Bring them around

When selling something don’t try to get them to say ‘Yes’. Try to get them not to say ‘No’.

When I was opening my first restaurant I went out looking for sponsors. I liked the people at Sony Consumer Products. I never gave up for a year. I never asked for too much and never put them under any pressure.

With no contract of any sort they delivered some TVs and sound equipment two weeks before we opened (I had some equipment on hold just in case – it was that close).

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I later found out that they get 100 requests a week, virtually none of which get through. The same happened with Honda who lent me a delivery bike and All Nippon Airways who gave me some upgrades to Japan.

I never asked Honda for much and told them that I was so grateful that not only would I promote them in the restaurant but that they would be on everything as official sponsors… and that if they didn’t reply within a week I would assume that they had agreed. Of course they didn’t reply, so I put them up everywhere and on all the press releases.

And when we opened everybody asked “Who is this guy Simon Woodroffe? He’s got these Japanese giants behind him.” Of course they didn’t give us much but it was a big deal to have their names!

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.

Julie Andrews, who climbed a few mountains herself

I call it the Seven Meeting Rule and my experience is that once you have invested that much time with someone, something will happen…

If someone persists enough with me and the experience is good, I’ll usually give in if they can keep me going long enough.