Back in 2003 I learnt the greatest single business growth secret!  Now that is a big statement; and so it’s worth a few minutes to find out what it is.

I learnt it from Jay Abraham who is an internationally renowned marketing expert. I found the secret after having read his book: “Stealth Marketing Strategies & Tactics: How to Outmanoeuvre, Outwit, and out market Your Most Formidable Competitors… Before They Know What’s Hit Them.”

In the book Jay explains that there are only three ways to increase sales and turnover; they are:

  • Increase the number of clients you have. (Average number of clients)
  • Increase the value of what they buy from you. (Average order value)
  • Increase how often the buy from you, (Average order frequency)

However, he further explained that there was actually a fourth way and that is:

  • You can increase how long they stay with you as a client. (Average lifetime value)

 (NB-There are actually a few more that can also make a significant difference; I will introduce you to them on another occasion.)

If you combine these four sales growth strategies you not only find out what is the annual turnover of a business at any point in time, but you can also establish what the lifetime value of an average client is.  The day I became aware of this I thought this is going to be the foundation to all my business growth and development advice.  My clients and I will never have to worry about making money ever again!

So, for those of you who are experienced in growing businesses you have probably already heard all I am about to tell you, but bear with me because you going to hear it from a completely different angle and you going to get some powerful insights that can significantly impact your business.  Whilst for those of you that are new to the business growth and development game this is going to revolutionise your business life and your sales results.

Because of the above and what follows is still the number one tool I use when I am helping to create and grow a business for my clients.


When doing so, I run everything through this framework.  Then, my client and I create a strategy; when it’s implemented it often doubles their turnover within a year or two.  I can think of a number of examples where this has happened, but one particularly sticks in my mind.

I once helped an architect, who overnight due to a bereavement, had become the sole owner of an existing architectural practice. When I first met him he had no plan, limited experience of running a business and was low in confidence. Within 12 months of us working together he and his team doubled the size of his business and its profitability.

This could equally happen to your business.

However, if I say to a business owner, “I can double your sales in a year” they normally look at me with disbelief; but if I say “I can increase their sales by up to 25% within a year”, this tends to fall within the range of believability and their comfort zone.

So let’s take an example of an architectural client of mine and increase his sales figures by just 25%.


Average number of clients Average order value Average order frequency Total Annual Sales
30 £50,000 2 £3,000,000
Increase by 25% Increase by 25% Increase by 25%
37.5 £62,500 2.5 £5,859,375


So by increasing each element by just 25% we almost double the turnover of the business.

If we went on to add in the average lifetime of a client we see some even more amazing figures.


Average number of clients Average order value Average order frequency Average lifetime Total Average Lifetime Sales
30 £50,000 2 3 years £9,000,000
Increase by 25% Increase by 25% Increase by 25%
37.5 £62,500 2.5 3.75 years £21,972,656


So now the business can predict sales of over £20m over 3 years!  Now I hear you say “that’s all very well but how do you actually do it”?

Some advice

Well the list is endless and we don’t have the time to go into them in depth; however, here are a few key things to focus on for now:

  • niche down
  • go for quality
  • raise your prices
  • invest more in effective marketing
  • improve your sales capabilities
  • optimise every element of your business
  • build a great team etc.

Over and above all that I have two further suggestions for you.

  1. Hire the most experience, relevant and best business growth and development coach you can. By doing so you can often get a nine fold increase just by employing someone to help you choose the right strategies and tactics.  You can often agree a low fee coupled with an incentive based on the increased level of sales; and you will also give the problem to someone else to worry about.
  2. Focus on client retention; there is nothing more important than retaining your clients. Do everything practical to keep you clients happy so they stay with you for as long as possible.

With regard to the latter suggestion use ‘Education Based Marketing’ i.e. at every opportunity try to introduce them to:

  • Something new, relevant or something they didn’t already know.
  • Something surprising, novel and opens up possibilities in their minds.

It will help you to get your clients to buy more from you, more often and for longer.

Your clients will in fact become ‘Raving Fans’ as Ken Blanchard famously put it.

Key Takeaway

So the moral of all this is that you can’t take clients, turnover and profits for granted.  You have to plan and take relevant actions to grow your sales.  So try some new concepts. Strategies and tactics to build your sales; and always at the back of your mind remember Albert Einstein’s famous quote:

The definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!


P.S. – Whenever you’re ready… there are at least 5 ways we can help you build your ideal business, career or life:


  1. Work with me One-on-One. If you’d like to work directly with us just reply to this message and put “One-on-One” in the subject line… tell us a little about your yourself and what you’d like to work on together, and we’ll discuss how it might be a fit.
  2. Join our Business Growth Accelerator Program (BGAP) and be a Case Study. We’re taking on a few new clients as case studies in our BGAP where we guarantee to double your a ROI. If you’d like to work with me to grow your client base and revenue…. just reply to this message and put “BGAP ” in the subject line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work
  3. Become part of my exclusive coaching group – BizCoaching. My favourite thing to do is help small business owners, entrepreneurs and senior decision makers build their Ideal Business, if you’d like to learn more and determine whether you might be a fit, reply and put ‘BizCoaching’ in the subject line.
  4. Join one of our Mastermind style programmes: Rising Stars, BizBoard or Mastermind.  Our 12 month programmes are designed to help small groups of like-minded business owners and senior decision-makers to grow and develop their businesses and themselves.
  5. Attend one of our Networking Events. They are held monthly in Nottingham; go to Eventbrite to register.