breakthroughGoing into any business and creating huge revenue and profit breakthroughs is actually pretty simple…

I was thinking about this earlier today.

Doing some brainstorming.

And I thought that if I looked back at all of my really big successes with clients…  If I looked at opportunities where I created huge results in very little time…  It would most likely fit into less than 10 areas.

That is, the recommendations I made, the changes they implemented, were relatively small.

It was all about finding just the right thing to do, and doing it.

(You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “Little hinges swing big doors.”  This is it.)

I created a list for myself of the biggest impact points.  I found 8 main categories that everything fits under.  With some having a few notes or ideas underneath.

Of course, each could expand to fill an essay or a book on its own.  But this is the high-level thinking behind the biggest breakthroughs.

  1. Price.

Price is huge.  And it’s very common for us to have things priced wrong — and thus be suffering as a result.

Most pricing decisions are made on a whim.  Sometimes, they’re made based on the cost of delivering a product or service.  Very seldom are they made based on what the market wants to pay.

Sometimes — especially with products that can be sold at scale — a lower price is warranted.  While I generally argue against being the lowest-price provider, sometimes we just overprice for what the market wants.

And so a price test from $39 to $29 sells 5X more product at the lower price, and the lower margins are made up on volume.

Most often though, it’s increasing the price that has the biggest impact.  My favorite example was my client who I told to raise the price of his solar generator from $2,400 to $3,000 (roughly).  No increase or decrease in response — but it added half a million dollars to his bottom line.

There are all kinds of advantages to selling at a higher price.  Enough so that it’s worth testing premium pricing for your offering.

  1. Market and lists.

If you have just the right offer to just the right market, it’s almost impossible to fail.  If you’re speaking to the wrong market, it’s almost impossible to succeed.

There’s a lot you can do to choose your market.  Where you advertise.  What lists you go to.  How you present your offer in a mass-market publication.

The most important thing is that you need to choose your market.  Get selective.  The more specific the better.

Once you know a market you want to focus on, find their pain point.  Speak to that.  Connect it to your product or service.

From here, you can find others like them.  Move from targeted market to targeted market, adapting your message to match each market.

Being more focused on a specific market will inevitably increase your profitability selling to that market.

Also, finding new markets and lists to go to with your message and offering is a great way dramatically increase profits.  If you’ve been focused on one vertical, but are easily able to reach another, test it.  Sometimes there’s a market that’s parallel to yours that — with a little tweak to what you do — can suddenly create an opportunity that’s 2X, 5X, 10X what you were pursuing before.

  1. Offer.

I mentioned matching the perfect offer to the perfect market.  Your offer is just as important to your success as the market itself.  If you’re not selling something people want, you need to change your offer to change your result.

First and foremost, evaluate your product.  Is it actually what your market wants?  Do you need to tweak it or overhaul it completely to find a fit?  Can you add something to it to make it appeal to more people?  Can you take something away to make it appeal to more?

Also, what about the mechanics of the offer?

Are you guaranteeing your customer’s satisfaction?  How are you presenting the guarantee?  Can you make your guarantee compelling — even irresistible?  How can you take on the risk of the transaction yourself, to gain your buyer’s trust?

Is your product something that will prove itself, once your prospect uses it?  Can you offer a trial of the product?  Or a sample, if it’s a consumable product?

There are hundreds of considerations in structuring your offer, but these are a great start.

  1. Authority positioning.

All else being equal, people will continue to follow and do business with the authority figures in their market.  We all want strong leaders to follow.  Even (especially) leaders look to other leaders for inspiration, or for providing service outside of their expertise.

What can you do to establish authority positioning in your market?  Publications and media are important here, but they should be done within a certain context.

First, you want to offer preemptive education to your market.  That is, early on in the buying process, your market has a lot of questions they want to have answered.  Most marketers are content to simply make offers, and answer those questions when they come up.  You can establish yourself as a leader and authority by putting together education-based marketing on all the questions and concerns your market faces as they make their buying decision.  This also allows you to establish buying criteria.  The vast majority of businesses and marketers won’t do this.  If you do, you’ll automatically gain a level of thought leadership in your market.

