Thoughts from a Business Development Manager
8 March 2021
By Caroline Fisher
Business Development Manager, Momentum Broker Solutions
It’s so strange reading the article I wrote last year (thoughts from a Strategic Account Manager) when we were in blissful ignorance of how long and how deep this pandemic was going to affect us all. I remember thinking how lucky we were that we had to endure all this in the spring and summer and not the winter, yet a few short months later we have suffered lockdown 3.0 and we have been tested to the edge.
A few short months after I wrote that article I was made redundant from the role I had only been in for a short time. Suddenly the role of the ‘Business Development Manager’ seemed under threat. Looking back now I think that was short sighted of me, but at the time many companies were knee jerking and laying their BDM’s off due to constraints caused by the pandemic. Now with the benefit of hindsight I can see that the companies that quickly dispensed with their BDM’s did so as a cost saving exercise because pretty much everyone I have spoken to since has come to realise the value of this role. Certainly, it has evolved but that was happening anyway – the pandemic just hurried it along. We can all see now the benefit of video conferencing and it only adds to the role not detract.
So, whilst making my garden look quite magnificent last summer I also began talking to broker friends and colleagues and my wider network. One thing that was clear and heartening also was that my network wanted to talk to me! I had discussions with many different brokers and insurers, I communicated with CEO’s of large composites and MD’s of small independent brokers. Alistair Body being one of them. We discussed the industry and what shape we thought it might emerge in 2021. We quickly realized that we were singing from the same hymn sheet. We both saw not only the value of the role but we had the same thought process when it came to how the AR model was going to emerge from 2020 more prominent than ever. Since Momentum had grown and was now helping numerous AR’s achieve their growth goals and entrepreneurial dreams the role was more important than ever – developing and nurturing relationships was once again key in 2021.
Soon after these discussions I was invited to take a role with Alistair, Howard and the team at Momentum. It felt like the stars were aligning, not just for me personally but for the way mine and Momentum’s view of the Broker industry was taking shape. Established Brokers were finding it difficult to gauge growth plans, brokers that were trying to plan their exit strategy suddenly found themselves at a cross roads, the consolidators were out in force and suddenly experienced Account Executives and business owners were writing business for CEO’s that didn’t value them or their clients.
So now the role of the BDM has never been more important once again as we emerge blinking into the light after the enforced lockdown. I have made 40 new friends in the shape of bright, enthusiastic Appointed Representatives of Momentum. They have welcomed me and once again I am having conversations around business development, our Industry and the future. I am having no end of conversations with professionals who are ready to take the plunge and go it alone. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking!
One thing has come to light over this last 12 months. It has given us all time to think, take stock. What do we want? More importantly what don’t we want? What does our work/life balance now look like? We are the masters of our new future. And its bright!