AZCOMP Technologies IT January 2019

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Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care


3 LESSONS FROM A SHARK What I Learned From Robert Herjavec

It’s not every day that you find yourself face-to-face with a shark, but that’s exactly what happened to me last April. Luckily, this shark wasn’t a great white or hammerhead. Instead, he was Robert Herjavec, one of the famous inventors from ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.” Herjavec spoke at a conference I attended, doling out wisdom from years spent growing his business as well as many others. Even months after the conference, his words are still ringing in my ears. Herjavec’s life hasn’t been all yachts and caviar, though you’d be forgiven for thinking so based on his cool, classy appearance and level-headed demeanor. Herjavec’s father was a political dissident in former Yugoslavia. After being jailed 22 times by the communist government, he’d had enough, packed up his family, and crossed the border into Italy. Eventually, they landed in Canada — an ocean away from their former home. Seeing Herjavec speak was especially relevant to me because one of his most successful ventures, Herjavec Group, is an IT security company. But the advice he dispensed at the event resonates no matter the industry you’re in or the size of your business. Herjavec was gracious and humble as he shared his secrets with us, never once coming off as condescending. While he covered a lot of ground during his talk, there are three points in particular that I want to share with you. 1. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO SALES. The one thing that Herjavec really wanted to hammer home with each and every one of us is the importance of sales. “Nothing happens until you sell something,” he told us. “What’s the difference between really big companies that grow and really small companies that stay the same size? Sales.”

not. He always asks, “How do you guys get customers? How do you guys find new business?” He then goes on to say, “If the answer is anything along the lines of ‘word of mouth,’ I know these guys aren’t going anywhere.” The fact is that word of mouth is hard to control and almost impossible to scale. It can help you grow, for sure, but it can’t be your only tactic. 2. NO, REALLY. YOU NEED TO SELL EVERY DAY. “Nobody in this room makes money by shuffling paper,” Herjavec said. “If one of your top three tasks every day isn’t to sell something, you’re going to fail.” The only way to create constant forward momentum is by bringing in new revenue, and the only way to do that is to sell. 3. YOU CAN’T BE AFRAID TO SELL. We all know that people in any industry are always worried about overloading themselves. “We’re struggling to serve the customers we have already,” they say. “What happens if we really do bring in a bunch of new ones?” This line of thinking will get you nowhere. “It’s a common fallacy,” Herjavec said. “Engineers want to make it perfect before they sell it. True entrepreneurs jump out of the airplane and have the confidence that they’ll figure out the parachute on the way to the bottom.” As you begin to plan for the coming year at your business, ask yourself what you and your team can do to drive sales over the course of 2019. Don’t rely on luck or outside forces to grow your company; take on the responsibility for yourself. –Byron Adams

Over the years, Herjavec has bought and sold 13 companies, and he’s learned how to suss out whether a potential buy is worth it or

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