Planning For Growth

Planning For Growth

Last week, I presented to a group of Layton business owners about growth tactics for small and medium-sized businesses. A few of them requested a copy of the slide deck I used, so I decided to make them public here as well as add context to each slide. Here's the deck.

Slide 1 – Presentation Title Page


Slide 2 – My Why

These individuals make every day exciting to me. I love them and live for them. I’m infinitely grateful for the joy and happiness these beautiful people bring to my life!


Slide 3 – Career Bio

Professional Grade Remodeling – My first company. Took the plunge after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad. 

Household Solutions – This was my second company. Partnerships can be heavenly or hellish. I partnered with my best friend, Todd McCormick, and we’ve been partners ever since. We flipped houses, mainly foreclosure or pre-foreclosure properties (short sales).

CuddleBag – We bought CuddleBag from a friend, ramped up sales and sold it to a competitor. I’d like to say we made millions, but we didn’t. It was an extremely educational experience and a fun company to own.

T-Mobile – In 2007 Todd and I bought a couple T-Mobile franchises. We brought on a partner what sold phones like crazy! This was another fun company to own.

CampusBookRentals – CBR was an awesome experience. We grew extremely fast, learned a million lessons (good and bad), made great lifelong friends, reached #17 on the Inc 500, raised a ton of money, spent a ton of money, almost died several times, and played the most intense games of trick HORSE you could imagine. – This company was fun because we worked directly with pediatricians and kids to keep asthmatic children out of the ER. We went through the BoomStartup accelerator, then TechStars, raised about $500K, ran it for a couple years, then shut the doors. We couldn’t find the right product-market fit.

Mindfire Technology – This is the coolest company ever! I work with some of the smartest people on the planet, and I’m around technology all day long. What could be better? My partner Nate Zaugg is the crème de la crème of individuals, and he knows everything about technology, at least it seems like he does. We build really cool stuff.  


Slide 4 - Napoleon Hill’s 17 Success Principles

I have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich 3+ times, Outwitting the Devil once, and I’m really close to becoming Napoleon Hill certified. The principles he teaches have inspired me to be a better husband, father, friend, co-worker and business owner. I shared this slide because when I was able to articulate my definite major purpose and support it by proper planning, major positive momentum started to work in my favor.


Slide 5 – You Must Plan for Growth

Aggressively growing any business requires significant planning. When you’ve identified a target, it’s important to reverse engineer the path to get there. For example, if I want my company to do $10M in revenue next year I can reverse engineer the effort required to get there. Hypothetically, if my average project size is $100,000 then I need to close 100 deals, roughly two per week. I would continue reverse engineering my entire sales process until I knew exactly how many outbound calls I would need to make per day, how may networking events I’d need to attend per week, how many leads my website would need to generate per week, how much I’d have to spend advertising, etc. This process would likely reveal that I would need to hire 1-2 sales reps and increase my online ad spend dramatically. Of course, if I didn’t go through the exercise I may never know exactly what it would take to get to $10M.


Slide 6 – Sales Solve Everything

This is my mantra. You can figure anything out as long as the sales are coming in!


Slide 7 – Be Remarkable

What does it mean to “be remarkable?” It means you must do something that others will ‘remark’ about. If your customers don’t remember you for doing something above and beyond the call of duty, they’ll forget you. Be remarkable!


Slide 8 – Elevator Pitch

I’ve won business because my elevator pitch was better than three of my competitors. Following this format, and practicing relentlessly, will help you stand out even if competitors are sitting right next to you. For [customers] that have [problem x] we [what we do].


Slide 9 – Elevator Pitch Continued

This video explains the elevator pitch as well as any I’ve seen. Don’t just watch it, DO IT.


Slide 10 – Business Cards

I try really hard to make my business cards stand out among the crowd. About 75% of the time I give out a card someone comments on how cool/creative they are. It’s not hard to spend a little time on your business cards. Don’t print them cheaply with the VistaPrint logo on the back. Pay the extra money to get them printed on high-quality paper so they stand out. I call my business card “my $200,000 business card” because I recently won a $200K project after handing it to a stranger. The man I gave it to raved about it. He could tell we pay attention to detail, so he wanted us to do his project.


