Archive for the ‘The Private Jay Abraham Checklist’ Category

The Private Jay Abraham Checklist

September 7, 2008

1. Describe your position:
How long have you been at the company?
What was your previous position?

2. Describe your company as a person.
Personality traits:

3. Describe your company as a football team. Who plays each position?
General Manager:
Team Manager:

3 a. Corporate structure: The following section is to force you to think through the stucture of your organization. Fill in the boxes as appropriate. You may split the boxes to represent a different reporting structure, or create your own box, but this is an excellent exercise for an entrepreneur serious about building a bullet proof organization.

4. How do you explain your company to someone outside your industry (i.e. at a party), keeping it as simple as possible.
Now describe your company in one sentence.

5. How do you explain your company to someone in the industry (i.e. to a potential buyer
or client). This is the “Company pitch” NOT the product pitch (that next)


6. Describe the services you offer. This is the product/service pitch:

7. What does a client get when they buy your product/service?

8. What products/services do clients want that you do not offer?

9. Why must a prospect buy your product or service?
What would make it irresistible?

10. Describe your competition. (Use above criteria; Rate each on a scale from 1-10) on:
Competitor’s Name Product Sales Ability Marketing Ability Customer Service
Now rate your company:

11. Where do you see your industry in five years?

12. Where will your company be in five years? Chart year by year growth including the initiatives necessary to accomplish your goals. List financial goal and then the initiatives
Financial goal Initiatives to achieve it
Year one
Year two
Year three
Year four
Year five

Sales Activity/Rep Productivity: Use this as a way to measure, evaluate the person/people responsible for making sales:

13. Describe the typical sales cycle to close a sale, from generating the lead through to a close:
A) How many contacts to sell?
B) Description of typical clients.
C) Length of cycle from initial contact to close?
D) Number and type of competitors involved.
E) How many different people do you usually meet with to close a sale?

14. Describe the full effort to prospect (list every way you have of generating a prospect).

15. How many customers/clients do you have now in your database?

16. How many “dream” clients are there (the absolute most perfect clients, that 20% that would drive 80% of your sales)?
A) Of those, how many do you have now?
B) How many total potential clients altogether?

17. What are the most frequent objections you hear?

18. If you target 10 prospects, how many will you close? (Closing ratio)

19. What do you do with the prospects you don’t close?

20 How do your closing ratios fare against competitors?

21. How else does your customer get the product you supply?

22. Describe five of your most typical purchasers:

23. What are the top three reasons that you lose business to a competitor?

24. What are the top three reasons that a prospect would do nothing at the end of the sales cycle?

25. What is the follow-up with a client after they buy?

26. Do you ask for referrals, and how?

27. Describe the typical buying structure (what is your clients process to a decision? What are the factors that they will contend with; When and how does money come into the picture? What’s their buying criteria; The factors effecting a decision? And anything else involved in the decision process?):

28. With how many clients are you dealing with the top decision maker (not eh person who has to go to someone else to get approval, but the person who ultimately makes the decision (give percent%):

29. With how many of your clients do you have a strong relationship with top decision maker?

29 a) List three things you could do to strengthen your relationship?

30. How are salespeople compensated?

31. What are the standards for hiring salespeople?

32. What kind of training is currently being offered?
Sales training?

32 a. What would make the sales training excellent?
32 b. Product training?
32 c. What would make the product training excellent?

33. Account management training?
33 a. What would make the account management training excellent?

34. Time management training?

35. How often is training provided?

36. What are the procedures for training people?

37. What is the turnover rate for salespeople?

38. How often do you send clients interesting information that is not about your
product but could be relevant to them or their business?

39. How much outbound phone calling effort (to generate prospects) is made per day?
Average rep?
Best rep?

40. How many appointments set per day, week, month?
Average rep?
Best rep?

41. How many active outlets serviced at any given time?
Average rep?
Best rep?

42. How many prospects contacted per 100 efforts made?
Average rep?
Best rep?

43. How many letters sent out per day, week, month?
Average rep?
Best rep?

44. How many brochures distributed per day, week, month?
Average rep?
Best rep?

45. How many introductory presentations made per day, week, month?
Average rep?
Best rep?

46. How often is there follow-up with? Every day, week, month, year?
Average rep?
Best rep?

47. How often is your company in touch with clients as a corporate initiative, not something the depends on the mood or skills of an individual rep?

48. How many proposals per week/month?

49. Number of hot prospects at any given time (pipeline)?

50. Number of warm prospects?

51. Number of cold prospects?


52. Describe the company’s marketing philosophy.

53. What is the marketing theme or slogan?

54. What is the staff’s attitude toward marketing?

55. Marketing Weapons:
Do you buy advertising (if not describe what you COULD/MIGHT be doing)?
How often do you buy?
What sources do you use?
What is the theme of the campaign?
What do you want the campaign to accomplish?
Describe its effectiveness.
Do you have promotion pieces covering important sales points. If so how many?
What are some examples?
What promotion ideas do you have? Think of three themes right now that would make good headlines for promotional pieces that pitch/sell/persuade on one particular aspect of what you sell:

56. Do you have a PR effort? If so, what does it consist of?
Who is responsible for PR?
How does the press view your company?

