Begin with the end goal in mind
By Chis Lipper
Chris Lipper is the Founder of On the Bus and he works primarily with founding business owners to help them reach greater success. Over the years, he coached hundreds of business owners in sales and marketing and has experienced creating brand identity and corporate image as well as product development and marketing worldwide.
Chris founded On The Bus Sales Training, Coaching & Consulting on new year's eve of 2010. He's now in his 12th year of coaching business owners and the way they do it is by the community. They create what he calls “buses” (they're virtual buses now) where they put up to eight owners on a bus once a month for a four-hour meeting. They share challenges, opportunities and get feedback and hold each other accountable for making a change by the next month's meeting and the results of these meetings are phenomenal.
46 of the business owners in the last six or seven years that came to Chris with the intent of wanting to sell their business have done that. They also get to do unique stuff because they don't just talk about stuff, they do things like sales training that are available for the community and for others that meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 10 am to 12 noon. They have their own networking group on Thursday mornings at 9:00 am and conduct quarterly virtual trade shows. His group used to have live trade shows twice a year but when the pandemic hit, they went virtual and they're even better. They had six of these events last year and they will do four this year.
They have the workbook called “On The Bus” sales training and twice a year they review it so they can plan for next year in December so they don't lose January. If they're gonna plan for next year they do it the month before.
What is the first step in goal setting?
Chris shared that everything starts with a vision. Whenever he sits down with a new client, they do a little meditation together and they go out to their exit. Depending on their age, Chris wants to know where they want to exit and what they want the business to look like then, so they can work backward.
How Would You Address Setting Goals?
For Chris, it’s important to have a SMART goal which means Strategic, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable. The trackable part is important.
Every month prior to coming to their monthly meeting he'll sit down with them one to one and go over their “bus pass” meaning they look at behavioral goals. He explains that behavioral goals are something that’s in our control, in our power and it's an action that we can make time for or not depending on our motivation.
“Let's say you did $750,000 last year in revenue and you want to be at a million next year. The gap or the spread is $250,000. The first thing we want to know is what's your average ticket? How much is your average ticket? If it's $10,000 and we want $250,000 we need 25 orders. Now we look at your kill ratio. When you meet with a client how often do you close them? Is it 50% of the time? Is it one out of ten? When you know that number then we know how many quotes we need in the 12 months or per month. We can break it down to monthly so if we wanted 10 new clients in our 50 kill ratio, we need 20 quotes. What do we need to do to get 20 quotes? Is it networking? and do you have a networking goal?”
The Power of Referral & Accountability
Chris’ networking goal whenever he goes to an event is to schedule two one-to-ones. And his goal with those one-to-ones is to ask for a referral and to paint a picture in a way where somebody knows what he does and ask them, “do you know anyone who could benefit from this?” With this process, he'll hit his number next year which is 13 new clients, that's his goal.
He mentioned that the key to this whole thing is accountability. He likes to have somebody to hold him accountable if he’s not doing enough or talk to him if he’s doing too much of one. It works best by community and that's how they do it at their bus meetings. When somebody says things are a little off and they don't have the opportunities they used to have, they can go back and look at three months ago and see that they weren't networking and that's why. So it's the behaviors, it's in our control and that's the important part for Chris.
Chris loves working with startups and new companies because according to him, the owners are more teachable and trainable. You see the results right away because they implement them right away. It's motivational and exciting for him as they follow along and go with the process. What ends up happening with a lot of entrepreneurs is good. They get happy being good but their sights of being great aren't there as much so it’s Chris’ job to remind them of the carrot or the end goal.
Chris’ Vegan Story
He also shared he went vegan five years ago after he watched a movie called “What the Health on Netflix. He learned that the government has us eating badly to fuel the pharmaceutical industry and he was on cholesterol medicine. He went vegan that day and it's among the top three decisions of his life. His cholesterol level was 258 and the doctor told him he has to go on meds but he refused and went on his vegan diet. He made a deal with the doctor to go get a CT scan of his heart and if the numbers come back good, he doesn't have to go on. A couple of Fridays later the doctor told him that the CT scan came back with a zero percent blockage. Going vegan paid off really well for Chris.
Why do People Fail to Maintain their Goals?
Paul: What happens when somebody has a goal and they think they want it because they know it's good for them, but they don't carry it out for whatever reason?
Chris: What I'll do is I always recap and sometimes it can be a matter of just reminding them of the goal and the priority. We have a system called RCIP where we Recap, we Confirm, we remind them of the Importance, and find out what kind of Priority this was for them then.
It's about making a lifestyle change. It's a new beginning and the new year is a great time to start that. It's a new way of living.
Be a better networker
Network with a goal
Set yourself up
Go to different events
Go visit the 20 people with a different spin
Get to know them instead of telling them about you
Always go for the referral, don't go for the sale they will refer themselves