Accelerating Business Growth

Friday, September 23, 2005

Turning a Marketing Investment of £2 into £30,000 – A Dream or Reality?

It may seem like a marketing impossibility to be able to turn a marketing investment of £2 into a return of £30,000, well let me tell you a true story of how this occurred. This really is a great demonstration of how simple networking can help you achieve your
business growth ambitions.

It was a sunny morning in September 2001 and I was running a training course at the Warwickshire Golf Club, just outside Warwick, England. As I had allowed plenty of time to get to the venue, and as the traffic was pretty light, I had set up the training room with about 1 ½ hours to spare.

I had forward planned and packed my golf clubs on the off chance that I might get the time to hit a few balls on the driving range. Not one to miss an opportunity I got in the car and drove over to the driving range.

I took some tokens out of the glove box, took my clubs out of the boot of my car and wandered over to the golf ball machine.

As I stood in front of the machine I put the two tokens into the machine and was a little confused when it simply spat the tokens back out at me.

I tried this a few times and then looked at the tokens and was surprised to see the writing “Valomatic” on the side of the token. This rang a few bells in my mind and I realised that the tokens were actually for the vacuum at my local garage, and not for the golf ball machine at the driving range.

A little disappointed I walked back to my car to see if I could find any money, as the machine also took 2 x £1 coins. I couldn’t find any change so I came to the conclusion that I would have to forgo the driving range and head back over to the training room.

I was in the process of putting the clubs back into the boot, when a rather smart Jaguar car pulled up alongside me. As the guy got out of the car he asked if the driving range was closed. I told him about my rather daft mistake and he chuckled a little and then offered me £2 to enable me to enjoy hitting a few golf balls.

As I hit a few balls I got chatting to the guy who had given me the £2, his name was Nick Abell. It transpired that he was a partner is a local firm of Solicitors, Wright Hassall. We talked a bit about our respective businesses, and then after hitting my 50 balls I left and thought nothing more about our conversation.

About 2 weeks later I was speaking to my solicitor about a time sensitive piece of work he was looking after for me, or so I thought.

I had called him 24 hours before the deadline to get an update and he told me he had not yet started the piece of work, and was going to look at it later that day.

This was a blatant example of him telling me the complete opposite of what I wanted and needed to hear. As you’ll imagine I was more than a little annoyed.

As I put the phone down I recalled the conversation that I had with the guy at the golf club. I picked up the phone and called Nick, at Wright Hassall to find out if they were able to help. He put me onto the relevant partner within their firm, he asked me to send across the relevant paperwork and he would get his guys on the case straight away.

I called my existing solicitor, sacked him there and then, and took my business to Wright Hassall.

They achieved the deadline and their level of service was great and instantly I became a loyal customer.

Within 3 years I have spent at least £30,000 with their company, and am a loyal customer.

Now, I can’t guarantee that I would never have used this company’s services had Nick not given me that £2. However, through his generosity, he created an instant impression with me, which led to me contacting him when I was in need of his company’s services.

What can we learn from this example?

This is a demonstration of the power of networking, and of creating the right first impression with potential customers. As they say “you only get one chance to make a first impression”.

This example is a great demonstration of the Boomerang Principle – what you put out always comes back to you, often in far greater quantities!

By giving me £2, Nick actually created a sense of reciprocity with me, which meant I felt a small obligation to consider him and his company, should I ever need legal assistance.

Reciprocity of a very powerful influencing principle, and I will go into more detail about this in future postings.

Some Possible Actions…

1. Ask yourself a focused question – “Where can I go to network with the target profile of clients I want to work with?”

2. Be honest with yourself and evaluate how good you currently are at networking when the opportunity arises. Do you struggle to approach and talk to strangers at networking events? What are you going to do to improve your networking ability?

3. Make sure that you have a clear and concise intro, should you ever get the chance to introduce yourself. This is often called an Elevator Pitch. I’ll talk about this in more details in future postings.

4. Plan to visit a series of business seminars, networking events, conferences, etc on a regular basis, where you will have the opportunity to network with potential clients.

5. Make sure that you take every opportunity to network, by identifying the needs of potential clients, and then informing them of how you can solve their needs – sitting on the train is one of my most successful networking venues. It is amazing how much people tell you when sitting on a train on a long journey.


  • At 5:22 AM, Blogger Work From Home 202 said…

    Full transcript: 29 September
    Program Transcript Richard Aedy: We're off to the dreaming spires today, to Oxford, where a new institute will bring together journalism and academic inquiry.
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