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Automation, is it a bad idea for your business? [PODCAST]


PreneurCast is a marketing + business podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.

This week, Pete and Dom discuss the topic of Automation. Specifically, they talk about when to start automating processes in your business, and when automation is a bad idea that could potentially damage your business.

Pete and Dom talks about the right time when to automate your business

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Episode 120:
Demand vs Automation

Dom Goucher:      Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.

Pete Williams:      How are you, buddy?

Dom:                         I am very good, sir. How are you?

Pete:                         Fantastic, doing very, very well, halfway through my no-meat November, which has been an interesting little challenge, but going well so far.

Dom:                         No-meat November? What’s the story with that?

Pete:                         I was just back training again for a couple Half-Ironmans and a 60-kilometer run (or a 40-mile run) late March as well. Just been reading a lot of some friends’ books and some books that they’ve recommended, just around the vegan diet and how it’s exceptionally good for endurance athletes, and all its health benefits.

I’ve just about finished a course with Cornell University on plant-based nutrition, and just really diving deep into health and wellness. It’s been really interesting, and I probably won’t end up being 100% vegan, but I think I’m going to be very, very much plant-based, whole-food foundation to the diet. Just thought, to kick it off, I’ll do a no-meat November and then a no-dairy December. So it’s been interesting.

Dom:                         Wow, I was not expecting that answer. That’s huge, a kind of a willpower and habit-forming thing, yeah?

Pete:                         Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s good to flex those muscles every now and again. But at the same time, it’s been a lot easier than I thought. I think I’ve been reading a lot of books doing this course with Cornell University, first time I’ve had an official course for a couple of years, which has been interesting.

And it’s made it a bit easy because I’ve been educating myself along the way. It hasn’t just been, “oh, I’m just going to go and do it,” and then push through every day. Because, every day, I’m reading something more that just reinforces the why, which has been really, really helpful.

Dom:                         Absolutely. I was talking to somebody on this topic the other day actually, about doing something because somebody tells you to do it is very difficult to do whenever you hit a sticking point. Whereas, if you understand the reason why, and in your case maybe the science and the research behind it, and the end benefits — and, certainly, if you’re trying it and feeling the benefits, then it becomes a lot easier to stick with it, right?

Pete:                         Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been feeling great, too, which is even better. I don’t know whether it’s attributable to the diet yet or not, but I’ve been back this week, pretty heavy into training and feeling great. Monday morning, had a spin cycle class with the squad.

And daily, I feel like I push probably harder than I have in a spin class for almost ever, and felt pretty good afterwards. I didn’t feel ridiculously exhausted or anything like that, and I’m not quite sure what caused that. I’d like to think it’s part of the diet, because that’s what a lot of the evidence says.

It reduces recovery time and makes you feel all the benefits that you would assume you would, with a healthy diet. But just up a little bit higher without any animal proteins, which has been really cool.

Dom:                         Well, you certainly sound chipper, sir. But as you are now beginning to really make me feel bad and unhealthy, if we could just switch back to the business stuff, I’d feel a lot better.

Pete:                         Sounds good.

Dom:                         Seriously, though, you said you’d been reading a lot about this. But when you’ve been doing your exercises and stuff, have you been doing your usual Audible? Have you got any recommendations for us?

Pete:                         Yeah, absolutely. It’s been interesting that the actual education stuff, in terms of really deep diving, I still prefer to read. So I’ve been reading books around nutrition. But when I’ve been out training, I still get the usual business stuff. Still plowing through Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography. It’s insane.

Dom:                         Still? Still?

Pete:                         It’s ridiculous. It’s an awesome book, but it’s ridiculously long and detailed.

Dom:                         It’s like the best running theme through this podcast all year, that’s like the longest-running theme we’ve had. Well, then the 7 Levers [of Business] is next. We should have a special award for Arnold Schwarzenegger for the longest-running theme of PreneurCast.

Pete:                         We’re going to have to try and get him on the show at some stage, maybe. But in terms of recent reads that have broken up the Arnold Schwarzenegger story, has been a book called Billion Dollar Lessons. And it’s a really interesting book. It draws on about — I think it’s 750 or 800 different business failures.

