Adam Torres and Lorin Young discuss increasing sales and business profits.
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Increasing sales and business profits is the goal of many companies. In this episode, Adam Torres interviewed Lorin Young, Business Scientist at Business CPR, discuss Lorin’s recent book release, Mission Matters: World’s Leading Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Top Tips To Success (Business Leaders Vol. 7), where he writes about how business profits originate with customer sales and the keys to improving both.
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About Business CPR
Business CPR is how you close the gap between what your business actually earned and what it should have earned. It is how you build cash reserves in the bank through the association of cash to blood, profits to the heart, and reporting to the nervous system in order to make the relationship between cash and profits easier to manage.
Both Business CPR and the 7-P Framework have been developed over a broad 30-year career, spanning work as a Fortune 100 executive to the refiner’s fire of small business ownership. Visit lorinyoung.com to find tools and tips to help your hard work translate into more cash in the bank and less stress in your life.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on We Are Guest to Apply. All right, so today is a. Special episode. We are bringing Lauren Young back onto the show and we are proud to announce that this book that we’ve been working on for quite some time is finally live, finally out there.
First off, I just wanna say, hey Lauren, welcome back to the show and great to have you back and congrats on getting, getting the book out there. Finally. We’ve been working on this for a while. I appreciate that. Thank you, Adam. It’s good to be back with you. And I love the fact that volume seven is available and on the.
Fantastic. Well, Lauren you, you know the drill as do as do our, our audience. We’ll start this episode the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute. So, Lauren, we at Mission Matters. We amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts. That’s our mission. Lauren, what mission matters to you?
Well, I, I wanna just acknowledge your mission. I love, I love the amplifying of stories that you help people like me do because cuz life is full of a of a, an array of experiences. Some are just life changing and really propel you in new directions. Others give you great. Challenges that become these foundational learning experiences.
And what I’ve come to appreciate about Mission Matters is how you help position people like me to, to bring our stories forward. So I’m all about helping business owners close the gap between what they, what they earned, and what they should. In other words, what did they actually earn and what, what should they have earned?
And so name of my business is Keystone Revenue Solutions. And we really focus on the two ends of business that is generating sales and being able to generate those sales at a profit. So we, we love helping business owned who are struggling on either end of the spectrum to be able to close that gap between what they actually earned and what they should have earned because, When you stop and think about it, entrepreneurs are some of the hardest working people in the world who put everything at risk to try to realize their vision.
Mm-hmm. And sometimes that’s just a little harder than needs to be. And people like me are here to help them make it. Yeah. And so, so great having you back on. And we’ll, we’re definitely going to get into your book content, really keys to improving sales and sales solutions. But I do want to, I don’t wanna assume that all of our new listeners or new visitors may be caught some of the earlier work that we’ve done together.
So maybe let’s just start off with a little bit about your background and really how you got into business. Okay. Well, I. I grew up in a, in a home where you know, work was important and and so at a really young age, I I actually had my first own business where my, my clientele. We’re we’re retirees living in trailer parks and I was 13 years old and I would ride my bike into these trailer parks and I, I actually put a little three by five card up in their community center offering to pull weeds.
And and so I would come in and pull weeds around a number of different trailer parks within the town I grew up in. And I’m gonna actually name the town Adam. I grew up in Kippa, California. Oh, wow. Kippa, California sits at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains. And when I was growing up there, it was a retirement community.
Mm-hmm. And so there was a lot of business and while. 13, 14, 15. I had this really good route mm-hmm. Where I could, I could make a lot of money pulling weeds and it was just something that started me appreciating the importance of being where your customers are. Yeah. And making it easy for them to connect with you.
So I kind of put that on back burner when I went into into the retail grocery industry cuz I could actually make more money that way. Graduate school where I where I, I got an MBA because I really started to appreciate the importance of, of businesses and how they’re structured and organized to. Bring more people to do business with them. And and that led me into initially a career in sales. I started out with PPG Industries in a business to business, sales, sales experience.
And then that I parlayed that over into another Fortune 100 company where I rose through the ranks at Nationwide Insurance. Through a series of different positions that ultimately led to me being one of their VPs of a of a business unit’s marketing and sales function. That then led me into small business ownership.
