Adam Kipnes, Business Coach and Marketing Consultant
Adam has been working with small business owner for the last 17 years and coaching for the last 7. During this time, Adam has found that most of his clients have the same core situation – Their skill and talent has become their business and they are great at it. However, they never truly learned how to operate an effective business. And most everything they have learned about marketing is wrong.
This lack of marketing and business know-how, leads to under-performing company leaders that never seem to reach their promise. Through his company, The 1495 Group, Adam first finds his clients $10,000 in their first meeting that these business owners can go out and get immediately. Every business has money just waiting for it. It’s just a matter of understanding and implementing the correct marketing methods. True marketing success comes from entering the conversation taking place in the mind of the prospect.
Most of his clients can’t get the clients and revenue they need for their business. They are great at what they do, they know the steps to use but it's just not clicking. Adam comes in and Connects the Dots with what they are doing today.
He works with small businesses and specialized knowledge type businesses like doctors, attorney, accountants, financial consultant. They learn their skill and their craft but not a lot of time learning their business and marketing so he comes in and becomes the thought partner from a practice to a company.
How do you differentiate your specialty with these businesses?
Regardless of the industry, most of them are not entrepreneurs. They didn’t go to school to become an entrepreneur – they went to school to learn their specialty. They learn over time that they could work for a big firm but if they work for themselves they realized they could have more time and freedom. They became ‘accidental entrepreneurs' so regardless of their craft, they learn how to be an entrepreneur to run their business and just tailoring it to them specifically.
Business and marketing or one?
It starts with business then transitions into marketing. Adam shares an example of two financial advisors (business partners) making $80k in San Francisco and how he helped them evolve their business. Helped them grow their business to over $1M in over 3 years.
Having a 3rd person or another perspective gives confidence in decisions, he acts as a sounding board, helps with evolving through creating a strategic plan and guiding them on how to work ON the business instead of always IN the business. He helps them organize the chaos. If you know where you’re going it helps with getting there.
Helping with the process, infrastructure and IN the business – help identify ICA
Identifying your ICA is one of the biggest things you can do in your business. If you know what keeps your customer up at night, you’ll see them everywhere. If you talk to someone and say “this is your problem” and they say “that’s it!” you know you’ve identified your ICA. Adam shares an example of his sister buying a car, not seeing the car of choice until she bought it.
If you know what keeps your ICA up at night, you will see them everywhere. Marketing goes from asking them what the problem is to seeing the problem even before they open their mouth. It’s transformative when they know that.
Staying with the Connect the Dots theme – the dots are typically all over the board, i.e try FB ads because they heard they should be doing it, or a video, etc. none have a coherent strategy, no planning, no messaging – if you’re messaging is bad, nothing is going to resonate. You can dot the ads, video and LIVE, but if you aren’t talking to the right people, it won’t resonate. A lot of people do things backwards. They market then assess to see if that worked then do something different.
The sequence with how you do everything in your business really is critical. That’s where good planning come in on the marketing side and business strategy side.
He also works on the process and customer journey.
Everyone goes through a journey before they buy something. It’s knowing where they spend time. It can be anything from buying a hammer to buying a car. Shares an example about Starbucks. Once you make a decision to go, the objections start popping up in your head: is there going to be a long line, am I going to be late, do I want to spend that much money on a cup of coffee….if the benefits and the positives outweigh then you are a buyer (and you make a decision to go to Starbucks or someplace else).
No matter what they are buying they live in the benefits and objections side of that journey. They are learning about it, they start encountering objections for them. But most marketing and most minds are on the people who are ready to buy now. So you want to have a message ready for those who are ready to buy when they are ready to give you their money. But you also want to have a message ready for those people who are still in the journey.
Connecting the Dots between marketing and sales and the plans?
Once you have a plan in place “here’s what I want to achieve in the next 3 years” for example, now it’s time to go to market. A lot of people think of marketing and sales as very different. He likes to think of marketing and sales as very much the same and fully integrated. Sales is all about getting a yes. That’s the sales part. But in marketing they need to say yes all the way along the process – they need to say yes to looking at your ad, investigating you further, yes to picking up the phone, downloading your free offer, etc. So you need the mini yes’s along the way to get the big yes at the end which is the sale.
When you are thinking about your marketing plan, you need to think about how you are going to get a mini yes. One mini yes is getting an email address, it’s picking up the phone, etc. And if you get 3, 4 or 5 mini yes’s by the time you’re ready to make a sale, it’s really natural for that person to give you their credit card or the big Yes.
If we dive in “hey, buy my stuff” and you haven't gotten the mini yes’s along the way, it becomes much harder to get the yes.
In a networking setting – whether a networking group, it’s in high school reunion, at a networking event, at a line in the grocery store, a lot foe people lead with ‘this is what I do' they are asking you for the sale well before anyone has any idea they need your product.
When you think about sales, Sales is the end result of a lot of yes’s along the way. Sales is not the first thing you lead with then convince people to do it. When you’re thinking about your marketing, what are they saying ‘yes ‘ to: I have that problem, You sound like the right person, they are saying yes to ‘I’m going to go to that website, I’m going to call that person, etc.'
Think about all the ‘yes’s' needed in your sales process then turn it around and why someone would want to buy from you.
Adam does all of that for the companies – and he does that for himself as well. Why engaged with his content or see him speak and ask him to speak, etc.
A lot of his clients are former competitive athletes, i.e. professional tennis, swimmer in college, basketball in college, etc. So he’d ask ‘why?” it doesn’t have anything to do with marketing or strategy – he started asking them and found out that hiring a business coach like Adam is very different than the normal – you are taught to do it. For business, it’s not natural to hire a business coach.
Athlete clients, they’ve had coaches their entire life. So they already know what it does, they are use to it. A college basketball player the other day, she didn’t need to be sold on coaching, she needed to be sold on whether he’s the right business coach for her (that goes into the uniqueness, personal branding, etc.) If you can begin the commonalities, the ‘yes’s’ become that much easier because it relates.
What are the commonalities you have with your clients? If you don’t know, spend some time to find them – it’s so much easier to get the rest of the yes’s because now you’ know what all your other clients have.
It’s the know, like, trust – the first thing Adam does is to get someone to like him just enough to accept his phone call next time. Then, find out what does he have, what do they need, how can we bring those things together? Leads to step 3 – before make any business decision, call Adam and run a new idea or thought by him to see what’s worked and not worked with other clients (they are similar so the trust comes faster).
The 3 dots:
Get them to like you enough that they are willing to take your phone call enough (marketing, f2f, do a video) they like you enough because you are engaging and you show you can solve their problem.
How do you bring those things together – what do they need, what do you have – there’s a problem your customer has they don’t want and there’s a solution they want they don’t have
Trust portion – whenever they have a need (buying, hiring you, etc.) whenever they have a problem you are the first person they think so when they have that need to solve a problem.
These 3 things are critical in any marketing strategy or business strategy.
What would you like to share with your ICA that maybe they don’t know about you that you think would be valuable?
Adam has worked with over 1,000 businesses in 20 years, 4 clients gone from 6 figures to 7 figures, 22 have crossed to over $1M in revenue, it’s not about him it’s about the process. If you follow a process in your business, (what do you want, what are the steps, and you implement them), start with this planning process.
Where to connect with Adam online:
Search "Adam Kipnes" on social channels to find him
The Entrepreneur's MBA Podcast - search on your podcast platform of choice
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