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Open Agenda: How to Communicate Ideas, Freelancers Project Usage & Outsourcing Best Practices

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113
Chris Do
Published
April 24, 2020

Chris Do answers Pro Member's questions that are from the other side of the world.

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This is called one 13, this is the PM edition for our friends, our pro members on the other side of the world. So good to see you. It's an open agenda call and we're going to do this rapid fire. Let's figure out your questions. So I'll ask you right now is to prepare your questions in advance. If you need to write them down, please write them down. Just have it formed in your mind. Matthew and I were talking about something like this over lunch about how the young guns were asking him, how do we communicate our ideas? How do we get our ideas out and in our communication module in the business boot camp? It's very clear you start out with the goal. What is your intent? What kind of information do you want to extract from your client for myself or my colleague? Start with that. Design your question with the goal and the intent in mind. You kind of reverse engineer. OK, so if you want to know what kind of soup tastes best, you're going to start with that idea. It's like what kind of soup tastes best, but what is best? Then so best is subjective. So I want to make sure I'm using my parameters best and not somebody else's. So what is the best soup for someone who is allergic to x, y and z? That has enough? That is not too watery, let's just say. And then they can give you some answers. So if you design the question very carefully, the answer you get back will most likely be the answer you're looking for. OK, so everybody's ready. Hands on the buzzer. So I'm going to start off because Tina will and I forgot your name already. Is that shauna? Yes OK. So, Tina, you had you already like immediately after I posted the event, I'm going to give you the first shot while our friends on the other side of the world, we're going to go after that. OK so Tina, ask your question, please. So the question is we've this is no, no, no, you go. You go. It's fine. So yeah, so the question is so we've actually received a we received like a scathing, harsh comment from a former employee. And I'm wondering what's the best way of dealing with it? Ignore it. They left a one star reviewer on Facebook. So there is like permanent kind of brand exposure there. There's a spectrum of like from really fun things that we could do to legal things that we can do. And ignoring it is definitely an option. But I feel like this is a kind of a low, low risk opportunity to practice and try a couple of different things. Well, here's the thing, you guys have a lot more at stake than this other person. This person has a lot of free time and you've done the best that you can and you stand by your reputation and how you treated people and the people that have worked for you, that love you, that cherish you and know who you are as leaders and managers, they're going to override that one person's opinion. My feeling is for these kinds of things, they're like fires. You just starve them. If you can't, you start feeding into it, you start pursuing other action. They got all the free time in the world, and it's really hard to undo that stuff. They're running, probably to you, an unjust smear campaign, and you feel like your reputation is besmirched and you want to respond. You want to respond. You want to fight. I'm going to tell you right now, unless you like fighting, because sometimes I like fighting. It's best to just leave it alone. Are they saying horrifically slanderous things? Or it's just their opinion that you guys deserve a one star rating? And this is purely it's their opinion, but I'm just wondering if leaving it unanswered like I can Google you if it's a one star review, for example, like providing a responsive of professional response provides context, right? And this becomes this one crazy kind of outlier. Yeah very similar thing could happen on Facebook, where it's like just, you know, my values. Here's what we've done. We're doing our best. But I'm just wondering if have you ever have you ever tried flexing your legal muscle in situations like this? Not anything like that. I just leave those people's opinions alone. And even I'll tell you, look, really quick story here. There was a guy that we brought on as a freelancer to work for us for one day. We booked him for a day. He came in, he did. His work was fantastic. Next thing I know, I get a letter from the unemployment office saying he's claiming unemployment, therefore pushing up our unemployment insurance, and we were kind of upset at that. Like, what the hell? He only worked one day. It was a freelance. He wasn't a staff member. He's not entitled to any of this. He's an independent contractor. I thought he was taking advantage of the system. Well, we filed a counterclaim to him to saying that he was a one day kind of thing. Next thing I know I have auditors coming in and looking at our books, and it goes on for years. Well, because all of a sudden I raise a flag like, hey, guys, pay attention to us. And I'm literally I'm telling you right now we had to deal with this for years, and I paid out probably in excess of $30,000 in weird penalties that we had to negotiate with the IRS for something totally unrelated to this day. I'm pretty sure that me saying something about that was what started a chain reaction of events. I'll tell you again, starve it. But if you want to feed it, feed it. No, I don't at all. I don't at all. And that's fantastic advice. So you have bigger things to do. You really do move. I've come to the Dojo and you delivered. I have to tell you a scary story. So you're like, OK, I get it. I get it. All right. All right. Was there another question and will or is that was enough? Yeah, I guess it's around employees poaching. Yes you have a contract for that, don't you? We do. We do. But they seem to think that it doesn't apply to them. OK that's an easy one that I would enforce. It's a violation of a contract. It's not a matter of opinion. They signed an anti or non poaching agreement, and they're violating the terms. I would have your attorney now take over on this. And sent out a letter. And this now I will reinforce with you, I have done this thing. So in our contract with our employees, they're allowed to use their work on their own personal portfolio site. But it it clearly and explicitly says this work cannot appear on another company's website. So Lo and behold, we discover after this employee has left under amicable terms, some a dear friend of mine, her work appeared in this other companies portfolio and