The Ultimate Marketing Discipline v2

Don-Colleran-Auctioneer-GalwayLong before Don Colleran ever became a national sex symbol promoting products on TV and in cinemas, he and Reilly were great buddies. Together, they toured the country with Junior Chamber getting up to all sorts of devilment and diversion.

It was during this time that Don developed and honed a marketing discipline that enabled him to grow a business that would become the envy of his industry and peers.

Reilly was intrigued by Don’s business acumen and plagued him for the secret. Eventually, Don relented and told Reilly to be in his office at 3 pm the following Friday. In return for sharing the secret, Reilly would need to bring a copy of that day’s Connacht Tribune and a few freshly baked chocolate croissants.

As Reilly arrived Don instructed the delectable Debbie that neither he nor Reilly was to be disturbed for the remainder of the afternoon and to hold all calls.

Having scoffed the croissants and coffee Don proceeded to a clean whiteboard on the wall of his office and sketched out four squares. On one square he wrote a heading TEXTS; on other E-MAILS; on another LETTER; and on the last, PHONE.

‘Reilly, what’s the item of construction most used by every builder and carpenter?

Building and carpentry were not Reillys’ subject areas of expertise and he muttered ‘hammers.’

‘No Reilly, it’s ‘2 x 4s’; or ‘4 x 4s’; or ‘2 x 6s’; or ‘2 x 8s.’

‘And in marketing and selling, I’ve discovered that the magic number is 4 x 5s. Each Friday I discipline myself to send 5 texts; 5 emails; write 5 personal letters, and make 5 phone calls.

‘It doesn’t sound like a lot but that’s 20 x 45 weeks which is 900 proactive connections a year. I have carefully tracked the results of these connections and I’ve discovered that 40% of them result in the business of one description of another over the course of the year. That’s close to 400 business transactions for an investment of just one-hour time investment a week and almost no financial outlays other than a couple of euros for the Connacht Tribune.’

‘But who do you know to connect with? said Reilly, still a tad confused.

‘That’s the purpose of the Connacht Tribune Reilly. Let’s get working.’

He opened up the local newspaper on page three where there was a full photo feature on the recent Croi Ball. Don quickly circled five of the ladies on the page and proceeded to compose a text which read.

‘Looking radiant on today’s Connacht Tribune. Stunning outfit. Have a great weekend. Don.’

He cut and pasted the text and sent it to the five ladies.

‘Time investment – three minutes’ he says to Reilly.

He flicked over some pages and went to the business section and very quickly identified with more circles five businesses that had been in the news that week.

He scripted a short, positive, and congratulatory email and proceeded to send that to those five recipients.

Already his mobile phone began bleeping and he was able to show Reilly that four of the five people he’d texted had already come back to him thanking him profusely for his kind words and one of them had already requested a quote for an education policy for one of their kids.

He then went to the obituaries and anniversaries section of the paper and once again circled the photos of five people he had known.

‘Of all the marketing media, the written word is now the most seductive’ he explained to Reilly.

‘When was the last time you got a handwritten envelope in the post Reilly?’

Reilly couldn’t remember.

‘That’s the point, Reilly. A handwritten envelope, written in blue fountain pen, addressed to you is marketing gold. It’s guaranteed to be opened every time.

And finally, Don identified another five people whom he called directly by phone. Four hadn’t even been aware that they’d been in the paper and were delighted to be told. Of the five, two made inquiries of a business nature and another said they’d be in contact next week.

At 4 pm on the dot, Don and Reilly departed the office for O’Connells Pub across the Square where Don explained that they would complete the final 2 x 2 of the working week.

‘Right Reilly, we will now enjoy two pints and connect with at least two people during each pint.’

‘Then we’ll finish work and enjoy the weekend.’


* There’s a chilly breeze whipping up in business as we speak. In order to survive, and indeed thrive, two things are paramount. Marketing and Minimalism (waging a relentless war on costs.)

* Marketing and sales are less about flash, fancy websites, and expensive advertising campaigns and ultimately about making the time and discipline to simply connect directly and personally with people.

* Marketing, therefore, is first and foremost a discipline. There is no substitute for connecting with people. Personally, regularly, sincerely, and helpfully.

* Marketing and sales are key functions of every business and the success of your business is directly proportionate to the time you devote to them.

* Disciplines can be infinitely less punitive than they sound. By creating enjoyable and rewarding routines you can create an incentive to want to perform your discipline. For Don it’s coffee, croissants, reading the local newspaper, and imbibing a few pints.


This business of selling boils down to just one thing …….. seeing the people. Show me any person of ordinary ability who will earnestly tell their story to four or five people a day and I’ll show you a success.’

From ‘How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling ’ by Frank Bettger.

(Take the discipline and time to create a marketing plan that will increase your sales; grow your business; and make a positive difference in the world by joining Reilly at Smácht Mor on September 29th and 30th next. Click here for further details.)



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