Six Secrets to Finding a Business Development Advisor

A question companies often face is what qualities and qualifications should they look for in a business development advisor. To us at Randolph Sterling, there are six crucial, but simple, questions such companies should ask:

(1) What are the advisor’s education, experience, and qualifications? Has the advisor had experience in dealing with the types of issues you are dealing with?

(2) Does the advisor have a business development background? Many advisors come from fields such as human resources, psychology, or teaching, but it is best if your advisor has been in the trenches and understands how to make the sale.

(3) Does the advisor have the type of style that will help you get where you want to go? Different advisors have different styles; some follow a strict regimen so every person or company they work with receives the same instruction (Week 1-cold calling, Week 2-overcoming objections, etc.) while others let you set the tone for what you feel is the most pressing need. Good advisors will also have different media by which they will work with you. Make sure your advisor offers in-person meetings, group meetings, as well as phone and email meetings to allow you different opportunities to grow.

(4) Does your advisor plan on working with you on a regular basis? Employees need attention. If not cared for, the overall business suffers. Employees who are continuously improving themselves through training and advising are more productive and more efficient, thereby contributing to the overall efficiency and profitability of their business and reducing turnover. Without regular training and advising, details get lost and a company’s vulnerabilities become exposed as things fall through the cracks.

(5) Does your advisor plan on training you or advising you? Advisors that train employees tell you how to do things their way and send you off to do it. Most training is a one time opportunity to gain information, much of which is often lost by the next day as you revert back to old habits. Advising is an ongoing process of continued growth where the advisor gets into the trenches with you and helps you to make lasting changes.

(6) What is the chemistry like? Your advisor has the difficult job of knowing when to push you and when to step back and recognize your efforts. You both need to be comfortable enough with each other so the advisor can tell you things that are in your best interest, even if they are things you don’t necessarily want to hear.

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