Marketing your business in these times as we are in lockdown and strict social distancing can be pretty challenging. That’s why it is important that we are creative and inventive enough when it comes to marketing and selling our business. In this episode, we bring you the interview of Adam Stott by Malcolm Gallagher in his Meet the Leader Podcast and they talk about how to make your marketing work in the new normal.
- How Adam Stott handles the social distancing and no events regulation to help business events members
- Importance of being creative and inventive in times like this COVID-19 Pandemic
- What are some nuggets that Adam Stott learned from talking to successful individuals around the world
- Going out and doing actionable ideas from other successful people
- Traits that can make people struggle with their business
- What’s Adam Stott’s key value that he employs in his business
- How important is learning discipline for Adam Stott
- Learning how not to be afraid to attempt to change
- How Adam Stott achieved success in social media marketing
- Importance of having selling skills in a business
Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.
Hi everybody, Adam Stott here. Welcome back to Business Growth Secrets. Got something cool for you today. So, I was recently asked to do an interview by top guy, this guy, great podcast called Meet the Leader and they’re wanting to interview me and get some, pull some content out. It’s absolutely content packed so I wanted to actually share on the podcast because it’s a bit of a twist than what we usually do because usually it’s me speaking directly but this time, you’re. actually going to see somebody asking me the questions, giving the answers which I think will add some additional value to you so buckle up, enjoy this super interview!
I know that you’re going to love it. Listen all the way through. Take notes because there’s some absolute nuggets and gems dropped during this interview and I think it’s going to be a great value to every single one of you so listen away and I hope you enjoy. Thanks everybody!
We’re now in what’s been called the new normal. That means, like it or not, change is necessary and none more so than in marketing. Finding, winning, retaining new customers. So, how are you going to do it in this new normal? How will your marketing work? How will you inspire and motivate customers to buy? Today, I’ve got some great answers for you as I meet the CEO and founder of Big Business Events, Adam Stott. Adam, I’ve been looking forward to this chat so who is Adam Stott and what does he do?
First of all, thanks for having us on. Really excited to be sharing with you today. So, Big Business Event, who is Adam Stott? I’m a business coach, wealth coach and international speaker, spoken all over the world helping business owners to grow and build their businesses using innovative marketing strategies and business strategies. I built my companies into multimillion pounds and more importantly, I’ve helped thousands of business owners like the people watching today to build their businesses effectively in multiple different industries. That’s what I do.
Excellent! So, tell me a bit more about Big Business Events. What they do for a business owner and inspiring start-up?
We work with anyone from startups right at the beginning of the journey through to very experienced owners and all the way in between. Through a series of different programs, help business owners to actually get a great business strategy and implementation. We give them lead in business strategies that I’ve used in my own business to grow their social media followings, to improve their marketing, to get new clients, to help grow their businesses into 6, 7 or 8 figures depending on where they want to get to and we help them chart that every step of the way.
I’ve built businesses myself up to the £40 million in revenue. Big Business Events is a multi-million pound business that helps thousands of business owners, not only in the UK and Europe, in America as well. We got clients all over the world that we’ve helped and people come to us because we really are able to show them the path and the path of how you grow a business and how you grow a business effectively and that’s what we do and we do that for a variety of different programs. We got programs for startups and we got programs for senior business leaders that want to take their business to a new level.
Exciting and a UK-based organization. I know that you’re down in Essex. I’m way up in Northumberland so we’re doing proper social distancing here, are we?
Yeah, definitely up there.
How are you handling the current social distancing, should we say, no event situation to deliver the support that your clients want and need?
In 2 ways. We look in getting new clients and we look at maintaining our relationships with existing clients. If we cover the new clients, first of all, we find that we’ve locked down a lot of business owners don’t have that ability to change their approach or to diversify what they do. Very quickly, we’ve done that and we’ve taken what is essentially our usual preview event where people, business owners will flock to come and meet us and hear the strategies. We give a full day of training. We took that online so usually in a free event where we kind of demonstrate how we could help somebody, I would have a hundred to 250 people in each room.
We’ve been doing that online and we’ve actually seen more people coming so in terms of getting new clients, we were able to give that demonstration online and help them. We’re now swing anywhere between 3 to 500 people, the way we speak with any one of our clients after we speak in our live trainings and webinars so that’s been really good for us to meet new people and I think you said new normal and at the end of the day.
