I’ve just had a very interesting week.
I’ve run the same one hour ‘Future Growth’ seminar on sales and marketing to small and medium sized businesses 19 times to about 150-200 business owners and managers around Perth.
As you can see, the groups were small so we got to interact and coach people in a very close, intimate environment.
I got to see 150-200 business people at close range.
As I reflect on it this weekend it was a thought provoking experience with some great sales training, sales coaching lessons in there.
We worked through a list of 10 questions about their businesses during the session.
WHY SOME SUCCEED AND SOME STRUGGLE
It became clear why some people were successful and why some were struggling (barely surviving).
At the same time, I was glancing through a book I had read a year or so ago by Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth – Awaking Your Life’s Purpose.
Tolle talks in detail about how we shape our lives by the way we think and the power of what we think, do and say in the NOW, the present moment.
The two experiences got me to thinking about the super importance of how we think, shaping our life’s experience – and the results we achieve in our businesses and life beyond business.
KNOWING THE ENEMIES
Sun Tzu in the Art of War writes ‘Know the enemy and know yourself, need not fear the result of 100 battles. Know neither the enemy or yourself and your will succumb in every battle.’
Knowing our own strengths, weaknesses, predispositions, responses, attitudes and ego’s is sometimes a frightening thing. But the alternative means to succumb on the battleground of business (if that is where we choose to be..)
What I saw this week was how about 20% of the people on the battleground of business are way too underprepared for what lies ahead..and don’t realise that the enemy is far more within than out there..
I thought I would outline some of the enemies I saw in the room this week so you can make sure you recognise them in yourself and others, and begin to take alternative action.
This was a rare person but they were there.
The person who questioned, challenged, disagreed with almost everything that was said.
When we spoke of McDonalds marketing and systems. This person wanted to tell us McDonalds was not a successful business and he couldn’t believe why anyone would go there.
When we spoke of marketing the value of your business and not selling on price, he wanted to tell us that was wrong and that business should be cost of production plus a small margin..
It went on and on.. He was in contortions when we said you need to allow a certain percentage of your turnover for ongoing, consistent marketing..
In his mind, the goal is to spend as little as possible on marketing because if people like what you sell, they will tell their friends.
Needless to say… he was struggling…. and spending his superannuation at a fast rate on the business he had bought.
The other form of blocker is the person who already has some background in marketing, so they think they know it already.
In thinking they know it, they then don’t take advice… and don’t do any, or few of the things they actually know they should be doing it..
The ‘I Know that…’ mindset leads to the ‘I don’t have to do it because I know it…’ mindset..
Very strange… but also very costly..
THE FUZZY NUMBERS
Another powerful insight came when we asked questions like ‘What is your average dollar sale?’ ‘What is your sales conversion rate?’
Time after time, those people who knew those numbers exactly and could recall them in an instant, had super successful businesses.
One lady who had recently sold her very successful business for millions said $357 average dollar sale at 52% margin with a conversion rate of 67%’
Many who were struggling would say ‘what do you mean again by average dollar sale?’ ‘That’s hard to work out… let me think about that…’
Time after time, the strugglers were very fuzzy with their numbers.
It was almost predictable. Fuzzy numbers = struggling business.
High performance in business means being on top of your numbers. There is no getting around it.
You and I need to be numerically literate, financially literate, business literate.
Just being in love with your product or service is not enough..
Business success is a combination of understanding the psychology of business success and the mathematics of business success.
YOUR INNER STORY CREATES YOUR OUTER STORY
Eckhart Tolle writes about how our inner story creates our outer story.
That what we continually tell ourselves and emote reflects in our outer reality.
I had one fellow during the week tell me his business was like a little ant carrying around a big rock. That it was almost impossible to make progress in his business.
Guess what kind of struggle he has created for himself?
Choose your internal images, your metaphors of yourself and your story very carefully. It will either empower you or disempower you.
I said to him that his ‘ant and rock’ metaphor was a metaphor he had chosen. It was not necessarily reality.
His face went blank. He had never considered that his story was not the truth. That it was his version of the truth.
I said, ‘What if your business was like a surfer riding a wave? Where you were in control and using the power of the wave to get you where you wanted to go?’
That is an alternative metaphor… he could choose another metaphor, another story. A story that would be far more empowering and helpful for him.
I saw his wife’s eyes light up.
She got what I was saying.
(Maybe he was trying to get through the white water instead of using the rip to get you back out the back to catch another wave…)
Anyway… an interesting week with plenty of life lessons as usual.
NEXT NEW SALES SCIENCE SEMINAR NOVEMBER 1ST IN PERTH
If you’re in Perth remember to register for our next New Sales Science Seminar on November 1st.
Click here to register and reserve your seat(s). Seats are filling fast..
Hope to see you there.
In the meantime.
Choose your stories well and be on top of your numbers.
See you next week.