There were just two of us that started Neocol back in 2003. I took care of sales and marketing, and my partner took care of the clever, technical stuff. When we began, we didn’t have that much capital. To boot, we had zero customers and not one member of staff to assist us. We made up for these shortcomings with a whole bunch of enthusiasm, energy, and creative ideas.
We had spotted a niche, and knew our friends over at IBM had some technology to address it. IBM was slow to realise what they had, so we effectively took the proposition to market for them.
After some persistent drum beating and clever marketing, we started to attend joint customer meetings. We had researched heavily, therefore on many occasions we actually ended up knowing more about IBM’s proposition than the IBM sales people accompanying us!
One such meeting was with a large local authority in the UK. Although we desperately needed their business, we didn’t let it show. We were well prepared, confident and attentive. The customer warmed to us and began to open up, sharing his pain in dealing with a current supplier “they are so unresponsive” he cried, “they are one of these two men and a dog firms, and I think the dog’s gone senile!”
We ended up winning the business, and dealt with the client on many successful projects. At the time, the current supplier he spoke of actually had one more employee than us – a dog!
No doubt, our confidence and preparation helped us to win the deal; however, our passion for “thinking big” even though we weren’t played a huge factor. We painted the picture that we were not only more knowledgeable, but our young company was really on the up. A leader in its field, with fantastic growth plans over the next three years. Undoubtedly, because we believed it, so did the customer.