Double your income in 60 seconds! Sounds ridiculous right? I mean, if increasing business was that easy you’d already have thought of it and EVERYONE would be doing it, right? Actually, no. In fact, you’d be astonished at how easy it is to increase income. It’s so simple that no one ever seems to do it! Before I give you the answer, let me share one old and a couple of recent experiences with you.
Several years ago I toured a very high-end Florida real-estate community with my wife. During the 45-minute tour the salesman on four occasions told us what he thought of “rich” people. (Apparently, as we told him we were looking for only a million dollar house, he did not think us one of the evil rich people!) He trashed the president (Bush), which I know was a popular sport back then, but he should have found out which way I learned before doing it. To top it all off, at the end of the presentation, he said, “That’s it, no high-pressure sales here!” FINE, and there are no sales happening there either!
Ninety-five percent of your competitors in any city or industry will be manufacturing, selling, and marketing in exactly the same way as you are. That’s why it’s so important to look beyond your locale and your industry for ideas and opportunities.
In the late 1990s I enjoyed tremendous success by looking at what type of business-to-business services were available in the “real” world and then adapting them to the martial arts business.
In this day and age, the more you can outsource, the better. Outsourcing reduces fixed overhead for wages and space. Outsourcing allows you to change vendors quickly and easily if they are not meeting expectations or deadlines. Outsourcing allows you to gear up or gear down easily. Outsourcing allows you to get specialized help rather than forcing your existing staff to do things they are ill-trained or ill-equipped to do well.
Outsourcing usually costs more per hour than doing it in-house, but overall you will save money. For example, a lot of my clients try to do telemarketing in-house, especially when things are slow in the winter. The employees they reassign to make the calls are usually untrained, hate it, and generally fail without finishing the job. It would be far cheaper and more effective in the long run to outsource this to a telemarketing company and let them deal with the headaches.
Don’t treat new customers or prospects better than old customers. It is very easy to fall into this trap and it’s a surefire recipe for the destruction of your reputation and your business. For example, it’s not unusual for a business to cut prices for new customers to attract their business while charging established accounts more money. All the explanations in the world are not going to change the mind of the existing customer that he is getting a raw deal.
A great way to make sure you are doing your best is to always act like your client has just told you she is considering another service. What would you do differently to try and keep that client from leaving? Well, first of all you would try to find out what was wrong, right? But let’s suppose there is nothing in particular, or at least nothing the client is willing to share with you, then what? In the karate business, we developed a five-step process for increasing customer loyalty when their interest started to wane.
It’s the strangest thing, but every prospect who ever walked into one of my karate studios had a bubble over his head, just like you see in comic strips when people are dreaming of something. My job was to find out what was in that bubble. Here’s the problem. When I first meet someone, I can’t see what’s on the inside of the bubble on account of the fog! I know what is in there though—it’s the alter ego of the person right under the bubble!
The big question is how does the young man who just walked into my studio see himself in that bubble. Is he Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, or Jean Claude van Damme throwing bad guys out of ten-story windows? If it’s a child, the person in the bubble might be the Karate Kid, a Ninja Turtle, or a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. The child’s parents also have bubbles above their heads filled possibly with A’s on a report card or a vision of little Erica taking out the trash and cleaning up her room.
It’s a sad fact of life that there is money, big money in just about every disaster. It takes little talent or foresight to make an easy 10, 20, or even 50 percent gain in a matter of months, weeks, or even days. Over a period of a year or two, there is almost no chance you won’t win big nine out of ten times.