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Business Development Strategy with Sarah Tunney


‘How do you bring in new business’?

This is probably the question I’ve been asked the most throughout my career. The nature of our work with client acquisition means that there isn’t really a definitive answer.

We work with people. And people being people means that every call I make requires a slightly different approach – there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

I do however have a basic process that underlines my approach in business development which I am going to share with you. I hope you find it useful!



It is vital that you understand your own business and services inside out. Having a genuine understanding of how your business offering can benefit the prospect will help to build the initial trust required to form a healthy and prosperous working relationship with the client.

I started my career in Telemarketing 20 years ago. I’m fortunate to have a lot of experience in the industry which serves me well as a business development manager. I re-joined Phonetic in 2017 having worked here 15 years ago so I had a head start in terms of understanding what we offer as a company that is different from our competitors!

If you don’t have the pre-existing knowledge and understanding that I was lucky enough to have coming into this job, take the time to gain it. Look into your case studies, speak to your colleagues and discover as much as you can before you engage with prospects.



I always spend as much time as possible gathering information on the company I am targeting. Before you even pick up the phone, you must at least know their industry, who their current clients are and who the best person to speak to is. Dig as deep as you can in your research to be as fully informed as possible. An in-depth understanding of your target audience goes a long way in bettering your chances.



Understanding and research both culminate towards the most important part of business development: engaging successfully with a prospect. It is vital that you build a natural and genuine rapport with who you’re speaking to and this can only come from successful research and understanding.

Once you have sparked an organic conversation with the prospect, this is the time to engage in active listening. You must quickly interpret what they are saying to deduce any potential buying signals they might be giving you. At this point, you can approach them with an appropriate solution and all being well, win the client.


The Bottom Line

The huge diversity of calls we make means that you never truly know how to approach a prospect until they are on the other end of the phone. As I said earlier, there is no easy solution or quick fix for business acquisition but following the three steps has served me well so far at Phonetic and throughout my career. I really hope it works for you too.

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