Steve Gordon | Recognizing Limitless Opportunity

You have your ideal client clearly identified – and you know how to reach them. 

Now what?

Unless you have your company set up the right way, you can never take advantage of that knowledge to bring in enough new business. And that means slow or no growth.

A steady flow of sales opportunities to bring in steady – and growing revenue – will take your business to the next level… and it’s all around you.

You just need to know where to look…  

We’ll cover that, as well as…

  • The number of clients you really need – it’s less than you think
  • Key ways that marketing professional services is very different
  • How to create a never-ending flow of fresh leads
  • Why you can never wait for a client to come to you (and how to make sure you don’t)
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:

 

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Transcript

Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon, and I’m really excited about today’s episode. This is a topic that honestly just gets me fired up. So today we’re going to be continuing from the last solo episode where I talked about the idea of inevitable growth. And today, we’re going to extend that a little bit and talk about a related idea that I’m calling infinite opportunity.

And, you know, in the last episode, we talked at a very high level about how to begin thinking about, you know, who you’re going to market to and how you’re going to market to them and do that in a way that is designed to make the achievement of your growth goals inevitable. Today to make that happen, we’re going to talk about how to create a system of infinite opportunity in your business. And to me, this idea is just really exciting because once you get it, once you really understand how this works, you will look at your business completely differently. You will now see that there is limitless opportunity around you.

Opening the Floodgates of Infinite Opportunity

And it’s so much fun when I see people kind of flip the switch on this in their thinking and that they all of a sudden they get it and they kind of light up and they go, Oh, wow, I thought this was all going to be really, really hard. But no, it’s all there. So I’m excited about it. We’re going to get into it in just a second. Okay, so why infinite opportunity? And like those are big words. Why are we thinking that way?

Really, it comes down to something that I’ve observed in the businesses that we’ve worked with over the years and lots of businesses that wanted to work with us but couldn’t because they weren’t growing and, you know, just didn’t have the financial capability to really get the help that they needed. And that fundamental kind of challenge that they had is they didn’t have enough opportunity. They’re really suffering from the fact that the way they had structured things, they didn’t have enough new opportunity for new business.

Okay, in other words, they weren’t creating enough conversations, enough sales opportunities. There was no flow of that. It was very much hit or miss. You know, it’s been described as feast or famine. It’s been described as the revenue roller coaster. I know you can relate, you know, most of us have been on it at some point or another. And then those, you know, those of us who get off of it, ultimately realize that there’s a different approach and part of that is what we talked about in the last solo episode on inevitable growth.

If you missed that, go back and listen to it. It was two episodes before this one. And we’re going to extend that a little bit today and talk about this idea of infinite opportunity. Because if you can’t create ongoing, never-ending string of opportunity flowing to your business, you’re gonna have a really, really hard time, right? You’re never going to reach those growth goals because to get the client, you got to have the opportunity first.

So the two of them go together. One predicates the other, right? This is really a way of thinking. It’s a shift in the way that you think more than anything else. And that’s the thing that I want you to grasp here at the beginning as we talk about this is that it’s a mindset shift, and it can be shifted really quickly. It’s almost like a switch that will flip in your thinking when you begin to see this and you begin to look around you and see the opportunity. Now, the first step in this is the very first thing that I talked about in the last episode.

And that’s being really specific about who you want to serve. Understanding who your ideal client is because having that clear understanding has this magical effect on people. And I literally mean that. It’s like a magical effect. It’s like the blindfold is finally removed. Because when they get specific about who they want to attract and serve as their clients, and I mean really specific about who that is, all of a sudden when they look around, they see those people everywhere. They see those businesses everywhere. But they were blind to it before because they hadn’t gotten specific.

And so it’s important that you put these two things together. But it really is about a way of thinking and changing the way that you think. Most people approach business from the perspective of scarcity and competition. And so they look at the opportunity around them because their experience of it is there’s opportunity some days and there’s no opportunity other days. And it’s this feast or famine. Always, you know, oscillating between the two. And so because that the experience they have in business, they feel that there, you know, there is this kind of limited finite, scarce amount of opportunity.

But for most of us, we don’t need that many clients. You know, I mean, for our business, if we get 30 clients this year, which is three a month, which is not that many, we’re jammin. We’re happy, you know? And for most of the businesses that we work with, if they get anywhere from 10, to at the most about 100 clients in a year, they’re doing backflips. It’s probably more than they can handle. It starts to stretch their operational systems. And so, you know, we’re not trying to go and get millions of people to buy a product like some of the product companies have to do.

Marketing Products vs Professional Services

You know, if you’re selling Coca Cola, you gotta sell a lot of coke, right? But if we’re selling consulting services or we’re selling, you know, engineering like I did my first company, if we’re selling, you know, digital marketing services, we don’t need that many clients to do really, really well because we’re generally selling at high margins and we’re selling high dollar. And when you begin to really understand that, and then look around and go, Well, there’s, you know, seven and a half billion people on the planet. Out of those in my target market, now that I’ve narrowed it down, there’s, you know, 50,000 or 100,000 of them. Well, that might as well be infinite.

