A System for Generating Business

Customer Acquisition Machine!

Once upon a time, I asked what people thought of me!

Or How to make a business out of acquiring clients.

  • How do I get more customers?
  • There seems to be a gap in the market.
    • But, is there a market in the gap?
  • What is the greatest obstacle you need to overcome to get more profit?

Sounds simple really?

You have to have clients to have a business right?

But does having clients mean you have a business?

Can you take holidays? Do you? What happens when you are away?

I googled, “what is the definition of a business?” and I wasn’t disappointed by what immediately popped up:


The term “business” also refers to the organized efforts and activities of individuals to produce and sell goods and services for profit. Businesses range in scale from a sole proprietorship to an international corporation. 

For me, business is building a base of clients who regularly give you business, ideally an annual or monthly amount over and extended number of years, because then you can point to your business having a value.  Ideally, you are directing affairs and dropping in and out to motivate the troops! You are working “ON” the business rather than “IN” the business.


Posted by Carole Mahoney on 8/25/17 2:17 PM

What I Really Do: Sales People.

What do salespeople do that makes it difficult for buyers to trust them?  A survey of buyers done by Objective Management Group shows that buyers listed the following actions by salespeople that caused them to dislike them:

  1. Don’t Listen
  2. Don’t care about buyer needs
  3. Use of high pressure tactics
  4. Pestering
  5. Don’t know their own products
  6. Manipulative
  7. Only care about making the sale

In actual fact, people hate making decisions! They will only make a decision when they have a huge amount of confidence.

27 Sales Quotes to Keep Your Sales Team Motivated“it seems to me that people don’t trust salespeople because they have experienced negative emotions after the positive ones go away, and they have someone to blame.” Mindracer consulting.

And when we look at stats, what should we learn?

We put all of our marketing budget and sales effort into 2% of prospects. Thus wasting 98% of their budget. Typically only 3% of prospects are buying now.

I sucked/suck at sales but “You de MAN!”

We all have the view of the salesman as being the “Flash Harry”, the used car salesman, Ronnie Barker  in “Open All Hours” going to sell me what THEY want to sell. We have all experienced the hard-nosed salesman, or even the softly softly person that has us doing what we don’t want to do.

Behind every successful person there's a lot of unsuccessful years-unattributed. I don't know where i got it, sorry.My first sales job was with Bryan S Ryan and they taught me the difference between target and budget.  For us all to make money, there was a target, for me to keep your job, there was a budget!  They had a sales league table and basically, if you were at the bottom, you were gone, if you were heading that way, you better get out.  But the honesty was refreshing and the people wonderful.  I lasted 11 months I think it was.  I found door knocking and selling products difficult, uncomfortable, but I was very good at getting consumable sales, maintenance, recurring revenue. 

Looking back, I did enjoy knocking on doors, I even did it on Christmas eve and had to be summoned back to the office to get me off the road.  Or rather I enjoyed the people I met, email me for the stories, like Liam Stuart Kell’s question, “did you really knock on all the doors on Eustace street?”   Or Paul Whelan’s advice when you are being thrown out of a business on Dame Street, the answer to the question “Do you know who I am?”.

Somewhere in here I did learn about the MAN!

  • Money
  • Authority
  • Need

It was a lot later that I learnt

  • “He can say no, but can he say yes?”.

Numbers’ Game? Crying Game?

The point is, it was a numbers’ game.  I had to knock on enough doors to find the ones who would buy, use techniques to get the sale for us and then get ongoing and recurring revenue to keep the customer. 

The next job was purely services sales, recurring revenue and this is where I learnt that a sale wasn’t just a foot in the door, it took time for people to get to know like and trust you before they would give you the business. I still didn’t believe I was a salesman, I had a degree after all.  But I did manage to retain a customer base when under attack from departed executives.

Jobs and income depend on recurring revenue.  The maintenance base was sold to Wang I think the rest of the businesses went bust.  I had already left when contacted by the aforementioned Paul Whelan about the same job in a bigger company,  I found my Niche!

It’s not all about me

I wonder what the first thing Trump puts into google? I bet it is T R U M P.  So I will save you the rest of the life story, but The Computer People taught me everything, including some lessons I could have done without, but it was all about me and how I reacted to situations.

Where is the value in a business?

I learnt that the value of a multi-million euro company is the recurring revenue base, the value of the business was not the turnover, not the huge amount of tin boxes sold, but the maintenance contract base value.

