Imagine if you could get any activity, any investment, any opportunity, and any effort of people or creative intellectual capital to produce for you — and your business — at a much higher, bigger, better, more profitable yield or result than it otherwise would.
You will be able to do exactly that if you know precisely what mechanisms, vehicles, and elements are the highest upside-leverage-producing “drivers” of exponential business growth.
I’ve identified and refined my understanding of these drivers over the course of the last several years. I’ve analyzed and examined how the highest-performing businesses were driving their growth, profitability, and competitive superiority.
So, for the next few weeks in ETR, let’s look at what those drivers are. And let’s examine how those drivers directly relate to your business efforts, activities, and opportunities. We’ll look at the first — and perhaps most important — one today: marketing.
I have long said that in your marketing you have the greatest upside leverage environment imaginable. Why? Simple. It costs you the same fixed effort, expense, time, and opportunity to:
1. Have a salesperson in the field making calls, whether he or she secures five appointments a day, 10 appointments, or 15. It costs you the same fixed amount whether that salesperson closes one out of 10 people, one out of five, one out of three, or one out of two.
2. It costs you the same fixed opportunity cost, effort, and expense to run an ad, whether the ad pulls one response, 10 responses, or 110. It costs you the same to generate those responses, whether you close 2%, 10%, or 65% of them. It costs you the same to close those people, whether they buy a $100 unit of sale, a $500 unit of sale, or a $1,000 unit of sale.
3. It costs you the same to mail a sales letter or a direct-mailing package, whether it pulls a 0.5% response, a 1% response, or a 6% response. If they’re lead-generating responses, it costs you the same, whether you convert 2%, 10%, or 22% of them.
4. It costs you the same to participate in a trade show and have a display booth, whether the booth attracts 10, 100, or 500 people an hour. It costs you the same to secure leads at that booth, whether you close none of them, 1 out of a 100, 1 out of 25, or 1 out of 10.
I can go on and on. But you can see what would happen if you could get your ads that were pulling “x” to pull “2x” . . . if you could get people who were selling 1 out of 7 prospects to sell 1 out of 3. The sales leverage available to you is profound if you could get sales letters that were pulling 0.5% to pull 4% . . . if you could get people who were buying $250 to now buy $400 . . . if you could get people who were buying once a year to buy once every quarter or once a month . . . if you could get people who weren’t referring anyone to you to start referring five new customers each a year.
The combined effect of that kind of marketing leverage is exponential growth. That’s exactly how you increase your business, your revenue, your sales, your profits, your wealth, and your net worth by factors of 10 times or more. That really is.
So marketing is one of your first and best upside leverages in business. And if you don’t recognize it and harness the extraordinary impact and value that marketing holds for you, it’s shameful.
But how do you do it? It’s actually quite simple.
First thing you do is an internal marketing audit and inventory. You identify all the marketing activities, processes, and elements going on . . . and then you start looking at the best-performing ways to improve upon them.
How do you find them?
There are three approaches:
1. Look within your organization and see who else does what you want to do better. Model, codify, and replicate what the highest-performing people in your company are doing in terms of various selling or marketing processes. And get everyone else in the organization to start applying or adding the best elements of their methods to what they have been doing.
2. Go outside your company. Look at other enterprises in the same field outside your market (or even in your market) that have better ways of marketing, of selling, of lead generating, of conversion, of re-selling, and of up-selling — and borrow their success processes.
3. Go outside your industry to related industries, and look at their best practices. Look at the spectrum of opportunities out there that other people have found, uncovered, discovered, refined, and are using each and every day with massive success — to either identify prospects, sell direct, run ads that pull greater response, make better sales presentations, get appointments, or attract people to trade shows. Then borrow, adapt, adopt, and directly funnel and apply those processes and approaches to your business.
Start doing this exercise as a regular, ongoing process in which you measure, monitor, analyze, quantify, and figure out how many different things you can add to your current success approach by either adding new elements or replacing underperforming ones that are not justifying their time, their effort, their opportunity cost, or their existence.
That simple philosophy taken to the “nth” degree will produce for you increases in your revenue, in your sales, in your performance, in your profit, and in the size of the business you do. It will increase the number of clients you attract, the number of transactions you do with them, the referrals they generate, and every other key upside-leverage metric that your business can ever dream of harnessing.