I was upset at that because we paid for that portfolio. We basically bought and built that portfolio with our blood, sweat and tears, and all of a sudden, now they're using it to represent themselves. So we sent an email saying, hey, it's come to our attention. Take this work down. They ignored us. Like, if you don't take it down, you hear from our attorney. And they responded like, ha ha. So I'm like, OK, now I'm going to make it hurt. Called up my attorney. And then he went after them. And you know what? They did these little cowardly bastards. They started calling up my friend and saying, hey, hey, your former boss is suing us now, and you know, it's all right to use this work, isn't it? And she's like, I don't know. I don't know if I signed this contract or not. Thank god, thank God. Hr had the contract. Her signatures on it clearly says the whole thing. And so. Now, my attorney is asking me, how much do you want to make this hurt? Do you want me to end this other company? He's literally for the first time, I saw his fangs come out as my attorney. Do you want me to end them? And I said, what do you mean? I can make this be so painful. It takes so long. It would be a major nuisance to this company. How badly do you want them to hurt? I said, you know what? Let's get $5,000 from this. I'll cover your legal fees and whatever else. And that's all I want. I want it to stop. And they resorted to every dirty trick in the book. They told my friend to call me up, and so she's having lunch with me. She's like, oh, Chris, I'm so sorry. I'm like, the time for sorry was when we sent the first email, when we sent the second email and their response was go take a long walk off a short bridge. Now it's fighting time so that time is over. They're paying and you're lucky. I'm just going to make it stop at 5. I could easily go for much more than that because now we get into damages and intent and negligence, which American courts, it's kind of open. Yeah so the contract you enforce, that's actually one thing. How do you how do you value that? This is actually it wasn't a poaching exercise, it was a non solicitation. So they went out for a client. Well, and then they did that. You're not, you know, there's a non poaching clause. There's a non solicitation. And there's a term for that, right within a certain amount of time, whatever. I don't know if violated. Just send it to your attorney. They'll deal with it. All you want to do is to make this thing stop and just to basically say to the community, these are sketchy people. That's true. OK, perfect. That's solid advice first. All right. Excellent good to see you guys. Ok? what's up? I have a question in connection to that because I'm bringing on a freelancer for a website project, and we discussed between white labeling as well as him being able to use the work that he's going to do to promote himself. So how does the non solicitation and non poaching work when you bring on a freelancer and you allow them to use the work to promote their services because they're doing a specific line item in the project? So what's the problem? and in our agreement, in my agreement between the freelancer, should I be specific as to how they can use their work for their own self-promotion? Yes OK. Yes and you can say state that you can use the work for self-promotion use only prior to written approval from you. OK, so you get to look at every single time you can see it, you can sign off on it and you're going to say to them, look, 99% of the time, I'm going to sign off on the use of this. Is that an illegal kid, am I going to have to drop $100 on this? It isn't the legal kit, I believe. Look, all right, I'm buying it. It's like 20 years of experience and then hiring an attorney to cover our butt, right? So it's in there now. Our version of your portfolio usage says it very clearly. It can only be used on your personal site. That's it. And it's very limited as to what else that can do because we actually don't own the rights to all the images that we use. We've sold those rights essentially to our client. So we can have to be careful there. OK. Got it. OK let's go on here. Let's move on to Jeffrey, who had his hand up and everybody else raise your hand digitally. Hopefully, you guys know how to do that. So, Jeffrey, I believe you're in New Zealand. So let's rock and roll Thailand. Yeah well, Thailand, I'm sorry. Yeah so I did have a question coming into this, and I think it's kind of tying in to the discussion is about outsourcing. OK so, you know, right now talking with my PPP and we're going over outsourcing and my question is just what are some things to look out for, some things to avoid? So you don't like get into trouble with it? Get into trouble with outsourcing, so you're sending work and don'ts, what would the don'ts be like? What are the duties also? All right. So when you're outsourcing to somebody, whether it's a single person or a small company, I like to follow a very simple formula. The formula goes something like this. I asked the person to take me through how a typical project works. What you're trying to do is you're trying out the relationship before you enter into it. Tell me how this works. Tell me how this falls apart. Give me some scenarios. What if the client says this and I need you to do that? What are your boundaries? Before you ask an overage, what do I need to in order to give you this work? So it's super successful when we outsource work. Typically, we're sending out work that we don't know how to do, so we want to be very careful. So when they say it's $5,000 to do something and you go off and you secure the project and you say, sell it for $7,500 or a little bit more, you give them the project like, no, no, no. $5,000 for this very specific thing. But what you just gave me is 4 times as hard. So it's not going to be 28 thousand, which puts you in a very terrible spot. You either have to eat the cost, which you don't want to do, or you go back and tell your client you don't really know what you're doing. So I like to always walk through the project as I'm going to give it to you. And the key questions are always to ask tell me how this works perfectly. Tell me where it breaks. Tell me the three things I need to get you in terms of information. So that you can do your job. Now I want to also be very clear with you that I would consider it bad form if you actually go after my client. We have a problem there, like, no, no, no problem. So you kind of run through the things that are important to you. The highest things, right? And then you can ask him, is there anything I'm forgetting? Sometimes that's a good prompt, and they'll tell you, yes, I forgot. You need to make sure you get this asset from the client. So that works, ok? Now the reason why I suggest everybody bid