That is pretty much what it is even a normal person that’s afraid of technology that probably hasn’t embraced technology but before the lockdown, I’ve never heard of something like Zoom is now used and it’s comfortable using it and I think that, as business owners, we need to embrace, I’ve been using that technology years and years and years and years back in one of my first businesses.
I’m using it for probably 10 years now and it’s been something that has been really, really important for me to grow my businesses and I think it’s becoming more mainstream now so I think people are used to getting on these kind of platforms and interacting with people and if you haven’t embraced it yet and you’re listening, it’s time to embrace it, really. In terms of helping our clients, I’ve got clients all over the world so we’ve been using a Zoom and other mechanisms to communicate, coach and train people through these systems for a long time now but where we did a lot of in person events, we’ve taken a lot of those events actually online and been able to deliver them, their coaching and their training and their content for an online mechanism.
The beauty of that is we explain to the clients, I think the communication’s very, very important. I’ll explain to the client you’re going to get the same content but you’re not going to actually leave your home and train and see in a peaceful environment and not only that, you can fast forward, you can rewind, you can get the recording, you can go back, you can listen to the information, you can do it on your own time and one of the things that I’ve done is made sure that we bring a lot of practical exercises to them actually go away and implement the content and the work that they’re working through in order to get better result.
So, we found it’s been great for our clients. I’ve got a lot of additional resources for people and I think that’s what you got to do is you got to get inventive so not only are we giving the videos of each sessions, we’re then taking those sessions and transcribing those sessions and giving them a written manuscript. We’re sharing the slides with them. We’re giving them more resources around the content and the education to make sure that they can learn efficiently.
I bet by doing that you will retain the client longer, they will be more loyal and they’ll recommend you more because yup, it’s brilliant.
Look, look, like me, you speak to many leaders around the world so give me just a few nuggets because I believe that’s where you get that extra learning, extra excitement. Give me just a few nuggets that you’ve learned from them that you can pass on to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The thing is, the principles of business and success and like you said, you’ve gone on interviews with lots of different people and lots of people that’s successful is I feel that you can go and interview every successful person out there and every successful person pretty much tells you a similar story and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Barry Hearn who is a successful guy or John Travolta who’s in the acting industry and I’ve interviewed both and they’re two very, very different characters but they’ve got actual similar traits that are ingrained in them and I feel that the business owners that are wanting to learn and wanting to grow and wanting to develop, they need to develop those traits and those traits are very similar about taking action.
About influencing, about not just taking the educations and the lessons but actually using that and starting to gain momentum and putting things in place and I think that you can hear that over and over again in a handful of people that you interview but for the listener who wants to become more successful, you got to start exercising and you’ve got to, John Travolta turns around and says to you, you got to have the determination and the passion and you’ve got to overcome rejection, I could share that with you and say that’s what he said because that’s what he did say but it’s nothing new.
What can help you is actually going out and embracing the rejection yourself and having that desire to overcome it. I think that’s why I like to kind of try and inspire people. It is not just the lesson and I think this is the thing, a lot of people taking content and taking information but I think you got to internalize it. Then, you got to live it in order to get results.
Let’s say that one of the things that John Travolta told me is that he was told by everyone; you’re not going to succeed as an actor. You’re not going to go out there, you’re not going to be able to break through, you’re never going to get this job, you’re never going to get that job but he turned around and said I’m not going to listen to anybody else’s opinions or what anybody else says.
Instead, I’m going to persevere and I’m going to go and get rejected as many times, as many acting schools, as many auditions as I possibly can until I find the one that breaks me through and I feel that if a business owner needs to actually read between the lines about what was inside his mindset in order to go through that, he had a will to win and I think a really successful business owner has that will to win and I think this differentiates a successful business owner than somebody who kind of takes information, listens, still doesn’t have full control of their mindsets to go out and persevere anyway.
I’ve had loads of people, 50 Cent, I interviewed and he talked about what an important mentor Eminem had been to him, for example, and the reason I quite like that is I like Eminem and I like 50 Cent and I always have so that’s pretty cool but at the same time, I think that sometimes, a mentor or a coach comes in different shapes and forms for people and I think what happens with a business owner is they’re not always open to receiving it and I think one of the most important things is you got to be open-minded, you got to listen. You don’t know where you’re going to find your coach. You don’t know where you’re going to find your mentor and that kind of was.
