By David Holland

October 7, 2021


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The story goes a little something like this…

A shampoo company back in the 1950s was struggling to maintain its sales.

Things looked bleak, and the prognosis was that they’d struggle to last another 6 months.

You see, back then people tended to wash their hair 2 or 3 times a week, rather than every day as is the modern trend.

The Managing Director of the ailing shampoo company was fresh out of ideas after another cancelled order when he asked a friend for some help in one last desperate throw of the dice…

Rinse and repeat.

That’s what his friend came back to him with, proudly clutching a piece of paper and wearing a smile as wide as the Clyde.

And that, according to legend, is why you washed your hair twice this morning, and how a shampoo company doubled its sales overnight.

Rinse and repeat – remember that…

The death-defying sales circuit

Now, whether or not you’re interested in football, you’re no doubt aware of the indomitable Sir Alex Ferguson.

His legendary period at Manchester United catapulted the club into the stratosphere and built on the incredible legacy of another Scottish Knight of the Realm a few decades before – Sir Matt Busby.

In 1945, just after WWII had ended, Busby took up the position of Manager at Manchester United. While football was a professional sport, it was very different to the sport it is today.

Busby, fresh from the army, applied process, system, and ambition to everything he did. The club won its first trophy in more than three decades before winning the league in 1952.

And here’s what he did…

He created a system of deliberate, professional training standards. He introduced a strategy of established players being blended in a squad with youngers – many of whom were just 16 or 17 and joined the club straight from school.

The entire philosophy was built on discipline.

Busby insisted on having the final say on any new signings – an alien concept at a time where the manager simply coached the team while the board of directors handled the rest.

He sold the project to the board as a five-year project, in turn securing a contract of equivalent length for himself as he aimed to complete the first revolution of his success cycle – and that’s VERY relevant for your Sales Circuit.

The tragic events of the Munich air disaster in 1958 saw 8 first-team players at the club lose their lives, as well as 3 members of staff, journalists, and crew members in a tragic accident.

He chose to honour them by carrying on as he led the club to further titles, including the 1968 European Cup – becoming the first English side to lift the trophy in the process.

The perpetual contribution of the butterfly 

If you’re looking to nature for an example of growth throughout a life cycle, you can’t look beyond the butterfly.

The predictability of the metaphor doesn’t take away the lessons that can be observed in terms of the sales cycle, though…

Because setting up an automated circuit to build your business is all about taking a lead from one stage to another and benefitting from its changes in size, shape, and value.

And, just like a butterfly, the end result should ALWAYS be the start of a new cycle.

Let’s take a look at the butterfly’s life cycle:

  • Stage 1 – Eggs: The adult butterfly lays eggs on the leaves of plants, creating a perfect environment with the ideal amount of heat, light, and moisture for the egg to develop. Think of it as the leads in your sales circuit – there’s not much more you can do in the early stages other than letting them know there’s an environment available that might be of future value to them. Every customer you’ve got now and every customer you’re yet to win started off as an unhatched lead that needs nurturing…
  • Stage 2 – Caterpillars: Metamorphosis is one of natures most incredible occurrences. Rather than becoming a baby version of its parent, the butterfly begins life as something entirely different. And if you think about the stages of the sales circuit, you’ll know there’s rarely a shortcut. A lead becomes a conversation before they turn into a customer – and those are two VERY different things.
  • Stage 3 – Chrysalis: The life expectancy isn’t great. Only a small percentage make it to the pupal stage – and that’s why client onboarding and nurturing is vital. Every market sector’s different, but for most, it’s necessary to employ a fully automated sales to conversion system because of the high volume needed to get a win. E.g. If you need to win 10 new deals a month, but your conversion rate is 2%, you need to generate 500 leads. So, treat everyone who says yes as a valuable new life…
  • Stage 4 - Butterflies: Butterflies attract attention. And while they’re beautiful to look at, there’s a reason for it too. It’s the same with proactive sharing of referrals and testimonials in the sales circuit – your story doesn’t stop there, and neither does a butterfly’s.

In your business, the best way to build a successful business is to view every converted sale as an opportunity to nurture a referral or testimonial – because your best customers are the ones you already have.

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About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

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