It talks you through what caused all these businesses to fail. What was the issue that caused this business to go bankrupt? What caused this one to have to file for bankruptcy, but then get out of it? What happened to this one and that one? It’s really interesting to see what happens in the negative side of business, too.

Because so many people, they read all these positive books and all the wins. It’s almost like you spend your whole life on Facebook, and all you see is people’s highlight reels. It’s the same thing, as well. You read business books, and all you really hear about is the success stories, and how easy it is to make it, and how this person did so well so easily, and blah, blah, blah.

But I think it’s important to put things into perspective and see that big companies that are listed on the stock exchange that are doing billions of dollars in revenue and turnover, can make stupid decisions and go bankrupt. And they’re not immune to this.

And these CEOs, who are making $13 million a year in salary, can do stupid, stupid things, and funnily enough, still get paid their $13 million-plus bonuses. But that’s a whole other discussion. It’s just been a really interesting read. You hear some of these lessons and think, how can I apply them to the smaller businesses, in comparison to these big juggernauts that do things like that?

Dom:                         You made a really good point there, that there’s an awful lot of success communication out there. There’s also an awful lot of miserable, oh-they-failed highlights of people that have really failed miserably. But there’s not a lot of constructive dissection of either.

What was it somebody said? And I wish I could have hopes of remembering people who say things. But somebody said, it only took me 10 years to get an overnight success, and things like that. And it’s true, so that’s a really interesting. I’m going to pick that one up because that kind of thing really interests me.

And, as you say, there’s lessons in everything, as we always say. We always say this on the podcasts: Whatever one business is doing, what market sector or niche or whatever, there’s a lesson in it for you, whatever you do. A classic example is — people might know, but I used to work for Xerox, at one time the only photocopy company in the world.

They owned the patent for xerography, the technology of making photocopies, they owned it. And they did spectacularly well because they were the only people that did it, but their fundamental mistake was that they kind of stopped paying attention to the fact that patents run out.

And literally one second past midnight on the day that the patent ran out, they discovered what happens when you no longer own the only rights in the world to do something. Do you notice that, now, there are not that many Xerox photocopiers in the world?

There’s an awful lot of Canons and Kyoceras and everybody else on the planet. The competition just overwhelmed them because they just got a bit too focused on this one thing, and they just let it go. There’s a lesson there for everybody.

Pete:                         Well, this is the thing, and I think it ties into this episode. This is something from — I was going to say the book jacket, but with an audiobook, it doesn’t really have a jacket, does it? Particularly when they’re a download from Audible.

Dom:                         The cover blurb.

Pete:                         The cover blurb, there we go. It’s just something really interesting that hopefully, listeners will realize that this is an underlying theme of our show. We talk about it quite regularly, and definitely, it’s something we’re going to talk about today. But what I say is: the number one cause of failure was misguided strategy, not sloppy execution, poor leadership, or bad luck.

I’m going to read that again: The number one cause of failure from these 750 business failures they researched and used in this book, the number one cause was misguided strategy, not sloppy execution, poor leadership, or bad luck. And that’s really fascinating to me.

It’s not really overly fascinating to me, but it’s really important to me. Because, again, so many people, they jump straight into execution, and they focus on making sure they don’t execute poorly, and they do their other tactics correct. But that’s not what causes failure.

What causes failure is misguided strategy, and I think that’s one of the things I’ve been getting out of this book, or at least having reinforced to me. This happens from all levels, not just start-up entrepreneurs who are trying to get out from working for the man, all the way through to these still $35 million-based CEOs, salary-packaged-to-the-hilt-type people.

They still do poor strategy. And it’s really interesting, and it’s a really important topic close to my heart, obviously, because we talk a lot about it on the show. I want to kind of touch on that in a different way today as well.

Dom:                         Cool. I did, in fact, a couple of episodes ago, talk about exactly that topic: strategy-vision, vision-strategy, and tactics. And strategy is a really important thing, and I knew it was a big part of that episode. Go back, folks, and listen to it. I’ll put a link in the show notes. But a big part of that episode is exactly what you just said.