so much in excess of what it costs them to make. The reason is things go sideways. It's almost guaranteed. So do not bid the project too close to the bone. This will also incentivize you to learn how to be properly so that you're going to make a profit. Now, if all goes well and it only costs $5,000 and you put 22,000 in there, you're doing fine. Now I want to let you guys know something. I've said this before on our calls. There was an app that we were considered for a big tech company. The person who submitted the bid with no influence from us said it was going to be about 240,000 fantastic. I submitted a bid for a million. That's how you cover yourself. And with a million dollars, we're definitely in the ballpark. Unfortunately, there's an episode on this and how we lost a million job, if you really want to know the gory, juicy, horrific details. Watch that episode. OK, Joe. Hi hi, Chris, how are you? Hello my question is around, how can you create one umbrella business or brand when you have two different aspects of your company? So aspects. So at the moment, I'm writing a book, and I think that will gain a little bit of traction over time. But I'm also doing branding as well. And I guess my fear is that I'm kind of going in different directions, but I kind of want to bring it all. I guess I want it all to remain within my own brand at the same time. Are these subjects totally unrelated? So the book that I'm writing is about intuition and it's about conscious living, but I still do the branding and the design for it. And when I do branding in my business, I still use the intuitive and conscious aspect when I interact with my clients. So a lot of the clients are in that sort of health and wellness self-improvement space. OK where do you see the potential conflict here, because I'm not quite sure I understand why it's important to have an umbrella brand because they seem like they're related. The more successful the book is, the more successfully branding businesses. The more successful your branding business is, the further it strengthens the book. Yeah, and I see that they all work together, but I think I'm just worried that. People are going to get confused when they try and find me on social media. They don't really know what it is that I do, and it's I'm just wondering if there's a way to communicate that feels a little bit more, I guess, simplified. So people get the message straight away. OK let's see if I can figure this thing out here, because I exist as a human being, as an author, as a person who has opinions that may or may not coincide with what people may think of as the future, which is more of an online school or Academy. And these two brands exist. They complement each other, and they have separate social media accounts. Is that the kind of stuff you're talking about? I don't think I have to have a third company to hold all this stuff together. Yeah. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about in terms of how have you managed that so that they complement each other and that you don't run into any issues where things feel like they're a little bit too distinct from what you're doing or from what your core message is? OK, so the company would never post Super opinionated charged messages because it runs the risk of alienating potential customers. It needs to remain fairly professional and neutral, whereas me as a personal brand, I say all kinds of stupid stuff. And I get into it with people. And I think people know that we're all related and everything. But the image or the message that people attach with it is still preserved. I'll tell you a little funny story. Early on in my career, I mean, I'm the owner of the company, and I would meet with potential clients, along with my executive producer who works for me and my executive producer at that time was older than I am. It was kind of a funny thing because at one point the client would lean into me is like, Chris, can you do for this amount of money? Like, you think the executive producer would approve this? Look, people are smart and they're not that smart. It's like you just told the owner what you wanted to do. I don't know if it was like a double like manipulation kind of thing, but I was like, yeah, let me figure something out. Then I would go and tell the producer this is their budget limit, push them a little bit or pull them back or whatever it is. And it's kind of weird how people perceive things. So I think I can exist as a separate personal brand that's outside of the business. And the business is usually pretty corporate and conservative in terms of how it communicates where I think you're a lot freer to do whatever it is you want. Yeah Yeah. So would your recommendation be for me to, I guess, work on what it is in terms of my personal brand and make that message a little bit clearer? Well, I think your personal brand, it's going to take some figuring out as to who you want to be in the world. Where's your business you've been working on for some time. So it's not like on day one, you figure it out. It's a trial and error process. Like, how much edge do I want to bring into the world and am I willing to fight every person or what? And over time, you're like, my tolerance is about this. Much like I want to push buttons, but I don't want to get flaming emails and death threats, right? So you figure that out in the world. So your whole thing is about wellness and what's the other word that you use? Conscious living and intuition. So it's going to be in tune with that vibe. You would never post something that's like, screw this, I hate these people. Let's kill them all, because it just does not seem like it's line. So you, the book is a reflection of your thoughts, your beliefs and your values. So then your social media account will reflect that, too. And let's just say, like on your personal account, you get really hippy dippy and you start talking about food and cleanses and things like where that would be somewhat inappropriate for your branding business. So that's how you start to distinguish that. In the beginning, it's a little weird because you're the author of both, but it'll become apparent because one wants to be a company, get clients. The other is like, I want to know, I want you to know who I am. Yeah got it. Yeah, yeah, I think that's really clear. Thanks so much, Chris. You're welcome, Joe. OK who else is in a different time zone? Let's take advantage of that. David Cromwell, do you have a question? Now, OK. Phil, how about you? Is it Theo, I forget. Yes, I do. OK, it's fine. Yes, OK. Just my first, OK. My question is, how do I lead the team to stay motivated? A bit of a context. So the team has been with me since the beginning of the company now. I feel like the whole motivation and everything started to