#70 – The Strategies Of A Serial Entrepreneur Who Runs Multi-Million Dollar Retail & SAAS Companies

Guest Bio:

Robert HartlineRobert is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Call Proof, he built his businesses to where today they generate $24 Million in total revenue. His expertise around sales and automating follow-up sequences helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and salesmen, contributing to millions of dollars in additional sales.

Content Summary :

00:00:14 – Introductions
00:04:48 – 00:06:37 – How to find people that could help
00:06:37 – 00:08:44 – How to take the product out to the market and sales it to other salespeople
00:09:25 00:11:11 – About CallProof mobile app
00:11:18 – 00:13:47 – About Absolute Wireless
00:13:47 -00:22:53 – What to look for in a person when hiring them
00:22:53 – 00:24:36 – What’s in store for Robert in the next 12, 24 months
00:24:36 – 00:28:53 – What kind of systems Robert has implemented in his business
00:28:53 – 00:35:54 – What kind of tools Robert uses in his business

Transcript:

[00:00:14] Stephen:  Hey guys, Stephen Ezketzis here from Marketing on the Move and today I’ve got Robert Hartline with me today.  How are you going Robert?

Robert:  Doing well, how are you my friend?

[00:00:23] Stephen:  Yeah, awesome.  I know who you are, had a quick chitchat that we’re on different sides of the world right now, so you’re winding down your Thursday, getting started on my Friday, so it’s exciting to have you here today.

Robert:  Awesome!  It’s fun to talk to someone in the future.

[00:00:37] Stephen:  I could tell you it’s looking pretty good right now.  I’m interviewing a really cool dude, so yeah it’s pretty cool in the future.  But yeah, so tell us a little bit about what you do.  I know that you’re a bit of a serial entrepreneur.  I know you’ve gotten into a few different businesses.  You’ve played around a lot of different sort of industries as well.  Give us a rundown of who you are and what you do.

Robert:  So basically I have a piece of software for outside salespeople.  So we have an app on Android and iPhone that helps manage outside salespeople.  So traditionally in most businesses, if you have a salesperson and you could see him everyday, that makes it quite easy to see how well he’s doing because you can see him making calls and doing proposals and really understand this day, but if that sales rep isn’t B2B and he’s going out into the world to go capture business and knock on doors and try to get some customers, you don’t really understand what he’s doing all day.  So we basically have an app that helps automate all the sales related activities that they do without them having to enter a bunch of stuff in the CRM.

[00:01:43] Stephen:  That’s awesome.  So, is this for salespeople that are on the road as well that are visiting clients?  So it’s like a CRM software and it crosses over onto your mobile as well, is that right?

Robert:  Yeah.  So you know fundamentally, most of our customers are in B2B and they leave the office everyday and they go and try to find customers, and so our app takes all their calls and throws them up to the Cloud and matches it with known clients and prospects and put those entries in CRM form automatically and then when they go visit clients, they use our app to check in and check out a business as much like you would do on Facebook, but our app uses Google business data.  And when they check into a restaurant, let’s say they are selling janitorial supplies to a restaurant, they would use Google business data, it takes all the information, throws it into the Cloud, matches it with all that information and the sales rep basically, only thing he has to really do is report who he visited with and then maybe their email address and next steps and the system automatically follows up with the sales rep to remind him to do follow-up activities with those clients.

[00:02:56] Stephen:  That’s awesome, I love it.  So how long have you been– since you’ve founded this business, is this a recent venture or something you’ve been at for a while now?

Robert:  So this is something I’ve been working on for the last five years.  We have a small team and basically it’s a SAAS model and I built it for my own business.  I had a — I still have a chain of 22 retail locations and we have a B2B team and this is the software that we use to help maximize the salesperson’s time out in the field.

[00:03:29] Stephen:  Nice, nice.  So how did you go about this?  Are you technically savvy yourself?  Are you the coder or did you get the development team behind you and you did the marketing for it?  How did you get started?

Robert:  For me it was primarily a pain that I had, I had a rash of unsuccessful salespeople and at the end of the day when they left the organization I just discovered there was no accountability, there was no tool that we — we tried to use CRM, but high-performance salespeople don’t enter the data, underperformers make up stuff.

