Episode 151: Simon Severino – Double Your Revenue in 90 Days
Simon Severino, the Author of “Strategy Sprints” also a TEDx speaker, a contributor to Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, and a member of the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society joins the Social Sales Link team with his brilliant insights and strategies on how to double your revenue in 90 Days.
It’s much easier than it sounds so make sure to have a pen or be “note” ready because he’ll go through it step by step. Listen as he shares how you can get out of the weeds by building three critical habits in your business and why it’s critical for you to identify your energy and time suckers. Yes, we all have them!
Simon Severino 00:02
To me, it’s really being present to the moment and what is there on the other side and what they really need, not just what they want but what they need right now and really focus on that and then forget for a second all the tactics and everything that you ever learned and just listen and then the idea will come, and you will grab from your experiences, and you can offer something, but don’t lead with that lead with just being present to the current moment.
Bob Woods 00:31
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients, so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Brynne Tillman 00:55
Welcome back to Making Sales Social Podcast. I am so excited for this next guest. Simon Severino is someone that I’ve been networking with over time, and he has an incredible business and phenomenal insights. He actually helps business owners in SAS and services run their company more effectively, which results in sales that soar. Trusted by Google, Roche Ventures, Amgen… some names I don’t know and he’s from Vienna, Austria, so they may be companies I’m not familiar with so maybe you can help us with that. He created this strategy Sprint’s method that doubles revenue in 90 days by getting owners out of the weeds because, boy, if you are a small business owner, you are doing everything and he helps you kind of move out of that.
So Simon is also a TEDx speaker, contributor to Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine, member of the SVBC Silicon Valley, blockchain society, what doesn’t he do? And he’s going to share some specific things that we can do to get out of the weeds using his proprietary system. Simon, so happy to have you. Welcome.
Simon Severino 02:15
I’m so happy to be here. Hello, everybody.
Brynne Tillman 02:17
I’ve been waiting for this interview for so long. And I’m so excited. We’re actually here. This is so fabulous. The one question that we ask all of our guests before we dive deep is, What does making sales social mean to you?
Simon Severino 02:33
I mean, it’s really important to stop selling. So stop selling, start helping. And by that, I mean, you know, everything that smells like sales, actually, nobody wants that. When I say there’s a sales coach, right? If I smell sales, I’m gone. And I guess many are right now. So to me, it’s really being present to the moment and what is there on the other side, and what they really need, not just what they want, but what they need right now and really focus on that and then forget for a second all the tactics and everything that you ever learned, and just listen, right? And then the idea will come and you will grab from your experience, and then you can offer something, but don’t lead with that. Lead with just being present to the current moment, right now, for example, if people are in a recession, of course, you have to completely change the way you approach to sales conversation and so, yeah, that’s for me making it social is stop selling, start helping.
Brynne Tillman 03:34
I love that. And that aligns so much with what we talk about. So I’m gonna go as high level in my first question to you, and then we’ll drill down, but you do one primary thing, which is double folks revenue in 90 days. I mean, that’s a huge promise and they know that you deliver, but talk to us about how do you do that? Like that’s almost pixie dust, right?
Simon Severino 04:05
It’s much easier than it sounds so we can go through it step by step. What are the main problems right now with businesses that the founders have started something because they wanted to express themselves and be free and now they have three problems: time, fun, and money. So time they started is to have more freedom and now they’re actually getting hunted by the businesses running them.
Then the fun. It’s not so much fun anymore, because it feels like work. Now, that wasn’t the area. The area was self expression, creativity. And then the third one, the money part, this is where we can deep dive and see how we can quickly double revenue. It takes 90 days with a sprint coach, or with our tools that people can grab afterwards. It takes a bit longer if you do it on your own. But this is the process that everybody can use.
So we have to increase by 25%, your sales frequency, your sales conversions and the price that you charge. Let’s go through each of them because if you increase by 25%, those three things, it compounds to plus 99% revenue, and that is almost doubling your revenue. So how do you increase the sales frequency by 20%? Frequency, there are many tactics in the sprint university to do that but let’s go through a couple of them, and see which one resonates most with your audience and then we can go deeper.
One is to create those famous 15 experiences that you need before you close a big ticket, create those 15 experiences in a shorter time. So if it’s 12 months, from awareness to closing, actually, you can do it in two weeks. And one of those tactics is the RBS. Most of our clients are installing the RBS (Relationship Building Sequence) So how can you make 15 valuable experiences happen in 12 days? Well, it’s technologically quite easy, for example, by using email.
So if people go to our website, for example, strategysprints.com, and they tell us that they are interested in getting some information about topic X, let’s say, time management, then in the next 12 days, they say, “Okay, send me more info” and now in the next 12 days, they will get 12 many valuable master classes on time management. One will send them to LinkedIn, “Hey, I made a video for you. It’s on LinkedIn” one will send them to our YouTube channel, one will send them to Facebook, one to Instagram.
