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Becoming A 1% Earner: Strategies For Success And Growth With Nicole Michelle Durio [Episode 125]

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How can networking lead you to becoming a top 1% earner in your industry?

Join Doug C. Brown and Nicole Michelle Durio, the Managing Principal of Madison Brothers Consulting Group, as they do a deep-dive into utilizing the power of networking – and the “networking up” strategy –  to become a top 1% earner. They also discuss the power of working in your business as well as on it, the art of standing out from the crowd, how to build lasting relationships that fuel your business growth, and much more.

 

In this episode you will learn:

 

Episode’s guest – Nicole Michelle Durio

CSS 125 | Top 1% Earner

Nicole M. Durio, CPA is the Managing Principal of Madison Brothers Consulting Group and a proven leader in the consulting industry. She has more than 30 years of experience in accounting, financial reporting, advisory services, business consulting, CFO services and internal and external auditing. Nicole has served as the interim Controller and/or Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for various organizations with annual revenue up to $500 million, including healthcare companies, organizations in the transportation industry, companies in the business services industry, oilfield services companies and multiple start-ups. Nicole also has specialized due diligence experience in conducting both buy-side and sell-side transactions and has worked on more than 300 transactions with purchase price valuations up to $40 billion.

Visit her website: www.madisonbrothers.com

Nicole is giving away a free 20-minute consulting session to up to 10 CEO Sales Strategies listeners. Reach out to Nicole.Durio@madisonbrothers.com for more information.

transcript

Becoming A 1% Earner: Strategies For Success And Growth With Nicole Michelle Durio

In this episode, I got a great guest. Her name is Nicole Durio. She owns a company called Madison Brothers. We’re going to talk about what you do, how you think, act, and be a 1% earner. How do you build your book of business or build your company when business development is not your forte? How do you have alternate methods for building out that business? Interestingly enough, she has over a 95% retention rate in her client base over a 15-year period. She generates lots of incoming business. You’ll enjoy this one. We’re going to talk about networking as well. Let’s go talk to Nicole.

Nicole, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.

Thank you, Doug, for having me. We’re super excited.

Your company is called Madison Brothers. Why don’t you tell everybody what you do? That way, we’ll set the frame for this call.

Our company is a boutique consulting firm, a CFO advisory services firm. We do anything concerning a dollar, how to keep it, depreciate it, expense it, tax it, invest it, return it, and even high it or defer it.

Anything that has to do with the dollar. I like that. It’s a great tagline.

It’s the elevator pitch after many years of experience.

I want to give a little context for our show because you’ve built other companies from 0 to 7 figures and beyond in that process. You said something to me when we first talked, which I loved. I wanted to have you on here from that moment. What do you do if business development is not your forte but you want to build your company?

Doug, you hit the nail right on the head. We have built practices organically through execution. What we know and understand is that you’re only as good as your last engagement. Any engagement, client, or project is always treated as if it is the first one. We’re always vying for our client’s business. We execute so effectively. We demonstrate and deliver so much value that we’ve been able to build our practice through word of mouth and repeat business. Our client retention rate is more than 95%.

Did I hear more than a 95% retention rate?

Yes.

Is that over multiple years?

It’s been over fifteen years, Doug. One of the things we do and the reason our client retention rate is so high is that we typically do not lose clients. If we do, it’s because of an acquisition, or maybe the owner becomes deceased or stops. There may not be the appropriate succession plans in place. Other than that, we do a sanitization process once a year. We delineate or terminate about 10% to 15% of our low-lying clients or non-performing clients. Non-performing is not just from a dollar standpoint. Non-performing is a client who may not want to take our advice or our expertise or we feel like we may be wasting our time or from a cultural standpoint, it’s not a good synergy or a good fit.

As you know, the focus of our show is to focus on how to be 1% earners. Retention is a huge part of that. The fact is you’ve got a 95% reorder rate on an annual basis of your client base or 95% plus. Think about those people reading. You could have 95% plus of the clients that bought from you the last time who are buying from you now.

Also, referring the business out.

That is the next pillar, which is expansion. We have internal client expansion where we could take on more internally from the same client or external expansion and referrals are part of that process. It’s one of those things. A lot of people want to work smarter, not harder, as they say. The reality is they’re working harder and not smarter.

