HBSA: How We Start Businesses, Build Businesses, And Grow Businesses
Warm marketing, cold marketing, direct-response marketing, “attraction” marketing, peer-to-peer leveraged marketing, consultative marketing…
Which one works for growing a business?
Answer: all of them…and none of them.
Let me explain.
To get the right answers – answers that are beneficial, constructive, and lead to better results – you must first get the right questions.
And “what marketing strategy works to grow my business?” is the wrong question.
Because there is only one thing that will grow your business – and that’s you. YOU are the catalyst for growing a business.
With marketing strategies and tactics, they all have their place – the key is, applying the right strategy, with the right tactics, at the right time.
One thing that I’ve seen in this industry is the inclination towards the “quick fix”. I think it’s a part of human nature, as I find myself gravitating towards that mentality when looking at my own businesses, and reviewing ways to improve results.
Whenever I find myself thinking in “quick fix” mode, I immediately stop. Because quick fixes usually aren’t quick long-term, as they lead to scenarios in which I must re-address the problem.
Which means it’s not really a “fix” at all – it’s just a way to delay or postpone a decision.
Our philosophy is that we want EVERY advantage possible in growing a business. I want to use everything I possibly can to put the odds of favour in my corner. I and the other staffers at HBSA invest thousands of hours collectively studying, testing, applying, reviewing, and sorting ways to develop, build, and grow businesses.
Here’s what we have found:
Warm-market is nearly always the fastest way to get a business started. This would be people that are close to you that you have a pre-existing relationship with. In small business, this is where you’ll typically start.
In network marketing, this is where you’ll get three or four customers, and one or two reps signing up.
I’ve seen people develop great businesses leveraging nothing but their warm-market. But for most people, once they run out of people to speak with in promoting their product/service/opportunity, it’s time to move on to greener pastures. That’ is where direct-response marketing comes in.
Direct-response (or “target marketing”, DRM for short) is where you focus your marketing efforts towards a group of people that have indicated, at one time or another, that they have the propensity to purchase your type of product/service/opportunity. We show that person a targeted message, and they choose to either move forward, or not.
It’s more of a self-selecting style of marketing, as the prospective client chooses and has control over the sales process.
Both styles of marketing “work” as there are examples in which each camp used ONLY one strategy to build their business.
Again, when we’re growing businesses, we want EVERY advantage in making it a success. So, we encourage both.
- Warm-market to start.
- DRM when the warm-market is tapped.
With warm-marketers, the danger is in being too pesky – not taking “no” for an answer, or being perceived as using a personal and trusted relationship for financial gain. It can be more high-risk if you alienate those you have a relationship with. You must market respectfully to your warm-market, as you don’t want to torch your relationships just to make a buck.
So even with warm-marketing, we still advocate the use of some direct-response, in that we ask the prospective client an interest question before proceeding. We want to ensure the relationship is based off THEIR needs…not our own.
By doing this, warm-marketing can be done in such away that it comes across as respectful, engaging, and fun.
Some people are uncomfortable leveraging warm-market at all. In which case, there’s a whole wide world out there that has shown interest of some sort in the benefits that you are promoting, and you would simply use DRM to find them, and help them.
Some people are uncomfortable with DRM, as they can’t imagine speaking to a “complete stranger”. They don’t like the structured nature of DRM, in that it’s all based on delivering a targeted message to a targeted market, and depends on feedback in the form statistics to make improvements in the campaign.
Both of them work – in that, they can generate a great result if done properly.
And neither of them work, if done incorrectly.
What I love about DRM is that a person can make mistake after mistake – and STILL be successful.
Once you’ve blown it with a warm market prospect, there’s no going back – it’s prolly done.
With DRM, there are so many people available that you can test different messages, optimizes the best message, and build out the sales funnel and sequence step-by-step.
We use DRM with every business we promote now. It gives us the ability to focus on two simple things:
1. Generating leads – prospective customers and clients
2. Generating sales – building a relationship with those leads based off their need, and our ability to solve their problem.
Which One Should You Do?
Again, to get good answers, we must ask good questions.
The above question is akin to asking “which flavor ice cream should I eat?”
The answer is – the one you want to eat.
There’s no right or wrong answer – just options, preferences, and skill-sets that go with whatever choice you make.
Having seen and worked with thousands of entrepreneurs over the years, my personal recommendation would be:
- Warm market first
- Immediately begin learning DRM
- Implement DRM as soon as possible
What About Internet Marketing?
This is a question that shows up with concerning regularity in our inbox. The question usually sounds like this:
“I’d prefer to never speak with a prospect until AFTER they signed up in my downline. Is there a way I can do that?”
The answer to this question is “why?” Why do you not want to speak with people until AFTER they are in your downline?
In network marketing, you are paid to promote a business opportunity and a product/service. What that question implies is that the promoter would like someone else to do the promoting, and only work with people after the promoting is done and the client is already signed up.
Look: customer service is important, but in network marketing, you are paid to MARKET. That’s the whole deal. The company takes care of everything else – you are paid commissions for promoting, for marketing their stuff. If all you want to do is speak with people after the marketing is done, then you need to seriously consider the business model you are in.
