This article outlines 5 rules for creating a kick-ass business… Putting my coffee down in the green room, I started to think of my next session of our annual, sold out, sales extravaganza at The Magic Circle in London and I noticed a speaker friend at the door (check out my business and sales seminar schedule).
“Hello! How are you?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “This is a good event. How many people in this auditorium?”
“Nice. I have to ask, how did you fill it?”
“Sorry, what do you mean?” I questioned.
“Well, most speakers in the UK have stopped doing open events, certainly of this size anyway. Even some of the organisations have seen seminar figures drop from the thousands to the low hundreds. How did you fill it? What do you do to market it?”
“Oh, I see,” I responded, thinking for a minute and then said, “Well, we sent a couple of emails each.”
My friend smiled, laughed, and said, “Seriously, how did you fill it?”
“No, that is how we filled it. One marketing email each for the two of us and one reminder p.s. each along with a couple of mentions across social media.”
“Look! Gavin! If you don’t want to tell me, don’t tell me. I get it if you want to keep your sales and marketing strategies a secret but there’s no need to be a dick about it.” He looked a bit annoyed.
I thought for a minute and then made up some nonsense about social media, direct mail, phone calls, marketing funnels and some other complex sounding sales and marketing strategies. He looked happy, thanked me and walked away.
But he made a good point, how did we fill the Magic Circle three years in a row with only a couple of emails each and with a waiting list too? It is a question that Phil Hesketh and I have asked each other several times over Betty’s house blend coffee and a tasty breakfast in Ilkley. How do we fill it? Why does it fill when others struggle to fill their events with far more effort?
And this is my conclusion. These 5 tips will help you to be more successful and more profitable no matter what your business… so, here they are… 5 Rules For Creating A Kick-Ass Business:-
- Be great at what you do.
Most people settle for average. They settle for good enough. They settle for “that will do”. They leave being great for others or for their childhood dreams. Phil and I both love what we do and we strive to be great at it. We both want people to leave our talks and programmes motivated, inspired and educated. And I like to think that it shows.
I guess this is where I am supposed to waffle on about under-promising and over-delivering but I actually think that’s just weird when you think about it. Why would you under-promise just so that you can over-deliver? What kind of jiggery-pokery is that? Why not just seek to be the best, seek to add massive value and then step up and deliver on it, with bells on? And we both seek to do that every day.
- Build relationships with your customers.
Proper ones. Be open, be honest, add value, keep in touch. You’re reading this. So are a lot of other people and that is because I have been writing it for 15 years or so. I have had customers for 15 years. I have had conversations for 15 years. Neither Phil nor I chase the quick buck, we work with people that we know we can add value for and ensure that we do; and we build relationships with them; long term.
- Know your market.
I cannot emphasise the importance of this rule enough. Many people have asked me whether I would train them to be a speaker and build a speaking business. Many have said I should run a business doing that. You know, “How To Be An International Speaker”, that sort of thing. That might be fun but it’s not what I want to do right now.But there is one piece of advice that I see beginner speakers, experienced speakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and salespeople screwing up every day… they don’t know their market; they don’t know their clients, they don’t know what their clients want; they don’t know what they desire.
You need to know what your clients challenges and issues are; know what they need; know where they want to go. You need to know them. And then, you base your offerings around those so that they look at them and say, “I need that. I want that. I must invest in that.” Far too many people sell tat that they thought was a good idea, tat that they thought sounded clever, tat that interests them. Good luck with that. You need to know your clients better than they know themselves.
- Be real.
I am from Yorkshire. Phil is, unfortunately, a Lancastrian but he has seen the light and lives in Yorkshire. We’re both down to earth and call it like we see it. No BS, no airs and graces, no affectation. We are what we are, people get that, and they like it. My clients know me, his clients know him, and people like that. Forget all that nonsense about who you should be and how you should behave and be who you are. That’s why people buy you.
There you go, that’s it; 5 rules for creating an awesome business; now you just have to apply them.
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