Eric Ruth – Show Notes
Starting in 1998 with just over $300 in seed money, Eric Ruth built four successful businesses that have generated tens of millions in revenue, and created a charitable fund raising project that’s produced over $1 million in donations. Over the years, Eric has created hundreds of marketing tools, campaigns and systems that produce client-generating, money-making results for local business owners, including The Referral Challenge.
Eric shares that in 1998, he was working as a direct response copywriter, which sharpened his marketing skills. He met a great mentor by the name of Craig Fort, who encouraged Eric to pursue information marketing.
He stared a company called Fitness Marketing Systems and it grew to a point where it became a full-time venture.
Eric eventually started a business with a former customer, called NPE, which grew rapidly over the years. They achieved 10X revenues, but had very thin margins, and Eric sold the business.
His current relationship-building marketing program, The Referral Challenge, has an emphasis on consistent communication with your sphere of influence in order to maximize revenues.
“I believe in my bones that referral marketing is the best form of marketing there is”
As well, he is also working on another project with his wife and partner, which is a high-level curriculum-based training and coaching program called “Core Four.”
“When you’re talking about your ideal business, the place to start is with your core values; build your business to support those values.”
Eric shares his list of commonalities in successful businesses:
- Manageable, ideally with low overhead
- “Fat” margins
- Financially conservative
“If you go down, the business goes down”.
You need to know how to price your services, based on what it costs you to deliver your services. Unfortunately most fitness professionals have backgrounds as technicians, with little to no business experience.
“Selling is what business is about; that is the difference maker.”
Be congruent to your values
Live by your values and always keep your integrity in mind
Maximize internal opportunities and systems before expanding
7 out of 10 fitness businesses fail when trying to expand, as a lot of circumstances can’t be predicted.
Instead of expanding, first focus on what else you can sell your current clients. Discover what problems they have and then present them with solutions.
“If they’ll buy from you once, they’ll buy from you twice”
Produce and promote proof
One of Pat’s clients has about 7,000 “before and after” photos, which has been a very powerful sales tool for him.
“When you have social proof like that, you don’t need to be a creative marketer; the proof overcomes scepticism.”
Sell the right way at the right price
Anybody can take an order; selling is about helping people and enhancing their experience! Give them what they want and never be afraid to close a sale.
Never stop selling
You need to be marketing and selling all the time, but it needs to be soft and not too aggressive.
Communicate goes two ways, and it’s a conversation. You can’t just rely on the times that clients are working with you one-on-one, as that’s transactional.
Build a strong network
Few things will impact your ability to grow as a person, or business, as networking. Pat credits his network as being the centerpiece of the success that he’s achieved to date.
This isn’t done by doing what’s expected, but rather by exceeding what your customers expect each and every time.
Don’t step over dollars to pick up pennies
Offer things to your good clients, including attractive introductory offers and always guarantee what you do.
Develop and invest in your staff
You don’t want your staff turning over, “raise them up and they will raise you up.”
Listen to clients
Always pay attention to what your clients are saying.
This is especially important when the action is imperfect. Be willing to take some intelligent risks.
Your most important role in the business is being the “Decider-in-Chief.”
Know your numbers
Look at your numbers at least once a week, even as often as once a day, and know your lead cost by source, client acquisition costs and other vital trackers.
Create great offers, each with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Do this and you will get more clients, and your business will grow!
*Pat’s Expert Coaching System – link
“How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” by Frank Bettger