First, they will create actual value. So this is what I do to gain four hours of my time per day. This is how we use our CRM to get better results. Practical stuff, real stuff it’s not the brand stocking it’s “Hey, I’m I’m sharing with you what works for me. I’m curious if it works for you.” And then of course, even when they relax, and they go, “Okay, I’ll stop working now. Let me chill, take my iPad and go on YouTube.” Well guess who they find that? “Hello! I’ve learned something this week, can I share it with you?” and then we connect again. So this is how you can create 12 experiences in 12 days and you’re almost there. You don’t need the long sales cycles. If you find the right tactic.
One of them is the RBS. Another one which we are doing, for example, is having joint venture partners where you warm, you use organic, pre filtered recommendations, “Hey, this is my friend Lisa and she wrote an amazing book, get her book.” So now you get there faster to sell Lisa’s book. You have this joint venture because it comes pre recommended. We have 50 tools, tactics, plug and play right in the Sprint University, these are two of them and this is how you can shorten the sales time and by that you can increase frequency.
Frequency you can increase also on the other end of the spectrum by increasing the retainment. So you have already your cost of acquisition, you are already working with somebody, how can you create even more value longer? That’s the LT is in the lifetime value. There are also tactics for that part. That was the first one, frequency.
Brynne Tillman 08:37
Yeah, that’s amazing. I just want to ask a question on RBS. So, Relationship Building System. This is an automated email sequence, which I love. We do them all the time but how does that convert to an actual conversation? Or what do you do to move them from “Boy, I’m learning a lot from Simon” to ensuring that the ASK is not overstepping and too salesy, but enough that it does convert in that 12 days or 14 days.
Simon Severino 09:08
So each RBS must be unique and so we create them with our clients. But I can give you some examples but it must be unique, must be unique, because it must be you, right? If you just create anything that works for somebody else, it will feel like that. So the first thing that we do is to say okay, what is really live for you? And so we go to the core drivers. For example, I did this today with a client, and we realized that their driver is beauty that’s the first driver so what motivates them? Their “Why” right it’s beauty, then order, and then comes family. So we went through their emails and say okay, how many words convey this? “Zero.” And so we changed it to say if you would use maximum beauty words, write it again with this beauty that you…
Brynne Tillman 09:59
Authenticity. Right. Pure authenticity.
Simon Severino 10:02
And so we voted again, with those beauty-related words in there. So how does it feel now? “Wow, much more real. This is what I would write to a friend.” Okay, let’s send it out. And now we’re collecting the results. So we’ll do an AB test in a couple of days, we’ll have 1000 emails, and we know which one works better. So the first thing is to go over it and see how it feels. Does it feel real, fresh, and actually valuable? Does it really come from the heart?
Then the second is to have only one call to action, and that call to action because many humans have multiple, right? And that call to action leads to the next step in your value creation. So we met the value creation with our clients and it’s always, you know, an awareness piece, an interest piece, an engagement piece.
So if the email is an interest piece, or an engagement piece, what’s the next step? Where do you want to move them to in your pipeline? And so if you want to move them from interest to engagement, for example, might be “Hey, let’s talk. So here’s a seven-minute video where I share how I do it. And if you want to ask your questions, here’s my calendar.” The next step is let’s talk then that one call to action goes to your calendar.
Brynne Tillman 11:14
Yeah, that’s right. That’s awesome. So, that really step number one. What’s next step in this process?
Simon Severino 11:21
The first one being real, then really creating value, then having one call to action each, and then writing 12 and each 1000 emails, we will kill the 10% Losers. So we go, now this is a system. So over a month, we get better, we have three months time, so we can improve it now every week. So every 1000 emails we will go over it and kill the 10% Losers. What are the 10%? You look at open rate and click rate, open rate below 50%, we kill it. Open Rate, sorry, click rate, below 2% we kill it. And then unsubscribe rate, unsubscribe rate above 1.5% we kill it.
So you go through the losers, just cut them and continue writing. So week by week, the ones that resonate with your audience, they will stay in there, and you just cut the losers bit by bit. So every month you will have a stronger conversion from your emails. And I get emails about my email says “Oh, wow, your emails are so cool” I say “Yeah, yeah. I can teach you that. Come in.” And we generate sales every week from those emails. So they don’t have to feel like emails. It can be something like you would talk to your friends. That would be my criteria, send something that you would send to a friend or don’t send it.
Brynne Tillman 12:41
Ahh… that’s interesting. So are you over newsletters, email newsletters, and?
Simon Severino 12:45
I hate them. Everybody, I guess hates them, right? So no brand name on it, please. No typical words, no urgency tactics. Come on.
