Get Off Your Ass

Get Off Your Ass!


Get Off Your Ass!

In a special report, I outlined the 10 Things You Must Do To Thrive this year. (you can get it free of charge at It was a very valuable and important outline of the steps necessary in today’s environment to grow your business and have a dramatic impact on your employees, your customers, and your community.

======================== Here’s some feedback on that report=================

Hello Stephen,

The “10 Things You Must Do to Thrive” was spot on! I couldn’t agree with you more and I wanted to tell you. If only more business owners would understand number one!

Buzz Durkin


In addition to being one of my oldest and dearest friends. Buzz is one of the top business owners in the United States. He runs one of the most solid, highest quality businesses I’ve ever seen. In a small community, he maintains a large client base with the strongest customer retention I’ve ever seen. He embodies true concern for his customers and a deep reach into his community. Here are the 10 Things I shared which sparked Buzz’s enthusiastic response:

1: Premium Pricing is the Quickest Route to a High Net.

Know your value and price your products and services accordingly. We are not in a world where low-price buys a market share. In almost all cases all low prices do is limit your revenue per customer and convince your customers of your limited value. “Absent other criteria, price determines the perception of value.” Therefore, it is best to do your research and focus on the pricing list you’ll need. It’ll come in handy when establishing your worth and finding how potential customers view it.

2: Focus Internally First.

Take out a blank legal pad and focus on what you can do to improve the customer’s perception of value. Value starts with rapport. Hire only sincere and honest people who truly care about the customer experience more than their own. By constantly being in contact with your audience, and going to public events, your rapport will build, and so will your reputation and in their eyes, more trust.

3: Have a Strong Sales Process in Place.

Have a strong introduction to your business in a place that answers all their queries about the company, then talk about the ‘behind the scenes’ of your products, their concept, inception. And how they benefit the customer. Implement a focused system to support the process as well as vigorously train all staff on the system continuously so they know it inside and out. Some websites provide extensive training on all sales and marketing processes as well as comprehensive programs.

4: What gets measured gets done.

Keep complete operations statistics on your business and always have an up-to-date profit and loss statement. Learn how to read your numbers and what your benchmarks should be for each area.

5: Upgrade your staff.

The most important thing you can do once you have employees is to run regular (weekly or twice weekly) training. An employee either does or does not have the aptitude to perform the role you need to be filled. They bring their motivation to the job; without it, there’s not much point to them staying in this business.

6: Your business should have a philosophy.

The move towards mixing philosophy with business has been a tricky one, certainly. However, it could be as simple as keeping hold of and holding yourself accountable by never abandoning the underlying development aspects of your business. Simple things like developing leadership traits and sharing positive life skills are essential.

7: Focus on Retention.

The least expensive sale you ever make is the second or third sale to the same customer. Unfortunately in most cases it’s expensive, either in time or money, to attract a new customer. You may spend $500 to $1,000 or more in paid advertising to get a new customer than if you were to have a customer return. You should focus on retaining your clients as a priority.

8: The Marketing Parthenon.

Relying on only one or two methods for generating new customers is not only lazy but inherently dangerous. You must develop a wide range of systems and methods for creating introductory traffic consistently. Using social media is a fantastic way to get your message and attract customers, but so are direct mail and other traditional forms of marketing.

9: Separate Your Hobby from Your Business.

The majority of business owners confuse their interests as a ‘hobbyist’ with their role as a professional businessperson. You must not forget your interests and needs are different than the interest and needs of most of those who are interested in taking advice from you.

10: Eliminate Self-Defeating Thinking and Elevate your Expectations.

Just like in the recent phenomenon ‘the secret’, ultimately you get what you expect and attract what you focus on intently. It’s important to look for references which support your goals and objectives and to ignore the naysayers. Be very careful that you pay attention to the top 10% of the industry and ignore the opinions, pricing, and results of the rest.

I hope you will review this list. Take a blank legal pad and on the top of each page make a note of one of these points. Brainstorm with yourself about how to effectively implement each point. You’re more than welcome to contact me via email with these and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

In reviewing the list, I recognize perhaps a few things are missing. I’m reading a book Don Warrener wrote and was kind enough to send me a signed limited edition of The Kata of Business. I haven’t gotten very far, but it’s got some great material in it. That being said. I doubt if I’ll agree with everything, but a couple of comments in the book stuck out as especially appropriate. One was his note that the difference between a failing business owner and a successful one is 20 hours per week.

I should have made that number 11 on the list. Frankly, most business owners just don’t work very hard. They show up at the office at 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. and leave at 3 or 4 p.m. and think they’ve done a full day. Honestly, most of the big success stories I know of start their day early and put in regular 10 to 12-hour days. They’re putting in 60 to 80-hour weeks regularly. In the case of our staff, I expect them to spend daytime hours on marketing activities (9 a.m. — 5 p.m.) and evening hours focusing on client interaction, acquisition, and retention.

This quarter I’m running all my employees back through Tom Hopkin’s great book, ‘Master the Art of Selling for Financial Services’. A key point in the book is you must “see 20 people belly-to-belly every day”. January’s ‘millionaire skills’ call included Brian Tracy giving a talk and making the same point. He said most business owners spend precious few minutes face-to-face with prospective customers in a sales effort.

If you are not talking to prospective customers (or existing ones about upgrades or referrals) then you just aren’t doing what’s most important for your business. You’ve got to have that extra 20 hours per week out there. Seeing how human beings interact with your business and the products and services you provide. All the time spent on Facebook, Twitter, surfing the net, on unnecessary paperwork, or other social activity during the day just keeps you from getting out and talking to potential customers, other businesses, community leaders, and others in your community who can help your business grow.

To close on this reminder of the ‘10 Things You Must Do to Thrive’. I’ll remind you to calculate your stats reports and track your numbers. It’s amazing what happens when you pay attention to what’s happening in all aspects of your business and how rapidly you can make huge improvements.