drop off and people were just doing pretty much 95. But I'm in the business of creative business, so time 95 is not enough if we want to grow. And because of that as well, I can see the revenue topped up a little bit as well. So I want to put us back on the right path. Right OK. How long have they been with you over three years, the business almost four years now? I see. Yeah so here's the thing. It's like in the beginning, you're hungry and everybody's trying to do. It's fun to figure stuff out, and that's cool. But that's unsustainable because you can't live on edge all the time. So eventually everybody falls into rhythm. They kind of start to figure things out. They know how to do things efficiently, so they're not going to be there grinding it out with you. Nor should I think that that's the role for them. Right so I think it's OK, and I think to know that everybody has an arc and then need a. If you feel like you're getting less productivity from this is a problem that corporate America faces where people settle into the position and they get really complacent. And then eventually they just become non-productive. If it's heading towards that, then I think you need to sit down with the team is like, hey, guys, you remember that? Way back when we're all like loving this work, I'm starting to get the sense that we don't love work anymore. I want to do something that's in long term, sustainable manner, but has something changed and either the clients that we take on my management style or that's happening with you or in your home or somewhere else that I can address because this concerns me. And then just open it up. I think something that I'm learning a lot about now in these sales and and negotiation tactics, it's kind of interesting, like when you let people in on your emotions and you communicate the feelings that you have and you label the reasons why, it gives people a sense that I can connect with that and I'm going to bond with you. One of the things that Chris Voss talks about in his book Never Split the difference is that if you need to make an accusation audit, like what are the negative things that they're thinking about right now, they're going to think, just go make a list, right? So they're going to think file. He's a whip cracker and all he cares. All he cares about is the bottom line. He doesn't care about us anymore. He's trying to squeeze every last little bit. He wants us to work like we're dogs all the time. Let's just say that that's what they think. And you would begin the conversation bringing all those things up, because that's in their gut, that's what they feel. And when you say it up front, then now that I go. He does understand us. And then they'll say, we don't think that, so you would say something like. Like to have a rather serious conversation with you guys, and it may make some of you uncomfortable, it might even create this feeling that all I care about is the bottom line that I want to keep you guys working here all the time. So you go down that list, right? And then they're like, oh, no, we don't think that boss, then you can to pivot them somewhere else. But the fact that you're in tune with what they're thinking about you, potentially it takes it off the table. It's like the M&M eight mile battle rap, right, where you're like, yeah, I'm white. And so I have a dysfunctional girlfriend and my mom's like a mess and an alcoholic. Once you say that, I was like, well, we got nothing left. This benefit. OK thank you, Chris. Yes, you're welcome. Let me know how it goes, ok? We hope they're not hacking your Facebook or your account and jumping in on this. You don't know what's up. All right. Dorrigo OK, hold on, I just unmute you. I can't unmute you for some reason. Try it again, Rodrigo. There you go. Of course. Hey so my question is, how would you personally? Met a previous client, a client of yours, know about a new product or service that you're offering. I work in a very local market and everyone knows me for video production, but now we're doing like local SEO on different things like that, and I kind of been branded as a video guy. How would you go about reaching out to past clients? I don't know about this new service that you offer. OK, if you have a good relationship with some of these people, I would treat it like it's good fresh news that is to their benefit. You can. You can send them out an email blast. You can send them a piece of lumpy mail, which is something old school and and it's not flat. You know, there's something in there so that they're curious, like old school snail mail is super exciting for people now. So if you wrote in a note, Mary or bob, it's been fantastic. Work with you. We have exciting things happening at Acme design motion graphics company or whatever video company, and that we found that our clients kept asking us for help with their web. And now we've been able to develop a 10 point system on how to increase your SEO go from 0 to hero, whatever. If you're interested in this, please let us know. OK that's fairly easy. Just talk like a human. All right. Give that a try. Yeah you're like, I want to listen, man, you. You said it. I'm going to do it. I've been watching you and Aaron and the guy. So I want to get maybe a good student and just do what you said to let you know how to do it. Just submit and do it and see what happens. They just won't do it. So I don't want to be those guys, right? No, not at all. Oh my God. All right. OK fantastic. All right. Who else is in this time zone where you feel like you want to talk? Oh, I see you. Is that anna? Anna Peng. You have a lens flare. It's like it's blocking your light. Look, don't get all special with me. I'll throw lens flare on your screen right now, myself. It's just there's a sphere of my camera lens, but OK, that's what that is. Yeah so I posted on the Facebook event. But long story short, how do I know if I'm missing out on an opportunity that's good for me, but if I'm not feeling that way, like I don't know. Well, it says, as I make my own landslide there, nobody acknowledges it even worse. Go ahead. How do I know if I'm missing out on an opportunity that's actually good for me? Does that make sense? Ok? an opportunity by definition, it's good for you, isn't it? Oh, I guess, but. So tell me what that opportunity is and why, why do you have pause? So and for context, those I met this. So I met this lady, and she's offering me a collaboration opportunity to help her design a package for her personal beauty project. And right now, I'm still a student, but I want to open up my own design practice after graduation. So I don't know if this will help me. Like, I don't know if I would contribute to that work afterwards. OK, so what are your concerns like when people are given work opportunities, especially