Our clients attended more quality meetings in November than any other month in 2009. Although the sales team didn’t quite match the heights achieved in October in terms of new meetings set we still exceeded targets across the board. Some of the meetings we set in November will happen in January, as will most of the meetings set in December so we have entered the New Year with a record breaking number of meetings in the diary.
Setting meetings is only stage one of what can be a long journey for our clients before they win business but it’s the stage that our New Business Managers can most influence – creating opportunities for our clients to meet with prospects is the foundation upon which everything else we do to help clients is based – which is why we get so excited when we thrash our targets.
The sense of optimism and activity across UK businesses that we first picked up on in June 2009 (after a moribund 9 months) feels stronger than ever as we enter the New Year (and decade). It’s a sense based on collectively speaking with about 2000 senior marketing people every month but has been backed up since November by the fact that 2 marketing agencies we first worked with 2 years ago have recently re-signed with us to help them exploit a market that was emerging from hibernation.
It’s always a relief when the Christmas party passes without serious injury or incident but 2009’s was one of the best we’ve had. Shy retiring types are thin on the ground at Alchemis so the banter and party games began early with a champagne breakfast and Mystery Santa in the office followed by a prodigious lunch in a private room at one of London’s finest restaurants and then drinks in Soho.
The first few days of January have been very busy for the sales team. We do our end of month reports at the beginning of the following month so it was always going to be busy – but the weather has thrown some logistical challenges our way. So far London remains relatively unaffected so we’ve all been able to get into work but not all of our clients have been able to get to their meetings. By speaking to our clients everyday we’ve been able to deal promptly with any meetings that must be rescheduled. We have also focussed our fresh calling on areas of the UK not yet in the grip of permafrost but by Thursday 8 January this was pretty much London and the Scilly Isles….even so, by giving the North West, Scotland and Western Home Counties a wide berth we’ve avoided any drop off in productivity at a time when the Federation of Small Businesses have estimated the cost of the current weather to be £600m per day to the UK economy.
The sales team has been growing since early summer and we welcomed our latest colleague in November. A personal friend of one of our stalwart New Business Managers it soon became obvious to the rest of us what Pete and Richard had in common; a suspicious physical resemblance and unfounded belief in their own dancing ability meant they were quickly christened Petard.