I always love hearing of how small businesses finally landed the client that would change their business as they knew it. Sometimes it’s through a mutual friend introduction or a chance meeting, sometimes it’s through shared hobbies or interests, sometimes it’s through an outstanding pitch that blew the client’s mind. But this is the first time I’ve heard of someone doing an extreme office makeover overnight in order to win new business! And it worked! This guy, Creel Price, is an Australian who started a business with $10k and then sold it ten years later for $110m. He’s a clever guy and a bit of a character too, by the sounds of it:
“The biggest contract was with Westpac, it took us a couple of years to achieve it, but it ended up being, I think, a $20 million a year contract for us. How did we get them? It is quite an interesting story. We did what you might call a Hollywood set, where we managed to get a pitch to some of the executives at Westpac, and we talked to them about our whole customer relationship and management philosophy and how we could help. They seemed pretty interested, so they said, ‘When can we start?’ The first thing they did before they started was they wanted to come out to check out our operations. Unfortunately, we’d spent a total of $100 on all of our fit out combined at a second-hand auction, so whenever we had a new customer come to the office we hardly ever saw them again.
This was at 3pm and Westpac wanted to come in the next day so we went back to the office and we had $3,000 in the bank and we decided to create really what became a Hollywood set. We hired plants and rugs to cover some of the shagginess, and paintings on the wall, and we didn’t have many campaigns going at the time so someone hired some staff and put them onto a campaign. Someone hired some computer monitors and hid the cords because we couldn’t afford the hard drives. To make us look a bit focused, we hired a new boardroom table, and the next morning when all the cool stuff was getting put in we broke into the next door office and put the new table and stuff in there to make the whole office look bigger. And we did the pitch of our lives and we managed to get the business.” (From an interview I found here: http://www.smartcompany.com.au/leadership/profiles/26823-creel-price.html)
What have you done to impress a new client? And did it work?! Share your story!
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