A Day in the Life of A Business Development Manager at Digital Ethos
Giles Refoy joined us at Digital Ethos as a Business Development Manager little over 6 month ago. We spoke to Giles to find out what a ‘typical day’ is like, what is success – and what he most enjoys about Business Development.
Hi Giles, what is your background?
I’m a Business & Marketing Graduate from the University of Gloucestershire, where I received 2nd Class Honors in Business Management & Marketing Management with French. I spent much of my early career years in senior sales management roles working for companies such as Tesco, IKEA, Homebase and the Co-Operative.
Why did you decide on a career in business development?
I’ve always had a passion for developing businesses and products – which I have done with varying success! Having worked in retail successfully for the most part of my career I just decided I needed a change, something where I could be rewarded monetarily for the hard work I do and not just a thanks and the potential for promotion every few years. They say it’s nothing ventured nothing gained so I decided to make a huge change and left my retail career behind me to work in Russia in financial services sales.
Well that is a good question, I was approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn and was asked to go to a presentation about working in Russia, and me being me I decided to go and to see what the opportunity was. Having attended I thought to myself I have been afforded the opportunity to work abroad in a reputable company on a new career path and if all else fails I will simply fall back into retail. That was 6 years ago now and I have not looked back.
I was in Russia for just over a year and it was incredible, the training and support to achieve daily targets was great however I missed the UK and decided to return and put into practice what I had learned so I began outsourcing my skills to small start ups who needed sales help but who did nit have large budgets, I maintained low overheads so was able to contract a below industry rates which gave me that edge on more expensive solutions from companies offering the same sales services. My network grew and I began being referred to other companies and I eventually built a small team and a small business called ‘By Appointment Only’. I had not considered doing this and after 4 years decided I wanted to go back to what I loved about Business Development and wanted to work under my own steam and this brought me to Digital Ethos.
Business development has been the perfect route to give me exposure to a wide range of sectors – and working with a fantastic range of innovative businesses, right at the sharp end.
So what does a typical day at Digital Ethos look like for you?
We manage and design campaigns for various clients at Digital Ethos so I have to carefully plan each day. I spend the first part of my morning making sure all meetings are confirmed and everything is running smoothly. Then it’s the calculated plate spinning which all Business Development Managers need to have firmly under their belt as the needs of the business change daily from a task perspective. However a normal day starts with confirming meetings, then to call all prospects who have been sent quotes and/or campaign guidelines with a view to converting them from prospects into Digital Ethos clients. I then begin the job of choosing which industry sector to start prospecting. On average I make between 50 & 80 calls per day, plus sending emails, sending out quotes, writing meeting/client briefs and preparing the teams for their campaign calls. I wear many hats and have to keep everything I do diarised and scheduled so as to not miss any opportunities.
I will then review all client and prospect contact to track engagement and follow up on any interest, as well as any follow ups logged in my CRM. It is important to not only find new leads but keep in touch with existing ones to build a relationship with them. Business development isn’t a quick sale, it’s about building a relationship and a mutual opportunity for the client and the lead.
The most exciting part of my day happens in the afternoon. It’s time to call the leads I have been contacting via email. This is the opportunity for me to deliver a great pitch and offer them the value proposition of Digital Ethos. If all goes well the main part of these calls is about discovering how we can serve the needs of the prospect and this can go in any direction, so I really have to be prepared to discuss anything Digital! I finish the day by reviewing the day’s activity and sending out subsequent emails to provide new contacts to follow up on the next day and updating the team.
What do you love most about the job and what is its most challenging aspect?
I love learning about new industries and the work of our clients, from creative social & digital platforms to scientific research & mobile applications all the way through to automation, recruitment, food & beverages, fashion, financial services, e-commerce and new emerging technologies the list is endless in this rapidly growing world we live in. The challenging part is understanding, the industry and the purpose of our clients sufficiently to be confident and comfortable talking to decision makers to then be able to identify and develop genuine new business opportunities.
What do you do in your free time?
In my spare time well I believe it or not I get the opportunity to perform on stages all over Europe as a Drum & Bass MC. I love to travel and also have a love for Italian and Mediterranean food so holidays tend to be in that part of the world.
What competencies do you think makes a good BDM?
1. A passion for business and what you are selling.
2. Adaptability and the drive to learn about varying industries
3. Being able to use your initiative to spot an opportunity from an insight, or challenge.
Do you enjoy a target driven environment – why?
Working in a target driven environment such as Digital Ethos has given me the encouragement to develop and focus on delivering success for myself and our clients. Winning new business and building relationships is exciting and varied within a Digital Agency, I also feel it enriches me as a person as I am exposed to so many different business models, needs and also cultures. I know that the results are down to me so nobody will be harder on me than myself and that I also love as I control my performance.