An evening with Rene Carayol

I was at a Barclays Springboard event with Rene Carayol this week. You’ll have seen him on the box with his shows, Pay Off Your Mortgage In Two Years, and Mind of a Millionaire.

What charisma! Watching the guy holding the stage he reminded me of the actor, James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader, Patriot Games etc).

But Carayol’s career is every bit as impressive as his persona. M&S, then Pepsi and the board of Pizza Hut. His golden moment was at the board of IPC Media as the young, noisy upstart. He soon recommended a management buy out, and convinced the board’s other nine members with his enthusiasm.

To raise the £860 million in capital needed, Rene delivered 72 presentations on five continents in three weeks. The board got their money and a 1% share each. Three years later they made the biggest exit in UK history by selling to AOL Time Warner for £1.1 billion. Unsurprisingly, he had the room’s FULL attention at this point of the story telling.

Couple of nuggets from Rene Carayol and others on the evening:

  • A players are twice as productive as B players;
  • Selling is about building relationships, not making transactions;
  • Hire a great attitude, not just a great skill set [if you can’t have both];
  • Those on Facebook and Twitter are three times more likely to experience high growth [I think that’s because of mindset not necessarily the tools employed];
  • Rather than the common cost/investment thoughts, spending needs to pass a ‘value for money test’ (that was from a bank guy);
  • If you are bold you may fail; if you are not bold you WILL fail;
  • Rene’s slides are behind these pages: http://www.carayol.com/toptips/ and http://www.carayol.com/pitchperfect/

I’ve always had a fairly neutral opinion about Barclays, but an excellent event with a chance to hear the thoughts of some of their senior staff has risen them a notch or two in my mind. They did infinitely better on the feel good factor than the Word of Mouth Marketing Association did this week with their robotic cold-calling fiasco.

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