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.

These are general guidelines. What is most important to us is that our clients are committed to growth. We don’t choose clients based on budget, industry or vanity. We look for excellent matches where we can have outsized impact. 

 
    • Runs a small to mid-sized (10-250 person), privately held firm. 
 
    • The decision maker works directly with us – not through another staff member.
 
    • Is facing a significant hurdle or transition.
 
    • Is hiring us primarily because of our depth of expertise and not our bedside manner (a mix of Detective Columbo and Gordon Ramsay).
 
    • Allows us to diagnose the problem accurately, lead the process to decide which symptoms and issues are relevant, and suggest the best solutions.
 
    • Is willing to be engaged from the very beginning, participating with intense focus, and then jumping 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.

We have worked the most with firms that have 10-150 people. We have also worked with many Fortune 100/500 clients over the years but that is not our focus now.  

Our entire consulting 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
 
    • We never reinvent the wheel.
 
    • We don’t use boilerplate.
 
    • We care more about solving your problems, than taking your money. (We will earn 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 our knowledge of your firm will outpace any other consultant.

You can expect us to keep our word, come to you with solutions and give you 100% of our abilities 100% of the time.

You will work directly with the principals of the firm and senior level consultants and specialists. We have no junior people or interns. All of our team is US based. 

 

More about Pete Monfre’s background here.

Four things:

 

  1. We have developed unique processes to get to the heart of the issue and solve problems quickly and more reliably. These processes center around rapid discovery, targeted research, positioning and putting systems in place that can be measured using the scientific method.
  2.  
  3. We have been doing this same work for over three decades with 600+ consulting clients and tens of thousands of others who have attended our workshops.
  4.  
  5. We only accept clients who are coachable and who are committed to changing the status quo. We’ve been in business too long to waste time trying to lead horses to water. 
  6.  
  7. We are very direct and candid, holding nothing back (though it’s always done with kindness).
    For example, if we think your baby isn’t cute, we wouldn’t say “Your baby is ugly.” We might hold up a picture and say “See this ugly baby? Your baby looks just like this one.”

 

We have found that we are not a good fit for most would-be clients. It’s always a good idea to explore working with other talented advisors in this field. If we can’t help solve your problem, we will do our best to recommend someone who can. 

Many of our clients feel like they must first solve their problems so they can tell us what they want. As facilitators our value is in rapidly analyzing circumstances and coming to the table with solutions.  The heart of our value is in helping unravel the complexity of the business and leading your team in determining the path to success. 

 

Most of our clients already have some kind of marketing plan. At the same time most are disappointed with the plan’s performance or are frustrated that they can’t execute.

 

Perhaps our biggest value is that we know how to build plans so that they can be executed. This is often the problem with many marketing plans – they fail to drill down to details and responsibilities. 

 

It’s best to work with us as early as possible, before spending a lot of time doing “internal planning”

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

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 we know what we are doing and not because we are nearby.

If you are facing a particular hurdle where you need ongoing advisory (for example, during implementing the plan), we’ll craft a suggested engagement that includes regular status calls.

There are two phases in how we work. 

 

First, there is a period of time during which we are developing the plan. During this time, we are at your service. This typically takes 60 days.  

 

Once the plan is in place, we remain available for 30 days in an advisory role as the plan is implemented. For a few clients, we may also be retained to advise over a longer period during which we would have regular calls and meetings. 

Our main deliverable is insightful analysis and transformative advice. Our focus is not on long reports or even reports at all. Our clients gain instantaneous depth of marketing experience. 

 

Our written recommendations are short, concise, and in outline form and usually delivered as a deck. We use shared documents and folders to deliver these recommendations. We can then expand personally by phone for leadership, teams or both. 

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 references. We have 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, nor 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 us.

 

    • In most cases asking for references is a sign of skepticism. And if you feel references are very 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. 

      There are dozens of testimonials scattered through the site and on LinkedIn. Feel free to ask around or Google our names. 

 

    •  Some prospects would abuse the process and ask 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. 

 

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 the last two or three professional advisors, consultants or agencies that you’ve worked with and we can introduce you to the same.

Work is paid in advance and non-refundable, for any reason, unless other terms are agreed-upon and stated in the Service Level Agreement. 

 

What gives? 

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 allows us to respond “yes” to customer requests and accomodations and pay any subcontractors their advance fees depending on what we are doing. 

 

Finally, we are a small company and our business model is not that of a bank. If you are concerned that we will abscond with your money and not deliver to your expectations, you might be too suspicious and/or cynical to be a good fit. 

This policy is applied uniformly with every client, from smaller firms to Fortune 500 companies.

The best way is to connect with us on LinkedIn or sign up for our steady stream of marketing know-how and knowledge through our blog, podcast, workshops and articles at the bottom of this page. 

 

Pete Monfre is also an artist in residence at the world-famous Saxon Pub in Austin, TX where you can find him performing to a hundred or so colleagues once a month. Join us. 

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