Steve Gordon of The Unstoppable CEO on Creating Leveraged Marketing Systems

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing Systems

 

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing Systems

As entrepreneurs, CEOs, or service providers, we sometimes get so focused a thing and so attached to what's going on in the day to day that when things come up outside of business where 100% of our attentions is needed, it becomes difficult to manage stuff. How did you deal with that and how do you prepare for the next time something personal comes up that takes you away from business? Steve Gordon, author of Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Referrals Half the Effort and The Exponential Network Strategy, helps service business entrepreneurs create leveraged marketing systems so they can spend less time on business development and more time on what matters most. Steve says building a very focused and talented team is important so you can take the time out worry free to do what you need to do outside of business.

Thank you to Carrie Roldan for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is the quality of the guests Nicole has and her ability to bring something different out of each guest. It's not your normal business advice and tips show.

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Steve Gordon of The Unstoppable CEO on Creating Leveraged Marketing Systems

Welcome, Steve Gordon. Thank you for being here, Steve. I'm super excited to have this conversation with you.

This is going to be fun. I'm excited to be here and I’m glad that it finally came.

As entrepreneurs, CEOs, service providers, we sometimes get so focused and so attached to what's going on in the day to day that when things come up in our families, where we're needed outside of the business and it's not like, “We're going to manage this stuff,” but it's like, “No., your attention needs to just 100% be away for now.” That happened for you and also for me. Where how did you deal with that? Were you prepared for it and in hindsight, is there anything that you'll do differently to prepare for the next time something personal comes up that takes you away from business?

So many of us are so wrapped up in building the business and I'm scheduled out. I'm usually scheduled out weeks in advance. Anything that pops up that disrupts that, things have to shift. For me, it wasn't a difficult thing to do. I'm always very clear about the order of priority of things and family comes above business by a pretty far margin. Not that the business isn’t important, but first things first. The instance you're talking about is my dad got to the point where they had to go in and do open heart surgery. We had maybe four or five days’ notice before they were going to do it, which was good. It allowed me to clear the decks. I have a very small focused and very talented team. Without that, I couldn't have taken that time out and been worry-free. I was able to go over and be in the hospital and be focused where I needed to be for that time and not have to worry about what was going on with work. These things happen. That's life. The older I get, the more I realized everybody experiences this sooner or later, particularly with parents. Parents are always getting older and I know you've been through something challenging as well. The big thing is to build a team that will support you when you need it and life is so much easier then.

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing Systems
Leveraged Marketing Systems: Family comes above business by a pretty far margin.

With so many years of experience, you know how to build a team. What are some of those components that have gone into finding those right people and nurturing that team and making sure that they can support the company when you're not available?

First and foremost, you got to find the right people. In the marketing world, everything lives and dies on marketing and sales. It does because you can't build a team without that. However, there's only a very small stage in any business where that is the only focus. It’s in that getting off the launch pad phase. Once you're off the launch pad, you still got to do your sales and marketing, but you got to be building that team at the same time. That's such a sifting process to find the right people. I don't know that I have any magic bullet for that. I've been in mastermind groups for close to twenty years now. The number one issue in almost every one of those groups is people.

In one of the first ones I was ever in, we’re fifteen, all CEOs of companies with anywhere from twenty to 150 employees. Every month when we'd meet, somebody would have people issue. We finally got to the point where we just said, “You know what we're going to tell you, you have to go back and fire him. You can't come back here to complain about them again unless you're going to do something about it.” We tried all kinds of rehabilitation within that group. Each of us experimented with different sorts of rehabilitating people to get them to work. It never panned out. Finding that group of people that's going to be with you on this journey is really critical. For me, what I found that work best is to start with people that believe in the mission that you're on. That's difficult in businesses where you haven't gotten clear on that mission. To me, that's the fundamental leadership job of the founder.

