"The biggest focus for businesses should be about getting hyper-personal." - Mal McCallion
Mal McCallion has 30 years of experience in high-growth organizations. Mal is obsessed with elements of business that make some businesses succeed where others fai...
"The biggest focus for businesses should be about getting hyper-personal." - Mal McCallion
Mal McCallion has 30 years of experience in high-growth organizations. Mal is obsessed with elements of business that make some businesses succeed where others fail.
As part of the teams that launched both Zoopla and Primelocation and, with the experience of growing these businesses to multi-million plus valuations, Mal launched Growtion in 2015 to help businesses get on the fast-track to success.
Using a strong base of actionable strategies built around Product, Marketing, and Sales, Growtion has helped dozens of businesses execute their way to success.
The Sell My Business Podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth.
The Deep Wealth Experience has you learn the 9-steps of preparation in 90-days. At the end of the 90-days, you have a blueprint for optimizing the value of your business. You also enjoy the certainty that you capture the maximum value.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth. Are you thinking about a liquidity event? You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. The 90-day Deep Wealth Experience gives you the certainty to capture your maximum value. You'll master the 9-steps of preparation we created for our 9-figure exit.
Click here to book your free call. Learn about the 9-Step Roadmap and how you can capture the maximum value on your liquidity event.
Enjoy the interview!
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During our liquidity event journey, we created a 9-step preparation process. It's the quality and depth of your preparation that increases your business value.
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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
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Steve Wells: [00:00:05] I'm Steve Wells.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:00:06] And I'm Jeffrey Feldberg. Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast.
Steve Wells: [00:00:10] This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. When it comes to your liquidity event or exit, do you know how to maximize the value of your business? You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. Most business owners believe that business value is determined during the liquidity event.
Unfortunately, most business owners are wrong. Your enterprise value is a direct result of the depth and quality of your preparation. Who are we and, how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer.
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Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:01:39] Welcome to episode 44 of the Sell My Business Podcast.
Mal McCallion has 30 years of experience in high growth organizations. Mal is obsessed with elements of business that makes some businesses succeed, where others fail. As part of the teams that launched both Zoopla and PrimeLocation. And with the experience of growing these businesses to multi-million plus valuations, Mal launched Grossman in 2015 to help businesses get on the fast track to success. Using a strong base of actionable strategies, built around product marketing, and sales Growtion has helped dozens of businesses execute their way to success.
Mal, welcome to the Sell. My Business Podcast I'm very excited to have you here and for our listeners, I want you to listen real carefully because what we do at the Deep Wealth Experience when you're done and you go through our 9-step roadmap, you come out with a blueprint to help you optimize your value.
Mal, he's the guy with all the answers of how do you optimize your value from growth and all kinds of other fascinating areas. Mal welcome. So, good to have you here.
Mal McCallion: [00:02:49] Jeffrey, really kind. Really excited to be here and to share what I've experienced and how I've had to grow businesses with you as
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:02:56] So, Mal, there's always a story behind the story. Why don't we start things off with, how did you come to start Growtion. What's that all about and how did you get there?
Mal McCallion: [00:03:05] That's a great question. This starts a long time ago. 20 years or so ago. I had just come out of financial services and joined a startup. This was just around the time of the dot com boom. And then the bubble bursting. And it was a business that became a 48-million-pound business.
And there was six of us that started it, who was there right from the loft above the lawyers all the way through to, we had an office on Bond Street in London for a while. And it was a phenomenally exciting and really crazy journey. And we sold it, 40 million in 2005, it was a business called Provocation.com
It crystallized for me, this idea that there are some kind of process, some sorts of system that makes a business go from being six people in a room that kind of doesn't make it to one that is six people in a room that, that goes on to a multi-million dollar exit.
For me, I started to want to really try and systemize that. I look around for systems in pretty much everything. I'm a bit nerdy like that. And what I started to develop was the growth execution formula. And it really struck me that the other five people that I work with and myself, we were all executors.