57. Describe your direct-mail efforts?

58. Do you have a brochure/media kit?
How is it used?
What message is the brochure trying to communicate?

59. How do you educate your clients?
Do you provide seminars?
Attend trade shows?
Sponsor events?


60. How do clients perceive your industry?
How do clients perceive your company?
Your competitors?

61. Describe your most satisfied customer:
Describe your ideal client relationship?

62. Describe a situation where you were able to turn an unhappy client into a happy one.

63. What do clients say about your company?

64. What could you do/offer to make your clients say, “Wow”?

65. Do you have a database?
Profile (what are the factors by how you can sort)?

66. List your last five year’s sales – gross sales and approximate profits (pre-tax).
Last Year
Year before
Year before
Year before
Year before

67. Indicate all costs of sales.

68. List all overhead factors, showing breakdowns of what the overhead includes.

69. What are your year-to-date sales levels?

70. Where does most of your business come from (describe for each category below)?
a. Product or service (which products or services drive the most revenue?)
b. Category of customer (which category/type of customer drives the most revenue?)
b. Geography (Is there a particular region that is more fruitful?

71. Describe every successful advertising, selling or marketing program you have engaged in
for the last three years that has worked.
How many of these that have worked have you continued, and how many were more of a “one shot”

72. Do you have a marketing budget?
What is it?
How is it allocated?
How has it been used in the past?

73. What strategic alliances, if any, do you have or have you ever had?
How did they fare and how did they effect your business?

74. Who stands to gain more than you if you grow, i.e.., people who have products or
services that are purchased after your products or services arc purchased, or concurrent to
the purchase?

75. Who are your suppliers or other providers of products or services that benefit
massively when you are successful?

76. Describe all you know about your competitors:
Who arc the top three.

77. Where are they located?

78. What do they do best?

79. What do they do worst?

80. Describe as much as possible about their selling approaches, their selling strategies, their infrastructures, etc.

81. What products or services do people normally buy prior to, in conjunction with and right
after your product is purchased.

82. What are the goals of the owner:

83. Describe exactly who the owner or owners are.

84. What is the power structure? (For example, I owned a business but I was never there and
I deferred to my manager.) We want to know whether it’s hands on, hands off, who runs
things, what kind of turf or political environment we’re dealing with, who are the decision makers.

85. Who are the key people involved in the initiatives that will develop out of this PEQ process?

86. Explain, realistically, how much more business you can add without having to add any
more people, equipment, service or space.

87. Give an assessment of the transactional implication your product or service has in the end
-user’s life. In other words, if, because someone has your product or service, they save $400 a month forever on electricity, we want to know what that is. If you’re a real estate person and you put someone in a greater lifestyle and get them a house they can appreciate, list all the factors you think you impact when a sale is made.

88. What is the operating philosophy that the business has been built on?

89. What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted the person who is answering this questionnaire.

90. What do you really want from your business? Do you want to become filthy rich? Do you want it to become a turnkey money machine? Do you want to position and maneuver it for ultimate sales? What are your goals?

91. Explain where all your time is being spent versus where it should be spent.

92. How much of your business comes from referrals?

93. Go through all 30 of the standard options in the “Three Ways to Grow a Business
Model” and tell us what you do. In other words, do you have a referral program? If the
answer is no explain why. If the answer is yes, describe how it works, what you do.
Include all the details. (See Attachment 1 – “3O Standard Options.”)

94 Describe your training, your interests, and your hobbies. What do you do when you’re
not at the office, and why?

95. Describe your family. Are you married? Are you divorced? How many children? How
is your health?

96. What is your greatest life achievement?

97. What one thing, more than anything else, do you want to accomplish in this business
before you get out?

98. Go through all 30 of the standard options in the “Three Ways to Grow a Business
Model” and tell us what you do. In other words, do you have a referral program? If the
answer is no explain why. If the answer is yes, describe how it works, what you do.
Include all the details. (See Attachment 1 – “3O Standard Options.”)



The number of clients can be increased by increasing the lead or inquiry generation, increasing the client retention rate, and by increasing the conversion from inquiry to sale. Please evaluate and improve your process in the below listed areas. So if you are not doing something in the given area, write what you could be doing o how you can improve what you are currently doing:

Increasing your lead or inquiry generation through:
1. Referral Systems
2. Acquiring Customers At Break-Even Up Front And Making A Profit On The “Back-End”
3. Guaranteeing Purchases Through Risk Reversal
4. Host-Beneficiary Relationships
5. Advertising
6. Using Direct Mail
7. Using Telemarketing
8. Running Special Events Or Information Nights
9. Acquiring Qualified Lists That More Effectively Target Your Prospect Increasing The Perceived Value Of Your Product/Service Through Better Client Education

Increasing your customer retention rate by:
1. Delivering Higher-Than-Expected Levels Of Service
2. Communicating Frequently With Your Customers To Nurture Them

