If you're good at marketing, you're a natural for business development. And business development is all about developing relationships with people who are strategic in moving your business forward. I categorize them into two groups:
-The Cool Kids -- those folks recognized as thought leaders
- New Markets -- those folks already playing in a market you wish to join
Like marketing, business development is all about engaging in conversations.
But many people just don't get it. They think "I'm important, so you should be talking to me". The proper approach is "I am helpful and you want to talk to me". This should be obvious, but usually isn't. And you're not selling them anything. What you gain by this approach is providing actual value from the beginning and by providing this service, eventually you will get attention. And as you continue to work together it will be obvious to both sides if you have a parting of the ways or move forward.
A test I like to use to see what kind of person you are is eating out. How do you treat the wait staff? Do you look them in the eye, acknowledge them and pay attention to what they are saying? Or do you treat them as staff, there at your beck and call? Too many people fall in the latter category and will fail horribly at business development. I also pick up verbal cues on how other people are described. If you say "She's just the marketing chick" you're not in business development and probably shouldn't be let out in public at all.