Speaking

John’s Message…

You started your business in order to have the freedom to do your own thing – to control your time and your earnings.

But for many owners, the dream has faded, replaced by the day-to-day reality of running a business: customers demanding your individual attention, trading time for money and chasing receivables.

It’s time to get back to the reasons you started your business and create a company that is Built to Sell. During his action-packed presentation, John Warrillow, five-time entrepreneur and the author of the bestselling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, will show you how to:

  • Structure your business (using The Scalability Trifecta) so it runs without your personal involvement;
  • Scale up your business so it can grow without you having to do any selling;
  • Value your firm in the same way that an acquirer will;
  • Drive up the value of your business
  • Accurately predict the performance of your company in the future so you can sleep well at night knowing that your customers will stay and will refer you to others;
  • Benchmark your company against the best-of-the-best businesses anywhere in the world.

John Warrillow is the founder of The Sellability Score, a cloud-based assessment tool business owners use to assess the “sellability” of their company. The Sellability Score is licensed to a network of advisors around the world who use it as a succession planning “conversation starter” with their clients.

John is the author of the bestselling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, which was recognized by both Fortune and Inc Magazine as one of the best business books of 2011. Built to Sell has been translated into four languages.

Prior to starting The Sellability Score, John started and exited four companies, including a quantitative market research business that was acquired by The Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB) in 2008. John has been recognized by B2B Marketing as one of the top 10 business-to-business marketers in the United States.

To inquire about booking John to speak at your next event, please complete this form.

Speaking Topics

1. Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You

It’s time to get back to the reasons you started your business and create a company that is Built to Sell. During his action-packed presentation, John Warrillow, five-time entrepreneur and the author of the bestselling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, will show you how to:

  • Structure your business (using The Scalability Trifecta) so it runs without your personal involvement;
  • Scale up your business so it can grow without you having to do any selling;
  • Value your firm in the same way that an acquirer will;
  • Drive up the value of your business
  • Accurately predict the performance of your company in the future so you can sleep well at night knowing that your customers will stay and will refer you to others;
  • Benchmark your company against the best-of-the-best businesses anywhere in the world.

To inquire about booking John to speak at your next event, please complete this form.

2. An Accounting Firm That Is Built to Sell

You started your accounting practice in order to have the freedom to do your own thing – to control your time and your earnings.

But for many accountants, the dream has faded, replaced by the day-to-day reality of running an accounting firm: clients demanding your individual attention, trading time for money, chasing receivables, arguing with the IRS, and worrying about disappointing clients.

It’s time to get back to the reasons you started your practice and create An Accounting Firm That Is Built to Sell. During this 55-minute presentation, John Warrillow, five-time entrepreneur and the author of the bestselling book Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, will show you how to:

  • Structure your practice (using The Scalability Trifecta) so it runs without your personal involvement;
  • Scale up your practice so it can grow without you having to do any selling;
  • Value your firm in the same way that an acquirer will;
  • Drive up the value of your practice so you can achieve a premium multiple over the industry standard of one times gross recurring fees;
  • Accurately predict the performance of your company in the future so you can sleep well at night knowing that your clients will stay and will refer you to others;
  • Benchmark your practice against other CPA firms in the United States and the best-of-the-best businesses anywhere in the world.

To inquire about booking John to speak at your next event, please complete this form.

3. How To Attract The High Net Worth Investor

Do you have enough High Net Worth (HNW) clients on your book?

Attracting HNW clients is a challenge for most financial advisors. HNW investors typically have established relationships with their existing advisor, and the hassle to switch often means affluent clients stay put, even in the face of relatively poor service or performance.

Ambitious financial advisors can feel handcuffed, resigning themselves to waiting decades in hopes that a few of their existing clients blossom into the HNW category.

The alternative approach is to target business owners today. During How To Attract The High Net Worth Investor, John Warrillow, the bestselling author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, will reveal:

  • The three psychographic profiles of the business owner market and how to build a trusting relationship with each segment
  • How to avoid the biggest mistake financial advisors make it targeting HNW investors
  • How financial advisors can capitalize on the natural biorhythms of any business owner
  • How to guarantee that Centers of Influence refer HNW investors to you
  • The secret to converting HNW investors into clients

To inquire about booking John to speak at your next event, please complete this form.

