86: Building A Relationship Culture, The First Part Of The Success Process with Michael Zipursky
Connecting with people is every entrepreneur’s biggest focus because through these connections come the growth of a company. Between connections and growth is the relationship culture, and this is where Michael Zipursky learned what was and wasn’t working when he was building a consulting business. He got to places and gained access to high value customers by hanging out with ex-pats and foreigners in little takoyaki joints and ramen stalls instead of going down to the local bars like his contemporaries. Michael shares his story of making the switch of working with outside companies to working individually with coaches and consultants.
Building A Relationship Culture, The First Part Of The Success Process with Michael Zipursky
Our guest is really awesome. He is a coach to elite consultants and CEOs. His clients include billion dollar global organizations, professional service companies, and top consulting associations. In addition, he has coached and trained over 6,000 consultants and his minted several million dollar companies through his work with clients. We are so lucky to have him. Welcome, Michael Zipursky, to the show.
Mitch, it’s a real pleasure to be with you.
Thank you, Michael. It’s great to have you too. You have an exciting story and what you do is so essential to business people all over the world. I want to know how did this all begin for you?
I started in entrepreneurship and building businesses from a fairly young age back in college when my cousin Sam and I started a web development and design a company that was going quite well. We learned, made lots of mistakes and we’re just hustling. We didn’t know what we are doing, to be honest. We weren’t bringing a great deal of a track record of experience or a deep studies in this area. We learned as we went along. After that, we started another business which was called Kankei Culture. It was a branding and marketing consultancy where we started working with all kinds of businesses in America. I ended up going over to Japan and working with large multinational organizations, companies like Panasonic, Dow Jones Japan, Financial Times, and a whole host of others in the B2B space. I just built a branch office for our company over there. That’s where my background in consulting started to take shape by working with these billion-dollar organizations and different advertising agencies. It was an eye opening experience.
From there, I went on to start another consulting business, this time focusing on lead generation for professional services firms. This is after I returned to North America after spending several years in Japan. Fast forward, building several companies and working in different industries, I thought that it would be valuable for others if I would share my experiences in the front lines of building consulting businesses, sharing not only what was working well, but even more importantly what wasn’t working, some of the challenges that I was experiencing. That’s where Consulting Success, the site, the blog, there’s a lot more behind it now. In those early days it was just articles and content and my own experiences of what it was like building consulting businesses. That’s how we all got started.
I’d like to, if we could roll back just a little bit to the work you did in Japan, were you responsible for bringing those clients on board or were those assigned to you by a company you were working for? The contract, how did that work?
For those who have spent time in Asia and know the culture, you’ll know that it’s even more than North America, like a relationship-based environment and like our company was. We call it Kankei Culture. Kankei in Japanese means relationship. It’s like relationship culture was our business name. My big focus when I first arrived in Japan was connecting with people who could open doors and could teach me about the culture and more about the language and just create paths that we could use to grow the business. Most of the business, like the vast majority of the business that we landed, especially in the early days, came through connections. One of my mentors at the time was Moriya-san. He ran a large advertising agency in Japan. I was based in Osaka at the time. He opened doors that I could never open by myself, walking into a company like Omron, which is a very large B2B player. It does RFID. It does a lot of measurement tools and so forth, automations.
Going in and sitting across the table from the VP of marketing or the CEO in some cases wouldn’t have happened for a foreigner, especially one that is coming with a very small company. It was myself initially, and then from there we started partnering with other companies, graphic design agencies and advertising companies, and so forth. Getting to the places that I was able to access came down from relationships. In my spare time, instead of going down to the local foreign bar and hanging out with other expats and foreigners, I was going to the little Takoyaki joint or to the little izakaya hanging out with people that were twice and sometimes more than my age, just building relationships and learning about culture. Immersing myself into that played a very large role in the success of our business.
One of the first things I thought of when you started to tell me this is do you speak fluent Japanese?
I’m pretty good. I had to get to a point where I was able to work through meetings and make presentations to the board of directors or to the CEO or chairman of very large organizations. I’m fluent to the degree where I can communicate in any situation, but I’m not Japanese. I’m not native fluency, and certainly when it comes to characters and reading and writing, there are still many characters that that I don’t know. I did study Japanese for many years. I went and did a year of university as an exchange student in Japan. I can read, I can write, and I can communicate professionally.
