I hear this again and again: “How do I sell an X-Ray, Laurie? I just can’t figure out how to convince a CEO to buy the Growth Curve. How do you market the Growth Curve to a CEO?”
The answer I give over and over is: I don’t sell X-Rays. I help a CEO understand what issues they are facing today because of the current stage of growth. My marketing efforts include the following:
Free workshops (2 – 3 hours long) to business owners
Fee-based workshops to business owners
Free presentations (60 – 90 minutes long) to business owners
Speaking engagements – either fee or free
Networking with business owners
Read this carefully. It’s a format I’ve used for years that has helped me position the 7 Stages of Growth and the X-Ray process to a CEO.
I tell a Stage 3 CEO that the stage is called Delegation and it’s the first time the company becomes Enterprise-centric. The company has moved beyond the CEO’s span of control, and the CEO has to spend 60% of their time managing people. People is the top gate of focus and Staff Buy-in is the top challenge. I explain the Builder/Protector Ratio or the Confidence/Caution ratio and how, if this is out of whack for their current stage of growth, the company will either stagnate by being too overly protective, or find itself racing toward a cliff’s edge, with no one applying the brake.
Your success in selling an X-Ray or a Profit Zone program is directly related to your knowledge of the outcomes these programs provide and your understanding of the 7 Stages of Growth and the 9 activities that make up a company’s profit zone.
I never sell an X-Ray, I talk to a CEO about the challenges they are facing today.
I ask them questions about how they handle those challenges, what has worked and what hasn’t worked, I ask if they feel their employees or their managers would agree with those challenges, I ask how well they feel they manage people, what their strengths are, what they would change if they could change one thing about their company, I ask if they are making and keeping as much money as they’d like to be, I inquire about their hiring process, their project management process, how effective they are with sales, do they have a specific sales process, do they have a customer service process, are their employees engaged?
And all the while that I’m asking questions and finding out about their company and their own skills and concerns, I begin to talk about the 7 Stages of Growth. I never sit down and say, “I use this model called the 7 Stages of Growth.”
As I uncover the obstacles that CEO talks about, I bring up the language that is used in the 7 Stages of Growth. For instance, if I hear a CEO talk about his/her management team isn’t stepping up, I mention this concept called the Builder/Protector ratio also known as the Confidence/Caution Ratio.
I explain how this is considered a ‘hidden agent’ because what appears to be the problem on the surface usually isn’t the root cause of what’s really creating that problem. If the management team isn’t stepping up, there could be a fear factor involved, causing them to doubt their own value especially when the CEO is always talking about a ‘lack of sales’, ‘we must bring in more sales’. I explain that without knowing it, the CEO could be creating a protector-mindset that permeates the company and if we can just become more builder-like, and help people feel more confident about what’s going on (so don’t ALWAYS talk about how bad sales are) it could become the One Thing that changes how people respond.
I ask if that CEO feels the managers or employees are in alignment with the goals and strategies of the company. How do they know? I explain how important Alignment is in getting Engagement and if we can get Engagement, I can guarantee we can Implement. If any one of those three are missing, we spin our wheels. How well are they positioned to reach their goals this year? How often does the CEO meet with the employees or the managers? Who runs most meetings? Do their managers or employees create their own key indicators and are they a part of their performance review meetings?
This is a ‘stream of consciousness’ and you have to put it into perspective. These questions and conversations may come in one sitting or three. I listen and I learn. Then I find ways of taking what that CEO said during our conversations and relating it back to the model and eventually, the solution I offer: The Stages of Growth X-Ray or the Zeroing in on Your Company’s Profit Zone.
This may take a week or it may take six months. I may land the client and address their project management problem first, do the work, create a deeper relationship, and eventually move the company to an X-Ray. I’ve never NOT delivered an X-Ray when working with a client. Sometimes it just takes longer than others. My goal was to always become a trusted advisor to that client.
Two Valuable Resources You Need to Check Out on the Website:
How to Position an X-Ray to a Prospect
Find this under the X-Ray Videos Tab
Marketing and Sales Ideas for the SOG X-Ray
Find this under the Resources & Tools Tab, Under the Marketing Tab
Remember, never hesitate to connect with me personally.
Your success. My passion.
Laurie Taylor, FlashPoint!