The Biz Dev 100: Martina Lacey, new business director, Mindshare

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.

Martina Lacey: Mindshare

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

Name: Martina Lacey

Job Title: New business director

Agency: Mindshare

What were your highlights of last year?

My highlights from last year including having to pitch without an agency name, logo or branding and still making it to the final stages of a pitch! But my ultimate highlight is joining a new agency and getting to be part of building a new team and creating a fresh approach to business development in the agency.

What has been your most memorable win - and why?

My most memorable win was for a brand whose CMO stood up in the pitch room and said “No, no, no, you have got this all wrong” instead of leaving the room despondent – which would have been understandable – the team used the 2 hours which would have been our pitch to do a workshop with the client to review why what we had presented was off the mark and how we could get back on track. Prior to the pitch meeting we were the only agency to request a tissue session, which had gone really well, so the reaction in the pitch came as a surprise. However, the rapport we had built up before the pitch and the way we conducted ourselves during and post the pitch meeting got us across the finishing line and we eventually won the business.

How would you describe your approach to business development?

My approach to new business is that the team I am working with needs to be building a cathedral, together, and not just see themselves as individual builders on a building site. We all know that there are countless elements that go into a successful, and for that matter, an unsuccessful new business pitch. My approach is to get everyone believing in the overall vision of the pitch and not only focusing on the one area that they are producing. How does their one aspect affect the whole? Each person on a pitch team needs to believe that they are building something extraordinary – together.

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

The best piece of advice I have ever been given was from the chairman of a company that I previously worked for. I was stressed, burned out and feeling really overwhelmed. He sat me down and said, “You need to remember, it is only work”. I often have to remind myself of this from time to time when things get hectic.

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

My number one tip to anyone starting out in business development is don’t forget to listen. Don’t go into a pitch assuming that you already have the answer or know exactly what the client wants. In an industry of immense egos and know-it-all’s, learning to listen first and speak second will take you far!

What is your new business soundtrack?

The Notorious B.I.G "Mo Money, Mo Problems"

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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