[00:04:03] Stephen:  Yeah.

Robert:  And so there was no true proof of what the actual activity was.  You know most salespeople that aren’t successful, you can go and look at their activity and find the evidence of why they aren’t successful.

[00:04:19] Stephen:  Yeah.

Robert:  And we all have friends that go from sales job to sales job and they never quite settle in to the same job for more than a year and a half.  Those are typically the types of people that are great in the interview, but aren’t really willing to do the work when they get the job.  They’re good with the interview but they’re not good at the follow-up and/or their prospecting.  So for me, I needed a tool to solve that.

[00:04:48] Stephen:  Yeah, for sure.  So when you came up with this, I mean I can say how you came up with it, it makes a lot of sense when you’ve got your high performers that can’t be bothered and your low performers which just make up stuff, it makes a lot of sense.  But when you came to the realization that you’re like, all right, I need a tool like this but I’m not technically savvy, what steps did you go then?  How did you find people that could help get you to this tool?  Have you ever done a software development like this in the past?

Robert:  I had never formerly — I have hacked around with my own little I guess miniature apps so to say that I would create and access or some other too, but I needed a real developer to actually build this.  I was luckily introduced to someone locally here that really kind of got the ball rolling and as time went on, my original idea was simply to get their calling screen, throw it into the Cloud and match it with known clients and prospects and know who they’re calling, but there’s more to selling than just phone calls.  There’s emails, it’s face-to-face, it’s where they are in the map.  There’s a lot of things that kind of go into it.  Just like anybody else that does software, they get into it and they start adding things, right?

[00:06:06] Stephen:  The feature list just rolls on and on and on.

Robert:  It never stops.

[00:06:10] Stephen:  Yeah,  that’s exciting.  But you know what I mean, with something like that, that’s a big project and I think the way you’re making it sound is super easy and I commend you for it because it is hard to do something like that.  When you do have an itch, you build the solution yourself, scratch your own itch and then start selling the solution yourself to other salespeople and things like that.  What was your growth methodology for that, like once you’ve got your MVP, your product, how did you start taking it out to the market and selling it to other salespeople?

Robert:  Well for me, it was number one, drink the Kool-Aid and make it work in my business.  It wasn’t easy and there’s a lot of things that kind of went into play to keep the development engine kind of rolling.  I was very lucky we had tons of business customers and I was very lucky one of our business customers that kind of reached out and said, hey, I got this issue, we got the salespeople, I don’t know what they’re doing and I need some kind of tool to attract my salespeople.  And I was like, holy moly, this is awesome because I’m actually building this exact thing for this exact same problem.  So yeah, that was the feel that I needed to kind of keep pushing forward, because the development process takes an awful long time before you ever have anything that’s worthwhile to use and it wasn’t until about a year into the project that we actually started selling, and went to Jason Calacanis’ launch conference, try to get onstage and luckily actually got onstage and absolutely blew it.  I learned a lot in the process, but it’s been a fun journey, that’s for sure.

[00:07:56] Stephen:  That’s awesome.  So where was your big break?  Do you think you had a moment where you sort of tipped over and you realized that people were selling to get a bit of traction and you started moving ahead sales wise for the core company?

Robert:  Yeah, it’s a long process.  It’s not like what you read in TechCrunch.  It’s not at all.  It really is just a matter of being in front of that audience and one customer at a time, taking every single customer, talking about other people they know, when you solve their challenges they will give you referrals.  And so that’s kind of how we’ve kind of grown.  It’s all been pretty much organic.  We don’t do a lot of paid acquisition, so a lot of it is just talking to people.

[00:08:44] Stephen:  Is it mostly located in your local area or is it all around the state, so as international?  Where is your target market right now?

Robert:  So right now our target market is the U.S.  The way our system is designed is really designed for North American users, but we hope to get it to international at some point.

[00:09:07] Stephen:  Yeah.  You know with a technology like that, once you build a technology and you grow the model, it’s just I guess about capturing each state by state and growing it bigger and bigger and bigger and making sure that there’s not too many growing pains in the process.

Robert:  That’s right.

[00:09:22] Stephen:  Yeah, that’s awesome.  So you’re also working on now what I understand is a mobile app as well.  Tell us a bit about that.

