Trusting Your Employees: Megan's Story
Meghan runs massage L. A. And what massage L. A. Does just even a brief overview. They have five locations in the Western United States, and they teach couples massage so couples will come in and they teach. The couples had a massage each other. It's a very wonderful experience, a very connective experience. And if I may, when Megan started the business, it was Meghan. She was the one teaching this, and the business has grown. She now has five locations. Doesn't take a rocket scientist know Meghan cannot be in five locations at the same time. So Megan had to get more people to help out, and Megan had a choice as to whether she wanted to get employees or independent contractors. I know from my conversations with her, she chose independent contractors were not going to dive into the semantics of that conversation. But what we are going to explore is what it's like for a CEO who delivers a very high level of customer service to a celebrity star filled clientele and then says, I'm going to...
trust someone else to deliver that service. Tell us a little bit first, if you could Megan, about some of the emotions you felt when you realized I need to bring more people on and they're going to be the ones that are instructing. They're going to be the ones doing the hands on, and I might not be able to be in the room when they're doing it. What was because we'll get to the logistics and the steps you took. But because I think a lot of business owners the biggest hang up they have is the mindset in the mentality of being willing to let someone else interact with their clients. I want to just talk. If we could a little bit about your mindset, I think you'd be really surprised. Teoh. Find out that I actually had already done it once. So I already was approached by four major hotels to be their sole provider service because I had to start bringing in 13 contractors in a business that actually developed here in Seattle in order to take the overflow of all of the customers coming in. Because, as Joey said, not only did I take amazing an exceptional care of the customer, I did so with my vendors, and so I soon became the first choice for sending everyone as well as it's funny that he would put up, you know, Nord Stroman and these different hotels. Four seasons ended up making me the gift or the assimilation products, so service. So if someone would come to the hotel instead of giving them strawberries and champagne, they would send Meghan. Or if somebody was very, very upset, they would try to fix the situation with me. So what inevitably happened was that I had to bring a bunch of contractors in. But in that intimate situation, um, it was it was a bit of a disaster. I was a control freak about the situation. So the first time on this roller coaster ride of bringing in contractors I basically thought I had to be everywhere because working with these types of celebrities and v. I. P's you do. As Joey's said, you set your hours at a certain time. You know, you start working at three and you stop a 10. You work all through the weekends and you jump and run like this. So I needed to find people to work alongside me that could do the same thing, and I ended up figuring out that I couldn't replace me, and that's not from a place of ego. It just I simply couldn't replace me, and I couldn't be everywhere at once. So I opted out of that business model because I knew that I wouldn't be able to to bring that level of customer satisfaction. If I can interrupt for a second, give me Megan. So Megan faced what? A lot of entrepreneurs face this realization that there is no one that can do it. The way I do it, I can't replace me. Now there's two versions of that. There's the one that that's a factual statement, and there's the one that that's the story you're telling yourself. In Megan's case, let's presume for the sake of argument today that that was the factual story that no one in the world could provide the service that Megan was providing the way she could. Okay, we can accept that at face value, just not in this city, not in this. Okay, there were maybe people in other cities, but she felt not in the city she was in. She had two choices. Continue with the business the way it iss running around being really stressed doing all this being triple booked trying to make it happen. And probably, although what I know of Megan, she still delivered a great level of service. The Mawr balls you get in the air and juggling the higher likelihood that one of them is going to fall. And in the world she was operating Four seasons celebrity clientele, you drop one. That's enough to make all of them fall and not be able to be picked up any time soon. So one option was to say, I'm gonna keep doing it myself. What was fascinating is that, Meghan said, and I decided to exit that business. So at her core, Meghan has to, uh, Michael Gerber, right, writes the email, and he talks about the three different types of people. There's the entrepreneur, right? There's the manager and there's the artist at her core. Megan actually has both, so she has the artist right? She has the massage therapist, the connector, the creative. But she also has the entrepreneur because the artist would have stayed in the business, yards would have kept banging their head against the wall. They'll be different this time. I'll convince them how to do the logo. Right. I'll get the client that understands the website development process. I'll meet someone that appreciates my photographic craft the way I dio No, the entrepreneur said this business isn't gonna fly, so I'll just get a new business. It wasn't gonna be scalable. And I'm a big believer in passive income. So I actually went on my journey of putting a couple of books out, figuring out what that passive income was about. Those were actually on customer standards within my industry, how to make a six figure income through that process. I ended up being surrounded by the best of the best in this industry across the world. They started coming towards me, and I'm known as a bit of a tough ass in my industry. With my standards. I really am. I wrote the book on it. So, um, this time around, I had access to all these exceptional people in all of these different areas. I'd actually had some types of interaction with them on Facebook for a couple of years since ever in the books. And I was looking for more of a passive model in how I build my business, and I don't know if anybody if, you know, I know a lot of you know what that means. But I knew that I couldn't be everywhere at once. And I knew that I would die of a very young age if I kept continuing to uphold the standards that I had