Reading between the lines of 50 Cent’s story so what I like to do is rather than get the nugget, is understand the principle of the nugget and actually, what does that mean and rather than what does it mean to that individual, what does that mean to the listener, what does it mean to me and how do I take that information and make sure that I’m going to do something with it and what that should do is when you start thinking like that and you’ve got an open mind.
One of the things is it doesn’t matter how successful I am, it doesn’t matter what I do, I will listen to anyone and I will learn from anyone and I think we got that open mind and I think that the traits of all the different people that have been really successful, they’ve been willing to learn and they’ve had a will to win and a will to persevere.
I hope when you interviewed John Travolta, you sat down and you didn’t have to dance around with him with a mic.
It did take some dancing at the end of the night. We did that on the stage and that was cool.
He did dance with Princess Diana so I mean, we could support that.
Someone like that, this is another thing. We’re on a business podcast here, right? He was an actor but it doesn’t matter. He’s successful in his field and I think that’s what you need to look at. Nobody gets any success by accident. They go through a process and you don’t necessarily, you can sometimes look outside of your field and kind of see the traits of people that are similar. They’re similar. That is the reality. An actor that raises himself in the game has dealt with as much rejection, has built as many relationships, has had to manage himself financially well and other things in the same way a business owner will. I think those lessons from people in successful fields is really, really important.
Another thing I’ve been watching recently is the Michael Jordan documentary on Netflix, it’s called The Last Dance, and if you look at Michael Jordan, I think that you will find that there is as much to learn from him as there is from the majority of business leaders. There’s the determination, the passion there is to win.
Yeah, it’s the will to win. In that case, just following on from that, what do you think holds back the typical UK business owner from realizing his or her potential. I’m talking about UK owner here, by the way.
UK business owner, right, there’s a few things. There’s a few traits that really get people to struggle. One of those traits is overthinking everything that they do and people are so afraid to make a mistake, they don’t do anything and you can’t expect to get result if you don’t do anything. If you do nothing, you get nothing. Really, really simple. If you start to take more actions, ok, you’re going to make some mistakes but you are going to start to move forward and I think that one of the things about myself, I’ve never been afraid to take risks. I’ve had things go wrong, I’ve had situations where in one of my previous businesses, we were lauded and appreciated by the London Stock Exchange, fastest growing business 3 years in a row, one of the best businesses in Europe.
We had every single work going, 2 years later we got £25 million pulled out from us because I took risks. Now, at the same time, you’ve got to take calculated risks but when you talk about an entrepreneur and this is what I think the difference is. An entrepreneur is not afraid to take risks and build whereas a business owner usually has more of an employee DNA. They probably left their job because they were really good at it and they thought, maybe I can do this myself but they’ve not got that entrepreneurial DNA running through them and they’re still used to being told what to do therefore they start overthinking things and they get stuck where an entrepreneurial DNA which is something that you build towards.
If this is an employee DNA, this is an entrepreneurial DNA, we need, as business owners, to start moving towards having an entrepreneurial DNA. An entrepreneurial DNA is somebody that makes decisions quickly, somebody that has that will to win, has that perseverance, has the ability to adapt some change, is comfortable taking risks and wants to grow, wants to learn, recognizes the more they grow themselves, the more their business grows and an entrepreneur has an open mind and if we move towards that, we become more successful in business and start to get more results.
And don’t be afraid to fail and we’ll talk about sales later on but I knew a sales director that measures his salesmen by how many no’s they get.
He knows that the no’s lead to a yes.
One of the first books I’ve ever read was a book called Selling to Win when I was 18 years old and, in that book, that was the main principle of the book. The more no’s you get, the closer you are to a yes and you literally, and that’s what it’s all about, it’s a numbers game. A business owner needs to build that into their mind set in order to get better results than without.
I used to practice this out when I was trying to chat up girls. Lots of no’s, yeah. Lots of no’s. I really like, I really truly like your focus on the key values of your business. It’s something I’ve got a passion about, values and everything so tell me about them.
For me, the key value runs through what I do is stronger together in terms of a business owner on his own, on her own, is a bit of an island. You’re trying to figure out their sales, they’re trying to build everything themselves and they’re trying to build a sea on an island on their own and they’re going to struggle because they don’t have the knowledge to understand how to get running water, they don’t have the knowledge to build different aspects, they don’t have all the skills. They’re an island.
