Two Days, Two Titans, Two shows and what Sin city showed me about me, my business and the power of positioning your business to sell
I’m standing outside the little coffee shop at the Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale Arizona while attending one of my most favourite US events – The Genius Network annual event with over 300 of the world best Entrepreneur, movers and shakers, my friend and badass Roland Frasier ( I mean he rolls everywhere in a private jet and owns 27 companies, so that’s badass to me ) stops me and with his warm happy face says” Hey Nick, how are you buddy, what’s been happening?” I proceed to tell him about the year we just had and what I’m looking to do next year and he says “I think I have a place you need to be, and I’d love to see you there” now when Roland says that you pretty much know it’s going to be killer…I mean the people that he rolls with are the top of the tops.
Now that I’m intrigued I’m like “What’s it about dude?” He’s says ”Frank Kern and I are doing a two day intensive with 12 people in Vegas and I think you’ll love it…why don’t you come and hang out?”
For those of you who don’t know who Frank Kern is, here’s a little sneak peek – he did a $24 million dollar internet launch in 24 hrs; has one of the highest selling programs on the internet called Mass Control plus was also responsible for the StomperNet launch which generated $18.3 million in orders in less than 24 hours. Not sure that if in your books that’s good but to me I think it’s you probably know a thing or two around how to create success on the internet. Just to add to it he has also been around for over 18 years ( think of it like 10 dog years at least ) which is pretty amazing considering the internet lifespan is shorter than that of a mosquito ( can’t verify that but you get what I mean).
So I responded like a little school girl “Send me the details I’m in”. You simply don’t let opportunities like that go…right? When do you get these 2 Titans in the room with only 12 people and the topics are Scale and Sale ? Here is a heads UP…pretty much never!
Fast forward 4 weeks later and I’m heading up the stairs at one of the Wynn Hotel and resorts private boardroom and the sign outside the door says Frasier – Kern Private mentoring group…Now I’ve seen both of these guys before but now it’s just a small group rather than thousands so I’m getting a little nervous about what’s coming up.
I start thinking shit like “what happens if they ask me questions I can’t answer” “ how about if there are other bosses in the room am I going to be the village idiot?” then I walk in and the reception is super warm and I’m treated like an equal. All the worry is for nothing TBH. It’s just stuff that runs in my head when I attend these types of events.
Roland starts by saying “ Welcome everyone, if you’re in this room we know you have massive potential and we want to show you how to scale and get your business ready for sale”… We then to proceed around the room with intros and what we do and what we’re looking for out of the 2 days (pretty standard for this type of event).
Roland then proceeds to start laying some cool content on why it’s super important to create what’s called MRR (Monthly Recurring Income ) in any business. The reason? In any business that sets up their billing as MRR ( getting paid monthly or weekly etc for your services and or product ) increases the value of that business by a factor of 5 vs traditional 1 off payment style transactions.
Example: As a business growth expert, our clients pay us on a monthly basis for an agreed fixed 12 monthly amounts, however to help with cash flow we like to allow payments to be made over 12 monthly installments.
This alone was worth attending…
He continued sharing the next gold nugget about the necessity to set up business for the pure end goal of selling that business. Sharing that dependant on the business score list, so to speak, would depend on the valuation and opportunity of integrating one style of business to another.
Example: Let’s say that you have a real estate company and somewhere throughout the life cycle of that business you introduced financial products to the business, be it internally employed an expert or purchased an existing business, the valuation goes up by a factor or 32…Simply because non-bank financial institutes and/or businesses have a massive growth potential and in the eyes of an investor they are like gold. BTW this is general data, you need to do your own research!!
By now it’s already 1 pm so we break for lunch and on the return Frank starts to get warmed up sharing his new approach to his consultancy business. Here’s the deal:
He spoke about doing some research and going back through hundreds of campaigns and marketing funnels to try to identify which one of those what he calls” operational core processes” really had the biggest ROI (return on investment) and what generates the best % increase in conversion. He then went on to share that 1 of the key funnels basically returned a whopping 53% conversion with over a 40% profitability within 7 days ( which in internet speak is massive). At first I was trying to understand why this was so important for him (as usual with Frank, everything is suspense) however I didn’t have to wait too long as he continued to share that in order for him to have a sustainable business that suited his lifestyle and needed less input from him. The holy grail was finding your operational core process and refining it until it works like clock work.