Budgeting, pipeline, forecasting, value

I learnt that, despite what I may have felt at the time, accurate budgeting and forecasting, whether the figures were good or bad, was important.  Therefore, a pipeline ( or a briefcase of sales orders) was needed, people who were not ready to buy now, but could be sold in the months ahead or even years ahead, even if they were not interested now. 

We also decided to give people what they actually wanted.  To give them value way before we ever tried to sell them what we wanted and it was a huge success.  Imagine, helping a customer learn what they could do, how they could better communicate with our competitors, how they could learn from the wisdom of other suppliers and customers and then design their own service offering, discuss it with us and others, where we could understand budgets and offerings, which we could deliver. 

SOS System of Success

And it was here, when the parent company introduced a system to help their stock market forecasting, to detail the pipeline, to help people close sales, to stop them wasting time on deals that did not fit, that I found a system (I am an engineer after all!). We poo pooed them and their efforts, and especially their extensive training for week on end on the “mainland”.  But there was something about it, a system, the concept of Latent Pain. Imagine, people not ready to buy yet, people not even knowing they had a problem we could solve? Imagine educating them to buy from us? 

  • A system for sales
  • A system for forecasting revenue
  • A system to help along the sales pipeline
  • Recurring revenue
  • Latent, unknown pain.
  • Educate, give value along the way,
  • Get to be known liked and trusted.

Ouch, no system, referral only business.

So off I went on my own, with the business plan to provide niche sales expertise. I bought a small IT company, the idea being to turn the base into contracts and sell the base, the reality and ego being much different in practice, then the downturn and the harsh lessons from that.

The world went digital I this time, and being the engineer, again, I was in the right place to show people how to sell in this world.  Websites as a service was an idea, but just one element of the sales process.  Then we looked at Search Engine Optimisation as a niche, brilliant, but still just one component of the process, so nailed that.

So how could we get a recuring revenue stream, that would give amazing value, educate, help transform business and also filter online activity and present to us only the clients who want to work closely with us for the right money?

For the best part of 20 years, I have relied on referral business, and I was proud of that, but really, that should be the icing on the cake, I should have had an ongoing line of business and then these special clients.  Instead, I found myself where many do…. “When that deal comes in everything will be alright”.  Instead, I should have had 10 of those on the go, making the negotiating position better and not being dependent.  But I muddled through, survived, complained, whatever!  But there is a better way.        

1%, 3% Marketing Response/Conversion.

In the days before the internet, in those first selling days, a wise salesman once told me, that when we do mailshots, putting together brochures, a letter etc. all in a “franked” envelope, it will get a 1% response.  If we then follow up with all of them, we will get 3%.  And by that they meant people buying now.

Try this if you get something through your letterbox, how long does it last?  Pick up, one potato, two potato, three potato, bin.

So nowadays, your email maybe seen possibly even opened (Mailchimp say in Marketing and Advertising industry, emails get opened 17.38% of the time, 2.04% click through and 0.27% unsubscribe), but the average ecommerce conversion rate is 1% – 2%. Even if you are doing everything right, you can still expect to win the sale around 2% of the time. Really good lead generators may get 4-5% of people responding.

“Such a small % of people taking us up on our offers!” So few won’t do what you are asking for!!!

So if those are the numbers, how do you play the game?  How could you make them better?  How could you win more of the time?

  • I wonder what their really pressing problems are?
  • What pains would they pay a lot to have removed?
  • What would it mean to them to have them solved?
  • What would it be worth to them to solve that problem?
  • What do you think?
    • You are the expert in the NICHE!
      • Noun: a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.
      • Adjective: denoting products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
      • The place that answer the question: WTFIIIFM?
        • What’s in it for me?
      • You are the Authority right?

My values determine how and what I sell.

  • I don’t lie
    • In Ireland we have a saying, “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story”, but that is the art of storytelling, but I learnt many years ago, it was more rewarding to tell the truth and I disliked people who I found out didn’t.
  • I like harmony and balance. I believe protecting personal time and space. Yours and mine!
  • I have a high desire to help others learn, grow, and develop.
  • I believe in win win, you should be better off with me having been around.
  • I believe in cooperation, transparency, openness, candour as it was recently described.

I remember my boss giving out to me about a prospect, because I didn’t like him, I didn’t think the prospect was honourable, he was trying to put ne over on me for his advantage and probably knew who he wanted and was just using me to get a better price.  So I threw in a unbelievable price and sill didn’t get the business.  We were all happy! 

What you need is….