Once you become part of a network and you have a network of support around you, all these other, imagine you’re an island but you’ve got 50 people with you, those 50 people can have different skills, they can have different people, they’re going to introduce you to different people, they’re going to introduce you to different things and they’re going to help you to build your island up to become very sufficient much, much, much, much quicker
One of the things I would say is when business owners come into my network, one opportunity, one person can change everything for them because I’ve got a contact that will love their business, that will want to buy their products, their services that will become their biggest client and will refer them to 20, 30 people and build their businesses with them so I’m a big believer in the, as a business owner, you shouldn’t be an island and you should really be part of a great network and that will give you strength in numbers which I think really, really helps and not only that, you need to have a support of your peers around you.
In order to be able to discuss things that you can’t discuss with your employees. I think a weaker business owner discusses every problem with every employee and compromises their leadership and doesn’t have, then obviously gets lead in different ways because those employees have different interests and a strong business owner has a real vision of their business, a vision of where they’re taking it and they implement it in the right way because of that. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve get managers with people within your business, you should be strategic and you should be open to their suggestions, absolutely but I think that, if you’re a business owner, oh my god, I’ve had a bad day, oh, it’s terrible,
I don’t know, we’re going to get out of this, all you’re doing is striking fear into your employees who don’t need that. They’re an employee because they don’t want that fear, they don’t want that uncertainty and you’re striking into them and you got to be stronger than that so we’re talking about leadership, it’s called Meet the Leaders, I think that every business owner needs to increase their leadership.
I learned this when I started my first business and I did all these mistakes so Year 1, Year 2, I was that person. I was out of my depth, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve gone to start a business when I was 25 years old. I sold my house to fund this business and very quickly, I realize I was a horrible manager. I was a terrible manager of people, I was horrible outside of the business. So, I was horrible at everything and when I realized that and I first got involved with working with coaches and I started to build my skills in different areas, I actually became a really good manager.
I became a really good leader. But I didn’t know marketing when I first started out and now I sold £50 million pounds worth of products online so all of these skills can be learned but you do have to realize it’s a journey and with every journey, the first you find is you find your weaknesses so this is what I help people to do and then in the right ways, help them to build forward because it’s where you’re weak, that’s what’s hurting you. It’s those weaknesses that were hurting you and this is a thing, people say build on your strengths and all that but this is the reality, a business is unforgiving. Business doesn’t care who you are, doesn’t care what you’ve done in the past.
All it cares is are you setting that business up to winning or not and this is the thing, people are like, oh business people are ruthless. They’re not ruthless. They’re not. They just understand that in order to win in business, you need to be a fast decision maker so if you’ve got somebody you carry in your business and they’re not successful, then you have to make that decision and a business owner, a new business owner, is not going to be comfortable making that business and that’s the reality so they need to train themselves to deal with things that are going to come and anticipation as a business owner is very, very important as well. Anticipating what’s going to come in the future. If you start to anticipate, you can see all these problems coming and you can deal with it in advance.
I love that word: anticipate. We were filming once in a little bed and breakfast you might know in London called The Dorchester and we’re saying to them, how many people are you working here? They said we have 135 different nationalities so how do you train them? They said we don’t train. Just train them one thing, if a guest has to ask, we failed. So they trained them in anticipation and I think that’s the big thing that’s missing. Ok, let’s move on.
That’s a really good thing. I could imagine that’s a good strategy.
It’s a winning strategy and we see that it can be adopted by a little bed and breakfast, Dorchester, maybe not, by any hotel. We seem to be alike in both we focus on continuous learning. I must admit I came from an era with no internet, DVDs, just the old fashioned library and as a late advocate to this, I’m still trying to catch up, by the way, what triggered your commitment to continuous learning and do you have a learning discipline?
Absolutely. I think my learning discipline is I feed my mind every day. Every single day, I’m going to feed my mind with something positive, something that helps me grow. Every single month, I’m going to look at a new topic, investigate that topic and further my development in that topic. That’s kind of the learning discipline style that I have. I make sure that I’m doing some kind of development every month in those areas.