Robert:  So yeah, CallProof is a mobile app.  That’s the first and foremost.

[00:09:31] Stephen:  That one’s specifically mobile, okay cool.

Robert:  Yup.  And we have a web portal and we do other things such as call recording and then text messaging within the app.  A lot of salespeople don’t realize the power of texting their prospects, and that’s something that we built into our platform because a prospect that you send a proposal to, let’s say you’ve emailed them, you’ve called them, they won’t return your calls, they won’t return your email and you spend time on their proposal and you’re wanting to know what’s up.  A lot of sales get stuck at that particular stage and we have a tool that allows them to text message safely in the system so it’s not using the person’s personal phone number to do a text.  One of the advice that I tell everyone that’s in sales is incorporate texting as part of the sales process because they’re much more likely to be honest with you over text than they are over the phone.  Maybe your proposal is too high.  Maybe they’re not ready to buy right now, but they’re more likely to give you that bad news on a text versus any other platform.

[00:10:48] Stephen:  Which is really interesting because it makes you think like text, I guess it’s just distant communication versus on the phone live, you got to speak to the prospect right there and then.  So it’s an interesting communication tool and like you’ve picked up on something like that.

Robert:  That’s for sure.

[00:11:04] Stephen:  Yeah.  It’s just an interesting observation, but I completely agree.  So going down now, you also had your — so am I right in saying you had, it was at Absolute Wireless, is that the company you also have the retail stores?

Robert:  Yeah.  I have that to this day and it’s an 18-year-old company.  We have currently 22 locations all in Tennessee.  It’s retail based and we have stores and then we have a B2B sales force.

[00:11:32] Stephen:  Yeah.  So how does that compare to the software company?  I mean they’re pretty different size of the spectrum, retail and online.  What have you seen to be the two —

Robert:  Completely different, completely different.  We’re open seven days a week, we have 140 now employees, totally different type of business.  I love SAAS as a model for business for lots of different reasons, just in the matter of scale, in the way you can grow it, but the retail side is a lot more difficult.  I don’t have business customers ringing me on Saturday.  They’re done, done for the week.  That’s one thing I do love about the SAAS model.

[00:12:10] Stephen:  So growing the two businesses, because you grew the retail one first, so what did you take away from that that either worked or didn’t work in the software company?

Robert:  Well, it’s funny, when I started Absolute Wireless, it was still a slow grow and it was very bootstrapped and I’ve bootstrapped CallProof as well.  Of course I had more capital to play with than I did when I first started my business, but understanding how to hire the right people is a huge asset that I had that  a lot of people just starting out don’t simply have.  Being able to identify people that are willing to learn versus — a lot of people kind of fall in this trap, they hire great talent, but that talent is used to doing things a certain way.  And so, knowing who to hire that you can teach is a skill that everyone has got to figure out eventually.  There’s lots of people that have beautiful credentials, but if you can’t get them to do it the way it needs to be done in your type of business, then it’s just a constant battle, because a lot of people come with baggage.  Their fire places of employment influence how they’re going to work with you.

[00:13:47] Stephen:  So what do you look for in a person when you’re hiring them?  I mean it’s tough.  I know I’ve gone through hiring people and a lot of our listeners will have as well, when you go to hire someone, what do you look for that you can tell someone that’s teachable and someone that doesn’t come with that sort of baggage?

Robert:  Usually when I interview, I really get them to walk through problem solving.  Depending on what kind of industry you’re in, we all have these challenges, and sometimes it’s great to even give them a fictitious challenge and then have them explain themselves out of the situation.  And that’s a good way to kind of decide, all right, can this person kind of improvise something that has to be fixed?  And a lot of times if they’re in an organization that’s highly structured where everything is done a certain way, sometimes you can see their true colors when, oh it’s not in the manual, I don’t know what to do.  I’m amazed to this day the number if people I meet that I’ll give them a challenge and they will just give me the I don’t know when I’m like, you’re sitting there holding your phone and all you had to do is Google the answer and it was right in your hand, and they don’t see the resources they have around them to solve their own problems, so they’re kind of looking for someone to spoon-feed them the solutions.  And in business, if you want to be able to delegate and get things to happen, you need to have the right people that are willing to figure it out on their own, because all the information is pretty much at everyone’s fingertips.

