Business Development: Self-initiative and team spirit don't have to clash here
Business Development at Zühlke is as diverse and international as it gets. With 12 out of 15 locations all over the world, we cooperate with clients from a wide range of industries. Right now, around 50 Business Development colleagues from Frankfurt, Hanover, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Zurich, Bern, Vienna, Singapore, Hong Kong, Manchester, and London work with more than 1.200 colleagues from other divisions on a multitude of projects. Aud Frese is one of them.
Insight in brief
Our colleague Aud Frese gives you insights into her work as Business Development Manager at Zühlke and tells you why a typical working day doesn't really exist. She also reveals which skills are particularly important for your career in Business Development and why Self-initiative and team spirit don't have to clash.
The Heppenheim-born mother of two kids aged 4 and 7 works as a Senior Business Development Manager at Zühlke. Currently, Aud is primarily in charge for clients in the area of medical engineering and the health sector. She gave us valuable insights into her work with Business Development at Zühlke, different projects, and the opportunities that new colleagues at Zühlke have.
A passion for the development of new business areas
Aud and her colleagues work with highly diverse companies, from startups to international corporations. She is particularly interested in "the identification and development of new business areas – an integral aspect of my job. Together with clients and our team of creatives, I develop new ideas that clear the way for innovative services and products." Aud and her colleagues guide every client through the whole sales cycle, from proposal preparation and negotiations to after-sales activities. Often discussions start much earlier – at symposiums or, currently, during online workshops. Due to her longstanding experience in the healthcare, life-science, and medical device industries, Aud mostly advises her clients, leading them into a successful digital future.
Our Business Development Managers are familiar with different industries ranging from consumer goods and trade to insurance, manufacturing, and engineering. They focus on the clients' individual needs: "That's also the reason why every project is unique and offers new exciting opportunities," says Aud. Right now, she mostly works with startups from the medical and treatment support environment as well as life-science and medical device corporations. Also, Aud has the opportunity to create and develop new business areas, thus shaping her own working environment.
"My self-initiative has priority."
If you want to tap into new business areas, you can't afford to be unaware of the market trends. At the same time, it also poses a risk Aud is very much aware of: "Both my boss and our management trust me and give me the freedom I need to explore new opportunities. But even if I did not open a new field and did not create any new business areas, they would never allow me to feel like I made a potentially wrong decision. And that is because my self-initiative has priority, no matter how things may turn out.
"As Business Development Managers work closely with clients and teammates, it is crucial that they are communicative, empathetic and good at negotiation," says Aud. Moreover, when it comes to idea generation and mastering challenges, a high level of creativity is key. However, it really is the teamwork that makes the story work, and that you enjoy working as part of a team. Simultaneously, the exchange of ideas and experiences among our Business Development Managers from all different business areas is invaluable. Regardless of their respective specializations, they continually learn from each other, thus repeatedly gaining insights into other markets, business areas, and trends.
No such thing as a typical day at work
A typical day for a Business Developer is as diverse as the individual industries, clients, and projects. The interdisciplinary teams consisting of Business Solution Managers, Project Leads and Business Development Managers handle a market topic, striving to solve every challenge that comes their way. On-site or from home, close coordination among themselves and regular exchange with the clients is essential. Until the spring of 2020, all Business Development colleagues usually worked 1 – 2 days in the office and spent the remaining time at the clients' offices. In both instances, freedom is the topmost maxim. After all, Aud has the opportunity to coordinate her own appointments and can plan her daily routine herself. "Being a mother, that's very important. This way, I can balance my work and my private life flexibly."
More than 50 years of market experience, more than 12.000 projects
Business Development at Zühlke exists since 1968, the year the Zühlke Group was founded. Nevertheless, it's not just 50 years of market experience and cooperation with clients in more than 12.000 projects that facilitate professional development and personal growth for all Zühlke employees. The success is also based on the open and appreciative way our colleagues communicate with each other. Aud adds: "From the very first day, I felt a great level of appreciation for what I do. This is also reflected in the company culture, which is shaped by transparent ways of communication. At Zühlke, I feel at ease and really enjoy working here."