This is to me very significant. It talks to your commitment to your mission, which I love. I wanted to point out though, mastering the host language is seen as a sign of respect. For example, to France and I’ve done business in France with my broken French and I have been laughed out of meetings, I have been told to leave because of the way I pronounced words. I quickly learned that unless I was willing to make the commitment to fully immerse myself in the French language, I was not going to be able to be successful working in France.
I ended up bringing a distributor onboard to help us and be that person on site in an international country. You didn’t. You chose to make that commitment and that to me is very significant. Do you believe that others should make that same commitment if it is their desire to do business in a foreign country or do you feel as if having representation would be just as good?
It depends on your specific situation. For us and what I was doing over there, I did that probably because I didn’t know any better. To me it just seemed like the logical. I’d grown up in the Middle East. I’d come back to Canada as a fairly young kid. I’ve always been interested in languages and cultures and religions and traditions and levels of respect. For me, it just seemed natural and made sense if I was going to be going to Japan. At that time, I was very interested in Japan and in business from a young age. At that time, Japan was the number one economy in Asia. It seemed to make sense to stay the language and to immerse myself in it. There are situations where it may not make sense to try and master the language, especially if you want to build a business.
If you can leverage off of the knowledge and the language skills that someone else has, that certainly can help. In fact, that’s also what I did. I wasn’t going in and giving presentations to CEOs of billion-dollar organizations from day one. I would go in, I would connect myself with, let’s say the CEO of a design agency. He would be doing the majority of the conversation and speaking, but I would be studying. I would be listening at what they were saying and the intonation and all the accents, all that stuff. Then I would get involved as I was able to continue to study and raise up my understanding and fluency as time went on.
I also want to point out that the idea of working with a mentor. In your case, you sought out a mentor. I don’t want to make it sound as if it was happenstance in any way. You were very lucky. You found a mentor or maybe you searched out for this specific individual that had the ability to make these high level connections for you. How did that all take place?
I remember it very clearly. It’s one of these memories that I have that has played a big or pivotal time in my life. I was at my uncle’s house in Toronto visiting one summer and I was planning to go to Japan. I knew that I wanted to connect with established players in the market there. I remember sitting up in their second floor. We have a beautiful little office space there and I just went through a listing of all the different design agencies, advertising agencies in Osaka because that’s where I was visiting. I sent emails one by one to each one of them introducing myself, what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and I’d love to have a meeting with them.
I don’t remember exactly how many I emailed, but I got a few replies and one of those replies stood out. The person whose name was name is Shinnoske. He responded. He welcomed me to come and visit with him, and we met at his office in Osaka. We hit it off from day one and went on to spend years doing business together. He was the one that introduced me in meetings to other people like Moriya-san and several others that I got to know. Those connections, those relationships, were just instrumental in our business growth. They opened doors that otherwise we would have never or it would’ve been so much more difficult and certainly taken a lot longer to create that same level of success.
This relationship capital that you started to build, you not only did very deliberately, but you did it very skillfully too. I’ve tried doing this and I’ve been successful. The most successful I’ve ever been was when I was first starting Timeslips Corporation, my software company. I didn’t know anything about publishing software or being a CEO for that matter. I started to contact famous and powerful software companies and I started to try to reach the CEO and asked if I could just take them to lunch, and I got lucky. I ended up connecting with the CEO of Lotus Development Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Everyone may not know the name Lotus Development Corporation or Lotus 1-2-3 but that was the first truly commercial spreadsheets that put PCs on the desks of business people all over the world.
Eventually, they were purchased. They were bought out, I believe, by IBM. I got a hold of this guy and his name was Mitch Kapor. When I first called, he turned me down and through his secretary he said, “No, I’m sorry. Mr. Kapor doesn’t have the time.” I called back the secretary and I said, “Please let him know that this is another Mitch, Mitch to Mitch. We should be able to connect.” She laughed out loud and she said one minute and she put me on the phone. That time with Mitch Kapor was so significant to my success as a software entrepreneur that without it, I don’t know if we ever would have succeeded. This effort that you talk about, and mine was almost happenstance, he could have laughed and hung up.
But would you have stopped or would you have contacted somebody else?
