The Cold Calls and First Contact
The surprising company that wanted to see our new soap idea.
The first time I created the prototype soaps that ultimately became what is Marie Ernst™ I was still working full time in my radio-advertising career and it was still basically a hobby and nothing more. I’ve always been creative and looked for simple ways to improve my life and others too. This venture really began after a particularly bad day at the office; I was left thinking how I could improve my employment, my work environment and overall satisfaction with my income and career.
After doing my due diligence and a ton of research on pumice soaps I decided to cold call the same companies of the soaps that I used regularly. It didn’t go too well and I was rebuffed immediately. Instead of hearing the famous line “You had me at hello.” It stung to hear them say “NO” but it didn’t discourage me. After all, I had cold called businesses for the past 20 years so it was in my blood to never give up until you get the appointment. And that’s when it happened, I was shocked to find out that “Lava®” the original heavy-duty hand cleaner originally developed in 1893 known as one of the best-known heavy-duty hand cleaners in the world actually took solicitations for new ideas and had a process to submit our idea.
It’s was refreshing to learn that not all big businesses think they know it all and accepts ideas that could become a reality from your average person. Remember when I said in my previous post “I bet you can’t guess which company we signed a NDA with and the name of the company?” It was Lava® soap but the larger revelation was that Lava® was owned by WD40®. Whaaat? Yeah, that was my reaction too! After a very positive conversation and an exchange of contact information, I was suddenly scrambling to call my patent attorney to find out if my idea as patentable before I sent the actual product.
And boy, scrambling was all I did over the next month as I prepared our products, wrote my first patent to present to my attorney and had their law firm apply for a U.S. Patent for my new idea. It was a ton of work but I got through it in the nick of time.