So, actually, the execution was a really critical piece of getting a small team together and being able to make it grow super-fast. So, that's why growth execution. That's why I personally have continued to be obsessed and to finesse these different parts of growth as I see it. Soon after I left Provocation, I was then fortunate enough to help launch a business called Zoopla, a very large property portal. And again, that's, a few years ago that was sold for 2.2 billion. And I was there for its early years as well. It really reinforced the idea that if you focus really clearly on three areas, then that is what is going to help you to get your business onto where it needs to be.
And those three things are product, marketing, and sales. Now, it sounds very straightforward but without a great product and without a story to tell for your marketing and without a system, that's going to get these units sold, then you are building something that does not have the executable foundations, that's going to make it as valuable as you would like it to be. And, as you teach in Deep Wealth about the liquidity and how you can actually maximize that exit.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:05:31] Mal, that is one incredible story. And as a quick aside I'm sure. I speak for our listeners on the other side of the pond, I'm just enchanted with your wonderful accent, although I'm sure I have the accent to you. So, before we talk about some of these sweet spots of what you're doing with Growtion, and you were involved with the launch of two companies, which went on to have, which sounds like some terrific liquidity events, Looking back from where you are today and what you learned through that process, what would you tell our audience who's thinking of having a liquidity event at one point in time, what would be some lessons learned that you wouldn't have done all, or you would have done differently or maybe it just works so well, I would do it again?
Mal McCallion: [00:06:16] That's a great question, Jeffrey. So, I think that the things that, that really stand out for me in both of those businesses, the passion, the energy behind this right now I know that particularly for businesses that have perhaps been around for some time that there's a lot of potential for leakage along the way, the businesses that I have seen that really get themselves into a position to exit and to get that liquidity event going, are those that almost regenerate that early buzz, that early sense of excitement within the business and within the senior team.
And it comes back to what I call I'm up in my Growtion formula that the product concept is the reason why you are solving this problem. And it's one of those things that kind of starts with the founders. It's something that, that over time can start to just become a bit of fabric and what it was the got us on this journey? I think that reliving it, articulating it again enables you to really get a fresh impetus within the business that you're in. And perhaps it's something that you do all the time as well.
Perhaps it's something that isn't necessarily the forefront of everybody's minds. But when you answer that question, why am I solving this problem? And when everybody in the business is either reminded of it or lends it for the first time? What that does is start to reunite a common cause and a common sense of purpose.
Whether you are one person, three people, six people, 600 people by enabling that energy to come through I think that is one of the real core things that separates super successful businesses and high exit businesses from those that don't quite make it not only does it go well or travel well internally through whatever hierarchy you may have within the business.
It also attracts customers., in far greater numbers, I have found because people see people like themselves and they want to buy into a business that, shares their values. That has a real kind of purpose. And I think particularly perhaps now with all that has been happening over the last year or so people want connection. They want to feel that this is something that is for them and for them personally. So, it works from the team’s perspective. I think he works from the customer perspective. I think it also worked from the stakeholder and investor perspective. You can find people who are wanting to invest in something or to buy into something that has a purpose that has some commonality with what their reason for solving problems is as well. So, that I think is perhaps the most important thing for me in any businesses what is your purpose? Can you recharge that and get that energy into the business again? They put posters up and some people will say why are you putting posters up?
But it's just that reinforcement. I, it just tells people over and over again. This is what we're here for. This is why we're running this business and this is why we're going to make a difference. And I think that's one thing that I would certainly seek to replicate in all the clients that I work with as well.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:09:18] That's wonderful. So, many business owners when we start a business, Mal you're absolutely right. We're passionate to solve a problem. We get successful. Life happens. Success maybe takes us in a different direction. And as business owners, we don't continue to reinvent ourselves and solve new problems.
It's ironic, but success can lead to failure if you're not careful. And then on the flip side, in the Deep Wealth Experience in our nine-step roadmap, step number three, we talk all about the future buyer and Mal that goes right into what you're talking about. When you can find out what is the pain point of my future buyer or the group of buyers that I'm looking at. That's everything. You now have an inside track of how you communicate, what you say, what you don't do that will make your liquidity event not only add up to the higher enterprise value but get it across the finish line.
So, I appreciate you sharing that.
