Welcome to 2013! Fortunately, I am not superstitious so the number doesn’t trouble me.
Success has little or nothing to do with good or bad luck in my opinion.
Mostly if you follow successful people around you will find they work for it. Although, for them it’s often not work. In other words, they’ve been able to blur the line between work and play and that’s what I do.
Bottom line, there are practical reasons for success that go way beyond good or bad luck.
So let’s do our best here to swing the pendulum in your favour in 2013. I’m going to start with revealing a secret that I figured out at the tender age of 22 that made me very very rich, the good news is, it’s just as applicable today, 39 years later. In fact, it’s made many of my clients, who were prepared to pay attention, very very rich also.
Most of you will know I made my first fortune starting, buying, building and selling businesses. In fact, I made an art of it and have few peers worldwide on this subject.
Anyway, I created a formula for buying businesses and starting businesses for little or none of my own money and then I flipped them for a fortune.
I was able to do this with piercing accuracy time and time again and better still teach others how to do it and now live the dream.
Back to the Formula. Here’s the #1 thing I did and still do to this day whether it’s my business or my clients’ businesses. It’s called OPTIMIZATION.
Merriam Webster.com’s definition of OPTIMIZATION is “an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible” and that’s pretty accurate but I express it another way for the purposes of business.
It’s doing “what you are already doing in business, expending the same amount of time, money and effort and getting a bigger and better monetary return.”
If you like, more $$$ from less.
Another way to say that is “finding hidden money in your business that otherwise goes unbanked that you never would have banked.”
Anyway, I’m sure you get my drift. What I’m saying is after nearly 39 years of expensive experience developing businesses for myself and 1000s of clients I can say without fear of contradiction that in my experience most business owners leave more money on the table unbanked as opposed to money they do bank.
So the first thing I do is I OPTIMIZE (improve) the existing functions of a business. It might be as simple as how they greet a client, how they answer the phone, implementing cross-selling and upselling of products and services.
The big one is of course improving the quality of the advertising and marketing.
Obviously I improve the quality of the marketing. You see it costs just as much to do crap marketing as it does to do great marketing.
An easy one to fix is the sales process. Most businesses fall to bits when t comes to making a sale. And sadly that goes for businesses who have rightfully woken up to the fact that RIGHT marketing is key to your success.
On this point, if you agree with me that RIGHT marketing is KEY to your success and that your marketing should be a systemized and scripted process, then you will also agree that your sales process should be also just as systemized and scripted.
But unfortunately that’s not the case. So let’s look at some statistics that don’t lie.
Better still, let’s make a pile of hidden money in your business, mysteriously appear.
Facts About the “Follow Up” of Sales People
- 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
- Only 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
- And only 12% of sales people make more than three contacts
Right now my wife and I are renovating our house, both inside and out. This includes new bathrooms and kitchen, new travertine tiles and carpets, the usual window treatments and painting.
On the outside of the house, the whole home has been rendered. The roof has been painted, the entire backyard has been landscaped including decking, gazebo and a swimming pool.
On top of all that there’s over 300 square meters of exposed and polished concrete around the entire home. To say our house has been a building site recently is an understatement.
Here’s my point. I’ve been dealing with quote after quote, sales person after sales person and frankly, they fail the most simplest of sales and marketing tests and due to that failure should fire themselves immediately.
Why? Because almost without exception, no one has followed me up at all. No one has given me a call to action or a reason to buy today. I mean no one. It’s a joke.
To top all this off, all these fine folk, and fine folk they are, suck at the sales and marketing process.
And they are letting me down, themselves down and their wives and children down.
After all, I’m spending a small fortune and they’re not getting it unless I decide to give it to them because they’ve given all the power to me to buy or not to buy.
I suspect some even mumble begrudgingly under their breath how that “bald guy” (that’s me), hasn’t called me back and placed an order. They probably even bemoan the fact that clients are a waste of time and a pain in the butt, when in fact guess who is the problem.
You guessed it – the inept salesperson in the first place.
Facts About the Buying Cycle of a Prospect or Client
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% of sales are made on the second contact
- 5% of sales are made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
These statistics here even further compound the braverty of the ineptness that pervades business today.
My own case in point with all this renovation and landscapping going on at home, my wife and I need some new hip outdoor furniture. Here is my method of operation (MO).
Firstly, months ago I started cutting out ads from newspapers and I documented various wesites also for review. All this because I wasn’t ready to buy yet. I was not in the 3% of the “buying now” category. Then just before Christmas we got serious, went through our notes and ads and started visiting various retail outlets.
In all, we visited about 10 gathering more and more information about the quality of the product, what best suited our needs etc. 3 outlets I visited twice over about 3 weeks and then on the third visit to one of them, ordered the lot.
So if we put ourselves in the shoes of a furniture retailer for a moment, you’ll realize that if someone comes in to your store on their “first look”, your chances of making a sale are zero to none. I read recently that the buying cycle for furniture is about 11 weeks. Sounds about right to me.
So the trick would be, to find out from te client when they come in, how long they’ve been looking to make a purchase, how many other stores they’ve been to. Knowing this would empower you to market to them through direct mail literally daily, if you were smart enough to get their details.
Okay, how can you do that? Stick a “fish bowl” on the counter and ask them to fill out a simple questionnaire and drop it in the bowl.
Eg: Question #1: What sort of furniture are you interested in buying?
Question #2: When were you thinking of buying?
Question #3: How much were you intending to spend?
Then they go in the draw to win a monthly meal for two at a nice local restaurant or heck, win an outdoor setting, who knows! Of course, I’ve bought a bit of furniture in my time and no one does this.
That said, there’s literally not an industry that could not use such a scenario.
Just a simple follow-up call, better still some powerful direct response marketing would “change the game” in most businesses.
Why Businesses Lose Customers
- 1% Die
- 3% Move away
- 5% Form other relationships
- 9% Leave for competitive reasons
- 14% Due to product dissatisfaction
- 68% Stop buying the product or service because of an attitude or feeling of indifference
Most people think when clients leave them it’s because they found someone better or they left because they got a better price. These statistics prove that’s not the case, simply because 68% stop buying a product or service because of an attitude or feeling of indifference. Those statistics should shock you but on the other hand they should also empower you.
You see, all of the stats above represent an opportunity for anyone prepared to OPTIMIZE, break the mould and do what most business owners won’t or can’t do.
Getting it WRONG, costs you just as much time, money and energy as getting it RIGHT. Just fix these stats in your business and 2013 will without a doubt be your best year yet and chances are it will cost you little or no money to do it!
So go ahead ,make 2013 your best year yet. From my experience it could be this simple.