I didn’t like him, I didn’t respect him.  But I certainly would not talk down to him. Often, as salesmen, we say “what you need is”, because we have decided how your problem should be solved.  The problem we have not diagnosed in the first place, just listened long enough to know which product to get out of our pocket!

In 2012, predictableprofits.com said the reasons we hate salespeople are:

  • Has a lack of transparency (they’re in it for the sale!)
  • Is not trustworthy
  • May not honour their promises
  • Might not be selling me the right product/services for my needs
  • Does not understand my needs
  • Is too pushy

What about the other 97%?

So we know that most companies are focussing all their time and marketing budget on 2 to 3% of the prospect base. What about the other 97%?  Wouldn’t it be cheaper to focus your spend on them and if you found a 3%er, well wouldn’t you let them buy?

  • How could you develop transparency?
  • How could they get to know, like and trust you?
  • Will you honour your promises?
  • How would you know what were the right product/services for their needs?
  • How would you understand their needs?
  • When should you be pushy?

Stories Sell, Facts Tell!

Scepticism is rife, the prospect does not believe you alone, how could you prove it?

Nowadays we have social proof.  Google reviews, Client testimonials.

How could you be of incredible value before they ever thought of buying.

Way back when, we used anecdotes, magazine articles, newspaper reports, or brochures, telling our stories: Stories Sell, Facts Tell!

Just like ABC

When I was selling, we were told ABC

  • Always be closing

Yes and no, or rather know!

Know when to close, you should often be test closing to understand have you got the MAN, have you got the right problem to solve? Is it so painful that they will pay handsomely for the solution, for transforming their business, for moving them from where they are to where they want to be, by removing obstacles in between.

The Numbers’ Game

It was always so, but now, you can target the numbers to match your niche.

Niche is a whole story in itself:

  • what have you got to sell,
  • who would buy it,
  • is there a market in the gap after all,
  • could you make it a niche,
  • could you make it a recurring revenue stream?

With digital marketing, advertising, remarketing, you can hit the numbers, build know like and trust and provide real value, before the prospect ever even talks to you, wasting no one’s time, until they raise their hand and say “pick me!”, they are now prequalified and you can make them an offer they can’t refuse.

The Hard sell?

Imagine that conversation? They have seen the initial advert, they may haveclicked through, without any obligation, no fear, but full of scepticism, but you have piqued their interest, they may never have realised there was a solution, they may not have ebven known they had a problem, but you showed them a symptom.  They have one to your site, they have watched video, they have read testimonials and you have sent them some amazing value, free stuff, which only goes to show thatyou are the expert, the authority.  I often fix my washing machine, but it would be done in two hours if I got a tradesman in and I could have atched the live match on TV on Sunday afternoon uninterrupted!!! Likewise, they, those who ARE the niche, those who qualified themselves, whose who have the money, who have the need, who understand  your role and how you will help. Now they are on the phone to you. It is not now a matter of “I have to close him”.  Because just like busses, there will be another along shortly, you are now going to verify if he is the person you can really really help and as such, will pay a fee proportionate to the transformation you create in their business?  You can afford to diagnose before you prescribe.

Remember I said I hated the hard sell, the hard close, but imagine you arrive on a call, you know this lot can make a difference to your business, you come on the call, they really get you, no messing, efficient, but uh oh, they want me to commit, but you know the value, you know the price already, you have the authority, YOU will transform your business with this conversation, so you do it, because the salesman is trained, trained to ensure there is a fit, or let you go!  There is no point in having the wrong fit.  An interviewer said that to me in an interview in the 90s.  He said they were looking for the key to fit their lock and there was no point in me coming into the team if I did not fit the DEC lock, no matter how successful I was at opening a different lock!  Brilliant.  I really respected them for it.  Or the Chief Engineer in Amdahl who said “You won’t do what I tell you for the next ten years”.  He was right, respect!

So the hard sell makes you feelgood, you have moved your business forward and they have proved it.

Conclusion? Next Step?

Would it help if there was a framework, the A-Z for running your B2B, creating a predictable, profitable, scalable, sellable, recurring revenue stream, a customer acquisition machine, really quickly! “…..ridiculous growth for your business!”

“It does this by implementing a sales framework, a system of people, process and technology that deliver a complete digital business. 

It is not training, but a whole way of working, a professional approach to getting business, every t crossed and i dotted! It is a consistent approach that anyone with enthusiasm and commitment can master and implement, it can make Eagles out of Turkeys, as long as it is done from a viewpoint of the “Customer is King”. 

