Russell Ruffino talks about business success. Alpha Stock Images/ Nick Youngson

It’s often said in business that if you want to succeed, talk to those who’ve already made it to the top and learn from them. So, who better to ask what it takes to do amazing things in business than the CEO of one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing companies in America?

Number 186 on their list is Russell Ruffino, founder and creator of Clients on Demand, a company which coaches aspiring business owners through the fear and challenges preventing them from hitting their goals. It also teaches them the marketing techniques that will help them grow their companies.

“Any business really comes down to three core functions,” Russell says, “Attract, Convert, and Deliver. Attract new leads, convert them into clients, and deliver your service as powerfully as possible.” So, where do clients tend to go wrong in these areas?

Failing to Attract New Leads

When it comes to attracting new leads, oftentimes, businesses rely too heavily on referrals or use inconsistent strategies like blogging or writing articles, Russell says. They have no real system, making it next to impossible to attract new leads, partially because of what it does to them psychologically.

“If you can’t attract the right clients into your business, you’re in fear,” says Russell. “It’s feast or famine.” Russell explains that this puts you in a position where you’re constantly worried about where the next client is going to come from. It also prevents you from planning for the future because you have no predictable revenue.

Not Converting Leads to Clients

This leads many business owners to another common mistake, which is relying on low pricing to get where they want to go business-wise. This is a process Russell calls “charge less than your competition and cross your fingers,” and one that All Business adds is simply unsustainable.

“If you don’t know how to convert leads into clients consistently, you sell from your heels,” says Russell. “You discount your services which kills your margins.” Essentially, businesses wind up destroying their positioning because they attract clients who want to save money rather than clients who want to solve a problem, regardless of costs. Change this and “you can sell your services for 10-15x what other people are charging,” says Russell.

Outdated Service Delivery

Another common mistake businesses make, according to Russell, is using outdated service delivery methods. By only seeing people one-on-one in an office or trading time for dollars, business owners “have no freedom and leverage in their business at all,” he says.

Russell goes on to explain that this limits the growth of your business because there are only so many hours in a week. “But if you can find ways to deliver your service online instead of in-person, which is what we teach our clients to do,” he says, “then you can deliver that service from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and an internet connection. And we find that by doing it this way, you can actually get better results for your clients.” So, how do you avoid these kinds of these mistakes?

Avoiding These Common Mistakes

“The key to attracting new clients is to use online advertising,” he says. For instance, they teach a simple funnel that drives Facebook traffic into a short presentation, and then into a phone call. Executed properly, Russell says that this will give you anywhere from 10-40 prospective clients per day (depending on your ad budget, of course), resolving your worries about where the next client will come from because people will constantly be reaching out to you.

The next step is to “invest in a 21st century sales system that puts the client first,” says Russell, as this enables you to command premium price points in your industry. “If it’s really good, it should allow you to enroll new clients on the very first conversation, not after 20 follow-up calls,” he adds. This helps you gain momentum because you’ll be enrolling new clients every day, rather than 3-4 times a month.

Finally, fixing your delivery comes down to two things, says Russell. “First, make sure your service is so good that it exceeds client expectations in every way,” he says. “If you don’t, you’re building a house of cards.” In addition to good quality service, there is also leverage, which is when it helps to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Can you deliver your service online instead of in-person?
  • If you’re a coach, can you work with clients in groups instead of one-on-one?
  • If you have a standard presentation you give to every client, could you simply record that presentation and put it online rather than giving the same speech over and over?

When you attract new leads, convert them into clients, and offer an up-to-date delivery system, you’re well on your way to creating a successful business. One that doesn’t make these all-too-common mistakes.