Simple stuff Ollie, my Plumber, can teach you

What makes people choose you rather than someone else? Ollie knows

The other day a lady called Raluca from Romania wrote asking me about marketing plans.

She runs a travel agency called They organise tours of Transylvania where Dracula came from. Isn’t that great?

I’ll tell you more about her in another post, but I told her this:

“Marketers think they’re professionals like doctors or lawyers. Absolute rubbish.”

I quoted an authoritative report which ends: “Every Tom, Dick & Harry is a Marketer” lacking scientific and financial knowledge.

And I added: “It’s a great business to be in because almost all your competitors are useless.”

This brings me to Ollie, my plumber.

For some time the boiler in my flat has been on the blink – no surprise as it should have been replaced about 10 years ago – maybe more.

Why haven’t I haven’t done so?

Because I’m as cheap as chips and I’m selling the flat

Ollie could probably have sold me a new one but he’s kept it going, sometimes without charging anything, as he did the other day. He just told me what to do on the phone.

Ollie is a better marketer than most of those with fancy titles, like Worldwide Chief Bullshit Officer.

When we move I shall always use Ollie.

He knows stuff far too many marketers don’t.

Your best prospects come from two sources.

  1. Your current customers. They are 3 – 8 times as likely to buy from you as identical people who aren’t customers.
  2. By recommendation from your current customers. I shall tell the new owners the boiler is f**ked and they should use Ollie because his prices are reasonable and his service is excellent.

Also he’s a nice guy.

That helps. Don’t you prefer to do business with people you like?


About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Drayton, Ollie is smart and love the quote about chief bullshit officer Drayton is it not criminal the money and just outright moronic decisions these people make. I have a great story to tell about Lloyds our favourite bank who lost the biggest contract in history by sheer incompetence. No room for full story here. Now their new TV ads trying to rehash their image which probably cost millions but the service will still most likely be substandard. They never learn sweet fanny Adams from the past mistakes. it’s the true definition of insanity “doing the same thing and expecting a different result”. Anyways have a great weekend look forward to the story about Dracula’s mistress has she got red hair and a big bust. Best Rgds Simon

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