An Interview with Anne Renshaw - Flamme Rouge Consulting

Updated: Oct 21, 2018

This week's interview is with Anne Renshaw of Flamme Rouge Consulting. Anne talks about how she started Flamme Rouge (and why it's called Flamme Rouge!), some of the challenges of starting your own business, the value of referrer networks, tips on networking and her involvement in triathlons and Disability Challengers.

Summary Transcript of Anne's Interview

A summarised transcript of the interview is below. This is not a word for word transcription. Approximate timings of each topic are in brackets after the headings.

What do you do?

I do strategic marketing and business development for professional services companies. I've got a history of doing it. I set up on my own doing it last year, just to be able to go out and help some smaller firms like smaller accountants and solicitors and architects be able to compete with some of the bigger firms out there, smaller films that might not be able to have their own in-house capability because they haven't actually got the funds to be able to support somebody full time.

Why did you decide to call it Flamme Rouge?

When I decided to set the business up I had no idea what to call it despite being in marketing! I was brainstorming with my friend Thom, and he just said, write all the things down that are in your head at this moment. I wrote lots of things down.

It was during the Tour de France and I'd written the words Flamme Rouge down and Thom said, right. I really like that, what does it mean?

What does Flamme Rouge mean?

Flamme Rouge - when you're on a stage of something like the Tour de France, a kilometer from the end, there's a big kind of arc that goes over the race. It signals the last kilometre of the race.

It signals the fact that you've nearly got to the finish, it's time to give it one last push. It kind of signifies the end of where all the teamwork finishes and then people just kind of make a dash to the finish.

It was really appropriate because a lot of what I do is based around teamwork. It's about helping people within the businesses be the best of themselves through teamwork and achieving things through marketing and business development and effectively helping them achieve their Flamme Rouge - whatever that might be.

What types of companies do you support and how? (2:17)

Firms that know where their marketing is going but don't seem to be bringing the leads in.

I go in and do a review on what their business development processes are, assess their networking skills, provide training on networking, business development or sales training. I also review their pitch documents and presentations and advise them on what they need to generate leads.

Firms that are growing and want to build on that growth.

I work with them to establish who their key audiences are, what their USP (Unique Selling Point) is, what they're going to take to these audiences, what service lines are the most profitable, and what kind of client base is the most profitable. This allows them to move forward with a kind of a really good idea how to communicate to that market and what the best way of marketing is.

Firms with small budgets

For a lot of professional services firms, they don't have huge budgets to be able to spend on marketing, so it's working out what they can do that doesn't take a lot of investments such as key referrer networks where they can just kind of work out relationships moving forward and it doesn't take a lot of results in terms of money. It's just for their time and effort in focusing on building those moving forward.

Key Referrer Networks

Does a key referrer network work for everyone? (3:46)

I think to a certain extent referrals can work for any business. It's particularly important in professional services because a lot of work comes from referrers, and it's a really good channel to be able to convert them quite quickly because they were already warm and to have a higher conversion rate.

Why does referring to lots of companies often result in no reciprocation?

If you refer to multiple companies that provide the same service, you end up spreading your referrals thinly across those companies. As a result, you may not get the referrals back from those companies.

What is a key referrer network?

A small group of people that you establish a relationship with to enable referrals in both directions.

How do I set one up?

Go through the people and businesses that you do have referral relationships with and look at where the real opportunities lie, where there are people with a really great client bank and where there are people that you really get on with.

Bring your list of referrers to three or four key relationships that, if you give them five referrals, instead of the one, you're more likely to get them back.