Last week at Azione, Stacey McKibbin, a performance execution and team communication specialist, gave a talk to members about simple but highly effective ways grow their business. McKibbin, who is the CEO of Consilio, has started four of her own businesses and has taken several to their exit period of upwards of several million dollars. Her objective at Azione was to help integrators grow their team and business so that they can both work effectively and independently. Here are her five steps to growing a business in this industry. 

1. Know the High Margin Products and Services

Start to ask yourself if your team actually knows all the high margin products and services and clients in your business. Do they know where the high margins come from? And do they prioritize those activities? One way to do this is to rate your clients from A to D. A means they refer business for you, they don’t nickel and dime, and they might give you a referral if you asked for one. Those D clients are those ones you “can’t deal with right now,” and they’re probably calling in a bunch of issues. And then those D clients take all of your technicians’ and all of your staff’s time, and then they argue about the price. Instead, think about promoting those B, C and D clients to your competitors. Everybody’s infrastructure is not the same as yours. Somebody’s B clients might be your A’s, and your D’s might be somebody else’s A’s.

Photo by Alice Schmatzl

2. Convert Current Clients

It’s six times more expensive to go get a new lead than it is to convert the ones you already have, so it’s really important that you’re always paying attention to where your lead sources are coming from and what kind of conversion rate you get. Of the 100 percent of the people that can buy from you, 90 percent are not ready, and only 10 percent are ready to buy today. The other 90 percent are in some form of decision-making internally. So if you’re not nurturing those clients, you might loose them. 

3. Appeal to Emotion

Are you asking enough questions to get past just the logical needs and get to the emotional needs? The emotional need is where the sale is made, yet most of our sales process of approach addresses the logical need, not the emotional. So you really want to be focusing in on how you can improve that process to create new outcomes with your conversion rate. Do you think your average customer actually knows the full range of services that you offer? Make sure you get a checklist and education on a whole range of your products and services have service contracts. Make it possible to them to do impulse buys. Think about 10 percent increases over multiple clients.

Members gather at Azione conference in New Orleans.

4. Lead Generation 

A lot of integrators have more business than they can handle right now, but now is still the time to continue to keep your foot on the gas pedal for marketing. It is critically important because when you take your foot off the gas pedal, people will think you have disappeared and you can’t get those potential leads back. We want to make sure instead to take the time right now to understand where your lead sources do come from and optimize those.

5. Leverage Your Database

How well do you leverage your database? Do you have a CRM that is active enough to date, and does it keep track not only with all your current clients, but your past clients and your non converted prospects? Have a word of mouth strategy versus a referral strategy, which two very different things. SEO is really important to strategic partnerships, and reviews and testimonials are huge. Google loves Google. So make sure that people are out there getting on your Google My Business and leaving reviews there. It’ll be incredibly important to build your social credibility and make it really easy for a better conversion rate perspective.