So when I retired from corporate America, I bought my own business and had a, had a number of really good years, and then I I realized that I wasn’t, I wasn’t loving what I was. And and so then I branched into consulting where I could both my corporate knowledge, my small business knowledge and help help people reduce the stress levels in their life.
Mm-hmm. As they try to make more money. And that’s where I’m at today. And so Lauren, I want to I wanna stick with a little bit longer on the earlier, earlier days of the career. Cause we didn’t so like one of the things you said, not only in, in your mission, but just now by your, by your example, I mean, pulling weeds, doing things like this is hard, hard labor.
And so when I think. What it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. There’s a lot of work obviously that goes in that’s involved, but sometimes, I don’t know who said it or why but you know, sometimes you’re climbing up a ladder that’s on the wrong wall and you’re, you’re doing a lot of work as an entrepreneur.
Maybe you’re not getting the results you want. And maybe you’re, you’re putting in more effort and there’s so only so many. I’ll pick on myself, like on the early days of Mission matters and of me being an entrepreneur and I’m working a lot of hours, but I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted and a lot of it was due to me growing as a business person, understanding sales, business, business profits, how all of that looks.
I we’re going to talk about the book and I feel like on the book side of things, you’re definitely working with your. More, let’s say, accomplished entrepreneurs. But let, and we’ll talk about what that looks like and how they, how you as a business scientist are really looking at, at the numbers. But I wanna, before we get into that, I wanna talk about the, just getting started out entrepreneurs for a little bit longer.
Okay. What kind of things would you talk to them and tell them? What would your message be ultimately to you know, get them through those early. That will eventually get them to the point to where they’re considering big business profits and how to, how to allocate those and how to increase sales and all these things like the, the younger group.
Let’s talk to them for a moment. What kind of message would you tell them? Okay, so actually I would I would take ’em back to a really important transition point for me. Mm-hmm. Growing. I had a, I had a couple of uncles who were corporate lawyers and and they were very successful. And so going into college, I saw myself going into a corporate law path.
And I actually, my sophomore year of college, I took three classes. I took business law, which I aced. I took introduction to marketing and Introduction to Accounting, and in my introduction to marketing I struggled with the professor, but I, it was the first textbook I ever got that I looked forward to the reading assignments.
Mm-hmm. And I fell in love with the discipline of mocking, and it was in my accounting class where I actually had my first really great professor who I just loved. But, but I wasn’t as tuned in and dialed to the discipline of accounting, and so I, I pursued a, a degree in marketing and what I appreciate about the function of marketing is it really is about the exchange of value.
Mm-hmm. So, so a business offers products A, B, and C, and each of those products has some value component that the customer is, is seeking to. And so they’re going to pay money to acquire that product. And the reason they’re gonna pay money to acquire the product is they have a need that they wanna satisfy or a want that they wanna serve.
And so, and so business comes down to an exchange of value. And so if I was sitting in front of a group of, of biting entrepreneurs who are starting out, I would really encourage ’em to pause and. On, what’s the value they’re creating for their customers? In other words, what are they going to develop and offer that someone’s willing to pay a price at that you can earn a profit off of?
And, and that exchange of value is at the core of every single business you are around the world. So, so be, be clear on that exchange of value cuz then that will position you to not. Make money on your sales transactions, which is every person buying from you, but it’ll also help you connect those that should be buying from you but aren’t.
Yeah, and I, I love that you make it, you, you boil it down to what, what business is about, right. The, the exchange of value, right? Like you’re giving a service, whether it’s. Pulling weeds, whether it’s creating content like this, whether it’s a book, I mean, whatever the value is that you have for the marketplace.
Mm-hmm. And somebody’s willing to exchange their, exchange, their, a little bit of their coin for it. Hopefully a lot of their coin for it, depending on your service. Right. Well, and, and when you stop and think about it, Adam, anytime somebody parts with money mm-hmm. To you, the business. They, they, they have conveyed to you that I, I believe in what you’ve told me.
