How to Survive in a Business Development Role During COVID-19

How to Survive in a Business Development Role During COVID-19

I don’t need to tell you that we’re all trying to adapt to the new normal, and that “normal” is being redefined every day! It’s an interesting time for everyone, but especially those folks responsible for sales and business development. In many ways, the pandemic has brought to light the true nature of business development—you’re part therapist, part cheerleader, and part problem solver. As we navigate this time together, here are a few thoughts on what has worked for me.

Treat every day with the same positive energy as pre-Covid
Wake up, get dressed, schedule meetings via Zoom…. be “normal.” I’ve worked out of my home office for most of my professional career, so for me, this is somewhat business as usual. But understand that this time can be challenging for everyone—even those of us who’ve always worked at home!

While on customer calls, be respectful of the times
If 75% of discussion is around “coping with times” and only 25% is focused on filling needs for client, that’s okay! Those clients will appreciate your respect and sensitivity and remember the dialogue and you for future initiatives.

Push business development initiatives to Q4
Funds that haven’t been spent in the first and second half of the year will be available in Q4. Thinking positive about the holidays will be a welcoming approach and showing how you can drive a positive ROI in Q4 will be refreshing to clients.

In addition to scheduling daily calls with clients, find time for two personal calls a day
Reach out to people you have not spoken spoken to in a while; you’ll get energy from reconnecting with family and friends. You’ll never regret making these connections, and they’ll lift your spirits.

Bond with your internal teams
We all need each other through these times and again… there’s power in people bonding during trying times. We all need to support each other. Start each call with “wins.” The enthusiasm is contagious.
Listen to what the other person is feeling. Empathy and compassion towards others takes the attention off your own pain and replaces your pain with positive energy towards others.

There’s an upside to the downside
If anything, this pandemic has given us the time and the space to be creative and innovative, coming up with new solutions, as the public is approaching retail and shopping in entirely new ways.

Enjoy your family to the max
It is easy to be caught up in the daily grind of back-to-back Zoom calls. Take bike rides, go for walks, play games, and watch some movies together—are all ways to “escape” and be normal.

Pray, meditate, pay attention to your inner life
Do whatever you need to do to slow down, reflect and find your serenity.

Be safe and encourage all to be safe!
We can make a difference and be an example to our team and our clients.

So much of business development is about nurturing relationships, and the good news is that there are still plenty of ways to connect with your customers and prospects. But more important than connecting with your customers is taking this opportunity to re-connect and rediscover what’s most important to you.

Mary Jo Liesch is a Sales Director with T-ROC, a global retail solutions provider. To learn more about how T-ROC can work with your brand or manufacturer on innovative solutions, you can reach her at mliesch@trocglobal.com.

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