Over the last 18 years we’ve been privileged to have worked with some exceptional business owners where we’ve learnt as much as we imparted.
In our experience successful business owners all understand and embody the importance of:
In that order!
They’re aspirational. They have a vision for their businesses as well as their personal lives. Set realistic strategic goals and actively work towards them.
They want to grow and are willing to do the work. They have courage and are calculated risk takers. They’re willing to back themselves. They’re open minded and realise they can’t be an expert in very aspect so are willing to invest in external resources.
A common trap is being consumed by tactics and the day to day operation, fighting fires. Successful leaders all take time out to work on their businesses, stepping back, taking a helicopter view to ensure they don’t miss the forest for the trees.
And finally, they’re willing to be held accountable by an external party to ensure they stick to their commitments or if not, understand the ramifications of changing direction.
Marketing’s primary role is to get prospects to your door, warm them up while setting you up as the expert in your field, making your sales process significantly easier as a level of credibility has already been built.
Growth oriented business leaders realise they’re not in the business of doing whatever it is they deliver. They’re actually in the business of marketing the results of whatever it is they do.
Constant marketing is ingrained in their psyche. They understand that at any time only 3% to 4% of their prospects are ready to buy and are just looking for the right provider.
That another 30% – 40% are searching for a solution but don’t know exactly what it should be. Which is where they can influence the decision through effective advertising and content marketing.
This applies even if all your business comes from referrals. While some referrals could be hot leads, in our experience most are quite cold. Even if your referrer endorses you, a prospect will still check out your website, consume educational material you provide including case studies and testimonials before making a decision to contact you.
Experienced operators understand that prospects buy when they’re ready. Your job is to be in front of them when they are. Constant marketing is the key to this.
Nothing happens until a client buys.
Successful business owners realise they’re often the organisation’s best salesperson. They take responsibility for bringing in business. But many don’t have a structured system for doing so.
When selling high ticket products and services, a well-engineered sales process helps your prospects articulate their issues, fully understand the implications of solving them or not, while leading them to trust that you are the only choice for them.
We teach clients a structured 15 step sales process which significantly improves conversion rates enabling sustained growth.
Business leaders who spend their days fighting fires and running around like headless chooks do so because they haven’t taken the time to implement effective systems, processes and procedures.
Roles, responsibilities and accountabilities are at best blurred, at worst non-existent.
As such delivery outcomes have inconsistent quality, stuff falls through cracks and clients aren’t happy.
Place an emphasis on creating systems for delivery. But don’t stop there. You must have marketing, sales, finance and HR systems as well.
Many businesses underestimate the importance of a client’s lifetime value. It generally costs 8 to 10 times more to bring in a new client than to keep selling to an existing one. So finding ways to retain and re-sell to existing clients is one of greatest profit levers you have. Not to mention the referrals they could bring.
Plug in average figures from your business into our free lifetime value calculator. You’ll be surprised at how much each client could be worth if you look after them.
Knowing your average lifetime value also tells you how much you could spend on acquisition knowing you’ll make a profit longer term.