I’ve been specialising in new business development, sales & marketing strategy, commercial partnerships and consumer acquisition, with SME’s to the FTSE 500 over the last 14 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses and brands, but I didn’t start off doing what I wanted for the long term, it was an evolution over time.
However, being bred in a telemarketing environment and slowly evolving to Commercial Strategy when you’re the guy who gets up and gets things done, is often very lonely, or people just see you as a threat to their equilibrium.
One of my 40 odd recommendations on LinkedIn says, “Working with Thomas is a little like being plugged into the mains, he has an astonishing energy that he manages to bring to every project.” another states “his business & marketing expertise bounces off the walls a fraction of a second behind his personality…”
So why can’t I find the right fit in terms of acquiring new clients?
We are in a market currently that’s volatile and people want delivery without risk, but it’s been this way since I started doing what I do.
I always seem to be in the right meetings, but everyone wants me to generate them millions £’s of revenue on a commission basis for the most part, but the complexity and creativity around what I deliver requires focus and calculation. You can’t put a band aid on a leg that’s been blown off and expect it to grow back…
When I wince at the suggestion of commission only, people think you must be crap at revenue generation. They think that to offer a large % for example is a nice take home if I’m capable of generating millions £’s… and it is… but it’s not worth working for free for 12 months to reorganise internal process, band a team of supporters together and bed down the business. I’ve got a son and I’ve got responsibilities and with every client I always am expected to face their process, regardless of whether that means the good, bad, or ugly… mostly it just means “we do things really slowly” for no apparent reason.
Yet the stigma is, if I turn down an opportunity like that, that I must not be able to deliver what I say I can, because if I was so confident in my ability I’d take it right?
The reason I charge a retained fee for my work with a smaller commission, is because if you pay a fee to someone to do a job, then take the process seriously. If my time is not of value then you’ll never do whats necessary to get the job done from your end. This means I wait for months for you to align your internal ducks and I get penalised because it looks like non delivery, when essentially it’s just shoddy internal process management.
In working with brands like Hackett & Pepe Jeans over the last year and a half, I’ve developed partnerships that have more potential than anything my clients have seen since their inception…
One client recently sent me a recommendation and said:
“Thomas spearheaded the strategic development of our global corporate partnerships.
From setting the vision, outlining prospective companies for our target consumers, to finding the right business model, Thomas makes things happen. This was capped with a multi-year, multi dimensional deal with a global airline that will over the course of the contract generate significant new revenue streams and generate consumer loyalty.
With a clear brief, sign off of the strategy and then support internally to execute Thomas can create and make magic happen.”
But I am currently looking for more brands/clients that are the right fit and that are ready to move fast and be adaptive in their given market.
I’ve been holding myself back for years, I started a role last year in March and found 31 commercial partnership opportunities in 9 days… that’s unfathomable!! But instead of the company moving fast and proud at those opportunities it simply floundered and threw in too much red tape and meetings about meetings, that they wasted them…
People find it difficult that I have too much energy and can think extremely quickly and logically about the context of commercial relationships and potential revenue streams, but because they can’t comprehend the complexity of it, I’m ostracised as being risky or too forward thinking… but it’s not risk, it’s calculated and logical and the frustration is that if the owner of the business was looking at this then maybe they’d sit up and listen; gone are the days of Steve Jobs where you give someone an office and just let them make you money…
I’m at that point where I’ve got enough long term opportunities coming out of my ears, people offering me shares in their businesses, I had 2 companies in the last few months who both gave me 66.66% of their businesses (without any cost to me other than time) because of my background and experience in their given field, knowing that I could be the catalyst to making their business a success and these opportunities mean that I will be very comfortable eventually…
At the moment I’m simply bored and my energy is wasted right now… Companies need things to happen fast but they’re too slow to react and they want everything on their terms without risk. Well I’ll tell you what, if you invest in people then the ROI is vast!
What do I do at this point? Who knows, it’s about finding the right fit. So, here’s my call out to companies with budgets, who want to grow fast and in a sustainable way…
You, The Client:
You should be a brand that wants more than to simply pump out a product. You should be a brand that has a vision and an energy for change. Be philanthropic. You should be a brand who cares about your people, as well as a brand who is not afraid to take risks, though I won’t ask any risks of you… You should be open to understanding your flaws and open to new ways of thinking, I’d actually settle for logical ways of thinking (I was working with a company last year who spent £80,000+ per annum on 3 staff doing social media, then a further £75,000+ on the advertising budgets, but they were paying an external agency that budget and generating 0 returns, just significant losses… I told them how I could transform the social media to cost them around £5500-£7500 per month all inclusive with ten fold return, but because of some fluffy internal politics they didn’t pay attention and their presence online in that regard has not really improved, this means they were paying 3 staff to tell an external company with ‘actual’ experience in social media, what to do… VANITY, NOT LOGIC!!). So I’m looking for Directors who when hearing logical solutions to obvious problems, with evidence, who will make the right decisions for their company/brand, not just focus on keeping their heads beneath the parapet. This process can be really fun and trust me, if you’re the innovator who gets me in and proves the model then you’re gunna be the brand champion for a while, because I always deliver and that will make you look like a legend!
The Consultant, Me:
I shall be, proactive, driven, forward thinking, open to industry experiences and closed to standard ways of doing things. I should prospect source and close partnerships with brand partners that compliment your offering for as little cost as possible, or no cost at all and in turn I shall drive hundreds of thousands of new prospective customers to your web channels and/or retail stores, thus building your ability for consumer data capture, as well as hugely uplifting your sustainable revenue generation over time. I shall provide references but will expect a retained fee and commission for this process which will be fair and in keeping against the project you focus me on. I shall have an IQ of around 136, this means that while your average commercial team member is focused on one concept, I shall be able to focus on anywhere up to 20 or more different brand concepts and channels at any one time, without breaking a sweat on the complexity of those routes to market. I shall bring with me a book of over 5000 contacts who I’ve never screwed over and who trust my introductions because I don’t take a % every time I set them up for a coffee with someone. I shall offer trust and loyalty and a drive like very few you’ll have ever seen before. Image if you will, the logic of Spock, with the humour of Dave Gorman and their love child loves commercial strategy, I guess I’m that love child! I shall have fun with you and the team, not everyone will like me, but ultimately it’s usually because I’m just honest and I tell you where the problems are regardless of whether that might cause controversy, that’s how you adapt and make changes that set you apart from your competition!
I could write hundreds of emails to people asking for opportunities or I can float this blog out into the ether and see if the right fit finds me…
On an emotive level, finding the last client or two to fill the void and give me the freedom to evolve is the one side of the coin…
On a strategic level, if someone tells you it will cost you a few thousand pounds a month for them to generate you millions £’s in return, within the first year no less, then surely it’s worth picking up the phone for an open discussion?
I’ll leave that down to the ether… If you want The Kingsman in your world and you want some guarantee’s as to how your brand consumer presence might look in the next couple of years, then please drop me an email or give us a call –
Thomas Duncan Bell – The Kingsman – firstname.lastname@example.org – +44 (0) 203 026 6304