The Biz Dev 100: David Edwards, head of new business, Coley Porter Bell

David Edwards: Coley Porter Bell

Welcome to The 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 David Edwards, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.

Name: David Edwards

Job Title: head of new business

Agency: Coley Porter Bell

What were your highlights of last year?

First and foremost, joining the vastly talented team at Coley Porter Bell. Then contributing to us smashing our new business target by 270% in 2017 - converting 55% of our pitches! I was also part of a small crack team that initiated the redesign and launch of the new agency website. I've become part of the senior management and social teams, helping to nurture a winning, fun and confident culture in the studio. Finally, a big highlight was judging at our annual Shine Awards - a chance for the next generation of designers to showcase their fantastic talent!

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

Winning the pitch for a large personal care business in the Far East. Memorable because the pitch team had to get under the skin of a fascinating new culture with a very different outlook on what beauty means to Women.

How would you describe your approach to business development?

Consultative, relevant and persistent.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

"It ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward". Yes, Rocky 1, but it works for me!

What would be your number one tip to anyone starting in business development?

Create an achievable new business plan and stick to it. Be ruthless in your targeting, strict in saying 'no' to opportunities, and be truly unique in your approach. Remember, the average marketer rece ives 17 new business approaches a day - so make sure you knock their socks off!

What is your new business soundtrack?

Anything from the 80's, but preferably something ghoulish like The Cure.

Brands looking to appoint a new agency should look to The Drum Recommends for help. The Drum Recommends offers reviews of agency partners by their own clients to offer insights to the rest of the industry when hiring.

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