The Idiot


Ian is an idiot. Not the way you think but the way he acts.

One day Ian went into a Mercedes dealership in Manchester just by the old stinking canal where the old stinking prostitutes hang out. The smell is even worse in the summer, a mixture of stale perfumes and cheap desperate men looking to neglect their wives and share with a stranger.

Ian walked into the dealership and asked.

“I’d like to buy a car please” “What model would you like to look at and what is your budget”? “Any is fine” “Any budget?” “Just show me some cars please”

So the young yet experienced salesman in his slightly oversized black suit with his cheap but highly polished shoes took a second to think and said to Ian, “OK let’s look at some cars then”

Of course the place was packed with cars and of course the sales man was trained to say exactly what he said so that’s exactly what they did they looked at some cars.

“This is our E Class. Our prices start from around £30,000 would you like it take it for a test drive”? “No” “You’ll love this, this is our C-class, you may take it for a spin around the block if you’d like”? “No” “OK well this is our range of other new cars, would you like to look at or take any of them for a test-ride”? “No – do you have any used Mercedes”?

Now it took Ian over an hour to ask that question after looking at models, interiors, prices and anything else Mercedes. The salesman wasn’t happy and frankly Ian looked like he was having a miserable time (because he was). The salesman then had to be and act like a salesman and then show Ian over to the used section. There were over 137 cars in the used car plot – a lot of cars (and the salesman just didn’t want to do it) Ian (the idiot and I’ll show you why soon) then took another 3 hours of the sales persons time in Mercedes.

Finally the salesman out of frustration said to Ian… “I have shown you all of our cars, new, old, used and semi-used. It feels like none of them are what you need or even want”

Ian replied… “I just don’t want to spend more than £4,000 and all of these cars are over £20,000”!

The salesman thought,

‘idiot, I asked you at the start so I could give you exactly what you were looking for but you never answered and just took four hours of my valuable time whilst I went through everything with you'

Of course that was a thought, the salesman never said it out loud. “It’s been my pleasure showing you around Ian, please come again anytime soon”

He shook Ian hand and Ian left the building (thank god). In reality the salesman was thinking I hope I never see his face again.

The idiot?

Of course sometimes we don’t know exactly what we need and of course we don’t know exactly what we want but what we do usually know is… HOW MUCH WE CAN SPEND

And that is the point.

When in business we have to be cash aware, cash flow aware and make sure get our numbers right. Wages, stock, invoices and more, they all have to be covered and managed of course yet at the same time if you decide to hire a consultant or Adman you need to and should know the following.

BUDGET: If you don’t know your budget how is the adman supposed to know and deliver a brief that matches what you are actually looking for?

As an example a brief for a client can be put together that installs all of the advertising and marketing needs they have. The actual needs are discovered after an initial consultation and review of what is currently taking place in their business.

This means that if – you - the client asks the Adman for a review and he does the review of your business in preparation to market the business but has no idea of the budget he will tell you (most of the time) exactly what you need to step up to the next level or make breakthroughs or to simply get your advertising working.

Now the Adman might have asked you on several occasions about your budget yet you are reluctant to tell him. The reasons could be that you might have 50k to spend but you want to see how low you can get your advertising. It could be just £500 and again you might feel embarrassed so you want to know if he can make you a very low offer that you can afford.

Yet the real problem here is that if you mention nothing – the Adman will give you a brief and a quote based on pure guesswork. That will results in a lot of wasted time, wasted emails, wasted efforts. I’m sure you agree Ian’s approach to buying a car was idiotic – he behaved like an idiot.

To get the best from your copywriter, Adman or consultant the one thing they need to know – critical to know – is your budget. Be honest, open and clear this way you will get a much better result and of course a campaign you can afford and you’ll get …

  • Accuracy on prices
  • Prices you can work around
  • Affordable campaign
  • Guerrilla approach
  • Save time Generate business faster
  • Bespoke strategies built around your budget

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