4. Subscribe: How smart companies are turning to a subscription model
    to win customers, manage cash, and ignite growth

In January 2013, Avis Budget Group announced they had acquired ZipCar and its 760,000 subscribers for $491 million.

Three months later, Morningstar estimated that Amazon Prime had garnered 10 million subscribers, making it Amazon’s latest billion-dollar business.

Nine months after the Prime announcement, subscription-based messaging service WhatsApp, after gaining 450 million users in five years, was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion dollars in the largest ever acquisition of an Internet company.

What do ZipCar, Amazon and WhatsApp all have in common? They are the pioneers of the new subscription economy. Subscription businesses are hot, and in this talk, John Warrillow, the bestselling author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You will give you blueprint for building a subscription business. You’ll learn:

  • The five trends driving the subscription economy
  • How one company turned a $29-dollar average sale into a $7,540 sale and dropped its spoilage rates from 30% to 3%
  • Why the average Amazon Prime customer spends $709 per year more than the average Amazon customer
  • The 11 different subscription models and how to apply each to your business
  • How TIGER 21, the world’s most exclusive investment club for investors with $10 million or more in liquid assets, turned to the subscription model to build their network
  • How Dollar Shave Club and BirchBox make money
  • How to capitalize on the Trojan Horse subscription model
  • The secret psychology of selling a subscription
  • How to value a subscription business, and the most important ratio you need to understand and optimize in order to attract venture capital investment
  • 8 ways to make customers sticky for life

Whether you want to transform your entire business model into a recurring revenue engine or just pick up an extra 5% of automatic sales, you won’t want to miss John’s session.

To inquire about booking John to speak at your next event, please complete this form.

What people are saying about John…

“As an entrepreneur you have two choices: build a business to sell it, or build a business to keep it. Either way, as the founder, you need to prepare the organization for your exit. John Warrillow’s clever story about an entrepreneur named Alex will help you build a valuable, sellable business that really can thrive without you.”
Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager® and Lead with LUV
“John Warrillow’s story gets business leaders to focus on a critical question: If others wouldn’t pay a fortune for your business, do you have a business worth growing? This is essential reading for owners looking to build a valuable business.”
Verne Harnish, Founder, Gazelles, and bestselling author of The Rockefeller Habits
Your business just might be worthless if you don’t read this book.”
John Jantsch, bestselling author of Duct Tape Marketing
“What an amazing book. In learning how to build your company to sell in the future, you’ll learn some powerful principles for making your company a lot more profitable in the present as well. This book should be owned and devoured by anyone and everyone who is even considering starting a business.”
Bob Burg, co-author of The Go-Giver
“In Built to Sell, John does a masterful job of illuminating the qualities that business buyers look for in a company, and he does it in a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging manner.”
Bo Burlingham, author of Small Giants

Read more testimonials

“As we’ve always advised at StartupNation, the end depends upon the beginning. Built to Sell, like other great business books, brings into clarity the game-changing importance of clearly envisioning the destiny of your business. But even more, it tells you how to bring that destiny to life.”
Rich Sloan, co-founder and chief startupologist of StartupNation

“Built to Sell reminds me of Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s The Goal, in the way that the valuable lessons about successfully exiting a service business are intertwined with Alex Stapleton’s compelling story. Alex’s story drew me in immediately. Any current or aspiring service business owner should read Built to Sell and take heed of John Warrillow’s valuable lessons and Alex Stapleton’s enriching and engaging experience.”
Mike Handelsman, general manager, Bizbuysell.com

“What do buyers look for when buying a business, and what should entrepreneurs be doing if they want to sell their firm? If you want to know, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Built to Sell by John Warrillow. Covering every important aspect of the process, from attracting multiple bidders to getting the most for your business, this book easily explains what you must know and do if you want to create a business you can sell. ”
Steve Strauss, USA Today

John is a visionary … he understands the concept of customer and does an amazing job delivering a simple yet motivational message.
Linda Craenen, Director, Small Business Marketing, TELUS

John is an excellent speaker and author; he presents well and has a deep understanding of both business and marketing. His 1,000′s of conversations with both small and large businesses give him credibility and insight that he uses to maximum advantage when presenting
Shane Lawrence, AVP Segments and Distribution, TD Canada Trust

I’ve worked with John when I was at Bank of America and Wachovia / Wells Fargo. John has tremendous insights / knowledge on Small Business owners and does an incredible job on sharing those.
Chris Heale, SVP Business Payroll Services, Wells Fargo

