Business development is an ever-evolving concept that can be approached from different perspectives. At its basic level business development is defined as growing a business by making it more competitive, expanding products or services, and/or focusing on specific markets. In other words, business development is the practice of growing a business beyond its current state. In order to grow a business beyond its current state, it is important to focus on one or more of these areas. The type of business and the direction of growth determines where the focus is placed.

1. Relationship building
The top-rated skill that you’ll need to get hired in business development is the ability to build and maintain relationships with others. You’ll need to be able to identify lucrative relationships and reel those potential partners in through networking or other approaches so that you can build on the client base.

2. Personable
Arguably completely critical to the skill of relationship building is that of being personable. If you are difficult to approach then clients will simply go elsewhere to someone who is easy to work with. Being polite is a part of this, but also being friendly and able to make easy chit-chat with strangers certainly helps too.

3. Thinking on your feet
the skill of thinking on your feet and adapting quickly is much coveted in business development. Employers want to see that you can handle curved balls that come your way with confidence and ease and that you don’t get thrown off course easily.

4. Project Management Skills
Good Business developers are in some way also project managers. They have to be able to set goals, plan and manage projects, manage the risks involved, calculate budgets, cost, time and teams working on ongoing projects.

5. Negotiation & Persuasion skills
This includes being tactful and diplomatic at all times. Achieving your set goals require that you are able to learn when to compromise and when to take a stand. In order to persuade your prospects to do what needs to be done, you will need to win their hearts, minds, and trust.

6. Collaboration Skills
Business Development is not a one-man show. It involves collaboration with multiple parties from inside and outside the company. Any good business developer should be able to build relationships, influence, manage conflicts and navigate through office politics in order to get things done.

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