4 out of 5 businesses don’t have a plan for the year.
And you wonder why you’ve been missing the growth you wanted?
Listen to this week’s episode where we talk about the journey of CHI going from seven figures to eight figures to selling over nine figures in our services.
There are some important market data points you should know about for planning into 2022 we cover in the episode…
As well as some client stories of successful exits in the most unexpected ways.
- Want to know what’s keeping you from doubling your sales in the next 12 months? Take our quick QUIZ to get answers: Howtodoublesales.com
- If you’d like to have a profound breakthrough in your business, schedule your breakthrough call with a LIVE expert here: Chetholmes.com/Breakthrough
- Claim your FREE chapter 4 from the top 10 most recommended marketing and sales books of all time! Visit: Ultimatesalesmachine.com to find out how you Create 9X More Impact from every move you’re already making to win clients!
[00:00] Ted Miller III: Hey, you know, with life there’s ups and downs. So why not just make your F-you money along the way? So it just makes ups and downs a little easier.
[00:08] Amanda Holmes: Hello, everyone, Amanda Holmes here, CEO of Chet Holmes International. And I’m so delighted to have with me, Ted Miller III.
What a great way to kind of just end this whole year, reflecting on it and going into this new year with somebody that has been a part of man, our organization, we’re now partners now, but you were a part of it back when my father first started when we were first, you know, just trying to get to the seven figures and then got to the eight figures and selling over nine figures. Now it’s – you’ve been a part of that whole process. So we’re grateful to have you.
[00:42] Ted Miller III: Well, it’s my pleasure. I mean, we’re – earlier outside of this show, we were reviewing some mastery calls from a decade ago and a decade ago feels like yesterday.
Cause as soon as I was listening to it, I just dropped back into that moment. So the earliest setting was March 14th in 2002 when we partnered up and, you know, your father was coming out of re early retirement. And, you know, he was, he was selling movies to Warner brothers and stuff for a little bit.
And so he wasn’t in this business and he decided to retire early, but he said, “No, Hey, you know, with life there’s ups and downs. So why not just make your F-you money along the way? So it just makes ups and downs a little easier.”
And so that’s what he wanted to do. And that’s how he did it.
[01:27] Amanda Holmes: I love that. Well, over the span, you’ve worked with over 10,000 businesses, which is quite a feat to say. I am so amazed.
[01:36] Ted Miller III: We’ve had 250,000 together. We’ve had a hundred million dollars we’ve done in business coaching consulting. I’ve worked with 25,000 of them. Can you believe that?
[01:44] Amanda Holmes: Oh you’re up to 25,000? I’m sorry. I don’t –
[01:50] Ted Miller III: No, you just stop counting. Like I stopped counting – that last figure came from Doug Wilder and he networked with us in a decade. So I stopped counting 24 different countries and 25,000 clients, you know, because at what point does it make sense to keep counting? But, yeah, you could imagine a lot of entrepreneurs have come to us saying “I desperately want to double the size of my company, but I don’t think it’s plausible. I’ve been building this company for ages, maybe 10 years. But I got stuck in stagnant.”
You know, there’s a common hiccup. Your father and I used to tell the old story of zero to a hundred million all the time. That wasn’t the ad that really broke us free. We can play that ad or speak to it if it’s relevant, but the storyline is every entrepreneur – if they really grind it out, can drag it up to a million bucks working half days, six days a week, 12 hour long days – that’s a half-day, you can make it to a million, but then to go to two, you got to have a second in command or another set of skills. If you want to go to five, it’s a completely different set of skills to operate at five than it was at one or two.
And then again at 10 to 11’s a hiccup, 25 to 30 is a hiccup, 50s a hiccup, a hundred million’s a hiccup. And so we help people get past those hiccups, which is really a reflection of their skills.
You had some data earlier that you shared before he started. Why don’t you cite that? Because that could be really relevant now that people are going into the new year and goals are kind of standard January 1st kind of points of perspective.
So, what’s your data?
[03:17] Amanda Holmes: Well, to preface that as well. Are you looking back on what your data was a year ago of “Yes. These were the plans that I had for 2020, right? “ So I can’t believe it, but four out of five small to medium-sized businesses have no business plan. Four out of five! And yet 71% of the fastest-growing companies have a very detailed business plan for where they’re going, how they’re creating their KPIs, right?
