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As many of you know, this podcast is all about problem-solving, seeing a challenge from a different angle, hearing a different voice. Conceptually, every single episode we do is about, “How do I grow this product or this company 10% to 100% in a different way?” This is called Take A Flyer. If you have ever done any of these four and it’s worked in the past or if you haven’t and you’re willing to try these, I would love an email that you tried them and if they did or did not work. If they don’t work, I owe you an apology. If they do work, you owe me whatever you want to get me. The point of Take A Flyer was taken from Bill Hybels, one of the greatest leadership coaches and mentors in the world. He’s done work with the Chicago Bears. He’s done leadership work for somewhere in the tune of 100-plus major companies. The guy is amazing. He runs one of the biggest churches in the world. He’s a walking gray matter when it comes to leadership and problem-solving. He has a concept that he started decades ago called Take A Flyer that I have since transitioned a decade ago into a business methodology. It goes like this. Here are the four different ways you can grow a business or a product line by taking a flyer.
The definition of taking a flyer means you do something way outside of the norm. Number one, same product, way different marketing. Let’s look at IncomeStore.com. For those of you that didn’t know what our core company does, people throw us money. We go out and buy them a website already making money. Our 140 employees manage that website and get it to make more money and we’ll guarantee a certain amount of production every month, every year in perpetuity. It’s a pretty cool deal. It’s the same product, but not too much has changed in the structure of what we do for six to ten years but listen to the way different types of marketing we’ve done. We have tried trade shows, Facebook marketing, radio, direct mail and Google pay-per-click. We’ve done events costing hundreds of thousands per weekend where we put on a big event and have a couple hundred people come. We’ve tried restaurant marketing where we’ll mail 2,000 homes and say, “If you come to Al’s Steak House in Joliet and listen to Ken talk for an hour, he’ll buy you a steak dinner and a drink.” You will get 30 people in there in that restaurant every single time.
We have tried so many different ways to get the word out, but it’s the same product. When is the last time you tried a marketing method that is so far out your comfort zone? You almost go in going, “This is just not going to work,” but you’re going to try it anyway. That’s number one. Take a flyer on the same product, but way different marketing. Here’s one that a lot of companies don’t think about. How about taking the marketing platform that your company’s best at? Maybe after five years, you mastered Google pay-per-click or you mastered Facebook ads or you mastered the radio. You mastered direct mail or you mastered getting people in your store from the street via signage. Whatever your thing is, everybody knows their number one traffic pattern to their shopping cart or their number one traffic pattern to a getting a deal signed. We all know it. When’s the last time you took that same marketing but did a way different product line? We’re good after all these years on the radio. I’m personally good at writing the copy, the scripts. We’ve done and we’ve proved with results that radio works for us because I take a flyer once a year. I said, “What else could we put into the radio to see if it works?”
It’s too early to tell. I went into our websites and said, “What website that we have under management might radio work for?” I let the team pick and one of the sites that we have is called DonaldTrumpCollectables.Store. This is a collectibles website that did a tremendous amount of money in a five-month period of time. This website is 301 redirected from a different domain name. Meaning prior, it was a democratic website, collectables. The previous president was a Democrat, so it was probably something like a BarackObamaCollectables.Store. Depending on who’s in office, we can switch from Democrat to Republican or Independent. The point is, it’s an inanimate object. It’s a website and it might just respond to a radio. We won’t know until we test it. I won’t know for three more weeks if this many-thousands a week of radio ad spend is helping or not. It’s the same marketing, the same audience, but a way different product. That’s number two.
Number three, I don’t know how to explain this outside of something I lived through. In 2011, we had an up-and-coming website in the plumbing space that had just started taking off. We decided to go to the KBIS show, Kitchen & Bath in Las Vegas. There were 65,000 attendees and 1,700 major vendors with a huge booth. I said to myself, “This is going to be a waste of time. I’m going to go collect pens and business cards, spend three days in Vegas, lose my shirt at the blackjack tables,” and I didn’t want to go. To my surprise, I saw that the booths that Kohler, Moen and Hansgrohe, the way they were setting up their booths and inviting people in was not what I was used to. I’m used to some milk and cookies or little treats at the front and they slowly pull you into their booth. This was like an open forum, a great room of a home. You had no choice but to walk through their booth.
Taking a flyer means you do something way outside of the norm. Click To Tweet
I was so moved by the structure of the booth that I came home and immediately booked a twelve-month booth. Different show, different city, twelve months in a row, twelve cities and it was $5,000 apiece. I set the booth up in a similar way to what I saw in a plumbing trade show and we got ten huge clients that year from setting up a little booth for a weekend. It was amazing. Flyer number three is find a huge trade show that is nowhere near your industry. If you’re in a hair salon, go to the KBIS show. If you do landscaping, go to the rodeo show that’s in Vegas. What does riding horses, bulls and selling hats and boots have anything to do with landscaping? Nothing. That’s exactly why you go. You walk around, you get the free ticket, you go to all the booths, you see their giveaway or how do they set them up. I promise you, you’ll understand that your biggest business challenge has already been solved in a different industry. You just don’t know it. That’s the best gift a growth consultant can give a client is many times your current business challenge has already been solved and you don’t know because you’re in your industry.
As a growth consultant of 3,100 clients, I have seen that challenge before. That’s number three. Go to a major trade show in Las Vegas or Orlando or Dallas where these mega hubs are. Go to a monster trade show that is not in your industry in the next 60 days. Number four and final, this is only if you have the budget to go overseas. The next time you take a trip when you do vacation, I want you to extend it one or two days. Turn the trip into a business write off and attend an industry event of the industry you’re in somewhere in Europe, preferably London or an English-speaking area. What you will witness is it’s the same industry with the same problems we have here in the United States and the same opportunity, but they use different technology and different marketing techniques.
I’m promising you, you’re going to come back to the States and have three to five killer ideas to implement that none of your competition is going to know about. Number one, same product, way different marketing. Number two, same marketing, way different product. Number three, do a major trade show. Pick a warm spot. If you live in the North, pick a spot in the South. Have fun with this but do a major trade show in a big city that has nothing to do with your industry, that is what’s called info sponging. That’s number three. Number four, go overseas, make it a day and a half. Do an industry event and watch your hair blown back with the different technology. I hope this helps. Take care.