You should only accept excellence.

How would you feel if I described your business as mediocre? A 3 star review – not bad, but not great.

I would be a little hurt, as none of us are in business to just be OK. It’s why we do so much to discern ourselves from the background noise, and why it matters that we have clear mission statements and a well-defined brand that strives for excellence.

This starts from within- with your strategy, your goals, and your people. It’s often easy to overlook areas where you let your standards of excellence slip. 

A few places I’ve noticed this happening:

1. Be very careful with hiring young, eager people – except those who are truly AWESOME without reservation.

It’s easy to be wowed by energy and enthusiasm, but if it’s not focused properly, it’s unusable. 

Now couple that with immaturity, and it will cost you dearly as they demand and excuse their behavior, offending clients, and making everyone else look bad.

I’m not saying that you should only hire well-seasoned veterans- those are in finite supply and their resumes fetch a handsome price.

Those eligible for hire don’t have to have top experience, but must be able to work like professionals regardless of age, hold themselves to a high regard, and understand that others rely on them to perform.

Clients do not care if you’re young, have an exam, or have chores- they only care about results.

2. Only those who fully understand your process and can perform should be managers.

It’s dangerous to put the inexperienced in a role where they make strategic decisions and direct others. You may have the urge to put a “people-person” in the role of manager for how they handle others, since they are approachable and have a friendly touch.

But if they’re incapable of the work themselves, they do not stand a chance directing others how to do it since they have no frame of reference to measure against. 

3. Do not tolerate nonsense at any level.

This means no more babysitting, chasing people for updates, and general nonsense you’d not expect to see at a company like Google, Apple, or Tesla. 

When you see schoolyard drama or petty excuses happening, deal with it immediately

Otherwise, you breed a very toxic work culture full of entitlement and derision. If your crew is gossiping and fighting amongst themselves, they’re not focused on providing excellent results. 

Of course, some people’s feelings will get hurt, since they think excellence doesn’t apply to them or they can continue as usual, thinking they’re above the rules.

The rules apply to everyone- even you, so lead by example. Find the offenders, and cut them out before they poison everyone.

Allowing any of this is not fair to teammates who do take work seriously, even though they could make excuses and be defensive.

4. Communication is key!

This is one of the hardest things to do, but is crucial. It’s why I push the concept of Communicate-Iterate-Delegate (CID) so much, because without someone reporting their progress, we’re unsure of where we are and what to do next.

I think of this like piloting an airplane, a large ship, or going on a cross-country trip without GPS. It would be terrible if your navigational instruments only updated every hour- or worse, intermittently. You would quickly veer off-course, and by the time there’s an update, you could be hundreds of miles in the wrong direction, or crashed into the side of a mountain.

Now throw human emotion into the mix– your team is like the various sensors and mechanisms powering progress and ensuring you’re on course. 

Imagine if your GPS told you it was afraid to give directions, or when you turned the wheel to change direction, it defiantly locked up and told you “no, I think we’re on the right course.”

Coach your team on the values of good communication, and follow it religiously.

5. Stop wasting time with potential clients who aren’t a huge opportunity.

No more quick chats, 15 minute calls, power hours, etc. except paid up front at your full rate with no refunds. Your time is valuable, and you must define how much it’s worth.

Doing so will trim down those who only prove to waste your time or aren’t a good fit. 

Define your standards for your ideal client and what is worth your time, because if someone is not willing to pay for your expertise, they won’t respect the work you do for them.

My litmus test for this is: “If it’s not a ‘Heck Yes’, It’s a ‘Frick No’ “ – Trust your gut, otherwise you’ll deal with the dreaded client from hell.

6. Charge a large fee annually instead of small monthly installments.

This means instead of charging $10.00 a month, charge $120.00 a year.

This weeds out those who treat your service like a gym membership they signed up for but never use since they’re not committed. 

It may seem like a high barrier of entry, and that you’ll lose business because it’s just too expensive, but it’s the opposite. This attracts those who know what they want, have done their research, and are ready for commitment.

To them, it’s an investment- not a try-out that they will just cancel next month.

What are your standards of excellence that you hold yourself and your team to?

As a leader, I often lose sight of the actual business goal.

As a leader, I often lose sight of the actual business goal.

When I get pulled into the details of tasks, it’s easy to start focusing on number of hours, number of meetings, and number of messages.

Stuff that takes a $3/hour 30 hours to complete can be done faster, better, and cheaper by a $50/hour person in 20 minutes.

And someone who bills $6,000 a month will believe that time having elapsed is sufficient proof to get paid, month after month.

It’s our responsibility as leaders to make sure everyone is aligned to the business goal.