Mm-hmm. I want what you’re offering me, and I’m gonna give you part of my hard-earned money. Yeah. To get what you’re ge, what you’re, what you’re selling. Mm-hmm. And, and that’s the, that’s to me that’s a position of honor where, where you’re honoring. Sacrifice. And for some people it is a real sacrifice because it’s, it’s hard to make a buck these days.
Yeah. And so every time they part with that money, they’re, they’re voicing
theirs. Give them more than what they’re giving you. Mm-hmm. So that they’ll buy more from you. In other words, they’ll become a repeat customer and they’ll refer you to others. Cause that’s really the holy. Is to get more people buying from you and then to refer you. All right, let’s let’s jump around a bit here, Lauren.
I do want to get into the book and spend some time there. So business profits originate with customer sales was the title of your chapter. Mm-hmm. Lauren, seven Keys to Improving both. Just for everybody watching this, just to let you know, we’re not gonna go through. All of it. We still want you to pick up a copy of the book.
Speaking of exchanging value, I do want you to part with a little bit of money and and pick up a copy. So the link to the book will definitely be in the, in the show notes, so you can take care of that. But just to, just to dive in, Lauren first off, a lot of things. Big career you’ve had and are having as an entrepreneur, a lot of different topics.
You could have chosen a lot of different, I’ve followed your content, a lot of different content pieces. Mm-hmm. Why this, why now? Well, when I, when I looked at the objective of the book and that’s tips to success. I I, I reflected back on where I’ve been over my career and what I’ve come to appreciate.
And I really appreciated this during my during my small business ownership days where, where I had, I had a team of people working for me and we were. Push into to generate more and more sales each year. What I came to appreciate is that the hardest work in business is generating new sales. Yeah.
And it took me back to my PP days where I was in a business to business sales role, and getting new customers is. It is hard work. And then when I, I, I pivoted into a series of corporate staff roles nationwide. What I came to appreciate there was just how few fully appreciated how tough sales are.
They, they don’t realize that getting people. To part with their money is tough, especially when you’re in a competitive situation and there’s lots of alternatives. Mm-hmm. And so and so the function of sales is hard to excel at. And for a lot of, lot of. Small business owners, this is actually the, the most constraining upon their business mm-hmm.
Is, is getting that next new set of customers that they can, they can make money from, by delivering them something value. And so, as I worked with different businesses, I would, I would find myself coming in. And actually relying on some of my accounting knowledge and, and helping them stabilize their ability to manage cash and to, to make more on what they’re selling.
But, but what I would find is that, is that, yeah, okay. They can get control of cash. Yeah, they can, they can make a little bit. But, but what really holds ’em back from achieving what I think is, is the ultimate for small business owners, and that is financial freedom. What actually holds ’em back is generating enough sales, sufficient sales to, to fund that.
So it’s, it’s one thing to earn a profit on a million dollars in sales, but if you could hold that profit and get it to 10 million, you’ve changed your. Yeah. And so, and so that’s why I chose sales because I appreciate how hard it is to do, especially when you don’t have a big brand and a fortune 100 company backing you.
Sales gets even harder. When you are, when you’re one of those small guys competing in a sea of different sized competitors. It’s tough. And yeah, that’s the focus for this, for my contribu. So in, in the chapter you write about as I mentioned, many multiple points. So seven key points one of them being a model to generate higher sales.
Mm-hmm. Can you talk about the importance of maybe a model and developing a model so that you can ha so that you can get results? So let me give you the context behind this model. So I was VP of marketing. And, and sales at a pet health insurance company. And when I came into that role we had really bad retention.
Mm-hmm. In other words I, I came in and did a, we did a lot of assessment of our customer base and, and we had this enormous drop off. And we had two big spikes. It was at, it was at, at the end of my lawn. It was the end of month three, and then it was in month 11 when we would trigger the renewal.
Those were our big spike and drop-offs. Mm-hmm. And what I came to appreciate about those drop-offs was that Was it, we were, we were, we were too quickly to close. We had a we had an inside sales team that were working the phones. Mm-hmm. And that was the, the number one source of our sales. We also had an online presence, but in both cases, what, what was happening is we would, we would jump people from initial inquiry to a hard close.
