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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Non-Traditional Tactics for Deal-Driven Growth

Andrew MacKinnon‘s early business experience was selling coupons on the streets of London. It wasn’t the ultimate dream, but it was a place to get started. Ultimately, he was determined to provide something different to the marketplace by encouraging brands to show their audience what they do. This is a different approach than simply telling them! Recognizing the need for this type of marketing service, Andrew set about developing non-traditional tactics to create participation between brands and their audiences.

Now 18 years on, Andrew and a carefully curated creative team have spurred Taboo to evolve into a full-scale creative agency. As such, they deliver campaigns for the country’s biggest brands: Telstra, TAC, Nike, NAB, General Mills, Mecca, Myer and CUB.

Andrew continues to have an insatiable appetite for creating. This appetite has helped him create a non-traditional career spanning marketing, hospitality, real estate and (just about) everything in between.

Using Guerrilla Marketing for Non-Traditional Deals
At the age of 20, Andrew created Taboo. Although he felt he had no idea what he was doing, he took the plunge and signed paperwork on a space. Shortly after, the agency became known for their street marketing.

This was pre-internet, and most small businesses were relying solely on word of mouth. Andrew’s approach was based on getting people IN to a business to experience a product or service. The businesses were confident that if they had that chance to interact, they could get the customer to return. At the time, this non-traditional approach provided a wide-open space for growth.

Taboo continued to evolve and was soon labelled one of Australia’s first guerrilla marketing agencies. They were approached by record labels, movie houses, and companies launching new products. Taboo was making deals with DVD sales, MP3 sales, credit card companies, and more. Their non-traditional approach relied on getting people to experience something or talk about something, and it worked!

A Variety of Deals
Andrew’s brother James was working at a large agency that had a top-down approach. They recognized that they had an opposite approach to marketing, and decided to join forces and combine the best of both worlds. They called it the “East-meets-West-philosophy” and started hiring the best possible people from the top agencies.

Their core beliefs are:

What a brand does is more important than what a brand says.
People are a brand’s most powerful medium.
The most important thing a brand can do is to get people to love, adopt, and share. That is more important than any advertising campaign or marketing spiel and enabled the brothers to grow Taboo to where it is today. Andrew has also expanded in other ways.

In 2011, he engaged in a few real estate deals in order to open the iconic Ponyfish Island, situated in Melbourne’s Yarra River. He did this deal with his partners, Grant Smillie and Jerome Borazio.

On the other end of the spectrum, Andrew’s latest venture is called Skymorials. This is a technology start-up targeted at the digital generation interested in commemorating loved ones via an online memorial platform. The site is now the fastest growing online memorial site in the world.

Andrew’s desire to build non-traditional creative projects continue to re-emerge. He’s now branching into property development through the establishment of Assembly House, a 1200m workspace in Cremorne. The building will be home to several of Melbournes leading agencies.

Bringing in Business Partners

Andrew’s partnership with his brother and another associate had its challenges. Taboo was already four years in the making when the brothers decided to merge together. Andrew didn’t want to just give away 25%, even to family or close friends. He also wanted to be sensitive about over-pricing it, however.

They engaged an independent 3rd party that they all respected. This party enabled them to put a fair evaluation of the business. Andrew also encouraged them to seek another independent evaluation, which they did.

In addition, Andrew negotiated a deal with James that enabled him to pay for his shares of Taboo using future profits, rather than an up-front cash payment. He shares that salaries, bonuses, and other incentives were also something that had to be carefully assessed. This whole negotiation took place over three years, during which time James came onboard and was already working in the business.

However, by the time their third member was ready to sign the paperwork, Taboo had begun to lose some of its profitability. The evaluation didn’t seem as strong, and ultimately, that party accepted another position with a different marketing agency on the day he was supposed to sign on with Taboo. 3 years of work blew up in their faces. At that point, Andrew and James recut their own deal. Andrew goes into those details (and Taboo’s renewed success) on the show!

Trial & Error

Andrew shares that failure is a huge part of how Taboo has grown over the years. He has found that his own ability to detach from being “right” makes it easier for him to allow other decision-makers in. From his brother and partner to Taboo employees, he is open to other perspectives and ways of thinking.

This comes down to trusting others and being willing to learn from what doesn’t work.

