Dave Wakeman, “The Revenue Architect”

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Dave Wakeman, “The Revenue Architect”

Dave Wakeman is “The Revenue Architect” and an internationally recognized expert in the areas of branding, strategy, and marketing.

Dave has been called “the best partnership strategist I’ve ever worked with” by American Express and is called “The King of Tickets” for his leadership in moving the ticketing industry to the Internet, opening up new streams of revenue and experiences for brand partners, and challenging status quo business models that leave almost 50% of tickets unsold each year.

Dave’s regularly appears on TV, radio, print, and digitally sharing his ideas with a global audience. He is a regular contributor to SEAT, Business 2 Community, and “The Voices of Project Management.” He has spoken to audiences on every continent except Antartica and his work has been translated into 5 languages.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/dwakeman
Twitter: davidwakeman
The Business of Fun Podcast: https://davewakeman.libsyn.com/


[00:00:01] You're listening to Scaling Up Services where we speak with entrepreneurs authors business experts and thought leaders to give you the knowledge and insights you need to scale your service based business faster and easier. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt.

[00:00:22] Are you a CEO looking to scale your company faster and easier. Checkout Thrive Roundtable thrive combines a moderated peer group mastermind expert one on one coaching access to proven growth tools and a 24/7 support community created by Inc award winning CEO and certified scaling up business coach Bruce Eckfeldt. Thrive will help you grow your business more quickly and with less drama. For details on the program visit eckfeldt.com/thrive. That's E C K F E L D T.com slash thrive.

[00:00:58] Welcome everyone this is Scaling UpServices. I'm Bruce Eckfeldt. I'm your host and our guest today is Dave Wakeman. And Dave is known as the revenue architect. We're gonna talk to him about his work with companies around looking at revenue around the strategy behind revenue how to generate more of it how to generate the right type of it and I'm excited about this. I know that most of our listener is going through this growth phase finding more revenue is key to developing and growing the business. So I'm excited for this conversation. With that Dave welcome to the program Bruce.

[00:01:29] Thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited to talk.

[00:01:31] Yeah. So I would like to start with learning a little bit more about the guests background so I'd love to hear a little bit about where where you started professionally. Kind of the experiences you've had. And then we can talk a little bit about the work that you're doing now on the revenue side of sort of the business equation.

[00:01:46] Yeah I know this is I think this might actually help people too. I usually am very reluctant to talk about myself but you kind of have to do that if you're in marketing. I started out in nightclubs back in the mid 90s and the first lesson I had in marketing and revenue generation was how do you increase the check average for a nightclub.

[00:02:04] And I am only bringing the story up that is great for photos as for everything you know was the.

[00:02:10] The question was when I came in we really how can we get an extra quarter out of every person who comes in. And the question became if somebody orders a drink a gin and tonic is the example I always use. You ask them what kind of agenda they prefer. And so people go from having a welder which has five thousand dollars to a tanker tonic which may be seven or eight. So instead of a quarter I've now got three dollars really incremental profit because the difference on such a scale is nominal. And that was sort of like a magic moment for me. So I opened the nightclubs in Fort Lauderdale Orlando or Chicago Lewis and then I moved to Seattle and I had maybe one of the most exciting experiences of my life because I helped open the Experience Music Project with it which is a museum there's no more pop is the name. But it was sort of fascinating. Yeah. And who helped found Microsoft. And along the way I started out in a position where I was doing events and hospitality stuff just based on the nightclub I met Paul it was sister Jodie who was I think I don't know her exact title maybe she was the CEO of the operation at the time she came to me one day and told me you're outstanding at selling yourself I want you to do that for the museum and that will open the door to understanding how to generate revenue.