Some people choose to use the resources, some people choose to wait around to be spoon-fed, and you got to figure out what’s good in the organization.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I mean there’s lots of positions available for people to be spoon-fed.

[00:15:54] Stephen:  Which is really interesting because I think that a lot of different positions that I’ve hired for as well and I’ve seen people go through, it’s like you can really tell quite quickly who those people are that want to problem solve and get the answer and the other people would just want to sit around and wait for the answer to come to them.  It gets pretty clear pretty easy, especially after you’ve spoken to a lot of people in a row.  If you’re in the hiring, you do 10 different interviews or five interviews or whatever it might be.  It’s interesting to see the different types of personalities, they’re people, they drive and just see how much action they’re willing to take on their own without having someone hold their hand, right?

Robert:  Right, exactly.

Stephen:  So yeah, it’s really interesting.  So right now I guess when you are looking for an employee for your retail business, is that different to an employee that you might look for in your online business, or do you look for the people that are problem solvers across both of them?  I mean is it usually depending on the position?

Robert:  It depends on the position.  I don’t hire for the retail side much anymore.  There’s different things I certainly look for.  When it comes to my online business, I’m looking for really good, written communication.  I’m looking for people that know how to speak on the telephone.  I hate a segment, a certain audience of people, but not a lot of people are good talking on the phone.

[00:17:17] Stephen:  It’s very rare.  I think to find people that not only just can talk on the phone but can articulate themselves really well and actually sort of have a bit of a know what they’re talking about, I think it’s becoming more and more rare as well because people just don’t do it as much, everything is over message and chat and texting.  I don’t know if it’s something [unclear] a lot of people like it, it’s funny.  Even when I talk to some of my friends, they’ll send me a text, I’ll give them a call and then you can instantly tell how uncomfortable they are just talking on the phone.

Robert:  Well you know, a lot of it has to do with — if you’ve grown up with the technology that we all have today and we take for granted and when you think about an actual phone call, you can’t multitask talking on the phone.  If you’re so used to having four different chat conversations with three different platforms, you can kind of do that in an online world, but it’s hard to have a phone call like we’re having a conversation right now.  it would be very difficult for me to carry on three other conversations.  I’d be very distracted and you would realize that and it would just not go so well.

I mean making a phone call, you have to be very focused in order to do a good call.  And a lot of online marketers that I’ve seen, I’ve just seen this in lots of different spaces where they’re hiding behind this email when someone is finding your website and they’re submitting their information and they’re basically saying, hey, I’m interested, and the communication is all via email.  In a lot of times, this person would love a phone call, get the questions answered immediately and much more likely close a sale over the telephone than the length of an email.  And so what ends up happening, a lot of people are doing this — and I get it, this online world where you get them in the funnel and you feed them a bunch of content and eventually you say, hey are you interested in buying?  But sometimes these people are ready to buy way earlier than weeks of emails.

[00:19:26] Stephen:  It’s very funny that you say that, because I had a conversation with our past guest, Regan Hillyer who I interviewed yesterday actually.  We had this exact same conversation which was she had people.  So she’s a coach for mindset and personal branding and she had someone come to her and just wanted to go straight into her mastermind, to the $20,000 a year level.  And she’s like, well, do I want them to go through the funnel of the $7, $14 or am I happy just to get on the phone with them and give them what they want straight away, because they want to get on the phone.  You’ve got some prospects that don’t want the email, they don’t want the funnel.  They just want to go through you directly and they’re happy to pay more, or they just want you and they want that conversation.

So the whole market doesn’t want just emails and things like that.  You’re going to have different people who want to communicate with you differently, who want different products.  So I think that you have to have it there as an option, don’t you?

Robert:  Oh yeah, absolutely.

[00:20:21] Stephen:  So otherwise, I mean, like if your competitor is doing that, then you’re definitely just going to lose out, you’re leaving money on the table and it’s just something that you can’t grow with in the future.  I mean, has it worked with the SAAS company?  Have you got people that are actually interested with you on the phone that want to speak to someone and actually learn about the product before they make an investment?

