What do you do when your CEO's desk is 6 yards away from you, and you feel like your boss has got his eye on you all the 24/7 that you are in the office?

To understand the answer--which we will get to in a moment--we need to go back to the period 1985-1989. Ian Farmer would spend these 4 years in the USA running two companies: a startup in Los Angeles, and a turnaround and trade sale just outside Washington, DC.

The sale of the DC company meant that Ian was visa-less (it belonged to the job in DC). So, he returned to the UK and joined the Cambridge IT technology legend, Torch Computers as Sales and Marketing Director. Suddenly, instead of the HQ (and the boss) being thousands of miles away (as it was in the US companies), he was only 6 yards away--a rather, shall we say, 'challenging' situation at its best.

Now, back to our question...And the solution is? Open your own consultancy firm, of course. So, in January of 1989, Ian Farmer founded Ian Farmer Associates in Cambridge, England

Ian Farmer Associates started as an interim management consultancy, offering "senior board level sales, marketing and general management expertise and help to organizations that either did not need and/or could not afford someone full time".

Early engagements included projects such as
  • Interim Sales Director for an ISV selling software in the Local Authority market
  • General Manager for an organization selling back office accounting systems to futures and options traders
  • Interim Channel Manager for a CRM vendor

The business quickly grew and added strategic sales consultancy to its portfolio of professional services which enabled Ian to work with several consultancy firms on their business development, staffing, structure, and go-to-market plans.

All through the 1990s, organizations were getting used to selling by telephone. Ian's company took many organizations into telephone sales and telephone-based account management for the first time by developing solution-selling programs for telephone sales. In 2001, the company further expanded its training portfolio, partnering with industry leader Holden International, adding their world famous Power Base Selling program to the repertoire, and expanding their client base in the professions marketplace helping accountants and lawyers to "make rain"!

By the mid 2000's, the company's growth and expanding reputation necessitated a name change and restructuring, so Ian Farmer Associates became IF Associates (UK) Ltd and IF Associates Inc., in the USA, opening an additional office in North Carolina.

IF Associates has a built a solid track record of turning around under-performing sales teams and individuals, as well as taking successful sales organizations from "good to great".  IF Associates has developed a reputation for enabling true sales and business transformations, not simply presenting and training techniques.  The consultancy prides itself on giving clients ecosystems, skills, and tools that they can begin using the next day.