You can’t contact that many. You could never have conversations with that many in a lifetime. And so, you’re now at a point where you have literally so much opportunity as you begin to look at it like that. You have so much opportunity around you that you can’t even get to at all, so it may as well be infinite, right? That’s a great way of looking at it. I think that’s a very hopeful way of looking at how you’re going to grow your business, especially as we’re entering this new decade, right? There’s going to be good economic times, there’s going to be bad economic times. It doesn’t matter. There’s always infinite opportunity around you.

There’s always more opportunity than you can handle if you approach it the right way. Alright, so once you kind of make that shift in thinking, you know, now you can get to a point where you can overcome this limitation that most businesses have, and most of them frankly, they just run out of leads. They’re selling something that’s really valuable that people need and that, you know, serves a specific type of client but because they haven’t, you know, themselves gotten specific about it because they haven’t built the systems around it like we talked about in the last episode, they now are at a point where they’re running out of leads.

So the experience is of this scarcity. We don’t want you to do that. We want you to get to a point where you never run out of leads. And so getting there is really rooted in two things. It’s rooted in, who are we serving, who’s your ideal client, and it’s rooted in, what’s the value that we’re going to create for them? And those two things are so closely tied together because value is in the eye of the beholder. Value is in the eye of your ideal client. That’s one of the reasons that marketing to everyone that could possibly use your service is a bad idea because they all value your service differently and for different reasons.

When you get specific about who you’re trying to reach, you can now speak to the way that they value what you do, and you can ignore everyone else. Okay, where we’re really going with this is we want to create a self-replenishing list of whos, of leads, of people, businesses that you can do business with. And, you know, it was funny, I was having a conversation with one of our clients, and he’s in a market where every year, actually every quarter, there’s this list. And this is the list of all of his leads because he’s in a very specific, really pretty small, niche market that he’s targeting.

But every quarter, new people enter the market, and there’s a list of them that you can get pretty affordably. And so, you know, people come in and then, you know, eventually, people go out but there’s this flow of leads and I started thinking like, that’s amazing. You’ve got this river of opportunity that’s continually flowing right in front of your business because you’ve been specific about who you’re serving, right? There’s a never-ending flow of new leads. A self-replenishing list. And now not every business has that. You know, I started scratching my head as we were talking about this, like, how can I take this idea and apply it to what we’re doing?

How can I take this idea and apply it to what our clients are doing? And the fact of the matter is that not every market has a list like that, that’s always being automatically replenished, and is easy to get. But we can create that experience. We can replicate that on our own. And one of the ways that we’ve done that is through simple research. We begin to build our own lists. And we know, because as I talked about in the last episode, two episodes ago, when we talked about inevitable growth, we know the number of leads we need, we know the number of people we need to talk to, that tells us what the flow needs to be in our river.

Building Your List of Opportunity

What that speed needs to look like. How many new people over a certain period of time we need. Well, we can build that list. It’s not difficult. It’s easy to get a team member to go do that. It’s inexpensive to get a team member to go do that. And so we can create this never-ending flow of new leads coming to the business, right? So I want you to think about how you could do that in your own business. Where are the opportunities to create for yourself, this list that always has new people every month? There are new names added to it. There’s new potential opportunity.

And when you begin to think like that and you begin to realize, wow, I could create a system where, you know, we had a list of maybe 1000 prospects and then every month 50 or 100 new ones are added. And I had a system that just did that, that constantly went and found 50 or 100 new people, you’d be unbeatable. Wouldn’t matter the economy. You’d be unbeatable. As long as you’ve got something of value to offer to those people and you’ve got this unending list of opportunity flowing, now all you need to do is communicate that value to the list.

And some of them will go Yeah, you know, I need that. It’s sort of the law of large numbers. How can you lose, right? The odds are in your favor. And that’s really what we’re doing here as we talk about inevitable growth and like, how can we stack the deck in our favor so that we can’t possibly lose? So that’s the first key idea. As we, you know, we flip the switch in our brain and begin thinking about infinite opportunity, we have to create this river of opportunity flowing in front of our business. We’ve got to figure out how to do that. Alright, once you do that, then the next thing you got to do is you got to figure out well, how am I going to offer them value, right?

So I’ve got this river of whos flowing in front of my business. How am I going to, now as they’re flowing past, how we can offer them value. There’s a jewelry store here in Tallahassee where I live, and they buy gold, and the way that they have set up for themselves a river of opportunity, it’s not really a great river of opportunity because it’s kind of random, but they have their, you know, on a busy street.

And so there’s cars flowing by all day long and the way that they offer value to that, you know, river of opportunity, that flow of traffic going by, is they get a guy out there with one of those pointy signs and he twirls at all day, right? That’d be one way to do it. Probably not the way you want to use, but that’d be one way of doing it, right? But as you begin to think about it, now you can begin to think about Okay, well, I’ve got this group of leads, and I know them by name now because I built a list.

And that now becomes a really powerful thing because you can reach out to them directly. To me, that’s where the big mindset shift comes in. So you see a lot of people trying to over-rely on content marketing and on discovery on the internet. And discovery is great. I love it when clients discover us. They hear me on a podcast or they stumble upon this podcast or they find one of my books because they’re looking for a topic that I’ve written a book on, and they just, you know, randomly discover me. That’s great.