No. There was no doubt. In fact, I didn’t stop even after I spoke to him. I reached out to all of the many of the big company CEOs and tried to have meetings with them. In some cases, I was lucky. In other cases I couldn’t, but it never stopped me.
It’s diligence. It’s persistence. I was trying to raise money myself to be able to go and spend time in Japan. I was spending a summer there and there was no money around. I need to make the money. I needed to find some jobs. I’ve done jobs like selling Cutco knives when I was younger that summer. Actually, I did Cutco knives that summer, but I needed other jobs to make more money. I remember opening up the yellow pages, the phonebook. I opened it up and I just started. I chose an industry and just went from page to page calling companies saying, “Do you have any openings? Do you have any jobs?”The internet wasn’t happening at that time and this was a way for me to quickly identify an opportunity and to find one, and I did. I had one company that picked up. They are called English Lawns and they said, “Can you be here tomorrow?” I said, “Yeah, I can be there tomorrow.”There I was. I was picking up big pieces of sod, of grass, and laying them all over Vancouver to make some money.
There are so many examples of this, entrepreneurs who persist and get what they want. I love to hear these stories because they are so reinforcing. Here you are, you started to land these big clients and you’re evolving your career. When did you make the switch from working with outside companies of that stature to working individually with top coaches and consultants?
It’s been about almost nineteen years since I’ve started this journey. I’ve been working with other consultants and coaches, helping them to build their businesses. There was an interesting shift. It started off working with larger organizations. As the business evolved and I came back to North America, the lead generation company that I started, I started then working with a lot more professional services firms. I went from working with the billion dollar organizations to then working with professional services, like a lot of law firms, financial advisors, insurance and investment firms, and then also some consulting companies. That provided some additional exposure to that market. After that, I started taking on more clients that were running small consulting firms and coaching firms in terms of working specifically with consultants and helping them to grow their businesses. It’s been about eleven years now.
You have some experience here. You’ve done this a few times. This isn’t your first rodeo. You have some success here obviously.
Yes. Through our work, we’ve worked personally with hundreds of consultants all around the world in all different industries.
Sold thousands of your course work as well.
For your show, it’s The First Thousand Clients. I was just looking at some metrics when you were asking about that question previously. One of our first courses, we’ve sold thousands of those. Then even with our coaching and training programs, that’s also been several thousand people that we’ve had go through those trainings.
If you are a coach, if you are a consultant, one of the things that Michael did that I would mirror, if I were you, I’d find a way to take your content, your intellectual property, and package it in such a way so that others can learn more about what you do. I’ve already finished writing my second book and it’s going to be published in spring. The thing about the books that I’ve written is I pour everything I know about that topic into the book.
I don’t hold anything back because I know for certain that people who read this book are sincerely interested in the process or the topic of the book, but they’re not necessarily interested in trying to do all the heavy lifting themselves. What they’re doing with the book is they’re evaluating you by reading your book. If they like your book, there’s a strong possibility that they will hire you. That is why I think so many of us write. More importantly, it’s the coursework that Michael created that helped him reach more and more clients. Is that right, Michael?
Yeah. I was writing article after article, just sharing my experiences on the site. My cousin Sam and I, we’ve built several businesses together and continue to work together. We run a family business, which is always fun, but we realized at least a year or so, “This is nice that we have this up here, but can we turn this into a business?”We saw our traffic growing, our engagement growing. We were onto something. That’s where we decided to create an initial course on becoming a successful consultant and went on to sell several thousand copies of that. From there we continued to put new offerings into the marketplace and find ways to work more intimately in a closer manner with consultants to help to grow their businesses and that’s taken form now in the coaching program that we run.
Michael, what I want to do is put you on the hot seat and I want you to demonstrate your skills and abilities right here on the show. I’m going to be your client here and you’re going to coach me. I want you to set me up and help me move to the next level and all in the next fifteen to twenty minutes. Where do we start?
Where do you want to go? What are you focused right now on achieving? What are your goals? What are the problems that you have?
I’m going to try and use the answers that I think would fit with everyone and probably most of your clients. It’s very simple. I want to grow my business. I work with fifteen clients a month and I would like to grow that to 30 or 40 clients a month. What do I do?
Let’s talk a little bit more about that. What are you doing right now? Tell me more about how you’re getting those fifteen or so clients.
Mostly by word of mouth, mostly by personal referrals, and I show up at a couple of events and pass out business cards.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client would be people who are looking to grow their retail store business.
They are retailers looking to grow their stores and that’s to grow their retail sales?
Yeah, their retail traffic, their retail stores. By the way, that’s nothing to do with what I do, but for the purpose of this. Basically, I help business owners increase store traffic. I help them better generate more dollars per square foot. I help them with product selections so that we call out the low-profit products and bring more high-profit products into the store.
Right now you’re getting fifteen clients per month or a total of fifteen clients?
About fifteen clients a month.
Do you want to double that to 30 per month?
What’s an average client worth to you right now? What are they spending with you?
They spend about$2,000 to $3,000 a month, depending on the size of their business.
How long do they typically stay with you?
About two to three months.
We’re talking about maybe looking around $9,000 in value per client. Right now you said most of your business is coming from word of mouth. You want to double the amount of clients. How many leads are you getting right now? How many inquiries and conversations are you having each month?
Just a couple a day. I try to remember to ask store owners, “Do you know anybody else I can help?” I get a couple.
A couple a day, maybe potentially 30 or so per month?
You line about fifteen clients per month. Your win rate is about 50% of the conversations that you have of people turning into clients.
It’s a little less than that actually because what happens is there are people that do respond to my website. We have a yellow pages ad on the internet. The referrals are part of it. The website brings in a couple, the online listings bring in a couple.
What would you say? Do you think your win rate when you have a conversation with a qualified a buyer is at about 40%, 50% of them become clients or less?
Less. Probably 25%,maybe 30% at the most.
You’ve identified who your ideal client is. They’re these retailers. Are they in a geographic area? Are you focusing on a specific area or are we talking nationwide?
Pretty much only in Brooklyn, New York.
How many ideal clients are there for you in Brooklyn, New York?
Tens of thousands.
How many of those have you had a conversation with?
A tiny fraction of that, maybe 200 to 300.
When you typically go in and have a conversation with someone, does your message resonate with them? Are they very interested in continuing that conversation or do you find that when you talk with people you’re not getting the level of interest that you’d like?
It’s hit or miss, I would think. Sometimes they’re interested. I hear a lot of no’s. Most of us in sales do. A lot of people tell me they don’t have the money to invest in some fancy consultant. Other times, I do catch their interest and we chat. In most cases, usually just in one visit, I can pretty much point out two or three things wrong with either the flow of traffic or the way the products are displayed or even the way the signs and storefronts look.
When you work with a client and they implement your recommendations, what results do they typically see? The sales increased. Just give me a sense of what that looks like.
It’s a little of both on profits and sales. In some cases sales don’t increase dramatically, but profits do. In some cases sales and profits will both increase.
For a typical client for you, what does that look like in dollars over a twelve to eighteen-month period? What do they realize in additional profit on sales?
It would depend on the size of the store. My smallest store client would be like $150,000. They’d be a $150,000-business. My largest store client is about a $3.8-million business. The $3.8-million business, they’re already pretty smart. They’re already doing a lot of stuff right. If I could add 3% to 5% to their profit margins, then I’m a hero.
Are you confident that you can do that? Do you have experienced doing that?
Yeah. My family’s been in retail for 50 years. There’s no doubt that I know how to do that.
There are a few things going on here. Given that we have just a short amount of time here, if we were working in a real situation, we’d be getting deeper in a lot of these areas. When we’re looking and I’m having this conversation with a consultant, there are typically four areas and four parts of the process that we use. The first is getting clarity around who your ideal client is. The second is making sure that you have a message that resonates and gets the attention and interest of that ideal client so they want to essentially raise their hand and wanting to have a conversation with you.
The third is looking at what we call strategic offers. How do you best package, position, place value on, and price your service offerings so they align with what your ideal client wants, but also create the right level of compensation that you’re looking for to fit your business model as well as making sure that it has the right structure for you to grow you, creating the lifestyle and the type of company and business that you want. Then the fourth is what we call the marketing engine. It’s the step by step process and system and plan to put you in front of your ideal clients consistently.