Ah, and we had some salespeople who were phenomenally successful at that. But what was happen? Was because we were skipping a couple of those stages. Mm. That, that are just naturally part of the production of going from ignorance about a product to purchasing that product. It was, it was, we had to slow down a little bit to build a little more affinity around why they are considering Pet Healths.
Mm-hmm. And and what we did is we built AFI. That helped ’em understand how the product worked and how it would help them take better care of their, of their pets. And as that affinity started to form their knowledge would, would, would be grounded. And so, and so, the part that was missing was the affinity phase was some knowledge.
And so the, the model is actually ignorance. So people, people don’t know you exist. They become aware of. That’s what your marketing’s trying to do is generate awareness. That awareness then links to knowledge. Mm-hmm. Excuse me. That knowledge people begin to form affinity for things that they now start to understand and they want, and and then that, that will lead to purchase.
And the purchase is a big. And so those people that dropped off in the first month or the third month tho, they were in the next phase, which is the sale phase, which phase, which is ex experimentation and what they were led to believe and what they actually experienced wasn’t meshing well and those would drop off.
So by, by getting the front end better, which was really around moving. To knowledge and affinity. We were able to clean up the backend and so our retention members went through the roof. Yeah. And we were able to take sales. We were able to, to grow sales by 200% by just getting that little bit of, little bit of connection there that was missing.
And that’s, that’s what this, this model’s about. It’s about progressing people to a confident purchase. And to me that’s exciting. Like if I’m a business owner and I am, and I’m, and I’m watching this and I haven’t really considered what you’re talking about, to me, there’s a lot of hope in that. And that’s why like here, we’re always looking at our sales process on different things and trying to reevaluate what makes sense, what doesn’t.
Mm-hmm. You talk about brand affinity. How do you, how do you produce how do you educate, like all these things to us, that’s a, that’s kind of a, a never ending cycle, and. Point. It’s not a, and at this point it’s part of our DNA and how we put out content. Like we’re always reworking, rethinking how can we create a better experience for the viewer.
And now it’s in our dna, but I can’t claim, and I don’t recall when we had that shift or that turning point. So in my opinion, some of the people that’ll watch this, this might be a turning point for them. And especially as they read your chapters, they listen to your interviews as they dive into some of the other work that you’re doing and workshops and seminars and other things.
This may be the turning point for them. So where would you say that if, if, if an organization doesn’t have that in their DNA already where do you say someone starts? I think the the most effective way is. Look at your customer. Those that are really good customers, in other words, they, they don’t, they don’t scrap and fight you for the lowest possible price, but they allow you to make some money on the transaction.
You’re doing so, so you gotta, you start with your best customers. What do they look like and what you’re really trying to do. Is this isn’t about their demographics or some creative narrative on that. Put some personality to them. What, what it’s about is real clear problem identification and I. Coming to you with a problem and they’re looking to buy from you to solve that problem.
And, you know, when it’s, when it’s around needs, it’s those basic things that we just need to function and have, have some joy in our lives as opposed to, you know, you got these wants and, and those wants are actually just higher forms of need that people are prepared to splurge on. But the point is, There’s a problem they’re trying to solve, what’s the problem?
So you gotta get clear definition around that. And then the next thing you wanna really appreciate is, is what’s their purchase decision criteria? In other words, how are they going to. Collect information such that they can determine whether or not you can solve their problem, and if your solution is worth what you’re asking for.
And, and so you’re trying to get a sense of, of what their decision criteria is. And so you really start by knowing your customers and appreciating. What it is you do that they value most, and how did they come to decide on that? And those can actually be really fun conversations with some of your better customers.
You can learn a lot about your business by listening to tell you about how your product or your services make their lives better. So I, I wanna jump around a bit here. So let’s, let’s address maybe for some of those that have been, do have that in their dna. N and and they, and they do. And this is kind of the phase we’re at right now.
So we, you know, we, we always are trying to get better. Mm-hmm. In terms of the, in terms of the content, the product, we talked about it. We’re even trying to get the books better, like, and you’ve gave us. Consulted and given us some wonderful suggestions that we’re going to implement. But now let’s say it’s kind so it’s in your dna, you have this culture you wanna improve, but maybe you’re light on the documentation side.