People come to us all day every day saying, “Okay, I think I need to be better about creating KPIs.”
[03:57] Ted Miller III: Well, I think I know why. I think I know why there is such a big difference is you don’t know what you don’t know, meaning when you’re small and you’re stuck in your trading dollars for hours, Amanda, you have yet to crack your code.
So Chet and I had no business plan. We kept coming up with new stuff. Your father was really brilliant going, “Hey, we’re going to do this new thing.” And I was really brilliant at selling a thing. So I’m like, “Yeah. Okay, I’ll run with it. Let’s go try this.” And then we tried that and we tried this and we make a million bucks and don’t get us wrong. One, two, $3 million. No one’s getting wealthy.
When you’ve got staff members, you’ve got ad spend and you’re trying new stuff, that’s when it’s most expensive. When you’re trying new stuff, it’s new ads, new team, new staff members, you’re not getting anywhere. So until you crack your code, there’s a moment in time where if you’re able to express discipline on how to get a consistent flow of new clients, and you can start adding water, watch it grow, meaning you could just turn on more ad spend. And that’s what we did. We cracked our code through Sirius satellite radio. And everything changed.
We isolated our focus. We finally came up with a plan where we were selling one thing that was this, by the way, 2.0, actually. This is a 3.0, that’s not fair. I’m alluding to the DVD set – a 2.0 way back in the day on a Sirius satellite radio where we said, “Learn how you can double the size of your company.”
You know, if you’re like learning how to publicize your company call 809 40 40 52. I worked with 60 Fortune 500 companies. Now that cracked their code and we went from 3 million to 7, 7 to 17, 17 to 34 million. So we 10X our company in three years by cracking the code. So why do so many people don’t have goals?
I don’t know if they’ve learned how, what their model should be. They don’t have a plan and they don’t have an understanding. And you can’t see the trees through the forest is the old sentiment. So that’s why I think so many people come to us, Amanda, is there are five forms of strategic innovation.
And one of those strategic forms of innovation is new voices. And we bring a new voice, a new distinction, or a way to look at your own company that you may have been entrenched in for decades, but because you’ve been in it for decades, you’ve run your own – like you don’t know it, but you’ve been running your own track so long.
You run yourself into these ruts and you just don’t think there’s a way out. And then we come along and we sounded a little kind of braggadocious – double the size of your company in 12 months. You’re like, “No, you can’t.” I was like, “Really, what do you really want?” “I want profits.” Okay. And then boom, one profound breakthrough. And they realize we can double our profits or maybe a fast-growth strategy.
Your Dream 100 course was fantastic. If people didn’t pick that up, that’s the fastest growth strategy of all time. Your black Friday special on the core story, another fast-growth strategy that could single-handedly double the size of your company in 12 months. Fantastic.
And the least expensive thing that you sell is probably not the best, but maybe one of the better places to start is an assessment what’s happened in 2021, how well did I do. Ask questions from a unique perspective that you wouldn’t ask yourself allows you to become self-aware because know thyself, you know, is the ultimate place you want to start from.
So know your own company enough to where you could ask strong questions and seek out the distinctions that can make it go from good to absolutely great.
And I’ll end on my piece of data I pulled up for you. Kauffman Foundation shared that 66% of companies that landed on the Inc. 5000 list. Within six to eight years, they ended up disadvantaged, sold, shrunk in size, or out of business.
And what they find out, because the business grows faster than the executive, their skill, and their management team’s skill to manage that growth. They fail to acquire a different set of skills to grow to that next level.
So they ended up unfortunately growing it just to lose it all. How sad is that?
[08:07] Amanda Holmes: I had a client that did that. They grew by 700% and it was magnificent to be a part of that growth. They were, of course, direct client. And then once they hit that growth, they became so dysfunctional as a team.
They were high performing team until they hit that, that higher level and they just could not sustain it. And it broke my heart.
[08:29] Ted Miller III: Well, it happens. It happens everywhere. It’s happened to us. And what’s beautiful is 25,000 clients later, what your challenges are are not new. We feel like they’re so unique to our own business, but they’re not terribly new.