It allows all the experts to have an input, design, branding, talented entrepreneurship, a professional sports’ style approach to complete preparation and implementation. 

It is about execution not thinking, delivery not dawdling!”- OMOM

Being an engineer by training, combining people, process and technology into a business framework is what I do.  I want to make a science of the art of sales, I want to make Eagles out of Turkeys, make predictable sales pipeline, building value in the business, building your pension!  

And best of all your business will generate all this on autopilot!

We have broken your strategy down into monthly tasks and achievable goals to build your business month after month.

But it is not just sales, you will be able to productise your offering into a monthly service charge and systemize your business so it is not dependent on you, or anyone. 

A few years back, I wondered should I get a job, I wondered what I was actually good at.

Have you ever looked at someone and thought “you know what your problem is?”.  So do I, I can sort out what is wrong with you and your business immediately.  But, what am I good at? What would people pay for me to do for them?  So I did a survey, a simple questionnaire about me and what people thought I did best, the results, were startling, and flattering.

Play the video of Robert’s testimonials

Louis: “An environment that requires equally interpersonal and business skills such as managing a business network or business support organisation Mark: Probably suits training people (One to one coaching) as it goes.”

A2 – “Business Evangelist of some kind – for a product or service – maybe a high level Microsoft, Oracle type guy that would paint pictures & pave way for technical colleagues to come in and fill in the gaps and smaller details after a deal has been done. “

“If you ever fancied getting back on the I.T. Sales treadmill Rob I reckon you could do it in your sleep.”

That is why we have put the ThreeFive.io framework together. Make a decision, systemise your product or service, get out of the way and build a business that makes a difference.

But enough about me, it is all about you!

The Framework for transforming YOUR business

The A-Z for running your B2B, creating a predictable, profitable, scalable, sellable, recurring revenue stream, a customer acquisition machine, really quickly! “…..ridiculous growth for your business!”

For 17 years, I have been asking you

  • Where are you now?
  • Where are you trying to get to?
  • What’s stopping you?

And for about 25 years the solution has been structured in terms of

  • People
  • Process
  • Technology

But you can also add in

  • Psychology, or your WHY, why would you bother. 
    • Solution Selling by Michael T. Bosworth had this in the form of the personal impact on you of getting or not getting, the solution in place.
    • Business is the issue, sales and the sales process are components of it, but really understanding the business and the business WHY make the difference. 

“There are a number of metrics available to measure profitability. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) is one indicator of a company’s financial performance and is used to determine the earning potential of a company.” -investopedia

The market research, the offer, the business, logistics, the pricing, marketing, websites, social media, advertising, remarketing, selling, closing, supporting.

Everyone tells you it is a “Numbers Game”, but that s cold and cynical, and perhaps contributes to the scepticism that we see in prospects. 

As always, over the last 32 years,  we have to build rapport, get a prospect to know, like and trust us.  People buy from people, yes? But only if and because they have a high level of confidence this person can deliver their vision of a solution.

This gets us over the problem that we are spending our entire marketing budget on the 3% of people who are actually buying now and forgetting the 97% who may not even know they have a problem you can solve, or those who have been burnt in looking for a solution previously and the rest who didn’t think their problem could be solved!

But where do you begin?  You have tried everything haven’t you?  But you still think there is a gap in the market right?

Step One, is there a market in the gap?

“Entrepreneurs fail not because they can’t build products, identify markets, market their products, or price their products properly, but because they conduct these activities in the wrong order and run out of money before they get traction.” -Nick Kozmin

So Step One is to see if your idea of a gap in the market is real and there is actually a market in the gap.  You can get grants, but they take so much paperwork and time, don’t let that process distract you.

We start with who are you and what do you do, with what skills. And we show you how to develop the Business Case for your idea or existing business.

Niche & The Ideal Customer

There is nothing quite like dealing with or selling to, your ideal customer.  You are the expert in your niche, you are the authority, so why wouldn’t they want to speak to you, buy from you? And if they are ideal, you will know their problems and solutions, your conversation would be brilliant, why wouldn’t they buy from you when you know their situation inside out?

Now, how about, you speak only to people who are ready to buy?  But your system constantly educates, updates and provides incredibly high value content to those people with “latent pain” so that when they get on the phone to you, they are ready to buy, they want you to sell you what you have.

I hate the hard sell, but if you had this person on the line, you could really make a difference, then why wouldn’t you do the best job, not waste his time or yours and get him started?

