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Chicago’s Got Talent


Last night’s edition of NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent” featured auditions that took place right here in Chicago about six weeks ago. This show is one of an entire genre of “talent shows” that hit the airwaves one after the other year-round and are among the most popular shows on all of television.

(If you’ve been to one of the 200+ events I’ve hosted in the Chicago area over the past five years, you may have heard me refer to them collectively as “So You Think You Can Dance With The Stars Of America’s Next Top X Factor Voice Idols” – or something like that.)

The beautiful thing about all of these shows, from the producers’ perspective, is the practically non-existent price of the talent: One lone winner takes home a million-dollar prize, while all of the other dozens – or even hundreds – of contestants work for anywhere from one minute to several months for nothing more than the cost of some airfare, hotel rooms and meals. Meanwhile, each show’s producers rake in tens of millions of dollars from sponsors and advertisers, laughing all the way to the bank.

(This is almost the same exact model, of course, as big-time college sports.)

Now THAT’s what I call leverage – otherwise known as maximizing one’s resources.

Over the past two weeks, I showed you how to get the most out of the current resources of your business. For the next few weeks, I’ll teach you how to take those maximized resources and multiply them for even bigger results.

Here are the first three of my best “Maximizing Your Resources” strategies…

I. Call In The Troops

Finding and securing new clients all on your own can be exhausting and expensive. Instead, you can multiply your new client acquisition results by working with other companies.

Here are the two simple steps to take…

  1. Find solid companies who have developed secure, positive relationships with their customers or clients, and whose products and services are not directly competitive with yours.
  2. Contact these prospective partner companies and talk with them about having them promote your products and services to their clients. Always offer them a commission on the sales that come from their client lists.

Make sure to include these key points in your proposal:

  • Your products and services won’t compete with each other’s
  • The partnership will not take away from their current or future sales
  • The partnership will increase their profits
  • They won’t have to do any work or spend any money on the partnership
  • You will produce all needed marketing materials
  • You will offer an unconditional guarantee on all your products and services

II. Bring ‘Em Out Of The Woodwork

Once you take the time to put together a solid referral system, you’ll draw new customers and clients out of the woodwork through everyone you already know.

You can start doing this by first showing all of your current clients how much you really care about them, and then showing them how your products and services can significantly improve their lives and/or businesses. If you can do this consistently, they will naturally and comfortably bring new clients right to you.

For my private clients and members of my online and offline coaching programs, I also teach several different referral systems that I have personally used to generate a flood of new clients for myself and my clients. Every business owner loves referrals — but unfortunately, only a small minority have systems for getting them.

III. Black Sheep Clients

One of the best ways to rejuvenate business is to find your stray clients and offer them something amazing.
First you need to understand why they strayed and are no longer purchasing from you. There are four main reasons why customers and clients leave. They are:

  1. Unrelated causes that have nothing to do with you
  2. A problem with their last purchase
  3. They no longer have a need for your products and services
  4. They have simply forgotten about you

Few business owners know that the final reason is actually the most common.

That’s why the best way to bring “lost” clients back to your business is simply to contact them (if you don’t make the first move, they’ll never come back).

Here’s a three-step strategy for reactivating these stray clients…

  1. Make an appointment to visit them, or call them if it’s not possible to meet in person
  2. Let them know that you noticed they were no longer working with you and that you’d like to talk with them about their experiences with you and how you can improve things to work together again
  3. Take the time to make them feel special when they do come back, then work extra hard to make sure their experiences with you going forward are the best they could possibly be

Yes, you need to make all of them feel appreciated, special and cared for – but no, you don’t need to give any of them a million-dollar prize.

This wraps up the first three ways to multiply your maximized resources. If you need help working on any of these ideas or processes, try my FREE test drive to work with me or one of my experienced business coaches:


Next week, I’ll talk about three more ways of multiplying your resources that I call: Olympic-Size Sales Staff, Open Sea Fishing and Call For Back-Up.

2 Responses to Chicago’s Got Talent

  1. Stu Patterson Reply

    June 19, 2013 at 1:24 pm


    When I noticed the show American Idol way back when, I thought Simon Cowell was a belligerent moron.

    But, because I was hanging around you, I had to look deeper into the phenomenon that the show became.

    I learned that all Simon was trying to do was his job- find and sign talent for the record company where he worked.

    Being lazy actually became Simon’s best asset. Instead of going out to an endless number of nightclubs looking for the next “STAR”, Simon started making the talent come to him when he created “a contest”.

    His strategy of finding talent – the contest- became it’s own, wildly successful, revenue generator.

    Billigerant? How about BRILLIANT!!!!

    And, as you point out, it’s now getting copied all over the place.

    Why should’t us small business owners copy it too?

    Thanks for the post Steve.

    Stu Patterson

    P.S. I am meeting with someone who has a huge list of past clients that have not been contacted in years. Part III, Black Sheep Clients is a perfect intro to the conversation of growing his business. Thanks again, I’ll be sure to share it with him.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      June 20, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Yes, Simon Cowell is a genius all right. While the idea of a television talent show dates back to before he was born (Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour debuted in 1948 and ran for decades), Cowell has certainly taken it to a whole new level.

      One strategy of his that I love is how he now produces two almost identical “singing talent shows” (“American Idol” & “X Factor”) to basically double his results.

      These shows are on two different networks, and he ingeniously inked deals with separate cola drink sponsors (Coke & Pepsi) and car company sponsors (Ford & Chevy), and he even uses two different phone companies to sponsor the audience voting call-ins (AT&T & Verizon) on the two different shows. So he’s collecting mega-millions of dollars from competing sponsors that he’s not even fully loyal to. Amazing.

      All entrepreneurs definitely need to ask themselves, “How can I do something like that in my business?”

      By the way, Stu: You’ll discover a ton more to help every business owner reactivate lost customers if you ever decide to spring for the buck and check out the actual site.

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