[00:03:24] And it started out with revenue being the center idea and I have to understand the brand that you're working with the strategy that you need to deliver to your market marketing and selling from Seattle. I moved in New York City I had an opportunity to work on some really high profile projects like the American Express Centurion card when they were really making a huge in the early 9th or early 2000s I helped create the global distribution chain for tickets for the American Express and turning cards Concierge program. I worked with Yellowtail in their ad agency on an experimental campaign that helped get Yellowtail into Costco and it helped me you know drive like a 700 percent increase in sales in one year. And it made them like this nationally known globally known brand that they are today. Yeah I worked with Coca-Cola on the introduction of ad Walla Walla board when they acquired a shirt. I worked with best buy on a customer acquisition and loyalty program and then I moved. Now I live in D.C. and I worked with a number of nonprofits on how to improve their revenue. I worked on a number of presidential campaigns and Senate campaigns and congressional campaigns. So it's like really I had to help elect the first elected attorney general in the history of the District of Columbia. So that's like sort of a little bit of the background.

[00:04:38] So that is fascinating. But I liked the thread and I love the blow.

[00:04:46] No I think the kind of the diversity of your experience is good I'm sure that that helps you in many many ways just because it lets you see kind of the bigger patterns and the bigger kind of strategies around revenue and around how do you build you know build businesses and build the sales and a couple of points in the intro there that the history that you mentioned that I thought or we're kind of pointing out.

[00:05:10] I mean one was actually the very first thing you mentioned was the idea of how do I get another quarter out of this client. I think it's something people at many many businesses often forget. Is that the easiest way to increase revenues is to sell more to your current clients and they go because so many people get caught up with oh I've got to go sell more I need to find more clients I need to open more geographies I need to create more products I need to you know expand my services and and it is it is a hard slog to generate more revenue by trying to sell more if you can figure out how to take the relationships the insights you have with your existing clients and just figure out how to service them better or service them with more value.

[00:05:51] Honestly sometimes it's just can we increase your price by 5 percent or even 2 percent. Because if you can do that that all drops to the bottom line. I mean there's you know it's it's a you know if you look at where you're gonna get new revenue is I think that's one of the major things that people forget.

[00:06:07] The other one I love. Absolutely right.

[00:06:09] Also the key there like you said is pricing yourself in a way it's not you know your pricing because of the value that you generate a lot of you are happy to pay more because you probably value you in a way that you don't understand.

[00:06:25] Yeah. No it's like one. One thing I've learned. Particularly in a more kind of service based business where there is it's a little it's a little harder to do kind of comparison shopping and you can't just area. Well there's this product versus the competitor's product and you kind of head to head is. Yeah I find people often underpriced themselves and my general strategy and I just kind of a from a service point of view is when we're looking at a higher hiring kind of professional services is that every contract or every sale increase the price by about 20 to 30 percent until you get noticed.

[00:07:03] Because oftentimes that you end up getting stuck in at a price point that's based on on your kind of mindset or your cost structure or or what you think the market is or even what the market is but what you do is so so much better or so much more kind of unique or different or niche relative to the market that you know oftentimes you find you can do that once or twice and and that is just it's free money.

[00:07:26] I mean it's just money that drops right to the bottom it's free profit at that point.

[00:07:30] Well let me take this idea to about price to another extreme because I think this is particularly helpful knowing what your audience looks like and knowing that they're in a most of them are in a period of growth. Price is a story that you tell yourself and that your customer tells themselves. And if you are under charging for yourself then you're telling a story that you don't value yourself properly properly and you're probably telling that same story to your customers. It's hard. Your prospects without even realizing it. Yeah so. So one of the fastest ways to grow your revenue or to get more high profile clients or bigger clients or bigger price is to just increase the price because people do believe that they get what they pay for.

[00:08:13] Yeah it's funny I do that.

[00:08:15] I mean I will get into my coaching business and do what but. But what are the reasons or I charge a lot of money and when clients ask me like wow that's a lot of money for you know for the time that we're spending together why did why is it so much. And I basically tell them because if you don't pay that much you're not going to do the work.

[00:08:31] That's exactly right. That's true. I get discount either. Yeah it's totally cheap. But then you're gonna you're gonna forget to do it. Yes that's absolutely correct.

[00:08:42] Yeah. Interesting.