See come to think of it, isn’t this a smart approach? Get really good at what you are doing, systemise the heck out of it, duplicate it, grow it and most importantly, then make the choice to either A, according to Roland, sell it or B, according to Frank, spend a lot of time finding ways to spend it. In his case choosing a lear jet is one of those past times he likes to occupy himself with (18 years at the top of the tree I would imagine comes with a lot of zero’s after the first 2 numbers)
His formula is Stabilize – Optimise and Expand. For me the simplicity of it is just genius. So many of us Entrepreneurs want to over complicate the hell out of our businesses rather than just get really good at selling our wares until we can do this in our sleep, most importantly collecting that all growing MRR.
To me this is just logical, however still a little hard to grasp, after all to a degree I suffer from shiny object or look there goes that squirrel syndrome. I know you know what I mean. Almost all high calibre business owners in the majority of cases feel the need to keep it fresh and pretty much see opportunity in everything around them. This year has been a different approach for my company as we have adhered to only 3 key objectives and I have found it to be so much easier than trying to be jack of all trades and master of none.
Frank kept on explaining about his funnels and the MRR that he has set up which has allowed him to really maximize his ROI and most importantly his time (that which we only have a finite amount of).
After a long discussion and the other participants sharing their thoughts on their operational core processes we concluded with a great exercise that Frank brought to the table…bolt on business. Basically what it meant was instead of having a massive variety of products and or services that you offered that may have not have had any connection to your core business, the premise behind this was to isolate your core process and then identify what else product or service would compliment your offering. Think of this like a painter’s pantone chart (the colour chart you get that has the rainbow of colours in sequence, think dark blue to a lighter blue, to a lighter blue than that etc )
What I loved about this was once again to simplify the offering. Steve Jobs (former CEO of Apple) in one of his countless interviews spoke about the difficulty of only having 6 product ranges in all of Apple, he also went on to tell the world that due to this strict approach the company was then able to become super profitable as well, due to the simplicity and scalability of only having a small amount of products.
Day 1 came to a close and a million ideas and possibilities were buzzing in my head. This often is the case when you are playing the game with the best of the best. See this is why I love this level of masterminding with a small group… it’s super intimate and you get real quality with almost one on one time with the presenters.
The cool thing about attending this event in Vegas…well it’s Vegas. What more can I say? You will never find nothing to do in Vegas – it’s like a million watt generator. Now I don’t know whether it’s the ideal place for me to sit and reflect on the past day but if you want to keep the adrenaline high and enjoy the ride of ideas and opportunity, what better place right ? Just think about it, the whole place was built in a desert in the middle of nowhere and by people with ideas. Whatever your impression of Vegas – the good, the bad, the ugly – you have to agree the genius and foresight is pretty cool.
Before I sat for dinner I asked myself this question “what opportunities and possibilities have I been missing in my business?” (sometimes we don’t even realise that we get caught up in the day to day activity) It was such food for thought that I wrote down what the next 3 years in my business will look like. ( share this a little later so stay with me )
Day 2 and were off…
Roland starts to his strategy on buying businesses with $0 down. In other words you can buy a business without having to add in and or give any more in the beginning of the deal. He shares with us that over the years and years he has been buying and selling businesses successfully with 3 business in the $100,000,000 mark and over and the medium being $10,000,000 and over you would know a few things about it and that the key is understanding the seller’s motive.
He believes the key is to understand what they are selling and what are they wanting out of the sale itself. Most people he shares think the owners are selling the business due to them needing the money where in most of the cases this is not actually accurate. Some sellers he says are just needing X amount to get them onto the next acquisition or that they are going through a tough divorce or need a partner bought out or are facing an illness that they need to deal with. Whatever the case maybe it’s important to do your research first.
He gave examples where even large multi million dollar deals were done on what he calls a “deferred agreement” which is basically no money down and the paid off over a particular time period. What this gives him is the ability to get the wheels moving of a perhaps stale business, start to generate income and then be able to pay it back at a later date. Often the business owners are actually happy to stay in the business get paid X amount at a certain time period that looks after their need and then exit the business with less stress. Plus it also allows them to prepare for the transition.
For many people there is a lot of stress when you sell a business, trying to figure out what to do next and the toughest of them all is what do you do with your time so coming to an amicable agreement that helps both parties is usually optimal.