from students, they usually just jump on it? So something in your gut is telling you. I don't know if I should be doing this. What does that gut telling you? Like, it's just I don't feel like she has any money in it for me. I have already been hurt by unpaid internship work. Yeah OK, so let me just say a couple of things. Right now you're doing unpaid work all the time. In fact, you're doing work that you pay other people to do. You know what? That work is called. Yes it's called schoolwork. But I mean, if you think about it, you pay tuition to go to school and then you do work for free, essentially. So it's costing you money to do this work. That's the bottom line. So first, let's get some perspective on that, right? And some of the school projects suck. Some of your teachers are terrible. Now, if a person comes along, it's like there's this beauty and wellness product and it's really cool, and this person seems to have really good taste and is well connected. You kind of have to roll the dice. It's like, well, it's not costing me money. At least I'm not paying her tuition to do the project, and it could turn out really amazing, but you have to be able to judge that for yourself, and it's not always easy to see this. Looking forward, you can only see it looking backwards. I'll tell you from personal experience, I've done projects for other students for no money, and I started to think, I think they're using me and I would do this for several people. Or I would lend somebody the an extra hand to kind of help them see their project through thinking, Oh my god, I've just been giving my time away, but whatever. And in my experience, 9 out of 10 times, especially while in school, those relationships are the ones that I built my company on. Those students, those film students that I helped them with their graphics or supers, they wound up becoming directors and recommending me to all their clients. So our first big independent identity design job came from them and then this super gigantic multibillion dollar was that beauty and wellness brand came to us because of them, and they went to bat for us, and we continued working together for many years. So that single gesture that. Gesture of generosity, the act of kindness and allowing my design skills to help somebody that worked out. Now people in the professional world should have a budget, they should be able to pay. Maybe they're looking for that really hungry student to give them the extra effort, and that could be. But I would use this as an opportunity to learn how to talk about money. And just say, hey. I know I'm a student and I can do it, but I don't want to do it for free. What kind of budget do you have? Or you can even suggest one like based on what we talked about. I'd like to do this for somewhere between 8 to $4,000 and see what happens. That's legit, too. Ideally, what you do is you're going to work on a cool project with a really great person that has excellent taste and get paid. So do you feel comfortable enough to ask about the money? I I'm so sorry that somebody doesn't say, hell, yes, then it's a no. Yeah so, you know, we produce a lot of videos on how to talk about money, right? Yeah so what's holding you back? Actually talking about it, maybe, no, I know that's holding you back, but what about talking about is why are you reluctant to talk about money? More aggressive since it literally came up in actual professional conversation. I mean, you've never talked about money in a professional conversation before. Or not, really? Let me ask this question. OK, you ready? I don't want you to think about this too hard. I just want you to give me the raw answer that comes to your brain, ok? Who is more professional? A person who doesn't talk about money or the person who talks about money? Well, for that matter, so in their eyes, are you a professional or unprofessional if you don't talk about money? One of the questions I think about this everywhere you go, the price is clearly displayed, and if you ask somebody how much does that car, they should be able to tell you if they don't, what happens? You get suspicious. Does this person know what they're doing or worse? Are they trying to take advantage of me or just talk about the money? How much money do you want to ask somebody for it, regardless of the type of project? All 4000, 5,000. Can you say 5000? OK, no, no, no, no, not like it hurts you to say, just say, 5000, 4,000. And then just be quiet, ok? Count to four. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to ask them for $5000, let's just say, OK, can you ask me for $5000? Like what, I have $5,000. OK you change the way you said that. No, I don't want you literally to ask me, can I have five thousand? Pretend like I'm the client? How are you going to say it to me? On this project, four of the 5,000. Oh, that sounds really uncomfortable for you to say. OK, so here's what we need to do. We need a practice saying dollar amounts and we have to get our mouth and our tongue used to saying things so that we train your mouth to speak your mind. So here's what I would say something like this. It's really basic, do you have $5,000 in your budget to do this project? Is that something you're comfortable with spending? Maybe and watch them squirm. I'm just kidding. See what happens? Like, Oh my god, Oh my God. Ana, we didn't think that it would cost 5 to $5,000. Then what would you say then? But don't know you don't know. Well, you can ask them, what question? Well Mary, what can you afford? Oh, we can't afford $4,000 can you do for four? Then you like let out a big sigh like, Oh. you know what? Normally I would not do this. But I really think you guys have a special cool project. Can we agree to this? Can we agree to only two revisions instead of three? Yeah, we can make that work. And if you add an additional round of revisions, I'll just add $4,000 back. Is that ok? Well, we won't go there that we'll just commit to the two. Well, fantastic. I'll send you a deal memo. You ready to move forward? Yeah, OK, done. OK, Anna. Well, yeah, that helps a lot. OK, good luck. Thank you. You're welcome. Oh, my God. It's been a long day for me. And realizing how tired I am. OK, let's go with Abby and then Melvin. Hello hey. Hey sorry. First of all, thank you so much for taking this call at this late. What is it? Are you again? Yeah, you got a headset, you got the gamer chair. You're probably playing a video game right now as we talk. But no, go ahead. No, no, no. I'm not. I'm not. OK I have this headphone, but I was like, you know, and I don't know how to set up this thing. I want this. I'm sorry. Go ahead. Yeah so another thing I heard someone from New Zealand as well. I have. I'm trying to figure out who is that? But anyway, use a chat. Use the chat for