If you’re not selling, your business will go broke.
This week we’re joined by CEO of Spartan Alliance, Julian Van Der Waal. Today, we’ll be asking him about his speciality – helping Australian businesses grow. Find out how Julian has found success for countless entrepreneurs, and get his tips to drive sales growth in your Small Business.
Julian is CEO of Spartan Alliance, an Australian firm specialising in small business growth. Finance, sales, marketing, recruitment, technology, partnerships, and expansion – Spartan Alliance provides resource and education on all of the above. His Adelaide-based business has found success for countless owners and is growing quickly.
Spartan does a bit of everything now, but Julian’s path started with a focus on just one of these elements: Sales.
Before starting Spartan Alliance, Julian spent 10 years in sales.
Through hard work, incredible drive, and long years of experience, he expanded his knowledge from how to make a sale – the lifeblood of any business – to all the elements surrounding it. He went from selling, to owning a retail business, to specialising in building other enterprises.
The path wasn’t easy, by a longshot. A perfect example of this was the sale of Julian’s retail shop. A botched job by his lawyer meant Julian paid double the legal fees expected ($5,000 rather than $2,500). Julian’s lawyer did such a bad job on settlement that he eventually had to use the buyer’s legal team!
It was costly, it was embarrassing, and it had nothing to do with sales – Julian’s powerhouse at the time. But it taught Julian two things: No business is truly alike, and nothing ever goes completely as planned.
It also taught Julian this: Australian businesses can’t afford to pay for the wrong advice.
Julian started Spartan Alliance so that no owner would have to suffer what he did.
Every business is different. Anyone who tells you otherwise, or tries to sell you a bulletproof guide to sales and growth is full of it.
From experience with countless businesses, Julian knows the keys to sales most often lie with personal roadblocks.
“First things first. Stop telling yourself that you can’t sell. You won’t sell anything with that attitude. No boxer goes into a fight thinking that the other boxer is pretty good.”
– Julian Van Der Waal
Matt expands on that thought:
“We all gravitate to smaller risks, but when you stop to think you realise if you just try a little bigger you’re going to end up closer or above where you want to be.”
– Matt Hanham [40:40]
So many businesses are playing and living the old game. It’s not sustainable.
If your business is stunted then you need to change your mindset. Take a moment. Lock yourself in a room and breathe. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What do you not see yet?
2. What are you choosing not to see?
3. Where do you want to go?
The answer is simpler than it seems. The change will be cheaper than you’ll believe. But you need to take the first step and pull your head out of the sand. Look up and see what’s happening around you. Then take action.
The number one thing Julian sees that businesses are doing wrong is: they’re not selling.
Over the years we’ve developed a dislike for direct sales techniques. The image of the used car salesmen still haunts us to this day. People hate to sell their own product. They don’t want to be in people’s faces. But an alternative isn’t being created. There’s a catch-22: If you’re selling your product or service like a used car salesman, you will go broke. But you can’t make a profit if you’re not selling.
So how are sales generated now? It’s smarter and less direct.
As a business, you need to develop a way in which you’re selling yourself and your product. Stop conforming to what you see and what you’ve been taught. Break the rules, and find a way that works for you.
The path to where Julian is today wasn’t overnight. It took hard work and an incredible drive to achieve growth and results. Tattooed on his body are quotes that are continuous reminders of who he is and where he wants to go.
“A life is the condition of our mind”
“What we are today comes from our thoughts yesterday. Our present thoughts build our life for tomorrow.”
Julian believes that the principles we live by defining how we choose to live our life. They play a massive part in our success. Moving forward if we don’t change the way we think then we’re not going to grow.
Before Julian decides to tattoo anything on his body, he sits with it for a year. He needs to really understand its meaning and how it plays a role in his life and the way he chooses to live it.
“There is so much information out there but we’re not implementing it” – Julian [8:00]
The world is full of accessible resources. The internet has created a space for everyone to have access to education as well as opportunity. We all have access to the same information. But we’re not using it, no one is taking action. The problem is that we think everyone is seeing the same thing, but not everyone knows how to action them.
This is where Julian’s business purpose comes from. His goal is to help small businesses take serious action.
Owning a business isn’t a walk in the park. It’s idealistic to think you can spend your days doing whatever you want to do. Julian wishes he could be easier on himself. It would be simpler for him to work a 9 to 5 job and take the weekends off. It would erase his stress, boost mental health and ease the strain on his relationships. But he’s always had the drive to provide for his family and create change within Australian small businesses.
Growing up, he was in a strict European household. He always admired his Dad who worked in a senior management position at his job. The suit and tie. The respect. He loved that world.
The biggest lesson he learnt from his Mum was when he wanted to play the Saxophone. Julian’s Mum told him that the clarinet was harder, don’t go for the sexy instrument. If he played the clarinet until he made it to grade seven, they’d buy him a saxophone. The lesson he took away from this experience was that nothing comes easy, you need to work for it. But when you do, you’re rewarded with exactly what you want.
Going forward Julian’s inner drive is motivated by his desire to provide for his family, and to do that, he needed to put the hard work in.
What is one book you’d take into solitary confinement?
Julian isn’t much of a reader, he prefers to consume information with other mediums. But if he’d have to recommend one book that stuck with him it’d be –
What is your favourite Disney character?
What is your favourite app on your phone?
What’s one thing to Amplify Your Business?
When you’re looking to take your business to the next level you need to ensure you’re surrounded by the right people to do so. First and foremost, seek help from people who have done it before. Do your research and find someone who is invested in helping your business and achieving results.
If you want to know more about Julian check out his Facebook page for Spartan Alliance.
Mentioned in This Episode