[00:08:43] So the other one I mentioned or that you mentioned there I thought was interesting was the Yellowtail example because we talk about that all the time and we're doing kind of strategy review and we're doing kind of attribute analysis and figuring out how a business is going to differentiate itself in the market Yellowtail was kind of a classic strategy of looking at the attributes currently on the market and finding in a fairly unique set of attributes that would you know match well with an underserved market. I guess when you when you look at kind of this question of strategy and you kind of outlining some of the things you look at when you say a strategy or when you're talking about strategy when you're looking at revenue what are the elements or what are you looking for in a good strategy. What do you need in a strategy to really drive revenue in the business.

[00:09:24] I have tried over the years to simplify strategy as much as possible because I think that in too many cases the strategic planning effort becomes this long drawn out slog full thing that creates a report or a PowerPoint presentation or a spreadsheet or something that's completely useless. Right. And people don't use it. And so the strategy is worthless. You might as well have not done it yet. I have found that you can usually kind of rethink or reset your strategy or refocus yourself basically with three ideas. The first one is like you got to understand what the value is you're trying to bring to the market whatever that is you know it can be tangible and intangible. You've got to figure out what the value is going to start there. If you don't know what your value is and your value proposition is DNA dead on arrival. Right. The second thing is is you've got to understand who your buyer is right. I said this recently a I gave a speech at a bank and I told the bank. I said Look here's the deal. But a lot of people who want to meet with you. Your goal is to only meet is only to meet with people who can say yes.

[00:10:28] Not just with everybody. Yes most of the time the only thing they can say is No. So you got to focus on the people who really say yes to what you're offering because if they can't see and get it right. People talk about oh there's so many decision makers in a purchase now there's always the I'll know if I buy that I because in my situation I found that maybe there might be one or two people but that's it. It's not this 15 or 18 or down I think it's mass. They're talking to people who can only say no. They can only only do that. So you got to focus on who can really buy. Who can say yes who can move the project along. And finally you get to understand how to know how to reach right which is all marketing. And so if you understand your value understand who you're trying to reach and you know how to reach them you can get a long way very quickly if that makes if it makes sense to you and the audience at all.

[00:11:16] Yeah no it does. I mean I guess what's it when you're kind of coming into a situation working with a client. What is the process that use or where. Where do I guess where do you start or how do you diagnose the situation.

[00:11:27] That's a great question. I start out by. This against Al Gore's really basic. I ask you know what's your mission. How are you. You're successful what do you try to do here.

[00:11:37] Because it sounds like you sound like I'm being a little bit of a jerk when I say I sound like a jerk all the time. As a character.

[00:11:46] They were on the same page but really when you asked that question it forces people to really clarify what they're trying to achieve because a lot of times what you find is the mission is muddled and it's nobody's fault right. It's just you kind of maybe put a committee together to come up with the mission or you try to put too much going on. You know there's just too much and nobody knows exactly what you're trying to do. He has dealt with the mission. Right. And I think it was a Peter Drucker idea that said the mission should be able to fit on a t shirt. Right. And I see after the election in 2016 I don't know if you're at all political. But I did political stuff when I looked at the Democratic the Democratic party's mission statement and it was so muddled.

[00:12:24] So it's no wonder you can't win an election. Exactly.

[00:12:28] Because it doesn't make any sense to anybody. I mean you talk all you want about popular vote but it doesn't matter you lost the election. And I looked at it and I was like Well this is you know this is the key right here is if you don't know what you're trying to achieve and who you're talking to how is it the people you're talking to are going to understand so we really start with the mission. Right. And you focus on you know who the customer is right. Because that'll explain you know whether or not the value I'm going to bring is really going to be it's going to match up. Right so we'll use go back to Yellowtail at a yellow tail and their ad agency had looked at this thing and they said an underserved market might be football tailgaters. So they came to me right and they were like We want to think about doing this project where we bring Yellowtail to I think it was 36 football games right. College pros all over the country. Do you think that's crazy was the first question I was like No I don't think it's crazy at all. And the second question was how do we do it. And so we put it like it was all over pull together these parties tail big tailgate partisan 36 cities and lo and behold the hypothesis was correct that football tailgaters weren't just attached to beer and brats they were attached to a gathering and community and getting together and that was sort of the story that Yellowtail was was telling was that you know this is a wine you enjoy with friends yeah friends are at football games right friends or barbecues friends are at you know a lot of places in the story was very compelling and it hit that market so then that was the value proposition is like when you're hanging out with your friends we all the tales the wine you want to drink.

