How to pitch to Richard Branson

I’m so proud of my friend (and sometimes client) Cheryl Penry of Will and Probate Company Ltd. She recently pitched an idea to Richard Branson who is now arranging for ‘his people’ to talk to ‘her people’ (i.e. her!). He also blogged and tweeted about her, which is sure to do wonders for her visibility and credibility.

How did she achieve this?

She wrote him a letter saying that he’d been left 40% in a will, and please could she meet him for 45-60 minutes to discuss it. When he phoned back, she explained she was actually offering him a 40% share in a new will-writing business.

So what can the rest of us learn from this experience?

  1. She had a clear objective. She knew who she wanted to reach. Too many people market like mad but don’t really know who they are trying to target or what they are trying to achieve.
  2. She researched her market. She knew that Virgin historically likes to ‘take on the big boys’. In the will-writing sector, solicitors charge a lot for producing standard wills, and with her years of experience, Cheryl knows they can be done for less. So her idea of ‘cheap wills for the masses’ is a good fit with the brand.
  3. She was brave and creative. Her approach was a cheeky way to reach the man at the top, but it worked. If you want to be noticed in a competitive sector, you simply have to stand out from the rest.
It also helps that she has a fabulous business name that ‘does what it says on the tin’, backed by an excellent personal brand and reputation.
We all need those key things if we want to succeed.
Well done, Cheryl!

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