After a few cool activities of understanding what value you can offer as a business owner and the potential you can bring to the table with the correct integration, be it purchased (buying an existing business with $0 down) and/or organic (employing someone to fill that GAP in your business) it was break time which was welcomed and allowed me to speak with my marketing director Aaron Crossin about what we can do with our business, all this while eating Kung Pao noodles and potstickers (dumplings in Australia)
The afternoon session saw Frank Kern unpack a cool funnel that he has been working on and sharing the results that he has been getting… He went on to share the psychology behind the funnels that he builds and that having sequences that continue to guide people into buying your services and/or product is the key. Each sequence that he has usually follows what he calls an
“ethical bribe”. Basically what this means is to first add value to your prospects experience then ensure what you are giving is in line with what the prospect is looking for.
Example: Let’s say the prospect clicks on an ad to find out how to close more sales. The ad may read something like: “Struggling to close sales, download this 4 step sales formula that will help you close virtually every sale ones you apply the formula”. From here the prospect is redirected to a landing page where they can opt In and receive the formula and as a further “ethical bribe” also receive 4 videos on the psychology of selling. This then leads to perhaps a redirect to a 5 part course on the art of selling which the prospect can then purchase from you. So if you break this down it has a free gift, an ethical bribe and then once the prospect see’s value they can then purchase your offer.
What the kicker to this information that Frank shared was that each segment of the funnel (the steps from clicking in an ad to purchase of a offer) is that you can set up “client behavioural patterns”. What this means, is that dependant on how prospect reacts to the “ethical bribes” shown in the funnel, will then determine the path that they take within the funnel itself. So as an example: If you clicked on the video on how to launch your new book and then the offer took you to a page that showed you how to increase your income by adding coaching to your book and the prospect clicked on that vs let’s say how to launch your book at a live event, they would get more on the coaching rather than the live events. In a nutshell it’s what you click on is what you get more of because that seems what you like more of. Pretty cool stuff isn’t it?
The day came to an end and after a round of discussion, they announced to the group to join them in celebratory drinks in their suite…Room 2112. Aaron and I sat there for a while after everyone left just discussing the experience and what would be the next path of implementation (you can have every but if knowledge that means not much if it’s not applied) laid out a little idea path and next 30-day action set, packed up and headed to the lift that would take us up to the suite.
We arrive at the door, ring the bell and Roland opens the door and welcomes us in. Now I’m not sure if you’ve been to Vegas or not but I reckon instead of calling it Sin City it really should be called Excess City. I mean we walk in and the lounge area is as big as my house. The suite has 2 arms to it all fully self contained with their own bathrooms, ensuites, kitchens and so on. It was massive. Now talk about finishing the 2 days in style. They had the Don flowing and everyone was having a good time. It was awesome just to get to hang and not talk business but rather get to know each other at a deeper level.
The night came to an end and we parted ways with Aaron and I heading to dinner. I asked myself was I dreaming all this as we headed through the Wynn Casino floor towards the restaurant. It was an intense level of learning topped of by a great experience of what success can bring. Now whether you are into it or not, money can bring you the finer things in life that’s for sure.
Cirque du Soleil
The following day Aaron and I hung around the hotel did some work and then headed out for what has to be one of the “must do” activities in Vegas…watch a show. Now for us it wasn’t just any old show it was “O” by Cirque du Soleil. it’s hard for me to do it justice by trying to explain what it’s like to not just watch O but more importantly to be a part of the experience. It seems that this whole week has been about experiences to me. Funny enough it’s what i tell my clients to create, experiences rather than just sales. Soo here it goes: Cirque is the best of the best of the best gymnasts,
contortionists, trapeze artists, clowns, and musicians the world has to offer. The set is out of this world (best way I can describe it) and comes with a purpose build pool with over 1.5 million gallons, over 1000 costumes, 77 athletes and an army of underwater divers, physios and support crew. Simply do yourself a favour and go and check it out. It is simply amazing.
Now after attending a show like that for me is like I’m Alice in Wonderland and my mind just had a dose and psychedelic medicines that have opened a gateway towards infinity. I’m not joking here either, wait till you check it our or if you have you know exactly what I’m talking about…right?
For me the experience was that of inspiration. I love the fact that everything is about attention to detail in every possible manner, be it the costumes, the production , the band, the arrangements, even the after sales shop displays were just outstanding. What can business learn from this?