They’re working more.

You’re the opposite of that. You are like, “We’re going to pretend this is our first date every single time we engage.”

Every single time, it’s a first stance, even after many years in business.

I’m going to come back to this first date thing but you also look at things and say, “This relationship is not stellar.”

It’s not beneficial.

You’re playing win-win because if the client’s not winning and you’re not winning, somebody’s losing. You are the first to disengage, which is what I teach people to do. I always say, “There are no bad clients. There are just some bad decisions on the front end.”

It’s not even bad clients. The fit is not right. Some people prefer red, blue, or green. Some people may want to mix all three. It’s not a right or wrong decision. It’s all about fit. Being a CPA, it’s easy for me to analyze the business. “What’s the most profitable? What’s taking us the most time? What’s utilizing the most resources? Does this make sense?” When things start to not make sense, they don’t make dollars.

May I challenge that? They make negative dollars.

Doug, I tell people all the time, “I can make money over and over again. I can earn $1 but one thing I can’t get back is my time.” That’s the most precious for me.

If we want to work more leveraged, we want to look at this as what we want our life to be like and how we use our time to make the money that we’re looking to make. How efficient can we be at that? How effective can we be? Is that the kind of message?

The clients I have that we may service on an annual basis for taxes, franchise taxes, business, and the like may not have as much access to me as a client who’s on a retainer and that also allows me to value my time.

In the marketing world, that’s called segmentation. We segment our audience and figure out what they should be or should not be having involvement in.

The greatest intangible asset in the world is access to capital and information. I tell people all the time, “Think about how different your life would be if you had access to Warren Buffett.”

The greatest intangible asset in the world is access: access to capital, and access to information. Click To Tweet

We’d sure eat some junk food because I know he goes to McDonald’s.

Think about the information, the circles, and the deals you could participate in. Also, the people you would meet. You can’t put $1 on that.

It’s the osmosis of the relationship at that point. I was joking about the junk food but I read something that Warren eats McDonald’s every day. He does all these things but it’s so true. We could pick anybody in any industry.

Access to capital, information, database, credit, contracts, and people would change your life.

I want to come back to the first date thing but let’s talk about access. Madison Brothers is a CPA firm. Correct?

It’s not a CPA firm. We’re a consulting firm.

Thank you for correcting me. Do you provide fractional CPAs as well?

Fractional CPAs, fractional CFOs, fractional controllers, interim controllers, and interim CFOs but every package the company needs is based on where they are in the business cycle.

I love when I make mistakes, Nicole because people know this is real. We don’t edit it out.

Doug, I’m big on words. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a point of clarification. I am a CPA but I own a consulting firm.

Got it. Thank you for covering me. I appreciate that. The concept of access is easy to understand. We’re hanging out with shakers and movers, a senator, and we run into a problem. I remember it took me two years to get an IRS refund. I kept sending letters and doing what they were telling me. Finally, one of my tax attorney advisors says, “Send a letter to your state representative because they have a special office that they connect directly to the IRS.” I called them and said, “This is what’s happening. I haven’t been paid for two years on both.” Within 30 days-ish, both checks came in. That’s having access to the right people who can get things done.

Also, the information, people who can guide you the right way. Think about it, Doug. If you’ve ever entered into a high-security space or value space, you punch in the wrong key, and your ID doesn’t register or resonate, especially when you talk about governmental access at the highest level, it says, “Access denied.” Depending on who’s looking, it can be very embarrassing. When you see that green light, “Access granted, welcome or come in,” it’s so refreshing and empowering. People who do not understand access think it’s just a word. When you understand that it’s an asset and what it can do for you, it means something different.

CSS 125 | Top 1% Earner
Top 1% Earner: There are people who do not understand access or think it’s just a word. But when you understand that it’s an asset and what it can do for you, it means something totally different.

 

Part of our line items that we’re sticking in is P&L or some of the line items. Does that mean from a financial standpoint that I should be gaining access to higher-level minds, thoughts, processes, people, and systems?