that. Yes OK. That's your question. Yeah so the question is, I started this business. It's called Milky web two years ago before I used to get no clients right. And then I watch your videos and get even a check and all that. And then they started to get some inquiries. I used to think getting enquiries is a win. So as soon as I get the inquiry, I used to celebrate, like I was like, OK, I got the new client right, but I'm struggling to convert them like in a month. Let's say I'm getting 6 to 7 to eight inquiries. Only one of them, I would be able to convert and I, the rest of them will just cost on me. You know what I mean? Like, they won't come back. Yeah so that is my main problem right now. OK, I got you. I had so many questions, but I watched you all of your videos, so most of them already been answered. But this is the main one I'm trying to figure out still. OK, so what's your question? So that is my question. How do I convert my clients? Like, what do I do? OK, so you're trying to convert prospects, right? Or right now their prospects and prospects, and they've turned into lead. So, so now they're aware of. They're turned into lead and you want to be able to turn them to a client or customer. So you say you close some and you can't figure out why the other one's ghost on you. What do you suspect it might be? I have no idea. I try to figure out and I got some, you know, things in one place, so I looked at the competitors I saw on their website. They have a phone number, like a landline number. It's still a thing in New Zealand. If you have a landline number, that means you are a big, like, big or office or corporation or whatever. I have on my website is only my cell phone number. It's like a, you know, it's a mobile number, basically. I thought, maybe the thing I'm not like a big company. And then when I reply them back, I have this email signature, which says managing director or director on my signature. So I'm thinking, maybe they are thinking, oh, you know, this guy? He's a he's a director of the company is replying by himself. That means is not a big company. That's that's my second, right? And the third one I thought about. Maybe I'm wrong in this one because my immigrant as well here, you know, I came to this country like nine years ago. I studied here and, you know, started my career. I work for agencies for five, six years and started my own thing. You're telling me too much story. I'm so sorry. Yeah, I'm trying to explain it to explain. Just let's try and figure it out like you need to sit down and think. So when I asked you one of these questions that requires you to think, just pause, ok? Dig inside that big, beautiful brain of yours and think, what could it be? Because we don't want to go punching around in the dark? I can help you, but you kind of need to have a sense of what the problem is. Ok? so when you're able to close, you're like, whoa, why? I'm the same person. Same thing. Is it the client's different? Are you different? What's going on? We need to figure that out. OK OK, maybe you have a bad internet connection, or maybe they're freaking out over the price, I don't know what it is. So I want you to think about that for a little bit. I was going to come back to you, ok? I want you to try to like, write down what are the three reasons why I think my clients aren't hiring me? Start with the most important one. OK OK. Just work on that, I'm going to mute you and then we'll get back to you, ok? Let's go to Melvin. Melvin hey, Chris. So I just want to say first, I just want to say, I totally appreciate you doing this two time zones call, I might be in a little noisier environment, so just very briefly a second. Yeah, so so first. First up, I just want to give credit to, you know, the perfect proposal because there was a proposal that was the program that I bought and and I submitted a bid for this client and we got the contract. So it was a big win for me. And so after that, what I did was I went out and bought the call because I kind of know what to do with the user story and all that stuff. But I just want to see what else I can get from your site. And so my question really is because I'm dealing with this company, which deals with really high end luxurious pianos and their clientele are, you know, high net worth people and we want to be able to extract user stories. Now, I would imagine that people like people of that stature wouldn't sit around in the focus group and give you feedback. So what are some of the ways you would approach this if you will be collecting user stories to kind of map out what is there, what are their needs, what are the ones? What what do they value so that we can match the features and benefits? Yeah, Yeah. So you're not going to be able to do a full court session on high net worth individuals sitting around like, what am I doing? My I'm a high net worth individual and therefore my time is very valuable. There's a couple of things that you can do. This could be an event, actually, and customers like to do this where the high end piano company can have a customer appreciation party event. They can invite some of their customers, their best customers, to come by for drinks and to. I don't, I don't know, hear a concert. I don't know what something right drinks hors d'oeuvres and something fun. And what they could say is like, hey, we'd love to invite you. Can you please fill out a few questions for us? Then when they get there, the event goes, half time comes in, and they're able to ask them a few questions in person. We love you. We think you guys are amazing. We wanted to know a couple of things and then you would have them ask and then maybe write their response down. That's one way, but that's not really going to give you a ton of information. The best way to do this is actually to talk to the next best person, which is usually the salesperson, a customer service person, somebody like that who really understands who their clientele is and that's within the company. What we can do is tap in to the. Collective knowledge of the company and that they know who they are when we say, well, cars, are they driving, how much income do they have? They should be able to answer all those things because they've seen them pull up in the car and they can make some assumptions about how much money they're making. Right so that's what I would do. I would rely on the intelligence, the collective intelligence of the people who come in contact with customers and then do the strategic framework with them. They know a lot more than you think. And they have a composite of who these people are, and that's going to be very helpful to you in the years that I've been doing strategy. I've never talked to the customer proper. You know, I just talked to. I just talked to my client. So I guess the follow up question is, do we run the risk of perception bias that they kind of assume that they know everything about a client? So how would I be able to? I mean, I could ask a ton of questions, but you know, what might be the best way? So I think the thing that I want to avoid here is to make sure that they don't go into that. I know about my clients and this is what I assume about the client and that may or may not be accurate. Yeah, right. So what I would have you do is to, before you facilitate, talk about the different kinds of cognitive bias. And in order for us to have the best possible result, we need to become aware of the biases that we have and just identify them in the room first. And so when they bring up something and it sounds a little fishy to you and you're a smart guy, you'll hear you're like, what? That isn't sound, right? You just said this and then now you're saying this. So which one of these statements is true and which ones are not true because they can't be both true, can they? And then they work through that problem. OK, now I want to tell you something here. The truth is overrated. What is true? I don't know, because facts lie, too. If you look at the way that depending on who reads the data, they can come up with a totally different interpretation. So I think you're looking for some objective truth and there really isn't. So in this case, when you talk to your clients and you help them to understand their customers better. That is where the value is at. And if we say, look, based on this information based on all of us recognizing that we have some bias and we put them aside, theoretically, here are my conclusions as to what to do. But before we invest a ton of money trying to solve this problem, let's run a series of short test to see if it's true. So this is what small companies do this with big companies, big companies do, they test their hypothesis. And that's what you should do. Right so before you go and develop a full blown functioning web app, you might want to do a minimum viable product, MVP first to see what usability issues there are or people even get excited about this kind of stuff or not. And with each successive iteration, you're getting closer and closer to what we think will work, backed by the confidence that thus far our trial and error has yielded positive results. So use the knowledge that you have test and then iterate. Right, so so I really like to give back to this community here. So what would it be, OK, if I would be able to share the journey and the expenses after having gone through with the client and gives back to this community? Yeah what? I would love for you to share what you learned. Share what works. Shared how you screwed up and tell us all the relevant details so that we can track along with how you're doing it. All right. Beautiful, thank you very much. Well, we only have 10 minutes left and I'm super tired, so somebody brings some fire, so. Abby, are you ready to come back? Yeah, I'm here. OK what's the problem? OK I rethought the whole thing I still think is the problem is the same. They think I'm too small, like a too like a one man band or something when I'm replying from my own, you know, as a director on my email. The second one, I think. So the second one is the most important one. I think I'm offering them really cheap prices. Well, like a competitive prices from my competitors here in New Zealand. Yeah, and those are the two I can think of. Yeah, well, we can solve some of that. As I was doing research on marketing and positioning strategies, I found that one of the biggest signifiers or signals to people about quality and value is price. When you price yourself lower, people automatically assume you're of lower quality. It's a form of bias. It's one of those heuristics where we're acting on too little information. OK, so if you want to be perceived as being a higher quality shop, as ironic as it may sound, charge more. Simply charge more like if I were able to hold up two pens in front of you, one of the left, which I'll tell you is $1.99 and a Zach identical pen. I'm going to tell you this one's $400. As far as you can tell, it's a silver Montblanc. They both look beautiful. Which one is going to be higher quality? The $1.99 or the $400 pen? $400 You know, and you're laughing. It's because why would anybody say that? But it's totally. We're acting on bias. Think about it automatically. What do you think about the $1.99 version? Right, it's cheap. Maybe it doesn't work it. Yeah, it's probably plastic. Maybe it's stolen. Maybe it's going to blow up in my shirt pocket. Right? you think of all these things. So if you're going to go out there and be the low bid, this is the signal that you're sending out there. Now, if you guys don't believe me. Become hyper aware of every time you make a decision as to what to buy in terms of service or products, which ones you think are better based on price. You'll be shocked. OK, so here's the other thing. Perception is reality. A little while ago, there was a world famous violinist and he has an instrument that I think is priced at $3 million, set to be the finest violin ever made. You play at the orchestra, right? And his effective rate was thousand a minute. $1,000 a minute. So if you played for an hour, I guess he made 60,000. now the New York Times did an experiment. They took him and his $3 million instrument. They brought him to the New York subway and he played. He played for the exact same amount of time he paid. He played for 60 minutes. Joe, how much money he made. It's like $15.75 or something stupid. The same musician, the same violin put in a different context, has totally different meaning. So the perception is that you're a small company and you have a couple of things that you do mostly price that tells them you're a much smaller operator and you now seem super risky to them. So, you know how to fix this problem. Yeah, I tried I think I posted in a group as well. I increased all my prices and I was able to increase my revenue by like $10,000 in the last two months, which is good. It's the same service as the same thing of same hosting, whatever the CEO, whatever I do, but without doing anything, I just increase the prices. I was really, really, really afraid. I thought, like, they're going to come back to me and say, oh, we want to discontinue with you. But it was good. That's a first win win, I can say after joining this group. Yeah so thank you for that. Yeah again, I think you answered my question. But again, you know, I don't know why I'm only converting only 1 lead out of 10, let's say. You know, that's so why don't you record your calls? you're asking me to know what's going on, and I can't I have to rely on you. So if you don't know if you don't have any clue, you're