Business developers, meet Velina

by Dec 26, 2018

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What defines business development? We asked professionals working on it every day. Discover the story of Velina, business developer at Excelerators.

A few days ago I met Velina, a brilliant business developer, and we talked about business development and what makes it the best job ever.

She is an international business developer at Excelerators, a company that helps growth focused organizations expand commercially throughout Europe and beyond.

We talked about her passion for business development, the qualities she looks for in new hires and her ambitions for the future.

Who is Velina?

Velina is an international professional with a background in business development, project management, and digital marketing. She is part of the Excelerators.eu team since 2014.

Her personal strength is bringing people together, hence she has played a major role in building up the international network of sales professionals behind the company.

She has worked in various environments such as IT startups, promising scales ups and international corporates.

At the moment she is helping scale-ups expand internationally through high-level strategy, well thought out market research and a powerful network of business developers.

Professionally, she wants to engage more with Private Equity firms ready to invest in the international development and commercial growth of their portfolio.

You can reach her by email or via their website.

When did you start working in business development?

Do you ever really start working in business development? In my opinion, it’s something related to your personality, something you roll into.

To me, business development starts by really understanding the people you have in front and captivating them.

It’s about understanding what really matters to them by asking the right questions and see how you can mutually benefit from each other.

I never really decided to start, it was a natural transition for me as I’ve always enjoyed dealing with people.

So….what does business development mean to you?

The definition that better fits my vision of business development is:

To understand the person you are dealing with, find out what’s important to him or her and match these needs with the right solution.

Why did you decide to work in business development?

I’ve always enjoyed talking to people, especially understanding what’s deep in their mind and help them out whenever I can. That’s something that really makes me happy.

I believe you should always aim to be a force of good in the World and business development offers you this chance every day.

Because it’s really about finding the right solution to someone’s problems and the feeling you get when you’re successful at it is priceless.

Besides, it’s a really a great way to understand a lot about yourself and constantly improve.

Working with so many different people really obliges you to deal with your limits, find your strengths and make the best use of both of them.

And of course, I enjoy the feeling of getting amazing results. Business development offers so many opportunities that you can always enjoy great results from it.

Related article: 4 misconceptions about business development

What do you do on a daily basis?

My job is very diverse and I love that! I do a little bit of everything from thinking about the best strategy along with our clients, to actually executing on it.

One of the “tasks” I enjoy the most tho is to recruit new colleagues. We work internationally so we are always on the hunt for new talent everywhere in Europe.

I love interviewing candidates, get to know different people and see what drives them in their life.

Of course, I also help them get started in the job and guide them in their journey.

There isn’t just one thing. Basically, I take care of different things and this diversity is definitely a good motivator.

Read also: What does a business developer manager do on a daily basis?

How does a perfect candidate look like for you?

Uh, that’s a good question! There are a few things I look for when talking to a candidate.

The first thing is maturity. I like dealing with people that show a good sense of responsibility.

In this sense, I definitely love hiring moms.

They are aware of their weaknesses, so they know how to deal with them with confidence while being determined to reach their goal.

This type of intelligence gets the blind spots covered and promotes cooperation.

One other thing I really consider a strength in mothers is that they know how to take care of someone else and that reflects on anticipating the client’s needs and gaining trust.

Another quality I look for in business development candidates is energy.

People with energy and enthusiasm are a natural fit because they are able to transmit this passion to the people they talk to.

And of course, I love candidates that know how to ask good questions. It’s always a pleasure to hear smart questions during an interview.

Often times it means they will ask the same level of questions to potential clients or partners.

Last, and it’s really basic, but I always prefer candidates that did their homework. I don’t like to talk to candidates that are not prepared, because it usually reflects on the job as well.

It’s not something you can afford in business development. Preparation is key!

What’s your advice to young business developers?

Something I learned over the years is that people aren’t always constructive and sometimes they prefer to undermine your confidence.

Therefore my first piece of advice is to build your self-esteem and don’t let anyone get under your skin.

It’s very easy in such a competitive field, but this should never be a reason to give up.

Second, as mentioned earlier, do your homework! Research really makes the difference in anything you do.

When you are prepared, you come across as someone knowledgeable and people will trust you a little bit more when you try to connect with them.

Then, always give the benefit of the doubt. You can never know what’s going on in someone’s life and you can’t base your judgment on assumptions. 

Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly, try to really listen to what people have to say and trust them until you can prove them wrong.

The best salespeople are the ones that make their customers and prospects take the initiative.

Last, set your boundaries. Don’t go all in all the time. Make sure you put yourself first and don’t let other people take advantage of you.

Be nice, but not at your own expense!

What are your ambitions?

To be honest, I feel already quite fulfilled. I’m following my passion and doing what I really love in life.

The cherry on top of the pie will be becoming CCO of a mid-size company. I want to be able to shape a company’s growth and work alongside other passionate people.

 

Do you want to share your story? Contact us at hello@thebdschool.com

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Author

Lucia Piseddu

Founder at The BD School

The thing I love the most in business development is its creative process. My job is to help people unleash their potential and become great at business development.

Are you ready to grow in business development?

 

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