The Five Critical Steps to Success

Posted on January 6, 2013 by

There’s a lot of ways to make a million bucks, but most involve some kind of business, and that business must have the potential to achieve a high income, or all one has is a low paying job he/she happens to own. We all have a choice. So, why not choose a business that can make you rich?

I know a dentist who spent $400,000 on two sandwich shops which his family runs and can barely break even. There’s no way to sell because there are hundreds on the market and a business making no money isn’t worth much, especially when it has no upside potential. He’s headed for a $400,000 seminar, but hey, we all take them and look how much smarter he’ll be the next time.

In 1982, I was bankrupt broke, working as a mechanic, 35 years old and clueless. I got into a heated argument with my wife over a washing machine. She wanted a new one and I wanted to fix the old one because I didn’t have the $150 to spend.

That night, there was no sleep. All I could think about was how big of an “a—hole” I was for arguing with a mother of four whom I’d already been married to for 17 years because she wanted to wash clothes for her family. The next day, I started looking for a way out. I didn’t want to live like this for the rest of my life. There had to be something I could do to make a better living.

My way out was real estate. I started reading books and attended a seminar to get me started. Greed and hunger took over from there. Before I knew it I’d bought and sold several hundred houses without using my money or credit, and still do it today, over 2,000 now.

I tripled my income easily the first year, and it continued to climb for years thereafter until I started creating courses on what I know, and selling them in 1987. Then my income tripled again.

Today, my company continues to market information products to real estate investors and those who want to triple their income on the internet or learn how to start and grow any business. Since that has become my chosen field and hundreds of thousands have gone through our training, it puts me in a good position to see what people do right and what they do wrong.

One lesson I learned the hard way has become my credo:

The Less I Do, The More I Make

No, that doesn’t mean you get paid for not working. But, it does mean you must do only the things no one else can and let other people do what they do best and get out of their way. If your life is never-ending minutia and every day goes by with no activity to grow your business, it’ll never be more than a job and soon be one you’ll want to quit. The boss must stay focused on revenue and spend every day increasing it. No one else in the company cares about it more than the boss, the owner, the receiving the major benefits of a business.

Most waste time the same way, day-in and day-out and not one productive thing gets done.

These are five steps to any business, regardless of its product or service. I buy and sell real estate, own a restaurant, have several online businesses, develop real estate, own an information marketing company, a consulting business, speak at events and a few other odds and ends. These five steps apply to all of them. FYI, I don’t have to be present for any of these businesses to operate and, in fact, I’m not present much.

HERE’S THE FIVE STEPS

  1. Locate Prospects – Without them there is no business and this is where many owners fail. They’re great at doing the thing they sell, but suck at marketing. I’d rather be great at marketing and suck at the thing I sell. It can and should be hired out anyway, not done by you. I’m a lousy cook, so it’s a good thing I’m not my own chef. I’m great at buying houses, but not one thing I do can’t be done by someone else. I love internet marketing, but the day you find me building my own website you have my permission to shoot me. My time is spent getting business until I replace myself, then I watch my replacements. Focus on revenue, not cost control.
  2. Prescreen Prospects – There’s a big difference between prospects and suspects. Until you receive money for a product or service you have a prospect, not a customer. Until a prospect shows serious interest and is predisposed to do business with you because they know what you can do for them, you have a suspect. Your objective is to get suspects to prospects to customers ASAP cost effectively. That means 20% of the budget should be spent on getting suspects and 80% on converting to customers, the exact opposite that most businesses do. Usually 80%-95% of any suspect pool will never buy so don’t spend time trying to make chicken salad out of chicken manure.
  3. Construct and Present Offers – With no offer, there is no sale. In real estate, it’s the offer to purchase. In a restaurant, it’s the menu and a waiter upselling. Online, it’s the sales letter. In retail, it’s the inventory proudly displayed or on sale. In all businesses, there better be an offer and the owner must learn to present it in the form the consumer wants to receive it. That usually means multiple media. A business with only one way to get customers is a business on its way out. One is a bad number in business.
  4. Follow-Up – 82% of the revenue in most businesses comes from the second to the seventh contact with a prospect. No doesn’t mean no. It only means see me later when time and circumstance change my mind. That means a business that doesn’t follow up with a sequential campaign to capture customers will lose up to 82% of its potential revenue. Ask yourself, when’s the last time a business, any business, followed up with you? The key is to work hard converting prospects and a little on suspects, but neither can be done without a database of both. I’m appalled at how few businesses even keep a list of their customers, which is their largest and most valuable asset. Have you seen a restaurant lately even ask your name, much less do any work to capture your contact info? I can assure you, mine does. You ain’t getting out the door until we give you a shameless bribe to get on our newsletter list.
  5. Close Quickly – That means get the money. I’m shocked at how many businesses get the bride right to the altar and never ask for a “call to action.” You must ask for money, fully expect to receive it and not quit until you do. There’s no shame in swapping products and services for money. It’s how businesses survive, and the better you get at it the faster you’ll triple your income. Let the staff handle the minutia while you focus on closing sales and training others to do the same, until you’re not needed anymore.

Let’s recap! If you want to have a successful business and triple your income, you must:

  • Put yourself in a position to do so in a business where it can happen.
  • Second, build a marketing system to attract suspects, convert to prospects and then to buyers.
  • Third, repeat, repeat, repeat

It’s not rocket science: It’s the Chunka Theory – the chunka comin in must be larger than the chunka going out.

Ron LeGrandRon LeGrand is the world’s leading expert in residential quick turn real estate and a prominent commercial property developer. Ron has bought and sold over 2,000 single family homes over the past 30 years, and currently owns commercial developments in nine states ranging from retail, office, warehouse, residential subdivisions and resort

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