Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Jonathan B. Smith, founder and CEO of ChiefOptimizer, a firm that helps organizations clarify, simplify and achieve their vision.
Tell me about yourself.
I started my career on Wall Street at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank. By the age of 27, I transitioned my focus from the world of finance, to entrepreneurship and small to medium-sized businesses.
I was an early adopter of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which led to the name ChiefOptimizer. I leveraged my expertise to help grow Wave Dispersion Technologies (a family-owned business), from $500,000 to $15 million in revenues over the course of 5 years. The company was later ranked number 203 on the 2007 Inc. 500 list.
I am a licensed commercial pilot, a former US State Department Ambassador for Entrepreneurship, and a dog lover.
My true passion is helping high growth entrepreneurs and their teams achieve their dreams.
Tell me about your company.
My company, ChiefOptimizer, is a boutique management consulting firm focused on helping entrepreneurs and their executive teams simplify, clarify and achieve their vision. Our target market is growth-oriented companies with $2 to $100 million in revenues, and between 10 to 250 employees who are open minded, respectful, appreciative, frustrated and looking for help.
By implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), the proven system successfully implemented by over 500 clients during 3,500 client sessions, My company helps its clients get better at three things – Vision, Traction, and Healthy.
Organizations using EOS find that everyone is 100% on the same page and clear on where the company is going and the path to get there. Company leaders work together as a more cohesive, functional team and everyone in the organization makes progress each day towards achieving the vision.
What is your background when it comes to pitching to C-suite executives?
I have held various positions in the C-suite at small and medium-sized businesses for the past 20 years. Earlier in my career, I worked in Corporate America and supported the financial reporting needs of the C-suite at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.
What is unique about your approach?
I would say that the uniqueness lies in my systematic approach to the C-suite. My strategy is three pronged:
· Referrals from Clients and Friends
· Introductions from Centers of Influence (COI) / Connector Firms (e.g. Lawyers, Accountants, Financial Advisors or Technology Providers)
· Seminars or Speaking Engagements to Target Market C-level Executives
I focus my efforts on these three channels and find them to be good sources of quality prospects.
What suggestions do you have for those who want to also approach C-suite clients?
I would suggest that you take a closer look at how you approach LinkedIn. There is a hidden gem in your LinkedIn network – second-degree target market connections.
Second-degree connections are essentially friends of friends
By utilizing the power of LinkedIn to discover prospects among your friend’s friends, you can further leverage the power of old school referrals and Centers of Influence.
I highly recommend investing time in learning more about the power of LinkedIn and suggest that you also strongly consider including LinkedIn in both your marketing and training budgets.
In my experience, investing your time and money in LinkedIn will pay 10x the return of traditional list providers like Dun and Bradstreet.