like, hey, Chris, I'm pretty sure it's this. And here's why. Then I can try and figure it out with you. But you're saying I have two guesses. One, it's because I'm small, so don't look small. Do everything that big companies do so that you don't look small or you flip it on. It's like maybe a small is better. And that's how you can flip that, too, so I don't know, because I just don't have any data to respond to. OK, OK. At best, it just be a wild guess. OK all right. Yes, thank you. OK I think I can do one more call before I pass out you guys. Sleep well tonight. Emmanuel well, Emmanuel, before you go because you're on the morning, call anybody else from the other side of the world that wants to ask me a question. Because you can take us home or Emmanuel is going to take us home. It's all you, man. Emmanuel, go. Hold on. I'm going to get my video work in here. OK OK, so I have only one simple question ok? I have a client who's got 25% of my business. He's been with me for a good 4 years, and he's been an amazing source of client over the years. The question is it's obviously not as profitable as it was four years down the line. The team is bigger. Everything is bigger. How do you position? I need to charge more. You mean, how do you have that conversation with this, Yeah. How do you what's the frame frame of mind? I wouldn't do it. He's probably your single biggest client, right? Yeah OK. Why don't you try to position and charge people who are strangers who have no point of reference more and see how that goes? OK, so this is what Blair talks about. Take your two worst clients. Kick them out. Find two new clients and put them at the top. Putting up the top of the pay scale. And eventually, this favorite client of yours that represents 20% of your business. We start to float to the bottom at which point you need to talk to him. But right now I would not kill the cash cow. I 1,000% thank you. Yeah, you're welcome. OK, that was super fast. I'll take one more. Make it fast and sharp like that, boom. Anybody else? Oh, OK. File back to you. Go ahead. And I have the follow up question about charging more so this year, we've been doing that as well, and so I really love the proposal, but sometimes they would say like, hey, we love the proposal, but we need to find a more funding. And then they just, you know. Went quiet for a little bit. Yeah, yeah, they do. Yeah, I hate it when they do that. So how often, yeah, do do I need to follow up on that? You know? Yes, Yes. So here's the thing that I'm learning that people will say Yes to you to make you go away, right? Yeah so they're like, yes, Yes. And there are a lot of counterfeit yeses. They might say Yes because they're shocked by the price, but they're embarrassed to tell you that they can't afford it. OK OK, so what we need to do is we need to read them and we have to constantly ask them. So when we say, oh, this project will be $44,000 and they say, and then you should ask them, how does that sound? And what they should say is that sounds about right. You need to get confirmation, so just let me double check there. If I send you this bid for this scope that we just talked about for that price by Tuesday. Oh, you know what? Figure out how to say this in a less threatening language here. OK, here's what you do. If I'm able to submit you a bid by Tuesday of next week. And you agreed to the no. How quickly would you like to start or how quickly can you start? And if all that stuff works, we can start by Wednesday. Excellent or we can. How quickly can you make a decision as to which vendor you'd like to work with? Well, 24 hours. No problem. OK let me explain what's happening there. It took me a little moment to kind of phrase it. If you use the word if or hypothetically speaking, it takes away some of the risk associated with making a decision. People don't like to make a decision because when you do, you can be wrong, right? So try to use the expression. Hypothetically speaking or suppose or if this condition were true. And then you ask them what you want, when might you want to do this kind of project? Now, don't put in the word, when would you like to hire me to start? That makes it dangerous again, because this could be anybody. When would you like to start? When you see yourself starting, when you see yourself approving? So at this point, yeah, thank you. And this particular project, like they come to protest with the deadline in mind and everything. So they like this, you know, can you deliver this by mid-september? And we looked at it, and it's not quite possible because, you know, somebody like this would take, I don't know, 10 weeks, so we might not be able to beat it, but. Um, but, you know, if we put more resource in it, we might be able to meet it. So there's one that a little bit of extra buffer of this scope coming as well. And that they see it and then they are like, oh, actually, we like it, but we need to give them more funding and we wouldn't do it properly. And I just want to win, you know, haven't got back to us. Mm-hmm Yeah OK. All right. So it's a similar sort of thing, you know, is it something different? Well, I heard you telling something, but I didn't hear it in the form of a question, so I wasn't sure if I needed to respond. OK state that in a question. All right. So what if they come to you with an urgent deadline? Can you give us an estimate on that, although the deadline is not possible to meet? How would you? OK, so if people, yes, people say to you, I need something done by 4 weeks and you know, it takes eight, it's usually a function of that. You just need double the manpower or you need them to agree to sit at your office for like one day a week. So they can make approvals. You can ask them to be very clear what you're showing the work that they have to prove it within an hour. There's a lot of concessions that you can to make them feel at ease that this can happen despite the fact that they're giving you an impossible deadline to work with. Mm-hmm Right so you know this if you put 10 times as many people on it, it won't go 10 times as fast, but or go at least twice as fast. Yeah yeah, I mean, we need to consider that through the process steps in the middle as well. Yeah OK. Yeah OK. Well, you guys at 250 PM and for some of you guys are super early. For a lot of us, it's really late. I can see all our faces melting here, especially people on the West coast, on the East Coast where it's really late, right? So guys, yeah, Yeah. So Thanks for doing this and I'll see if I can continue doing it. I don't know. I am so tired, but I also did like to two video sessions that I saw on beat like a dog. OK that's it for us. Guys, I'm going to stop recording and I'll be posting this call at some point.

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