Rather than expecting perfection, he encourages that Taboo members learn from failure. This enables them to try new things and think in creative ways. This trademark open-mindedness, as well as the willingness to always learn, has paid off beyond the agency and its work.

Mackinnon was honored with the role of President of the Entrepreneurs Organisation Australia Victorian Chapter in 2017, after having served on the board for four years. In addition, Mackinnon’s engaging vivacity has made him a compelling asset both inside and outside the boardroom, with The Financial Review Magazine listing him as a must-have on any events Guest wish-list.

His genuine interest in others has led to both leadership opportunities and better deal-making skills. Listen in to the full interview today!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Going Virtual in the COVID-19 Crisis

From an early age, Manuel Pistner dreamt of becoming an independent entrepreneur. He started his first company in 2006. It has since grown to over 150 freelancers worldwide. As you can imagine, it was not an easy road to get there. Manuel’s unique business model, however, streamlined the process. His company, Bright Solutions, is a virtual team of freelancers. As a result, they each bring unique skills to complex projects. Consequently, this eliminates barriers that many static organizations cannot breach. Of course hiring freelancers often poses many of the same talent acquisition challenges as hiring full-time employees. Manuel utilizes different business management systems to maintain control and transparency within his organization. This ensures that everything gets done. It’s also means he has a clear understanding of how to best go virtual in the COVID-19 crisis.

Three Steps to Managing a Virtual Team

Managing over 150 people in 67 different countries might seem like a nightmare for many entrepreneurs. Manuel’s system, however, is tried and true. According to him, there are three things that need to be in alignment if your virtual team is to operate at maximum capacity.

One

Provide each team member with a detailed description of their role to hold them accountable.

Two

Ensure clarity around how each team member should collaborate.

Three

Provide each team member with the necessary tools to support your workflows.

This simple process has enabled Manuel to scale his business successfully. He did so while working remotely with people he has never met! You can apply these same methods in your own company as well. This is vital, especially during this COVID-19 crisis.

Working Remote in the COVID-19 Crisis
As the COVID-19 crisis takes hold, more and more teams are forced to go virtual. However, these teams are not hired or trained to operate on their own accord. As a result, there are a lot of challenges posed by this large scale transition.

Manuel provides some tips that might help ease the tension as things fall into place. First, make a designated work area where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Next, you should structure your workday to avoid over-communication or panic. In addition, leaders must lead by output and not by availability.

All of these best practices will help your team manage their time, output, and communication. This is essential as they adjust to their new work environments. These tools will help you push through these difficult times and weather the COVID-19 crisis with success. Listen to the full episode here!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

The C.P.R. Framework

So far, we have covered a good portion of the main topics from my book, Authentic Negotiating: Clarity, Detachment, & Equilibrium the Three Keys to True Negotiating Success & How to Achieve Them. On the show we have discussed the fundamental framework of clarity, detachment, and equilibrium, as well as the six reasons negotiations fail. We’ve also talked about the top five steps to becoming a great negotiator, and how to deal with inauthentic negotiating tactics. In the latest solocast episode of Fueling Deals, we cover the final topic from Authentic Negotiating: the C.P.R. Framework. The three elements of the framework are context, purpose, and results.

What is the C.P.R. Framework?

The C.P.R. Framework consists of three main elements.

Context: The context of a negotiation determines the person we need to show up as in the negotiation. It pertains to our state of being, and how that ties into our purpose and our results.

Purpose: What is the underlying ‘why’ of this negotiation? The purpose must be something positive that speaks to you because it will be your primary driver at the negotiating table.

Results: Any time you go into a negotiation, you want to be clear about the results you want to get out of it.

Effective Frameworks

Many of us know our results before we ever enter a negotiation. The context and purpose, however, are things we need to memorize. If both of these components are no more than a sentence long, you will be able to remember them no matter what factors are thrown into the mix.

You will also benefit from distilling these ideas into short sentences. This practice will help you get to the essence of your context and purpose. The C.P.R. Framework is the single-most effective framework for applying my negotiation tactics, but it is also extremely effective beyond negotiating. To learn more and hear examples of the C.P.R. Framework being used, listen to the latest solocast of Fueling Deals.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Access to Awareness

Sophie McLean is a woman of many specialties. In her latest endeavor, she is speaking, consulting, writing and teaching courses and online seminars within the framework of Access to Awareness.