There are business models that allow for “never speaking to people”, but network marketing isn’t one of them. NWM is people-centric…and intensely so. It’s about building relationships, helping people, speaking with people, training people, motivating people, and working with people in a personal way. It’s personal, and that’s just the nature of the business.
I have shared wonderful triumphs with people in this industry, and had the good fortune to participate in their success and joy. I have also shared tragedy and sorrow with people in this industry. I’ve cried like five times in my entire life, and two of them were with people that I was working with.
I say this to give you a realistic view of the emotional investment you have to make in people in order to get them to believe in themselves, move forward, and achieve. Leadership sounds sexy and noble when we read about it in books and watch movies that have inspiring speeches, but the reality is far less remarkable – it’s just investing people, meeting them where they’re at, and helping them to where they want to be. That’s it.
So if you don’t want to speak with people until after they have paid you, then consider a business model like affiliate marketing or ecommerce. It requires far less emotional investment than network marketing. Our philosophy is that we use the Internet – frequently – but we never get confused with the main thing, and the main thing is building relationships, and nothing does that better or faster than speaking with someone. We use the Internet to generate leads, and we do generate online sales, but our conversion rates are much higher when we incorporate the phone into what we do. And we incorporate it in with everything, even our affiliate and ecommerce campaigns.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Many times, I’ve seen people come up with ideas that are “outside the box” just so that they can create a scenario in which they don’t have to do the hard work that’s in the box.
I’m all for creativity, and if you’ve got a crazy idea, test it, and see if it looks viable. But don’t take your eye off the ball. Do what you know works right NOW to grow your business, and add to that knowledge and build as you go.
An attitude that is common is to want everything “just so” before you really start investing into your marketing efforts. If I had done that, I’d still be hanging seamless gutters for my brother in law, or parking cars for a hotel as a valet.
You know when a good time to get to work is? When you want to be successful. That’s the best time, actually. I was SO HUNGRY for success when I started that I obsessed about it. Day and night, it’s all I thought about. I took massive, focused action, and did what I could each day to get results.
I had no idea what the heck I was doing, but I didn’t care. I knew that if I wanted to learn, I’d have to make mistakes. The faster I made mistakes, the faster I learned. The faster I learned, the faster I could start seeing positive results. The fast I saw positive results, the faster I wanted to make mistakes. This is how winning is done – lots of mistakes, learning what works, and moving as fast as possible to make it happen.
You Grow Your Business
There is also a prevalent idea among entrepreneurs that they can outsource their business – just do the stuff they like to do. I’m a fan of outsourcing, but I only outsource things that I have a basic understanding of (so that I know what I’m outsourcing) and have other, more valuable things to do. And even then, I’ll consider it before I outsource.
I use outsourcing as a tool to get more done – not as a tool to avoid what I don’t want to do. In that way, I make outsourcing serve my business, instead of having my business serve outsourcing.
If you’re in a business right now, you’ve aspired to something greater than the “9-5″ mentality. You’ve taken a step beyond it, and it’s a great step. But you’ve got a lot of growing to do (we ALL do), and there is no way to avoid that growth curve.
Even with a great marketing strategy, lots of sage advice, and a wonderful business opportunity, you will be TESTED, time and again, all the way up to the top. Why? I don’t know. I think it’s because when we want something really bad, we have to be tested to see just how bad we want it.
Everyone that I know that’s succeeded in anything has been tested for it – tested to see if they’re a man or a worm. Tested to see if they’ll walk, or if they’ll take the hits and keep moving forward. And the greater the aspiration, the more lofty the goal, the harder the hits. That’s just how it works.
So Where Are You At?
What’s the next step for you to massively grow our business? What can you do TODAY to get you closer to your goals? What have you been avoiding that is holding you back from your success? What can you do right now to overcome that fear, show it who’s boss, and get yourself closer the person you need to be to earn the right to own and live the dream you’ve developed?
Remember – nothing grows YOUR business but YOU. Tactics work, and when you implement them, they work for you.
Strategies work, and when you implement them, they work for you .
Philosophies work, and when you cultivate and subscribe to one that is congruent with your values, it changes your life, and serves you well.
This can be a scary thought at first, because it looks like a lot of heavy responsibility.
Hopefully, it’s also a very liberating thought (I know it was for me) simply because it puts power in your hands.
You can’t control many of the variables surrounding your business.
But you can control you.
You can control what you do, what you think, how you act, what you focus on, and what the events in your life mean.
YOU is the only thing you can really control in this world.
And if the thing that is going to grow your business is you, then you can, indirectly, control the success of your business.
As you proceed along this journey, don’t ever let anyone take that power away. It can be seductive to put the responsibility of your business on others, as it presents a scapegoat – a way to shift responsibility so that if you get a less-than-desirable result, you can say it’s not your fault.
While seductive, it’s also incorrect, and will lead you down a path that is doomed to failure.
Our encouragement: don’t go there. If your business isn’t where you want it to be, then let’s work together to improve YOU.
There is an answer, but to get it, we have to ask the right questions.
And the question you should start every day is: “what am I going to do TODAY to massively grow my business?“
You give a good answer to that question every day, and you might find yourself with a remarkable result faster than you ever thought possible.