Our Al Adil Trading Company was flourishing and getting acknowledgement in the GCC region. Despite being the Managing Director of a successful company, I had initially kept myself away from the limelight and pompousness. I believed in the motto of simple living. But one incident taught me how self-publicity is also important in business.
I had cherished a dream from childhood to have a luxury car. Fortunately with God’s grace it came true. I purchased a posh Rolls Royce Phantom car. One day I went to my bank to submit some documents. The manager of the bank knew me and my business very well. He congratulated me about the new car and casually asked where I had parked it. Since the bank branch was around the corner of my residence, I hadn’t brought the car with me, but had walked. So I replied that the car was parked in my building premises.
The manager was astonished to hear it. He smiled and advised me, “Sir, if I may suggest something. Do you know how valuable your car is? Not monetarily but in public sentiment? Your car’s model is the first of its kind in the whole UAE and the company has manufactured only 18 such Phantom cars in last 105 years. I think you should not lose a good chance of publicity. Travel in the car frequently and park it on the road to get it noticed by everyone.”
Since I was averse to boasting about luxuries unnecessarily in public, I remained silent over his advice. The manager understood that I was not fully convinced. He once again insisted, “Ok sir! If you want to ascertain the veracity of my words, try a simple trick. Keep your car parked on the famous Jumeirah beach at peak hours for a week and let your chauffeur just stand beside it waiting.” Curiously I followed his advice and witnessed the wonder. Jumeirah beach in Dubai, being a tourist attraction point and also a leisure destination of Dubai’s elite class, is always crowded. My car, being the first Phantom model in Dubai, caught everyone’s attention. People asked the chauffeur about the owner of the handsome car and I became famous overnight. Afterwards the car became my indirect business card and gave me access, respect and prestige everywhere.
Later, I thanked that bank manager who enlightened me. He politely replied, “Sir, there was a certain reason behind my advice. Your company is financially robust and prospering. The best way to convey this message to the business world is not the statistics but through word of mouth. Remember, that a diamond kept in the dark has no value. It requires light to sparkle.”
I am reminded of a quote by Richard Branson- Free publicity and word of mouth is probably the best and cheapest form of advertising. Learn to use it to your advantage.