Modern Marketing The BD100 Biz Dev 100

The Biz Dev 100: Sam Meade, business development director, Upfront Business Development


By The Drum | Editorial

November 26, 2018 | 5 min read

Sponsored by:

What's this?

Sponsored content is created for and in partnership with an advertiser and produced by the Drum Studios team.

Find out more

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.

Sam Meade

Sam Meade: Upfront Business Development

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

Name: Sam Meade

Job Title: business development director

Agency: Upfront Business Development

What were your highlights of last year?

Helping one of my digital marketing agency clients win a "Dream" client, a financial services comparison website. They had outlined in the immersion, that they'd love to get the opportunity to work with this brand, due to the agency's experience in that industry. With the help of the wider team here at Upfront, we put a programme in place, that provided relevance and credibility, and I was able to set up a meeting for an SEO retainer opportunity. The deal ended up at £60k, a six-month project, with the opportunity for extension

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

My most memorable win was helping one of my search agency clients to win a six-figure organic & paid search retainer with a merchant services & card payment solutions provider. Having initially spoken with the prospect a year before, there was a real need to assist with some technical SEO issues they were experiencing, although they lacked the required budget for this agency to help. With a year passing, I decided to get in touch to ascertain an update (despite a colleague mentioning that there was no point), having noticed that their visibility and traffic had decreased further. The prospect admitted that the situation had got worse, and that they'd be willing to catch up and decide how the agency could help. Having sat the meeting, the agency did such a good job, that they managed to grow the opportunity to include Paid Search.

How would you describe your approach to business development?

I'd say my approach to business development, is one that is highly insight driven. I like to know as much as I can about the prospect and the organisation, before I begin to make contact. From there I look to find an angle that links our organisations. This could come in the form of relevant experience and case studies, a mutual connection, or recent news about the organisation.

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

Very early on in my career, I was told that we have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason, so that we can listen twice more than we can speak. This is something that I have adopted throughout my career to date.

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

At the start of my career, I thought a good Business Developer, was one that could cover all the information about their company in their elevator pitch. Over time, I have realised that people want to speak to people, not hear clever buzzwords or marketing on paper. My tip, is to communicate to other people, either over the phone or in person, the same way you'd expect to be spoken too. You can prove credibility and understanding, just by knowing your product/service inside out. You don't have to use fancy words or statements.

What is your new business soundtrack?

Rudimental - Not Giving In

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.

Modern Marketing The BD100 Biz Dev 100

Content created with:

The BD100

The UK’s 100 most influential business developers, The BD100 recognises the talent – in-house and consultant, managers and foot soldiers – leading the charge in marketing agency new business and business development.

Find out more


Find out more

More from Modern Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +