Always be Selling: You are doing the world a disservice by not allowing your business to be of service to help others. But you must open your mouth and talk. Do not be afraid of cold calls, cold emails. Whatever it takes to get it done and preferable through multiple revenue streams.
As a part of my series called “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kisha Mays, a Successful Serial Entrepreneur, Visionary Global Business Development Strategist, Best Selling Author, Angel Investor, and Philanthropist. Her primary focus is on helping to develop 1,000,000 Fearless Female Entrepreneurs generating a minimum of 1,000,000+ dollars in annual revenue. Turning them in to unicorn global businesses through the Just Fearless Angel Fund which is a fund exclusively for female founded companies. She pays it forward by supporting non-profits worldwide that specifically support & empower women and girls.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always known since I was young that I would be an entrepreneur. That is in part to my Grandmother being a lifelong entrepreneur. As I evolved through several businesses and a best-selling book “From Failure to Fearless”, my interest turned to focusing on helping other female founders avoid the pitfalls I encountered in scaling my businesses.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
The failures aka lessons learned. Going from 7 figures in the red to well over 8 figures in the black. I do not have just one story because it has been about the journey that has led me to be achieve what less than 5% of female founders achieve…. 7 figures or more in annual revenue.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There were definitely angels in disguise that have helped me along the way in some the most critical points at the perfect timing. I would say the biggest influence would be my Grandmother as her actions as an entrepreneur and her encouragement to never give up propelled me in the very beginning when there were so many times, I felt like giving up. Because of her, I never did, and I am living my best life and paying it forward to other Female Founders.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“The cost of procrastination is the life you could’ve lived.” Procrastination is one of many forms of “FEAR” (False Evidence Appearing Real) that can impact your life completely, causing one to only exist instead of living. Too many in the world only “exist” not enough are living and that needs to change.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?
The creation of HERstory Connections is a global community of Female Founders helping them to grow their businesses beyond solopreneurs and into economic and community impacting businesses. We set a goal to help 1,000,000 women entrepreneurs generate a minimum of 1,000,000 dollars in annual revenue by December 31, 2025. Because less than 5% of Female Founders earn 7 figures or more annually. The biggest point for Female Founders is lack of funding options (as compared to male founders) and scaling their businesses with creations of multiple streams of income.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
The parent company name is “Just Fearless” because it stands out and embodies why I started the business because I have always been described as someone who is just fearless. So, I have always taken that approach in business going about it in nontraditional ways.
When you first started the business, what drove you, what was your primary motivation?
Not having to work for anyone as I was a terrible employee. LOL! Also, knowing from an incredibly young age that I would work with women in multiple capacities as an entrepreneur. Innately knowing that I was destined for greatness.
What drives you now? Is it the same? Did it change? Can you explain what you mean?
A clear purpose and mission focused on Female Founders that will change millions of lives and generations to come. The ambition and drive are still there, but crystal clear now.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
HERstory Connections launching a new grant program for Female Founders to help bridge the gap into 2021 as well as our Angel Fund to help scale businesses. It fills a void that so many Female Founders have in their businesses.
The topic of this series is ‘Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue’. Congratulations! Seven figures is really a huge milestone. In your experience what was the most difficult part of being able to hit your first million-dollars in sales revenue?
Getting out of my own way. Sometimes going with flow and allowing for change brings about some of the best opportunities for course correction and massive growth. When you get in the way of that trying to stick to one way of doing things, it complicates getting to that first million.
Could you share the number one sales strategy that you found helpful to help you reach this milestone?
Not seeking perfection, just getting it done. Execution over perfection and I would tweak along the way as I went. Sale, Sale, Sale, because everything in life is SALES!!!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you or your team made during a sales process? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Do not forget to close! At some point you must stop selling and Close the Deal! Otherwise, you lose potential sales which is the bloodline for every business. There were times in the beginning where we forgot to close the deal and sometimes lost the deal because of waiting to close the deal.
Does your company have a sales team? If yes, do you have any advice about how companies can create very high performing sales teams?
Not for HERstory Connections. We have account managers for our member services. In a way they are the sales team because they handle new member inquiries and so much more.
Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Strategies I Used To Grow My Business To Reach Seven Figures In Revenue”. Please share a story or an example for each.
- Always be Selling: You are doing the world a disservice by not allowing your business to be of service to help others. But you must open your mouth and talk. Do not be afraid of cold calls, cold emails. Whatever it takes to get it done and preferable through multiple revenue streams.
- Always be Closing: At some point you either have the sale or you move on to the next person. But you must eventually close the deal. Do not be afraid to ask for the sale remember you are being of service with your business.
- Do Not Take A “No” Personal: You will always encounter No’s at some point in your journey as an entrepreneur. No simply means to move on to the next one. It is never personal, just business.
- K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simply Sweetie. As cliché as this sounds, the simpler it is the easier it is to sale. Your elevator pitch should be simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand.
- Executive Over Perfection: You will have success and lessons learned on your journey, the key to continuously act and execute in your business rather than trying to perfect everything little details…The exception of course is if you are in a business that requires perfection of details such as event planning, architecture, construction, etc.
What would you advise to another business leader who initially went through years of successive growth but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth or sales and “restart their engines”?
Look at your lowest selling products and services. Does it need to be revamped, manufacturing/distribution need to be reworked, or cut completely? Are you listening to your customers as they will tell you when something is wrong and sometimes when it is right. These are tough decision that must be made but that is a part of being an entrepreneur. Look at what else is in the pipeline that can be launched sooner. Are there other avenues of revenue that you are missing out on? All options must be on the table to get past the standstill.
In your specific industry what methods have you found to be most effective in order to find and attract the right customers? Can you share any stories or examples?
I can tell you what does not work for my specific industry, traditional advertising. We are conditioned to ignore it when we see it in social media and online, turn to another station if we hear it on the radio, and turn to another channel if we see it on TV or skip it all together. With more people streaming they can simply pay a little extra per month to go ad free (which I do). So, you must get creative when reaching out to other businesses.
Based on your experience, can you share a few strategies to give your customers the best possible user experience and customer service?
This is interesting because I have always had the belief that the customer is not always right, with some exceptions of course. LOL! But customer service is still a must in terms of being responsive and polite while still being firm on your policies (which should always be communicated in writing beforehand). The worst thing you can do as a business is just ignore customers as it will hurt your business in the long. While you will not please everyone, at the very least your customer will feel heard. Also, try to always provide customer service in writing (could be email and/or chat) and if by phone for high volume, have calls recorded for quality assurance because sometimes people will forget what they said.
As you likely know, this HBR article demonstrates that studies have shown that retaining customers can be far more lucrative than finding new ones. Do you use any specific initiatives to limit customer attrition or customer churn? Can you share some of your advice from your experience about how to limit customer churn?
Quality product and/or service first and foremost and a responsive and polite customer service team. It is just that simple.
Wonderful. We are nearly done. Here are the final “meaty” questions of our discussion. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Exactly what my team and I are doing now with HERstory Connections. Creating a minimum of 1 million Female Founders generating a minimum of 1,000,000 dollars in annual revenue by December 31, 2025 taking the percentage of Millionaire Female Founders to over 10%. Thereby impacting families, communities, economies, and generations to come. It’s HERstory Made!!!
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Sara Blakely and Richard Branson. Two entrepreneurs that I admire and respect for their successful and unorthodox approach to building their empires. I am doing the same fearlessly. I want to learn from them and be friends with them. I envision Just Fearless in a similar capacity to how Richard Branson built the multiple Virgin brands.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!
Thank you for having me! It was a great conversation!