Always network up. You have partners and people who are around you. You have some proteges but many people want to be the smartest in the room. When you have that mantra or that personality, you get what’s called a law of diminishing returns. You want to be around people who are less intelligent and less smart and they want to be around the same people. You look up and find that you have been complacent and stagnant in the marketplace. Sometimes your revenue may go up but your earnings go backwards. People never understand that. “How did I increase the top line when my bottom line went down?” It’s very simple. It’s the law of diminishing returns.

It’s a simple formula. Money out, money in equals something. This network-up concept is very interesting. I tell people who are selling all the time to go to the people they’re afraid to talk to. I’ve hung around with so many of these people. You’ve networked with people like this. It’s like, they’re just people. The weirdest thing is when we get into conversations with these people.

I had one with this world-renowned author. I’m not going to say his name but everybody would probably know this person. I asked him about the business of being an author and he said, “I’m looking for more access to do this because things have changed. There used to be Borders bookstores and 4 or 5 other bookstores out there. You’d sell more books back in the day.”

Now, we’re down to Books a Million here and there and Barnes and Nobles. The online thing is going on and self-publishing has come in. It’s liquidated the audience. That was something I could talk to him about and help him with because I knew that path. I know a lot of semi-famous people, authors, and things.

I never thought that he would be having that challenge and then I would be able to give a piece of advice where he goes, “You’re smart there.” I found this amongst all kinds of people, whether they’re in business power positions or they run an airline. Or professional athletes. I used to work a lot with professional musicians too, some people we still hear on the radio.

They all said the same things to me. “I have wants, needs, desires, and fears.” They’re pretty much universal across all people, regardless of the checkbook. The only thing that I could say is when they have that access you’re talking about to the checkbook, it’s a lot easier to arrive at your problems in style. That’s the difference.

Get to a resolution quicker.

If we are looking at it from a sales perspective and you’ve built multiple companies from the ground up and done quite well, it makes sense to me for people to go out and find these higher-level access relationships. The commission on a $25 million sale and the commission on a $25,000 sale is a bit different.

It changes your ZIP code too.

Here’s the thing I found. A $25,000 sale and a $25 million sale are not much different in time. I have a friend who has always made a seven-figure income plus in the mortgage business. This might sound like I’m being derogatory. I don’t mean to but these are the words he said to me. I said to him, “Jimmy, bad times. The economy crashed in the late ‘80s. We’re going through all these things where mortgage people are leaving the industry and different periods but you’ve consistently always made at least a seven-plus figure income doing this. How?”

He said, “Write mortgages for trailer parks.” I said, “That’s rude, Jim.” He goes, “No, think of the concept. If you go write a mortgage for $50,000 or lower and I’m writing mortgages for $5 million to $100 million, we have the same amount of time in a day.” He’s going to have a lot more checks. When you look at those access relationships that you’re saying, Nicole, he’s like, “Those are more stable than the other relationships because even if they fall, they tend to have the money to back it up.”

Also, the context to rebound.

Donald Trump comes to mind, like him or not.

He was bankrupt a lot of times and still has money in the bank all around the world. He has global access.

There was a time when he was like, “I’m going bankrupt.” The story was he went back to the people, lent them the money, and said, “You need to lend me more money so we can get out of this.” At least, that’s the story I heard. The reality is if we have access to that capital and those types of people, we can rebound quicker. What I’m hearing is this is a mainstay business growth strategy that we have been doing.

Also, philosophy. Business development is not a strength so I always look for opportunities to connect. I’ll give you an example. My daughter and I were flying back from California. We had a layover. Our connecting flight is in Las Vegas. We get on the flight and behind me, I hear a gentleman talking. He says, “I’m an accountant. I work for this firm. I do X, Y, and Z. I work for this brokerage firm that has so many restaurants in the business.”

I turned around and say, “I heard you talking. I heard you were an accountant.” He said, “Yes, I am for 7 or 8 years.” I said, “Have you taken a CPA exam yet?” “No, I haven’t.” I said, “I’m a CPA. I’ve been doing this for many years.” His family lived in Texas. He lived in Vegas. I said, “My daughter and I will be back in Vegas. How about we meet for dinner?” I haven’t had a business card in years so we exchanged information with QR codes. We went to dinner. I said, “Keep in touch.” That was not a warm referral but it was always looking for an opportunity to win or do business. I can make any business trip pleasure and any pleasure trip business. I travel on bleasure or business leisure.

