When you think about business development, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? If sales is your answer, you are neither the first nor the last person to think so, and you are wrong.
Business development is so much more than selling, it involves strategy, marketing, sales, customer management and partnerships. It focuses not only on growing the brand of the organization from the outside but also internally. Business development is a complex job as it involves wearing several hats. For the sake of this particular write up, lets focus on selling. 
Although selling is perceived as this one specific thing to do to transact, the process of selling a product and a service differ.
Selling a service, for me, is similar to telling your child why he should not be afraid of his shadow. I was confronted with that recently and oh boy, it was tough. I had to come up with ways to make him love his shadow and that included coming out of my comfort zone by walking at his pace, encouraging him to hug the floor, singing his unending love to the shadow, playing peek-a-boo to it, you get it. 

My 10 + years' experience in business development have made me appreciate that when you are selling a service, you are selling people: expertise, credibility, and track records. When selling, you have the opportunity to create a long and trusting relationship with your client or simply ruin it.


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Since most initial conversations with customers happen through some digital form (either on email or through calls), creating a value from the onset is critical. Value is the reason why thousands of people lined up to the Two Rivers mall the day it was officially opened; it is the reason why some people will choose to dine at a specific restaurant despite the outrageous cost; it is the reason why despite its high price, people still subscribe to Safaricom even when other telecommunication companies offer their services for free. It is the customer's perceived experience.
For your business to grow, it is important that you recruit people of value within your team and constantly train them to meet the need/want of your customers.