Lenore was recently interviewed for the CEO Talks Series on Create Your Life, Kevin Brown’s radio show and podcast, along with Eric Fondren, CEO and Founder of iTell.io. We had a blast discussing our business challenges – here are some highlights from the conversation. Topics included leadership lessons and lessons learned around staffing, operations and sales. Check out the interview with Lenore in the radio studio for a behind the scenes look on Facebook Live here.
Here are some lessons from Kevin and Eric around building the right team:
- Fire fast, hire slowly
- Don’t waste time training people – find the person who is able to do the role you need filled
- Virtual hiring is possible with careful screening for the roles you have
- Be clear with staff on the specific deliverables you are looking for (for example, number of calls to make every week)
Kevin shared the screening process he follows to bring on new staff which has some great recommendations:
- Writing: Ask any potential administrators to do a writing assessment, which is critical since they will be communicating on your company’s behalf.
- Following Directions: By creating templates for his correspondence that are stored in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, Kevin asks prospective new hires to navigate the CRM system.
- Communication and Work Ethic: Review their project work (in this case, sending emails and following up), to be certain they were able to successfully complete the required tasks without errors (meeting the key requirements for that specific job).
WORK / LIFE BALANCE – AKA MANAGING THE STRESS OF DOING IT ALL
Not surprisingly many business owners find work/life balance to be challenging. The mark of a true entrepreneur is always questioning if they are doing enough. Kevin made a conscious choice to create more time for peace in his life by intentionally un-plugging. I absolutely loved his morning Power Hour tip which I’m sharing here!
“Every day I make time for my SPARM routine: Stretch / Prayer/ Affirmations / Reading / Motivation. It helps me stay focused and on track to reach my goals.” Kevin Brown, Create Your Life, Founder of Legacy Thinking Labs and Host of the Create Your Life radio series
This seems like a great way to start the day. Kevin mentioned some of his personal favorite motivational speakers – Gary Vee (who I also love) and Eric Carmichael. Do you have a morning routine for being focused and starting the day off on the right foot?
We all agreed that working oneself into the ground (“the grind”) isn’t going to make us any happier or more successful. It’s important to find the right state of being. For Eric, it was about cherishing and protecting his offline life – by focusing on his personal relationships, he had more capital and energy to build his business.
Eric shared his approach to strategy with annual planning in mind:
- Set long term goals for one year out and create visual image that you can connect with
- Build stretch goals that help you focus in the right direction
- Establish short term goals and milestones
Having long term stretch goals, as well as short term milestones means that your vision may change, but you will be more realistic and focused on the immediate tasks in the near term. Eric Fondren, CEO, iTell.io
SALES – IT’S ALL ABOUT FOLLOW UP
One last helpful hint around the sales process. Here’s my response to a call from one of the listeners about how frequently to follow up on sales opportunities.
Don’t forget to follow-up for your sales outreach. It can take 8 or more times to get through and connect with someone, so persistence pays off. How long should you wait before reaching out? Push until you get a response. Lenore Kantor, Chief Launch Officer, Launch Warrior
There are multiple ways to reach out to prospects – for example, you could start with an initial email, then follow-up with a phone call. Definitely make the effort to do both. Also, there’s nothing wrong with pushing for a “no.” Better to hear that a prospect isn’t interested, that it’s not the right time or it isn’t a fit, so you don’t need to waste any more time, than to back off of something that could potentially be a yes, but you never pursued the opportunity to follow-through. You should assume the answer is a definite “maybe” unless you get an explicit “no.” Kevin uses Streak, a Google CRM plug-in, which can track if someone has opened your emails and will automate sending follow-ups.
You can find podcast highlights from our interview here (CYLS 98) and look for my upcoming one-on-one interview with Kevin on March 18.