Mal McCallion: [00:10:12] Yeah, for sure. I think you're absolutely right. And I think that, as you articulated, as you put that kind of the big public face of this mission.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:10:20] And so Mal you had successful companies before that you've launched. You work with now all kinds of business owners in their companies to ensure that they're successful. For our audience. That's listening in. As you look at the different areas that we spoke about. So, product, marketing, sales, and we all channel that into growth and execution. What would be some of the more common mistakes that business owners are making that they may not even know that they're making?
Mal McCallion: [00:10:46] I think that particularly if we started with a product side. I often see it and I work with very early-stage businesses, SME businesses, and high-growth organizations. Particularly early on, you can find that product being built almost in isolation. And actually, that they're thinking, I know the answer to the problem. Either I've seen it, I've experienced it. And my solution is this. And that by creating something, fun and perhaps, tragically, you can see people creating these quite expensive solutions to a problem without testing the market.
Without actually going out and finding out whether this is really what the market wants. And without that kind of oxygen, you can spend a lot of money creating it, going out to the market and then going ta-da. And nobody really cares. And it's one of the kinds of great tragedies I think of with great entrepreneurs really great creators, great inventors who want to solve problems and consider this the right way to go about it.
That actually the market itself does not necessarily meet them. So, product-market fit PMF. This is such, a critical piece of creating a business, but also maintaining and building and growing a business, you'd have to check repeatedly and consistently the, what you have continues to be what the market requires.
And often, you'll see products they've been around for a while start to decline because competitors come along and do it slightly better, slightly faster, slightly sharper, slightly cheaper. There is not necessarily that ability or that loop, that feedback loop that enables businesses to hear what the market says and respond accordingly and to actually change what their product is for the market.
Within the marketing side of things, I think it's Google, who've got these great numbers, and I didn't get a Google obviously knows pretty much all there is to know about marketing and how to reach clients.
And they talk about three numbers, which is eleven, seven, and four. And eleven is the average number of touches that your brand has to make with a customer before they are comfortable buying from you. All right, so that's eleven touches, but the other two numbers are important as well. So, seven is seven hours. So, Google's contention is that a future customer needs to spend an average of seven hours with your business with your brand getting comfortable. That could be watching videos. It could be on your website. It could be face-to-face meetings. It could be reading a book, whatever it is that they need to have that time. Just simple longevity with your business in order to feel comfortable buying from you.
And then the last one is four. So, there are eleven touches, seven hours, four environments. All right. It is not enough that you just have one direct way of communicating with them. You need to have a number of different environments for them to experience you. And whether that is through video, whether that is through guest blogs, whether that is through podcasts, you need to be visible and available because what you're looking to do through marketing is built trust.
And again, particularly through recent times where so much more is being done remotely. The willingness of customers just to trust on hope has gone. They need to see this consistency of messaging in various different formats and repeatedly and consistently over time in order that they feel comfortable buying from you.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:14:12] Mal, just jump in here for a moment. So, the eleven, seven, four formula, which is terrific. Eleven touches, seven hours, four environments before someone is going to buy from you. And what a change that has been with technology and where we've been in compared to where that was five years ago or 15 years ago. This is something relatively recent. Where do most businesses that you work with get that wrong with the 11-7-4? What aren't they doing that you help them now do to welcome success and growth?
Mal McCallion: [00:14:44] So, I think it's very easy to fall into the trap of repeating the same thing over and over again. So, you will always, perhaps do a blog. So, you just do a blog 11 times, or, you'll just send them out an email shot 11 times and hope that's going to be enough.
I think what I really like about these numbers is the breadth that it requires. And perhaps the seven is the really important one because that feels like a lot, right? Seven hours feels like a long time. And the idea of somebody being interested enough were you having enough interesting content to capture that attention for that length of time, I think is the one that challenges, businesses the most. And that's the one that I find is the most rewarding once the business really commits to doing that and to going there. So, I think that's really, it is how can you utilize your products, your content, you're marketing to really engage people for that length of time. If you solve that, then the other two are fine.
I often talked to clients in terms of brands and say, look, there is never been a better time, never been a better time in human existence to be starting or growing a business because the ability to be able to create a video, the ability to reach millions of people, because they pick up something that you've sent out or, suddenly one of your tweets goes viral or something like that.
