There I was standing on stage, in my tuxedo and black bow tie, in front of 500 people, with my mother in the audience, on her birthday no less, graciously accepting the Vero Excellence in Support Award for a “Business Providing a Service One to Many” category.
For the last ten years I’d been selecting, engaging and promoting different business speakers each month in New Zealand, organizing events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Typically these events have been attracting audiences of 7,000 people each year.
Fast forward a few years, and I awoke to the news and the tragedy of the second earthquake in Christchurch. We had just brought Michael Gerber to New Zealand for the second time three weeks previously. I knew things were about to change in a big way.
And change they did. Within six months, with The Global Financial Crisis in full swing, there I was pushing the send button on the e-mail to members telling them we were, after 13 years in business, ceasing to run our events. It was, at the time a very painful and difficult decision to make.
And so it began… with death of Old Co, as Michael Gerber likes to describe it, comes the birth of New Co, as that’s what entrepreneurs do.
I’d always been pretty technology savvy. I knew I could always apply my talent of learning and development and that my ability of being able to drink from the fire hydrant of information, and organize and distill that information down into a methodology and strategy that makes sense would not fail me now.
Here is the Challenge
If you are like me, when I was running a business with a small sales team I was constantly searching for the next best next move, a way to make a small change that would unlock the potential that I knew was just sitting there waiting for me to find the right combination.
During my continual searching for that next best move, I recognised that using technology and marketing online was going to be a key factor. However I found trying to make sense of the whole online opportunity both frustrating and completely overwhelming at times.
The problem was all of the people marketing their successful online internet programmes were specialists. No one was a generalist. No one would share with you the overall strategy. No one would give you a guide to be able to paint by numbers, to join the dots on the page to form the big picture.
They all keep the big picture well and truly to themselves, hidden behind the curtain.
Without this big picture, how do you know where to start? It was like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the front of the box. I found myself zigging and zagging from one strategy to another. Talk about frustrating!
The reason I was so intent on trying to make sense of it was I knew, with my business previously, like perhaps yours and so many others, we’d suffered from the “failure to follow-up” disease that occurs with any sort of sales orientated businesses.
I’d read and knew the research – “67% of the prospective buyers that tell you “no” today will be ready to buy in the next year.” [ —Gartner Research] And “80% of leads you consider to be “dead” will buy within 2 years.” [ —Sirius Decisions].
And I knew this disease had robbed us of hundreds of thousands of dollars (perhaps millions of dollars) in missed sales, important profit and vital cashflow. And I was determined, that regardless of what ever I did next, I was going to find a way to prevent this disease from occurring again.
So I started to devour all of the free online marketing content I could get my hands on. I’d go to bed listening to a webinars or audio recordings playing night after night. Often I’d awake, with at least one of my earphones still in my ear, to voice of some online internet marketing presenter still sharing their wisdom.
The Answer Appears
Then finally, one September afternoon after 500 plus hours of structured learning and and after watching countless programmes on online marketing, marketing funnels, sales funnels and social media marketing something finally clicked.
It was just like when you stare at one of those 3D images, you stare at it long enough, until just when everything seems to go fuzzy, you see it, that previously hidden 3D image comes into focus; into view for the first time. All of a sudden all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. I could see the big picture. I could see how everything fitted together.
It’s funny how things happen. As it turned out a back in 2009 I’d implemented a piece of technology that the business had been using, be it not to any where near its true potential.
I had a feeling at the time that the strategy behind it was incredibly sound (and now I knew why).
The reason I now knew this was such a key to preventing the disease of “failure to follow-up” from ever occurring again was that its used a unique formula, a process I now call “B³”.
I remember the first time I put this process to work just like it was yesterday, I was talking on Skype to a friend in the Caribbean, and I swiveled around on my chair to see a new email had just arrived in saying, “Cha-ching! Somebody bought something! – you’ve just made another $200”. And I remember thinking wow this is so cool, it works. What was really amazing was that I didn’t have to do anything at all. Everything was automated!
After being approached by a couple of entrepreneurs, who had seen what I was doing, and listening to their frustrations of being overwhelmed by how to market themselves effectively in the current digital economy.
All of sudden it seemed natural, I had well and truly done my 10,000 hours; all of those years of running a sales orientated organisation.
Coupled with my now solid understanding of how to employ a successful strategy online, I’ve been able to connect the dots in clear concise way that no-one else I’ve come across does.
Ortom8 is born.
Its mission is to create a tribe of like-minded entrepreneurs who are running professional service and technology based businesses and share how you can cure yourself, from what I call the “Technology Tourettes Syndrome” and in doing so rid your businesses from the “failure to followup” disease through putting in place B³ based marketing strategies. In doing so give you back control of your business!