HR & Management

Humour is key to landing big clients

1 min read

12 November 2007

What’s the secret to landing big-name clients like British Airways, Barclays, Tesco, MTV and BP Castrol? Own a novelty t-shirt and party hard.

Steve Leach founded Bigmouthmedia, a digital marketing agency, back in 1997. The company has alternately doubled and tripled in size since its inception and is now set to hit £70m turnover this year, with profits over £11m.

The secret to the company’s enduring success and phenomenal client retention, says Leach, is the high spirits of its staff.

How to ensure you only get the funny folk

During interviews, he makes applicants “dance on tables”, “sing songs”, “sell their shoes” and expose their novelty t-shirt collections.

“It’s really important that my staff have a sense of humour,” said Leach. “If they can survive an interview like this, they can handle anything.”

By Leach’s reckoning, it’s all about the people. Bigmouthmedia’s clients, regardless of their size, will choose to work with the firm that not only provides the service but also has personality.

“Take the Hilton for instance: it’s a large, well-known corporation,” said Leach. “Those people choose to work with us because we have the best price offering, etc. But they also know that they are likely to spend half their lives dealing with us, so it is just as important they enjoy that time. That’s where the humour comes in.”

“I want my staff to know how to work professionally, how to behave professionally – but at the same time it’s important to behave unprofessionally sometimes and let your hair down.”

Do you agree?