You and I met in San Diego. We were at an event that you are co-hosting. At that event, I met a gentleman by the name of Tim Francis. We had a talk because for me, for the last couple of years, people have always been the number one complaint and I'm getting better and better. I finally realized, I don't even want to figure this out. This is not my zone of genius, trying to figure out who's the right fit and sifting through the BS and all of that. Tim has a company called Profit Factory and they have a program called Great Assistant. Basically, he does all those things or his team does all those things that I have no interest in doing. I hired him the next day and have found an amazing team member through them that they found for me. I actually had to let go of somebody that had been with me for a few months and who was not a fit. I contacted him and said, “Find me somebody else.” They are on it again. For me and with the way Tim Francis' program works, it's like they are on the team, basically your HR team, finding those people that are a fit. That's been a real breath of fresh air for me as a newer entrepreneur who's had lots and lots of ups and downs with people.

It is such a huge challenge. We do something very similar. We use a company called BELAY Solutions and they do the similar thing. They go and sift through the talent for you. In general, we get a better result that way and it takes a lot less time. Back before all of these great services were around when I was running my first company, you put an ad in the paper. It was back in those days, you just sift it through. I talk a lot about what you just got to fire. I advise people of that at times before and it's a heartless thing and it's one of the most humane thing that you can do for a human being. What happens in most companies when you get to a point where you realize you need to part ways with another person that's on your team, you, as the entrepreneur, go, “Here are all the reasons why I don't want to do that.”

It's uncomfortable. I've had a lot of employees over the years. It's never a fun process. I hate doing it and because it's uncomfortable, we want to avoid it. Then we think about, “They've got a family.” They've got all these other reasons why we want to be a good human and hang onto them. Those are all great things, but the problem with that is, and the disservice that you do to that person is that you've already decided that they have no growth potential with you. That they are stuck where they are. You've pegged them in a hole with this is their capability and you're not going to most likely promote them or give them new opportunities. To me, that is about the worst sentence that you can give to another human being possible. As the leader, you've got to take the courageous act, be the one that comes forward and says, “This isn't a fit anymore,” for whatever reasons. We're going to go our way and you can go your way and we'll both find the right situation for each of us. Too often, I see people who don't make that decision and often for what they think are all the right reasons. It does such a disservice to the employee.

Over the years, you've obviously gotten maybe a thicker skin. You've gotten better at it, you've gotten more skilled at it. Can you think about some of those things that if you're looking back at when it was more uncomfortable, before you had systems or ways and things that you realize and it's like, “When this happens then I can do this.” At what point did things start getting easier in terms of people management and quicker where you're able to say, “I'm doing this person a disservice by keeping them. I want to nip it in the bud.” At what point where you go, “This is not working out. I've given them different opportunities. I've tried mentoring them. I've put in the energy. I've had my manager in there or whatever.” At what point where you realize, “It's done?” Do you go and have that meeting and how do you let them know?

It's never gotten any easier. It's still uncomfortable. It's not fun. The minute that it gets fun or enjoyable for you, you need to understand there's something wrong. I like to think about it in terms of where's the gap. What's missing from this situation that makes it not a good fit? It's difficult to sometimes determine that if you don't have really good outcomes where you know this is the concrete thing that you want them to deliver. That's the first thing. That's a difficult time-consuming process to go through to get clear on those outcomes, but I'll tell you that it will make your life so much easier. Tim Francis talks a lot about that in the way he builds systems. That, to me, is the foundation of it all.

If you've got those good outcomes, then it boils down to a couple of areas where you might have a gap. It could be in the attitude or motivation of the person. You can't motivate a person externally. They either come with batteries included or not. There may be an issue there where they're just not internally motivated to do the work that you're doing. They should go and do something that lights them up someplace else. It could be that you've got an attitude gap, where they aren't happy with whatever is going on in their life and this comes up a lot. That's great if that's the choice they make, but that means they're probably not a good fit for your organization and you don't have to live with that. The third area that you'll run into an issue is with the skills gap. If you've got the other two covered, they're fired up about what you're doing, and they've got an attitude where they show up and they're happy and energetic and all that, then most of the time you can overcome a skills gap. That one's easy, but you got to know what you're dealing with.

Definitely those deliverables have to be clear. Steve, thank you so much.