Second, follow Jay Abraham’s Strategy of Preeminence.  This is a big concept, but here’s the elevator pitch.  Make yourself into the single-best provider of whatever it is you do.  Such that you are the #1 choice in your market for buyers who are fully educated about making the right decision.  You get them the best result.  You deliver the best experience.  Those who know, choose you.  Then, you can confidently present yourself in such a way that you convey that you are the #1 choice.  Walk the walk.  Then when you talk the talk, people will believe you and follow.

  1. Messaging.

Since copywriting is one of my top skills, I spend a lot of time here.  But it’s not necessarily the highest value I provide.

There are a few elements that are critically important in messaging.

First is the Unique Selling Proposition.  This is the answer to the question, “Why should I, your prospect, choose to do business with you over every other option available to me in the market, including going with a competitor, doing it myself, or not doing anything?”  If you nail the answer to that question (and it’s a big one!), you have one key element of your messaging down.  Then, integrate it into EVERYTHING you do.

Second is your problem/solution narrative.  It’s been said that a problem is a market.  That is, the real definition of a market is a set of potential buyers who have a problem they’d like to have solved.  You are able to establish a presence in that market by providing a solution to their problem.  The better you are able to elucidate their problem and present your solution to it, the easier it is to sell.

Third is your use of selling stories.  It’s very hard to get someone to buy without establishing an emotional connection with them first.  The single-easiest way to establish that connection is through story.  There are quite a few story templates that work particularly well in selling.  Once you find where your personal story matches one of those effective templates, find a way to work it into your sales pitch and you are a lot closer to a big breakthrough.

  1. Lead generation system.

Your business will live or die on its flow of new customers.  As much as re-selling to previous customers matters (more on that soon), getting new customers is just as critical.

Don’t make it haphazard.  Sit down and map out what your lead generation system will look like.  How do you reach them?  How do you introduce yourself?  How do you get them over the threshold, and into your physical or online shop?  What then?  What do your first communications with them look like?  How do you educate them about what it is you do?  How do you find out if they’re a good fit for your offerings or not?  What offer do you make first?  What do you do for folks who don’t respond to the first offer?

The better you get at creating a repeatable, scalable process for bringing new leads in through the door, the more sales and profits you’ll be able to create in your business.

Also a critical element of your lead generation system is how much you’re willing and able to pay for leads.  All else being equal, the person who can pay the most for leads in a market will become the dominant player.  While the gut instinct is to want to save marketing cost, the real winning strategy is being able to spend as much as possible to bring new customers in through the front door.

  1. Up-sell and back-end sales.

The three ways to grow a business are to get more customers, get them spending more each time they do business with you, and to get them buying from you more often.  Two of the three require on having something else to sell them.

This can be your own products and services.  It can be additional products and services from trusted joint venture partners, where you get a cut of the revenue for making the referral.  There’s a lot of ways you can get something else to sell.

The important thing is that once you’ve delivered a good customer experience, suddenly you have something more important than the revenue or profits from that first transaction.  You have a trusted relationship with your client and customer.  They are predisposed now to be more likely to want to do business with you again.  Plus, they’ll be more likely to buy higher-ticket items you may offer to them in the future.

This is probably THE biggest untapped opportunity in most businesses today.  Underestimating the willingness and ability of their current and past customer base to spend more with them.  Simply making the offer is one of the most powerful profit-boosting breakthrough opportunities you can leverage.

  1. Continuity.

This is somewhat tied to up-sells and back-ends, in that it often fits under that category.  However, it’s so powerful it deserves its own call-out.

Continuity or recurring purchases are perhaps the single-biggest driver of consistent growth for businesses that offer them.

The great thing about a continuity offer is you only have to sell it once, but it can continue to deliver profits for months and years.

The key is to find a way to continue delivering value on a regular basis, in line with the billing.  Make it something they don’t want to have shut off.

And they will continue to keep paying you money for a very long time.

Then, every new customer you add to the equation simply builds and builds.

Nearly every business — if they got creative — could find a way to offer monthly, quarterly, or yearly continuity.  Very few do.  That’s a huge opportunity gap waiting for a breakthrough.

These are just brief notes…

Each of these ideas deserves much deeper treatment.

But even this list alone could be used as a checklist in your business.

What opportunity to create a giant breakthrough are you missing out on?

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr