Mark Platt pops in to take a seat on the sofa of success. Mark is the owner of Inside Consulting who help SME’s and owner-managed businesses with business development and commercial strategies. Even as a reasonably young business, Inside Consulting have entered and been nominated for awards so Mark chats about why he thinks it’s never to early to start thinking about going for it, especially since it’s such a great way to get your name out there.

Video Transcription

Good morning. Good Morning. It’s Rach here, an award-winning award writer with, you’ve got it, The Awards People. I’m joined on the Sofa for Success by a dude, a dude in a very smart, ironed-by-himself white shirt, erm, and some fantastic socks which you can’t see. And you’re the sadder for it, friends. You are, you are missing something. They’re a treat. Erm, Mark, thank you for joining us on the Sofa of Success—legally obliged to say it’s Pete’s sofa ’cause it’s getting famous.

MP: [Laughs] He’ll probably have a number of these coming up at some point now, won’t he? Yeah.

RH: Yeah, he probably will. Probably be auctioning them on eBay or something. Erm, but, er, we claim in once a month to have all our guests sit on it and just enjoy talking about awards. So, rather than me stuff up your background and who you are and what you’re doing and all about your business, do you want to tell our viewer in, er, South Shields, who you are and what you do?

MP: Okay. [Laughs] Yeah, hi. Erm, Mark Platt. I’m the owner of Incite Consulting, erm. It’s a sales and business development, commercial-strategy consultancy, erm, aimed at helping professional services and SME, owner-managed businesses with their business development and commercial strategy.

RH: Wow. Succinctly said, my friend.

MP: [Laughter] I had a bit of practice.


RH: Yeah, it’s that elevator pitch thing. What do you do when you’ve got three floors to tell me?

MP: So, I blame the IoD for that. They normally—they’re normally good at getting you to do that and stand [crosstalk 01:34].

RH: That is very true. We blame, we blame the IoD for a lot on this.

MP: Yeah. Sue Charlesworth, you’re gonna get it. [Laughs]

RH: Yeah, and we had, er, Ron on the Sofa of Success last month talking about—oh, it was fab. We had such a laugh, and that we’re going down to the IoD Awards on the 18th of October as well.

MP: Oh, wow. Oh, fantastic.

RH: Got some big winners on the table, so we’re [makes sound] come on!” So, yeah. We’re gonna have fun.

MP: Yeah. One of my clients was, erm, was recognised for like, er, er, an achievement award, erm, or a recognition award.

RH: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MP: I was [indiscernible 02:04]. I couldn’t make it, on the, on the day it was doing done, but, erm, yeah, Martin Sandhu had his, erm, had his recognition award, so he was quite happy with that.

RH: Brilliant. No, and it-, it-, it’s a great award to enter. Now, before we go any further though, this brings up a really important point. I’ve asked Mark to join us ‘cause he, from his own, er, company point of view, which has been running now how long? How long have you been running?

MP: Nineteen, twenty months?

RH: Yeah, I was about to say, kind of, 12, 18. So, yeah.

MP: January 17. January 17, we started.

RH: [Whoop sound] [Laughs] [Indiscernible 02:23].


PF: It won’t be long before we hit the two-year point.

RH: Wee whipper-snapper. Erm, I-, I’ve asked Mark to come and talk to us about entering awards in his own right, but as you’ve just heard, he also advises some of his clients to, to get in there as well. Now, er, I wanna make it really clear. You know, the, er, The Awards People is all about transparency. We have had nothing to do with any of their success. But, I know Mark, erm, and it’s interesting to see a business that’s early in its, its development actually getting in there ’cause quite a few people to me will go, “Oh, yeah, but, you know, we’re only 12 months old.” Or, “Mm. We’ve not—we’ve not got the big figures on our turnover yet because we’re only young,” or whatever. And I keep saying to them, “It’s not about how long you’ve been about and what your figures are. It’s about the whole story.” So—

MP: Absolutely.

RH: – tell me a little bit about why you decided to get involved with awards.