It is astonishing. If you can get your content if you can get that message coherent and consistent, then this is a great time to be in business and to be looking to grow.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:16:12] So, Mal for the seven hours of some kind of content or engagement, I can just hear people in our community saying seven hours. What would be some of the different ways that you've seen that work for businesses to get to seven hours? And to be interesting while they're at it.
Mal McCallion: [00:16:31] So, one of the things I work with clients on is about the repurposing of content. So, an example if you were to do a Podcast presentation or perhaps a webinar on a particular topic that is very relevant to your customers and say what I'm going to need is 15 topics.
Okay. So, those 15 topics should be generally questioning and the questions that you get asked the most often by your customers. So, if for us it's how do I grow then it's things like, how do I price my product, then it's things like who are my customers? How do I discover my niche? All of these things, what should my sales process be?
Think about the 15 most common questions that you get asked. All right. That just start point then I would do a video of yourself for 20, 25 minutes, or a colleague or somebody within the business answering that question. Okay. And making sure they riff on all the different specialisms that your business brings and why you're really great at this.
And what's unique about you, but that 25 minutes it's like a conversation where you are talking about the solution to this particular question. That will inevitably give you a number of 30 seconds and 90 seconds just bite-sized chunks.
So, you can then cut out and you can then book it so you can then have the question and then contact us at, or, click to or subscribe or whatever on those bookends’ kind of image screens that you have either side of this 90-second video, and you can get a bunch of those. So, you get out of your 25 minutes.
Podcast the video that you've recorded. You can then release perhaps 15 of those as bite-sized video chunks, that answer different questions. And then if you wanted to take it to the next level again, those little videos, you can then write a blog about. So, you can then actually make those, you've had kind of 45 different pieces of work.
You've got a podcast that you will release 15 of them on a week-by-week basis. And those are 25 minutes each. You've then got these little bite-size videos that you're able to scatter across the internet, send tweets out, and share and, put up on LinkedIn, wherever your customers hang out.
We've got all that content to go to. And then you can add these blogs, posts that again, riff off whatever those individual segments are that allow that length of time to develop that gives that customer, the confidence to be able to spend time with you. And they will then go and look at your website and they will read other articles that you might publish and check out some other interviews that you've done too.
And that then builds up this groundswell towards the seven hours.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:19:17] Well, that's amazing Mal. And I'm curious, so with the pandemic that the world was plunged into, life changed. Business changed. And I would love to hear your insights of how It's never going to be the same as what it was because businesses in the past perhaps could have had a very light online presence.
But the businesses of today and the ones that want to be around for tomorrow, I imagine that's changed. So, what are you seeing in the marketplace and the kind of online presence that's now required to be successful?
Mal McCallion: [00:19:49] Yeah, it's a great question. And I think so relevant and, to every business that the wants to grow through the next 5, 10, 20 years. And those that are looking for a liquidity event. There are some things so critical that you need to get across in your online presence that gives confidence to your future customers and your future buyers. That is consistent, coherent. That is on-brand. Everything that your brand talks about needs to be very on point. It needs to make sure that it says the same as everything else.
And there's this overarching halo of trust that builds confidence within people that they need in order to press that buy button from a distance because we're not going to be talking to each other in the same way. We're not going to be at the shops in the same way either.
That's going to be the critical thing. And that comes from the ground up, that comes from your products being built with that in mind. For example, you're looking to increase the price of your product or you need to think differently about how it's structured.
I spend a lot of time looking at tiers of products. So, actually, take your product as it is right now.
Can you make that a sort of center as a kind of silver product and then build a bronze and a gold one, either side of it. Part of the psychology of that, and there's a great book by Daniel Kahneman called Thinking Fast and Slow, which I highly recommend your listeners read or listen to audiobooks is another thing that I obsessed about.
What that does is it gives choice architecture. Okay. It helps future customers to make choices that they might not otherwise make. If you are given a single product to choose to buy or not, you have a binary choice. If you have a choice to buy one of three different products that change your mindset and change the way you think about it.
So, I have observed that over recent times, giving people that sense of control and that sense of choice in the product and the ability to go, do you know what? I will choose the middle one or I'll choose that super luxury one. It's almost a kindness to them because we have been constrained very much over time with what we've been able to do.
