Up-size Slowly—Downsize Fast

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide." - Napoleon Bonaparte

The biggest mistakes I have made in business have not been growing too fast—up-sizing—although I have done that plenty of times. In no case was the growth decision fatal. The real opportunity to make a BIG mistake is in not downsizing fast enough when things start to go bad.

There are a great many factors in business and in life that will always be beyond your control: commodity prices, competition, production problems, terrorism, natural disasters, sickness, accidents, or the economy in general. But whatever causes the slowdown doesn’t matter. What matters is that you move fast to compensate for the loss of sales and income.

Before You Spend a Single Dime on Marketing, Do This First

The most important thing is not which system you use. The most important thing is you have a system! - Zig Ziglar

It amazes me that the vast majority of golf clubs, resorts, and real estate developments that I work with think that someone paid a modest salary has any clue how to sell a $25,000 membership or $500,000 villa without training—let alone memberships or real estate that are priced far higher.

Even if your product or service is cheap, allowing anyone to handle leads without formal sales training is not much better than just throwing them away.

Do NOT start ANY MARKETING campaign without a written sales system in place and the sales training to back it up. A sales system will take ONLY one sale to pay for itself and will keep on returning the favor with every employee you hire from now until you retire.

Even a small change, such as how the phone is answered or how an objection is countered, can have an astonishing effect on your sales performance and overall success.

Imagine if you closed two out of ten leads instead of one. You have just doubled sales at NO cost!

Now think of this concept for telephone inquiries, referrals, or dealing with objections. Incremental improvement at each phase of the sales process leads to ASTONISHINGLY greater results. This is why NO marketing campaign should ever be undertaken without first having a sales system and training in place.

The system should include:

• step-by-step instructions
• phone scripts
• qualifying scripts
• a presentation script
• objection scripts
• closing scripts
• a referral program

To go forward with any marketing campaign without investing in a written sales system is, quite frankly, insane. Just a 5% improvement in sales skills can easily increase your bottom line by 30% or more.

Countless millions are squandered on campaigns to generate leads, yet little to nothing is spent on the back-end sales system or follow up. Do NOT make this cardinal mistake.

Before you invest a dime in advertising or marketing of any kind, invest in a sales and training system to back up your efforts.

How to Get a Job!

I have never really had a real job, in fact the only two jobs I ever had before becoming self employed were that of waiter and bag boy at a golf club. Neither of these jobs took much skill or paid much. The chances of advancement were zero and yet it was still easy to be far better at either job than the many people I encountered in similar positions at the time.

The secret to my success in the four years I held these positions was simple. Never in four year as a bag boy or a waiter did I call in sick. Never at least in the case of the golf club where there was a definite time to be there everyday did I show up late. This made me very valuable to my employer because he knew he could always count on me which was rarely the case with the scores of other employees my own age who would use any possible excuse not to show up any time they felt like it!

There was one other thing I did that made a difference, I always even as a teenager tried to pro active. I looked for ways to help, to be of more value to my employer. This simple strategy works in any industry, for anybody and yet it is rarely used.

Think Big, Rent Small

First of all, I choose the great roles, and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don’t come, I choose the ones that pay the rent. - Michael Caine

Thinking big while renting small is a rule I have always followed, thanks to a good mentor on this very important subject early in my career, but not heeding this maxim is a mistake I’ve seen hundreds of others make. Big buildings create big overhead, not just in rent, but also in taxes, insurance, maintenance, heating, cooling, and decorating.

For example:
• Developers build massive clubhouses before a single golf membership or lot is sold.
• Karate schools rent large warehouses when 1500 square feet produces optimum profits.
• Corporations build giant headquarters in anticipation of future growth, only to be caught out when the business or the economy falter.

Let your operation burst at the seams before you are tempted to get a bigger space and, even then, explore all options before committing.

Life’s Three Great Income Multipliers

Beyond your immediate technical skills, life has three great multipliers. We can all commit some of our time to enhancing our skills, but which skills you choose to enhance will have dramatic effect on your income. Say what you like, Mrs. Dale, about the educational benefits of learning Latin, but I assure you it proved to be—as I suspected at the time—a total waste of one hour of my life, twice a week for three years while in high school!

There are three skills you should acquire or enhance, regardless of your profession or business. These skills have the potential to multiple your income by a factor far greater than any other skills you could possibly learn.

The three great income multipliers are:

  • speaking skills
  • copywriting skills
  • sales skills

Your ability to communicate your ideas and convert people to your cause through speaking and writing results in a sale of some kind. It may be financial, it may be an alliance, or it may be just getting an interview, but the X factor in your ability to do this more successfully than others results in an almost unimaginable difference in income—and therefore in lifestyle and wealth.

The three skills are all quite closely intertwined, as they all deal with your ability to communicate and generate action from others. Getting others to act in the way you want them to act, be it your employer, your employees, or your customers, is the key to all business success!

  • A typical golf coach makes about $50,000 a year.
  • Those who are good at sales make over $100,000 doing the exact same job!
  • Those who are good at all three will make $150,000, triple the average instructor—not because they are any better at teaching but because they are better at communicating (selling) their expertise!
  • Those who are really excellent at speaking, writing and sales like David Leadbetter or Dave Pelz make $8 to $10 million a year!

You can apply this formula to just about any industry or profession. A person with the ability to communicate his worth at a high level will get promoted faster, although his actual performance may be no better than his coworkers’.

Golf instructors, martial-arts instructors, and dance-school owners all have years of experience teaching their art. It’s no different for accountants, dentists, or chiropractors with years of experience perfecting a professional skill. Yet all will undoubtedly be paid far less than their talent and experience is worth if they are not also masters of sales and marketing!

Universal Law: The professionals with the best sales and marketing skills make the most money, not the professionals with the most talent in their chosen field.

No matter what your skills are in these areas right now, you can quickly and easily improve or hone them. These skills are the x-factor in just about every business or career. Once you have them, you can add financial management to the list.

Start enhancing your education in these three areas today, and multiply your income immediately!

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When Good Locations Go Bad

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. - Harold Wilson, former British prime minister

You may already be in town when suddenly two other competitors show up. If you have established your reputation in the community, new competition may have little effect. On the other hand, it may be a warning signal that it’s time to move on. Sometimes a seemingly perfect location can be rendered bad by competitors moving into your market and shrinking your potential.

For example, in my second and most successful martial arts school, I was the only martial arts business in an affluent town of 60,000 people. There were thousands of families the perfect age and the Karate Kid movie part two had just come out. Not only that, but the school was also located next to Irvine Dance Academy. This business would not have been considered an anchor except that it had been there for 15 years and had an active enrollment of over 1200 little girls. While the little girls were dancing, their little brothers were looking through the window of my karate school. I’d invite them in to kick and punch a bag. More often than not, as soon as their mothers came looking for them, they’d sign up their sons. On the strength of location alone, a monkey could have done well financially.