The New Biz Wiz

Heather Daniel Smiling

With more than 15 years of experience in wheeling and dealing, our new business developer Heather Daniel, is dedicated to taking R&R to the next level.

SM: What is your role at Rhyme & Reason Design?

HD: I handle all things new business development, therefore I’m responsible for all communication in regards to prospects or potential work. I’m usually the first face clients see or their first point of contact when discussing budget, strategy or the type of project that fits their needs.

SM: How did you come across Rhyme and Reason Design?

HD: Lauren (Castro) and I actually worked together at a previous agency. After she left to become art director at R&R, I reached out when I was seeking a new challenge. She told me it was perfect timing as Scarlett and Karen were looking for someone to fill a particular role with experience in one of our niche markets. Having worked in the tourism and economic development industries for the past 15 years, I brought quite a bit of knowledge to the table as well as long-term relationships from previous roles.

SM: What does a typical day look like for you?

HD: There is no typical day! It really varies depending on the types of projects I have in front of me. Some days I spend time researching or answering RFPs (Request For Proposal) whereas other days I am cultivating leads. Our business is all about relationships, therefore it is important to maintain a presence in the niche industries we serve. From traveling to industry conferences and staying on top of trends that affect our clients to providing a custom proposal for a prospect’s needs and serving in leadership positions within our niche markets, my day-to-day is never the same.

SM: What was your biggest learning moment?

HD: Sales can be very rewarding and humbling at the same time. Everyday is a balancing act of maintaining that momentum with awareness and continued presence, but also cultivating new leads as well. I would say my biggest learning experience came after my first in-person pitch. For a variety of reasons, it did not go as planned. But the moment I walked out of the room, I was analyzing what I was going to improve upon or what I would change for our next pitch. In our world, every day is a learning experience but your reaction is what dictates your process. As the Marines say, “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.”

SM: What makes Rhyme and Reason Design unique from other agencies?

HD: Our biggest differentiator is our culture. Having worked in a variety of environments and workplaces, I have come to realize how vital an internal culture is to every part of a business. It affects how we interact with each other, with clients and how we talk about the agency outside of the office. We’ve created an environment that celebrates transparency, collaboration and making sure there is a work life balance, which brings out your best self. Scarlett and Karen have been very intentional in building this culture from day one, which is why we create award-winning designs and have clients who have been with us for the past 10 years.

SM: How are you keeping up with the latest industry trends?

HD: I’m constantly researching — reading articles, reviewing association websites, listening to podcasts, attending industry events or taking webinars. I also try to ensure that we, as an agency, are staying on top of industry or technology changes so we can provide the best service to our clients as possible.

SM: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

HD: I have 11 nieces and nephews, and soon to be 12!