That’s why I think the greatest business book they could ever take the time to read is the Ultimate Sales Machine. If you haven’t done so, go grab that. 12 of the single greatest impact areas that could profoundly grow your business.
[08:57] Amanda Holmes: Let’s both hold it up. I love that.
[09:03] Ted Miller III: Let’s get a little selfie shot.
Chi ching, should we post that out?
[09:08] Amanda Holmes: Yes, definitely. I’m curious because, so I know – because every six months, I do the opportunity assessment. I just love the thing. It’s such a great diagnostic and it takes me, it makes me see what shifts and differences are happening in my business. But can you give an example of a client that maybe they didn’t – they just didn’t know what they didn’t know, right? And that one distinction changed and how it generated revenue or profit.
[09:36] Ted Miller III: Sure. Well, the benefit of being here from day one is I got stories that – it’s always convenient to tell the story from today, but you want to know, was it lasting change? Did it end well? Are you a part of – was it a part of the 66 that ended up closing business and they lost everything?
So this one I know for a fact had nothing but great success and they really embodied every element from Ultimate Sales Machine. And here’s what they didn’t know. First of all, that CEO – heart-centered man. Driven from his heart to want to contribute. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs are artistic and heart-centered. We attract a lot of conscious entrepreneurs, Amanda. And yet that doesn’t always equate to barracuda skills to better grow a biz.
And so they had never grown a company past 5 million. They were at like $4.7 million when they responded to a radio ad. As he was driving down, you know, 94 heading home, at 70 miles an hour, that’s the speed limit in Michigan. So don’t hate on them. That’s literally what he was driving. And he just called us and the assessment allowed him to look at his business in a unique way, which went like this.
He had zero salesmen and he’s trying to grow his business. But because we asked them the right question – good advice is contextual. Lazy people would immediately go. I read the ultimate sales machine. They should hire a team of sales superstars. And that was not the case.
The better advice was if you could better tell your story and we pulled the core story card that empowered them to tell a better story that which made sales easy. And so no salesmen, wherever used, they were on Inc 5000 10 years in a row. He told me in the beginning, this is going back 10 years ago. He was like, “I can’t even afford this consulting service, but we can’t afford not to. Because our future does not look bright without this strategic insight.”
And, he said, you know, if we can get it to 10 million, I’ll sell it. For 10 million bucks, I’ll do it every day of the week, Amanda, we didn’t get them to 10. We got them to 12 million and he got offered 50% more. $15 million cash hola.
And he’s like, fine. I’m out. Done. But he, he prayed on it. He spent the night thinking on it and he woke up and he sent out the text and it blew my mind. That night before, he was saying the offer’s too good to be true. The very next day, he goes “All the reasons I wanted to sell my business are now gone” because the assessment not only helped him see that he needed a much more strategic, educational based approach to selling their service, but he also needed and improved the skills from him and eventually what became his board, his executive team.
And that allowed them to say, I don’t need to sell the company because he’s no longer working 75 hour work weeks. He was working when he wanted to, which was about 35 hours a week. That’s like tinkering in and having fun, doing nothing but working on it, whereas before he was totally reactive.
And so he goes, no, let’s just keep growing it. Well, I can report. They’ve gone past $30 million now. He successfully exited. He really wanted to keep it in-house with the teams that he hired. So we didn’t ease up and everyone swears ESOP’s are impossible. He made it happen. If you improve your skills along the way, you can continue to grow and maintain that and get all their dreams that you ever wanted. Even if it meant those that you love called your team, ultimately owning the company.
Isn’t that really cool? And all just started with a little self-evaluation.
[13:14] Amanda Holmes: That is truly a dream story. I mean, the fact that I get to hear these stories and be a part of them, just lights up my world, that I get to be a part of that. That’s so wonderful.
[13:26] Ted Miller III: Well, you carry that torch proudly. I couldn’t be more proud of you and how you share that consistently with a new perspective, a new passion, a new energy to where Chet and I were old dogs. We should have been on top of that social media game, but we got usy and reactive to growing like crazy. We were talking radio, radio, Sirius satellite radio, and the whole internet thing.