MP: Erm, as you say, it’s not about, erm, it’s not about your turnover. Erm, it’s not, I say, necessarily where you are right there in that spa—that, that moment in time. It’s about the journey you’ve gone on, erm, the successes you’ve had. It’s probably also about the failures that you’ve had and how you’ve turned that into, you know, a learn or a success. Erm, by having a platform to, to share about that, erm, you know, I think that the awards are, er, whichever award you do, you know, whether it’s a, you know, a, a paid awards or, you know, like and IoD where you’re a member or one of the, the press, press awards. Erm, it’s just a great platform to get your name out there—let, to let the world know what you’re up to. And, and ultimately, you know, from a selfish point, or from a business owner point of view, you wanna turn that into revenue at some point.

RH: Mm.

MP: You know, you want to get people to know who you are so they can pick the phone up and give you call and see if you can do some business.

RH: It’s about clear differentiation, isn’t it?

MP: Yeah, absolutely.

RH: Yeah. And putting your head above the parapet, being noticed.

MP: Oh, and, without a doubt, it’s about being noticed. And you know there’s no better way to do that than, you know, being, being in an awards where you’re in the room with 600, 700, 800 people and, you know, if you’ve been a semi-finalist, a finalist, or even if you’re fortunate enough to win, you know, to have your name go out in the, in the literature and—

RH: Mm.

MP: – erm, people to recognise that. You know, that’s fantastic.

RH: So, what have you entered—what-, what’s your award history so far because obviously I’ve picked up from Niche Awards that you are all over that?

MP: Yeah.

RH: That’s where I kind of went, “Ooh! Mark!”

MP: [Laughs]

RH: Get him on the Sofa of Success [indiscernible 04:51].

MP: So, I’ve done—So, I did, er, two, two entries last year.

RH: Mm-hmm.

MP: Erm, so I was nominat-, I nominated not—so at a Niche in 2017, I nominated—I put Incite Consulting through for, for Best New Business.

RH: Mm-hmm.

MP: I think I’d also had, erm, our own friend in business—I think Rick Pancholi over at Patterson’s.

RH: Yeah.

MP: He’s actually a finalist this year.

RH: He is.

MP: He’s—he put me forward for that, for that category as well.

RH: Oh, awesome.

MP: Erm, I also—

RH: Top bloke.

MP: I also had nominated him for is it Best Business in Personal? There was a, there was an individual category which I put Rick forward for.

RH: Yes. Yeah.

MP: Erm, and my wife’s business as well ’cause I sit—I’m, I’m a director in my wife’s firm.

RH: Ah.

MP: Erm, but that’s—

RH: Boom. Name check.

MP: Erm, so Bella BooBoo’s. It’s a childcare, it’s a childcare facility in Leicester Forest East, so if you live in LFE and you need childcare, then Bella Boo Boo’s is the place to go.

RH: Okay.

MP: Erm, but, er, it was, it’s quite a, quite a niche category. And, actually, I didn’t think—when we put the, er, put, er, put the nomination in is I did say to Jenny at the time, I said, “I’m not sure whether or not that’s, that’s one that’ll get recognised for, for what you’ve done.”

RH: Mm.

MP: Erm, but yeah, 2017 really didn’t for, for our own individual businesses didn’t hold any, hold any glory us. Erm, but this year, erm, I was proud as punch, actually, to find out I’d got four nominations for the same category.

RH: Blimey.

MP: So, one of my clients—

RH: Wow. That’s dominating. Wow.

MP: [Laughs] So—

RH: Well done. That’s brilliant.

MP: I know. Jenny rang me and said, “You do know that you’ve got four separate nominate—as well as your own nominate—

RH: What are the odds?

MP: Yeah. Four. And so I’ve got myself and four others that have put me forward.

RH: And they’re brilliant. Love it.

MP: So, erm, yeah, I, yeah, I was proud as punch.

RH: You’ve been buying the right coffee for the right people, mate.

MP: Yeah. Well, that’s, that was 20 years in the making.


