Top 3 Skills to Master when pursuing a career in Business Development

Many people work in Business Development but how many are truly successful? We know that being a good Business Development Manager (BDM) requires determination, passion and perseverance. We also know that good BDMs must have great communication skills, exceptional negotiation and persuasion abilities and, extensive knowledge of their market to be recognised as trusted advisors. But what separates a good BDM from a great BDM? We’ve asked someone who knows – National Workforce’s National BDM, Natalie Webb.

With over 25 years’ combined business management, business development and recruitment experience, Natalie has worked across various sectors and with many highly respected clients. She is renowned for her relationship management skills, collaboration, and genuine interest in providing solutions to her clients, and when it comes to business development, she knows her stuff. So, we asked Natalie what are the top 3 skills she would recommend mastering for anyone pursuing a career in business development.

Whether you are well into your career, or about to dive in, grab a pen, printer or get ready to screenshot – these are Natalie’s top recommendations you won’t want to forget.

Research & Plan

Always research your prospect to gain an understanding of their business prior to your approach. The more you understand and know about your prospect, the greater your chances will be of having a meaningful conversation with them. Successful BDMs always have a planned approach and will often find a link or common ground with their prospects prior to their first engagement.


One of the greatest lessons you can learn is to listen. Successful BDMs are completely present when they are speaking to their prospects. They are not distracted by what is happening around them, and they are not just trying to get a sale. They are focused and keenly aware of their prospect’s tone, response and engagement. Developing this skill will allow you to truly understand what your prospects are saying and will help you to build genuine relationships where you can work towards providing solutions for your prospects.


Prospects will engage with BDMs who they believe are genuine and honest. Work with your prospect to find a solution to their problem, and never promise something that you are not able to deliver. Always be honest and transparent, even if this means you may not achieve a sale. The most successful BDMs genuinely want to help their prospects succeed and will stay close to their customers even after they have signed up to ensure they receive what has been promised.

And: Stay true to yourself – people buy from people they like, so be YOU and believe in what you are selling!!

Thanks Natalie, invaluable advice. You can reach Natalie on 0481 602 342 or email