And it does give people permission to be a little bit luxury or be a little bit careful. But you are helping them to understand where your product is, where it sits in a bit of an ecosystem, and also how that can then translate into higher profits and higher growth as well.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:22:24] Mal you've taken all these disparate parts and you've put them together in a really interesting way. And for our listeners, I hope you heard this and I'll share it for your benefit. Mal pointed out. One thing that all the money in the world cannot buy, and whether you're going to be having a liquidity event like we're talking about at Deep Wealth or even in life in general, people's currency, the currency of your future investment banker, the currency of your future investor or buyer is not money. It's trust.
And in all of your interactions, if you can demonstrate yes, you can trust me. And here's why, and you're consistent with that. It lays the foundation for some successful days ahead for you. And that's absolutely key. Now, Mal, the other thing that you brought is that society is now such that one size doesn't fit all.
And the internet has done an incredible job of giving us the long tail of choices that otherwise wouldn't be available. So, when you're talking about these three different kinds of packages from what you've seen and the studies and the science that goes behind that what are you seeing and how do you do that?
Mal McCallion: [00:23:31] Brilliant. It's like when, if you go to a restaurant and goodness knows we are looking forward to going back to them, I'm sure. And you're looking at the wine list and most often people do not pick the cheapest and they don't big, most expensive.
They go somewhere in the middle, generally second or third.
What this idea of the gold, silver and bronze, and obviously even call them what you like. They can be something about the brand builders. They can be however you want to phrase those particular products, but there needs to be a sense of escalation.
So, that those that are buying the super-luxe gold package feel that they're getting something that is called something more precious as well. But the way that I always think about structuring these, I want to get 10 features or 10 benefits of the gold package.
We need 10 features here of what this product looks like. And sometimes that can be quite hard. Sometimes it's really difficult to break your product down into features and think of 10. I'll start with how the Gold's built up and then work backward. So, you think of 10 features that would be into a gold package and you basically organize them in the hierarchy of value so that 10 and 9 are exclusive to your gold package.
All right. If you want 10 and you want nine, you're going to have to buy the top package. The next seven down are your silver package. All right. So, these are the ones that, again, in hierarchical order are ones that are desirable. And obviously, because there are seven, that's the one that seems to give the most uplift.
And then you've got three in the bronze package that is of the least value. Now you can play around with this a bit. Oftentimes I find if particular, customers got one product. We start with silver and go let's get seven out of that. Silver. Okay.
Let's do five. And then the bottom two are bronze. And then we can find three for the top, right? Three free for gold. So, on gold, you can do two or three. Silver has got five within it. And bronze has got, let's say two, just make me the simple for ourselves. So, what you're wanting to do when you sit those in a hierarchy is you are trying to articulate the value of each of them.
Now, the bronze package is your entry-level. I tend to think of bronze as being about 20% in terms of the price of what your silver is. So, if the easiest way of thinking about it is, I've got one product that's going to be my silver. You want to try and create a bronze product. That's got two of those features in it and is 20% value of what the silver is.
I like to go quite large with the gold, right? If you've got somebody who really wants quality, who wants that kind of concierge service, she's got one something, exclusive club membership, really think outside the box, try and imagine. I've got somebody who's bought a silver package, but what can I create for my best customers that are really going to blow their minds?
And you might find that very few if, at the early stages, nobody goes for it. That's okay. What it's doing is framing. And this is the genius of the gold-silver-bronze and they the whole choice architecture thing is having gold and having a bronze frame that Silver as being the one that the majority of people will go and that gold package again, I would make that five times in general, five times more expensive than the silver.
All right. So, you're going to have to put some really good stuff in there. But that really guides people towards. Look, I aspire to that and I'll get there. I don't want the bronze because I think I am better than not. So, that just. Again, it enables people, it gives people permission to choose that middle tier that is essentially your basic product or your standard package anyway. Your profit engine, importantly, so the one that is going to make you the most money and just gives people that real sense that they're making an informed decision and is going to be right for them, rather than just a binary it's this or nothing.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:27:20] I love it. I love how the science behind that and the psychology behind that. And it also allows people to get what they're looking for, but also in a way that we can drive it towards what we think makes the most sense. And so now let's circle back here. So, we talked about products, we talked about marketing.