I’ve had the pleasure to work with John Warrillow as we both share a focus and passion for the small business market. John is an excellent presenter and event moderator. He served as the keynote for many conferences I’ve attended and was interesting and engaging in his presentation content and style. I’ve also co-presented webinar and lecture series events with John where he demonstrated a great ability to adapt to the channel, format and audience needs in his presentations.
Denise Hopkins, VP Marketing and Product Development, Experian

John’s presentation style is engaging and informative. He takes the time to understand his audience and deliver the message in ways that resonates. He takes time to educate and share his knowledge and insights.
Jo-Anne Wade, B2B Marketing Strategy, RBC

John is an exceptional speaker. He has a commanding, articulate, passionate delivery, backed by an intimate, firsthand knowledge of his subject. His talks are structured for the audience’s clear understanding, with relevant take-away – action items for use the next day.
Ted Matthews, Keynote Speaker, Instinct Brand Equity Coaches

John Warrillow is an excellent speaker. He captivates his audience with clearly presented insightful information, flavored with personal and professional stories that illustrate his salient points. I have had the pleasure of hearing John speak at various events for the past 8 years, and I wouldn’t miss the chance to attend another presentation. He’s one of the best!
Heidi Tucker, Senior Vice President, Bank of America

John’s insight into the issues of small business owners is remarkable. And he is very engaging in the way he shares those insights in a group setting. His use of both data and stories works well to captivate an audience. I always learn something listening to John speak.
John Ellett, CEO, nFusion Group

John Warrillow is truly one of the best speakers I have known. He is extremely knowledgeable, but more than that, understands how to connect his knowledge to actionable ways to address issues and problems. He has a gifted way of connecting with his audience and an uncanny sense of how to get his point across in a way that is well-received – even if the audience is at different levels of understanding. I would hire John in a heartbeat for any speaking event as he is always professional, well-prepared, and downright interesting!
Deborah Herman, Vice President – Commercial Banking Marketing Manager at SunTrust Bank

John is an excellent public speaker with exceptional ability to understand and connect with entrepreneurs, small business leaders and marketing leaders at companies targeting the small business audience.
Ben Hanna, VP Marketing, R.H. Donnelley Interactive

I have had the opportunity to hear John speak on a number of occasions. John is always up to date and his material is presented in a clear and concise manner. He has the ability to tailor his presentations to meet the client expectations and adapts to a multitude of market segments. I would highly recommend John as a speaker for your industry or business
Bruce Poore, President Consumer Finance, Cards and Private Label, GE Money Canada

John is an articulate, engaging and insightful speaker. He has a great ability to engage and teach his audience.
Michael Alter, President at SurePayroll, Inc

I have worked with John many times over the past 12 or so years. One of his most consistent traits is his positivity – he is always “on” and makes people around him feel positive also. As a speaker – he is dynamic and he connects with his audience. Part of this is his preparation (which he always is) – but more so his natural ability with people and in communicating.
John Hillis, Head, Business & Client Strategy at RBC

John is an very engaging subject matter expert and educator on the small business market. Over the last several years I’ve had the opportunity to attend several of John’s presentations, and have learned more each time as he continuously updates the material and examples he references. I would highly recommend John as an articulate contributor to strategy and positioning in the small business market, as well as an educator on the challenges and opportunities presented to small businesses.
Matthew Morrison, Director, Business Planning, Strategy and Program Development at Bell Canada

John is a fantastic presenter – very polished, engaging and interesting. He has a great stage presence and a good sense of humour so that you are intrigued to listen to the discussion and time flies by. I would highly recommend him – he is a very professional and engaging speaker.
Karen Sawyer, Senior Manager, Customer Programs & Marketing, Commercial Banking, Bank of Montreal

John is a very well informed speaker regarding SMB best practices and value associated with key elements of that marketplace. Knowledgeable, detailed, engaging, and a very positive delivery. Just outstanding in every regard!
Randy McCollum, Senior Vice President, Administaff

John’s unsurpassed knowledge of the SMB market combined with his compelling and engaging speaking style makes him an excellent speaker on the topic of small business marketing and entrepreneurism. I would highly recommend John to anyone interested in learning more about marketing to small businesses, or about the topic of successfully selling a service business.
Mike Handelsman, General Manager, BizBuySell, LoopNet