Brynne Tillman 12:56
Okay. We still send out a newsletter that’s very effective, but I hear you, so maybe it’d be more effective if we converted over. But yeah, it’s great advice and I don’t read the newsletter. So why should I expect someone else to? That’s so funny. So one of the things that you do really well, that we mentioned at the beginning, is, we’ve got CEOs of small, mid-sized businesses that are in the weeds every day. They’re putting out fires, they’re in the business. They’re part of sales, they’re part of operations, they’re part of delivery. And one of things you do is you bring them out of the weed. How do you do that?
Simon Severino 13:40
Three habits, the daily habit, the weekly habit, have the monthly habit help us get out of the weeds, and help us navigate all waters because we will have all kinds of waters. And so daily habit, every day I write down how did I allocate my time today? What’s one thing that I will delegate tomorrow? That’s the daily practice, and we call it the daily flow. Our clients have a template to help save time with that, and it asks them reflective questions. What’s the one thing that you will delegate tomorrow? And if you would live more intentionally and more freely? What will you do tomorrow? These two questions help you.
The first one helps you identify the energy suckers and time suckers, we all have them. And so delegate one as soon as you write it down twice, delegate it. So what gave you energy today? What took energy from you? What moves the whole thing forward or just parts of your business forward, pick one, delegate it to a software or to a person, we usually go software first because it’s cheap and quick, and then second to a person but hiring takes time.
Chapter 12 and chapter 13 of the book are about the hiring process. That takes time, hiring is a slow process. So ideally, first to a software or you just automate it, or you just cut it. That’s the daily habit. And if you do that I think everybody does that on the team. It is a very simple process but it’s super effective because you start identifying what you should create a checklist of, what you should automate and what it should become a process, a standard operating procedure. And so that’s how you get people out of the weeds and by just doing that in the first month with our coaching program is 90 days one on one coaching. And so in the first month, everybody on the team does that and we deliberate 10 to 14 hours per week of the people. 10 to 14 hours, because they identify their time suckers. And then they ask the coach, what can I do? “Okay, there’s this software, there’s this software, you can hire this VA, you can hire this role.” and then we help them actually hand it over. Delegate, which is a very old, very good practice.
And then the weekly habit. Weekly habit is let’s make sure that we’re moving in the right direction at the right pace. So there is a sprint dashboard with three numbers. One marketing number of this week, one sales number of this week, one operations number of this week and since it’s just one that it’s allowed to put there on the dashboard, the dashboard is ready. So they can go quickly but the number is negotiated with the sprint coach. So sometimes they say as a marketing number, “Oh, yeah, let’s pick watchtime of YouTube videos.” No, that’s not allowed. It’s not on the whitelist.
So there is a whitelist of allowed numbers that they can pick. And, some are just interesting, but not really vital. So it must be a vital number. So for example, number of subscriptions to your newsletter per week, that will be a vital number, because it actually indicates interest, if the number of subscribers this week to your newsletter, that actually indicates interest, that would be a valid mark, or the number of podcasts that you were on this week, that’s still on the whitelist. That could be a marketing number.
The sales number is pretty straightforward. deals closed in dollars. And the ops number, this is where it gets interesting. Most people don’t know how to measure operations. So what’s a good operation? Good delivery, core delivery of the work is when somebody, when a client is so happy that they bring you three more clients. So one is the number of referrals that you got from current clients this week, in a week, it might be six in another four in another eight. And whether you’ll start learning what your team is capable of achieving right now. And now week by week, you want to see a slight improvement, 0.5% improvement per week would be already a good progress.
And that motivates the team because now it’s like Angry Birds, you shoot the bird 500 points, you should then expert 800 points. Now you want to shoot again, you want to go for 1000. That’s human nature. But you need it for flow, you need this feedback. And without a sprint dashboard, you are doing things but you don’t actually know if they are working. That’s why the sprint dashboard is our weekly habit. And when the team gets this feedback, hey, this activity is working. They want to do more of that. (Brynne: I love that)
The Monthly habit is around strategy. So strategic re-budgeting, where can we cut 15% of our costs this month? Because we’re not winning in this feature against our competitors and where do we reinvest them next month? Where do we reinvest 15% attention and money because we are already winning against our competitors, and so we’re going to crush it, and it will be very hard for everybody else to grab our launch in that sector. We have now slightly in strategic advantage.
Brynne Tillman 18:58
This has been amazing. I feel like I have learned so much from you. And I know that the audience is just on the edge of their seats. So tell me a little bit, Simon, how can folks get in touch with you? If they want to work with you or even explore working with you or if they even have questions?
Simon Severino 19:19
So people can download the tools we were talking about and apply them. They are at strategysprints.com Also in the book those tools are explained by our clients actually what was the problem that they needed to solve and how did they apply the tool and what happened then. The book is called Strategy Sprints. It’s on Amazon right now. And if people want to talk to me, I hang out at strategysprints.com
Brynne Tillman 19:45
That’s awesome. Thank you so much for your value, your time, your resources, your insights, and I really appreciate you. So for everyone else when you are out and about don’t forget to make your sales social.
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