Can you make an argument for and you did in the book, but can you kind of address why it’s, why it’s a documented sales process leads to more sales? Well, the the most fascinating thing that. I’ve come to appreciate is, is that many people think sales is an art, you know, and you’ve got these really smooth, they’ll even use the word slick salespeople.
Mm-hmm. And there are people that are gifted, they’re naturally gifted towards, towards. Selling but there, but there are more of us who sales is an uncomfortable space. In fact, a lot of small business owners I work with they hate sales. They, they actually dread it. And and because of that, their businesses struggle more than they should.
Mm-hmm. And they, they aren’t position. To engage more of their employees in the process of selling what that business does. Mm-hmm. And so the value of a documented sales process which I like to refer to as a persuasion process. Yeah. Because sales actually occur at the point of persuasion. So that’s when somebody is persuaded to transfer their money to you in exchange for your product or service.
Commissioned salespeople, that’s what you’re paying for. You’re not paying for all the front end stuff that, that they, that move ’em into your business as a lead and a and a potential sales pro. What you’re paying for is the actual conversion which is at that point of persuasion. And so when you think about a sales process, it what, it’s, what it’s about doing.
It’s about documenting that decision criteria and, and creating. Logic around how you move somebody through that, through those phases so that they don’t drop off before you get a chance to help them really appreciate what you can do for them. And so businesses that have a documented. Persuasion process.
Our businesses are more likely to get better conversion rates because they’re continuously improving. How they bring people through that awareness to knowledge, to affinity, to purchase. As they move them through that they have more success. And that’s a, that’s a documentation. You gotta have a process with which you can take people.
So Lauren you mentioned working with small business owners. I’d like to take some time here and definitely talk a little bit more about your business and exactly how you’re helping and consulting with small business owners. So tell us a little bit more about that. Well, the the sweet spot for me, our our passionate and purposeful business owners who really believe in what they.
They, they see, they see their business as, as an extension of them being able to help more people. Mm-hmm. And what they’re looking for are insights and ideas into how to be and do that better. Mm-hmm. So, so I like to work with inquiring minds, people.
And they’re still not getting the results they want. Th that’s my, that’s my ideal person. Because cuz what they’re, what they’re doing is they’re, they’ve got that, you know, that trial and error where they’re, you know, they’re, they’re trying so, They’re building on what works. They’re jetting what doesn’t work.
And I, I love to come in and help fill some of those voids because, cuz sometimes it’s the smallest little shift that can produce this, this enormous result that can really change the face or the trajectory of that business. And, and I love helping people see those. Appreciate how to capitalize on it so that they can ultimately, what I like to say, make more money with less stress.
Yeah. Because life has enough stress in it, and if you can make more money, that takes away part of the stress. Mm-hmm. But then you also gotta be really smart with how you deploy your time. Mm-hmm. And so that’s what, that’s who I like to work with. Or are businesses in that situ. Yeah. And I and I, I like the way you, you say that too, that sometimes it can be small changes.
Mm-hmm. Cause I, for people that maybe haven’t worked with a consultant or just don’t, they, you know, nobody’s arguing that somebody doesn’t know their business or doesn’t know. But to me, every time I’ve worked with somebody outside our processes improve. Like, everything just improves even yourself. So you being a part of the book and, and helping and, and, you know, contributing you.
Some feedback. I’m like, oh my gosh, I didn’t, I never thought of that. Like you gave us in your natural way that you love helping businesses. You gave us plenty of insight and and so I can’t even imagine what it looks like to work with you on a one-to-one basis or over time and, and some type of engagement and fashion to make sure that you’re having.
Ongoing results. I guess my question to you here would be like, how do you typically work with individuals? Is it kind of come one-on-one consulting? Is it through seminars? Through workshops? Like how, how do people digest your content? The the people that get the best results are really relying on me to help.
Pause and reflect and think about their business, and so, mm-hmm. So I, I like to I like to help people introduce into their business what I call routine and rhythm. Routine and rhythm is about, is about creating some disciplines in the business that are foundational to making it more successful.
