FAQ

You have a right to as much information as possible about how we think and work ahead of any decision you might make. If we work hard at making sure it’s a great fit, we’ll both be happier.

 

The primary factor in who you hire should be whether or not they can solve your problem. Solving that problem should be worth far more than not hiring that person.

 

Against that background, we’ve collected these frequently asked questions so that you can make the right decision.

The ideal client…

  • Runs a small (20-120 person), privately held firm that sells expertise in the form of services or intangible products.
  • The decision maker works directly with our team.
  • Is facing a hurdle or transition that is significant to them.
  • Is hiring us primarily because of our depth of expertise and not Pete's bedside manner (a mix of Columbo and Simon Cowell).
  • Is willing to let us lead the process to decide which symptoms are relevant; diagnose the problem accurately; and suggest the best solutions while minimizing disruption.
  • Is willing to be engaged from the very beginning, participating with intense focus, and then leaping into implementation with commitment and passion.
  • Has no hesitation about our fee against the background of the potential impact on their firm, pays on time, without reminder.
  • Is open to a different perspective, an objective third party looking from the outside. They don’t blindly accept our advice, but test and measure for impact.
  • Are honest and reasonable professionals.

We have performed the most with firms that have 5-120 people. Our entire practice is built on knowing what is appropriate for different size businesses with different levels of resources.

We possess no magical abilities to solve all your problems, however, our clients enjoy an outside perspective on how they are really doing. We don’t pull punches and we never reinvent the wheel. We care more about solving your problems, than taking your money.

 

Our clients understand change is still dependent on them, but they want to leverage our knowledge of what has been successful for other companies. You will always know more about your business, but my knowledge of your firm will outpace any other consultant.

 

You can expect us to keep our word and give you 100% of our abilities.

Clients can engage us in a variety of ways. We often do projects like websites, email campaigns, webinar campaigns, social media marketing and much more. 

 

However, everything we do comes from a higher understanding of your business and objectives. We know you don't just need a website. You need results you can measure. 

 

We take the time to understand how your business works so we can bring our specialized expertise to whatever project or problem you need to solve. 

You will be working directly with Pete Monfre and/or Heidi Acott our Creative Director. We don't have expensive layers of account people or junior executives like other agencies.

 

Occasionally you may speak with one of our technical specialists if needed. We prefer direct communication for these matters to minimize errors or misunderstandings.

 

Learn more about my background here.

Four things:

    1. We have developed unique processes that help find the issues and then solve them quickly and more reliably. These center around rapid discovery, targeted research, finding your Quintessential Uniqueness, and putting systems in place that can be measured using the scientific method for continuous improvement.
    2. We have been doing this same work for three decades with 400+ consulting clients and tens of thousands of others who have attended our workshops, masterminds and training sessions.
    3. We only accept clients who want the truth and who are committed to changing the status quo. A recent client said “I am amazed at the speed and accuracy of Pete’s approach in identifying the key issues, and then how precisely tailored the solutions were…” If we work together, you will be too.
    4. We are very direct and candid, holding nothing back (though it’s always done with kindness). If we think your baby is ugly, I won’t say “Your baby is ugly.” I’ll hold up a picture and say “See this ugly baby? Your baby looks just like this one.”

 

We are simply not a good fit for most firms. It’s always a good idea to explore working with other talented consultants or agencies in this field. If we can’t help solve your problem, we will recommend a good fit for your specific situation. 

The earlier the better. Many of our clients feel like they must first solve their problems so they can tell us what they want. We don’t need to be told what to do. We show up day one with a clear path forward. If you have a marketing plan that is up to industry standards, we are happy to work from that plan and/or refine it.

 

However, our biggest value is facilitating your team to develop the plan from the start. We can help you lower your risk and make more informed, more deliberate decisions.

 

We will systematically clear the fog and create a clear road to your objectives.

Austin, Texas is our home base and since 2003, have worked with clients remotely around the world.  We also work from a cabin in the Rocky Mountains and from our sister agency in London. 

Clients hire us because they think I know what we are doing and not because we are nearby.

Our work is more issues-based. If you are facing a particular hurdle, we will craft a suggested engagement, assess the situation, give you our best thinking, and then answer questions as you implement it.

The implementation period is framed in two ways. First, there is a period of time during which the implementation is active and we are at your service. That is expressed in months.

 

Second, we offer a set number of significant phone calls, lasting longer or involving more preparation. We don’t count quick phone calls or emails against that total.

Our main deliverable is insightful analysis and transformative advice. The focus is not on long reports or even reports at all, and in fact our recommendations are short, concise, and only in outline form. We would rather use our time expanding on recommendations instead of writing long reports. 

Of all the FAQs, this is the toughest one to answer and there are so many ways that you might misunderstand this or write us off because of it.

 

When prospective clients asked, we used to give them a dozen or so. We’ve worked with so many firms that the logistics of it are no problem. After decades of doing this, we don’t and here’s why:

 

  • Our clients have not signed up to give you advice, or help us sell our services. There is no assurance that what worked for them is applicable to you. Finally, our clients don’t have time to field dozens of calls from people considering hiring me.
  • In most cases asking for references is a sign of skepticism. And if this is important, you may be too skeptical to benefit from a client relationship. We recommend that you read everything that interests you on this site to get a feel for how we think and work with clients and then just go with your gut. You can also Google our names. That way we can't filter the information. We are well established in our field, own multiple companies and participate in civic and arts causes. We have also been featured in numerous major press outlets.
  • There have been a few cases of abuse. Some prospects would send out the exact same email to all the references, asking them each more than a dozen questions. Why should a non-paid reference bother? Often they’ve had an assistant do the calling. If you don’t have the time to check us out yourself, we won’t be a good fit.
  • In many cases the work we have done for a client is confidential, as our work with you will be. There are about two dozen testimonials scattered through the site. Feel free to ask around.

 

We will sometimes make exceptions to this, but rarely. When we do, we will trade references so that each of us can call the other party’s references. Just give us the names and contact information for two or three professional advisors, consultants or agencies that you’ve worked with.

All services under $5,000 are paid in advance. Projects exceeding $5,000 are billed 50% in advance and the balance in 30 days at our discretion.  Our fees are non-refundable for any reason. 

 

The reason is not cash flow. Rather, it gives us the freedom to be completely transparent with you, not harboring any fear that you’ll be upset and withhold payment. It also means you’ll have skin in the game.

 

This policy is applied uniformly with every client, from smaller firms to Fortune 500 companies. Clients do not hire us to appease them. They hire us for results. 

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