[00:13:58] Yes. So let's take it that one a little bit because I think it's a good example.

[00:14:02] And I'd love to hear how how you kind of define a customer. So I got a football tailgate or is kind of the shorthand but. But unpack that a little bit for us. Like when you're when you're kind of evaluating or working with a client on who is their customer what are the details or what are the attributes are how what do you want to know about the customer that's going to help you and me you know it turns out that the process that you go through and or helping them with with revenue generation.

[00:14:30] So I don't want this to sound like a dodge the question because this is no different is different for every organization.

[00:14:38] So you know I think anybody who tries to tell you there is a one size fits all cookie cutter template to figure out who your target customer is is being a little disingenuous because each situation in each organization is gonna be different. Yeah I do think that there's probably three or four ideas that are very helpful for uncovering who your customer is right and the first thing is understanding really it goes back to this idea of value right. What do you think is valuable and unique about what you're giving people. Right. Because you want to be sure that whatever you're offering is something that people are going to appreciate. Right. It might be because you might find that the audience you think are your customers doesn't care. But at the same time you might see an entirely different customer base for you. We'll will start out by just understanding what you're selling right and what people are going to value.

[00:15:28] The second thing is by understanding if the value you find out that you're offering is consistent with the mission that you are giving. Right. Which is doesn't matter if it's inconsistent because you can just spin it off but you just have to understand because what's going to happen is if the mission and the value are incompatible you're going to have challenges as far as marketing pricing and communicating your your ideas and your value to your audience. So you just need the further. It starts with value and understanding your customer. Right. Because or you know or understanding of the mission I'm sorry. Because you want to be sure they're consistent because if not you can't find the right customer because it's going to you're going to have an inconsistent message. The second the third thing you're going to want to look at is you're going to have to look at the price and the costs. Right. Because you might find that it's too expensive to produce something at the cost that will reach the market that you start to that you're focused on. Got it or you might figure out that you may be under charging and again the price point in a lot of cases.

[00:16:29] Very important because it tells a story. It's a signal to the audience you're trying to reach. And then the fourth thing is like can you reach this audience effectively. Right. Because just because there's customers there doesn't mean you're going to be able to reach them effectively. Right. Is it going to be cost effective to reach this market is there enough profit in this market. You need to understand those those four ideas before. To help make good strategic decisions. Right because you can have a ton of custody of a really huge audience. I mean we see a lot of companies that are scaling right now. They're able to reach a lot of people even reach a lot of people cost effectively but the value that they're providing is not paying off. Pay dividends in the amount of money they're able to generate per customer. So you need to kind of understand those four basics to make sure that your ideas profitable.

[00:17:15] Yeah. I think that's an important point that we don't want to go what kind of scale you know scale a business or scale a business model or an offering that is not profitable. I mean we're just going to scale ourselves into a problem as well.

[00:17:30] That's a really good point because we see that a lot now. Right. It's the customer acquisition costs are extremely high. And you get tons of customers. If you're giving it away you know exactly.

[00:17:43] But they're never willing to pay full price. Right. I see that with a lot of business models like I'm still sort of uncertain about the business model of Uber or Lyft because they have been so heavily subsidized for so long. Know what happens if somebody is has to pay full price. Are they still going to be so competitive against taxis right or private cars or whatever it is. I mean who knows it's going to be kind of interesting to find out.

[00:18:08] Yeah I had I'm based here in New York. I've got a client down in Philly and I have now switched to taking lifts down to Philly rather than the train because it's cheaper.

[00:18:19] Train AS A hundred and eighty dollars and I can get down there door to door for one hundred and ninety two or something like that. But I know there's like that's the state of auto know how they're going you know I don't know how they're making money.