I’ve got to ask this question because I know a lot of people are impatient. You met with this person. The business didn’t come out of it right away. How long does one have to go after accessing relationships before they start to see the grass growing?

At a minimum, you need 4 to 6 touchpoints. The reason I say 4 to 6 touchpoints is I can hear something about one thing but I can touch 10 or 20 people with it. Maybe it’s an article or information. I can email it out. Think about, “Ran across this in the news. I thought this might be of interest to you.” Send them the link. You look for ways and means to have touchpoints with people.

One thing about business is you don’t always touch them about business. When you meet with someone, you want to always find out what resonates with them, like their favorite sports team, place to travel, or where they grew up, something that’s going to give you a connection and make you relatable. Oftentimes, as accountants or business professionals, we can be intimidating to someone who may be successful but have a common background.

CSS 125 | Top 1% Earner
Top 1% Earner: Look for ways and means to have touchpoints with people. One thing about business is you don’t always want to talk to people about business. When you meet with someone, you also want to find out what resonates with them on a personal level.

 

What we’re talking about is building personalized, meaningful, relevant relationships.

Building rapport. The rapport takes 4 to 6 touchpoints. If you do not already know the person and get a warm introduction, a warm introduction would be a referral.

If we build enough rapport with somebody, we’re going to be able to get referrals as well.

Over time.

Trust is there. They’re laying their reputation on the line a lot of times. If they trust who you are, they see what you do and they validate that, then they’re very comfortable making referrals. There’s another reason why you should network up.

Make yourself available because sometimes, we’re so tunnel vision with what we have to do. We don’t keep ourselves open to opportunities and possibilities. Another testament to the success of our firm is I always tell people, “You know you’re good at what you do when you start doing it for other firms.” We have alliances with 7 or 8 other CPA firms that utilize our resources, either when they don’t have the capability, the skillset, or the bandwidth. We call it staff augmentation.

What I’m hearing you doing is you’re not looking at the quantity side so much. You’re looking at the quality side.

Also, the quality and the depth of my relationships, my bench strength. The relationships that I have with my clients are a minimum of ten years. The average is 15 or 16 years. A couple of my former bosses are some of my biggest clients.

You took some people who view a subordinate position in a company to the boss. When you left, that boss became your client. That’s pretty powerful. There’s a great testament to this.

It goes back to what I said. It’s execution. If you do not understand business development, you have to deliver exceptional client service and execute. Sometimes when we’re working in business and we have long-term clients and customers, we tend to think that they will be there. We take the relationship and the tenure for granted but you have to stay fresh. You always need a fresh look.

CSS 125 | Top 1% Earner
Top 1% Earner: If you do not understand business development, you have to deliver exceptional client service. You have to execute.

 

It’s like a successful marriage.

You have to keep it fresh, fun, and exciting. I’m always thinking about how I can save my client’s money and their taxes. Sometimes, the ones that I’ve known for a while when we have conversations end up being about staff development, business development, what they can do in their business, or how they can train their managers, all sorts of things, which I call value adds. I’m not charging them for what I’m giving them. It’s knowledge and information that I have. Why wouldn’t I share it with someone who’s been my client for fifteen years and then refer it out to someone’s business? Referral, execution, and good client service is the gift I keep on giving.

What I’m hearing is you’re developing and executing these relationships. You’re being proactive about you keeping the relationship fresh, relevant, and meaningful.

Make sure they know I care about their business. I treat their money and capital as if it were my own. I always give them a best-case scenario. I tell them what I would do in the middle of the road so they can decide.

You become a valued advisor to them.

I’m an advisor and a consultant, Doug. A CPA is my credential.

This is more of what somebody would classify as soft selling. Anyone who’s selling, in general, we can get our relationships to the level where they’re inviting us to their things, attend their daughter’s wedding, or whatever it might be.

Tell me about the softball game, ballet recital, or gymnastics competition.

