The Biz Dev 100: Franky Woods, business development manager, Agency51

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.

Franky Woods: Agency51

Below is Franky Woods, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.

Name: Franky Woods

Job Title: business development manager

Agency: Agency51

What were your highlights of last year?

Winning one of our biggest contracts to date with a local business was great. We’d been building a relationship with them for several years so it was great to get this signed off – we built a website and marketed two more, so it was a huge project and it was great to be able to pop in whenever we liked!

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

In a previous role we had a client we had been chasing for a while who turned us down. I managed to turn it around and change their minds after showcasing all the benefits of our services to them. It turned out to be a huge win for us as a company and they did really well out of it too!

How would you describe your approach to business development?

I’m all about building relationships, rather than taking the ‘me, me, me’ approach, I like to get to know my clients and find out more about them and their business. Once I’ve got a better idea of their exact requirements and pain points, I take a relaxed approach to their proposals and ensure that their company and personal branding are on point. It’s so important to build those friendships with people – even if they say no in the first instance, you will have made an impression on them and they may return to you in future or recommend you to others.

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

A no is never really a no – not in the sense of continually harassing a new prospect, but as I mentioned above, a client may not be looking for your services at that particular time. That’s why it’s so important to maintain good relationships, even after a no, because you never know when circumstances may change.

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

Don’t go in all guns blazing! When meeting new prospects, rather than starting the conversation with a rambling monologue about how wonderful your company is, ask the prospect about their company – what are their goals, what is their current status and where could they improve? Then after you’ve shown them that you’re genuinely taking interest in them, you can start blowing your own trumpet! However, make sure that you are 100% clued up on every facet of your business, as this will prepare you for any difficult questions.

What is your new business soundtrack?

People are probably inclined to say something like Queen or Journey here, but for me it’s all about heart – the band that have my heart are Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Their music has been with me for years and really puts me in a fantastic mood, which is great for meeting new people. Smiles are infectious!

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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