I suspect we've also begun to talk about sales, but let's round out that three. So, what can you share with our audience about sales? So, they've come up with a product, as you say, you're solving a problem. On the marketing side, we're doing the 11-7-4, and we now have these three packages to put out there and get all of these things going.
How do we now bring this home with the sales? What's going on there? And again, where do most business owners just miss it on the sales side?
Mal McCallion: [00:28:06] It's almost a perception of sales that if I have to do sales, that probably means that my product isn't good enough or my marketing's not working hard enough.
So, they go back and try and fiddle around with those. I can't emphasize enough how important sales are within your organization and, mature businesses recognize this because they wouldn't be here otherwise. But even still, those guys can sometimes, just lose sight of the centrality of sales, to the success of a business.
All of the hard work you've put into a product can be wasted. All of the hard work you put into marketing can be wasted. If those leads that you're generating for people who are interested in the stuff that you've got to sell. Aren't put into a process and that process completed to its conclusion. So, talking about sales is talking about the main thing you need to focus on sales is a process.
And I often say sales and process putting them together in many entrepreneurs. Minds are two of the worst words possible, right? Nobody wants to go through a process and I don't want to do the sale. But the sales process is critical. It is a funnel. All right. And, again, people may be familiar with the concept, but not actually act on it.
And I always think of a funnel in four distinct areas. You've got the identification. So, that is the leads coming into the business or coming into the sales funnel. You've got engagement where then you're actually you've gone to that next level where they're not just available. You actually now are starting a conversation with them or that engagement side. That it's the conversion piece, which is actually getting them to say yes, but then there's an absolutely critical fourth piece, which is getting them to commit. And sometimes again, you can find yourself stopping at the conversion side where somebody says, yeah, I really like it.
I want it. What's next. And you go great. I've got the sale. But they don't sign the contract or they don't press the buy button or something happens or a pandemic hit. These are things that you have to make sure that you've completed your sales funnel. You've taken them from identification.
You've engaged with them. You've got what I was thinking of as a kind of key activity. You have pushed them through that. And that key activity tends to be the highest performing converter. All right. So, depending on your business, it might be, a wine tasting evening, at a restaurant, it might be that free offer that you put upfront in an online business.
It might be a test drive for a car. Whatever that key activity in your sales funnel is in that engagement piece, you can need to be driving people to that. That's your call to action in your marketing. So, you'd drive them through to that key activity. You've pushed them through there into the conversion side.
They're saying, yes, I really want it. You've got to seal the deal. You've got to make sure that they sign that contract. That, that button is pressed because otherwise, again, you've just missed it. All right.
So, that I think for me is sales is all about it's all about that process and making that happen and refining it and honing it and being proud of it.
I've seen businesses change phenomenally as a result of really focusing on the sales funnel and understanding what are the various elements of it and how to complete it.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:31:07] So, Mal, what can the business do? Do you have some tips on how do you get this across the finish line that someone has raised their hand and said, yes, I'm right there?
So, what are some strategies for our audience of sealing the deal?
Mal McCallion: [00:31:20] It's such a good question. It's so important because it, again, it comes back to that trust thing, right? It's almost gone full circle. Actually, right from the start, when you're getting them interested through trust, this then comes down to them almost looking at us going, do I believe that this is the right thing to be doing right here right now with this money at this time.
And to do that, you have to, obviously along the way you have to have bolstered that trust side of things. So, things that work exceptionally well, there's obviously social proof. How can you get reviews out there? How can we get people saying that customer or that business person, how they felt when this happened?
So, I bought this and I felt amazing. And that's obviously why review sites so critical and so popular because whether it's TripAdvisor, whether it’s Facebook, people care, people want to know. If I'm going to click and book this hotel, am I going to feel stupid afterward?
So, that's a really important piece. That's social proof and making sure that people know that they're going to feel amazing afterward, and visualization. Having that sort of, I would often think of it as high five moments where they walk around just like I did it. That was just such a great decision. You've got to instill in them that confidence that's, what's going to come at the end of it.
There was a brilliant book again, Seth Godin, This Is Marketing. And he talks about what will the other site? And it's just a repeated mantra that human beings tend to just think about what will the other side in my tribe. And that's a worry for them. So, to give them the answer to that, they're going to say, you're amazing.