RH: Yeah.

MP: Talk about, talk about [indiscernible 06:40].


RH: Good things, my love. Good things.

MP: Absolutely. Erm, so, you know, that’s—I suppose looking at 2018, I—the, the recognition for myself personally came because, you know, we’d had a really tough trading year coming into the back of 2017. We’d had a great start to the business in, in—from January through to July. And we hit the summer period, and it went “Ooh.” Well, and I was like, “It’s okay. It’s the summer. It’s the summer. You know, let-, let-, let’s just take a breath.” And then we get nearer and nearer to Christmas, and I’m like, “Surely everybody’s not still on a summer break. What’s going on there?”

RH: [Laughs] [Indiscernible 07:13] about Christmas, you know.

MP: Yeah. And, erm, we were—I ended up going away for my, erm, 40th, and that, that was a, that was a present from my wife that had been booked some time ago. Erm, and we’d gone away, and we were almost over that period thinking about what are we gonna do with this because if it doesn’t start to pick back up again, actually, it might not have legs for much longer. Erm, you know, we went away, recharged the batteries, come back. A long story short, we, er, the business did pick back up, and it picked up with, you know, some ferocity, actually, in the early part of this year—

RH: Brilliant.

MP: – erm, to the point where people are calling me. And I’m not doing any business development all of a sudden. I’m talking to people based on conversations that had been had a year ago.

RH: Mm.

MP: And yet, I’m—it was turning people away at one point which is, you know, fanta—it’s not great to turn people away, but it’s—you know, in terms of your own, your own place where you are it was—

RH: You’re doing something right.

MP: Yeah. Erm, so to be recognised for that effort and the way the business was moving forward by being nominated for Niche. So, so, actually, that’s brilliant. And in my home town as well because Incite operates across the Midlands.

RH: Yeah.

MP: Erm, so I’ve got a number of clients spread out all across, all across the Midlands. Erm, but to be nominated by four local businessmen in Leicester, I just thought was actually that, that’s, you know, that’s quite good.

RH: Oh, tops. Brilliant. Now, friends, I’m hearing two really important things out of here. One: Mark had a go, didn’t get anywhere, wasn’t put off. The amount of people I speak to go, “Oh, yeah, yeah. We tried to enter an award once. Didn’t work. Er, the sponsor won. Er, it’s all fixed. I’m not gonna bother again.” I go, “No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. Let’s learn from it.”

MP: Yeah.

RH: Er, and when we have clients—I’ve, I’ve sent out a couple of emails this week. I hate doing it, but I we have a client, erm, that hasn’t won on two categories. Admittedly, they are big categories and big awards and it’s fairly competitive. But, even so, let’s not make excuses here. Let’s find out, right, what is it? What’s the top tips? What did we miss? Why didn’t he get shortlisted? And we send those emails out and we learn from it ’cause that’s, that’s how you move forward in anything.

MP: Absolutely. Yeah.

RH: So, don’t give up. If you have entered an award and you haven’t won, have a go. Look at what Mark’s been saying. Niche, er-er 09:21 in 2017. This year, well, I feel sorry anybody being in the category frankly, but we—there we go.

MP: [Laughs] You’re too kind.

RH: Erm, but also the second point is it’s, it’s about choosing your categories. It’s about looking at the long term. It’s about maximising that award. It’s about, you know, you’ve got some really good messages around that.

MP: Absolutely. And, you know, I think that, you know, that one of the key messages for me is if you’re either entering an awards or you’re being part of it or you’re attending, you know, any part of that process is that, you know, don’t just sit on a seat and let the, let the, erm, let the event pass you by. You know, make sure that you take some of that literature home. Make sure that you understand who your finalists were, who your competitors were, erm, because they’re people you can talk you.

RH: Yeah.

MP: And they’re all, they’re, you know, there’s conversation to be had for months after that event because you’ve got something in common with that person, you know. You were at that event with them. You might’ve been a finalist with them, semi-finalist, whatever it was. You know, you were involved in that awards ceremony. So, you know, capitalise on it and see if you can make a meeting or some revenue from it afterwards.