Increasing your conversion from inquiry to sale by:
1. Increasing Sales Skill Levels Of Your Staff
2. Qualifying Leads Up Front
3. Making Irresistible Offers
4. Educating Your Clients By Giving Them The “Reasons Why”


To increase the average transaction value, you can focus on:
1. Improving Your Team’s Selling Techniques To Effectively Up-Sell And Cross-Sell
2. Using Point-Of-Sale Promotions
3. Packaging Complementary Products And Services Together
4. Increasing Your Pricing And Hence Your Margins
5. Changing The Profile Of Your Products Or Services To Be More “Up Market”
6. Offering Greater/Larger Units Of Purchase


To increase transaction frequency, you can focus on:
1. Developing A Back-End Of Products That You Can Go Back To Your Customers With
2. Communicating Personally With Your Customers (By Telephone, Letter, Etc.) To Maintain A Positive Relationship.
3. Endorsing Other People’s Products To Your Customer Base
4. Running Special Events Such As “Closed Door Sales”, Limited Pre-Releases, Etc.
5. Programming Customers
6. Price Inducements For Frequency


What initially got you started in your business? What motivation, occurrence, etc.?

When you first started, how did you attract your first customers (what process, method or action did you use)?

Why did customers originally buy from you?

Why do customers buy from you now?

What ongoing sales efforts do you personally perform today? What sales functions did you perform when you started your business?

What are you most proud of about your business, product or service?

If you had a magic wand, would you rather attract more new customers or garner more money from your existing customers, and why?

How have your methods for doing business, or the product(s) or service line(s) you market, changed since the inception of your business?

What is your vision for your business for the next:
6 months
1 year
3 – 5 years
10 years

What is your biggest opportunity to achieve this vision?

What is your greatest strength and is it consistent with this opportunity?

What is your greatest problem or weakness in achieving this vision and what’s the solution?

What are your sales per employee? Is that above, below, or equal to your industry average and what are the steps you are taking (or going to take) to improve it?

What’s the “lifetime value” of your typical customer (i.e. how much revenue will he/she generate for you over the entire period he/she does business with your company)?

What is the biggest customer complaint about your industry and how does your company address this problem?

Do you buy from your competitors to keep track of what they’re doing right and wrong?
Explain how these insights have helped you refine and better focus your overall business strategy.

Do you actively seek information from experts in your field and other fields related to yours? Explain:

When was the last time you introduced a new product or service to your market (both existing customers and prospects), how well did it work, and what was the reason?

What is your Unique Selling Proposition or USP (why do your customers buy from you – what is it about your product and/or service that distinguishes you from your competition)? You may have more than one for different product/service lines or segments of your business.

Is your USP a consistent theme in all of your marketing and sales efforts? If yes, how, and if no, why not?

How much of your time each month do you devote to marketing and how much will you devote in the future?

Do you have a marketing director? If so, describe his/her primary responsibilities and duties?

Do you provide incentive bonuses to your employees for creating new and better marketing methods for your company? Explain.

What’s your market potential (universe) and your current share of that market (%)?

What are the ways you have attained your existing customers (from best to worst)?

What does it cost you to get a new customer? (e.g. if you ran an advertisement that costs $1,000 and you attained two new customers it would be $500.)

What is the average sales and profits generated from a new customer in the first year and how is that information useful in your overall marketing strategy?

What is your biggest and best source of new business and are you doing everything possible to secure this business? If no, why not?

What has been your biggest marketing success to date (defined as a specific promotion, advertising campaign, telemarketing script etc.) and are you still using it or a version of it?

Do you have a systematic back-end (selling your own or others’ products to existing customers)? Describe how it works.

If you had as much money as you wanted, what would you do to improve your marketing (i.e. what is your biggest marketing problem or challenge today)?

If you had as much money as you wanted, what would you do to improve your product or service and what impact would that have on your customers?

Do you have a written marketing plan that you adhere to? If so, explain it.

Is the plan based on a fixed budget number (e.g. $1000 per month in the yellow pages), or is it a variable percentage of sales?

Why do customers buy from you? Do they buy from you exclusively or do they also patronize your competitors? What steps can you take to get the main portion of their business?

Do you have an adequate supply of customer testimonials and is there a system in place for their capture?

Are they written or taped, and how are they (or will they be) used in your marketing?
Do you actively solicit referral business? If so, how does it work and if not, why not?

Have you ever tried to reactivate your former customers and non-converted prospects? Explain.

Have you ever tried selling your non-converted prospects to your competitors? Explain.

Do you ever barter your products, services, or assets with other companies in exchange for their products, services or assets? If not, do you see barter possibilities in the future? Explain.

Do you use bonuses in all your sales/marketing propositions, and how did it affect the response?

Do you use risk-reversal in your marketing propositions? Explain its effectiveness:

What kind of guarantee or warranty do you give your customers and how does it compare with your competitors or with the industry at large?

How do you capture the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your customers and prospects? Do you then use them in your marketing programs?

What is your selling season, if any, and are you actively looking to sell other complimentary products or services during the slower periods? If so, how do they interrelate?

How loyal are your customers? Is that normal, high, or low relative to your industry and what is the reason? How can it be improved?