Well, we waited 64 years and it lasted eight days. That’s Wales in the World Cup.

But, despite a slight damp squib on the footballing side, I had a great trip to Qatar. Firstly, it was great to see my brothers again. It’s the first time the three of us have spent any time together since pre-COVID. With one of us living in Liverpool, one in Cardiff, and one in Tokyo, it is hard to get all three of us in the same room.

And, despite many of the stories in the press beforehand, Qatar was good fun to visit. It was hot, welcoming…and even pretty easy to get a pint. You might have had to pay for it – the first one cost £15, but we happily found a bar that was charging £7 a pint, which didn’t seem too bad in the grand scheme of things.

And, after waiting all of my lifetime, I did finally get to see Wales play in a World Cup.

But there were a couple things that struck me about the trip to Qatar that could be applicable to your business.

Metro this way!

The first one was giving people the information they actually want, rather than what you think they want. It was practically impossible to walk down any street in Qatar without having lots of World Cup volunteers direct me to the Metro. “Metro this way, Metro this way” became the catchphrase of the trip.

But, most of the time I didn’t want to go to the Metro. Yet, they were trying to guide me there using coloured sticks as well. And if we said we didn’t want the Metro, they just said again, “Metro this way”. They really did want to help, but they were giving me the wrong thing.

And how often are we the same in our businesses? We’re giving our customers and prospects the things we want to give them, not what they want. Similarly, we’re giving them messages that we want to deliver, not the things they’re interested in.

When will it all be ready?

The other one was about having a great chance to make first impression. Qatar was awarded the World Cup twelve years ago. They’ve got more money than almost any country can dream of. And it was a great chance to impress visitors who wouldn’t normally go there, and make them want to come back again.

Yet, when we arrived, it seemed nothing was ready. Near to where we were staying, there was actually a football card shop selling Panini World Cup stickers…due to open in a few weeks.

Most of the food kiosks along the front weren’t ready. The toilets weren’t yet ready. At the accommodation, the main restaurant still hadn’t opened by the time we left. Even the FIFA delegates turning up to stay in a seven-star hotel found it wasn’t ready and had to move elsewhere.

It just made me think that, as a business, when you get a chance to make a first impression with a prospect, you really do need to grasp it so that they might buy from you now, and again in the future. And, with plenty of time to get ready, you should be ready by the time people arrive.

Despite that, we had a really good time there. We actually saw the comedy of the fact that things weren’t ready. We saw the comedy of the fact that we were being directed to a Metro wherever we wanted to go.

But your prospects won’t see the comedy. They’ll just go elsewhere.

Now, please don’t mention the actual football!!

Any questions?



If you’d like a meeting or a video call to discuss this, please get in touch with your favourite Liverpool accountant