FishingBooker business development team

In the Spotlight: Business Development

Our Business Development Team is the reason we can offer customers the largest online selection of fishing trips around the world. They expand our network of captains, explore markets, and act on new opportunities. Along the way, they make sure captains get the most out of their partnership with us. It’s not easy to juggle all these aspects; today Steva, Vasilije, and Igor will tell us what it’s like to work in their team.

A day in the office

Work days in the BizDev Team are diverse. You research market opportunities and foster relationships with new captains. You also reach out to captains already listed on our website who have questions and concerns about their business. And, on top of it all, you work with captains in different countries and time zones.

This dynamic nature of work is one of the things that Vasilije loves about his job.

My work day is generally quite dynamic. I talk to potential captains, learn about their needs, and persuade them to work with us. I design strategies to approach prospective partnership channels and optimize the existing ones. What’s great about it is that I get to maintain human contact and think on a strategic and creative level at the same time. It’s quite exciting.

‘Persuading captains to list with us takes a lot more than reading a script. You need to understand exactly how the people you’re doing business with feel. To build a lasting relationship, you need to address their concerns.

Igor, one of our Business Development Specialists, says that to win a deal you need to know what to say and how to say it.

No one wants to talk to a robot or a person reading a script. People remember people. They would rather talk to someone who is not pushy and sees things the way they do than to someone who is professional but a hassle to talk to. Knowing when to be informal, when to be polite, when to joke around, and how far you can push a joke with a client can be a very powerful tool.

A Biz Dev Specialist by day, a fiction writer by night

Before Igor joined FishingBooker, he used to be a mountain climber and an explorer. He has also written a fantasy novel called the Shadows of the Nephilim. While writing his book, he learned a handful of skills that he now uses to talk to potential captains.

As a fiction writer, you have to learn to observe people and see how they react: how they act when they are happy, excited, or frightened. You need to take yourself out of the world and become an observer.

“These skills can help you be better at Biz Dev in many ways. Knowing how people think can give you an opportunity to address their issues in a better way. If you know why an angry customer feels that way, it will be easier to help correct the situation. You will be able to say the right thing to the client and save what seemed like a hopeless situation.”

Selling in different languages

Vasilije is the team’s polyglot – he speaks Serbian, English, French, and Russian. He told us how the knowledge of different languages affects the way he works.

I was pretty lucky to live in different places growing up as a child, so the languages somehow came naturally. Besides being a communication tool, language for me has always been a form of expression with its own set of nuances. With that in mind, I think that it definitely has a significant cultural impact, especially when business comes into play.

Based on personal experience, I believe that you must adapt to every language both linguistically and culturally. It’s very important to adopt the right mindset when speaking in a different language. The subtle differences in wording, intonation, and even body language, can go a long way and either be a deal maker or a deal breaker. It’s very different selling to a Russian than it is to a French person, but that’s what makes it all the more exciting.”

Winning a thousand deals with broken English

Closing deals and providing the best possible service to your captains requires hard work. You need to tweak and improve your approach with every single call and email. And as you go, it’s important that you learn from your failure.

Steva, our BizDev Team Lead, started out as a one-man team. Although he has closed thousands of deals with captains around the world, the early days were by no means easy.

Talking over the phone means you have to handle objections in real time and sound natural along the way. My English wasn’t bad at that time but definitely not native. My accent wasn’t helping either.

“The hardest for me was to talk about a topic I knew nothing about. A lot of captains thought ‘locally.’ They expected me to know as much as they did, not only about their location, fishing techniques, boating, and tackle, but also about basketball, cars, gas prices, etc. It was a nightmare. I enrolled in a spoken English course immediately but also decided to do what I can with what I have.

“As a result, I developed a Sales process which started as a defense mechanism. It focused on asking questions, letting people talk, and listening actively, while sticking to the phrases I knew very well. I did that because I was afraid, but it turned out to be a good Sales tactics. I used it even after my spoken English got to a near-native level.

“Focusing on listening helped me a lot in my Biz Dev career. I identified concerns and critical points in the conversation with more ease. As a Sales Executive, I managed to close more than a thousand deals. As a Sales Manager, I managed to train people to close more than five thousand deals. And it all started with my broken English.”

Interested in joining FishingBooker? Check out our open positions.

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