I believe presentation is everything and the client experience is paramount. So much more so than just the service and or offer that they purchase. Vegas is designed for overkill. The end objective is to give the visitor a sense of escapism even though the end game is to deposit your money into their game tables. The key takeaway here is that impressing your clientele to levels that far exceed that of the standard and or the competitors can only result in a returning, re spending client. It’s simple mathematics when you think about it. Over deliver to the over exaggerated expectation of your clientele, add a level of service beyond their expectation and you have a winning combination.
In the title I mention power of the customer experience and the whole 5 days in Vegas surely demonstrated that. Roland and Frank running the 2 days at the Wynn kicked off that experience, being surrounded by others at the same level wanting to share their passions with the world, being in a space that nurtures me to simply be me and have the experience that I was looking for is so magnetic. Unfortunately, leaving that environment sometimes comes with a vacuum effect of feeling alone and perhaps non-fulfilled. However I also walk away with the imprint of the experience at not only a conscious but a subconscious level and for that I am grateful. So in summing up this experience I want to give you my key takeaways that I hope will add to your experience.
Think about the environment you want to be in, what it looks and feels like. Who are the sum of the 5 people you associate yourself with and then go after it. Remember the people, the conversation the activity that you create are all in line with the outcome you produce. Good environment = Good result$.
What you focus on usually becomes your reality. For me investing into the experience of being educated by two of the top Entrepreneurs in the industry is not by matter of chance but rather a singularity type focus of being the best of the best. My whole brand is based on the principles of my book UPology translated equals the study of “UP” so for me every action that take in life is to always try to become better that what I am. For some this sounds strange and almost obsessive and to that I say yes it is however it is my obsession and it works for me. So ask yourself what is your focus like for what you want to achieve?
Is everything you do for your prospects at a standard that you would like it to be? By this I mean would you rave to others about your business experience? If you were to design the ultimate experience for yourself what would that look like? Now a simple exercise is to write down all the things you would like to see if you were on the receiving end of your business. Things like product / service delivery, outcomes, objectives, experiences, customer support, follow up, customer care, gifting, marketing also how would you like the sales experience to be and so on. This is powerful because now from the enquiry to your offer all the way to the delivery and post delivery experience you can design, apply , test and re edit till it is a cirque type experience ( by this i mean outstanding and unique for the end user)
There are many things that I have understood at this event however for me the standout was MRR (monthly residual income) so how will you change your business model to accommodate this? Perhaps it’s creating a new product or redesigning the delivery of your existing product. You may also look to “bolt on” more to your existing core process as described above. The key here is to have something that “drips” (a marketing term to describe ongoing information material delivery and or payment) Example: If you are a builder then you can set up an MRR using the maintenance schedule model. This is where there is a monthly fee (similar to property management) where the occupier is happy to have a maintenance program for their house. Stuff like gutter cleans, driveway power washing, fence repairs and painting , window cleaning, lawn mowing and so on. The core process is building, the MRR is the maintenance side of things.
Incremental improvements: All of what I am describing didn’t come from a “beginner’s luck” concept. It has been designed, edited and continually reinvented. By sheer tenacity and dealing with setbacks and incremental adjustments until it becomes its own entity where now the outside world thinks that this is the norm. Cirque performers rehearse for 2 years before the first presentation and even after that it is back to the drawing board to refine and edit until it almost becomes magic like. I have a saying do what you do till you become unconsciously competent. The best way for me to describe that is the difference of, the first time you drove a manual car till 5 years later. One requires effort concentration and determination , the other is simply effortless.
Finally, trust that you can create anything you really put your mind to, surround yourself with amazing people that can guide you to where you want to go and then do the following principle called the BE – DO – HAVE translated:
BE the person you want to become first i.e dress like your successful, think like your successful. Napoleon Hill described it perfectly in his classic Think and Grow Rich – basically think yourself into riches and success.
The DO side of things is pretty straightforward, do the things that successful person do and stop doing stuff that doesn’t lead you to the objective. So many business owners do low ROI (return on Investment) dollar producing taks instead of delegating that stuff and only concentrating on what builds their business. If I didn’t have my business setup in a particular way there is no chance i could have attended this event. To add to this I didn’t attend an event with the bottom of the pack but instead it’s with the pack leader as this is my BEing.
If I want to be at the top of the field I must be with the top of the field. Lastly to be and do usually yield a high level of result of the HAVE part of the equation. It is only logical that the experience you produce for others comes with a payoff for yourself as well. I can only but highly recommend you surround yourself with the tribe you want to be a part of. If you dream the experience believe me it eventually becomes your reality.
I am living testament of that!!