Martin Howey Interviews Steve Clauson On How Steve Runs A Successful Business Consulting Practice

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One of the things that I really enjoy in my business is helping our consultants with ideas, strategies, and systems that make their consulting practices more successful by helping their clients operate more profitable businesses. One of the the highlights is the one-on-one meetings I have with our Platinum-level members.

Yesterday was one of those special times. Steve Clauson, one of our top consultants, flew  into Phoenix at noon. I picked him up at the airport and we went to lunch and caught up on what’s been going on in his life and practice. Then we went down the street to the hotel where we hold our consultant’s trainings, got a conference room and talked about his business.

With all the pleasantries out of the way at lunch, Steve was ready to go. He pulled out his notebook and we took each of his concerns and questions and worked through them one by one until we had some workable ideas fleshed out, a time table for implementation, and an action plan on how to put them into play as quickly as possible.

It was a great session, and I got Steve back to the airport at 4:00pm. It was amazing what we got accomplished in those four short hours. This is not an unusual ocurance for Steve. He makes the two-hour flight from Sacramento at least 3 times a year to spend a half-day with me and get new, fresh ideas, make some tweaks to what he’s currently doing, and find ways to tap into new markets.

For years, Steve’s main market has been working with various kinds of contractors. In one of our previous meetings, Steve wanted some ideas on how he could get more clients in the “professional” market… doctors, dentists, chiropractors, CPAs, etc. So we worked through some strategies to help him do that. Again, in just four hours – start to finish, including lunch – we created an entire new market for him… which is turning out to be very profitable (many professionals, while they are very good at what they do, don’t know much about the actual running of a successful business).

Before Steve left, I set up my camera and did an off-the-cuff interview with him… no notes, no scripting, no prior preparation. I just sprung some questions on him and he responded. And he did a pretty good job. Then back at my office this morning, I loaded the video on my computer, made a couple of edits, added some music and captions, and created a marketing piece for him that he can put on his website or on a DVD and hand out to prospective clients.

Is it perfect? No, of course, not. It wasn’t meant to be. Slick, polished, and perfect is not what you’re trying to convey. It’s much better to have it look, sound, and be “real” rather than to perfect. Steve wasn’t wearing a coat and tie… just a Tommy Bahama shirt and jeans. No make-up, no fixing of the hair… just Steve as Steve was at that moment.

The point is… it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be good, and out there. Knowing what you know won’t help anyone unless they take advantage of it. And they can’t take advantage of it unless they know about it. And there’s no way anyone will ever know about anything if you don’t tell them about it. Now Steve has something he can use.

So what about you? What are you doing to let people know what you do? What you have to offer? Or how what you have can help them? As I mentioned at the beginning, I really enjoy meeting with our top consultants in our one-on-one’s and helping them generate more success… more revenue… more spendable income… and have more time to enjoy it with their families or doing other things they’re involved in.

Part of our next training will be spent on how to do interviews such as what you see we did for Steve. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it can help you generate interest and a positive response from people who need and can benefit from your help.

As always, I’m very interested in what you’re up to, your comments about what I’ve written, and what you need help with. So please let me hear from you.

Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions


6 Comments for this entry

  • Hi Martin – all good stuff. Thank You…

    How are things going with the book project(s)?

    Nice to see you and you look terrific.

    Vince D.

    • Martin Howey says:

      Hi Vince… Thank you for your comment. Things are going well with the book project. It’s a big deal, so it’s taking some time. Will let you know when it’s complete.

  • Miguel says:

    This interview with Steve Clauson “done properly, almost anything works”.
    Raving fans and referral based business is absolutely key to success in reducing or eliminating resistance, improving risk reversal through warranties that almost always guarantees the labor to do the work; parts are covered trough the manufacturer; brilliant.

    Thanks for the share.

  • Martin Howey says:

    Understanding that concept, Miguel, is so basic, yet so misunderstood by most business owners. So many are hesitant… even afraid to offer a guarantee or warrantee because they think they’ll have to cover the entire replacement or repair cost if something goes wrong. The actuality is, if they’re using quality parts, the chances of something malfunctioning or breaking should be minimal, and if that should happen, the manufacturer (if you’re dealing with a reputable source) should be willing to cover the replacement cost of that item. If they’re not willing to do that, then maybe it’s time to find another vendor. That leaves only the labor cost to be covered by the business… and in many cases, if it’s the fault of the part that causes the problem, the manufacturer may be willing to pay that cost as well.

  • Thom Miller says:

    This is vintage Clauson – succinct, accurate, focused, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. He told me years ago that most of his clients don’t execute a very large percentage of his advice, to their detriment, simply because they’re afraid to venture out of the box and they don’t understand the value of the changes he has suggested. But they eventually figure it out! In an ever-changing business climate, his perspective is extremely valuable and I’m blessed that he’s a friend and advisor.

    • Martin Howey says:

      Great comment, Thom. Yes, it is vintage Clauson. The guy is a one of a kind anomaly, and doesn’t pull any punches when he speaks or gives advice. And that’s what not only makes him so successful, but so loveable. (Don’t tell him I said that last part!) I’m so glad you’ve been touched by this remarkable man… I wish more people were exposed to him… I know they would benefit tremendously.

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