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less likely to pass on the message when that’s all they deal with all day. Chief executives enjoy hearing about something a little different. And they have the power to influence the entire company very quickly. If the person at the top asks someone to look into something it will happen.


3. Try every form of communication If you can’t get through to someone, try another channel of communication. The beauty of the digital age is the fact that you can reach someone by email, letter, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even homing pigeons if necessary. They will eventually read and respond to at least one way that you’ve reached out.


Nike products are worn by oustanding sports people


Rob and Paul Forkan have perfected the art of selling


4. Know who you’re meeting with Swot up! You need to do your homework and try to find out as much as possible about people you are meeting before you see them. You might be meeting someone who is extremely well-connected or a don of the industry without having realised it.


Gandys' handy tips


In FYM's regular Making a Difference (p42) section, we feature Gandys, the flip-flop company. They managed to get their summer footwear into all major retailers in less than a year. That took some serious selling ability. Chief executive Rob Forkan tells us how


1. Be fearless If you don’t ask or don’t try then it will always just remain an idea... Don’t be shy to ask the question, we knocked for Sir Philip Green in our flip-flops and


our product is now placed in Topman Oxford Street.


2. Frog leap Aim to contact the people at the top! Assistants of assistants are


5. Be well prepared Take the kitchen sink in and give them everything. Press cuttings, product samples, displays, notes on what you want to get out of the meeting, diary, water, mobile phone - everything!


6. Wear flip-flops It’s important to be approachable. A lot of business people pride themselves on being intimidating, so people respond well to someone who is down-to-earth and


easy to talk to. People always remember something bold or distinctive!


7. Have a clearly defined strategy Every meeting you attend, you should have a clear idea of what you want to come out knowing, and what you want to have said. Make sure you’re thinking about all aspects of the business including sales, marketing, and the overall brand.


8. Bribe people with cupcakes - it works! A classic thing to bring to meetings. Everyone has a little sweet tooth. Personalised cupcakes are something that will make you stand out from the other dull corporate meetings and it shuts whoever up that you’re talking to so they can only listen to you! Also if you take enough they then pass them around the office and everyone then knows about your brand and the meeting!


9. Involve the retailers with your development Ask the retailers what they want. If you ask them how you can improve your product to suit their wants and needs, or what will get you into their retail outlets, you can return to them with a new and improved product or bespoke design. If it’s what they asked you for they will feel a connection to it. They will find it hard to then say no...


10. Be persistent Starting a business isn't easy. But don't give up! Success doesn’t come immediately. It takes a lot of hard work, motivation and belief in what you are doing. ■


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fresh young millionaire


PHOTO: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY


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