They are going to say, you're so good. You've done so much of the right thing by gifting them, not confidence. That is what their tribe is going to say. That's how you help them to press that button and to do that deal and to buy that business that you want.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:33:04] Some terrific insights. Now, Mal for our listeners who are hearing this, and they're not seeing you, like I am behind you, you have a very colorful display, but it looks like a periodic table with the Growtion formula. That's behind that. What's this formula and what's this periodic table?
Mal McCallion: [00:33:21] Again, being a bit of a nerd, I've tried to encapsulate the steps of growth execution. So, how you can build and grow a business into 15 different core elements. Okay. So, five of them are in products. Five of them are marketing and five of them are insights. So, whilst we've talked about the kind of broad focus of these different areas and how important they are, what I wanted to do as well as just take it down a notch and kind of go and write what we want to do is to diagnose your business from the standpoint of these 15 elements. What is your biggest challenge? Is your biggest challenge in product pricing? So, have you got your pricing, right? Is your problem with a product design? So, actually built something, but the market isn't that interested? Is your problem marketing brand?
Is your product marketing advertising? Is it sales process or sales goals? So, within each of these 15, there are questions where we will go through with you in your business. What those challenges are, understand if you're super great at those particular things, or if you need some help with them.
And that's almost the start point for the growth execution journey here with Growtion, which is, actually let's focus on the things that are going to give the best return quickly. And then we can work on some of the others that are less critical at this point. So, it is a system and a process, designed in a periodic table way.
But yes, the idea is actually to be able to visualize as a business owner, that there are concrete steps that you can go through in order to really underpin the execution of growth in your business.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:34:59] So, what I'm hearing you say, Mal is you have a 15-step system that you'll walk business owners through of how they can optimize everything to ultimately get to that end goal of growth and revenues and profits, all the things that we talk about, all the things that we want to see and based on what you've done and what you've perfected over the years.
Mal McCallion: [00:35:18] Exactly that. This comes from that experience and it comes from being fortunate enough to be part of some amazing growth stories. And that, that does really focuses one's mind on what works. And, when I started Growtion it was all about so many businesses don't get the benefit, I've had of working with some amazing people and understanding this and seeing it live and going through it. So, I wanted to help them to avoid some of the pitfalls, to really help, to understand what the process is, how they can narrow in on these executable elements and thereby not make some mistakes that they might otherwise make, but also then execute on growth and do it fast.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:35:58] So, Mal, let me ask you this because as we record this podcast, we're still in the midst of the pandemic and the world continues to adjust every day. It seems like the new normal continues to write itself and just become apparent day by day. Where do you see things heading that as business owners, we should have a head up on of, hey what worked yesterday, doesn't work today, but here's what you need to focus on that is working today. What are you seeing out there?
Mal McCallion: [00:36:25] So, I think that the biggest focus for businesses should be about getting hyper personal. There's a lot of different strands to that. And, part of it is making sure that your ad shows up in front of your micro-niche, rather than in front of somebody who's never going to be interested in it all the way through to having an ongoing dialogue with your customers, with your future customers, with your past customers. Always being cognizant of how you are going to be able to develop a relationship. So, people these days and increasingly so, are going to look for brands and for products and for services that really resonate deeply with them and relate personally to them.
And I think that whatever you can do in your business that is going to tool it up for that connection with people. So, really referencing your product constantly, making sure that is clear, that people, when they buy in, when they opt into you are opting into a business that is for them.
To how do you communicate on, do you have a live chat, can people that approach you that way? Do you send personal gifts when they buy stuff? You asked earlier on about, how can you make sure that people want to complete.
There is nothing like a free gift post completion of the sale that others are taking pictures of. Unboxing events, things like that really a visual, almost visceral to people about, I want to be like that.
I want to share in that. And that again comes from the design of your product suite, so if you're going to go gold, silver, bronze, how do you make those things really personal? In that gold, can you have a membership club? What's stopping you from having a very exclusive, whether it's a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, whatever that people will pay a monthly fee and are able to get direct access to you, the founder, and are able to talk about a particular thing that s' really important.
