I am on a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, heading over for three meetings, two start-ups, and a potential partnership. I have a bit of spare time while I travel and thought I would update you all with my blog for the week. I’ll tell you, there are far worse spots and worse views with which to do this.

So, how has the week been?

I am not sure how to respond to that question exactly. I was beating myself up this morning, and even got onto the phone to one of our shareholders and had a deep go at myself, what I am doing, and how it’s working out. I needed a pep talk and I got a much needed one from him. Sometimes, we live and work in a bubble of our own making and we need an outsider to poke us and motivate us in order to help us stay sane. I am having a few of the old wobbles to be honest and thus the title of this particular blog is “drinking my own soup”. This phrase came from Todd and was a stark reminder to me of what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what I need to do going forward. Remember, not only am I sharing my methods with you, but it is also key that I follow them myself.

The first thing I did on the train was to sit down and complete a deep assessment of the week. What do the numbers say? Our emotional selves can only be put to bed once we have done this. My mistake was basing my thoughts on emotions. 

So, what did the metrics say?

I am a bit embarrassed to show this as it has actually been an epic week. I did not realise until 20 minutes ago how good it’s been. If I could carry on like this, and keep the momentum/flow going, it will be a hyper two-month trip. There has been a big and much-needed change from last week (please refer back to the last blog to see how low I was when I wrote it).

The week four results:

Total number of meetings in diary – 21 meetings booked in total.

Outcomes:

·     3 Postponed meeting, 12 firsts sat, 2 second meetings sat, 2 networking events done

Breakdown of results:

·     7 firsts going to second, 2 new referrals, 7 leads brought in from networking, 6 firsts booked next week but 4 more to go in, 1 partnership confirmed, 1 speech confirmed, 1 partnership pending,116,700 of pipeline business [note, it is pipline], 1 new client

Breakdown of types of meetings:

·     2 networking events, 16 firsts booked, 2 Second meetings booked, 1 partnership meeting

Breakdown of where they were sourced from:

·    9 meetings from networking, 5 from Linkedin, 5 from Referrals, 2 Networking events

Breakdown of where the postponed meetings came from:

·     0 Referrals, 2 Linkedin, 1 Networking

Firsts completed going to second:

·     3 from networking, 0 from LinkedIn, 4 from referrals

Potential estimated revenue – Total 116,700 Singapore dollars

·     Referrals 105,700, Linkedin 0, Networking 11,000

Note – with the revenue, it’s a very broad estimate at this stage and the reason I am putting this in here is that the blog is not a blog if I don’t show all the information.

Things have changed quite a bit from last week and what I should really be doing is assessing why last week was different, what I changed to turn it all around, what I learned from this week, and how I am going to replicate this going forward. 

The metrics talk, after all, it all comes back to the numbers in business.

A breakdown of where the firsts came from and what my thoughts were on each area:

Let’s walk through referrals: 

I had five meetings from referrals through the week; they were my smallest meeting source and yet they have provided the biggest potential. I am very aware of the fact that it is purely potential at this stage, however, and I have been conservative with the numbers on them. It is important to consider that it’s still early and there is a long way to go beyond the first meeting. 

Back to referrals, why were they so effective? I reckon that it’s to do with the fact that I am stepping into a high-quality conversation, on the back of a personal introduction, with someone who is there to have a collaborative conversation about business. There is also a much deeper layer of trust, less scepticism of who you are, and a slightly deeper qualification of the fact that the person could benefit from building a relationship/partnership with ourselves. I think it comes back to trust and the trust equation. In this day and age, it’s critical in all relationships, and for us it is the backbone of our business. 

Now we come to networking: 

I had nine meetings booked from networking events, I sat with seven of them, and from this, three could go to a second meeting. This is not to bad a ratio; it’s not brilliant but it’s not a disaster. If I did this on a week by week basis, it would yield a healthy result. The revenue is there but it is not on the same level as referrals. This comes back to a qualification issue and also the new relationship, building off the back of another strong and existing relationship. Having a middleman who you both trust is a lot more effective for both parties. It all comes back to trust.

Linkedin: 

LinkedIn on the surface, from a business development perspective, seems to be failing, and from a revenue point of view, it does not even feature this week. It did, however, get me out there and in front of people, and meetings I did from Linkedin were also productive for other reasons. Both led to referrals and collaboration opportunities that are critical for me moving forward.

Revenue: 

To be honest, I did not really want to post this. It’s a silly number and just an estimate. At the end of the day though, the blog is about sharing the good and the bad and if I don’t put it in then it’s not a real look at what I am doing and how things have panned out. The numbers are good but as with the 80/20 rule, I have been a bit lucky with a couple of meetings that have the potential to lead to something bigger. If I take them out, the numbers come back to a more sensible level. This is not a typical week and I am not planning on getting ahead of myself. Saying that, I am super happy and if I could replicate this, then it demonstrates the potential. Both of the big chunks come from partnerships, both of which are solid. 

Lead generation and appointment booking for this week: 

I have six firsts in for this week, which is great news. Four of them are solid appointments that fall within the demographic of who I want to meet up with. Saying that the lead generation actually has slowed down a little. New leads from last week were good, eight of the leads come from networking, two from referrals and five from Linkedin. It is not on the same level as the last few weeks, which have been sitting at the 30 to 40 new leads level per week. I need to keep an eye on this.

What did not work? 

I had two seconds last week, but no thirds. However, I did bring in a small bit of business, which is great, but my feeling is that the pipeline is still too front end loaded. I really need to take a step backwards and make sure I focus on balance, getting the right numbers of leads, firsts, seconds, and proposal meetings in there. 

What are my takeaways?

Point one Referrals are critical. Word of mouth, again and again, has demonstrated to be the most effective way to build a business. This only works with me being out there, talking to people, building up relationships with people, and being consistent. 

Point two Understanding my metrics. Without this, you feel like a moth blowing in the wind. I called Todd yesterday morning as I was concerned about the week and where we were going, and he of course put me on the right track. Once I had done my metrics and the story of the week was clear and I had shared the numbers with him , his response was as follows: “You’re a bonehead if you think this isn’t amazing progress”.

One swallow does not make a summer: It’s been a good week but it’s fragile and it’s early. The key now is make sure my follow up is tight, I do what I am supposed to do when I am supposed to do it, and I make sure that I don’t drop the ball.

It’s mine to lose!