, new referral partners and new products. This is done typically with partnerships between another company and your BDM.
No that you understand business development that is the easy part making sure your BDM understand he expectations is vital for success. No matter what industry you operate a BDM in the fundamentals are all the same.
• In the interview make sure you ask direct questions related to the role and what they know about the business • Talk with the team about the candidate get feedback and support for new team member joining • Once secured ensure they have a detailed job description, key performance indicators and an understanding of the type of negotiation power they have when at the listing appointment. • Ensure they know, understand and are 100% passionate about the brand team and fee structure they are promoting. • If you have a sales team help this process by creating the introduction • Provide feedback when the BDM comes for with a list of referral partners they would like to connect with. You don’t want them to be doing business with people you don’t know and trust. • Lastly have a strong accountability plan in place and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
These may all seem like simple stages but can be easily missed when you just let the BDM walk into the role with no guidance or accountability plan.
So, you are probably wondering ok now I have may plan Tara what do I ask when speaking to the referral partners and how can we help each other?
Well it is very simple in fact what you need to remember is many business across the professional service network are keen to connect and refer business. They just need a push and a little reminder sometimes.
Always start by focusing on how you can help them not what they can do for you and remember the over goal is to start and build and long term relationship.
As an example, if you were speaking with an accountant you would say “I work with many prosects and clients that have tax related questions and they normally call up around the middle of each year. I would love to be able to refer them to someone I know and trust and would appreciate hearing a little more about your business and how you assist your investment property clients?”
Some of the joint thing you can do together to help pass each other referrals are running joint investor evenings, sharing articles on newsletters, websites, and social media updates.
Finally being proactive in passing a referral and make sure you are listening to your clients questions and concerns. If you want to be seen as the investment property specialist in your area you need to start performing like one and the load and ready to share solutions versus. We have many accountants in our area best you have a look on google.
The next level BDM knows what it takes to stand out and be different and won’t take no for an answer. They ensure they are devoting 100% attention to the role and on the phone or in face to face meetings everyday with the target to always have at least one appraisal booked each day. Demonstrate how you can help reduce risk and educate them on how they can increase wealth and you will be the go to person when they have those burning questions and ideas.
Tara Bradbury Director BDM Academy