The interview I did with Andrew Morello had so much quality content that I had to do a part two to squeeze it all in for you. This is testament to Andrews’s knowledge in the field of sales and all the training sessions he has run for large organisations around sales. In part two of my interview with Andrew, I discussed with him ways in which startups can become dollar productive. It’s crucial that you’re always thinking outside of the box and not afraid to talk about what you do.
Below are Andrew’s five suggestions on how your startup can get dollar productive right now!
1. Increase leads any way you can (be smart)
One mistake that all startups make is that they concentrate on things that are not important. A prime example of this is worrying about what your website looks like, what your brand looks like or what your flyers look like. In the early days, you need to concentrate on things that are dollar productive. Try starting with the three F’s.
F – Friends
F – Family
F – Fools
When you start out in a business, often you haven’t got the credibility just yet, and you’re relying on people that know you, trust you and are prepared to give you a go. This person that trusts you is only a fool until you turn them into a client and they are only a client until you turn them into a friend and they are only a friend until they become part of the family.
Anything you have ever done in the past, like other business ventures or jobs, will help you find prospects. These people are great to start with because they trust you, and they know you.
In order to keep on feeding the prospecting machine, you always need to have leads coming into your funnel. These leads can come from your networks/referral networks, consider the concept of reverse engineering your sales funnel. If you want to do 10 sales per month that may mean that you need to do 40 face-to-face appointments per month, which means you might need to be speaking with 400 prospects over the phone in a month. If you’re looking at your business networks to increase leads and become more dollar productive for example, with a financial services business you might want to consider contacting any accountants you know, bankers you work with, lawyers or financial planners.
The other source for leads could be within your community networks. Could you join a Rotary or a Lions Club? Could your church, your mosque or your synagogue be another place to look for increasing leads? It wouldn’t be that hard for you to create a referral program with one of these organisations and then pay them a referral fee which could go back to the organisation and help support their cause. All of these strategies will also help your startup to be recession proof.
Another area to try (don’t go too crazy with this) is to look at purchasing leads. The quality may not always be amazing but if you’re not the salesman or the prospector then this could work well for you. A client that Andrew signed up used this strategy in the early days and built their business up to $700k in upfront revenue per year. The secret to this businesses success was that he gave each of the leads phenomenal service, which allowed him to get 3 or more referrals off them, to the point where he no longer has to buy leads or prospect.
Your startup is no different to any other sales business and you need to look to build out a sales funnel. Everybody that you meet should be a prospect or an opportunity in your CRM (Client Relationship Management) software. Even if they are hot, cold, or not interested, make sure you put them in your CRM so that you can at least put them on a monthly newsletter.
Don’t make the mistake of going to a networking event, collecting a 100 business cards and then saying only 3 were interested and throwing away the other 97 business cards. The other 97 people should go into your CRM and onto your newsletter so that they might become a prospect in the future. It’s up to them to opt out if they really hate your product or service, not for you to make that decision on their behalf.
Don’t make your content salesy make it educational. At the end of each of your educational newsletters or piece of content, you should have an opt-in if the prospect would like to get started with your business.
One final tip for increasing leads is to look for joint venture opportunities. For example, if you’re a supplement store, consider doing a partnership with a gym and offer a month free membership for anyone that spends over $200 on protein powders. These types of strategic partnerships can add revenue to your bottom line.
2. Start with entry-level products (you don’t buy a Rolls Royce for your first car)
Don’t try and sell the premium package straight away. Have an entry-level product so that people can get to know you. Something like a $99 ebook can work well, and then they have the option to upgrade to the $1500 package. If you’re selling a product, then let the prospects try it for a period of time.
3. Don’t have too much of your revenue coming from large giants
Mum and dad businesses are a great target market because they are recession proof. What that means is that whether the economy is good or the economy is bad, there is always a mum and dad that needs your product. The danger of going after large organisations is that as soon as there is a GFC or tightening of the economy, generally the larger companies make the budget cuts first and then when the economy turns around they are the last to get invigorated.
The danger of selling to a large organisation is that if they makeup 80% of your business and then you lose them, the majority of revenue is gone overnight. At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with selling to small business and mums and dads. It’s also a great way to deleverage your business.
4. You must measure
A great way to measure if you’re dollar productive is to work to what Andrew and his mentor (John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate) call “the ideal week.” It’s the seven days that you live your life broken up into dollar productive activities and personal activities. The point of this is to try and find ways to leverage off your personal activities so that they become dollar productive.
A great example of this would be if you had kids and wanted to drop them off at school each day and pick them up at the end of the day, make sure you wear your company polo top and wrap your car with your businesses logos, so people know what you do. Also, try and meet a new parent every day, have a business card in your pocket and always tell the parents what you do. This is a great conversation starter, and the natural barrier that people have is broken down because you have got something in common which is that your children go to school together.
5. Leverage social (yes we said it again)
Andrew considers himself as a bit of an old dog when it comes to technology, but he has recently started to take much more notice of social media. Having said that, I was originally going to do the interview with Andrew over Facetime but he insisted on face to face because he believes that business is about catching up with people and finding out what’s going on in their life.
Social Media allows you for to be an advocate for your business. Jane Lu from ShowPo is a great example of this. Her business went from $20,000 per month in sales online to more than $1 million dollars per month in sales online. Jane is a walking talking billboard for her business and in the early days she had more than 100k of Facebook likes and a lot of people that had liked her page had actually met her at some point.
“When you’re in the startup phase your business page on social media is your personal page”
Andrews Morello’s Social Media Tips
- Use social media as a way to keep people interested in your startup
- Try not to flog too many products on your social media pages
- Don’t be afraid to be a little bit rough around the edges and show some vulnerability.
- Avoid putting up anything offensive but there is nothing wrong with putting up photos of you, and you’re family. It shows people you’re a family man, and that’s the type of person that people want to do business with.