The Curse of ‘One At A Time’. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 82, Jacob talks about Sales. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
My ideal client is a founder with a team of 12 of more, and I also have the privilege to work with and speak to a lot of much smaller companies, including many other consultants and solopreneurs. Across all of these business sizes, I often see the same mistake in sales: The curse of ‘One at a Time’.
Stop me if this sounds familiar. You’re doing OK, definitely some spare capacity, so you focus your sales (and maybe even your marketing) on finding ‘one more client’. Just one more – after all, aren’t businesses built one client at a time?
No. No they are not. If you’re chasing your clients one at a time, then you’re setting your business up for slow, painful, incremental-at-best, growth. You need to think bigger, and build your marketing and sales system accordingly.
So what’s the magic number? And which other areas of your business (hint: referral channels and recruitment) does this curse afflict?
Watch this week’s episode here. (And then watch others from our past 80 episodes! Blackboard Fridays episodes are also best consumed more than one at a time…)
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.
Good day, Blackboarders! One of the best sales tips I’ve ever received, sharing with you today. Conventional wisdom tells us that we achieve things incrementally. The joke about how you win an elephant one mouthful at a time is an example of this but it’s most pervasive, and indeed, I call it a curse, when it comes to sales, when it comes to growing your business. ‘Cause if I said how are you going to grow your business, how are you going to increase the number of clients that you service, chances are on reflection you show a bit of humility and say one at a time.
Just put one foot in front of the other, focus on where the next client is coming from. And like a lot of conventional wisdom I’m here to tell you that in the BusinessDEPOT way that is not how we recommend it. And in fact if we start thinking bigger, we can start applying this not only to clients but to recruiting, to building your team and even to things like meetings in your operational schedule.
Clients are something I say you actually need to build four at a time. If you’re looking to just put on clients one at a time, then what happens is ones come on and drop off. It’s very difficult to successfully grow a business if you’re putting clients on one at a time and they’re dropping off one at a time.
If I challenged you instead to put on four clients at once, to go out next week and put on four new clients for your business, what would you do differently? In terms of marketing, strategic referral channels, your sales process? If you were to start thinking bigger and start going well one is not sufficient, I need four at once, what would you do differently? And why haven’t you been doing that in the past? Why have you been cursed to only try and find one at a time?
With staff it’s the same. My magic number there is two, at least. If you’re growing your business it is much better, much easier, to put on two staff at once than it is to do it one at a time, to do it individually. Now obviously this depends on your capacity plan, your commercial vision, how big you wanna get, and how fast you wanna get there. But the induction process for two team members is often just the same amount of time and effort as an induction process for one team member.
Why hire a person on Monday and then somebody else in two months when you can put them both on at once? You as the business owner know that set the challenge of filling two staff members up with work instead of just one is the sort of challenge that you can step up to. In fact, you’re probably fortunate to go out there and find those four new clients.
Meetings are the last example I wanna talk about because for so many business owners, for so many businesses, we loathe meetings. Once you’re implemented the momentum meeting schedule and you’ve got the momentum meeting agenda, which we’re talked about in previous Blackboard Fridays episodes, you’ve got a more efficient meeting structure.
You’ll start to realize that the meeting mindset, your head space for running good meetings, is very different from your head space of working with clients, of managing the team or of thinking strategically about growing the business. Much better for you to dedicate a day and fill it with meetings than it is to pepper those meetings through your weekly schedule.
Stop bouncing around and going I’ll have a meeting on a Monday and on a Tuesday and on a Wednesday, so that they don’t take up too much of my day, because they will ruin all three of those days. Linked back to the sales, to putting on new clients.
Whenever I speak to somebody who’s looking to bring new clients in the business, I tell them, pick one day, one day a week, one day a month, depending on how many clients you need, and fill that one day with sales meetings.
Don’t just have them ad hoc. Even if you’ve got an enormous amount of spare capacity in your business, put those meetings on the day. Don’t do them one at a time. Do them four at a time. Build that focus and momentum. Because focus and momentum builds your business.
One at a time, whether it’s one new client, one new team member, or just one meeting stops momentum, stutters your business, and makes it harder for you to achieve the growth that you’re looking for.
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