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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Win A Big Customer

Nigel Skeffington turned former customers and contacts into new business.

Key Question:


Win a big, high-profile customer.

Q: Many big companies vied for the work that Nigel won to get Time Technology to the next level. Why did the customer choose Nigel?

A: Trust. The two had worked together in the past. By choosing Nigel, Chris was making the safest decision even though Nigel really didn't even have a business when Chris hired him. You've read this here before: people do business with people. Lucky for Nigel that Chris was not razzle-dazzled by people from the big brands who pitched him. He was able to see to the core and knew that Nigel had as much know-how as the others, plus Nigel was a proven entity.

Learn more from other owners who launched a business with help from their past: Altoon + Porter, Ziba Design, and Renegade Animation and Cross Timbers Oil.

Think about it

Who do you know who might help you identify a high profile-prospect?

Clip from: Time Technology where Technology Warps Time

Godalming, Surrey, United Kingdom:   Meet the Skeffingtons - Rosemary, her husband, Nigel, and his brother, Peter.  They introduce us to a rather simple technology that brings people from different time zones into the same time and creates a ubiquitous space that everybody shares.  Their business is Time Technology.

What they do is teach and implement collaborative technologies. Though this technology raises some real questions about our perception of time, for them, it is just a fact that literally hundreds of people can be part of an online meeting, working on the same content, though separated by time zones and continents.
Time and space are so fundamental most of us just take the two for granted. It just seems like another application of technology, but it is the beginning of a very significant revolution --  at long last long-held beliefs about what is possible within a given space and time is radically changing.

Time Technology (NS)

Nigel Skeffington, Founder

Brook House
Mint Street

44(0)1483 863 000

Visit our web site:

Office: 44(0)1483 863 000

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1992

Win A Big Customer

HATTIE: In 2002, Time Technology was one of the few to win a coveted Top Contributor Award from its premier supplier.

NIGEL: Well, the reason we were able to move that fast was because we won two clients --major clients -- who actually bought into what we were selling. Very specific solutions, but they bought into the concept of using this technology to share information.

The second customer was someone I had worked with my previous company. He phoned me up one day and said, "Nigel, we've got a challenge. I've been given a new job working with the ABN AMRO Bank. We're setting up a new-- completely new company or organization to carry out international cash management.

Now, my challenge is that I've got teams sitting in Chicago, in New York, out in Frankfurt, down in Paris, in London, and down in Milan. And I need to be able to share information between all of these parties, because we're dealing with global companies." So I went to Amsterdam. And previously, I was due to go on a particular day, and I was awful. I was really ill. Now, I then phoned up my client and said, "Look, I can't make it; I'm really ill." and he said, "Well, that's a shame, but we're still going to go on with the interviews with the other companies." and I asked him the question, "Well, you know, who are my competition?" because I wanted to know who I was playing up against. And he then named four of the biggest technology companies in the world.

And one of those was a major consulting company that they were already doing business with. So at that point, you know, I thought, "I'm glad I'm ill, 'cause I'm not going to waste the last few pennies I've got getting on a plane, paying for that trip over to Amsterdam, landing in a country I've never been to before, getting a taxi into this place. And I just had this vision of all this money disappearing out and my last few pennies before I just could not get the business to survive.

So I then said, "Okay, I'm terribly sorry, Chris. I can't make it." Anyhow, next day Chris phones me back, and he and he says, "Nigel, you are coming, aren't you? When can we make the appointment?" I said, "But, Chris, you've seen all these other people." And he said, "Yes, and I need you to come." So at that point, I took that as a potential buying message. Clearly the big companies had come across in a way that something wasn't right. So literally, there were three of us in the organization at the time. We put a Powerpoint presentation together, and we made ourselves look much bigger, 'cause we had someone in reception who happened to also be the developer, who also happened to be the salesperson and marketing. And we built this PowerPoint presentation together. I've still got it. It's hilarious to look at it now.

I flew out the day before Christmas Eve. So Rosie made Christmas cakes. I arrive; I get into the taxi. On the way to the meeting, the taxi has an accident. My cakes box, which is sitting on the side of me, slides off, hits the floor. So we got to the end of the meeting, they ask me some questions, and said, "Right, thank you. We'll be letting you know."

Chris Tassel phoned Rosie to say, "I've got two pieces of information. I have bad news, and I have good news." And so he said, "Which do you want to hear first?"

Now, this is what Chris did for all the time that I've been working with him since. He's always got this bad news/ good news. Lovely sense of humor.

And so Rosie said, "Okay, give me the bad news." And he said, "Nigel was involved in an accident. But don't worry--he's okay." And Rosie says, "Oh, my God. oh, my God." He said, "No, no, you want to hear the good news now?" and Rosie's saying, "No, no, how's Nigel? Is everything okay?" and he said, "You got the contract."

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