I love it when that happens but that isn’t going to pay all the bills, and it’s not going to help me hit my growth goals. So I’ve got to do some other things. And I’ll tell you what’s most interesting about this. So the company that coined the phrase, inbound marketing, is HubSpot. And for a number of years, that’s all they did. And they’ve got an inbound marketing machine. And they do a really good job of it. They’d create a lot of leads that way but that’s not all that they do. You know, if you look at the other ways that they’re growing, they’re reaching out to people, right?

Make That Connection

So the way that they’ve created infinite opportunity for themselves as they have this flow of leads through their content, which they’ve invested tremendous amounts of money into to create that river, right? They’ve got this flow of leads to the content. But as soon as someone pops up and identifies themselves, they’re reaching out by phone. They’re reaching out by email, like direct one on one person to person. They’re not sitting in waiting, hoping that you’re ultimately going to make a fairly substantial purchase, you know?

If you fit their profile, they’re going to be all over you. And so you got to kind of switch the mindset and say, Okay, well, if I’ve got this river of opportunity flowing in front of me, and these are real names, these are real people, these are real businesses. Like, I know who they are now. I’ve got contact information, I can reach out to them. Now, I might not cold email them, that might be a bad idea, you know? I might reach out to my phone. I don’t know, I might reach out to them with direct mail with a lead generation offered to see who’s going to raise a hand. So all kinds of ways you could do it.

You could reach out with a personal invitation to a seminar or a webinar that you’re doing. All kinds of ways you could do it. But the point is, you’ve now got all of these opportunities to do that and it’s continually replenishing itself. And now you’re going to find a way you’re going to decide what are your marketing methods? How are you going to communicate with those people and offer them value? And see who has interest. See who responds to that. And there’s lots of ways you can do that.

You know, as we’ve said, you can do one on one outreach, you can do direct mail, you can run ads, you know, you can, as I said, you could sit back and hope the content marketing gets to them. That probably won’t happen or won’t happen on the schedule that you need. You can go and target them by referral, particularly if you’re a local business and then, you know, people that you’re putting on that list would be likely to be known by other people in your market. You now can use, you know, use your network to be able to, you know, get in touch with those people and offer value.

So lots of different ways you can do it. You need to look at what assets you have, you know, and see how you best can get in front and offer value to this flow of people. But, you know, the fundamental thing that you’ve got now as you’ve got this, this flow. It never ends. If you set up the system the right way, you’ve got all these names that continually run in, all these potential clients, all these opportunities for people to do business with, for you to serve, for you to offer value to and it will immediately change the way you look at your business and the way that you look at growth.

Plan on Infinite and Inevitable Progress

So I want you to think about what you’re doing in 2020 as we go into this new decade. What are you going to do to set your business up so that when you look back at the end of the decade, and you look back at all the progress that you’ve made, and you say, you know, one of the key things was I kept hitting my goals. That I was able to build a system that made hitting those goals inevitable. I was able to build a system that gave me an infinite flow of new opportunity, of new leads, of new clients. And I want you to really think about like, how will you take these ideas? And how will you apply them in your business?

Now, as I mentioned in the episode before on inevitable growth, these are ideas that I’m refining and putting into a new book. The title of the book is Inevitable Growth and we’ve got a page where you can go and get on the early notification list for the book and when you get on the early notification list, you will immediately be sent a scorecard, the Inevitable Growth Scorecard. And on that scorecard, you can actually go through the eight key elements that create inevitable growth. And you can score yourself where you are now and where you think you’d like to be in the future.

And so by doing that, you can see very clearly where are the areas where you’re already strong, where are the areas that you need to work on and what needs to be worked on. And so it can be a really valuable planning tool, you know, especially right now. So you can get that, get on the early notification list, and get the scorecard by going to unstoppableceo.net/growthpodcast. Go to unstoppableceo.net/growthpodcast, and get the scorecard right now.

And you’ll get on the list to be notified ahead of everyone else when the book is launched, so you’ll get early access to it and you’ll get some other special things when we launch. Go there get it. Unstoppableceo.net/growthpodcast. Until next time, stay unstoppable. This episode of The Unstoppable CEO Podcast is sponsored by the Unstoppable Agency. That is the agency part of our business where we work with professional service firms and create a done for you marketing program.

And what that looks like is we actually sit down with you, we come together and define your ideal client with you. We go build a list of those people, and then we begin reaching out to them on your behalf to book them as guests on your podcast. We call it podcast prospecting. And it’s a fantastic way to connect with potential clients and influencers that can refer you. And it’s end to end a done for you system.

And so if that’s something that you think might be the right fit for your business, go to our website. Go to unstoppableceo.net. You can find it there on the homepage, a link to a video presentation that explains how it all works. And if you’d like, let’s get together and have a quick 20-minute conversation and see if we’re a fit. Again, that’s at unstoppableceo.net right on the homepage. Look for a link to the video that explains how it all works.