Many people will try to sell you on their own business growth strategy, but the thing about shred strategies is that they sometimes get so specific that they don’t quite suit your company or business. When you’re trying to turbocharge the growth of your business, very few internal strategies will specifically match what you need. Ken Courtright shares his biggest key business growth strategy–and it has nothing to do with your company’s inner workings. Perceived credibility is the name of the game now. Getting even a sliver of authority will ultimately go a long way into propping your business up, and puts you in league with some of the biggest names in your industry.
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This is episode 68, Turbocharging Growth. At this point in our Growth Checkup Chart, we’re at the far-right side. We are growing the business at this point. We’re fine tuning growth and it’s a matter of adding a little bit of leverage. This is some exciting stuff. The last episode, we put on our baseball glove and we ensured that we caught every dollar being thrown our way. Since we now have the largest baseball glove ever made, we are catching every financial transaction that’s heading our way. We’re closing every bid and every site visitor that comes to our site seems to buy. We turn our focus on increasing and maximizing how many leads are coming through each of our ten marketing channels. More importantly, we begin to ensure and cultivate a culture and a website that is built for generating referrals and repeat clients.
This episode is centered on the definition of the word strategy. I learned this before and it changed my view on business. Strategy, when it comes to business is simply placing a company’s greatest strength against the market’s weakest point. If you look at your company, maybe your company is you. You are the leverage. You’re putting your greatest asset against the weakest place in the market place. It might be your local town. I want you to picture the way it was described in a cool book. Leverage, imagine a 2x8x8 foot long piece of wood. You and your brother are out making a snowman and its perfect packing snow and you roll this massive ball as the base, it’s 5 feet wide. You roll the middle part of the snowman and you realize it’s 3’3” wide. You and your brother realized you can’t lift anything close to this, but your sharp brother says, “We can get this on top there.”
He runs into the garage, comes out with an 8-foot piece of wood, it’s a 2x8x8 foot, and uses his little red wagon as the fulcrum. That’s the tipping point and they set it about 18 inches off one end. They rolled the middle piece of the snowman onto the bottom of this lever. The one guy sat on the other side and it lifted enough, it lifted about 3.5 feet where they could roll it on top of the base and thus, that is my visual lesson on how levers and fulcrums work. The bottom line is this, the bigger and the stronger the lever, the more you can lift. The law of authority says that one’s revenue and business volume is in direct proportion to one’s perceived credibility. If you remember a couple episodes ago, I talked about Dr. Schuman, a dentist that talked to a PR guy in Florida. This dentist was in Tennessee.Strategy is placing your company's greatest strength against the market's weakest point. Click To Tweet
Through an exchange of information and a check that he wrote and some things he was asked to do, he was able to increase his revenue so much that his dental practice qualified for the Inc. 5000 list three times. He was able to triple his revenues. What Dr. Schuman did, in short, is he was able to get dozens of pictures taken with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, some football coaches at halftime of the Super Bowl and in turn, he ended up putting about 40 pictures of him and every celebrity, all of it around his office. It took a few months but the town caught on that, “This guy is special. He knows everybody.” Over an eighteen-month period of time, he tripled his prices. I tell this story much deeper in the previous episode exactly how this happened.
The bottom line is this. Why exactly did Dr. Schuman jump high in revenue that he qualified for the Inc. 5000 list three times and three years in a row? There’s only one answer and that is the world’s perception of his perceived credibility changed. In those eighteen months, did Dr. Schuman get smarter? No. Did he learn a new technique to drill teeth that shaved the cost of teeth drilling in half? No. Did he change or increase his marketing or foot traffic? No. It’s the same people. The only thing that changed is the world’s perception of Dr. Schuman. His perceived credibility changed. Thus, his wallet and his checkbook changed. He went from being a dentist to a celebrity dentist. That’s what changed.
When it comes to growing business in our cynical and skeptical online society, it’s all about ensuring the who of everyone of importance in the company. We have to ensure that the who of everyone of importance in the company is maximized. Have your sales reps published a book? Has any of your sales team written a blog that people could follow? Do you personally speak at local events? Does your CEO sponsor and work at charity events? Is there anything that you can do to show all major members of your team are someone special?
It is critical that when you introduce a member of your team, you don’t just say, “Here’s John. He’s our CEO.” That doesn’t work anymore. It’s got to be, “Here’s John, our CEO. He’s the guy who I was telling you about that write for Entrepreneur.com.” That is the beginning of creating leverage. When you can make yourself have the perceived valuation of someone special, someone important, it’s the perceived credibility that matters. What I mean by that is this, as I speak all over the world on this topic, you could give me an accountant who’s been doing it for 45 years, but he’s got a humdrum website, home, about us, frequently asked questions, product and services, no pictures of him anywhere on the website, just a humdrum website.
You give me a 24-year-old kid. He’s been out of college a couple of years, he doesn’t know jack about accounting compared to the guy that’s been around for 40 years. If that kid does exactly what I say for twelve months, I can get him the perception of the world’s greatest accountant. I can make him a celebrity. I can make him look like $20 million. It is the perceived credibility that matters. It isn’t the level of wisdom, the schooling, and the three degrees. That has nothing to do with revenue. People want to do business and hang with people that are special.
Here are three critical points that we employ at Income Store that ensure the world knows our management team is special. Number one, each member of our management team has to specialize in something and be known for it. I speak worldwide. My brother Bill mentors people across America for many companies. Our chief marketing officer is a Vistage speaker. Our head designer on our design team is on the advisory board of the WordPress design team. We never introduce someone without their brag title, following their title. As titles go, the old-fashioned title, CEO, whatever, those are irrelevant. It’s a waste of breath.
