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How to Become a Business Development Associate

Career News February 24, 2014

The official capacity of a business development associate is to search for new ways to boost a company’s sales. Their job is to create new relationships with business clients and build or maintain existing ones. Candidates for the job must be thorough, detail oriented, responsive to clients, reliable, knowledgeable about social networking, current technologies and programs and possess strong communication skills.

The Education Needed

Despite the extremely high demand, landing a job as a business development associate isn’t easy. Professionals advise potential candidates to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business and should consider pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration. They also recommend acquiring an internship with a top company or financial institution. Courses in public relations, human behavior studies or the social sciences are a must.

One of the most important skills of a business development associate is an ability to understand the mechanics of structuring and negotiating deals. Extracurricular studies should include reading industrial magazines, studying trends to understand which businesses are on their way up, who is being funded, and which companies are establishing mergers, partnerships and offering deals.

A good business development associate must be comfortable with interpersonal relationships and relationship management. Good intuition is part of their key to success, with the ability to read people well, negotiate on flexible terms and appreciate and value long-term relationships. Job duties often entail long hours on the telephone, making appointments for field sales representatives, tracking the appointments made, and initiating and following up on business development activities.

Other Skills That Are Vital

Business development associates may also be required to engage with a customer base and educate customers on new or current technologies, programs and promotions. They assist in marketing campaigns with preparation and follow-up and help with website content and development. Networking is also a vital function of the business development associate. Associates are expected to be proficient at various database applications, including Excel, and have a great deal of Internet and computer knowledge, as well as experience with Internet marketing tools.

Breaking into the field often means beginning your career in a related field, such as product manager or as a technical engineer. By developing a thorough understanding of the type of products you wish to represent, you have a stronger basis for becoming a business associate. Becoming a business development associate is primarily about selling yourself. After acquiring the skills needed for understanding business trends, marketing methods and networking, find a company where licensing and distribution is the key strategy, then tell them why the company needs you.

UMCP, or your school of choice in your local area, can be of assistance. In order to change careers you must first bring something of value to an employer, something you can demonstrate. A college education not only puts your foot in the door, but also teaches you the basics of business administration and the procedures that are proven to work in maintaining large companies. This is just what you need to get started. It’s time to do, not dream!

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