[00:18:29] I think that's exactly right. Yeah I mean that's not just lifted new rules. You know I follow this Sport magazine the athletic if anybody's a sports see it right there do me a dollar or you know for 90 days was one of their their acquisition things or you're giving me 50 or 75 percent off for the first year. What is it the first year if I don't go well it was great for 20 bucks but four hundred bucks get out of here. Oh yeah.

[00:18:56] Yeah I guess I guess I guess they figure that that's some percentage will stick around or they'll be able to add value to make or you'll forget to cancel it for a couple of nights at least. Right.

[00:19:06] Let's look at some of the times I think that's what they do hope for. They hope that you just forget to cancel because you're kind of you're stuck for another year. Yeah I mean I really don't know if that's a good business model to be in.

[00:19:16] Is it like you're basic. No it's not.

[00:19:20] Certainly not sustainable and it's probably going to lead to a quick demise once.

[00:19:24] The ones that gets around when you when you're coming to clients. Are there any tell tales for you that they're that they're not working on the right customer. They're not working on the right value solution to them.

[00:19:36] I mean what do you what do you typically see as kind of the challenges or or classic problems that that customers have that our clients have around this kind of revenue strategy and revenue growth.

[00:19:46] Well again not to dodge they're all different.

[00:19:53] They're cool because I don't want to literally go oh I don't fit this category this category this category. Is this true.

[00:20:00] What I do see a lot of though is I will hear a something similar along the lines of our sales cycles too long. Right. So that that'll that'll be a signal I will hear a signal that usually says something about our demand isn't right.

[00:20:21] We feel like we should be having easier more people in our ecosystem or in our sales model. That's that's ahead. I can also hear usually a lot of talk about we're making a lot of sales but are still our revenues are low or pricing is not or where our profits not right. Yeah. Again another signal this is usually those three in which point most of them come back to what I define as a marketing problem because price is a marketing story you know sales process as well as marketing story in the long run. Pretty much I'm not just when I say it but I mean I think most of the you know most of the problems we face are problems of marketing either internally or externally.

[00:21:02] Yeah I would agree. How do you deal with things like cash flow because that's the other one that I find is that they they may be strong on revenues and on a project basis they may have pretty good profitability but the cash cycle within the project or the engagement or the sale itself is such that scaling you know if we talk about doubling or tripling the business in the next you know one to three years that becomes daunting from a capital requirement and that they're. They have a 60 or 90 or 120 day lag on when they need to incur the expense versus when they actually get the money in hand. I don't know if you've come across this or how you kind of.

[00:21:40] Yeah I actually that's one of the things like when people come to me as consultants or setting up a bit of business. That's one of the things they ask me about right.

[00:21:49] Because everybody's bought into the 30 or 60 or 90 day payment cycle and I go Well why should I go why this is this is sharing this with your audience.

[00:22:05] This is completely true if you want to ask my clients they will tell you this is true.

[00:22:10] They pay me before we start at least 50 percent. Yeah. And most of the time they don't care. Right. And then after a while you know this is maybe I shouldn't admit this. After we've been working together for a while. I often forget to build them until we really halfway through the next period. But we were starting I don't start anything until we're until I get some sort of financial commitment from the company I'm going to work with. I think that if you think about it like this I'll put it as an example when you go to your in New York. So Christie's fairway to go grocery shopping. You don't get to make an omelet and then come back and pay for the table. You favor the eggs before you leave the store. It's the same sort of thing right. Because Christine these would not be able to operate if it had all these chips out on waiting for people to make their wallets and then come back and pay for them. So it's the same thing. And so I encourage people to not necessarily just use a historical standard for the way they build their customers but figure out what's fair to them and to the people they're working with.