We’ve crossed over the line, where they trust us more than they sometimes even trust their instincts. That’s a beautiful place to be. Nicole, I want to go back to the first date thing. Many people in life, business, and personal forget about this first date thing. I remember talking to a guy one time and he is going, “I’m having trouble with my relationship.” I’m going, “What are you doing on a daily basis?” He goes, “I get up, go to work, and come home. She gets up and goes to work.”

I’m like, “When is the last time you’ve been out on a date?” “It’s been two months.” “Are you reaffirming every day that she’s the most special thing in your life?” “No, we don’t have time for that. The kids are involved.” This is analogous to how people get into business. They sell an account and go, “I got my commission.” They move on because they hit their quota. What I know about 1% earners, like yourself, is they move on but they keep the relationship like it’s the first time over and over.

We all love first dates that are great. It’s magical. You show up and it’s like, “This is such a good feeling. I am getting to learn about them. They’re getting to learn about me. What could happen in the future?” You’re thinking all these things on a first date. If we can recreate that magical moment every single time and you are showing up not taking something for granted, this is how you’re building relationships, as I wanted to convey to everybody. Do I have this correct?

Yes. Let me share something with you too that you may find interesting. Women do business with people they know, like, and trust. Men do business with people who are the go-to. “Is this the subject matter expert? Is this the go-to? Are they going to get the job done? Can they execute?” That is why I have always focused on execution. Probably 80% of my customer base are males. Women tend to think that I am too shrewd and short with how I do business.

How so? This is an important concept for people to distinguish.

It’s because of the conversation. I do not go into a lot of detail when I’m first meeting someone. My answers are very short to the point. I’ll give you an example. I had a physician on the East Coast that called me and said, “When should I hire a CPA?” My response to her was, “It depends on your tolerance for a financial error. For some people, it is $10,000. For some people, it’s $10 billion.” She was like, “What do you mean?” “Think about it.” I got off the phone. I was like, “I cannot explain that any more than $10,000 and $10 billion. What do you want from me?” It took her a while to call back. I’m like, “I don’t work like this.”

That’s another thing that I hear loud and clear from you. You set the parameters on how you are going to play. You play fairly and you find the right fit for how you want to play versus taking anything or any old business.

Here’s the thing, Doug. What I know is that having many years of experience is not going to be a good marriage with someone fresh out of MBA school. I don’t care where you went. You got to be ready to play. Otherwise, I’m going to lose you in conversation and lose patience with explaining. We’re going to be done before we get started.

That’s why it’s not about being right or wrong fit for me because I cannot unknow what I know. I can’t revert to a five-year CPA. I can’t go back to 1998 or 1999 when I’m a five-year person and a senior associate. I have to read something on the internet to even get back in touch with those days. I’m so far removed from that. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just where we are.

You’re choosing your level to play on. I’m a big hockey fan. If you have an NHL superstar, they choose to go play with the kids out on the ice but it’s hard, I suspect, for them not to be able to move the puck up the ice and slow their game back because they’re so used to playing at such a rapid speed. Quite frankly, they can’t slow their game back if they’re going to stay at the NHL level because if they did, the moment they got back on the ice, an injury is going to happen.

The game moves so fast. They have to be at the top of their game to be present, not get hurt, and progress forward. What I’m hearing is you’re picking that consciously in your life and you’re dealing with people on that level, which I love. A lot of people think, “If I niche down doing this in selling, I won’t have enough people to talk with.” The reality is that’s their frame at the moment.

We don’t buy a business. I’m in a situation. I had a restauranteur that was referred to me a few years ago. I went down to Florida, met with them, saw their operations, and said, “This is good. I commend you guys on your tenure as entrepreneurs but I don’t think this is going to be a good fit for us.” We’re a few years into it. They’ve been chasing me for three years. “Nicole, please work with us and look at it.” I said, “Okay.”

I go back down there again and see some potential but still, things are not quite gelling. It’s the tax deadline. The sons of the owner are talking to me about $1,000. I said, “Do you realize it is tax day and you’re having a $1,000 conversation with me? This is not good for us.” He got off the phone. He understood.