Sophie is using philosophical and spiritual concepts to help leaders effectively make a difference in the world. She does this by helping them develop a clear understanding of what it means to be human. In the latest episode of the Fueling Deals podcast, Sophie joins us to talk about the work she is doing now. She also explains how the concepts of awareness and self-discovery tie into everything in our lives—including deals.

A New Culture for Human Kind: Access to Awareness

For the last eight years, Sophie has withdrawn herself from the world and embarked on a spiritual quest. It reignited her passion for teaching and drove her to pursue the ultimate goal of developing a new culture for humankind. That notion is the driving force behind her company, Access to Awareness. Sophie works to educate people on what is possible with awareness and what it means to shift from surviving, to being alive. So many people are going through the motions in their lives. But with the right guidance, we can begin to see the extent of the possibilities and do something about it. And it all starts with awareness.

The Purpose of Money

In dealmaking, survival is a scarcity mindset. You operate from a place of fear because survival is about reacting to danger. But when you go into a negotiation with that mentality, you can’t work within the fundamental framework of dealmaking. This means you end up negotiating from a position of weakness.

Being alive is synonymous with an abundance mindset, and awareness is the key to getting there. We need to understand our relationship to money, because if we can align the purpose of money with the purpose of our lives, we will access a state of abundance naturally.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Deal-Driven Growth

Stephen Woessner is the founder and CEO of Predictive ROI, host of the Onward Nation podcast, a digital marketing authority, speaker, educator, and bestselling author of two books. He comes from a long lineage of business owners, and the early exposure to entrepreneurship primed him to follow a similar path. After serving in the Air Force for four years, Stephen landed a job with an advertising agency in La Crosse, WI where he became a partner in just three years. There, he honed his craft in digital marketing and devoted his energy to understanding how business owners think, act, and achieve.

Predictive ROI

Predictive ROI has always operated as a digital marketing agency, but over the last ten years, it has transformed into something entirely unique. Predictive’s core services were built to help business owners identify financial opportunities and hemorrhages in the digital space. But recently, Stephen and his team have added podcasting to their service line. Now, Predictive ROI helps business owners build their thought leadership through podcasting and supplementary content, so they can monetize that content with courses, workshops, events, sponsorships, and a variety of other opportunities.

Inorganic Growth in the Agency World

While Predictive ROI’s client base continues to grow organically, the agency is finally at a point where the world of strategic partnerships and acquisitions is finally opening up to them. It means Stephen and the leadership team at Predictive can look into different plays such as acquiring a software company that will increase their analytics capabilities; possibly even absorbing smaller agencies in different verticals with client rosters that are strategically advantageous. But if you are considering inorganic growth as an option, there are a lot of indicators you should be watching to determine if it is the right move.

Will it help you hit your revenue goals within your current timeline?

Are you making the right acquisition or is there a better alternative?

Stephen shares advice for navigating this process in the latest episode of Fueling Deals.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Deal-Driven Growth

Strategic Partnerships in Wealth Management

When Lisa Rapuano was twenty-five years old, she managed to talk her way into an investment management position at a startup in Chapel Hill, NC. As the third employee of Franklin Street Partners, Rapuano wore many hats and handled everything from reception and IT to sales and marketing; the experience she gained at FSP unearthed a new passion for investment research, which quickly became her focus and paved the way for her future as a business leader.

Facet Wealth is an RIA that focuses on people with less than a million dollars in investable assets, and that is important to note because $1M is not a significant amount of capital in this industry. Their niche encompasses thirty-three million American households that have between $100k-$1M in investable financial assets, most of which are excluded from the traditional, holistic financial planning side of the business.

A Market-Cooperative Business Model

As CFO, Lisa Rapuano describes Facet Wealth’s business model as market-cooperative because they are driven by highly efficient, back-end technology that enables their financial advisors to provide a wholesome customer experience to lower net worth clients. As a result, peripheral partnerships are developed with other RIAs that focus on more complex investment strategies. Facet Wealth takes the segmented clients off of their partners’ hands to provide adjusted white-glove service without sacrificing the partners’ consumer relationships or causing them to use company resources disproportionately.

If RIAs make too many exceptions for less wealthy clients, their businesses won’t work because they aren’t set up for that. Too many advisors are trying to be all things to all people, but the most successful ones define their niche very clearly and Facet Wealth has done exactly that. Because financial advisors are inherently helpers, Facet offers a way for them to provide less profitable clients with a solution instead of segmenting and leaving them to fend for themselves.