[00:23:15] Let's take in that just a second because I think that's a really I think for service based businesses. This is a conundrum that I think a lot of people struggle with. I have thought tonight but I would get curious to get yours and I think fundamentally it's because there is there's an uncertainty right. There's there's I as a buyer I am not sure that this person can really deliver on the value that they claim to be able to deliver. And while I very much want that and if they can really do what they say they're gonna do that's gonna be really really valuable for me. But I don't know that they can. So I think a lot of this is the way to be able to get short of payment upfront and I do the same thing right. I got paid before I do anything with a client. But the way to do that is you have to essentially convince them or create some kind of mechanism where they're willing to accept the risk. Any any strategies or thoughts about how you do that. I mean I think I think some of that is around marketing. And then in terms of how you how you tell the story but are you seeing any good examples or good strategies for how you sort of deal risk the situation for the buyer.

[00:24:16] Sure. I mean there's a couple of things that were used in and I'm probably going to make a guess about both you and where you are. These are things that we. It's easier for us now because we've been around awhile to do it right. So I don't want people to think Oh my God you know Bruce Dave can do this because they've been around for 10 or 15 years they've been doing this for quite a while you can start by. You know you don't I do half now right half a continent half like 45 or 60 days down the road depending on the customer right. You know that's one way. Right. So you're paying half up front. I need this to get started. Especially if there's like a lot of material costs involved or a lot of you know subcontractors things like this right. Secondly you can do is so maybe the first is maybe instead of 50 percent you ask for 25 percent. The thing is is you just need the cash flow you know to keep your business going. You have those expenses and the whole thing to pay to keep your business operate. The second thing you can do is offer some sort of guarantee the money back. I often often offer people I say look if you're not happy with the effort I'm giving you then I'll give you your money back. Right I'm want to give you the best work I can give you right. I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can for you. If you don't think that's true if you don't think I'm doing do it work my answer for you. You know I'll give you my money back. You could do that as well. And combined with those two you know those two together that's usually enough. You know the third thing is is you can think about a way to lock in a little bit of money upfront and then maybe as opposed to taking a selfie you take a percentage of the upside which is a third thing that I do. Yeah. You know because it's revenue based.

[00:25:54] I've done that with Senator results. Yeah exactly right. And that that will also also help because maybe you just say you're going to pay me a retainer for three months right. Yeah we'll start a number like five thousand dollars a month for three months to get everything set for 90 days after 90 days. You may say hey I'm going to get 1 percent of the increased revenue or whatever the number is is up to you and you'll know the situation of the business you're dealing with maybe a little bit better but that's a third way that you can use to overcome some of this to get cash flow upfront and to also overcome the objection of late. Well you talk great. I think. Like the ideas you have but I'm still unsure.

[00:26:31] Yeah I think I like all the strategies because I think they all are different ways to kind of address what is the what is the buyer's perceived risk. And I think if you can if you can create a structure that directs it for the buyer that that is going to help you overcome you know that sales decision process.

[00:26:50] And I think you know a lot of this you know long sales cycle is essentially you haven't it takes you for whatever reason it's taking a very long time to prove or or give it enough evidence to the buyer that you can actually deliver on what you're claiming to deliver.

[00:27:03] And I think you screw it up. Yeah.

[00:27:06] He wants to screw up you know people think that these professional sales are less emotional than consumer purchases and they're not Mozart and they're more emotional.

[00:27:16] Got you've got your livelihood on the line. Yeah I know.

[00:27:20] So you are you. You have to focus on the emotion. You know maybe maybe one of the things too that I find is helpful for people as well. In the same vein is instead of pricing yourself accordions like an hourly rate or some kind of Oh yeah. You know like you know whatever. You know traditional way of doing a focus on the value you create. And that helps also over time helps overcome the obstacle you're selling the person a vision of a better future.

[00:27:46] That's a good point because I think that that's particularly hard for service companies because it's oftentimes really difficult to see the product. See the thing that is being produced because it tends to be an idea or a strategy. And so it's just so easy to fall into that well how long is it going to take you argument. And that is that that is a poor place to be from a pricing point of view. And if you can stay on the value side I'll show one thing that I do kind of related to this is if if in the beginning on our engagement people are looking at pricing and they're concerned about pricing and they start going into the mall how long or how much is a day. That seems like a lot for a day. I basically go to a model of saying hey you know what let's do let's do a free day I'm going to come in. I'm going to work with you for a day. And and if you get value out of this day you're going to pay me my my full right you know the rate that we've been talking about. If you feel like it's getting the value out of it and if you don't you don't have to pay it.