I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do. It’s an interesting opportunity, potentially but I’m not sure I can get them up to speed to be comfortable working with me and my style and delivering the information and the goods. I can’t hold hands anymore. It’s interesting because I go back and forth on making a heart or an emotional decision. I hate for people to get bad advice and information but at the same time, we don’t have the bandwidth and capacity to serve everyone who wants to work with us.

You’re very clear and intentional about that. Those who want to be in the top 1% must be clear and intentional about that. Otherwise, you can’t get back in time and leverage that time, either.

I do appreciate they’ve been reaching out to me for three years. I’m like, “They’re not going to let me go. I need to change my number.” They’ve gotten a lot of credit for the pursuit and the diligence, for sure.

That’s a testament to follow-up. Follow-up is building the relationship. Even though you were saying no, their persistence and consistency are building the relationship because it’s like, “Maybe this is starting to make sense.” You’re getting to know, probably like, respect, and trust them a little bit more.

I like them. It’s just different.

I have one final question. Somebody’s saying, “This makes a lot of sense. Network up, set my clear targets, and say no but I got to bring business in. I got to get it in. I’m starting. I need to make some money.” What’s the thought process that they should go through in the beginning? Should they be taking on like, “Maybe this would fit or wouldn’t fit?”

If I were starting, I would not say no to an opportunity or a challenge. The reason is you never know where it will lead you. What you have to do is segment those opportunities, A, B, and C. C is, “I’m not sure but I don’t want to pass.” A is, “They’re going somewhere. I want to grow with them.” B is, “Over time, this may make sense. They may be able to lead me to other people.” The classification doesn’t have to be that. I’m speaking out loud off the top of my head.

Don’t say no to an opportunity or a challenge. Click To Tweet

You want to classify and segment those opportunities. Maybe you want to work and continue to build where it makes sense. If I’m a new business owner, you should be spending a minimum of 25% of your day working on your business and not in your business. When you’re working on your business, you’re determining, “How can I market? Where do I want to play? Who can I sell to? Who can I reach out to? I would join some alliance groups or affiliations.”

Make sure you’re a part of at least the local chamber of commerce. Start making little bitty bites. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. The thing to do is not to sit and wait. You have to be proactive, go out, and look for the business. Anything you’re looking for is looking for you. A lot of times, people don’t get anything because they’re not looking for anything. They’re just waiting. Here’s the last thing, Doug. If you go through life casually, you’ll become a casualty. That’s why you have to live on purpose and with intentionality.

If you go through life casually, you'll become a casualty. That's why you have to live on purpose and with intentionality. Click To Tweet

You write your book and story.

Anyone who says, “I’m going to wait and see what happens,” is a person you want to get as far away from as possible.

It won’t happen in most cases.

You’re going to either be watching a movie or the paint dry on the wall.

Nicole, other than the website at MadisonBrothers.com, people are like, “This lady is very intelligent. I need some help in this consulting or some type of CPA help in some capacity and financial help.” How do they get a hold of of you? What should they do?

On LinkedIn, it is Nicole Michelle Durio, CPA and my company website is MadisonBrothers.com. Feel free to call me and reach out. One thing I like about our business is that we have tailor-made solutions. We deal with startup emerging businesses and growth capital businesses. Every business fits into that mantra. Make sure you’re a good fit for us.

Nicole, thanks for being on the show and for bringing all this great information to people. I know for a fact that they have notes. I’ve got a whole page of notes.

Thanks, Doug.

I appreciate that. Until next time. Thanks again.

Thank you. See you at the top.

Let’s talk about some of these concepts here, networking up. What does that mean? That means you go to the people that might give you a little bit or a lot of butterflies in your stomach and approach them. Here’s the thing. You’ve got to have something of value to offer them. Do some background research on what they’re looking for and what they might be thinking. Connect on some type of level on that aspect of it.

Don’t worry if you make a mistake. Believe me, when you’re networking up and consistently networking up, you’ll have lots of people to talk to. You don’t need them all. You just need a handful to get going. That handful continues to grow. You have two handfuls. Before you know it, you have so many people that you’re holding up and you have those relationships. It spirals and grows from there.