RH: It’s, it’s a door-opener, isn’t that? It’s not having to bang on that door and push against it. That door’s open a little crack and, “Oh, yeah. We were both finalists in the da-da-da-da-da-da.”

MP: Yeah. [Laughs]

RH: Speak to me. But, yeah. It’s true.

MP: Absolutely, yeah. No, it is.

RH: And, you know, what you were talking about people recognising you from the awards entries as well and, and, kind of, er, beginning to generate conversations. I mean, that-, that’s just, that’s just tops to hear that. Pete said something similar. He’s had people coming up to him going, “Hey. Congratulations on being a shortlisted finalist for the—” “I don’t know who you are.” [Laughs]

MP: Yeah. Well, there’s—

[Crosstalk 11:04]

RH: It’s a great opener for a conversation.

MP: Well, it is. I was down at Tech Week. My friend, Martin, erm, who runs, erm, the, this business, in, erm, this software business in, in Nottingham. You know, he’s been up for two awards recently: Nottingham Post Business Awards and the IoD.

RH: Yeah. Yep.

MP: Erm, and his commercial director, Natalie, erm, has also been put up for, I think it’s HSBC [indiscernible 11:23] Young Entrepreneur Awards down in London?

RH: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

MP: Erm, and, erm, or the Young Entrepreneur Awards whichever, whichever, whichever it is, erm, and she had been recognised by two senior business leaders at Tech Week down at the ExCel when we were down there—

RH: Yeah.

MP: – erm, because of their entry. Erm—

RH: It opens doors, friends.

MP: Yeah.

RH: I’m telling you. I’ve got clients been knocking on Tesco’s doors for years, keeps at winning on, er, Innovation Awards, Best Business Award, Entrepreneur Award, Tesco’s picked the phone up to him a few months ago. They’ve just done their first project.

MP: Yes.

RH: That’s the point.

MP: Yeah. Well, yeah. It goes back to this—I, you know, I, I really believe it goes back to, to, to the point I, I make with clients. If you’ve got something to shout about, shout about it, you know. And there’s no bigger voice than an awards ceremony, you know.

RH: Yeah. There’s too many best-kept secrets in this world, I think.

MP: Of course there is. You know, if you’re good at what you do, you know. You’re credible. You’ve got some expertise. You’ve gotta let people know what you do. You can’t make any money otherwise, you know. You’ve gotta, you’ve gotta shout

RH: And that’s what we’re in business for, isn’t it?

MP: Of course it is.

RH: Well, to have fun as well.

MP: Yeah.

RH: Yeah, to make some dosh 12:23.

MP: Make some money. Have some fun.

RH: Pay the bills.

MP: Yeah. Get a suit that fits you. [Laughs]

RH: Sharp dude. Erm, what about the future? What’s the future holding for, for you with Incite and award entries? Are you talking to your clients about—are you encouraging them to, kind of, share the love?

MP: Yeah, so, so what I’m doing with them at the moment, erm, you know, I’ve worked with, er, one of the big national law firms here, here and across the East Midlands, so, erm, and they won’t mind me saying but Shakespeare Martineau have become, you know, have become a major project for me. Erm, and we are—one of the key things we’re looking at is their, their awards entries—

RH: Brilliant.

MP: – erm, because the project I’m working with them is really a commercial elevation project.

RH: Yeah.

MP: You know, it’s about getting their name and brand back out in the marketplace.

RH: Yeah.

MP: Erm, so the awards are absolutely a way of doing that across all the different disciplines they operate in. Erm, it’s the same for Incite, you know. We’re, we’re, as a business, we’re, we’re looking at not just elevating our own profile across the Midlands but nationally, so there’s an opportunity for us to maybe look at a London, a London project, erm, over the next year.

RH: Brilliant.

MP: Erm, for me, the, the way that Incite is gonna grow is through acquisitions, so, erm, we’ve got our first—

RH: Ooh.