I think I’ve got a familiar story and this is a credit to the man but also, I find this bit a little bit awkward because when you’re here with those speakers, there’s usually a trait with those speakers that somebody’s inspired and somebody’s helped them and I think that should be acknowledged and accepted but I think, at the beginning of my journey, when I was 18 years old, I went to a Tony Robbins seminar and he really did spark a massive amount of motivation in me. Now, why do I say I find that a bit awkward is because I think that a lot of people started their journey in that way.
Now, I love Tony Robbins, I think he’s a fantastic person and he’s very, very good for startups but I think that his learnings are really good for mindset and I think at the beginning, a lot of people need that mindset. They need to understand how to build the right mindset but I think the advanced learnings that you continue from there, and I’ll tell you why I said it’s a bit awkward is what I don’t like is loads of coaches that go and rehash and re-preach Tony Robbins’ stuff and say they’re a coach. I used maybe 1% of the things that he’s taught me in applications with people, probably 1%. 99% of what I teach has come from my experiences in business because I feel that, well, it wouldn’t be fair to say it’s 99%.
I’ve had lots of other coaches and lots of other mentors and lots of other people that’ve helped me grow and I used their strategies as well but I feel that one of my mantras is that I never ever coach or teach anything I’ve not done myself and I think that that really helps people because I understand it a deeper, deeper level because I’ve done it and I’ve been through it and I know what happens and I think, as a coach, a great coach, if you want to build a million pound business, you need to talk to coaches that built million pound business. If you want a £10 million business, talk to a coach that built a £10 million pound business.
If you want to do £30 million, then that same. I’ve done that and that’s what made me help people do the same. If you want to build £100 million pound business, I haven’t done that so you might need to level up and go and get somebody else that has built £100 million business but it might be hard to find somebody who’s going to do that, right? It’s really, really important to teach the things that you, and coach people on the things that you know.
I definitely credit Tony Robbins for being the pilot person that kind of sparked the continuous learning within me and I was always kind of searching. A lot of people search. When I was 18 years old, I was searching, I was frustrated, I was fed up. I hated losing and not hate it from a jealousy but I was never jealous of anyone. I always loved other people succeeding, that’s a big thing for me, I love to see people succeed. It’s why I do what I do now but I couldn’t work out why they got that and why they’re able to do that and why they’re able to take those lovely holidays and why they got this amazing lifestyle when I wasn’t able to do it and for me.
I wanted to crack that code. To figure it out. I started with books and learning and devouring everything I could from books and then one of the first people, the first speaker I ever saw was Tony Robbins. I went to a Rony Robbins seminar and just sparked that continuous learning and from there, I’ve studied and I’ve studied so many different things and people and I’ve studied things that other people wouldn’t study because I was terrible at school.
Didn’t get a single, I got one GCSE. Everything else, I failed on. Everything else, I failed on. Literally because I had no idea what I was doing then I created myself, I built myself in all the areas that I wasn’t able to in school to go and get me the things I want so that has helped me to go and get what I want in life and I think that if you’ve got goals and aspirations and vision, you want things in life, then you’re going to have to embrace that continuous learning in order to get there.
I do believe, like you said, you need to learn to fail and I say to people, if you haven’t had a sleepless night, you never learned yet.
Biggest lesson that you’ll ever learn is, and this is a thing, my dad always said to me, Adam, you always want to learn from somebody that has had a failure. You don’t want to learn from somebody who’s never had a failure because actually, this is the thing, I don’t consider certain things to be failure. I just consider them to be learning but I’ve had tough moments in business and those tough moments had carved me to have the ability to make sure I never go back there and I think that’s really, really important. You learn your lessons in failure. Massive, massive. People don’t want to learn from it. People want to learn from the glory but actually, it’s when you’re down in the mud and you’re fighting the war that you actually learn the best lessons.
I’m on volume 17 in Failures by Malcolm Gallagher. Right, adapt, pivot, agility, they’re all buzzwords at the moment. I know that you think that businesses need to adapt fast but what do you think stops them from doing that?
Fear. I think that that’s why, I was able to, during this lockdown, we were coming into this lockdown, I’ve been running Big Business Events for 4 years. For the 1st year, it was a hobby business because I was still in the automotive industry and it was a hobby business. The 2nd year, it was kind of a part time business. For the 3rd year, it was the first fulltime year and we grew massively. In the 4th year, we massively, massively, like ridiculously to the point where we were doing 20 events a month. We were getting, on average, 3, 400 new clients a month which is huge. There’s not many people that are acquiring new clients for 400 a month.
