The B.D. Role - Ambassador
By Larry Silver
What exactly does a Business Developer do at a construction company? If we tracked this person throughout the day, would there be enough evidence to convict them of actually having a productive and significant role in their companies?
The Business Developer's role is warm and fuzzy. It appears from an outside vantage point to be a series of telephone calls, meals, golf matches and association meetings. But what is all this for? Well, the obvious answer is for new business.
The goal of this key staff person is to be an ambassador both inside and outside the organization.
The internal role of the business developer is extremely important and underrated. They must bring leads in early enough to give their firms a decent shot at negotiating or short-listing the opportunity. They must have the market intelligence come forth at weekly meetings to justify going after the opportunity and be able to set the table to make it appetizing to the management team.
The business developer is a catalyst and orchestra leader as far as bringing resources to bear on the opportunity. The timing must be responsive, therefore they are responsible for marshalling the staff to meet the need of the hour. On one project it may be necessary to consult on site location and financial assistance. On another, the need arises to do preliminary design and budget estimating. The business developer must establish the client's need and communicate that need with urgency and forthrightness.
Outside the firm, the business developer must be a researcher, tracking down any potential project at the right size and time for the company's need. Their contacts must be a far-reaching network into the community where they conduct business. Often times, work will be referred to other, more suitable suppliers, while waiting patiently for the favor to be cashed in for them. The business developer is plugged into all the right associations and industry functions for their firm.
The mix differs depending on the strategic approach. If the company's focus is retail and restaurant, then the business developer must know all the players in the geography and niche they serve. They must know multiple players in those key organizations and be able to bring their own key staff and service to bear at just the right moment for impact.
The business developer is an ambassador who is key to the success of every growing organization.
About the Author
Larry Silver is Editor of Contractor Marketing, the first marketing magazine just for contractors. He can be reached at 937-864-5854 ext. 11, or you can visit their website at www.contractormarketing.com.