Yes, yes … I know.
“If only I make more newspaper ads …”
“If only I asked for more referrals from clients and friends …”
“If I can just somehow reach out to more people and spend more of my time doing so…”
… I’ll finally respark my business growth.
This is the monomyth we’ve taught ourselves.
The Gary Vaynerchuks of the world tell us to “hustle” but they don’t give us direction … they just tell us to go. And for a while that works. For a brief period of time that “hustle” drives growth.
And then we get tired. We wear out … our seemingly “superheroic” drive runs out of gas … and so does our bank account.
So what gives? How does a business owner reignite the growth they need to survive?
They have to drop the “Superman” approach and move towards the “Nick Fury” approach.
If my girlfriend ever reads this, I’m going to be eating crow (I’m a major DC fan and rag on Marvel) but I have to give credit where credit is due …
Nick Fury’s approach to organizational development is exactly the approach we need to adopt in order to build a successful business.
“The idea was to bring together a group of of remarkable people to see if they could become something more. To see if they could work together when we needed them to, to fight the battles that we never could” – Nick Fury, The Avengers (2012).
As business owners we become these mythic leaders in our communities … and mostly for good reasons.
We solve problems that others can’t through skillsets others don’t have.
But as a culture, we try to be too much for too many people. Instead of building the right team to solve the right problems, we try to do it all ourselves …
- IT work
We try to be all these things and wonder why we are successful at so few of them.
In order to truly and sustainable grow a business, leaders and owners need to step outside of themselves and either find or train the right people to gradually replace them.
This is what I learned the hard way over the last six months.
I had some of the best months EVER in my organization …
I brought on a surge of new accounts and tried to keep the momentum up …
But I failed miserably.
Not because I’m not talented, or I don’t have skillsets … but because I became Superman, fighting all forces at once, when I needed to be Nick Fury and put the right people around me.
So what did I do to correct this? It’s a radically different approach …
In January I changed business models. I used to be 100% paid ads and organic marketing … which isn’t bad … but it overwhelmed be because I’m just one man.
So I began to build a sales team … but not in the way you’d expect.
I began hiring stay at home mothers.
I hired stay at home moms to reach out to business owners and set meetings for $15 an appointment and 10% commission of what I sell.
And they love it!
And I’m also training people from the ground up to be salesmen and women for me …
Using systems and processes that have stood the test of time and allow me to take my hands off this portion of the business.
And here’s what the calendar now looks like for me …
I average 3-4 sales calls a day now with this system, which is MUCH more than I previously had …
All because I put the right people in the right systems and processes.
And now my business is growing faster than ever!
Stop being Superman and exponentially grow by documenting processes and handing them over to the right people
If you’re like most people I talk to, you’re burnt out because you do everything yourself.
You feel like you can grow your business, but there’s a mountain of work in front of you first.
So how do you get to the place where you can slowly hand portions of the business over to the right people?
Start by documenting everything.
Write down your processes, and your thoughts behind those processes.
What I’ve discovered is that many times it’s a specific detail that makes something work, or run more effectively.
EXAMPLE: In my approach to outbound sales I have a team member set an appointment. The first time I jump on the phone with a lead, the first thing I say is “I’m glad my assistant set up this time for us to talk.”
This gives me authority and puts me on an even playing field with the decision maker … like them I have a position in my company … I’m not some freelancer or grunt in the business.
Write down what works …. and more importantly, why it works. If you don’t understand why it works you likely won’t be able to teach someone how to do what you do and have them get good results.
Find the right people to train
This is the more difficult part of the process. If you don’t find the right people to help you, your documentation is useless.
So what do you ideally look for in a new recruit?
Here’s a list I go by …
#1 – They don’t necessarily need experience, but they need to be willing to learn
This was the hardest thing I had to learn when I was hiring appointment setters. I wanted people with experience … people who could already hit the ground running. But that was the worst thing I could do because the way I do sales is far different than 98% of companies in the marketplace.
I actually had a few appointment setters come on board who had experience … and they were without a doubt my worst performers … and biggest time consumers.
I was hit with multiple accusations of “this is not the right way to do it” and “why would you EVER do it this way?”
Instead of doing what worked they questioned everything and brought no results.
So I tried another approach – stay at home moms who were looking for easy part time work.
They had NO experience …
But once I showed them how easy it is to do appointment setting, and provided them with a complete training course and personal coaching, they hit the ground running!
It wasn’t long before they out performed the “seasoned pro” who had done it before.
#2 – They need to be coachable
Find people eager and willing to learn a process and dedicate themselves to it. My appointment setters succeed because I work with them to find the roadblocks and help them overcome the obstacles in their way. No one ever succeeds by themselves. Lone wolfs die.
To build a great team you need to find people eager to be taught … we live in a skills economy. If you think otherwise perhaps that’s one of the reasons your business is not growing the way you want.
#3 – To need to be reachable
You must be able to find these people with relative ease.
For me, I found my appointment setters on Craigslist. I put an ad under the “Admin Jobs” section and pushed them to a pre-recorded webinar explaining the role, breaking any false beliefs, and showing them why they should join us. After that they fill out an application, and I interview them over the phone.
Since the process is 80% automated all I have to do is jump on the phone with them and say “ready to go?”
In the past I also used Facebook Groups – but those took too much time and effort. I’d rather use a $20 craigslist post to get 20 applications a week.
By sticking to these three guidelines, I’ve created a sales team that allows me to grow
In reality, because of automations and systems I’ve built, hiring and training a highly effective team is a breeze … as long as you document and follow your process! Don’t think that this system works just for sales … I could easily build a customer service team, or fulfillment team using a similar process.
So many businesses suffer because they don’t delegate or automate their systems … and that’s why they struggle.
The solution is to either hire and train an in-house team to help you, or to recruit an experienced company to solve your problem. A good service provider will be able to help you solve problems like prospecting, IT consulting, and accounting so you can focus on building the portions of your business that will help you grow and scale.
If you’re like many businesses you try to do your own IT work …
And marketing …
And Sales …
But if you aren’t careful, it’ll pull your business down …
It’s one of the pain points we solve with our services.
If you’re interested in learning how we do this for businesses, sign up for this free training now.
Bonus tip: combining the right software and team will double your productivity and effectiveness
No matter what, there are tasks that your team will not be able to do without the proper software.
It doesn’t matter if you’re building sales funnels …
Or sending out lots of emails at once …
Or building automations that will save you time and effort …
You need to have the right tools.
But there’s so many out there! How do you choose the right ones?
Simple: Buy the tools that solve the BIGGEST problems for your business and boost the productivity of your team. For us, we use ClickFunnels to build out the process to hire and train our team (double whammy!). We also use it to build sales funnels and systems to help our clients grow. This makes it a necessary element of our company on multiple levels. We also use ActiveCampaign to automatically send out emails and texts to leads and contacts. It also tracks where they are in the sales process for us!
Since we have a cold call team setting appointments, we use LeadCarrot to build out the territory sheets. This saves HOURS of manual time assembling lists. It only takes 5 minutes! We’d spend hundreds of dollars in labor fees each month … but LeadCarrot saves us from that.
If a software makes your existing work more efficient, use it to help you grow faster.
It’s as simple as that. Don’t go into shiny object syndrome “ooohhhh that would be nice to have … but it doesn’t help me grow.”
Stay focused. Stay simple. Unnecessary complexity is the enemy.
How do you use teams and tools to grow your business? Let us know in the comments below!