And we’re like Facebook what? LinkedIn who? Instagram, snappy chat what? Like, you know what I mean? It’s just like slow to the game and you were quick to see how core story, cause it unifies all of your messaging, it can be broken down in any media and, you’ve proven innovation even on the oldest most time tested, proven business growth strategy and tactic used in a new, unique, new way can help someone grow so much faster than they haven’t thought possible.
So kudos for you. You’ve done a great job.
[14:24] Amanda Holmes: Thank you. Well, I think it’s also fascinating to make those decisions based on market data, you know? So 80% of prospects would rather speak on social media about a product or service today than calling up and talking to a salesperson, which I find fascinating.
One of the top salespeople at Gucci who sells double than anybody else, her secret was that she never got on the phone with anybody. She just text them about the jewelry and the watches and all of this, which once I saw that and then heard that 95% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of it being sent, I thought, holy cow, that is just an opportunity waiting to happen.
And then you think of ad spend where – we just pulled this market data this morning. So, we’re up to about $295 billion spent on ads a year, now in 2021. In the last year, it increased by $90 billion. Just four years ago, we were only at 180 billion.
So to go from 180 billion to 290 billion, we’ve added nearly another hundred billion to ads. I mean, obviously Facebook and how easy it is for small to medium-sized businesses to put ads out now, compared to when it was just radio and television. There’s so much innovation happening there, but that means that the attention for our buyers are so radically filled with what that, what my father said, right? That clutter factor is just so through the roof that then you hear that the people that consume podcasts, it’s something crazy. Like the average podcast listener listened to an average of 40 minutes, and yet we can’t even get someone to watch a three-second ad.
[16:17] Ted Miller III: You know, this goes back to fundamentally, like you said, using great market data. If you take the time to do an assessment and inventory check on where has my market gone. And sometimes, it’s a matter of just their attention. So you are back to something, you said. How many emails we get in a day? So as a business owner, we get 300 emails a day.
Which one are we most likely to reply to? One of the 300 emails or the DM? And that’s what’s really intriguing right now is how you might grab someone’s attention, exponentially easier through direct messaging than you ever will through your email, just because – but why do most people fail in the – “Well, you cited DM. I tried that it didn’t work.”
Cause you’re so damn. Darn tech. You haven’t read chapter four, the ultimate sales machine. You’re the joke like when Chet jokes about “Hi, my name is -. I work for Hackney, and we got the world’s greatest editor.. Don’t you want to use their products and services?” And they take that tactical messaging through DMs and it always starts with I, I am the, this and that, or we, we, this, if you’re insecure, and then you desperate pitch – stop that. Become the strategist, the win every single time.
So you and I are seeing that that data is not just flipping. Where everyone else is like high ticket closing, trying to convince cold traffic to make a decision yhey shouldn’t be prepared to make, we’ve got something that’s now multi-generational. We’ve got decades of serving entrepreneurs on the planet and sometimes they, they already know like, and trust us, they’ve had great experience with us and you and I have seen massive impacts and people that quickly through DM are responding and moving into our ethos of service so much faster.
The sales cycles are ridiculous. I’m afraid to even report on it because it doesn’t feel real. It seems too fast, but it’s just looking at market data and going, where can we insert ourselves who are right back into the conversation? And how do we shorten the sales cycle and how do we build brand equity? And, and, and – that’s what a strategist does. It says, how can I think through my really important initiatives and stack them on top of any single one effort. And if it’s a DM or if it’s a phone call or a voicemail, let them be strategic in their nature.
If you’re a strategist, I think you’ll be in the tactician’s lunch for breakfast, as long as you can back it with brilliant execution and implementation. And it’s important.
[18:57] Amanda Holmes: That’s where the opportunity assessment I think really does help. It really just takes it down to numbers of really understanding what worked over the last year, what worked over the last six months. And you see this glaring obvious, like I’ll tell you. So my breakthrough, when I did the opportunity assessment a year ago, I pulled all of my data and I realized, wow, the Ultimate Sales Machine is selling like hotcakes, purely word of mouth nearly 15 years after it came out.
And yet I do nothing to promote it. I looked at that and went, am I daft? Like I’ve just taken for granted the fact that this thing sells instead of actually promoting it. So for people that follow me on social, at least you will have seen a very big shift in this last year.