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Can you think of any times or any example because you have so much experience and I love your take here, and I know that this is not only in the mastermind, something that people deal with, but everywhere and my audience of entrepreneurs at all different levels maybe learning something before they get to that point. They maybe haven't started building a team or they have teams. I wonder, do you have a system in that when you recognize it's time to go and you know where the gap is and it's not the skills gap, it's something that can't be overcome? Do you send them an email to let them know you need to have a conversation? What's that process that you would go through to make it as painless for everyone and really frame it in that way of “This is best. This is a win for us all.”

You have to understand that having it to be painless for everyone is not a requirement. It's going to be painful most likely. You think about every personal breakup you've ever had. I've always approached it like, “Here's another human. How can we approach this in a way that is going to preserve the dignity of the human and at the same time not have us circling the drain and watering down the whole message with it?” I've found that just being direct and candid is the best approach. That's not easy, which is why most people avoid it and they'll come up with all these different excuses instead of just be straight. One of the things I hate about the way the legal system now deals with human resource challenges, because of all the litigation that's out there and my wife runs into this all the time. She manages an ophthalmology practice and they've got interest in her area. 50 people that report to her and she runs into this all the time where she's got somebody that's just a total cancer in the organization, but they've got an HR attorney that's coming in and saying, “No, you got to do these 50 different steps before you can let them go.” That's not good for anybody here.

If we do this in a way that preserves the dignity of that person and in a way that's respectful, most of the time you're not going to have an issue with any of the legal stuff. If we treat people well and respectfully, that's usually not an issue. Dragging it on, that for me is the source of so much of that animosity and conflict that's created. If you just deal with it head on and try to remove the emotion out. That's probably the biggest piece of advice I use. The few times that I had to do it early in my career, I'd be walking in visibly shaking because I was so nervous about and stressed about having that conversation. If you can get yourself to the point where with a few deep breaths you can actually get through it and deliver it confidently, the person that you're talking to most of the time will appreciate that. If you can leave that relationship on a high note and help them move on to the next step of their career in their life, everybody wins.

I know relationships matter to you, I wonder if we can go into another area here of letting people go. I'm guessing you've probably run into this a time or two in your years of experience as well, where you take on a client contract that then isn't going the way you'd hoped. How do you find releasing clients from or firing a client from working together?

That's a difficult question because anybody that's in the client business has a client that they wish they could fire. I've never met a person in the client business that didn't have one at all times then it rotates through the client’s roster. Occasionally, you'll get one that's just that bad. You have to be careful here because it's easy to just say, “Go ahead and get rid of him.” In some cases, businesses have created this situation where they've got one or two very large clients that they can't afford to fire because it's going to kill cashflow. I take a little more strategic approach to that. Fire them, but fire them when it's not going to totally hurt you. Build a plan to be able to fire them and put a deadline on it, but make sure you're not going to kill the business at the same time.

Assuming you're not in that situation, you've just got one that doesn't work. I always feel like if you've made a commitment to something to deliver on whatever contract you've got, whatever commitment you've made, deliver that and button it up as nice as you can. The next time they have a project for you, “We're booked or we'd be happy to do that if you'd add two zeros to the end of the check.” You might not say it to him like that, but you certainly can. In a proposal or a negotiation, just price it so high that they won't come back or you can have a perfectly honest conversation. I've had to do that a couple of times, where you just have to have a good frank conversation like, “We're probably not the right ones to serve you here. You need something else. Let me try and refer you,” and then pass them on to one of your competitors so they can have the fun.

You interview folks about their unstoppableness as CEOs and their leadership and their success points. What are some of the key points that you've learned over the years that you pass on and value passing on to those up and coming?

The name of our podcasts and our brand is the Unstoppable CEO and that came out of a conversation I was having with a buddy. We were talking business and he said, “Who is it that you really want to work with?” I started describing these business owners and they’re business owners that have been successful. They've been put through the paces and found some success and done that in spite of all of the roadblocks and things that get in the way and we all run into that. He said, “You mean they're unstoppable?” I was like, “That's it. They're unstoppable.” Having that ability, if you're going to go and try and build a business and even if you're just starting out, having that determination that no matter what, we're going to find a solution to whatever problem arises, that tomorrow's another day and we're going to keep fighting this and pushing forward, a single tip in there is that you just have to remain persistent and just keep going.

