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Pete Martin, How to Powerfully Grow and Scale Your Business — InnovaBuzz 443

Pete Martin, AskMyBoard

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Pete Martin of AskMyBoard. Pete is a seasoned executive and serial entrepreneur who has worked in sales, operations, and executive management for over 25 years.

Over his career, Pete has been personally involved in the sales of over $1 billion worth of software, services, and technology to global companies, including Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Goodyear, Eli Lilly, and Continental General Tire, as well as to small to medium-sized businesses. He started, scaled, and sold four out of four previous companies, including car leasing, systems integration consulting, business process outsourcing, and software distribution. His most recent sale was to the global auditing giant, KPMG.

Pete has personally advised hundreds of C-level executives and business owners across 26 industries to grow their firms, enhance their business operations, and improve their financial performance.

In our discussion, Pete talked to me about:

  • Taking the customer experience to a new level through obsessive customer focus
  • The role of the business owner as an “architect” rather than a “rainmaker”
  • Hiring for culture and defining the ideal team member

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes from this episode with Pete Martin of AskMyBoard

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • An exit doesn’t necessarily mean that you are selling your business. It could also mean that you want to become the chairman of your firm and step away from the daily operations.
  • Don’t get trapped in the Owner’s Trap where you are the primary rainmaker or salesperson in the business.
  • Businesses whose owners are the primary rainmaker have 30–40% less value when they sell. There is also a higher risk of running a day to day business because you can’t step away from it.
  • A rainmaker is a person who does all the selling. An architect is a person who builds a sales engine and allows the company to scale, grow, and flourish.
  • You create more immediate impact on the profit and value of business, and more importantly, on your personal life when your business is not solely reliant on you.
  • The faster and more profitable you grow, the more attractive your business will be when you want to sell it.
  • You cannot scale a business if you are the only one selling.
  • You have to change your mindset from being a “know-it-all” to being an architect. Start thinking about the knowledge that you have that you can instill to somebody else who has excellent selling skills to help them be effective enough to generate revenue.
  • Hire people to do sales. Sales is the number one thing that helps scale a company.
  • The Four Pillars of Power
  1. Team
  2. Customers
  3. Capital
  4. Strategic Execution
  • Go through all the major processes within each one of the four pillars and pick out the one big idea that creates a multiplicative effect for explosive growth. Each pillar, when done right, will help the company grow. And when you combine them all together, that is when you get explosive growth.
  • There’s a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer.
  • A Net Promoter Score measures a customer’s level of loyalty. You can spend less money in marketing, advertising, and sales, when you have a business with 100% customer loyalty, because your customers are selling for you at no cost.
  • Companies with the highest Net Promoter Score are more profitable.
  • Just focusing on the team and customers can make a massive improvement in the health and growth of a business.
  • Be clear on the values and the type of employees you want to have. Start by laying out the values that you want your business to have both in terms of the people you want to hire and the companies that you want to do business with.
  • Culture is an extension of the founder.
  • Define your culture. Once you start to define your values and start to hire through those values, it starts to build your culture. You get alignment and a lot less friction and performance problems.
  • Team culture all starts with the alignment of values.
  • It’s important to consciously practice how to hire, fire, and manage people through your company’s values.
  • Don’t hire for skills, hire for values. Values should always come first.
  • The businesses that you don’t pursue define you as much as the businesses that you do pursue.
  • Success is living to your values as a business owner or an entrepreneur.
  • Being successful is not about being the smartest person in the world. It is knowing how to respect and admire the people that you take onboard and making them happy.
  • Diversity of thought makes a business stronger. It’s important for business owners to learn how to put their ego aside and listen openly to other people’s ideas.
  • Be really close to your customers. Understand what pains they have, how you are solving their problem, and how you are doing it uniquely.
  • Ask your customers why they bought from you and really understand those reasons. Getting close to customers helps you in a number of ways both from a loyalty perspective as well as creating new products and services.
  • Every business is now a digital business.
  • Entrepreneurs need to think about how they can take their customers’ experiences to a completely different level. Start talking to your customers and even to people who don’t buy from you, and use that knowledge to take your customer’s experience to a whole new level.

The Buzz — Our Innovation Round

Here are Pete’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative — Think like kids. Take risks. Let go of your ego and hire people who are are instinctively continuous learners and are not afraid of failure. Look outside your industry. Innovation comes from failure. Just keep doing things and don’t be afraid to fail.
  2. Best thing for new ideas — Look outside your industry and hire people outside of your industry.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation — Books. Reading and exposing myself to a lot of ideas and concepts, and connecting the dots.
  4. Keep project/client on track — Really understand the focus items. If you have more than 3, it means you don’t have any focus. Focus on the needle moving type of activities and constantly do readjustments along the way.
  5. Differentiate — Differentiation is only in the mind of the buyer. Really get close to your customers and ask them why they bought from you. More than half of the time, the answer is always different than what you believe it was. Listen openly to those answers to create your differentiation statement and then double down on it.

To Be a Leader

Listen to InnovaBuzz! Keep learning. We are all on this learning journey together. You can gain a lot from people who are truly focused on helping other people. Figure out the who and not the how. Get the right team.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Pete through their website.


Cool Things about Pete

  • He’s the author of the upcoming book, “Sparking a Mobile Revolution; How Mobile Voting Will Change the World as We Know It.”
  • He’s the Founder/CEO of Votem, a blockchain-based mobile/online voting systems company.
  • He’s a Founding Member of the Blockchain Research Institute and a Council Member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

Listen to the Podcast




The InnovaBuzz publication on Medium with a roundup of what’s new in Marketing, Customer Experience, Content Creation, Podcasting, Business Mindset and Culture.

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Dr Jürgen Strauss

Dr Jürgen Strauss

Founder of Innovabiz: TRANSFORMATION MARKETING — Building visibility, professional authority and connection with your dream clients

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