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2019-05-29 (1)
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Closest To Cash

By Mike Midgley Posted 4 December, 2019 In GrowthEngine Community - Article - Closest To Cash

In this Growth Engine episode, I want to talk to you about an often overlooked area called CTC. 



CTC = Closest To Cash 

What I mean by CTC is, closest to cash. If you think about it, how your business is performing. 

The reality is it's either going to be, 

  • We're desperate or in need of sales - so you're behind the target
  • You're doing okay - so you're on target 
  • Or you're really crushing it out there - so you are ahead of target. 

There's a whole host of different sectors in there, but I'm just summarising those three. 

You're either on track, behind, or ahead of sales.

Common Uses Of The CTC Strategy

I often see this CTC strategy being used when people are behind in sales. 

So we're down on target, let's put an offer out there and see if we can drive some business. 

But, ultimately, whilst that's a very effective strategy, it should always be done. 

The reality is, keeping a CTC offer that's active in your business at any one time, whether you're on track or you're ahead of target, is a great way to bring in new business. 

It's a great way to keep cash flow rolling into the business.

The DFS CTC Strategy

Here in the UK, we have a furniture store called DFS, and a lot of the more modern retail stores now are following suit. 

People like Oak Furnitureland would be another example. 

Even down to car supermarkets, the big wholesale car supermarkets do similar strategies, which is they always appear to have a sale on. 

For the international audience, you may not get this as much, maybe there's the US or a European store that does something similar. 

But, here in the UK, there's always a joke, "Why does DFS always have a sale on?" It's on 12 months of the year. 

Well, the reality is, the strategy behind what DSF do is, they always have a sale on, but they have a sale on a different range of products. 

We all understand house furniture, whether you call it a sofa, a settee, a couch, whatever you call it, it doesn't matter. 

But, there are ranges like there is in cars, or iPhones, there are different models. 

What DSF do is, they’re very cleverly using their sales either to launch a product or for when they're managing a product. 

So let's say a particular piece of furniture is reaching its end of life, they'll put a sale around that. 

That sale might only be for four weeks. 

How To Adopt The CTC Strategy In Your Business

So if you look through your business, let's say you've got three channels, or brands, or ranges of products, whatever you call that. 

Inside of each one you might have two or three different products. 

Ideally, what you're trying to look at is four products across three channels or three products against four channels. 

  • In quarter one, you can put a closest to cash offer around a sub-sector of those products. 
  • In quarter two, you change that over and put it onto a different product. 
  • In quarter three and four, rinse and repeat the process

The key aspect here is to ensure you have a clear definition

and understanding about your products and services, and how they fall into each deliverable channel.

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Our REAL CTC Strategy Explained

So in our business, the three-channel real examples I’m going to provide are 

  1. Growth Engine Community
  2. HubSpot Agency 
  3. Executive NXD and Coaching

CTC in the Growth Engine Community 

The community membership is only $20 a month, our low dollar offer, it's designed to bring people into our content and to help them and provide high-value upfront.

Periodically, we will offer 

  • Free membership for a limited time
  • Or three months free to boost numbers
  • Or A free consultation with every new paid membership
  • you-x-ventures-Oalh2MojUuk-unsplash

CTC in the HubSpot Agency 

In our HubSpot Agency, we wouldn’t say “Our HubSpot retainers have X money off”, however, we will promote incentives that provide additional value such as, 

  • A strategy pack
  • or some SEO work
  • or some try before you buy project agency work.

CTC in Executive Coaching 

I don’t really discount that, that's not even open at the moment, so I'm not taking new people in, however,  when that does open again, I would promote extra value benefit through

  • Include some agency deliverables as an added value service,
  • Upgrade them to three months free mastermind
  • Provide associated and valuable services that would normally be chargeable such as financial forecasting

CTC Recap

So think about closest to cash, think about how you can put rotating and different offers on throughout the year, which is allowing you to keep a bottom of a funnel, lower dollar, or low dollar, or even maybe a free trial into a paid service, which is running all the time. 

Don't wait until you're behind the target, or if you're on target or ahead of target, get those closest to cash offers in play, get them running, get them rotating. 

Make sure your sales team and your customer services team are aware of the promotion and then put them into your marketing funnels and your paid ads. 

Existing Clients should benefit too, some may have bought product X, but not product Y. 

Go and offer them a cross-sell, that's another great CTC. 

I'd love to hear from you and take your views around:

  • Are you running CTCs, closest to cash deals periodically? 
  • Are you just running them when you're behind the target or getting started with a range, 
  • Or is this a structure that you're already using? 

I'd really love to get your feedback on it, leave us a comment below. 

Any questions, we'll get those answered. 

So as always, I appreciate you coming to Growth Engine Development. 

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About The Author
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Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and franchised his businesses 68 times.