MP: – our first, shall we say, tentative steps on the M&A trail have taken place.

RH: Wow.

MP: So, I’ve spoken to one of the, one of the well-known accounts he firms in the UK that have got a real strong presence across Nottingham and Leicester.

RH: Yeah. A bunch of people.

MP: I won’t say who they are—

RH: No. [Laughs]

MP: – er but the lady who I’ve been talking to is a great friend.

RH: Mm.

MP: Erm, she’s as wacky, if not more wacky, than I am. Erm, you know, she said, “I’d love to help you with that, Mark.”

RH: Awesome.

MP: So, I think that we are, we are looking. We’ve got—tentatively, we are looking, erm, making an acquisition at some point next year, if possible.

RH: Cool.

MP: Erm, and the vision there will be to create a suite of agencies or consultancies, you know, maybe have four, five businesses under the Incite Group banner—

RH: [Gasps]

MP: – that all complement each other. The—you know, maybe in a few years’ time somebody’ll come along and say, “We wanna buy that.”

RH: I’m sittin’ with Rockefeller.

MP: Yeah. [Laughs]

RH: [Indiscernible 14:19] sittin’ with Rockefeller. I love the ambition. That’s fantastic.

MP: Yeah. You know, and if it happens, you know, the, the ambition gets met, that’s brilliant. But if you haven’t got—in my view, if you haven’t—if you don’t have the ambition, then, you know, you’re not on the—you’re not makin’ that journey forward. So—

RH: You’ve gotta be pushing the boundaries and expanding that possibility and the what if and the how do we do this crazy stuff? I haven’t got a clue. Let’s find somebody who knows.

MP: Oh, absolutely. So—

RH: Brilliant. Thank you so much for coming in and sharing this with us.

MP: Yeah, my pleasure. My pleasure.

RH: I’m so excited. I can’t wait to hear the result from Niche. I’m gonna be lookin’ at my phone going [gasping sound] because I’m on holiday.

MP: Oh. [Laughs]

RH: Who’s winning? Who’s winning? Who’s winning? Whoop, whoop.

MP: Well, I feel—I, I’m up against, erm—well, the, the people in the, the—the main people in the categories that are my competitors have, you know, they’ve done some great stuff in business. So, I’ve been sending them messages actually wishing them—you know, sending them congratulations—

RH: Yeah.

MP: – saying that if they win, you know, they’re, they’re worthy, they’re worthy winners.

RH: How did you prep and get on with the judging panel ’cause you had to go in front of the judging dudes, didn’t you?

MP: No, not for this year.

RH: Oh!

MP: No. So, sorry. Erm, I was semi-finalist, so the three people drawn for finalists—

RH: Ahh.

MP: – the three people drawn for finalists, erm, I think, in the category I was in are—I can only remember two of their names, so—

RH: Let, let’s not [indiscernible 15:38].

MP: Yeah, I won’t.

RH: It will, will upset somebody.

MP: No. But, erm, yeah, no, I did my application, so I put my words in.

RH: Yeah.

MP: Follow the announ—following the announcement that was made by Jenny down at Chutney Ivy—

RH: Yes.

MP: – for the semi-finalists. So, I was bouncing around like a kid at Christmas. And, erm, though unfortunately it didn’t move forward for me, er, past semi-finalists, but, erm, you know, I’m sure that the guys are in there—

RH: Next year.

MP: Next year. Next year we’re off and so—

RH: Next year.

MP: – maybe we, we get an acquisition moving and we win an award next year. So—

RH: Oh, my goodness. It’s gonna be a big year for you.

MP: Yeah, I hope so.

RH: Oh, that’s brilliant. I love it. I love it. And get yourself into the IoD or Director of the Year Awards as well.

MP: Yeah. Well, no. I need to, I need to do more with the IoD. In fact, there’s the, the two platforms that I really wanna do more with are the, the CBI and the IoD.

RH: Mm-hmm. Two good ones.

MP: Yeah, two really good platforms in terms of being, you know, having a voice and getting your name out there in industry.