Given that we only have a short bit of time to go into this situation, there are several things that stand out to me right away from what you’ve told me. You want to go from 15 to 30 clients. You want to double your business. If we just look through these four different phases of what we call the foundation, every successful consulting business has to have these four in place. If we start just from the top and look at your ideal client, the first thing that stands out to me is that you would benefit by having greater clarity around who your ideal clients are. Saying that there’s tens of thousands of prospective clients probably isn’t the best approach because it’s very hard to target those tens of thousands effectively.
You’re only talking about adding an extra fifteen or so clients per month. You’re not trying to add hundreds or thousands of new clients every single month. We can be very targeted. The other benefit of getting clear around who your ideal client is, you’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table right now because you’re making $29,000 over a three-month period of serving these clients. If you’re working with the $2 million, $3 million, $4 million organization and you’re able to help them to increase their profits by hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of twelve to eighteen months, then you can charge significantly more because there’s a lot more value in there. Looking at what the ROI that the client is getting from you here, you have significant opportunity to restructure your service offerings and your pricing so that every client becomes worth a lot more to you.
Now you actually have a choice. You can still add fifteen clients and grow your business significantly or if you want to just maintain a certain level of revenue, you’ll be able to work with fewer clients and serve them in a more intimate and deep way while still achieving that level of revenue because you will be making more with every client that comes on. That stands out to me is that the ideal client. Getting more clarity on them, there’s a big opportunity. Also, your strategic offers and getting the right structures are opportunities that we could work on. The other is around your messaging. You said that right now it’s a hit or a miss. We’d want to spend some time looking at what is your messaging right now and how can we adjust it so that it gets again, the attention, the interest of your ideal clients, and speaks directly to them.
This is an area that we see a lot of consultants struggle with and it often comes from them not having real clarity around their ideal client. If you’re trying to use the same message for retail business doing a hundred and $150,000 as well as $3.8 million, those are two very different types of companies. You might see the same problems within each of them, but they themselves see themselves as very different. You want to have a message that’s going to resonate with the ideal client. That real segment that is the hyper responsive segment of that market as opposed to just saying, “We work with retail businesses.”We could definitely work on your messaging. When you have your messaging dialed in, you’ll start to see that you’re going to get more inquiries and more leads because people want to respond to it.
The other is the actual marketing edge. We need to figure out how you can stop relying just on referrals and your network and word of mouth, which is great. We want that to keep going, but there are other steps that we can take. The first step to building the marketing engine is getting more clarity around who the ideal client is because then we can just figure out how do we target them? LinkedIn might be a way to do that. It might be as simple as you going every day by a few stores and having a quick conversation. It might be about sending something to those stores and then following up. Until we get real clarity around the ideal client, doing a bunch of marketing isn’t going to create the result that you want.
Once we have the real clarity on the client and we have a messaging that we know is going to resonate with them, then we can put in place a system that can benefit from automation and a lot more targeting that can get you and your expertise in front of your ideal clients consistently, every day, every week, and as much as needed with built in follow-up that will allow you to go from being under the radar right now, which is essentially what you are, because there’s all these clients and companies that could benefit from your expertise. The problem is they just don’t know that you exist. We want to get you from being under the radar to on their radar, and then being able to engage in significantly more meaningful conversations that lead to more proposals and more business.
Talk more about the strategic offer part.
I was using your example of right now your average client being worth a $9,000. $3,000 per month over three months you said. A great way for people to think about their pricing is shift off is stop using the old model of hourly fees and daily rates. Instead, get clear around what we call ROI positioning. It’s figuring out what is the ROI, both the tangibles and intangibles, that are going to be created from the work that you’re going to be doing with that buyer. As an example, if you’re able to add $1 million to an organization, then you can charge significantly more than if you’re only adding $100,000 to an organization. There’s more value for the company.
They’re going to be willing to invest more because they’re getting a greater ROI. They’re getting more value created. When you said, “I’m charging $9,000 right now, but I’m potentially able to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to a larger client segment,” that to me says there’s probably an opportunity here for you to rework your offerings potentially both in terms of how long you work with them, but also in terms of your actual pricing. We typically recommend that consultants be thinking about their pricing somewhere around like a five to seven times return on investment. If they invest $10,000 with you, then they should be getting back $50 to $70,000 or more.