Robert:  Oh yeah all the time, and we have an 800 number on our website which is very rare in the SAAS business is having a number, because business owners, highly productive people that have commitments with employees and customers and operations and have many, many things running, once they have an inch they want to scratch, it’s not like, oh I’m kind of itchy, I got a problem.  I’m going to submit my email and I’m going to read a bunch of emails and see if this is the right solution.  True business owners like solving problems.  This is on his list of things that’s an issue, and if he’s taken enough time in our world, they had a salesperson that didn’t work out or they’re very disorganized with their salespeople and who they’re talking to and they don’t understand where the time is going or why they’re not being successful.  They’re looking for a solution and it’s just one of the things in their list of things to do, and so they’re looking for the Band-Aid, they’re looking for the ointment.  They’re looking for something to happen right away.  And so driven people don’t usually — I guess the better way to say it is highly driven people aren’t sitting here pondering what they should do.  They’re going to make some kind of decision.  They didn’t get to be successful because they were unable to make decisions.

[00:22:15] Stephen:  A hundred percent.

Robert:  And they will just like, all right, who’s going to solve this problem?  I would rather take some sort of action and buy something to say I’ve tried than to sit here and keep thinking about it, because I’ve got a thousand other things I can work on.

[00:22:29] Stephen:  It’s so funny, like the people say, business is just a series of choices.  One choice leads to the next, to the next, to the next, and whoever can make the most choices the most efficiently and execute them the most, wins.  So I think it’s just like you’ve got to be that person.  You’ve got to have that path.  If you want to go down as a business owner as someone that can do that, you’ve got to be that person that can make a choice on the spot as you need to.

Robert:  Yeah, you’re absolutely right.

[00:22:53] Stephen:  So I think that’s really important.  I think it’s a great point you made there.  So moving forward now, you’ve got a couple of companies under your belt.  What’s in store for you in the next 12 months, 24 months?

Robert:  For me we’re working on a new v9ersion of our app that does some really interesting things that will come out here shortly.  For me I just keep pounding it out and keep working on integrations and whatnot we’re doing with other platforms to tie our data in and use in other ways.  So, fun stuff coming.

[00:23:28] Stephen:  That’s exciting.  So, what do you do in your day-to-day?  I mean now you mentioned that you kind of — have you stepped out of the retail business and the operations of that or you’re just overseeing that as sort of strategy?  What sort of role do you take now in your businesses?

Robert:  My role is strictly strategy, I kind of focus on learning, leading and teaching really.  There’s so much to learn whether listening to a podcast or networking with other entrepreneurs in different areas.  I’ve learned so much from just talking to people that have been there, done that.  It’s just helped me tremendously.  I wish I had done it sooner than I am today.  I was straight up that — right out of EMyth, that technician that did all the work and did very little management and very little entrepreneurship.  And it wasn’t until like 10 years ago where a light bulb hit me and I was like, gosh, I can’t be a technician, I need to grow a business.  I got to absolutely work on it, not in it.

[00:24:36] Stephen:  Yeah, 100 percent.  So what kind of systems have you implemented in your business to allow you to do that?  So when you had that sort of visualization and that realization, what kind of systems have you brought into your business now to allow you to be that strategy level?

Robert:  For me it’s asking myself.  The task I’m actually doing at this moment, is this the best use of my time?  I have a coach that I meet with every Monday and we cover all the things I’m working on and he’s constantly reminding me, why are you doing this?  And he has helped me kind of push forward, offload that stuff that is not good for the business that me doing that particular activity.  I have a system that — I use a lot of Jing, a lot of videos and Screencast of hey, I got this project I want to do.  This is a task that I’ve been doing every week for the last 10 years.  I want you to do this particular process and this is the report you’re going to give me at the completion and this is what you’re going to put in your calendar to remind you to do it at this time every single — this particular day of the week for instance.  And so I have a list of — tons of different tasks that I use to do that I just simply don’t do anymore, because I have someone that’s doing it for me.

[00:26:05] Stephen:  That’s a really good way of doing it.  I think that using tools like Jing and the screen recording tools and then coming back to the important business, what you said is the report I think, that people can just do them, but if you don’t get that report at the end of the day, you don’t know that they’ve been completed, you don’t know to what level of quality they have been completed.  I think that’s really important.  Have you found it like that system is working really well now, delegating tasks that you’ve been stuck doing?