RH: Mm.

MP: Erm, so, yeah. Do more—gonna do more with the IoD.

RH: Pete was saying when he, er, networked the room, er, when he was up for the finalists in the East Midlands, he came out with three or four business meetings just from networking that room.

MP: Yeah. It makes it easy doesn’t 16:39—

RH: And then he also won his category—

MP: The award. [Laughs]

RH: – which is icing on the freaking cake, but—

MP: Yeah.

RH: – great.

MP: Yeah. I mean, I think next time we do this at Pete’s place, we’ll probably have a leather Chesterfield here or something, won’t we? You know—

RH: Probably will, though I’m very fond of this Sofa of Success which we have, er, rights to once a month.

MP: Yeah. [Laughs]

RH: I say. Erm, right. Before I let you—er, release you back into the wilds of Leicestershire business—

MP: Leicestershire.

RH: I’ve got three fast, quick questions—

MP: Oh, god.

RH: – to ask. No, no. It’s all a bit of fun. So, er, you’re sitting at the table of an awards, erm, finalists dinner.

MP: Yes.

RH: Somebody stands on the stage and says, “And the winner is: Mark Platt.” High five or bear hug, my friend?

MP: I’d say a bear hug.

RH: Yes! It’s a bear hug.

MP: It’s a bear hug.

RH: You go up on the stage. Is it just you, or do you take your team with you?

MP: Oh, I would take the team. Absolutely take the team.

RH: Stage invasion. And then you’re coming off the stage. Somebody who’s at the bar very kindly says, “Mark! Mark! What, what can I get ya’?” Champagne or Proshec—Prosecco? Can’t get my teeth in. What’s happened to me? I need a coffee. Champagne or Prosecco?

MP: Ah, it’s easy, that one. Erm, take the façade away. It’s Prosecco all day long. I’m a, I’m a cheap date.

RH: [Laughs] I’ll remember that—

MP: Yeah, I’m a cheap—

RH: – when I’m the one—

MP: – I’m a cheap date.

RH: I’ve—in that case, I will be the one standing at the bar going, “He’s a cheap date. Prosecco all the way. I’ll just check.” And he’ll go, “Champagne.” Oh, no.

MP: If I’m being, If I’m being honest, I tell this. If someone gives me a glass of fizz, it’s a glass of fizz.


RH: Even if somebody’s saying, “No, it’s gotta be a pint of Guinness.” We’ve had somebody say Jägerbombers.

MP: [Laughs]

RH: Jenny Cross.

MP: Oh, dah. The Cross.

RH: Well, exactly.

MP: The Cross. However, if I had a choice—

RH: Yes.

MP: – it’d have to be, erm, I can’t even remember the bloody drink now. Erm—

RH: [Laughs] That’s because he’s on the [crosstalk18:27] from a summer cold.

MP: It’s gone. It’s gone.

RH: Are we talking spirits?

MP: No, gin and tonic. But’s it a bit—

RH: Ooh.

MP: – it’s the—

RH: Oh, it’s a particular type of gin and tonic, is it?

MP: Rhubarb gin and ginger ale.

RH: Rhu—

MP: Li-, listen, people. It sounds wrong. It sounds wrong. And when I was told about it, I went, “I’m not sure about that.” Try it. Rhubarb gin ginger ale. It’ll change your world.

RH: Oh.

MP: It will change your world.

RH: That’s a big claim, friends. I want somebody—Pam Marr, Superstar. She’s not here because she’s on holiday. Pam Marr, Superstar, we’re gonna put this into your hands. You need to try it. She’s a gin drinker. [Indiscernible 19:01]. She drinks anything. [Indiscernible 19:02]

MP: [Laughs]

RH: I’m sorry. That was, that was racist and bad on so many levels. I apologise for every part [indiscernible 19:08] ’cause it’s true. Erm, Pam Marr, Superstar, Mark says that you need to try rhubarb gin—

MP: Rhubarb gin.

RH: And ginger beer.

