Your Director of Business Development: Seeker, Closer or Both?

Director of Business Development

What’s the role of your Director of Business Development, or for those of you who handle new business, what is your role?

Is it seeking out the right prospects-building awareness and opening doors, or is it that, plus finishing and closing those opportunities?

There are strong arguments for and against both.

I lean toward the former as the ideal model-that of the seeker.


Director of Business Development-The Seeker

Done correctly, agency new business for one person is a full-time job when tasked with reaching out, ongoing awareness and opening doors for a first meeting with the right prospects.

Building lists, ongoing, consistent reach-out, research on those prospects and content creation all need to be a part of your agency new business effort, not to mention ongoing social media strategy for new business.

Director of Business Development

Something else to consider-the seeker needs to have marketing and sales attributes to succeed.

The closer is obviously heavier on the sales side.

Regardless of how you see the mix playing out, it’s tough to find one person who can seek and close truly well, with all that goes into both.


Oh And One Other Thing. . .

And then add the fact that so many agencies task their Director of Business Development with account management responsibilities for the clients they sell and close.

Very, very difficult to put a real effort against that seeking role with so many other responsibilities.

We’ve seen agency new business directors fail or leave because they just couldn’t do it all.

So carefully consider what makes the most sense in your agency’s role of new business director.

It’s not black and white, as every agency structure will lend itself to a model that works, but expect too much, and you’ll be looking for yet another new business person.

Related to

How to hire the right salesperson for the job

20 Qualities That Make A Great Salesperson

Successful Salespeople Have Moderate Temperaments


Lee McKnight JrPost by RSW/US Director Of Business Development Lee McKnight Jr


As Vice President of Sales at RSW/US, Lee drives sales efforts to bring ad agencies and marketing services firms on board with RSW, creates content around successful new business tactics and takes part in RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. You can find him on LinkedIn ( or Twitter (@leemcknightjr).