We have quite a scientific way to help you evaluate your business, target that element that really, reviewing how it could be systemised and then showing you how to sell it like crazy!

No really, where is there little competition and a the best margin, the margin that would allow you really want to spend your time with a client, and not just any client, but the absolutely right client?

  • Product Market fit
  • Pricing

Where is the value in your business? Is it sellable?

Is it something you want to do for the rest of your career, the rest of your life?  One WILL be shorter than the other!

If you had customers, revenue, a product or service that someone may want, someone who wants them or wants you out of the way because you are competition and a pain, or they seem long-term value in the business, what would they find when they walk in?

  • Would you be able to show them a real business?
  • A long term annual or monthly recurring revenue stream?
  • A scalable, repeatable, predictable system for generating business?
  • Is your business dependent on you?
  • If you go on holidays, does the phone ring?
  • Are you indispensable? Why?

Stories Sell, Facts Tell and Video killed the Radio Star!

It has always been this way, you need the facts to ensure the product or service can do the job, but beyond that, it takes a story and emotion to sell!

So what are the stories you tell your prospects?  If not, why not?

How about we put some structure on the stories and have the satisfied customers tell the story for us?  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but, a video is at least 25 pictures a second!!!  Work out the Math(s)!

Video Killed the Radio Star, have a look if you like music and want to understand the reference!

Outbound prospecting

It is a scary phrase.  But basically that is just anything you do proactively, to get leads and sales.  You know who you want to sell to.  Do you suffer from call reluctance?: Oh they wouldn’t want me interrupting, sure what do I have anyway? I better just send them an email.  But email doesn’t work?

Well, how about we help you get your story across, so you just have to tell it to people, people who really need what you have got? That is such a different feeling.

Also, how can you do a mass advertising campaign, scale up your business, unless yo u know what works, what “resonates” with prospects, what gets their attention, what makes them say “REALLY!” and what turns them off.

How do you get an email through?

What do you say when someone picks up the phone?

What if you don’t get through?

What if you do?

Scaling your business with Advertising, Marketing and Remarketing

So now you know what stories work and what are the hot buttons, what people get excited about, you want to get the story out there and start on the process of qualifying, nurturing and providing incredible value.

Handling inbound

But now what do you do, the phone is ringing?

But when do you want it to be ringing?

How do you schedule the call to you and how do you make sure they turn up? 

How do you make sure there are enough of them turning up?

What do you do with them when you have them on the call? 

How do you keep it to 15 minutes or 45 minutes?

How do you structure it so it is worth your while and theirs? 

How do you follow up to make sure they stick with the sale? 

How do you make sure they become a case study for you?

So little to do, so much time, wait a minute, scratch that, reverse it!

Marketing, Websites, Funnels, Throw Enough Mud at the Wall!

You have heard a lot about content marketing, content creation. What is that about? How does it affect you?

You may have thought, “I must get a website”, ok, but what should it look like? Are you hoping if you throw enough mud at the wall, some of it will stick, right?  What sort of mud do you need? What sort of wall would it stick best on?  How many offers do you have, how many different ideal customers would but them?  What messages do they need to see, what case studies? What high value Content? A bit like sport, whenever someone arrives here you want to get something from them! Their email address!

What are funnels, landing pages, how do they work?  A funnel is just the route someone takes to buy form you and it is full of holes, so you will need to catch that overflow and feed it back in somewhere!  How do they work with websites? Are they websites?


Why, if it is all about sales, has it taken me so long to talk about sales? With good reason. Have you ever seen a top sportsman and he is just not on form, not scoring goals, fumbling the ball, a yard short, why?  Maybe an injury, maybe motivation, maybe the Coach, maybe diet, so many factors come together and so it is for sales and salesmen.

What if you could create the perfect storm, where they didn’t have to think about it, just act, just get out and play? As a sportsman and salesman who has gone through those dry patches, this is brilliant!!!  All the ducks re in a row!

So what factors then, relate just to sales and the sale team? Do you actually need a sales team?  Do you have or want expensive people driving around, running up expenses, do you want a call centre?  What has Covid-19 taught us about remote working?  About contingency planning?  About team building? About overhead, about cost base about agility?  What if you could build a scalable, predictable, profitable sales function?

Remember the chicken and the egg? Which came first Sales or Marketing?

How do you tie it all together in a dynamic fashion, so that the frontline person is constantly feeding back their experiences into the system the rest are using, what works, what is not working, what objections are being raised etc.?

Take the quiz, see if this is the right fit for you: https://threefive.io/quiz