Focus on the business impact and let your loyal, competent team members figure out how to get there.

Instead of you trying to micro-manage them.

Build an army of intrapreneurs who are well-trained to help you achieve your goals.

Do you know Tristan Parmley?

Do you know Tristan Parmley?

If you want to know how to run a 7 figure agency, follow Tristan Parmley.

Like me, he’s had personal struggles and been burned in business dealings.

He’s one of the hardest workers I know.

He ran 10.1 in the 100 meters, by the way, setting his university record on his way to being a champion D1 athlete.

He chose a niche– chiropractors, so we started ChiroRevenue in the fall of 2020.

He made sure to have people, process, and platform– finding others who were strong the areas he is weak.

He sought out partners, instead of seeing “competitors”– believing a smaller piece of a big pie is better than all of a tiny pie.

But his desire to win caused him to take shortcuts and ruin his professional reputation.

He renamed ChiroRevenue into The Lead Cure and instantly declared he had a 7 figure agency.

Go look at the LinkedIn or Facebook for The Lead Cure and you’ll see it’s got the old ChiroRevenue posts still.

That’s because he just renamed all the accounts, instead of creating something new.

My hope is that Tristan can swallow his pride and repair what he’s done.

He’s a bright young man who could still be a success in the future.

What I’ve learned from Facebook

What I’ve learned from Facebook

My friends who work at Facebook gave me access to their onboarding training, since we are tuning up how we hire up new account managers.

What I’ve learned……

– Role playing is critical to being good with clients, so trainees take turns practicing as the client, account manager, and observer, grading the role play across key factors.

– They’ve left nothing to assumption— thick workbooks spell out the fundamentals of digital marketing and the steps of booking client calls— before, during, and after.

– Practice what we preach. New Facebook team members have to create a business page and know how to run ads, so they have empathy from the client’s point of view.

– Humanity is critical. It’s not enough to have product knowledge or be able to blindly follow a script with robot precision. Teach active listening skills— listening to understand instead of only to sell.

While a consultative sale does require product knowledge, more important is building empathy with the client— showing we care and being reliable with frequent, lightweight touches during the relationship.

As we hire up account managers (a lot of moms, it’s starting to look like), I’m building in soft skills to be honed via role play and testing for EQ.

I’ve found that the technical execution of driving more patients for chiropractors is far easier than finding and teaching the relationship side of things.

Thus, a successful account manager is not a call center employee, VA, or technical specialist, but an intrapreneur who cares deeply for their clients as quasi-children.

We love stay at home moms, by the way!

Here’s a sneak peek into what we’ve been building.

Here’s a sneak peek into what we’ve been building.

Warning: it’s raw and technical, but for systems builders (even if you’re not an engineer), you’ll get a sense of what scaling up systems and people entails.

Being able to map out how your company operates in detail, whether you are a small or big company, selling services or products, is key to getting out of the weeds of doing the work all by yourself or having to deal with people failures and exceptions.

Hope you like it!

In case you missed it

In case you missed it

I feel awful that people couldn’t register for our webinar on growing your business.

We maxed out our account limit of 400 people.

The Better Business Bureau and us are teaching local businesses how to overcome the economic crisis by getting digital going.

So I thought I’d share the meeting recording with you guys here.

I want to see you grow your business— to get more clients calling, more customers walking into your store, and more inquiries via social media.

We’ve giving away our internal, step-by-step training, so you can implement digital for your local business.

It’s the same training that young and not-so-young adults go through to get certified as Certified Digital Marketing Agencies.

So you could also hire these folks, too, if you do need to rank on Google search, but don’t have time or inclination to study how to do it.

Or maybe now is a good time to get your website fixed, tune up your social analytics, get some digital plumbing (tracking) in place, or whatever.

I hope you enjoy this session– and if you do, let me know what you think in the comments below, okay?

I feel awful that people couldn't register for our webinar yesterday.We maxed out our account limit of 400 people.The Better Business Bureau and us are teaching local businesses how to overcome the economic crisis by getting digital going.So I thought I'd share the meeting recording with you guys here.I want to see you grow your business— to get more clients calling, more customers walking into your store, and more inquiries via social media.We've giving away our internal, step-by-step training, so you can implement digital for your local business.It's the same training that young and not-so-young adults go through to get certified as Certified Digital Marketing Agencies.So you could also hire these folks, too, if you do need to rank on Google search, but don't have time or inclination to study how to do it.Or maybe now is a good time to get your website fixed, tune up your social analytics, get some digital plumbing (tracking) in place, or whatever.I hope you enjoy this session– and if you do, let me know what you think in the comments below, okay?

Posted by Dennis Yu on Saturday, June 20, 2020