People get wrapped up in running their business, focusing on implementing tactics. Whether it’s the right tactic or not seems to evade a lot of people. And you say, the evidence is in this book. They’re focusing desperately on implementing this tactic, or going down this road without evaluating if it’s the right road to be going down, right?

Pete:                         Yeah, it’s interesting. But just as a reminder for people, really quickly, we should do a call-out to our sponsor before we get too much into that topic. Obviously, guys, if you want to grab some of these books we talk about on the show, and we talk about books all the time because it’s a huge part of what we do to build up our muscle of business knowledge.

Audible, it’s a fantastic service. AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast is where you can go and get a free audiobook on behalf of Audible. They want to support our show and allow you to go there, sign up, and get a free audiobook, and give the whole service a trial. This week’s recommendation is clearly Billion Dollar Lessons.

Dom:                         Indeed. And so, Pete, you have one of your little hot topics, one of your little soapbox pieces for us. You mentioned it briefly to me before the show, but what is it?

Pete:                         Well, it’s been interesting. I’ve been doing some consulting, as I do with certain clients who want to reach out and try and get some support from me. We jump on calls and discuss some things. It’s been interesting, and it’s been a little bit of a theme with first-time consults in the last couple of weeks.

I don’t know whether it’s the weather, or the stars, or the moon, what it’s been. But people are calling, they want to chat for the very first time. They got a problem and they want me to try and help them through that problem. And it’s been a consistent problem with every person.

There all these different niches in different parts of the world doing different businesses. It has fundamentally been trying to automate their business, or systemize their business, before there is any demand to do so. And it’s been interesting, let me give you an example.

So, someone is selling a service. It doesn’t really matter what that service is, but they’re selling a service. What they’ve done is they’ve started their business and they’ve gone out there, and they’ve found some really cool automated webinar software.

They sent a sales pitch from some internet marketer about an automated webinar software pitch that you can run your business on autopilot. You just throw your leads into this webinar, and out pops at the other end, a whole bunch of paying clients. And you don’t have to do any selling, you don’t have to do any business, you just sit there and just bank the check.

That’s all well and good. That service can do that. There’s no question that the actual service works or not. That’s not what I’m disputing. What I’m questioning is that, in conversation with this person, I’m like, “How many of these have you sold traditionally?”

And he is like, “About two.” So I said, “Right now you’ve got all this free time.” The question, basically, was how much time are you willing to invest in your business every week? And the answer was 30 hours. How much of that time are you using right now?

And the answer was, “about 15 hours a week, I’m doing productive stuff. The rest, I’m just running around with my head cut off.” Okay, you’ve got 15 hours of spare capacity right now, yet you’re trying to automate your business and work less. To me, that doesn’t make sense.

I understand how there’s a lot of start-up business with passive income, but passive income doesn’t really exist. I think anybody who really has passive income, the only people who really have passive income, are authors who write the book once and get paid.

But again, the catch is that passive income will dry up pretty quickly if you don’t continue to market your book. Movie stars, TV actors with syndication, but they’re calling it passive income because they get money in syndication. However, there’s a huge array of people working to keep that show in syndication.

So, yes, the actual actor himself might be, but he’s going to have a big team around him, or other people invested in the success of that rerun to make money. In the traditional sense of a small-business manner, passive income is very, very hard to come by without a number of years of hard work.

Dom:                         It’s that 10 years to get that overnight success thing.

Pete:                         Yeah, absolutely. My point was, “So what’s the best way you can sell your service,” is what I said to him and, actually, a few people in different contexts. They said selling one-to-one, there’s no question. Selling one-to-one on anything is the best. But if you’re trying to sell a five-dollar eBook, a $2,000 home security system, or anything in between, the best way to sell is one-to-one.

It’s the highest-converting thing you’ll ever have. But, obviously, there is a limit to how much one-on-one selling you can do. So, once you reach your maximum capacity of 15 appointments a week, hypothetically, at that point, you need to start working out: how do I maintain my level of sales, my level of income, without working extra hours?

It’s at that point you start putting automation in. Because if you put automation in beforehand, it’s just going to — automating through a webinar is never going to convert as highly. Let’s say, hypothetically, just to make it easy on numbers, a 50% conversion rate one-to-one, to a five percent conversion on a webinar.