Second, all the people at our company network, they don’t just network. They network with an understanding of the rule of 2%. This is powerful what I’m about to share. The rule of 2% says, when you enter a room, I don’t care if you’re at a wedding reception, a networking event, if there’s more than 20, 30, 40 people and some of them purposefully went there with extra business cards to network. If you’re in an environment where you can communicate with multiple people, the rule of 2% says, the odds of 100 people in the room, the odds of any of them wanting to talk to you, having the money to do business with you, having the interest in your product is 2 out of 100.
When it comes to the old-fashioned Yellow Pages, there are 17,700 different businesses in the Yellow Pages, yet the average homeowner in 30 years only uses 250. What about the other 17,450? They’re not interested in them or they can’t afford them or they don’t care. Why would it be different between the Yellow Pages and a networking event? It’s not. Our management team understands this at the deepest level. If you network and you’re in front of 100 people and you spot 5 or 10 people that are probably the perfect potential client, the worst thing you can do with them is start a conversation to size them up to see if they qualify to be your customer. That is the kiss of death.It is your perceived level of credibility that matters most in business. Click To Tweet
Why don’t you try on this technique? The rule of 2% says that the average person in America has approximately 30 to 10,000 people that follow them on social media or read their blog, read their newsletter, or are in their family or on Facebook or what have you. The average is around 600. When you walk up to someone at a networking event and you think they could be your perfect client, I want you to understand something. There are 600 people that value that person’s opinion that you’re about to walk up to. The odds of that person you’re about to walk up to wanting to truly talk to you, wanting to hear what you have to say and having the money to do business with you is a 1 out of 50 chance. There’s about 600 people probably following them.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to approach that person and try to size up their following and see if they’re following matches the demographics of your avatar, your perfect client? If it does, the odds of 1 out of 50 say there are twelve customers following this person. That’s a lot better odds of you getting a sale than you trying to go after this person, which has a 2% chance. There’s 100% chance that 1 out of 50 people following this person, which averages 600 people, 1 out of 50 is 12. There’s 100% chance that twelve people following this person are qualified and have the money to hear what you have to say, yet there’s only a 2% chance, not 100% chance that the single individual you’re sitting across from wants to even hear from you.
The rule of 2% says, why not change your dynamic at a networking event? Don’t look at people, look through them. Don’t look at people, look at their following. Who follows these people on Twitter? Who follows them on Facebook? Who reads their blog? Who are these people and do people follow them? If so, what are their demographics? You can say to this guy, “How about this, I’ve got a cool idea. The people following me is similar to the people you need. The people following you is similar to the people I need. Why don’t we partner up? Why don’t you maybe write a blog for me once a month? Why don’t you write into my newsletter once a month? Why don’t you maybe post some stuff I can move down to my Facebook following and my Twitter following? Why don’t we maybe do an event together? Why don’t you put an ad on my website? I’ll put an ad on your website. Why don’t we work smart instead of trying to sell each other?” That’s the rule of 2%.
Finally, third, our team understands the success wheel. I have a whole podcast dedicated and titled The Success Wheel. The success wheel has put our company on the Inc. 5000 list ourselves a couple of times, and from what I believe we’re finding out for the third time. The success wheel says, “Every single person following this podcast and ever moving forward, something got you into the position you’re in.” A path got you to the checkbook you have. A path got you to the position of the relationships you have. There is a path that got you there. My success wheel started in ’92, where I became a conference junkie. I went to every conference that was around. If Brian Tracy came, I went.
If Tony Robbins came, I went. If Zig Ziglar came, I went. I went to everything. Almost every time I went to one of these events somebody would mention a book they were reading. I went right to the bookstore and bought the book. I highlighted it in three different ways. I became a book fanatic. The conference turned me into a book fanatic. The books filled my head with IP, intellectual property, knowledge, wisdom. It was amazing. Within a two-year period of time, I began to spill over content and have truly educated and formed things to say whenever I got into any business conversation. The IP led me to big people that wanted to do big deals.
I have a book coming out called The Success Wheel. The pinnacle of my success wheel is that the more conferences I go to, which I still go to, even when I speak at them, I go right to the audience to hear the next speaker. I go to conferences. I always hear new books. I still read a book a week. I’ll never stop. The books fill me up with IP. Intellectual property leads me to bigger players that want bigger deals. Here’s the magic. The success wheel for everyone finishes in the bucket of relationships. The more IP you have, the more authority you have. The more authority you have, the bigger people want to hang with you. The bigger the people are that want to hang with you, the faster that they want to bring their success wheel to you. Meaning, these past years of our business career, the level of people that have been coming our way has been enormous.
Some of you know from previous podcasts, I have presented our Income Store model to the alternative investment division of the government of Dubai. How does that happen? That’s because one of our website partners who’s funded a number of websites and gets an incredible return back from us, he can’t keep this to himself, he exposes us to his success wheel. He brings his friends and his relationship to the table of which many of them are in Dubai. This happens to everyone. Everybody has a success wheel. Yours might not be conferences and books. It might be networking events.
It might be you read blogs or Google Alerts or whatever. You’ve got to get fed somewhere. When you’re getting fed, it will lead to increased IP, increased knowledge, increased wisdom, increased bigger business transactions, which will always lead you to bigger relationships. Authority is the key to leverage. There is no question about that. The bigger the lever, the bigger the wallet. The bigger the lever, meaning the bigger of an authority you and your management team are, the bigger your cash register needs to be. I hope to see you on the trail. You’re awesome.