Today will examine words that describe the modern business development professional. In the same vein, this is not a scientific or comprehensive list. Rather, it is simply intended as an introductory and 30,000 foot view of terms relevant to business development professionals in the year 2015. As you may recall from an earlier post, the smarmy sales guy is dead/

  • Not-Smarmy. Yes, I realize that is really two words, but there’s a hyphen in between, which helps. Far from the business development person of decades past, the modern business development professional cannot rely solely on a sales emphasis. Today, business development professionals will identify more closely with relationship building and partnership nurturing, over sales. Rather than purely pushing revenue numbers up, today’s business development professional looks to match products and services with potential consumers. Enhanced revenue is a natural byproduct of this re-imagined job function. You must be real, authentic and genuinely able to empathize with the consumer.
  • Civic. In the past, business development professionals worked in silos like boardrooms, back-offices and the occasional golf course. Today, they must strive to be a much more visible element of the communities in which they live and work. Business development professionals, acting more like branch managers in many ways, will seek out opportunities to be visible and engaging in the public eye. Opportunities like this include community events, local group meetings and even area school activities. Far from working at existing as the smarmy salesperson of the past, the modern business development professional is to be seen as open, engaging and genuine. And this doesn’t just mean attending meetings – you must also be plugged into committees and other work groups that roll up their sleeves and get he jobs done.
  • Brand-oriented. To succeed, the modern business development professional must truly buy into the brand of the company or person they represent. This means they must live the brand, love the brand and endorse the brand. This will require a close relationship with the marketer or marketers in charge of branding efforts. Rather than working as a rogue field agent, today’s business development professional will fully integrate themselves as a key component of the larger marketing and branding function. By doing this, they not only develop a closer and more meaningful relationship with the company they serve, but also with the target audiences they are charged with attracting.

Just as with modern marketers, the modern business development professional is an evolving person. While we can use certain keywords to help describe this person, no three-word list can cover it all. What other words might you suggest to help describe the modern business development professional?