Built to Sell by John Warrillow EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Authors: John Warrillow
- Publish Date: February 1, 2010
- Language: English
- Genre: Entrepreneurship, Business, Merger
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Pages: 208
- Price: Free
- ISBN: 0986480304
A Company in Chaos
Alex Stapleton wheeled the Range Rover into the parking lot of MNY Bank.
He grabbed his portfolio from the backseat and sprinted to the doors. A quick
check of his watch made it official: 9:06 a.m. He was late—again.
As a regular visitor, Alex’s name was on the list at reception, and the
security guard waved him in. He found an open elevator and hit the button for
the eighteenth floor. He took his first full breath of air since leaving his office.
As soon as the doors opened, Alex sprinted down the hallway and straight
into the boardroom where he always conducted meetings at MNY Bank. His
client, John Stevens, was waiting for him, looking testy. “Sorry I’m late, John.
Traffic was crazy for a Friday and—”
“Did you bring the mock-ups?” John asked impatiently.
John had worked at the bank for seven years. He’d landed a job as an
account manager straight out of business school and spent a few years lending
money to small businesses before getting a job in marketing at the bank’s
head office. Pudgy and prematurely bald, he seemed angry at life, and even
though he had no formal training in marketing, he insisted on directing every
detail of Alex’s work.
Alex unzipped his portfolio, wiped his brow, and settled in for the long
haul. He unveiled the first design and John didn’t flinch, waving Alex off the
moment he began to explain the designer’s vision for the piece.
“Let’s see the next one.”
After Alex presented all eight concepts—several weeks’ work condensed to
less than thirty minutes—John took his time before selecting a design and
then gave his instructions. He wanted another illustration, the font changed,
and the red to be more orange-red instead of the pink-red selected by Alex’s
designer. John droned on with more feedback, and Alex felt as if he were
back in elementary school. Despite being woefully unqualified, John seemed
to relish his new role as art critic. Alex left the meeting room promising John
another round of mock-ups by Monday morning. He pulled out of the parking
lot feeling broken.
If John Stevens had been an atypical client, Alex could have lived with it.
Unfortunately, John represented the bulk of Alex’s clients: marketing
managers with crappy jobs who seemed to like pushing around their
Alex had started the Stapleton Agency eight years before, after moving up
the ladder at a multinational marketing agency. Once he’d gotten as much out
of that job as he felt he could, he decided he needed a new challenge and
ventured out on his own. He started out designing logos and brochures for
small businesses and gradually moved up to becoming an approved vendor
for MNY Bank. Having approved vendor status meant that the bank paid their
bills and kept the Stapleton Agency on a short list of alternative suppliers to
their agency of record. When the bank’s main marketing agency rejected
smaller jobs, the bank summoned the Stapleton Agency.
When Alex started the agency, he dreamed of working on important
campaigns with large budgets. He imagined directing models and actors
between booze-soaked lunches with chief marketing officers. He wanted to be
part of the scene. Instead, he was trying to figure out how to explain to his
designer that she would need to work through the weekend because the client
—a middle manager who had never taken a design course, doing a job he was
completely unqualified for—insisted on what amounted to a design overhaul.
The Stapleton Agency was located in a funky part of the city just west of
downtown. Alex paid $4,000 a month for more space than he needed with the
hope that it would impress clients. The office had all of the requisite touches
befitting a creative shop: exposed brick walls, glass-encased boardroom,
twelve-foot-long boardroom table, and a permanently mounted overhead
projector. Sadly, it rarely served its purpose—MNY Bank insisted that Alex
come to them.
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