[00:28:41] You can walk away I can walk away and we can find some else because I'm at the end friends here because I want to be I'm so committed and I'm so focused on sort of the ability to create value and paying for the value that I want to actually give you something in the hand I want to get you to the end of the day and get you sort of decisions and strategy and clarity and priority is such that you're gonna be like wow this is a steal. Like if we can do this if every time we meet this is what I'm going to come out of here with then this is I'm you know I'm getting a huge value out I'm gonna make 10 times what I'm paying you because of the work that you're doing. So oftentimes it takes some experience are doing some of the work or seeing it's actually going through the process and seeing the value and I'd rather do that I'd rather give a day away free everyone's smile than be in a position where I'm discounting price or negotiating you know rates to try to get someone to buy but now I'm stuck at at a discounted rate for good potentially years.

[00:29:33] I think it's I think that's great because the thing is is that you you're testing the goods like you see Tesla right. Tell us about the Tesla. Go test drive for a week and still return it. Right. I guarantee you almost no one takes the Tesla back right. So you could say oh you know there's a return Bruce to the lab. Yeah it's great. This discount.

[00:29:55] You open the discount door and there's a real good point that I hope to make. But who is. Well look at my work after listening to be here or who knows me in general. Is this going to be redundant to them never discount because discount destroys your brand as soon as you open the door on discounting there's tons and tons of neuro marketing still studies now that say that for a minimum at least seven years you're always going to be viewed as a discount provider from the day from the day you start disengaging. Just don't do it the way I found to overcome that is either increase the perceived value by adding something that's really not expensive for you to create or produce or by removing value that you're willing to give the person because no one wants you to remove the value either. I give you a discount but you know I don't have to take away this and this and usually then throw them up or you go Oh well how about this. Right. Also you know three months of phone coaching or something you know something completely like it's like it's going to cost you another hour to work on your project but it's going to help secure.

[00:31:00] I mean it's totally worth it. But I guess yeah let's say let's really kind of clarify that one or recap on that because I think that's important.

[00:31:07] So I think on the one side you're saying if there is pushback on price figure out how to increase value with without changing the price. If someone says OK well it's going to you know coaching it was gonna cost a dollar and they say OK dollars a lot of money I'm really thinking more like 50 cents I'm saying.

[00:31:23] Ok well what if we did you know coaching calls once a week to kind of check in and make sure that you're making progress on thing. Is. Worth a dollar. Oh yeah. Then it's worth a dollar. So you're you're adding service to to increase the value to the price that you want to be charging. I think the flip side is interesting where if I say OK well this is what it cost me for a dollar. If you are really really what they're telling you as you know what I don't necessarily disagree that you're worth a dollar that's only 50 cents in my budget. Then you would say OK well then I can do 50 50 cents if we take out a B and C and we really just focus on DNA. I can do that for 50 cents. So you're saying that to reformulate or re re scope it so that you're not discounting your repricing based on a risk. But you're not discounting the same work just for less money.

[00:32:09] That's correct. I think that's exactly right. I'm hopeful. I'm glad you explained it very well.

[00:32:13] So that's would be absolutely right because I think a lot of people get caught and that they get caught and that's kind of all you know it's a dollar. There's nothing I can do and I think I think there is I think I think you're. And I think you've you've given people a really good strategy saying hey can you can you add value in a way that doesn't really increase your costs or minimally increases your cost or can you can you scope it.

[00:32:32] Yeah I mean I'm creating a pro bono that I'm working on right now I'm creating a strategy workbook but you know what that strategy workbook is going to do. That's going to be something that really points for other clients going forward you formulate the strengths first. And it's going to it's going to secure my secure my profit margin. It doesn't have to be something like super crazy right. Because if you're smart and if you know what you're doing right you're probably creating a lot of IP right. Bruce has a podcast now and podcast. Lord knows I write a blog. It's great or something every day I put it out there. You're creating a lot of IP. Right. So just patents and stuff and it creates. Now you write workbooks are awesome. Right. Well she did great.

[00:33:16] These things you know in the interview coming in and doing a free workshop with like executive leaders like so like the save your buyers the CEO and you say hey look I'm going to do a one like an onsite half day coaching session or strategy session with the executives. Really that is a business development and marketing for you. Because those people could buy from you as well.

[00:33:37] Yeah well my my theory on that switch I think I think is that everybody has to do as well. That's the point here. Right. Like help people like. Yeah. Yeah. That won't be that hard. Yeah.

[00:33:52] My theory on this is I'd rather I'd rather spend half a day working on your problems and delivering value than spending a half a day trying to sell you. Right so it's it's it's a better use of my time. It's more fun for both of us. We're actually generating value. I mean look at if it's not a fad it's not a fad. I'm not and I go into it with no attachment no expectation that they're gonna buy or not buy. I just I want to create value and I find that ends up being a much more efficient kind of sales process than you know spending a whole bunch of time trying to convince someone abstractly that you know we're gonna create value.

[00:34:27] I'd rather just figure out how do I create value. How do I create a little bit of value in a short amount of time to prove the process so that they can they can trust it. And then we can build up from there.

[00:34:35] So I mean here's another idea remixing this completely useless to be helpful. I don't know. It's up to the listeners but this is something I've been trying recently is I will put together a kind of moderated mastermind group that meets once a quarter with like prospects and clients right in right now with six people and just started this thing so I don't know exactly how effective it's going to be and how big it's going to be a way to add value to it going to look in on top of that. How would I invite you to this mastermind group. I do. You know it's it's six to eight people we meet at a restaurant like I'm going to do it my son's restaurant downtown D.C.. You know we have like you know we bring some two or three challenges and issues. We talk about we have a couple of nice glasses of wine or a couple bourbons everybody kind of talks to these issues very relaxed setting but guided you know that's again tremendous value insecure is like being me mean. I was on a panel recently at a conference and this guy said We're really limited in the number of ways that we can generate revenue. And I said My first reaction was to jump across the other people between me and him because I'm a professional.

[00:35:46] Good good restraint nice. Yeah. And then I said that with all due respect which you know is like Southern for like you. Yes it is.

[00:35:54] I said we're only limited in how creative we want to use and hopefully the examples that just laid out help with that show that might even just create the stuff and that's the fun thing of having your listeners get to skip especially a service business is that you be creative it's fun.

[00:36:11] Yeah yeah. This has been great. We're good. I'm just looking at time. I realize we've been going for a while. I love the mastermind idea. It's something I do I've seen a lot of anyone that's on that kind of service side.

[00:36:23] You should think about it. It's probably we could probably do another episode just on Mastermind groups but.

[00:36:28] It's been fine. I think there's a lot of great takeaways for folks here. I hope they learned a lot. Yeah I think we'll want to find out more about you and the work that you do. What's the best way to get that information.

[00:36:38] I would send people first to my Web site. www.DaveWakeman.com.

[00:36:43] That's just my name. You can always email me with any ideas any questions any thoughts tell me I'm crazy is fine. It's my name. Dave@davewakeman.com.. You can find me on the weekend and Twitter and all of those things. And if anybody is listening to this that is involved in any way shape or form with theater entertainment sports business anything like that that's listening. I do the number one podcast in the world for people in the arts and entertainment and experience business.

[00:37:10] It's called The Business of Fun so check that out as I like all the major platforms. I think you can almost find me just about everywhere. And I would love to hear from people so please pick me up.

[00:37:20] Yeah I'll encourage everyone to take advantage of that and I'll make sure that all those links are in the show now so people can click through.

[00:37:25] Dave what a pleasure. Thank you for taking the time and being so generous and open with your insights and the work that you do.

[00:37:32] No it was fun. Thanks for having me.

[00:37:34] You've been listening to Scaling up Services with Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt. To find a full is a podcast episodes. Download the tools and worksheets and access other great content. This is a Web site that scaling up services dot com and toll free to sign up for the free newsletter scalingupservices/newsletter.