Robert:  Oh yeah.  We use Trello.  We’ve been using Slack for the last —

[00:26:33] Stephen:  I’ve got to say I love Trello.  I’ve got a lot of things on Trello, it’s so good.

Robert:  Oh yeah.  The challenge is sometimes I almost wish I had a way to ping me when a user didn’t log into Trello for the day.  I’m sure someone’s got an integration out there that it would warn me when someone did not log in, but it’s amazing.  I mean you think of all the tools there are today and think five years from now, and it’s infinite.

[00:27:08] Stephen:  It’s crazy.  I mean I was speaking to a couple of people and one of them wants to start a business and they were complaining about all the issues they’re having with tech things.  They’re trying to build their first website.  And this is just a friend of mine, so not entrepreneurial background, not any of that and they needed WordPress, they needed hosting, they needed a couple of plug-ins, they had to buy a theme.  They’re like, oh my gosh, I just spent $500 and it’s a website with all these things and themes and they still haven’t taken the payment yet.  I’m like, you got to be joking.  Look at this 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have had any of this, you would have to spend $10,000 and you can’t drag and drop.  There’s no such thing as like a visual website builder and Trello and any of this existed.  I kind of think that we’re very lucky with the position we’re in now, but it also makes it much more competitive as well.

Robert:  Especially when your competition is using those tools before you even think about it.  But you know, a lot of the typical business isn’t living in a world like you and I do where we’re finding all these tools.  We’re much more open to using these new tools, then a lot of people in traditional businesses are so resistant to technology.  And so if you were to sit over the shoulder of any town in USA in a typical office and watch they do everyday, you could literally probably do their actual work in two hours a day.

[00:28:34] Stephen:  And that just blows my mind, you’re 100 percent right, the difference between the resistance versus the acceptance of the tools to speed up productivity and things like that, I don’t know, must be to do with the psychology of the people either running the business or the culture, but I think something has to change if they want to start competing at the highest level.

Robert:  Absolutely.

[00:28:53] Stephen:  So, we’ll start wrapping it up, but what I want to know is give us a list of some of the regular tools you use in your business that some of the users might be able to get some value out of.

Robert:  Well, Screencast.com is a place I store all of our recorded videos that we do.  But we’ve been using Think of it as well as an on-boarding tool to do training for our customers, and it’s just an online tool to store videos and quizzes.  One challenge that a lot of businesses have is when they onboard employees, they really don’t have a good system to provide them content.  And so what a lot of organizations do, they’ll hand them a giant handbook and say, all right, this is everything you need to know about XYZ Company and you start on Tuesday.  And most employees given a big, giant handbook are just going to be like, whatever, I’m not reading it.  So one of the things we do is we use MailChimp to create drip emails to new hires.  And so we all know drip emails for marketing purposes, but when you hire a new person, how about a 30-day drip of everything they needed to know about your organization broken into tiny, tiny pieces.

Most people can’t take a lot of data, so you give them two or maybe three pieces of information every single day.  At the end of those 30 days, they’ll learn a whole lot.  And if you build the right drip in whatever software you’re using, you’ll have it detect that they didn’t read this email, to remind them with another email.  They didn’t read that email, remind them with another email.

[00:30:34] Stephen:  I’ve never heard of someone on-boarding their employees using an autoresponder.  I really like that.  I think that’s ingenious.

Robert:  And the other reason you do this — and this happens in everyone’s business, you have something that happens, so you got a process to run your business and then something happens outside of the process you train for.  And so what do you do?  You suddenly say, all right, next time we get widgets that are blue, then this is the new process.  Well, you send that to your team and then a month from now, Tommy, the new hire on the team never got that email because that happened before he existed, right?  And so one of the ways to use that drip email is when you have a new process you’re going to throw into the fray or knew something that was out of the ordinary and very different, you incorporate that drip sequence, so all the new people get included down that new process.