There's a quote we have on our website and I have it on the wall back behind me from Calvin Coolidge. He said to the effect that, there are all kinds of really intelligent people in the world, highly educated people. There are wealthy people, there are different talents out there, but the only thing that at the end of the day matters is persistence. If you can just keep going, then you're going to make it. To me that's the simplest advice and at the same time probably the hardest advice at different times in business, but that would be my advice to anybody starting out.

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing Systems
Leveraged Marketing Systems: There are wealthy people, there are different talents out there, but the only thing that at the end of the day matters is persistence.

Also, probably to people who are already along the path and something happens. I've met so many powerful people who were doing great for quite a long time and then something came and shifted and changed the whole situation, but those unstoppable CEOs are the ones that get up over and over no matter what and keep going through it, starting again.

Early in my career, one of my mentors said, “You have to own your results.” For a long time, I didn't know what that meant, “Own your outcomes.” How does that apply if you have a bad outcome? I've had bad outcomes at times, as we've gone through the different stages of business. I finally realized what he meant was you have to own the ultimate results. If you have a bad outcome now, is that going to be the end? Is that the result that you're going to own or are you going to push through and change it?

What inspired you to start a business for yourself in the first place?

I am thoroughly unemployable and I'm smart enough to know it. I got a job out of college. I was the tenth employee at a small consulting firm. It was a great experience. Ultimately, I was asked to take that company over and become the CEO about four years after I'd arrived and a fantastic experience going through all that. Those first four years were painful working for someone else, even though my mentor, the founder of that company, a great guy and a good friend, but I have a really hard time taking direction.

From there, what happened then? You left that opportunity and you started your own?

Yes, it was an industry that got hit incredibly hard in 2008 and we had a couple of partners and we looked at each other like, “This isn't going forward unless we're going to dump a whole ton of money into it,” which we could have done. We made the decision to go in different directions at that point, which in hindsight I think was the right decision. I love what we do now. Much more excited for that. That industry went through about a decades long. They're just coming out of it now and beginning to see a real uptake again. It was about a decade of really tough times. Could we have survived and made it through that? Yes, but what was to gain? We took our resources and put them elsewhere. What we do now is just tremendously exciting. We work with small businesses, professionals. We help them really build out systematic processes for getting clients. Most of them got a degree in something. They got a license. They had to take a test or certification. They’re been very focused on practicing whatever profession they're in and then they have to go sell it. That's a whole another animal and most of them aren’t prepared for that and that's where we step in.

You found the gap and found a way to serve those people that you enjoy and help them get what they do great out to their people, without worrying about stumbling through what they don't do. You're married, you have four children and have you found any strategies that have really worked for you in terms of work life balance, whatever that means to you. Being able to be fully present for your family who you already said is number one and at the same time, being able to provide for your family and the families of your employees and your clients and so on. What are some things that you've learned over the years that are working well for you to keep your priorities where they need?

Take great vacations. We've made a habit of taking vacations that the kids will remember. Hopefully, they forget some of the late nights that I've had to put in and that everybody that's building a business puts in. I'm one of those that doesn't believe that there is balance or that there should be. That's this false idea that stresses people out. There's a pendulum, it swings back and forth, and sometimes it's way over at the side. You're working a lot and you're out of balance in your personal life. Sometimes it swings back the other way and you're not working as much and you're spending a lot of time with family. Very rarely is it dead in the middle in balance. I'll tell you just recently, is way out of balance for me on the family side, which is great.

Our oldest daughter's graduating and going to college. I've been on college visits around the time that my dad was in the hospital. We were doing all of those. I was traveling before he was in the hospital, I was traveling right after. I was crossing my fingers because we had important college visit for her about four days after he was in surgery. Thankfully he was well enough I could leave. Now, going through graduation, there are all kinds of things. It seems like every night of the week, we've got something going on. It swings back and forth within that period of time. I had a week where I probably worked 60 or 80 hours, but I'm off two and a half days next week and a bunch after that. For me it's always out of balance. I look at it on the whole for the year.