That’s a significant drop in conversions. So the only way you’re going to sustain your amount of revenue and profit by going to a webinar, as opposed to one-on-one, is increasing your leads and your traffic by 10.

If you have a business right now where you’re maximizing your one-to-one selling, yet you’ve got 10 times the amount leads than you can handle — at that point, you can say, I’m going to be willing to give up this lifestyle of one-to-one selling and automate it for the same amount of revenue.

Because that way, you know that all these leads that are going to come into the funnel, yes, you’re going to lose a lot more than potentially what you would’ve had selling one to one. But at the end of the day, your business is going to make the same amount of revenue, and you’re going to have a bit more freedom. That makes sense to automate.

But starting a business from Day One based on a webinar tool, a sales letter that’s sold you on this idea, is just silly to automate without the demand for automation. And this has been a really big thing that I’ve had to talk a number of people through the last three or four weeks.

I know it resonates with a lot of people in the community because, in smaller conversations, in group stuff, I’ve mentioned this, and people have had really big aha moments as well. If you’re starting out a business, and it is a business that is one to one, selling security systems. You’re going to go and install that. Or you’re doing some consulting work.

If you’re going to deliver the service one-to-one, you should absolutely be selling it one-to-one because you’re going to learn about your clientele, you’re going to learn where their hot buttons are, you’re going to learn what their objections are, you’re going to learn how to handle their objections. You’re going to convert at the highest rate. And at that point, then automate when you need to, when demand and supply cross.

That’s when you start going, now I can start automating. Prior to that, when your supply (the amount of time you have to sell and convert and work on your business) completely outstrips the demand you have (the amount of leads you have coming in), you should be doing everything you can to maximize every single lead, not try to automate it and lose some leads.

You need to do everything you can on that side of the supply-demand graph, when you have more supply than demand. And only when they cross do you start to automate and slowly shift to a more automated system. Does that make sense, Dom? Does that articulate it to a certain extent? Because it’s an interesting topic to talk about loosely like this without diving in using real-world examples.

Dom:                         I’m looking at it exactly from the implementation point of view because that’s my side of the fence, as it were. And when people talk to me, again, I have exactly the same thing. But for me, as a service provider, it sounds really, really odd when people come to me, for example, with the automated webinar model.

An automated webinar needs a webinar, so it needs a lot of material creating to produce a webinar in the first instance. Whether you run it live, or whether you run it however, it needs a lot of material creating. Most people, if they’re starting from nowhere, they don’t know what to create, they don’t know the message, they don’t know their customer.

Remember, again, a couple of episodes ago, I did a Foundation episode about know your customer, and you’ve just said the same thing. That, if you do the sales one-to-one, you know your customers’ hot buttons, you know their objections, you know the message and how to craft it.

You literally cannot automate anything you can’t do yourself. And that’s the most fundamental thing here. Your metric demand will drive the need for automation, I think is a really great way to visualize it, and for people to understand and see the point at which you’ll literally know when to automate, when to look for a system or a tactic that needs to do it.

But the foundational knowledge, the real — as we talked in the beginning of the show, about knowing why, one of them is the numbers. Again, the maths really speak. If you can convert at 50%, 50% of the people that come to you as a lead, by talking to them one-to-one, they become a customer versus, let’s say an optimistic conversion rate on a webinar, where there’s no interaction, is five percent, they need 10 times more.

Please, by the way, anybody, if you work out how to increase your leads by 10 times in a short period of time, let me know. I’ll come work for you. Like, reliably, predictably be able to say, “You know what, tomorrow, I’m just going to go get 10 times more leads.” It’s not realistic.

When we talk about 7 Levers, we talk about increasing by 10%. Not 10 times, 10%, because it’s realistic. So, everything you’ve said is absolutely spot on. That it sounds like a really high-level concept, but it’s really fundamental and basic. You can’t automate what you don’t know how to do.

You have to do it, you have to work with the clients, you have to know what the message is that you’re going to automate, or the system. You can’t outsource, for example, until you know what it is you’re outsourcing. You don’t necessarily need to know the mechanics of it.