I pitched that book like crazy. I talked about the book perpetually. We ran ads to get more people to buy the book because that was like a huge opportunity that was sitting right in front of my face. And I didn’t realize it until I just did this really simple questionnaire assessment. Right?
[20:04] Ted Miller III: You know, and people, people might think you’re making money on that.
Like, we can be transparent. How much does the family make out of one book? What is it really?
[20:29] Amanda Holmes: Oh yeah. It’s not about big sales.
[20:32] Ted Miller III: It’s like 30 cents or something. Right. I mean, because it originally came out with one of the third largest publishers on the planet. So it’s not like there is a massive book funnel. I just want to make sure people heard that she’s not self-publishing a book that guarantees to drive traffic into a funnel.
She’s literally promoting a book that she does not control its distribution. Cause it’s, you know, it’s published through a third-party agency and they have the rights to do that. It’s still because of the strategic in nature, it serves the greater good. And then they just come because they’ve already been there, done that. They don’t need to be sold because they’ve already enrolled themselves into your way of thinking by reading through these pages. And now, they can enter in a sales cycle that’s most relevant to their services.
[21:07] Amanda Holmes: Yeah, one big takeaway for anybody that’s thinking about doing a book. We have two clients right now that are just top of mind for me that have written books and they really haven’t thought about that next step, how to get them to the next step, which is just crazy.
Like I was just harassing one of our clients earlier this morning saying you only have one call to action from that entire book that you just spent years writing. You need to have at least, I mean, if you look through our book, it has, I don’t know, six, seven different calls to action to lead them to the next step.
And that’s how you get their information. That’s how they inquire further with your business.
[22:01] Ted Miller III: Well, I’ve got a perspective on that that’s similar and slightly different, but similar is this. Here’s what I see more often than not from so many clients, they do have a call to action, but it’s the big ticket.
It’s hi. Um, you know, what’s your name? I’m going to change her name. She’s a client. I’m going to call her Kimmy – my cousin’s name.
Hi, my name is Kimmy. Uh, yeah. And then what do you do? We do this and that and nice to meet you. And so typically in B2B, this client’s doing B2B business to business. They have a first conversation and call it a discovery call. Oh, you got that? Oh, I got something that can help you with that. And 30 minutes, one person in the company gets really excited about this vendor.
Oh my gosh, Kimmy. I’ve been needing that forever. So it ends with their final price, which typically costs $220,000 for her to implement.
But she lowers the barrier of entry at like 37,000 or 27,000. Whatever the price point was, tens of thousands of dollars to get out of the gate. What do you think is going to happen as soon as she hangs up? That person’s going to go to their second in command or go up to their CEO or go to the board as a CEO and go immediately go. “Hi, what are you talking about? I don’t really understand what you’re saying, but how much is it?” 27 grand. And it dies right there on the floor. How about having a logical Ascension’s models? Now, Chet and I figured out long time ago, we could stand at an event. And we could speak at someone else’s event and say, “Hey, come meet us at back of the room. We sell consulting at 36 grand a month.”
We get a few, but there was a greater rate of return by getting the majority of the back of the room by offering some less expensive with a lower barrier of entry. That’s why when you read the book or you’ve been through our world, you hear us talk about free reports or inexpensive executive briefings or, you know, using educational based selling models, like workshops that we use and only, you know, 500 bucks, it’s hundreds, not $36,000.
And what happens is when you lower the barrier of entry, you get so many people in your world. Yeah, 70% aren’t going to buy your next service, but the 30% that you’re going to get way more people and do your world because you lower the barrier of entry, because like you said, in your book, maybe give them more than just the big ticket.
Maybe you make it simple and easy. Maybe you think through as a strategist, how to get them into your world. And if you can find a way to add massive value, they’ll inevitably ask, “Hey, how can you help me with this?” So just add value first. And that’s the point of education-based marketing. Find a way to add massive value.
They’ll always ask how they could spend more of their money with you. Does that make sense? So Ascension those models. If you’re going to do it in a book or anywhere, just stop the tactical “Hi, my name is thanks for spending 30 minutes with us. Don’t you got 36 grand here today?” That’s not how. That’s just not going to build your company to, you know, whatever real goal you want, where it can run more without you, or have it systematize on the highest, give it to a salesperson so it can run without you, right?