Slide 11 – Trade Shows

Trade shows are excellent tools for creating business opportunities. As an exhibitor, I suggest you “hijack the marketing.” Do something that the masses will not be able to ignore or that the masses will all remark about to their friends and fellow attendees. The examples I shared were:

  • Dinner Cruise: We took 60 potential clients on a no-pressure dinner cruise to give them an experience they’d never forget and tell everyone about. Worked like a charm.
  • Skit: Instead of a boring slideshow presentation, we acted out a silly skit. We didn’t look like the most professional group in the world, but that’s not what we were going for. We wanted to stand out, and we did. All the other presentations were forgettable; ours was remarkable.
  • T-Shirts Everywhere: When the industry’s biggest conference (CAMEX) was in SLC, we knew we needed to leave a lasting impression. We had over 100 of our employees strolling the floors of the exhibit hall with bright green shirts on and the message “Customer Service Allstar” written on the front.
  • Tumblers: At CAMEX we gave away bright green tumbles to every attendee at the exhibit. On top of that, we offered free coffee for the entire show. People EVERYWHERE were slowly sipping on their coffee for over 20-30 minutes with our logo staring everyone they talked to straight in the face. It was beautiful!
  • Rodizio’s: We wanted to leave another impression on the attendees at CAMEX, so we rented huge stretch limos to take people to and from Rodizio’s grill for free food and drinks, on us. We were literally the talk of the town. Many attendees had never ridden in a limousine before and thanked us profusely. They all told their friends. It was magical.

One other strategy I want to test is to attend various trade shows, speaking with every exhibitor about what they do. I did this at a show in Dallas and saw huge success. I need to test the theory more. Inevitably, the exhibitors would ask what I did, and that was my segue to sharing something about Mindfire.


Slide 12 – Channel Partners

Channel partners can be an excellent source of sales leads. Channel partners will feed you deals over and over simply because you help them look good. Finding channel partners can be difficult, but once you break in, you have to really mess up to lose the business.


Slide 13 – Outside Sales

Outside sales are sales activities that take place OUTSIDE the office.


Slide 14 – Seller Profiles

I love The Challenger Sale. It profiles five different types of sales reps, shows you which is the most effective and teaches you how to operate in the same way. Surprisingly, it’s not the Relationship Builders that are most effective at selling, in fact, they’re the worst. A sales “partner” who isn’t afraid to challenge the assumptions of their client or suggest better ways of conducting business wins more deals, hands down. This is one of my favorite books. If you’re serious about selling, but it and make it a staple in your business library.


Slide 15 – The Challenger

Challengers use their deep understanding of their customers’ business to push their thinking and take control of the sales conversation. They’re not afraid to share even potentially controversial views and are assertive—with both their customers and bosses.


Slide 16 – Fear

Fear sometimes keeps us from building what we want the most. It’s hard to always have your sales face on. This book, Go For No, teaches that instead of going for ‘yeses’ we should be ‘going for nos.’ If we set a goal to get three yeses in a day, and we accomplish it by 10a, we would be tempted to take the rest of the day off. Instead, make goals that make you stretch. Set goals of how many ‘nos’ you want to receive in a day. Inevitably, you’ll find people eager to say yes.


Slide 17 – Marketing Collateral

Your marketing material is important, but not so important that you let it (or the lack thereof) keep you from getting in front of sales prospects. Don’t wait for your business cards. Don’t wait for your brochure to get finished, don’t wait for the perfect website, just get out and sell. Because Sales Solve Everything, you need to be selling as much as possible!


Slide 18 – Sales Scripts

Two things:

  • Sales scripts can be good.
  • Sales scripts can be bad.

I like sales scripts because they help you articulate your sales pitch. The problem with them is that people think they need the perfect one before they start selling, and it takes forever to write the prize-winner. Whatever you do, don’t sit around for days crafting the ‘perfect’ sales pitch. It doesn’t exist. Just get out of the office and in front of your customers. You’ll learn really quickly what actually works.


Slide 19 – Inside Sales

Inside sales are when sales activities take place INSIDE the office.


Slide 20 – Inside Sales v Outside Sales

Inside sales have a lower close rate, but for the price of outside sales leads (sales rep, travel, cars, gas, etc.) you can get 7x the number of leads. You do the math.


Slide 21 – Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah is a must-have, in my opinion. In today’s tech-driven sales world, every company has something to learn and improve upon. The book has 73 explicit to-do’s, but I went through the book and found a total of 182 explicit and implicit to-do’s that every business should work towards completing. Email me, and I’ll share the list with you. Shane at Mindfire Technology dot com.


Slide 22 – Pitcher / Catcher Model

It helps to think about inbound marketing as a having three distinct parts: the pitcher, the ball and the catcher. You need to have all three or you’re not going to hit the mark.

The Pitcher is the method by which your marketing is delivered (email blast, postcard, push notification, text message, online ad, etc.).

The Ball is the actual content (whitepaper, blog post, email, free report, tool or widget, etc.).

The Catcher is the object that catches your sales leads (CRM, automated email marketing tool, email, etc.).


Slide 23 – Attract, Convert, Close, Delight

Hubspot has an excellent example of the type of inbound marketing that works. They have a tool called Website Grader that anyone can use for free (they just request your email, name, and URL). They will electronically analyze your website for areas that need improvement. For example, it could tell you that your site isn’t mobile friendly, that it loads WAY too slow, that you don’t have great content or that you need more backlinks. What an excellent tool. Of course, the ability to know how your site measures up is what Attracts users. It’s simplicity and low investment (requires name, email and URL) is what Converts users. Once you’re on their email campaign, they give you more and more free stuff in hopes that you pay for their CRM, which is excellent. Eventually they hope to Close you by showing you how much value they can add to your business. They’ve built a tool that automates many manual processes, making sales more predictable, thus Delighting their users to the utmost.


Slide 24 – Attract

The number one rule of inbound marketing is that you must create content, and it must be compelling. No one will return to your site if they aren’t in love with what you have to offer. Here are some ways to attract more visitors: Blogs, Keywords, Social Publishing, Tools, Toolkits, etc.


Slide 25 – Convert

Getting traffic to your site is only the beginning. When sales leads hit your site it’s imperative that you convert them to warm prospects and then closed deals. The best way to do this is to create and test various landing pages with different forms and calls-to-action. There are several tools available for cheap or free that let non-techies create landing pages easily. I like and If you’re really serious about it, you’ll want to pay for a professional subscription for a couple months. It’ll be well worth your time and money.


Slide 26 – Close

The best way to close deals is to stay in front of your prospects. CRM’s, emails, automated email campaigns, phone calls, text messages, and tweets are great ways to stay top-of-mind with your sales leads.


Slide 27 – Delight

I recently read an Entrepreneur’s Q&A article which asked, “How do I retain customers?” The response was simple, “Treat them like GOLD for the first 100 days, and they’ll never leave you.” I’ve seen the same thing in my business, but we don’t have a 100-day limit to kindness. I am honest with my clients, I don’t lie my way out of sticky situations, I follow up early and often, I do my best to connect personally with clients, and I try to treat everyone how I would like to be treated….yep, the Golden Rule. When I treat people like individuals instead of dollar signs or obstacles I close more business and build lasting relationships at the same time. Frequent communication, customer service surveys and social media monitoring/interacting are great was to stay in touch. I to a lot of texting too.

Slide 28 – Authenticity

This is my favorite slide. People know when you’re authentic, and they know even easier when you’re not. Don’t lie, cheat or steal from people. Treat people kindly. Go out of your way to help others. Let your guard down, if you are embarrassed by your website or business card, make fun of it. It doesn’t matter what ‘business’ you think you’re in, you’re in the ‘people business.’ When you can unlock your authenticity, and be human in front of your customers you’ll earn more sales and enjoy yourself more while you’re at it.


Slide 29 – Thank You

Thanks for checking out my slides. They’re definitely a work in progress. If you find typos, better material, or think I should trash something, please comment below. I’d like this to become more valuable than a one-off blog post. Help me help others. Best of luck to you and all your glorious ventures!!


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