Everything you just said is everything I wanted to hear you say. Meaning we just explored where all the questions that are super important to any business. Any business that provides a service to any other business or even people need to go through this for question process. I really enjoyed listening as you structure that so beautifully. Let’s talk about item number five, which you barely mentioned, but I know is very important. You call it the system. Tell me more.
There are four things. There is the ideal client clarity. There’s what we call the magnetic message, like developing your value proposition. There’s number three, which is strategic offers, and then the fourth is the marketing engine, which is your actual way of getting in front of ideal clients consistently. Is that what you’re referring to?
Yeah. Is that the marketing system you mentioned?
Correct. That’s the system that essentially what a lot of consultants or service professionals or experts are looking for is a way to generate leads more consistently and with more predictability, something that is repeatable that is step-by-step. That’s what the marketing engine is all about. The challenge a lot of people have is that they try and jump just to marketing before getting the other pieces of the foundation in place. They’re doing marketing, they’re falling what they see other people are talking about or whatever it might be, but they don’t have the foundation.
They don’t have real clarity on who their ideal client is or they don’t have real clarity around what message is going to get their attention. They actually want to engage with you. In some cases, they don’t have their pricing optimized. Even though they might be landing some clients, which is great, they’re leaving a lot of money on the table. They’re not maximizing the value by being able to communicate that value to a buyer and having a meaningful conversation with them and structuring their offers in a way where there’s a lot more leverage. It’s not just based on how much time they spend.
It’s a process. You start with getting clarity around your ideal client. Most of us who begin small consulting or coaching practices don’t seem to do as much work on that as we need. I know I didn’t when I first started out. You and I met a couple years ago. Back then, I was looking for clients and I didn’t have a real clarity around what my ideal client was. In fact, I didn’t have almost any of these four elements in place. It wasn’t until I did that that I got clear on who my ideal client is. I got clear on how to say or tell my message, tell my story, so that it resonated with my buyer. Then the offer. I liked the fact that you quantified it five to seven times, the ROI, which means that I’m probably, even in my business, leaving some money on the table. When I built a certification program for my clients, that program typically is worth around $4.1 million in year two. I know that I’m charging a tiny fraction of that amount compared to what a successful program will generate. That’s a great lesson for me too.
The fourth part is the marketing engine. I mentioned to you before the show that I basically am pretty full up with clients right now and all of my clients come from this marketing engine. I used to get clients by going to a trade show or going to a mastermind and passing out business cards, and that was fine. Once I systematically created a marketing system on LinkedIn, then I had just about all the clients I could handle. All of these pieces are so vital to creating any type of a service organization. I liked the clarity around the way you described it. I had been reading your book. Your book, The Elite Consulting Mind, is probably one of the best mindset books I’ve ever read for entrepreneurs. I know that it’s about consulting and the name of the book is targeting consultants, but I also believe that every entrepreneur has a mindset position that can always be improved. Do you want to tell us a little bit more about that?
My pleasure and I’m honored to hear you say that about the book. Thank you so much. I wrote The Elite Consulting Mind because what I have observed over the last eighteen plus years in building my own businesses and working with hundreds of consultants is that these days, so many people talk about strategy and tactics. Everyone’s looking at it like, “What do I need to do?” I continue to observe that the greatest success comes not just from knowing necessarily what to do. It’s also knowing how to think about things, to have the right mindset. There’s so much potential that is in every single one of us. That potential is not being realized, not just because we don’t know what to do. Instinctively, a lot of us know what we need to do. We need to go and have a conversation with a prospective buyer. We know that. Why are people not doing that? They’re not doing that because there are things going on in their mind that are holding them back.
Essentially to a degree, we all sabotage our own success. We have fears of the unknown. There are confidence issues, all these things that come up. I wrote The Elite Consulting Mind because I wanted people to benefit from the lessons and the experiences, the approaches, the mindsets that have worked for me and that I have developed over the years that have also been so instrumental in the growth of many of our clients’ business. I share stories throughout the book of our clients and how they’ve worked through situations because there’s many situations that arise that can be thought about in a different way. Just shifting how you think about something can be the difference between having your success locked at a certain level and unlocking it, and now all of a sudden getting to that next level.