Referral Partnerships and Revenue Replacement Opportunities

Deals are a driving force behind Facet Wealth’s success, and there are two primary types that they use to generate growth. The first is a referral partnership, where Facet pays for referrals if the prospective partner signs a solicitation agreement with them. This offers Facet’s partners a way to continually serve the segmented clients while freeing up capacity and resources to focus on their niche. The second way is a revenue replacement opportunity. This is also a sequential deal where Facet signs an asset purchase agreement with an RIA to acquire their client relationship, but Facet sets terms for how long the revenue will be replaced after the client transitions to them; this is the most transformative for advisors.

Facet Wealth as a Partner

Facet also has a couple of different ways that they’re willing to work with financial advisors who are considering M&A activity on their own. One stage that they can help with is the preparation for M&A. If you enter a partnership with them before you go to market, Facet can acquire your smaller clients to create more capacity, raise margins, and improve the overall value of your business. Another stage where Facet is a great partner is for buyers in the midst of a transaction. Part of the deal might be very attractive, but if there are smaller clients that aren’t a great fit, Facet can help take them off your hands.

There is a lot of consolidation taking place in wealth management and investment management, and it is largely because of the natural evolution of the industry. But, advisors need to consider whether or not they are adding value to their clients, and if they are charging a fair price for the services offered. Personal service is expensive, but it is one of the current trends in this day and age, and companies like Facet Wealth are making it a fundamental part of their strategy.

Click here to listen to Lisa Rapuano’s interview on the Fueling Deals podcast.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Categories
Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Deal-Driven Growth

Entrepreneurial Freedom

As the CSO of Popdog, Niles Heron embodies an entrepreneurial spirit driven by freedom and the ability to control his own destiny. He has witnessed successful careers built under the restraint of golden shackles, but when the going is tough and failure is imminent, Heron finds comfort in the fact that his decisions yield the final outcome. Wealthy and untethered is the name of the game, and Heron has lived by that notion since he started his first internet radio business at fifteen years old.

Popdog is fundamentally focused on content creation and consumption in the world of live streaming, and they provide services and technology to some of the top content creators in the esports and video-on-demand spaces. This includes analytics tools that better portray their value to brands for sponsorship and monetization, and management services for nearly the top 40 content creators in the gaming industry.

Organic and Inorganic Growth in the Startup Space

Heron’s experience with accelerator programs in Michigan gave him a lot of access to early-stage startups where he found inspiration in nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, but a lot of businesses try to raise money to solve problems without finding a proper product-market fit. This led Heron to realize that his true passion was not in raising capital, but in helping people make their products work. As a result, Heron shifted his focus to consulting and built a powerful resume that paved the way for his future endeavors.

“If all you need is money, you can go to the bank, but what you need is proof that your business works.”

There are many types of deals out there and organic growth has to be the foundation, but once you’ve found the actual customers for your actual product, you can start augmenting. From this position, you have the ability to force growth in any number of directions, but if you go in all directions you will grow much slower. If you’re trying to scale, you need to pick one direction and understand that this is where investment really matters.

The reason you need to have one customer is so you can comprehend why you don’t have two customers, and if you can’t answer that you might as well have zero. The whole point of the partnership is to expand your customer base by deepening the relationship with existing customers or finding new ones. Demand limit is important to consider but if you can’t figure out why you’re not acquiring more customers, the partnership grows frail.

Doing Deals vs. Adding Value

People don’t go and seek deals because they often don’t understand the problem they’re trying to solve when they get the deal. The reality is that you can’t do deals if you’re not willing to be extremely self-critical. On the other hand, if there is no natural limitation set, deals become arbitrary since your focus should always be getting more customers. Unfortunately, that is not the way most businesses work since the markets have become over-saturated.

Before this episode, Niles Heron never saw himself as someone who does deals, but he always identified as somebody who seeks to add more value by any means necessary. Whether he is helping someone generate organic growth or finding a partner that can provide the means, he stresses that anyone trying to “do deals” should really be focusing on how they can add value. This requires time, but if you strive to accomplish something a “deal” is just the facilitator.

Click here to listen to his Fueling Deals podcast episode.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!