The Biz Dev 100: Jon Spary, new business director, Freelance

By The Drum | Editorial

The BD100


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November 29, 2018 | 3 min read

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 Jon Spary, one of those at the top of their field who work in the UK biz dev sector.

Name: Jon Spary

Job Title: New business director

Agency: Freelance- as of March 2018

What were your highlights of last year?

Helping my agency clients get onto the rosters of brand clients like Carlsberg, L'Oreal and PepsiCo. Installing many best practice procedures into smaller agencies I work with - from how to write and present killer creds, to developing salient thought leadership programmes to go to market and engage key influencers like ISBA with, and helping them maximise the meeting process with both speculative clients and those with clear needs - to help convert briefs into wins.

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

To this day, it probably remains Mazda. Why? - none of their incumbents could crack the live brief and the client needed a lot of convincing to meet with us - I needed to think fast and sharp over a phone with her, to convince her otherwise - The result was a multi-award winning an experiential event that went on to deliver 500+ new car sales

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How would you describe your approach to business development?

It's about relationship building and before you can start the process, gaining attention and awareness isn't dissimilar to dating - it's all about them, not you: flirt, flatter, always be thinking of them...and why taking anything further is appropriate and could be of benefit to them.

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

Don't take anything personally.

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

Don't do it...train to be a creative, you'll have more fun! On a serious note: make it your business to know your (agency) business inside out and always act in the interest of the prospective client you're dealing with.

What is your new business soundtrack?

I can't say I have one though hip hop, house and classic rock have helped get me through many and RFI and pitch deck. For want of something better, I'll go with 'Start me up' by the Stones.

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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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.

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