That’s all we were acquiring and then, you go into lockdown and your ability to acquire clients has been impacted because your business is a face to face business and that’s how you get your clients and that’s how you get your value. Now, we were able to adapt almost immediately, not because I’m a genius, not because I’m super clever but because I had no fear in the we’re going to put these 4 different initiatives in place and out of the 4, 3 are probably going to fail, one’s going to work. The reality is 2 worked, 2 failed. Do I care about the failures? No, because I’m still acquiring hundreds of clients in lockdown and we’re still growing and we’re still building and we’re outperforming probably most businesses out there because I don’t have the fear.
I don’t have the fear and I feel that if a business owner starts to, some people are going to struggle to learn that and you’re going to struggle to listen to a podcast and learn that but my hope is, that if we go deep enough, down the rabbit hole on this, then hopefully, we can change one or two or maybe 10 people’s minds that listen to this and the thing is, I would say to those people and the people that do want to adapt, be agile, change, pivot, all those kind of words; this is the thing: there’s so many sayings out there on business.
This is why I like that is very different now, this is what I like to say on businesses, oh, the more you learn, the more you earn, all these kinds of stuff. Focus, follow on course until you’re successful, all these kind of stuff but the reality is it comes down to traits of a person to success and one of the traits is you’ve got to go and not be afraid to attempt to change. If we simplify the message, attempt to change. Put 3 things in place. Recognize what one will work, what one won’t work, recognize one might be medium but do not sit on your ideas.
Don’t do anything, don’t do nothing. Make sure you do something and this is the thing, some things that I helped people do during this period, some of my clients is just to run a video to my clients where we actually got people who never used video before. They’ve never been able to go and promote themselves or found their voice to literally go out and do 14 days’ worth of videos in a systematic process that will endear clients to them and convert and these people were afraid but I told them how to overcome the fear, how to be in place and they’ve got results so that’s an example of change.
Why is it change? Because you’ve never done it before and now, they’re doing it and now, they’re getting results. For any of you listening, what is it that you had in your mind that you wanted to try? What a business owner needs to do is when this idea comes up, don’t sit on your idea, take your idea, write it down and then start to plan how you’re going to put it in place.
Just give me another one of those things that we’re talking about. Fear stands for false expectations of appearing real, doesn’t it?
It sounds clever, right?
You’ve sold over £50 million worth of products and services via social media so what’s your top 3 social media success secrets? I know there’s more than 3, isn’t there?
The thing about social media is it’s an ever-changing landscape and that’s good in a way because it’s always changing which means you’ve always got to adapt. Where I’ve sold, and I’ve done more of that now, I’ve done a lot more especially for other people but where I sold the first 50 million was in the automotive industry so what everybody else in the automotive industry was doing auto trade, is market their businesses and instead of using auto trader, I used social media so really, what happened was, in order for me to make that transition was I was the only car dealer not using auto traders and I’m using social media. The way I was able to do that is by looking at the numbers.
I looked at the number as an auto trader and what we were spending in market as an auto trader and I worked out in order to acquire a client, it was going to cost me around £300 in marketing to get somebody to buy a car so that was and that is kind of like some people might be more efficient, might be doing it for £200, some people less efficient might be doing it for £500. At the time, it was coming me a scale of about £300 so I looked around and I said and I asked myself the right question, is there a more efficient way to sell this car? Is there a more efficient way to get my message out to more people?
I’m sure there is because if I can reduce that £300 to 200, I get to keep the extra 100 or I get to pay the extra 100 and I get 1.5 sales to everyone and I looked at the numbers and very quickly, I then started to study social media so this was back in 2009. I started that business in 2009 so what I then looked at, I just threw myself into it. To learn everything that there was to learn because my hunch, my intuition was that was the way to go and I can’t really call it more than a hunch or an intuition, I just looked at it like this is how we’ll communicate with multiple people so surely, this is the way.
I bought every piece of game, I devoured every piece of information, I learned it and I did it myself. I didn’t stop to ask anyone else because, this is the thing with some people, I saw this is the answer so I went and did it and very quickly. We were then able to actually get that cost down to £100 pounds in market and sell a car. Now, I’m selling 3 to 1 so the business grew from 2.9 million to 4.3 to 6.8 to 13.9 to 22.9 to 53.8 million. Which is 4 to 5 years in a row. Which is bang, bang, bang because I was able to master that market so the first secret, I would say, is you got to understand your numbers. That’s the first thing to understand and people are like what are you talking about? This is social media advice, right?