But you need to know what the pieces need to be and how they need to fit together in your strategy, again, as we talked about at the beginning. But your core point, your core message, that you need to have a demand, is the most important thing and really well-put by you.

Pete:                         I think it also comes down to, as well, a bit of a message-to-market match. And this is interesting, and definitely tied into this conversation about having these consulting sessions. If you’re selling to a certain type of customer — let’s say, for example, you’re selling social-media marketing services.

This isn’t one of the clients I had, but it’s a pretty prominent industry that I’ve got my own opinions on, but we won’t go down that soapbox route right now. But if you’re selling social-media services, you’re doing Facebook ads, or you’re doing website development, something in that space, to small or medium businesses.

So you’re selling to small-business owners. Just because you are on an e-mail marketing list or internet marketing list, and have been indoctrinated and sold on the value of webinars and sales videos, and things like that; when you look at some of these numbers of the big guru guys, they’ve got a 100,000 people on their list, and they’ll do a mail-out.

And, yeah, they’ll make $10,000, but they’re only selling to half a percent of their list, so the conversion rate is terrible. That’s why they never talk about conversion rates. They only talk about dollars made because dollars made looks sexy. If you say, “I made $10,000 in an e-mail or a $100,000 in an e-mail,” but if you e-mailed out to 100,000 people, that’s not that great.

So you’ve got to look at it in context. But my point is, for those people with huge lists, what they do to sell to you is not what you should do to sell to your clients. They are saying go and do these sales videos. Do you really think an owner of the local lawn-mowing service, or the scuba dive shop, or the bakery on the corner has ever been on a GoToWebinar or an automated webinar, or watched a sales video that goes for half an hour?

The chances are probably not. This is the thing. Again, you’ve got to get out from the world that you live in and think about your customer, make sure you’ve got the right message-to-market match. Again, a friend of mine, a client of mine-slash-friend of mine, he was doing consulting services to business owners.

He was trying to get them to watch sales video that went for 45 minutes. This service he was selling was productivity. Make your business more efficient-type consulting service, a great, amazing service. But the way he was trying to sell it was through getting people to watch a 45-minute video.

And so, hang on, your clients are coming to you to use you because they’re too overwhelmed and busy. How the hell are you going to make the pitch to get them to spend 45 minutes in front of a video while they’re sitting at their desk getting bombarded by their assistant, and e-mail dinging, and their mobile phone ringing? How are they going to turn that off for 45 minutes? It’s not going to happen.

Dom:                         You stole my thunder on that. I was going to come down on that like a ton of bricks.

Pete:                         But it’s just funny. The thing is, so many people do it; and I really encourage people, as we’re getting to the end of 2013 and moving towards 2014: take a moment, just really take a moment and think, who am I selling to? How am I selling to them?

Because how you were sold won’t always sell them. So many people just take what they were used to sell, and then just roll it at somebody else. And it’s not going to work. What we’re doing next year is we’re changing our complete business model.

We’ll share some of our plans in the next few weeks about what we’re doing with Preneur. We’re going to still keep the podcast, don’t worry. But there’s a lot of stuff we’re changing next year in terms of how we’re helping the community members, what we’re going to be doing.

Because I think there’s some better ways that not only we can help people, but we can reach people in a better way and make it a better revenue source for the business and help everyone on the way. But it’s been an interesting last couple of months, dealing with these one-on-one consults.

I’ve been really loving it, and the feedback’s been amazing. People have revolutionized their business and feeling the most confident they’ve felt in a very long time, which is great. Because, intuitively, they knew this wasn’t right, and they just believed the sales letter so much.

This is why copywriting is so important. Because they believe in the sales letter that they bought so much, they weren’t willing to let go of a failing tactic and change their strategy.

Dom:                         You really are reflecting what I rounded up at the end of the Vision, Strategy and Tactics episode a couple of weeks ago with this point. It’s another way of looking at demand, and knowing your customer — again, foundational stuff. When you realize and understand who your customer is, you’ll know in what format they want to receive things.

You’ll know what they respond to. You’ll know where they’re looking for advertising, where they’ll see your adverts. And I think your example was really, really good. The productivity expert who’s marketing to stressed-out people who are time-poor, using up 45 minutes of their day with his sales message?

Every aspect of that, with the best one in the world, whoever the chap is, it screams not paying attention to your customers. But if you take it apart and go, how do I market to time-poor people, with really short messages is the answer.

Pete:                         Or you lock them in a room face-to-face for 20 minutes so they can’t get distracted while you pitch them.

Dom:                         There’s that one, too. That really screams to me that that person was sold a silver bullet. As I said, again, in the tactics episode, so many people — and you said at the beginning, and this is full circle to what you said about the book, the Billion Dollar Lessons, a lot of businesses fail because people get sucked into tactics. They focus on tactics, and they are not the right tactics.

One of the points I made in the tactics episode is it might not be the right tactic for your audience, but it also might not be the right tactic for you. If you don’t have the skill to do it, or you don’t have the money to do it; because, again, one of the things with these automated webinar systems or video sales letters, or whatever, they’re not cheap.

Maybe you’ve got to invest in a system where you’ve got to hire somebody to produce it for you because it’s outside your skill base. And if you genuinely are doing it because you think you should, or someone told you you should because that’s what they’re selling this week, you really have to stand back.

Do the numbers and go, I’m taking a phone call, I’m converting 50% of the people, I’m bringing money in. Should I really be spending money that I don’t necessarily have right now on this system, on this supposed solution? So, yeah, it really does fit.

It’s awesome that you’ve been reading that book, the Billion Dollar Lessons, and got that message from it. Because it really does, it fits completely with this idea. And I can totally support what you said. I get people come to me with exactly the same situation.

Oh, I want help implementing this tactic. With the best one in the world, even though it’s going to lose me this particular piece of work — no, you don’t. Stop it now. Stop trying to implement that tactic. Please, I can’t take your money, go away.

Pete:                         What I’d love to do is relate this back a little bit to 7 Levers, and also give people a bit more structure of what they should be doing to start reassessing towards 2014. One of the things we did do recently for our Platinum Group in one of the coaching calls we had there, we had a whole session on business models and getting your business model right for 2014.

And I think I want to turn that into a webinar. So I won’t go on that path directly right now. But if you’re interested, and you feel a little bit lost about what your business model is and what you should be doing in 2014, make sure you keep an eye on the blog and make sure you are part of that e-mail community which you can join over at PreneurMarketing.com.

We’ll run a webinar and rehash some of the stuff we spoke about in that Q&A call, and do a really solid plan for people. But relaying what we’re speaking about today to a bit of a plan, what I think people should absolutely be doing (and hopefully, people already have got this first element already done), and that is sit down.

Write out the 7 Levers and what each of those levers look like for your business. Maybe you’ve got a few different business divisions, and a few different business units. So you’re going to have multiple different funnels of 7 Levers streams or frameworks. That, in itself, should be a bit of an eye-opener.

If you sit down and go, I’ve got an eBook, and here’s my 7 Levers process for selling the eBook. And I make money through affiliate marketing on my blog by writing articles. Then these are different 7 Levers, obviously, for maximizing the revenue from that particular strain.

Maybe you’ve got a digital magazine. That’s a different 7 Levers, obviously. That, in itself, should be a big eye-opener going, “Holy crap, I’ve got 17 different business units I’m trying to run here, and none of them are profitable.” That, in itself, should be a big eye-opener.

Dom:                         And there’s just me.

Pete:                         Exactly. So we’ll cover that stuff in the webinar we’ll do because that was kind of a big key topic from what we spoke about. But the first thing is pick the main core business that you run, or what you’re trying to run here. Write down what are each of the 7 Levers right now? What are you doing right now to increase traffic?

What do you have right now that is your conversion engine? What is it you’re doing? So, maybe it is an automated webinar, maybe it’s a sales letter, maybe it’s a sales video. What is your opt-in strategy? What is your strategy to get people to come and buy again? And just write that down.

This is the foundation stuff that, hopefully, you already have and be very, very clear on what your 7 Levers look like. From there, what I want you to do — this is this week’s homework, so to speak. Since I’ve been doing my Cornell University course, I’m back into the homework regime, so I’m going to give some to you guys.

And what it is, is put that aside now. Put aside what you are currently trying to work on, or what you’ve got going, and just take a moment and go if you had time freedom, what would be the things you would do for each one of those 7 Levers that would absolutely maximize them?

Not just increase them by 10%, but absolutely maximize it. So the obvious example, which people, hopefully, have drawn, already from this episode and this conversation is: if right now, your conversion engine for some service or product to a certain extent is an automated webinar, a sales page, a sales video, something like that.

Obviously, the highest thing you can do to convert is a one-to-one sales pitch. Jumping on the phone, getting people to schedule a call with you, jumping on the phone for half an hour and selling them that $2,000 home study course, or even selling them that $20 eBook.

Realistically, that should be a pretty easy sale off the back of a half-hour conversation. That’s the highest-converting thing you can do. You’re wanting to hypothetically increase repeat customers? Have someone call the customer a week later and sell them, and talk to them.

Have you used the product? What haven’t you used about it? What did you like about it? Do you want some more support? Do you want to buy our high-end product? Do you want some consulting? Just start looking at what are the things you could be doing if resources wasn’t an issue, or your blinders weren’t an issue?

Or your previous actions and investments, such as a course on video sales letters, aren’t hamstringing you because you felt you have to use them? If you move all that aside and go, I’m clean-slating this. What is the best thing you can do for each one of those levers to profitize and maximize your business?

And I think just that process, for a lot of people, will be extremely eye-opening. Because you’ll realize there’s a huge gap between what is the best thing to maximize your time, maximize the client’s time, maximize the message-to-market match — all those things, compared to what you are doing or what you are trying to do right now.

And somewhere in that gap, you will realize where you should be. When I’ve done that with so many people in these consulting sessions, it’s worked ridiculously well, been a huge eye-opener for them, a huge relief for them, and a huge confidence-builder moving into next year as well, which is very exciting.

Dom:                         Cool. I have to say the one thing that really got a lot of reaction from people that I’ve seen do this activity when we’ve done it live, in workshops or [consulting] with people, when you do the 7 Levers and you go, “Everything, like your automated webinar and your website and your eBook — every one of those is a funnel. So start at the top with where’s the traffic come for that.”

It really does highlight to people the potential complexity, the potential diverse nature of all the different elements of things. That at some point, they have to be the plates that they’re spinning, if you want that metaphor. That alone is a great exercise.

But the differential, the addition of the differential, is another great thing to just give people some awareness of the situation and the opportunity. And the other thing I would like to say, folks, as Pete says, we do need, we definitely need to focus on redoing that consulting call, the Platinum Call that we did on the planning, for everyone.

Because it got such a fantastic response from the Platinum members. It was really well-received, and I think it’s a really valuable thing that we can do for everybody. So, folks, as Pete said, if you’re not already on the mailing list, the general Preneur Community mailing list over at PreneurMarketing.com, just pop over and sign up.

Because we’ll be letting people know when it’s done. I’m going to put a positive constraint on that, Pete. Because if people sign up, and are expecting that, we have to deliver it. I’m kind of committing us to that. But do drop over there. While you’re over there, do remember, folks, that that’s the place that you can get all the past episodes that we link to.

There’s all the show notes, the transcripts of all the shows of PreneurCast, and lots of other core stuff. There’s all Pete’s essays and things on PreneurMarketing.com, as well. You can leave us a comment on any episode. We love your feedback. You can also leave us comments on our iTunes channel.

Just search for PreneurCast over in iTunes, and we love to get feedback there as well. And, if you go to the website, you can also leave us one of those really cool audio messages in general. Looking forward to hearing from you, folks, and I will make sure that Pete and I get that webinar done in short order for you so that you can start 2014 in a really positive way.

Pete:     Absolutely. All right, guys, make sure you check out Billion Dollar Lessons from AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast, and we’ll see you and speak to you, and hopefully, support you some more next week.


Billion Dollar Lessons – Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui
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Previous PreneurCast Episodes:
Episode 052 – 7 Levers of Business Redux

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