I haven’t finished the book. I’m about half way through. You are vocalizing the thoughts that many of us have. You are bringing to the surface some of the hidden fears most entrepreneurs have about success, about impostor syndrome, about wondering whether they can make it or not, the types of questions that we ask ourselves in secret that we never would ever say to anybody else. You bring them to the surface, you expose them in the light of the truth, which is most of the time they’re false and furthermore. You help people explore them directly which is a very important element of success.
If you can explore them in your own mind, then they’re going to plague you forever. These are the questions, as Michael said, that hold us back. I want to recommend that you get a hold of Michael’s book. Do not hesitate pick up a copy. You will not be sorry you did. Michael, I hate to end this interview because it’s just been such a great time chatting with you. I have a few questions before I let you go. This question is one of my favorites because it somehow shows listeners exactly who we’re talking to. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch, or an intense conversation with?
I knew you were going to ask that question because I’m a listener of your show. Often when I’m at the gym, I’m listening to your show and I’m a big fan of it. I know that this question comes up and I’ve thought about it beforehand. I have to tell you, it’s not an easy question for me because there isn’t one person that has jumped out and I could see like definitely that person. I’ve learned from so many people over the years, both in terms of books and also personal mentors and coaches. One person that, as I was thinking about this, emerged in my mind is someone that I know is a dear friend of yours, and that’s the late Chet Holmes.
I remember reading his book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, when it came out. I believe it was 2007, almost eleven years ago. It opened my eyes and made me think about some things that I had maybe known instinctively beforehand. It was just such a powerful book and it’s one that I recommend to so many people over the years, not just for the tactics and the strategy behind some of the stuff. I remember Chet talking about in the opening of the book his work with some of his or mentors. It was Charlie Munger that he was working with on some organizations. Just those stories and being part of building organizations, to me, I found fascinating reading it all those years ago. I would love to have a conversation with Chet about his journey and what he went through.
Chet and I had been friends for several decades, over 25 years. To this day, not only do I still miss him, but I still wish I had at least one more hour with him. I would love to show him everything I’ve done since we were in business together. More importantly, I would like to have him again as my partner. I’d love to say, “Chet, come on. Roll up your sleeves. Let’s make this thing even bigger.” I’d love to get his response to that. You’re right, I do miss him. I do love him. His book is amazing. He has helped thousands and thousands of people. It’s a great choice. Here’s the grand finale question. This is the “change the world” question. What is it that you were doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
This is what gets me the most excited. It’s the work that we do with our clients, not just for the income and revenue increases that people see. I talk a lot now about this term meaningful success. To me, success is not just about what you can buy with money or having money in building something big for the sake of building something big. It’s everything else. It’s what that allows you to do. The freedom, the flexibility, the ability to spend time with loved ones, to treat them, to be a part and play a role in your community or with charities, or to travel the world or whatever it is that is meaningful for you. That’s what I get to see firsthand with our clients, these people who can go from working just like way too much and being so stressed and being so worried about things to a place where now all of a sudden their businesses taking off.
They have more clients than they can handle, which is a nice thing to have and then we work on fixing that. Then what happens is, they get to start doing things. They get to start traveling with their family more, spending more time with their kids or buying some things for their kids that makes them happier, spending time with their grandchildren or taking a trip or whatever it is. It’s this ripple effect by being involved in what they’re doing. We get to help them to change and to be better and happier people. That ripples out and I see it having an effect throughout the industry and throughout the communities that we’re all part of. Rather than just the wins that we have as a business, I’m much more excited about the wins that our clients have.
Michael, you are an amplifier of success. None of us can have the impact alone versus the impact we can have through others. The impact you are having through others is significant. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show, Michael. I believe that there’s so much here for people to understand. Michael, thank you. I can’t wait for our next conversation.
Thanks, Mitch. It’s been a lot of fun. I appreciate it.
The 4 Part Success Process:
- Clarity around the ideal client – benefit; leaving a lot on the table – raise your prices, extend your relationship with your clients; restructure!
- Resonance with the message – How to adjust to get the attention and interest of ideal client – clarity around your ideal client.
- Strategic Offer – benefit; leaving a lot on the table – raise your prices, extend your relationship with your clients; restructure!
- Marketing Engine – stop relying on just referrals and better target the ideal client.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Michael Zipursky
- Consulting Success
- The Elite Consulting Mind
- The Ultimate Sales Machine
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