The reason for networking up is because you get access to those people who can make things happen quicker, faster, and easier for you as well as you get the chance to help them. I learned this in the DJ business. I was a professional DJ and I loved it. I first started doing weddings and corporate events. I was doing it for low money because I figured, “I’m just starting.” I was doing them for a couple of hundred dollars, $200 to $300.

A friend of mine came to me and goes, “You got to raise your rates. You are too good.” I said, “No, I’ve got plenty of clients here. I got 120 jobs a year.” He goes, “Double your rate and two things will happen. You’ll make more money. You’ll probably have a little less clientele but you’ll get better clientele.” For a while, I was like, “I don’t know.”

A couple of months later, I’m like, “I’ll go up on my rate. I’ll go up 50%.” They kept coming. I went up another 50%, doubling my rate. They kept coming. I’m like, “Let me go up another 50%.” They kept coming and then I doubled that. They kept coming. We went from $200 to $300 a job to $2,200 to $2,600 a job and they kept coming.

What’s the point? The people that I was serving on the $2,000 plus, I was playing these nice country clubs. I was doing these museum events and corporate events for McDonald’s, their Christmas party. I had Fisher Scientific and a lot of nice high-end clientele. For the weddings I was doing, it was $280 a plate for the meal back then, which was many years ago.

My point is I was networking up with those people. Guess who they referred me to? Other people who had that same kind of money. The conversation was quick. I had over a 99% close rate on anybody that was referred to me. Think about that with your business. If you network up, it takes a little while. It might take a long while to start closing them but when some of this start to close, the return on your investment of your energy, time, and money is multifold.

It took me two years to network with somebody, make my way, and get a little company called NASCAR as a client. Was it worth the two years? Of course. That same person, after I took care of NASCAR, referred me to the University of New Hampshire, which was another huge account for me. It kept growing from there. Eventually, I worked with Procter & Gamble, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Nationwide, and Intuit, big companies like that all from networking up. That concept of networking up is important.

The other concept that she brought up that’s important is knowing who you want to be dealing with. In other words, you get the right to say no. That’s why I asked the question in the beginning. In the beginning, it’s all about you going out and getting business and generating as much business as you can. Learn about where you should be. Just because you say, “I should be there,” the market may not say, “That’s where you should be.”

You’ll find that out over time. Sometimes that’s from making mistakes. Sometimes that’s from doing copious amounts of research. As you start to make your way, you’re going to figure out who is that ideal buyer, not the client, that turns into that happy relationship where you can network up and continue to keep going.

If you like this episode, please give it a five-star review. If you have friends, please share this with them. If this information can help somebody get to the next level that they’re looking to go, please share this with them. It would be so appreciated. If you’re an expert yourself or you have somebody that you know that has the expertise and you know something about how to think, act and do, or they do the same as a 1% earner, or let’s say they own a company and they built their company like Nicole has and got herself into the top 1% earners, we can talk about what, how and what is important, please reach out to me directly or my team at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com.

If you are interested in getting yourself into the 1% earners space or how to think, act and be like one of these folks, we are running an academy starting at the end of 2023. Reach out to me on that or if you’re interested in a technology that makes your life a lot easier on automated prospecting and follow-up, we’re coming out with both of these in the third to fourth quarter of 2023. Reach out to me at Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com.

If you have a sales team or yourself, you’re looking to grow your company in that capacity and you’re looking for somebody to help advise and how to get there, reach out to me at Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com as well as @DougBrown123. That is my LinkedIn handle. We also have a book that’s coming out. It’s called The Nonstop 1% Earner.

If you’d like an advanced copy of that, you’d like to know more about that, or you’d like a copy of that, reach out to YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com. Until next time. Go out and sell something. Go out and sell a lot of it. Play win-win. They win. You win. It’s the best relationship you’re ever going to build in your life because that allows you to network up. There’s trust built into that.

Quite frankly, you’re the first to disengage if it doesn’t work for them but sell it profitably. Don’t sell at a loss because if you sell it at a loss, you got to sell 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 things to make up for that loss. Discounting shouldn’t be your forte if you can avoid it. Go sell something. Sell a lot of it. Make a ton of money. Enjoy your life. Be happy. Take care of others and they’ll be happy too. To your success.

 

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