Welcome to The Drum’s Biz Dev 100, powered by The BD 100, which aims to recognize and celebrate important role played in the media and marketing industry by those who source and bring in new customers and keep the fortunes of businesses on track.
Below is Kleon West, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.
Name: Kleon West
Job Title: business development director
Agency: The Eword
What were your highlights of last year?
Being recognised for my work in new client acquisition, by winning Business Development Professional of the year at the Insider awards and Made in Manchester awards. Seeing the team win awards for clients that we pitched so hard to win only 12 months before. Exceeding my annual target by winning multiple international clients across our key leisure, property and lifestyle sectors.
What has been your most memorable win - and why?
Winning a large account with the University I attended several years ago. Having graduated there with a BA in Digital Marketing, then later becoming an ambassador for the University; it was a great feeling to pitch and win their digital marketing account, especially as it was a very competitive 4-way pitch.
How would you describe your approach to business development?
My approach is all about relationship building and trying to help people. I love connecting people, making recommendations and building my network.
Then it’s all about teamwork. We’ve got a very talented team who I work closely with on pitches, they support with creative, research and insights - this helps separate us from the competition.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror.
What would be your number one tip to anyone starting in business development?
It’ll sometimes feel like the best job in the world, and at other times feel like one of the toughest. Staying positive is key and remember that tomorrow is another day. Try to enjoy the rollercoaster ride and always be nice to people!
What is your new business soundtrack?
Stronger, Kanye West
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