Let’s give you the second one then, the second one, the first one, number 2 is understand your numbers. Number 1, understand your objective. For me, it was sell the car. I want to sell the car. It’s simple but people don’t look at it like that. People use social media and they say, what I’m going to do is I’m just going to pop this picture up of me and the team blowing our birthday cake and saying happy birthday to Karen in my team. That’s not going to get you any clients. If your objective is to get clients, then you posting the picture of the birthday cake doesn’t bring you any closer to the objective. Does that make sense?
So you’re going to have to find what your objective is. If people are saying my objective is to build a brand, you’re not displaying your brand traits out there so what is your objective? Get clear on your objective. Number 2, understand your numbers. If you’re getting clients worth a thousand pounds, if you have to spend a £100 to get it and that, say you’re a service-based business, let’s talk about a recruitment, whatever kind of service-based business, you get a client at £1000 because you’re a service-based business, let’s say you make 50% gross profit so you keep £500 every time you get a client. If you have to give away £100 to get the 400, would you do it? Well, the answers yes.
How many times would you do it? You’ll do it again and again and again and again and again and again, fine. Master social media, attribute the budget to the objective, start collecting the money, that’s how simple it is but don’t look at it like that, I would say, first one, and that is number 3. I’m just giving you number 3. First one is set the objective. Second one, understand your numbers. Third one is turn advertising into profit because the day that you turn advertising into profit is the day you scale your business beyond your wildest dreams.
Listen, another thing that I really did like about you, I’m worried that we’re getting too synergistic here. One thing I like is your proposition on the focus of selling. I’m always selling. It’s a key skill any business owner needs to learn because nothing happens until something’s sold is the old saying so how do you go about convincing aspiring entrepreneurs that they need to have sale skills when they think that all they need is a website and a bunch of tweets?
The good news is they’ll figure that out themselves because they built their website and they don’t get visitors and then they realize there’s a skill there. One of the things that I would do with the free event when I first meet people is I will actually explain the skills required to win and I put a massive, massive emphasis on selling and it’s like what you always said. It doesn’t matter if, for example, even as we talk today, I’m not selling anything in terms of a product or service but I’m selling myself. I’m selling and I’m demonstrating to somebody that actually, and this is a free podcast,
I’ve got information to help you get to the next level. I recognize that I can come and do this podcast, my objective is to sell myself and give a really good representation of myself and I think people forget that they’re always selling. You got to sell yourself, you got to sell your business, you got to sell your products and services, you got to sell the value of your deal and you’re going to sell yourself to banks, to investors, to employees, to everyone around you so this thing brings it into, rather than selling, is to influence. How do you influence people in order to go and buy into you, buy into your brand, buy into your products and services? I think that I train people on how to build their influence overall because if they build their influence overall, then their sales will then flow.
I teach people how to sell at a high level as well. When you say how do I make them aware? I think people know that they’re not succeeding for whatever reason but they don’t know the reason why and one of the main reasons why is because they can’t sell. You give me a business owner, you can give me any person and you say what skills do I want them to have and you give me a finance director and you give me a really great manager, an operations manager, and you give me, let’s say somebody extremely skilled for some kind of creativity and then you give me a sales person and you say to me who do you want to run the business, I’ll give it to the sales person.
You go to America, I’ve presented in sales conferences in America, bit like coast to Newcastle, isn’t it? But what I did in San Antonio was 400 presidents and CEOs in the room who said we want to learn to sell more and you’re thinking don’t you want to learn how to sell books? No. Selling is the thing and back to your thing, they all know the numbers as well, don’t they? We’ve got coronavirus, a likely recession and Brexit to contend with. I’ve just finished my hundredth podcast on Brexit, by the way, that’s how sad I am. Are you optimistic about opportunity for strong business growth or do you think, for the next few years, business people will just stumble along? What should they be doing to thrive, not just survive?
