Thursday, 19 June 2014

Determination and Persistence in Selling - Virgin Trains

It was some two years ago when Virgin Trains challenged the decision of the Department for Transport on their awarding the North West Train Franchise to First Group.

At the time .......
the Dft said
"… the winning bidder (First Group) was decided by a fair and established process and no reason has been advanced to convince DfT not to sign the agreement."

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said: "We are in receipt of a letter from Virgin Trains which is a precursor to legal action. We are reviewing the correspondence."

The Department is confident in the process it undertook and the decision made in awarding the West Coast franchise.” ( 13 year franchise)"

Tim O’Toole of First Group said “"Our winning bid is a deliverable proposition that is compelling for all who want to see a greater use of our rail networks”

Sir Richard Branson  noting that Virgin Group had spent £14m on its latest bid, said that

'based on the current flawed system, it is extremely unlikely that we would bid again for a franchise. The process is too costly and uncertain.'

Well, Virgin  courageously made a legal challenge.

That deal collapsed because a “swamped” Department for Transport got its figures wrong and didn't follow the rules.  The government eventually scrapped the award claiming there were "significant technical flaws" in the bidding process because of mistakes by DfT staff. Three civil servants were suspended.

The timetable for handing out other deals looked like it might overrun the government and they can't afford another mess. So  DfT are using short-term deals and extensions to stagger the whole process out.

Patrick McCall, Virgin Trains' executive co-chairman, said: "We're delighted to have reached a deal after some tough negotiations with the DfT. It puts the problems of 2012 firmly behind us and shows the clear benefits of a well-run franchise system.”

The deal announced today is part of a much bigger process to avoid a repeat of the West Coast franchise catastrophe in 2012.

The story is a remarkable example of PERSISTENCE a lesson for all in selling.


Nothing in the world can take the place of PERSISTENCE-          Talent will notNothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent-          Education will notThe world is full of educated derelicts-          Genius will notUnrewarded genius is almost a proverb Persistence and determination alone are all powerful !

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