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Pull Levers to Grow Your Business Quickly, with Pete Williams [Episode 704]

Pete Williams, an entrepreneur, advisor, marketer, and author of the new book, Cadence: A Tale of Fast Business Growth, joins me on this episode.

  • Pete’s core business in Australia is telecommunications. As he studied what did work to drive growth for his business and what did not, he discovered key profit drivers. Pete developed a methodology and applied it.
  • Pete had identified seven levers to improve in your business for a large cumulative impact. When he shared his system, it became a movement. That led him to write the book, over a number of years.
  • A 10% increase in each of the seven areas creates a compounding effect to double the bottom-line profit. Team Sky manager Sir Dave Brailsford has a philosophy he calls the 1% aggregation of marginal gains.
  • With a margin of victory of no more than one percent, improve everything you do by 1%. Sales managers often say they want to “hit it out of the park.” If they get a 5% boost, they think it’s not worth it to continue.
  • Success is “getting on base.” Make small, regular tweaks for cumulative results. Make sure you’re in the middle of the bell curve and growing. Be ready for the big successes but have a process to grow, apart from big contracts.
  • Pete’s first three levers are Suspects, Prospects, and Conversions. Suspects are “walk-in” shoppers. Prospects step up as qualified buyers. Conversions are people who actually purchase your goods or services.
  • Conversations with Suspects and Prospects are very different. When Suspects become Prospects, you shift the conversation. In a shoe store, first, you get them to try on a pair of shoes. When they do, you sell them the shoes.
  • Understand and identify the micro-commitments that signal that a Suspect has become a Prospect. A good goal is a 10% boost in Suspects shifting to Prospects and a 10% boost in Prospects shifting to Conversions.
  • For Pete’s B2B telco group, one micro-commitment is agreeing to a short site inspection; another is agreeing to get a quote. Andy says to make sure the Suspect has an outcome in mind, with results and a budget attached.
  • Pete’s next levers are Average Item Price and Average Items Per Sale. Pete lists some examples of 10% wins. Putting upselling items in the proposal, for instance. What practices can you put in place to get small increases here?
  • Pete makes Buyer’s Guides to make the product easier to access and to educate the buyer on the buying process, with upselling. ‘Tiebreakers’ win by added value, not by price concessions. The Buyer’s Guide pushes two levers.
  • The next lever is Transactions Per Customer. Automate repeat transactions. Do you have customers that you have never contacted again after the sale? Use systems to create “check” moves on the way to “mate.”