While at John Harland and PayCycle, I attended each annual Warrillow Summit since 2003. And each year, my colleagues and I eagerly anticipated John’s keynote address or any other forum he led. John’s a masterful speaker with the unique gift of insight into trends that take the audience to a new level. I would love to hear him speak again soon!
Carol Popp, Director, Business Development at Intuit

John is a great speaker that helps you visualize the topic with clarity. His delivery is engaging, thoughtful, and powerful. One of the highlights of the Warrillow conference was hearing John’s ideas on small businesses, marketing and entrepreneurship. I look forward to hearing him again in the future.
René Lacerte, Co-Founder & CEO /CFO, PayCycle

John is an exceptional speaker. He has spent the last several years learning and teaching major corporations how to market to small business clients. His insights are keen and he presents them in clear, engaging way. I looked forward to his small business seminars each year.
Jim Heeger, President, CEO, PayCycle, Inc

John is engaging and very personable. Either working one on one or with a very large group his genuine qualities translate so effectively and result in captivating and interesting presentations. Really I would so recommend John for any opportunity to speak. His experience and insights and approach translate into fantastic results.
Craig Bentley, Vice President of Sales, ADP

John is an engaging speaker that makes his audience consider things in creative ways. I have seen John speak in small workshops, and present to medium and large audiences. With all audience sizes John is excellent. After seeing John the first time I recommend to management at Cisco to stay involved with him. For years since Cisco has benefited from its engagement with John. If you have the opportunity to see John present or hire him to present or support you – do it!
Steve “Gator” Wood, Business Development Manager, Cisco Systems

I have worked with John for a number of years leveraging his deep knowledge of the SMB marketplace. John is always on top of his game, is professional, articulate and very smart. I have had the opportunity to co-present with John and he made it easy! We kept the audience fully engaged and received high marks. You can’t go wrong hiring John for your next speaking engagement!
Karen Larrimer (Smart) Chief Marketing Officer / EVP PNC Bank

I have had the pleasure of hearing John speak numerous times over the past 12 years as a consultant, key note speaker, moderator and M.C. While it’s clear John has a commanding knowledge of entrepreneurs that he is able to parlay into usable insights for his audience, what makes John an excellent speaker is a highly personable, casual charm that engages the audience and fosters a sense of personal connection. As such, I enthusiastically recommend John Warrillow as a highly effective public speaker.
Steve Nikifork, Marketing Director, Small Business with Citi Cards Canada.

Engaging, thought provoking, riveting. That’s how I’d describe John as a speaker. I’ve heard him deliver his marketing and business insights many times to large audiences of marketing leaders from Fortune 50 companies. He combines thoughtful analysis with sparkling delivery to hold them in thrall every time.
Jay Fiore, Vice President, Partner, General Manager, Slack Barshinger & Partners, California

We worked with John as a presenter and attendee at one of the Warrillow summits. John is an expert in the understanding of small businesses and his presentations and insights were very useful to our team. He is a great speaker and while we did not involve ourselves in many smaller events, this one was exceptional.
Brian Boland, Director, adCenter Product Management, Microsoft

John is a charismatic presenter who makes a clear connection with his audience, and provides deep insight and powerful ideas that his audience can easily identify with and action. He does so with a very engaging style that endears himself to his audience.
John Cooper, Vice President Marketing at Purolator Courier Ltd

I had the opportunity to work with John since 2006 when he was leading his consulting business. I had the opportunity to attend events when John was speaking and in 2008 also I hired him as a speaker to tell about Small Business Needs to our international and domestic field. In all those occasions John has delivered a very effective presentation combining deep insight on the research data with great illustrative stories of Small Businesses and Big Companies selling to Small Businesses. I personally got a lot of inspiration out of those speeches and immediately started to apply the learning to our Small and Medium Business Strategy. Some of those practices produced a sizeable growth in our revenues.
Glauco Ferrari, Acting Global Business Leader Breadth Business at Microsoft

I have known John for a while. He has tremendous insights in the small business space that we gained much from. At Discover business card, we used his firm to gain insights that led to a successful launch. I have seen John speak a few times and every time, I have walked inspired and with more commitment to the small business segment. Keep going, John!
Vish Sastry Rachakonda, CEO at Small Biz Express

John’s message can be seen where thought leaders gather: