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7 Strengths of Highly-Effective Federal Business Developers

business development Feb 11, 2023

How can I become a highly effective Business Developer?

Business development in the federal marketplace is a complex and challenging field that requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and personal attributes.

BD for business to government sales (B2G) offers an exciting career path for young professionals as well as people looking for mid-career transition opportunities. 

 It is important to remain persistent and focused, and to continue to build your skills and knowledge over time. With hard work and a commitment to quality, you can achieve success in this challenging and rewarding field.

Most successful BD professionals share seven traits and characteristics in common: 

  1. Strong interpersonal skills: Business development requires strong interpersonal skills, as building relationships with clients and partners is key to success. Good business developers are able to communicate effectively, build trust, and negotiate effectively. 
  2. Strategic thinking: Business development requires the ability to think strategically, analyze market trends and opportunities, and develop long-term plans for growth. Good business developers are able to see the big picture and think creatively about how to achieve their goals. 
  3. SME Subject matter expertise: Good business developers are able to demonstrate the SME status of their companies in their various marketing initiatives including social media, marketing assets, websites, capability statements and interpersonal presentations. 
  4. Entrepreneurial spirit: Good business developers often have an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to take calculated risks. They are not afraid to try new things and are comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. 
  5. Strong network: Business development requires building a strong network of relationships, both within and outside of the organization. Good business developers grow a wide network of contacts and are able to leverage these relationships to achieve their goals. Increasingly, networks are built through social media platforms liked LinkedIn and professional associations. 
  6. Industry knowledge: Good business developers have a deep understanding of their industry and the markets in which they operate. They stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments, and use this knowledge to inform their strategies. 
  7. Adaptability: Good business developers are adaptable and flexible, able to quickly pivot and adjust their plans in response to changing market conditions or new opportunities. 

The best business developers tend to have a combination of these qualities and are able to apply them effectively in their work.


  1. Familiarize yourself with the procurement process: The federal government procurement process can be complex and lengthy. It is important to have a good understanding of the process, including how contracts are awarded and what types of procurement methods are used.

  2. Build relationships: Relationships are key in the federal government contracting world. Building strong relationships with government agencies, prime contractors, and other industry players can help you better understand the market and identify opportunities.

  3. Stay informed: Stay up-to-date on changes in the federal procurement landscape, including new regulations and laws, budget and funding changes, and upcoming contract opportunities.

  4. Focus on quality: The federal government values high-quality products and services, so it is important to focus on delivering top-notch solutions to your clients. This can help you stand out in a competitive market and increase your chances of success.

  5. Be responsive and flexible: Federal government contracting often requires quick responses and the ability to adapt to changing requirements. Be prepared to be flexible and responsive in order to meet the needs of your clients and secure new business.

  6. Build a strong proposal: Proposals are a critical component of the federal procurement process, and a strong proposal can help you win contracts. Be sure to understand the requirements of the solicitation and tailor your proposal to meet the needs of the agency.

  7. Partner with other companies: Teaming and partnering with other companies can help you increase your chances of success, especially if you bring complementary skills and experience to the table.





After 200+ daily LinkedIn live training sessions, Neil has designed a 2023 version of his BD course to teach you how to become a highly successful BD professional. Get the knowledge and confidence to identify opportunities and build relationships that lead to federal revenue.

👉 GO TO: NeilMcDonnell.com for more information and to be notified when the training is released. 

👉 Once you complete this course, you will have the knowledge, skills and confidence to –

  • Balance a successful career with a remote lifestyle (flexibility!)
  • Apply your highly transferable BD skills to any company (competence!)
  • Find financial security in a predictable, recession-proof marketplace (stability!)



99% of the way there.

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