Most of these companies that you’re alluding to early on, and when you gave that data and they don’t have goals, well, it’s because they’re trading dollars for hours and they’re doing most of the sales, Amanda. If you give it to an army of salespeople, if you had a great message and then you can exponentially grow it, like I listened to a recording today, Chet was talking about while we got 88 salespeople.
Well, there’s 88 people times just one Chet Holmes. Chet Holmes is selling 36 grand at one at a time. 88 people selling $550 at a time led to way more. It 10Xed our company in three years from simple leverage. We were way more effective taking them out of the role of a salesman and he’s the ultimate sales machine. And we took them out of that role because of scale. And most people think growth and scale are the same thing. And they get confused, I think that’s why the assessment will set them free.
What’s the, do you have a link? Is there a way we can just like, make it simple? Just go here. It’s dirt cheap. Go grab it.
[25:54] Amanda Holmes: Yeah, I would say go to www.ultimatesalesmachine.com/assessment
That’s www.ultimatesalesmachine.com/assessment. So regardless of if you get the assessments or not, I think these takeaways from our episode today are number one: look back on the last year, you know, really see what worked, what didn’t work, reflect, look at your P&L, right? Really analyze your marketing and sales data to do a, I guess it’s a neutral, right? Release the necessity for emotions on it. And just try to be as what’s it? When you don’t have an opinion about it.
[26:50] Ted Miller III: Non-emotive. Just be non-emotive about it.
[25:54] Amanda Holmes: Right. Right. So analyze your last year to better understand where you are so that you can then create a smarter plan for this next year going forward. Is that fair to say?
[27:06] Ted Miller III: Yeah. And I loved how you cited out, you know, when you’re making those new decisions, you can leverage market data and see, did my, did my marketplace change the place that they give its attention?
Are they more likely to reply to a DM or reply to your email?. Then is your marketing strategy putting yourself in their DM? Are you still just hiding behind emails, right?
It doesn’t mean one’s irrelevant. It just means one might be even that much more relevant. Take wise action. Follow the data as well.
[27:40] Amanda Holmes: Okay. And then I’ll add a third. If you want to fast-track your growth, it might also be good as you said to get. What was the saying that you said to have somebody else look over, what was this? The growth differentiators you made, the five – what was that?
[27:55] Ted Miller III: Oh, the five forums of strategic innovation. One of them is it’s new voices. Having a third-party expert, meaning we’ve had, you know, 250,000 clients.
You know, that’s a lot of entrepreneurs pay us to want to learn how to better grow their business. And so we can see what the tendencies are that are most likely getting you stuck, that you might not be aware of. So leverage strategic innovation, they get quick insights. It doesn’t take much for someone who’s mastered in an area of business growth to give feedback that goes “Wow. That’s profound.” And that’s something that comes out of these assessments or workshops on a daily basis.
[28:34] Amanda Holmes: And that’s great. So step number one, what worked, what didn’t work throughout the year, analyze it, look through it, P&L, data of your analytics, right?
Number two, use that data to decide what you’ll do for the next year, put together your plan. Cause you know that 71% of fastest-growing companies actually have a plan and that will assist you.
And then number three, if you’d like an even faster growth strategy, get someone to assist to just look, look at what you’re doing and give a second, you know, somebody that’s not emotionally tied to it all and but knows business growth to give advice on where you could potentially grow or where there’s maybe just pockets of cash sitting that you hadn’t thought of before.
[29:14] Ted Miller III: So many times, that’s the case. Well, I love it. This has been a wonderful journey. You know, I appreciate you inviting me to be here today. It’s been a real honor and a pleasure, you know, be, you know, Chet’s number one, protege.
I’ve spent 10 years next to him and you know, the greatest honor I ever got was when Chet said, you know, Ted knows this material better than you other than me because I’m the author of it. He goes, but no one trains on it better than you including me. And so if you choose to come into our world, I hope I get a chance to work with you.
It’s a great deep passion that I have to help entrepreneurs find a way to grow maybe two times or 10 times more effective than you ever thought possible. Hope to see you guys on the inside.
[29:57] Amanda Holmes: Wonderful. Thank you.