Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Hi! I’m Jacob Aldrich, Director of Advisory at businessDEPOT. Talking here today about sales but specifically, the topic of getting more contact into your sales hourglass. Sales is a topic that comes up with so many of the small and medium sized business owners I talked to, and yet when we get down to it, it’s not sales that they’ve challenged with but it’s getting more relationships. Once these people are in that sales hourglass, they do an amazing job of engaging them with a great brand promise and converting them to be inclined. They just need more coming in. So, I run them through this exercise to look at the five attractants and encourage you to think about your business and which of these five you may or may not be doing to attract more customers in.
Number one is extending your existing client base. When you look at the clients that you’re currently servicing, is there a way to generate more revenue out of them? The simplest might be a increasing your fees, which most business owners are reluctant to do too often, but it could be that there are other products that these customers are buying or want to be buying that you could be selling them. The easiest customer to selfie with somebody who already knows you likes you and trusts you.
The second of the five attractants are getting referrals from those existing clients. Again, these are people who know you like you and trust you. Why wouldn’t they want to tell their friends about you, and if they’re great client then chances are the people that they know would also be great clients. Have you asked your clients for referrals and introductions? If not, why not?
The third is marketing. This is where you sometimes start to have to spend a little bit more money in order to generate people in as contacts. Getting great marketing support is worth its weight in gold because there’s an awful lot of opportunities out there for marketing, some are more expensive than others, and the adage that half of my marketing dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half, has never been more applicable than it is today.
Four, and while these aren’t in any order of importance, I find the further through the five we go, the more difficult these are for a business owner to choose investing because they take more time. Four is building strategic referral channels, not just people who already know you and like you and will reactively send you a referral when asked; these are people who will go out of their way because it’s in their best interest to send you your clients. It takes time to build that level of relationship, and really when you build that well, you don’t need hundreds of these people running around. You’ve got a small number of referral channels who are out there actively promoting your business, start filling up the top of your hourglass and you’ll start filling out with ideal client, which are much easier to convert and much more profitable.
Lastly, scaled traction. What are some of the activities that you could be doing to get you and your business in front of a whole range of people? A simple example, something like presenting it events or running a giant podcast of videos—the kind of things that instead of getting in front of one person a time, get in front of a hundred five hundred or a thousand.
I use the word traction their quite deliberately in reference to excellent book called traction that I recommend to most business owners who are having this challenge. The key takeaways from that book, which I encourage you to think about when you think about this topic, is that the strategies that work for your business today and not necessarily the strategies that are going to work for your business in the future.
You’re just in start-up. The first one client, the first ten clients coming in is where you need to focus. Once you’ve been in business for a long time you’ve got to go out there and do activities to bring them in twenty, fifty, a hundred, or a thousand at a time. That means you need to start looking for more scaled opportunities. Wherever your business is at its journey, if finding more context on top of your hourglass is what to do and think about which one or two of these you’re going to focus on now and which ones you’re going to focus on in the future. I wish you the best of luck.
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