MP: Yep. So, I’m gonna plug a pub, if I may—

RH: Oh, of course you may.

MP: – ’cause they do the best. So, the Forge Inn, Glenfield. They serve it in a nice gin—so, it’s the same people that own the Rutland & Darby that’s around here.

RH: Is it in a big gin goldfish bowl?

MP: Yeah. They get you, like a big, yeah, a big gin goldfish bowl. Loads of ice. They put a bit of garnish in there. Big shot of, er, rhubarb gin, and, erm, a, erm, ginger ale.

RH: Hey, Dave. Dave Sinclair, Filmmaker Extraordinaire. You know we’re going for Christmas do [indiscernible 19:39], don’t you?

DS: [Indiscernible 19:40]

RH: [Indiscernible 19:41]. Thank you very much–

MP: It’s a great. It’s a good—

RH: – for the tip.

MP: – it’s a good drink, especially it’s, erm, when the sun’s out.

RH: Thank you so much for struggling through a summer cold—

MP: My pleasure.

RH: – squeezing us in, ironing your shirt. My goodness.

MP: Thank you very much.

RH: And I think I’m busy [blowing sound] [indiscernible 19:56]. Er, thank you so much.

MP: My pleasure. No. Thanks, Rachel.

RH: I can’t wait to see you at the next awards. I’m gonna be looking out for your name. Oh, I’m so excited for you, mate.

MP: Well, just, I mean, so you know, I’ve got two clients that are gonna be at the Niche Awards this year. Erm, so, we’ve got tables for them both. You know, we’re gonna be doing a full, a full [indiscernible 20:14] of the paddock.

RH: I always, I always feel a little bit sick. I’ve got two clients on our table at the IoD National Awards.

MP: [Gasping sound].

RH: And they are strong competitors. There’s 105 finalists ’cause obviously all of finalists from all of the regions—

MP: What? Yeah, yeah.

RH: – and I’ll be honest with you, I feel a little bit sick about it all.

MP: I-, I’ll bet you do.

RH: And the winner is: not my client. I’m gonna be scared to look. I’m gonna be sick in the toilets most of the night.


RH: I’ve brought in a raft of top chums and business folks.

MP: Yeah, but that’s a bigger—that’s a big ceremony, the IoD Nationals.

RH: It is. And, you know what, my clients are awesome. You know, they’re, they’re not going in with any expectation. They’re going, “Do you know what?” But, er, come on. We all like to win.

MP: Of course we do.

RH: And I like my clients to win.

MP: I like the clients to win.

RH: And if they don’t, I’m just gonna sit there going—Oh, but it’s not the, it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part.

MP: Well, what we did for—

RH: Next year!

MP: – er, the Leicester Mercury Business Awards, I took the Shakespeare, Shakespeare Martineau team—

RH: Yeah.

MP: – and we managed to collar the, the photographer on the day, erm, on the evening, and he took a photo of everybody. And he made us all punch the air like we’d won—

RH: Yeah.

MP: – and it got put out in the, in the supplement in the Leicester Mercury. And people were calling in as, “Did you win an award?” And we were, like, no. We just gate-crashed. Yeah, we just gate-crashed.

RH: Now, that is the top tip of the series so far. I’m going to—I’m gonna nick that.

MP: Yeah. If you don’t win, just gate-crash. It’s fine.

RH: I’m gonna nick that and possib—no, and you know I’m gonna nick that and, and credit to, to you ’cause that is genius on a level [indiscernible 21:39]. That’s evil genius status.

MP: The publicity we got for that was brilliant. The Link-, LinkedIn for Shakespeare Martineau went crazy.

RH: Remind me to buy you a rhubarb gin and ginger beer at some point.

MP: I’ve come to pass the secrets on, Rachel. [Laughs]

RH: Naïve Hargrave is about to check out and, er, see what else he’s got to tell us. Look, look after yourself. We’ll see you next week. Thanks for joining us. Thanks, Mark. We’ll see you next week for another top tips series on the vlog.