Business mentor tip #83 – Subscribe to the concept of leverage

At the end of each year you should be working less in your business than you were at the end of the year before.  This objective is something that’s missing in typical business plans and yet your goal towards freedom should always focus on leverage, leverage, leverage.

Here’s a definition of ‘leverage’ I found online at

“Leverage is the ability to influence a system, or an environment, in a way that multiplies the outcome of one’s efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources. In other words, leverage is the advantageous condition of having a relatively small amount of cost yield a relatively high level of returns.”

If you add the words “or time” after the words “small amount of cost” in the above definition then I think we can really start to appreciate what leverage means in a business sense. It’s about you achieving more by doing less – multiplying the outcome of your efforts and decreasing the time you spend to get this outcome.  A typical owner operator business, such as a plumber or an interior designer, spends all of their time IN the business doing the work to make the money.  This is the opposite of leverage.  This is using all of your resources to achieve the same return, day in and day out.  As I said earlier, you are never going to get rich exchanging time for money.

How do you stop the business being dependent on you?  If your own skills and talents form the basis of the income for you business, please start right now to think about how you can change this.

Business Mentor tip #82 – How to save money attracting new clients without cold calling

Another great sales tip from guest entrepreneur Mike Brunel

With the cost of acquiring new customers mounting, many companies’ customer bases are shrinking, due to loss of confidence of advertisers and consumers alike.

What you will learn in this month’s Sales tip is the secret to understanding the power of client’s referrals.

Referrals are often one way to get your additional sales without too much additional work.

Why ask for a referral?

  1. It cuts down your prospecting time – The traditional way to build new prospects is to cold call. With referrals it can basically eliminate cold calling forever.
  2. It builds trust – If you get a referral from a client you work with, then that is a signal to you that they trust you, they are prepared to put their faith in you with another friend or business acquaintance.
  3. Helps you build a network – The buzz word these days is networking, this may be true, but by creating a referral programme with your advertisers you have a built in network at your fingertips.

What is a referral?

A referral is when one of your existing advertisers provides the name and contact information of another advertiser. In my experience, and there are also studies to prove this, this is the one area that most sales people fall down in.

3 types of referrals

There are basically three simple referrals systems we use, I will outline what they are and then talk about how you can action one straight away, today.

  1. Direct Referrals
  2. Direct Endorsement
  3. Implied Endorsement/Referral


I am going to discuss direct referrals in this blog and touch on the other two in the near future.

A direct referral is a request to your clients to direct you to a potential client who they know that may also like your services. It’s an endorsement, a reference from a client to another friend or business. This is usually the most common form of referral and usually the easiest.

Most sales people and business people  understand this one – many use it sporadically and often by chance.


Here are 3 action steps to get a direct referral that will increase your call rate and closure rate very quickly.

  1. Choose your top 10 clients you want to target. In other words who are you going to ask for a referral?
  2. Set a time every day to go and ask those clients the following using these scripts as a guide

“I’m building up my client list and I wanted to get a referral from you. When we met last you said that you were pleased with my work. I’d really appreciate it if you’d pass my name along to anyone else you know who would be interested in _____________ (what you do). May I leave these extra business cards with you?”


“I’m really glad that you’re pleased with my work. I’m always looking for referrals and wonder if you know anyone else in your circle of business acquaintances who might be interested in marketing or promoting their business as well as I have for your business.”

TIP: Be specific with tying down the client’s area of influence. It’s no use asking a client something like “Is there anyone you know?” it’s too big a circle to think about. Get really specific.

With any scripts make them your own. George Clooney uses scripts but once he is familiar with the content he makes it his own.

3.  The final step is to create this system for your top 10 clients, businesses you deal with over a 30 day period. This will set a habit in place that will most certainly benefit you for the long term. Once you do that with your top ten, then move onto your next ten, and so on and so on.


It’s time to ACT: Here is what to do right now to get an immediate result. Call two clients and let them know that you will be coming to see them for a referral. Mentally visualise them giving you that referral. Write the goal in your diary or on your weekly planner.

Remind yourself every day that your goal to more sales and easier closing rates are referrals.

Is there anyone you know that would like to get more information on how to be a great media salesperson? Please feel free to refer them to

­­Good selling, Mike

Mike Brunel is a director of a number of companies both in New Zealand and worldwide which specialise in generating sales revenue for television newspaper and radio stations. NRS Media operates in over 65 markets throughout New Zealand, Australia, US, Canada and Europe. Their simple sales concepts have generated in excess of US$900 million. Mike is a phenomenal sales person, as well as a stimulating and relatable trainer. Contact him at Mike offers a limited private consultancy for selected clients. For more information contact

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand.

Where are you at in the soccer game of life?

Someone once told me that life is like a game of soccer.  It’s a game of two halves. In the first half you are becoming an adult and you’re full of energy. You’re also a bit stupid and you have all your learning experiences and make all your mistakes. And then you have your second half of your life where you accept that you are going to die one day and the quality of life becomes important.  Your priorities change and the focus of where you put your energy changes.

Where are you right now in the soccer game of life?

Are you less than age forty?  Are you still in the first half?  If you are this is a critical time.  The decisions you make in the first half influence how you get to live the second half. If you look at it like a game of soccer and you play your guts out in the first half,  score all the goals you can and you go into the half time on top with the other team in defence, then the second half can be a lot easier. But if you don’t score any goals and you just laze around the pitch in the first half then you have to play really, really hard in the second half.   If you are less than forty and still playing the first half of your soccer game, you can make choices now to play a game that sets you up well for the second half.   This is a critical and blessed time for you.

If like me you’re in your forties you are at half time. You’re looking now at the second half going, “What do I want to do now? How can I make sure that what I do in the next 10 years sets me up for the rest of my life? So that I can really enjoy and make a difference with that second half of my life.

If you are already well into the second half, you are looking for ways to get on top while there’s still time.  Smart thinking, clear forecasting and strategic planning are your key game plan items now.   If you haven’t already created your financial freedom, if you are still working hard in your business, NOW is the time to engineer your exit.  Smart and fast will be your tactics.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.

Business Mentor Tip #81 – Rate your scalability

I had a very enjoyable interview with John Holt (co-founder of HR Software provider Sonar6 which was sold to NASDAQ listed company Cornerstone On Demand) for my regular NZ Business Magazine column.  He said many wise things.

One was about a key factor a potential buyer would be looking for in a business to purchase.  And that was scalability.  Quick Wikipedia definition coming up:

Scalability is the ability of a system, network, or process, to handle a growing amount of work in a capable manner or its ability to be enlarged to accommodate that growth.

Or… does your business model support rapid and sustainable growth?

An interesting question and one I think every business owner should ask themselves right now.  What is your model for growth? And how will a future potential buyer be able to take your model and add it to their own for their own advantage?

Love to hear your comments on what makes a business scalable.

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Businses mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.