[00:31:28] Stephen:  It’s really interesting because I’ve got a very similar sort of internal content on-boarding sequence as well.  What I do — and I pick this up from the guys at Digital Marketer when I was at Traffic and Conversion summit this year, and what they mentioned was to have your own Wiki.  So you know how a knowledge base for a company, the support knowledge bases.  You actually create one internally for your business.  It could be password protected, that way only your employees could get in, and then it’s literally just a whole bunch of knowledge based articles and screenshots and videos and heaps of content and you document it and it’s all searchable as well.  So say I’ve got an issue on how to upload my podcast, then you just type in podcast and there’s the article and how to do it from start to finish.  And if anything changes, you go in there and you fix it and you adjust it.  It’s like a digital handbook that just keeps getting updated really easily, really searchable.  So it’s really similar and I love hearing that with an autoresponder for the initial on-boarding process because you can see, have they read the email, have they taken action, have they clicked the links, like you can actually get those analytics yourself.

Robert:  Yeah, absolutely.

[00:32:32] Stephen:  I love that.  Those kinds of systems, I really find those like that’s what makes a business tick and I think that’s where a lot of value comes from.  Number one, if you’re ever to sell the business, you’ve got that there with you as well.  So say you’re over to sell it to another company, a bigger company, when they acquire it, the business will be worth a lot more because you’ve got their systems in place, as opposed to another business which doesn’t have any of those.

Robert:  Yeah.  One of the things I also do is I have a long — I kind of think of it as a podcast, but you could also look at it as just a typical audio file where I tell our story about our company in about an hour and a half.  And one of the first processes when one starts in my company is I give them the ability to download the content on their phone and literally drive to a park and walk around the park for an hour and a half and listen to me talk about how I started the company, kind of our philosophy behind, why we take care of customers a certain way, how important customers are, really just kind of trying to bring that experience of you spending time with your new hire.  But you know the challenge is when you get to a certain level of so many people and all this hiring, you don’t have an opportunity to actually talk to people individually.  Now you could easily put them in a class and get them all together, but it’s just not as intimate as a call and actually recording.  So when you actually listen to someone talk for an hour and a half, you almost kind of get to know them even though you don’t know them.

[00:34:05] Stephen:  Yeah, I really like that, that’s really cool.  So did you do this from the beginning or you started doing this recently?

Robert:  We started doing it in the last six months and I have them basically — once they record the audio at the end of the audio, I say basically, when you get back to the office there’s an internal website, I want you to go to this link and I want you to give me your feedback.  Tell me what you learned, tell me how I could improve on the content that we provide and just give me your general feedback.  It’s a good way for me to kind of connect with them, because one of the things I do in my wireless stores is really inspire people to learn how to sell.  So many people were taught that they got to go to college to be ever be successful and they have to invest a lot of time and energy in school.  Not that those things are bad, but not everyone is meant for school.  Not everyone is meant for higher education.  And so I really talk about, you come to work for us to learn how to sell, because if you know that skill, you’ll literally be able to do just about anything you want and make as much money as you possibly can because selling is the most highly paid profession on planet earth.

[00:35:32] Stephen:  Yeah.  I completely agree with that one.  I think that’s something that’s very underutilized as well in a lot of businesses.  I mean it’s not just for salespeople, it’s for everyone.  You’ve got to sell yourself when you’re persuading people to do things, but you know, it’s not just products and services with the typical salesman stigma attached to it.

Robert:  Exactly.

[00:35:50] Stephen:  But yeah, I love that.  Look, we’re going to start wrapping it up, so where can people find out more about you and what you do and check out your business?

Robert:  I have a blog at callproof.com/blog and you can certainly email me at Robert@callproof.com and I certainly love to help organizations manage their sales team or maybe just need a little pick me up or some advice on how to hire your first salesperson.  I have an eBook to help you help find your next first hire.

[00:36:27] Stephen:  That’s awesome.  For sure, I’ll make sure that’s in the show notes so people can reach out to you, but it’s been a pleasure having you on today, Robert, and hopefully you keep going with those systems.  I love them and I think they’re going to bring the business up to a whole new level, especially, you have to let us know in 12 months’ time or so how they’ve all been implemented and how you’re going with your new hires and everything like that.

Robert:  That sounds good.  Thanks Stephen.

[00:36:49] Stephen:  Awesome.

 

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