And so, for example my routine and rhythm is is it’s a, it’s a, it’s a weekly call where the first the first week and the third week. Forming the health, the cash health of the business. It’s about, it’s about looking at the cash position and it’s being able to project cash end flows and cash outflows so that you, you’re not caught in that position of, of stewing and sweating over, over, do I have cash to get me through my next payroll?
Yeah. So it’s about building discipline around managing cash, because this is the one thing I took away from. My accounting 1 0 1 class, when you’re outta cash, you’re out of business. And, and so one of the things I, I like to start off with is, is about improving business owners and their management team’s ability to project and manage cash.
Mm-hmm. And and we like to, I like to turn it into a game in that, you know, as we get the discipline rolling, I like to look at the difference between. What we projected it to be and what it actually was. Mm-hmm. And I’ve got one client now that runs through about $500,000 a month in cash, and we’re getting it down to where we’re almost right on top of each other.
Wow. Because we’re really good at, you know, at working together to, to anticipate the timing of the inflows and then use those inflow timing to manage the cash outflows. The, the second week is what I’d like to refer to as the lookback. It’s look back at the previous. And what we’re doing is we’re really isolating on three things went well.
Where did we get stuck? What should we do differently? And so it’s about, it’s about with, with some, with some proximity to the actual month. It’s about looking back and seeing, okay, how did it go? What did we what did we really learn in this month that we can apply going forward? And then the fourth week is is built around.
Projecting at least two months ahead Hmm.
Months. We’re gonna generate this much in sales. We’re gonna spend this much in direct costs, this much in overhead. This will be our operating and our net income. Yeah. And then that’s part of the second week look where we’re looking back and we’re looking at how did we do versus plan. So we projected X and we, we delivered y.
Do we understand why the difference is, and if we do, great, if we don’t. It’s, it’s again, those opportunities to learn because you, you go back to the wizards of Wall Street and you think about the quarterly earnings calls that happen between the wizards of Wall Street and the publicly traded businesses.
Mm-hmm. And that’s what they’re keying. You said you were gonna do X and you did Y, and if X and Y are really close to each other, the stock’s gonna go up. If X is lower than Y. In other words, I said I was gonna do this and I came in here, they’re gonna punish that stock. Yeah. And vice versa. They don’t.
They don’t like it when you actually did a lot better than what you said you did. So it’s about. You, you best control your business when you, when you can work within what you’re anticipating to happen. Mm-hmm. And then in those months that have five weeks, we actually do a management development where we pick a topic that the management team could, could improve on become more knowledgeable about.
And so, so this routine and rhythm we build keeps a. What I call a continuous improvement trajectory, where they’re, they’re continuously learning and applying what they learn so that they get better and better results. That’s fun. Yeah. Well, Lauren I just have to say it has been great having you back on the show.
I am thrilled to continue to promote this book with you and your work. And I know we’re talking about working on some things together. I won’t spoiler it on, on this on this episode, but definitely see us doing a lot more work down the line really to add value to the business community because hey, hey, we need you out there.
That being said, If somebody is watching the show or listening to this and they wanna connect and they wanna inquire about working with you further what’s the best way for them to do that? The the best way is, is via email and we’ll, we’ll use the email that’s easiest to remember. It’s Lauren, that’s l o r i [email protected].
So, so visit my my person. Email and and then I’ll connect you to the, to the best path forward because as each of us are in different spots, different positions in our lives and in our business, and sometimes it is about resolving those most pressy problems, other times it’s about pausing and appreciating what’s going on.
And so that’s why we like to, to look at. The, the state of the business and the, and where the energy of the owner is so that we can, we can help move them where their natural energy is to, to improve things. And so Lauren, Lauren young.com. Fantastic. And we’re gonna put all that information in the show notes so that so that the, the audience can just, you know, get the information and connect with you and your team.
Speaking of the audience, If this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging with an episode, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, and experts, and having them share their mission, the reason behind their mission, really why they do what they do. Like what, what wakes ’em up in the morning, gets ’em fired up to go out there and make a difference in the marketplace.
If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, then we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing. And Lauren, again, really awesome having you back on. I can’t wait till the next time we get to work together.
Thanks again for coming on. Very good. Goodbye, Adam.