My wife and I sit down usually sometime between Christmas and New Year with calendar and map out where are we going to devote time. Usually, that's devoting some time for each other where we're both just taking a day off and not doing anything, go in and getting a massage or whatever. Then we've got time when we're traveling with the kids and other things and try and plug all of that in so that it's all baked in. I try and bake in as much on my business travel as possible at the beginning of the year so that we know where things are swinging with one way or the other. It makes it so much easier than to figure out which phase you're in.

I like that you planned that out first to make sure that that's what gets your attention first and then the other things come after.

All of us who are building businesses, especially in the early days, we could work seven days a week. There's always something to do at the end of the day. I never leave with the completed to-do list, do you?

For me, that's the fun of it. What I've found for myself is that I've been getting better and better about. It’s comes over time and with practice, but I find myself getting better and better about actually being good with not getting things done. Oftentimes, the things that I find I have resistance around and it's exhausting, it's draining. If I let it simmer and I don't push myself to get through it and I focus on other things that I'm inspired to get through, oftentimes those really exhausting things work themselves out. Whether it's that I realized, “I'm so glad I didn't do that because now I'm doing something better,” or even with recordings. I've got a system for certain clients that I work with that they go through some automation and I was all set and inspired to get it all done and then I only got some done and then I was stuck. My uncle died and I went to see my father and all this. I thought, “I have to get this done.”

In the midst of all that, something shifted where I wound up taking on other contracts that had zero automation. Then when I was going through those, I was like, “I need to add this to the automated version that I totally forgot about.” Things like that I find happen, the more I don't stress about the to-do list. In terms of prioritizing that, I look at my emails, what ones really need a response right away and what ones can wait and things like that. That's been a journey for me with practice to do and also just taking back my calendar where I used to be at the mercy. I wasn't knowing in advance what I wanted to do. I was unsure and had to make decisions when things came up. Now, I'm really good. I'm getting better and better. I can't wait to meet me in a year. I'm good at looking at here's the things that I want to do and I want to participate in and the people I want to connect with and how I'm going to do it, just like coming to San Diego. I had that invitation and I went, “I'm coming for that party.” That's it. Nothing else. I went to San Diego from Southern Ontario to be at your party and that was amazing. I had no other obligation there. That's been a lot of fun.

I'll tell you the big shift for me when you're talking about planning things out and unblocking the days, it creates a constraint in your schedule when things are off the table, to the extent that you can do it. If you're going to travel or do any of that on those days, booked the tickets, when you take the days off, so that you're locked in. By doing that, it makes your decision making easier because you've already made the decision. The other thing that it does is it helps you focus on the right things. What I found was that before I was disciplined about doing that and that whole idea of putting constraints and I filtered that down to my weeks and my days and how I plan them. There was a lot of BS that got done. It didn't really need to get done. Maybe it was good to do, but it wasn't great. It wasn't the best use.

By taking those days off the table now, you've got to figure out how to do whatever it is you're supposed to accomplish within the days you got left on a weekly, daily basis. I go through the same thing. On a daily basis, I used to make to-do lists. It would basically go down the page. Then you always feel like crap at the end of the day, I didn't get anything done. You did, but you didn't get the 50 things done because that wasn't realistic. For the last few years, sometimes I do it on a little three by five card and now I do it in a journal. I write three to five things. That’s it. If those three or five things get done, I'm done. I'm out.

I can legitimately walk out, close the door, lock the office. We're closed, because those things got done that moved the ball forward. That's not new advice. That's not going to be rocket science for anybody listening to this. It wasn't new advice when I finally started to implement it. I've heard it a million times, but if you're hearing this and you've heard it the 999,999 times, this is the millionth for you, then do it because it'll change things dramatically. The big change for me was I got focused on doing more of the right things and just had to let the other stuff go. The other thing that it did is it created this feeling of success every day. I've got those three things done and sometimes I go and do more. I might do ten things, but I got the three done that were on the list. It just becomes so easy now. Every day is like a pleasure.

