Accelerating Business Growth

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"How often do you MAKE time to STOP and just think?"

Today I’ve decided to share with you probably one of the most powerful personal development stories I've ever heard.

The Mexican Boatman…

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos – I have a full and busy life."The American scoffed, "I’m a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.

Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.

You would control the product, processing and distribution.

You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"To which the American replied, "15-20 years.""But what then?"The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Purchase Offer) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.""Millions. Then what?"The American said, "Then you would retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife Maria, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

How I used the idea…

When I first read this story the light bulb came on!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the pace of life, becoming so busy, rushing around from one activity to the next, spinning multiple plates and not making the time to stop, sit back and think.

This story made me examine my goals and really think about the goals I’d set for myself and most importantly…why I wanted to achieve them.

Still today when I catch myself rushing from one place to the next and feel I’m loosing the balance in my life - a 30 second re focus, by reading this story helps me to put everything into perspective, and re address the scales of balance.

My suggestion…

Re read this story a few times. Take some 'quiet time' and examine your goals – some you might have already achieved, some you might decide are not worthy of your time and effort and those you decide to pursue will be the ones which you know will really make the difference and allow you to achieve precisely what you want out of life - both personally and professionally.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

“1 in 3 Customers (33%) do not buy your complete range of products and services simply because they do not know you do them!”

Are you and your business unknowingly part of this statistic?

A thought provoking questions isn’t it!

And as for the statistics – well, some sources say it’s even worse than this – probably more like 2 in 3. Now if you only have one product or service then it’s probably different. However to put it into context, one well known media company we worked with had just 4 products and services. Their penetration rate of all 4 products into their client base was just 0.13%.

Now it wasn’t as bad as it seems, because when you profiled the client base only 10% were prime for all 4 products and services. However, that’s still only a penetration rate of 1.27%. More on this case study below and the impact that this strategy which I’m about to share with you had on their business growth.

Let’s bring this idea to life…

If I was with you and your team debating this question, one of the first exercises I’d ask you to do is to write down on a piece of paper, in 5 seconds, a number which equates to the total number of products & services your customers/clients can buy from you.

In 7 years of doing this exercise personally, and from the consulting and training teams at Pti, the feedback 99.9% of the time is the same.

We’ve yet to find an organisation with more than 20 people in the business, and a product and service offering of 10 plus, where every one in the business can articulate by a single number their total offering.

Now, if all your team in your business cannot quantify the precise number – who else can’t?

Yes – of course your customers and clients!

This, in fact is the number 1 reason why most people do not buy ALL of the products and services from you they could - simply because they do not know that you sell them!

Could this be the case in your business?

A couple of questions for you to bring this idea to life:

+ Have you ever come away from a customer meeting and thought, “I should have asked about …”?

+ Have you ever had a customer tell you that they’ve bought a product/service from someone else that they could have bought from you? How frustrating is this???

+ Are you missing sales (and cross-selling opportunities) of products/services to current customers?

+ Do you have a systematised process to educate and up sell customers and clients on your full compliment of products and services available for them? – A subject very close to my heart!

If you answered yes to any of the first 3 questions and a resounding no to the 4th then this concept I’m about to share with you might just be of interest. It’s called…

The Magic Matrix…

We need a tool, a process, a success formula in order to guarantee we consistently educate our Clients on the full range of Products & Services they can buy from us and there is such a tool. It’s called the Magic Matrix.

This is so simple to put into practice and yet few companies or individuals have realised the power of the information already available to them from their own records.

This is how it works:

Imagine a grid, a chess board...

Down the left hand side are listed all your customers/clients and along the top are all your products & services.

All you do is colour in the meeting square where the customer or client currently buys your product or service.

What are left are your windows of opportunity – and through a simple process called Told/Sold you can educate the customers on those open windows. We use a traffic light system in our business to do the Told/Sold process. I know our consultants run the same system with a lot of our clients as well.

The education can be done either through face to face contact, email marketing, direct mail, telesales to name just a few. The key point is the education process never stops.

You consistently have to educate your customers and clients in a systematic way in order to keep your company brand fresh in their minds, and most importantly the individual products & services which they can buy from you.

The journey and process never stops!

Think about this ezine for a moment. It’s a great way of ‘adding value’ to you by sharing proven time tested and leading edge strategies which will grow your business and develop your people.

However the point being, it’s systematised and happens every two weeks. This is just one of the strategies in the marketing mix of the ongoing Pti contact strategy for both existing and potential new clients.

This is probably the fastest explanation of the Magic Matrix I’ve ever given – however I’m sure you have the framework. And this is only one use of the Magic Matrix – we have 33 in total!

Penetration Rates…

We haven’t got time to go into it today, however it’s fascinating when you start to measure the penetration rates of your products & services – particularly if you do it by sales person!

All sales people have favourite products. This is a great way of identifying skills gaps in knowledge and ability and sharing success formulas of which people are best at selling which products.

With one client recently we actually worked out the value of the opening windows where their clients were not currently buying. It came to over 1 million – and that was just from the existing ‘live’ clients.

You can probably tell I’m passionate about this subject!

The Benefits…

+ The Magic Matrix will focus on 3 of the 4 key questions of business growth

+ A proven system for tracking penetration rates – overall, vertical and horizontal.

+ Block competition.

+ Identify strategic alliances.

+ Capitalise on the sales, marketing and development spending that’s already taken place.

What impact does it have on business growth?

What if I told you one business grew from 2.6 million to over 9 million in just 2 years and a key part of their strategy was the Magic Matrix.


A major Media Company with 500,000 plus customers and just 4 products and services who increased sales to existing customers by 227% on one product line and 183% on another in just 8 weeks!


A well known IT company who said the matrix was responsible for year on year double digit growth.

I could list 100’s more examples here of the success stories and case studies of the impact the matrix can have on business growth.

Just imagine what impact potentially it could have on the growth of your business?

Take Action: Achieve More

Here’s some thoughts on some actions and how you can personalise this idea for you and your business:

+ Identify your complete list of customers/clients.
+ Perhaps even have a separate matrix for new business, dormant and prospect customers.
+ Create your Matrix either in excel or linked into a software/CRM system.
+ Identify who has already bought what by shading in the boxes. Perhaps use the traffic colour coding system like we do at Pti.
+ Create your told and sold process and…
+ Keep great records of the increase in penetration rates, turnover and profits.


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