When you’ve generated over $2 billion in sales for your companies and clients over your career, people will want to know your formula. And while Petar Lackovic has helped thousands with his insightful processes and experiences, much of his success can also be attributed to his DNA and upbringing.
Petar was born to incredibly hard-working parents, his Dad worked two jobs before the family bought a general store.
Before Petar knew it, he too was behind the counter.
“I worked in there from the age of eight, and there was no such thing as pocket money because when you are a European family, it’s like ‘I’ve put a roof over your head, I’ve put food on the table, I put clothes on your back, you will work for me,’” Petar told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast.
“Today we call that child labor, back then we called it love. And it was the best induction I probably ever had, because through osmosis I learnt the majority of who I am and what I’ve become today. It kind of shaped me from then. The first thing was the work ethic.”
But his sales skills really came to fore after failing year 12 twice, and talking his way into University.
“I made an appointment to see the Dean … and sold myself into university,” Petar said.
“He set a bar, if I hit these grades in the first semester, then he’ll give me another six month extension. And after year one if I hit that, then he’ll let me in.
“And then I came back and said, ‘Dad, I got in’. I didn’t tell him I’d negotiated my way in, I told him I passed and I got in. Because once you say you’re in, the score is irrelevant.”
And yet, Petar quickly discovered that University wasn’t for him, learning an important life lesson about being ‘in or out’.
“I didn’t defer, I dropped out … it was building the boats, I’m either going to commit or I’m not,” he said.
“If I had a fall back, then I don’t think I would have played hard. And it’s kind of one of the philosophies, I think anywhere in my life where I’ve had success, I’ve played hard. Any time where I’ve had a failure in my life, or a stumbling block, it’s when I haven’t played all in. I haven’t committed, I haven’t gone all out. I’ve had the safety net. And when you have a safety net, you play with a safety net.”
But Petar would find his education another way. He took a sales job at a health club that would ultimately change his trajectory and his life.
As he rose through the ranks, the business quickly grew from three to five health clubs. Then after Petar was made a partner, growth sky rocketed and another 10 clubs were opened.
During this process, Petar learned about the sales and growth systems that would ultimately underpin his career.
“It took me half the time to get it to 15 from four, than to get it to four,” he said. “Because we had the systems and the structures and the processes, it was easy to replicate success.
“My theory in life is if anyone can do something once, you’ve just got to reverse engineer how and do it again. There’s a formula to everything in life. Nothing’s a fluke, nothing’s a coincidence. Everything is figure out-able.
“I pride myself on being able to create a process and a system for almost anything when it comes to business. For me it’s like ‘why was I successful? How do I replicate that?’ And predominantly around sales, negotiations, marketing, leadership, is kind of my sweet spot that I obsess about. And for me, it all came down to I think my parents. When I worked for their business, I didn’t know anything else but to run the business like it’s my business.
Petar parted ways with his business partners, meeting a consultant in Sydney who would become his business partner and help him to reach another level, yet again.
The duo set up and built the world’s largest coaching consultancy for the health and fitness industry, helping fitness professionals grow their businesses effectively.
Petar then employed Jack Delosa, now one of Australia’s best known entrepreneurs, but at the time (2005) was an 18 year old with a thirst for knowledge.
It would be the beginning of another highly successful partnership, leading to the birth of The Entourage, a business training institution for a community of more than 300,000 entrepreneurs. It is a journey that would lead to Petar being recognised as one of Australia’s leading sales experts and trainers.
Among his key lessons, Petar teaches the importance of overcoming buyer’s resistance leading to acceptance.
“I’m fighting for how my position in the marketplace to create an emotional connection with them (potential customers),” he said.
“And what do I need to do to lower their resistance level before I try to win them over? Once I’ve lowered their resistance, I have this word called ‘permission’ to gain buyer’s acceptance. So, it’s creating this flow in the sales process. And now we’re in a digital world, now we’ve got to do this in the online marketplace as well, through websites and landing pages and things like that.
“A good replicable sales process has three things. Your conversion rates are high, no matter who takes the lead or the enquiry. It’s not key person dependent. Two, the time it takes to make a sale is shortened. If it’s two to three months, you can get it down to two to three days. It’s not a long pipeline to sale. And three, you consistently increase the average dollar per sale. If you can say your sales process is consistently increasing the average dollar per sale, the sales cycle is shorter, and your conversion rate is consistently high no matter who takes the inquiry, you’ve got a really good, robust sales process.”
Listen to the full interview here.
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