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing Systems
Leveraged Marketing Systems: I might do ten things, but I got the three done that were on the list. It just becomes so easy now. Every day is like a pleasure.

I love that you're talking about this. I love that you're bringing it up. I also love that you say it was not new to you and it may not be new and this might be the millionth time. Because as you were talking, I was like, “I have taught people about Stephen Covey's Big Rock Theory. I know the Big Rock Theory. I have implemented for very short periods of time throughout my life the Big Rock Theory, but I fall off.” As you were talking I was like, “Yes, I need to get the cards. Yes, I need to actually, not I need to, I want to.” I'm finally at a point and maybe I'm going to regress again, but I want to do that because I've been naturally doing that. I've been taking more time to go, “The important things are done. Yes, there's a million other things, but there are going to be there tomorrow, so I'm going to go hang out with a friend or I'm going to go do some setting up in the yard.”

I know you're down in Florida where it's warm always, but here in Canada, it’s the seasonal change, means there's stuff to do. In the past I would put those things off because they weren't moving the needle forward in my business, but now, I'm able to say, “I only need to do certain right things. I will take care of those big rocks first and everything else can fill in as it may, but I have to take care of myself and feel good and then the rest of this stuff comes nice and easily.” I want to make sure that you get to talk about some things that you would like to talk about. I know you have a book you may want to mention.

We launched my second book. The second book, which I'm excited about, it's been well received. It's called The Exponential Network Strategy. It is a very simple way for you to go out and connect with the key influencers and the prospects that you're trying to reach, but not show up as a salesperson. We've been doing this for quite a number of years before podcasting existed. We used to occasionally do this and record them and send them out on CDs. We would interview someone. We do an audio interview just like what we're doing here. What we have found is that there's almost no better way to connect with someone that you don't know well and you can reach out to them and do so totally cold and quickly build a relationship particularly if you're working business to business. Although we do have a client that's doing an amazing job with this and he targets consumers. It can be done there as well, but primarily business to business.

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing Systems
The Exponential Network Strategy: A Simple, Authentic Method for Multiplying Your Business Network

The idea is that you reach out to an influencer, a prospect that you want to have a relationship with and you asked them to come and be interviewed, where you can share their expertise and share their expertise with everyone that's in your audience, your list of prospects and clients. You don't need a big audience to do that. You don't have to have a full podcast like this, although it helps. We've just found it to be an incredibly effective way to build up these connections really quickly and without spending a lot of time. When I first started my current business, I'd go around here locally to the chamber of commerce and to all of those places and network and it takes a ton of time to do that. I was probably doing something at breakfast, lunch or dinner three or four days a week and you want to talk about life being out of balance, life was way out of balance. I ended up going cold turkey on that and I started a podcast back in 2012. I interviewed about 52 people. All influencers in my market. Those relationships then were relationships that I was able to lean on when I launched my first book. Fifteen of those 52 people helped promote my very first book back in 2014. In one week those fifteen people that I've built those relationships with, sent 5,268 people to my book in a week and doubled our business almost instantly.

That's the power of the strategy. You're building relationships, you're giving value first and it's such an easy way to do it. We now do this as a service for clients where basically they just have to dial the phone and get on with one of the influencers that they're meeting with. They don't have to worry about any of the technology and it's so fun because we'll take a business owner who isn't into marketing or isn't skilled with technology or anything like that. They can pick the phone up and talk with somebody. They'll do one of these interviews and usually after the first or second one, I'll get an email like, “This is so awesome.” It's such a fun way to connect with people. They get energy out of it. I've told our team, I said, “This is the first thing we've ever done that actually creates joy in our client.” It's just a fun way to go out and build your network and it's easy. It doesn't take a lot of time. You can do it in about an hour a month, so you don't have to keep running around all over town and go into this crazy networking things. You just get people on the phone periodically. There are some other great byproducts, too. You can share those things with everybody that's on your list. People love eavesdropping on these conversations. It's wonderful content and it's so much easier than trying to write an article.

We had talked about that, how you were doing that before and even when you talk about it, you're so lit up and the energy just comes through.