So, that's I think is really where business is going. I think the pandemic has really emphasized that. I think it has escalated it and made it made it go faster as well. And I think that those businesses that are going to win in the next 5, 10 years, those that really pay attention almost microscopically and forensically to who their customers are, what makes them tick, how they think or what they believe.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:38:40] Mal, some wonderful insights and, truth be told we could just carry on and on about each of these areas. Products and the marketing and the sales, I, that could be a podcast in and of itself. That said, though, we need to start to wrap some things up here. So, let me ask you this. As we look back to the product and the marketing and the sales side of things and how all those three components fit into the Growtion formula, what would you say that perhaps we haven't covered or some insights for our listeners that you feel they really need to know and hear from you about?
Mal McCallion: [00:39:12] So, one of the things I think that is really hard and that is probably one of the easiest ones to, overlook because if you growing is setting goals is actually, what are you going to look like in three years’ time. Now, we've spoken before about Deep Wealth and how, you're building up towards that liquidity event, knowing and understanding and having a sheet and a plan and something that you can then show to potential acquirers, or potential investors, I think is really important.
And the way that I always think of it is a 36-month plan. All right. In 36 months from now, that's far enough away to give you a bit of inspiration about what you might be able to achieve, but close enough to actually keep you quite disciplined about what each of the months and the years that come are going to look like.
Within that again, if you've got perhaps a variety of products, you want to understand how those are going to go, but you want to say self, some quite ambitious targets. So, think about where you want to be in month 36. So, what's it going to feel like, what kind of profits are you going to be making?
What's the office going to look like if you're in an office. How does that future stack up for you? And work backwards from there. All right. I need to make that level of profit over there so then you're working backwards to, month 13-month 24 month 18 and so on. That I think is one of the hardest things that businesses do or do not do. And if they do it and then it doesn't quite come to pass, we'll just shelve and pretend it never happened, but it needs to be a live document.
It needs to be something you hold yourself accountable to. I think that it's one of the hardest things I have to get my clients to do because, there was a lot of resistance, but for me, it's one of those things that visualization is so powerful. And being able to see yourself and to understand what this looks like.
When you're thinking about selling a seven-figure deal know what, that's not enough for one nine, that's the kind of thing that gets you there. That's what you want, not this and that I think is something that every business can benefit from.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:41:05] That's wonderful advice and how true it is to have that vision have those goals and the plan. So, you can begin to implement it and work that plan. So, Mal, let me ask you this. Every guest on the podcast, we have what we call the back to the future question. So, imagine just like the movie Back To The Future, you have a DeLorean that shows up to your door and you hop into that DeLorean today.
And you can go back to any point in time to speak to the younger Mal. Maybe you're a child, a young man, a teenager, wherever you are. When you go back in time to whatever age you would be, what would you be telling yourself?
Mal McCallion: [00:41:44] That's such a good question, Jeffrey. So, I'm always quite yeah quite positive in my outlook. I think I probably in my mind, it's something in me says, I should enjoy it more. Now I did enjoy it. But that was probably in retrospect, I think at the time there was probably a lot of late nights. There was a lot of, stress. There were some near-death experiences from a business point of view along the way as well. We made it and that was the important thing, but I'd probably say, the first one when I was 27 yeah, I'd probably think there's probably a bit more time to have fun as it's not as serious as I probably took it at that point in time because it felt life and death all the way through but we made it. But yeah, I think there are some good times that I might just have taken more advantage of along the way.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:42:24] Love it. Great advice. Mal, I'm going to put this in the show notes for the listeners who are listening in right now, where can somebody find you online to learn more about what you're doing? The Growtion formula, how they can grow in just rake in those additional revenues and profits and all the good things that come along with that?
Mal McCallion: [00:42:45] So, the website to go to is growtion.co that's G R O W T I O N dot C O. Everything is on there. I send out daily growth tips. Every single working day, there's a little growth tip. It'll drop into your inbox and you can start that journey with those and see if there's a nugget of inspiration for you every single day.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:43:03] Mal. Thank you so much. And as we wrap things up here, please stay healthy and safe.
Mal McCallion: [00:43:09] Likewise. It's been great to you and to your audience have fun out there. Enjoy it.