Creating a Purposeful Approach To Business Development

Business Development is one of those areas of agency life that is often misunderstood – it is about so much more than just getting sales through the door, when you understand it correctly.

On this episode of the podcast we are going to delve deeper into the world of Biz Dev and discuss, at length – with our amazing guest Ben Potter – how agencies can win the right clients with a more purposeful approach to business development. As a Business development adviser to a number of amazing agencies, a Non-Exec and now Advisory Board Member to Tanba Ben is a seriously in-demand expert assisting fledgling new business functions turn into something more grown-up, or as he puts it “helping you to unleash your inner (business development) beast”. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • Business Development best practices 
  • How agencies don’t spend enough time digging into what potential clients actually want
  • Why you are never selling to a ‘business’, even in the world of B2B 
  • How to pitch more successfully 
  • What you absolutely should not do 
  • Prospecting so you have the pick of opportunities to choose from 

Word on the Street is sponsored by Tanba, The Agency New Business Academy, is a brand-new initiative aimed at equipping agencies of all sizes with the knowledge, content, partnerships and opportunities needed to accelerate agency growth by optimising their new business ‘engine’. Tanba is an on-demand and affordable solution for agencies looking to upskill their team via training courses, content and insights delivered by our panel of industry experts, leaders, and partners.   

The academy is all about empowering agency teams to get noticed, attract opportunities, increase conversion rates, and reduce the costs associated with the sales process. Visit to find out more and start empowering your agency. 

Links & References

Katie Street:

Ben Potter

“I think it is an attitude, it’s a perception of business development or sales” – Ben Potter [09:06]

“If you imagine business development as a pyramid, for me positioning is at the base, it’s the foundation” – Ben Potter [10:13]

“We are too eager to write a proposal or put together a pitch deck and we end up missing a lot of steps in between” – Ben Potter [10:54]

“Those really fast growing agencies often have leaders that have come from a new biz or sales background” – Katie Street [13:03]

“The whole new business journey, from attracting the right leads by having a strong value proposition that talks to the needs of your audience means that the right kind of people are coming to you” – Katie Street [15:07]

“The golden rule around qualifying is that it’s not a one off event” – Ben Potter [16:25]

“If you don’t have many leads and you haven’t done well at your marketing, you feel under pressure to work with potential opportunities that aren’t the right fit for you” – Katie Street [19:36]

“If you do have a really good lead generation machine, therefore you have a good pipeline, it gives you choice” – Ben Potter [20:14]

“The first call, what are you looking for…” – Ben Potter [21:42]

“If you can bend it and break it slightly in your favour, you’re 10 times more likely to win that business compared to agencies that don’t” – Ben Potter [23:57]

“I don’t think enough agencies spend enough time asking the right questions” – Ben Potter [24:42]

“Always had 10/20 top questions I had to ask every single prospect” – Katie Street [29:18]

“What it used to be in years gone by was a bit of show and tell” – Ben Potter [32:54]

“We also need to be teaching our clients or our prospects something” – Ben Potter [33:42]

“If you are well positioned, if you understand a particular market or sector, then there’s a very good chance that both of you already understand the problem that you’re trying to solve” – Ben Potter [35:06]

“Go in with a challenge and show that you understand their business” – Katie Street [37:41]

“Go into that extra level of detail, it actually made it really fun!” – Katie Street [38:41]

“What you’re looking for is a prospect to say something like; I hadn’t really thought about it like that” – Ben Potter [39:35]

“If you just take this one rule alone, it should in theory change how you approach the whole kind of qualifying, discovery, pitch process.” – Ben Potter [42:03]

“Has anything changed? A really, really powerful question, really, really simple, but could be relevant at any stage of the process” – Ben Potter [45:37]

“We don’t remember everything all the time” – Katie Street [45:37]

“If we’re positioning our proposal or pitch deck as confirmation, broadly speaking as what’s already agreed verbally, then what there shouldn’t be a need to do, is spend the first half an hour, hour talking about the agency” – Ben Potter [47:09]

“You obviously need to ask the right questions, to know who’s in the room so that you know how to structure your presentation” – Katie Street [49:21]

“Have those little anecdotes in the back of your mind read to pull out at the appropriate time” – Ben Potter [52:12]

“Don’t finish talking about money” – Ben Potter [53:13]

“A key part of positioning is to have a really clear idea of what the right client looks like” – Ben Potter [55:59]