If I can do interviews like this all day long and get paid for it, I'd do it. The days that we record our podcasts are my favorite days of the week.

I'm excited because I'm going to be there one of these days. I look forward to that conversation with you as well. I just want to check, do you have a couple more minutes because we are over a bit? By For my audience members in the Listener's Lounge, they're seeing it now pretty much right after we record it, but for those people who are tuning into iTunes or iHeartRadio or Stitcher or wherever you're getting this feed from, the third book's already out. What is the third book that's just about to launch?

We don't have a title for it yet. We tease the content a little bit. For the businesses that we work with, we basically boiled down the process of attracting clients into three steps. I always like to focus on things that don't change over time. There's not like a Facebook hack or anything like that in there. The reason that I focused on that is because I started in business a year before we had the internet at my first company. We still use fax machines and I like to work on things that don't change much, because I find my life is just more peaceful that way. We focused on three things, opening up relationships. We just talked about that. The first book really goes into detail on that. This next book will touch on it a little bit. We talked about nurturing relationships because for the businesses we work with, they're all selling a high ticket service. They're not going to be selling you a doughnut or a cheeseburger. Their clients pay them thousands to many tens, hundreds or even millions of dollars. It's not a trivial sale. It doesn't happen overnight. Most of the time funnels don't work for that type of business. You need to start a relationship and you need to build trust and nurture that relationship over time.

Time is the one ingredient that all the marketing gurus don't want to tell you about. That's the most important ingredient and trust building. We show you how to do that and build that over time and do it without it taking forever. I've been publishing newsletters since mid-‘90s to our clients. They take a ton of work. We've eliminated all that work and we're going to talk about in the book how we've done that. Then the third piece is, if you've ever had a newsletter or send out emails regularly or whatever, and then you got frustrated because nobody seemed to contact you when you send out that weekly or monthly newsletter. It’s because there was this missing piece and it's what we call a conversion window. In the book, we’ll be walking through what that is and how they work. I'm a big believer in using events on the calendar as marketing tools.

You don't have to create all of this false scarcity and urgency because the calendar creates it for you. The event is happening tomorrow at noon and it's an opportunity for you to open up a window that a potential client can decide to come through. The windows open for a little while and then it closes and then you can open it up again for a little while and then it closes. By giving your prospects this periodic opportunity to take a next step. Most of the time, when we're implementing this with our clients, it's a webinar or a live presentation that they're giving on a regular basis and it's just a great way to get a prospect moving who is otherwise just hanging around in your world and motivating them to move into the sales process. Those three pieces together give you a really potent, little marketing formula there. That's what we're going to talk about in the next book.

I'd love to share the current book with folks. You can go to our website. If you go to the UnstoppableCEO.net/Nicole, you'll be able to get our current book there and you can get it for free. We're giving away the eBook and we actually have a whole series of videos where one of our longtime clients actually interviewed me on video, chapter by chapter and I explained the whole thing. You can get that for free on the website.

I'm going to get that because I want to see those videos, and I'm excited about the book as well. Any final words of wisdom before we part ways?

For folks listening, just get in motion, go take some action. We've talked about a lot of different topics now. Chances are one of them hit home, so what are you going to do and go make it real for you? Put it in practice.

Thank you so much for being with us, Steve.

Thanks, Nicole. It has been fun.

Resources mentioned:

About Steve Gordon

BBR 264 | Leveraged Marketing SystemsSteve Gordon is the author of Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Referrals, Half the Effort, and his latest book, The Exponential Network Strategy. He’s the host of The Unstoppable CEO Podcast and has written over 400 articles on marketing for service businesses. Through his firm, he helps service business entrepreneurs create leveraged marketing systems so they can spend less time on business development, and more time on what matters most.

At age 28, Steve Gordon became the CEO of an engineering/consulting firm. Twelve years later, after growing that firm’s revenue by 10-times he started his second business, consulting with businesses across 30 industries—including manufacturing, professional services, construction, and consulting—to design sales, marketing and referral systems for high-ticket/ high-trust products and services.

 


Thanks again to Carrie Roldan for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.

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