In this episode, we discuss the field of business development, how to work with high-level clients, how to communicate, and what questions to ask. The journey to navigate the corporate setup can be paved with challenges if the relationship with your customers is not strong.
Ana Sarbu shares pieces of advice on how to build fruitful partnerships with business partners and ensure their needs are listened to and met while providing the service Palantir is best known for: the world's leading software for data-driven decisions and operations.
Ana has been living between the US and Europe for the past 12 years and is now based in London, UK. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2012 with a double degree in Foreign Policy and Russian and is currently working in business development for the Silicon Valley technology company Palantir Technologies (https://www.palantir.com/).
She is passionate about offering young people in Eastern Europe the same educational opportunities that she’s had abroad. While in college, together with her friends, she co-founded Aspire Education – an organization focused on discovering, developing, and connecting young leaders in Eastern Europe by offering them opportunities to engage with Ivy-league professors, inspirational speakers, and mentors.
Follow Ana Sarbu on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana-sarbu-51a53728/
Check out Aspire Education and find out more about the program: https://www.aspireacademy.ro/
Resources from Ana:
o Podcast: NYT Rabbithole – about the effects the Internet has on our lives https://www.nytimes.com/column/rabbit-hole
§ “In Extremis” about the life and work of war journalist Marie Colvin; an impressive figure, courageous and fragile at the same time.
§ For some foundational work: "Plato’s Dialogues", especially Apology, Phaedo, Republic, Phaedrus, Symposium.
o Speech: Angela Merkel tv speech at the start of coronavirus: https://ga.de/ga-english/news/angela-merkel-s-speech-about-the-corona-virus-in-full_aid-49639811;
Video with subtitles: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/angela-merkel-nails-coronavirus-speech-unlike-trump.html
o Method: take time to reflect on yourself; write down a few things you wish to accomplish over the next years and put them in a box / a jar; set your mind to them. Revisit them in a few years (wait at least 3 years) and see how many you’ve accomplished. Then repeat the exercise.
03:40 What does your role of business cultivation mean?
05:50 What does business development mean to you?
08:36 How to research and connect with peers in your field.
13:30 What should people know when interacting with clients on a daily basis?
16:50 What questions do you ask your clients when starting to work together?
19:00 Using ‘prioritization’ in your personal life. What is it that you truly prioritize?
24:48 What do you think about the expression 'the customer is in charge'? How do you tackle situations when you know you need to advise your customers differently than they want?
27:43 How did your upbringing influenced & kick-started your career in Silicon Valley?
35:25 What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?
39:00 What is Aspire Education? How is a program such as Aspire impacting the professional & educational world?