I feel that there will be a lot of businesses that will stumble along. Absolutely. I think that there probably will be a recession but this is the advice that I’d give on that, I’ve started my first business in 2008 through a recession, I never, ever, ever let it enter my mind that there was a recession. Never ever entertained it when being in recession. I didn’t care. I’m fine with recession and I think that’s the mentality. What does the recession mean? It means the economic growth is slow. It’s gone backwards. That’s what it means. Does it mean that you, as a business owner, have to slow or go backwards? Absolutely not. Always go forward so that’s my message to anyone worried about recession. It’s up to you if you want to participate but I’m not going to be participating.
Count me out, count me out.
That’s it. I don’t care and people are going to be like yeah but people are going to be buying less of this and there’s going to be less money around and this and this and they’re going to come up with all the reasons and all the excuses and I think it gives people that are weak a great excuse to go. I felt because it’s a recession, I’m sorry, I’m not going to be participating. I’m going to be growing, my businesses is going to be growing and the things that I’m going to be doing are going to be growing because I’ve got the mindset of a winner and I don’t care what is going on in the world around me.
I will adapt and I will make sure that my business grows and I won’t change my approach. I’ll become more skillful and I’ll put more effort to becoming better and because of that, I’ll get the result and because of that, I’ll hold anyone listening to comment on your video because that’s the mentality that I want to see with somebody watching this will turn around.
It’s like listen, don’t just look at bounce back, look at bounce ahead. I’m really inspired and fascinated by Big Business Events. Where do you see it going in the next 3 or 5 years and, by the way, look behind me on the screen, you can see the URL, everybody, for bigbusinessevents.co.uk so do please visit there. I’m very inspired. Where do you see Big Business Events going in the next 3 or 5 years and it’s goals and achievements and most importantly, how will that benefit the people that are involved with Big Business Events, your attendees, your members or whatever you call them?
I think that the attendees and our members see massive growth when they see us growing. I think they see excitement of us bringing in hundreds of new business owners for them to connect with, hundreds of business owners to do business with, hundreds of new connections and contacts. Relationships are a massive part of business. I’ve spoken about that. Massive, massive part of business and as we grow we just bring more relationships with people on the table and people don’t want to leave and you said on the website, there’s loads of free resources. You can go watch a social media webinar with me, you can go watch a business webinar with me, you can go and get some free downloads, there’s an interview with Al Pacino on there so there are 4 or 5 things there to get to know us better.
Where do I see this going in the next 3 to 5 years? in the next 3 years, I have absolute confidence without no shadow of a doubt, we will be the biggest training company for entrepreneurs in the UK and I want to further that over the course of 5 years. We help people in multiple different countries so I would expect that we’re going to have more of an impact in different countries and we’re going to strengthen and further the brand in the UK.
Excellent. Exciting! Everybody, get on board and follow. Adam, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. I’ve taken a lot of your time but finally, can I ask you, as just we’re leaving with 3 straight talking, because that’s what you are, inspirational messages? I want you to leave them resonating in their heads of those watching and listening who are also keen to be successful.
3 straight talking bits of business. Let’s go with the first one is start acknowledging what your weaknesses are. Find out what they are. If you’re terrible at marketing, terrible at sales, you’re terrible at finances, acknowledge them and start to work on them. You want to succeed in business? You need to be a well-rounded business owner and it’s your weaknesses that are holding you back from where you want to go.
Let’s go with the next one, don’t be an island which we said earlier. Build yourself a network. Go around, focus on relationships. Relationship capitals are more important than financial capital because you’re a phone call away, you’re an introduction away from a business change. It’s like some people, with the first time I get involved with them, I understand their business, maybe introduce them to someone with a million pound contract and change their business, that kind of stuff, so I understand the relationship capital is more important than financial capital and the third one, I would say is, start taking action. Overcome that fear.
If you’ve listened to this podcast, I hope that you’ve enjoyed it, I truly do, don’t write down. Every time you listen to something, every time you take something in, what you’re going to with what you took in, at least write down 3 actions that you’re going to take because I promise you, that even if you’re having a bad time at the moment, you’re only a little win away from sparking a surge of momentum and small wins build on top of each other and they help you to grow towards where you want to get to so write down 3 things. Go and create a win from what you’ve listened to and start to build those wins on top of each other and you’re going to see returns to fall, my friend.
I encourage everybody watching and listening because this podcast will go in many different directions to do exactly that. Adam, it’s been a real pleasure meeting you, a total pleasure meeting you.