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The great business guru, Jim Collins, teaches us that businesses need a flywheel to drive growth. Ideal Clients leverage the consistent application of force to build enough momentum to create a flywheel.
The factories of the 19th and early 20th century were powered by flywheels. According to Wikipedia, “ A flywheel is a mechanical device which uses the conservation of angular momentum to store rotational energy; a form of kinetic energy proportional to the product of its moment of inertia and the square of its rotational speed.”
Once a flywheel is in motion, it only requires a little bit of effort to keep it going. It’s kind of like driving your car on the freeway. Getting up to speed takes a lot of energy. However, once you are cruising, it doesn’t take as much energy to keep rolling. The inertia of the momentum keeps it in motion.
We need flywheels in our business. Specifically, we need flywheels of revenue.
How do you create a revenue flywheel? You do it by bringing in clients that can buy multiple things over a period of time.
An Ideal Client is one who needs everything that you offer and fits with your corporate culture. They have the revenue potential to buy multiple products and services. And they have the “fit” to value what you do, like doing business with your company, and thus stick around.
Ideal Clients are at the core of a Revenue Growth Engine® because they have both net-new and cross-sell revenue potential. They don’t just buy once, they buy more over time. Combining net-new and cross-sell revenue allows you to shift from straight-line growth to exponential revenue growth.
This generates momentum for your revenue flywheel in three ways:
If you drive a gas-powered vehicle your engine likely has fuel injectors. These spray bursts of gasoline into the cylinders as each piston fires. These tiny spurts of energy are what create the motion. If you just dumped a gallon of gas into the engine you wouldn’t get the same effect. You might get an explosion, but you wouldn’t get forward momentum.
Similarly, to create a revenue flywheel businesses need Ideal Clients that inject bursts of revenue over a sustained period of time. This could be a recurring revenue stream that increases over time. Or, this could be a path of additional products and services they can buy over time. These bursts of revenue add force to the flywheel.
To create momentum we need to keep our clients engaged. When we engage in one-and-done transactions we easily become out of sight and out of mind. To create a flywheel we need Ideal Clients who value an intentional cadence of consistent touch points with our business.
In Revenue Growth Engine® I share several ways that sales and marketing can work together to create this momentum. Since Ideal Clients need everything you sell, it makes sense to lead them on a journey of increasing value. Sales can have touchpoints with value-added periodic business reviews. Marketing can engage with clients to educate them and provide additional value over time.
Birds of a feather flock together. Ideal Clients hang out with Ideal Prospects. As we engage consistently with our Ideal Clients we have the opportunity to get introduced to new prospects.
Ask any salesperson about their favorite type of prospect and 99 out of 100 will say “referrals.” How do you get referrals? You ask. But in order to ask, you have to be engaged. You have to earn the right. When you are engaged with consistent touchpoints and a progressive ladder of value, asking for referrals is easy. In many cases, these types of clients will offer referrals before you ask.
Ideal Clients create a revenue flywheel for your business. To build this flywheel you need to know who they are and what they are worth. It begins with a clear Ideal Client Profile. As you get clear on your ideal Client Profile you can fuel your engine with a message focused on the outcomes they want to achieve. You can build sales and marketing processes to drive the flywheel.
All of this works together to create the exponential growth that will propel your business forward faster.
Darrell helps generous entrepreneurs build engines to grow revenue so they can give more. He is the author of Revenue Growth Engine: How To Align Sales & Marketing To Accelerate Growth. In addition to serving as a Forbes Business Council Advisor, Darrell is a keynote speaker and regular podcaster.