and and try to expand. So I had to figure out a new way. So if I may make it, forgive me for interrupting. Yeah. So this is something again that many entrepreneurs struggle with. They plateau. They say I cannot work anymore hours that I'm working. I can't take any more clients. It doesn't work. So there are a couple options they have, right? The most common option, I think that gets taken is well, I will raise my prices and then I'll have less clients. But if you're really good, it just means you actually make more money. And contrary to popular belief, usually when you raise your prices, actually, more people come to you with some of my private clients I work with. I'll tell them Hey, here's the deal. I want you to keep raising your prices until about 60% of the people. The prospects your meeting with are saying No. 60%. Now. Some entrepreneurs like we don't want everybody to love me. I want them all to say yes, great. Then price your product at a dollar and get people that don't actually valuer appreciate your product. Yeah, and what I always find is weird. Every time I raise my prices, they pay me more. So I'm like, Oh, I guess I'll keep raising them on I get clients were more in residence with what we want to be working with. Absolutely, absolutely. Because when we think about her ideal audience member, they don't care how much it costs. They want to see the show. It's a little bit of true confession, but I am a big fan of the musician stink. I love his work. I was a police fan. I'm a Sting fan. When Sting is on tour, I'm at the show and I'm not at the show in the nosebleeds. I'm not at the show in the walking by. Let me get a standing room only seat. I'm on the fan email list that allows me to buy front row or second row or fifth row somewhere in the front 10 rows seats that is not in inexpensive choice on my part. I've spent hundreds of dollars. There been times we're taking a date. I've spent over $1000 on the tickets for what we're doing. I don't say that to be like, Oh, look at me. Look how much money I spend. I say. That is I am a big fan of Hiss. They can charge what they want. I will come. You have customers like that in your audience base as well that, frankly, if you were to double your prices, would be happy to pay it. W prices. Imagine how your business would change if you doubled your prices. I did. That's another interesting thing. I think these then you're driven Teoh provide more value at a better experience. And so it's. It's kind of a fun win for everyone, Absolutely. And if you're operating from your core, if you're really connecting with what your service on what your product is, you probably believe it's more valuable than what you're charging right now anyway. So we talk about mindset. You've got that little voice in your head that's going I'm Onley, charging $ for this wedding photo session. My work is worth and then every once in a while you find a client or an audience member of customer who will pay more, and then the other projects you have going on in the process that you're charging your old rates, he started. Get angry. You're like You got it for $1000. This guy got it for $5000. He's happier. He's better. I'm more excited about dealing with him that I'm dealing with you and you're getting into 20% the cost and we come inside to our own heads. Is the entrepreneurs instead of saying well, where they at is that even the right audience member that's paying $1000? Sometimes we have to be introduced to an audience member that appreciates our work and that honors it and values it to be able to appreciate an honor and value it ourselves. Oh, man. And when that happens, it's so great and it changes your business. Yeah, just ah, cool story, Polly Mathis says. I approached a client who got in at my low rate when I started the business, but we worked a lot together so I could make margin. So I sent an invoice with the higher price. But with the message. Let's talk about this and make sure it's OK. Followed up a day later, Nervous as heck and he had already said the check. Brilliant, Brilliant. Nine times out of 10 is business owners. The biggest hang up we have around pricing is occurring in about a four inch space. That's right between our ears. We worry so much about how am I gonna raise my prices? How am I gonna tell this client that they are over budget, that we said we do a couple rounds of revisions on their website. We said three, they've done 17. We've put in days and days and days of work. But we just wanted to be done like we agreed to it. And this is our art, and this is our skill. And this is the thing we love and we want to serve. And we want to provide value. And you've run into someone that's just taking advantage of that now, not to get all you know, sad and despair. You know it. That's the exception to the rule. Somebody who's consciously taking advantage of it. More often than not, it's someone that doesn't even know that you've gone out of your way. Have you ever finally gotten the courage up to have the conversation with a client where you say, Look, I know we said this was gonna cost X dollars. I only said it was gonna take three weeks. It's now been two months. We've put in a lot more effort and I'm kind of behind the eight ball on this and I'd like to have a conversation with you, Kind of like polymath fisted. It says, you know, look where we at where we add in this process like, can we just, you know, a friend, a friend client to, you know, business buddy, the buddy have a conversation and sort this out. In my experience, north of 80% of the time, the clients like, Oh, oh, my gosh. Of course, I'm sorry. I didn't even know I've got an amazing client. Okay, that we signed on to do a project and the client that I work with is fantastic. Some of the other people in his company are not as enlightened. It's not that they're bad or their evil people. They just haven't been through ah logo creation process like he has. And so this process that we're going through has taken longer. And his boss and some of the other people have started to say what we're going to need to see the adoration of what it looks like on the side of a building and on a carpet and, you know, on a search light above and being pulled behind an airplane. And can you do some mock ups of that to show us what the logo will look like in all these different places? And they sent this in an email, close The designer. I'm thinking that was never part original contract. That's not part of the scope. I gotta have a conversation with him about this. I'm happy to do it. I'm willing to do it, but what they're asking for is hours and hours of work. Before I can even craft the email, I'm in a meeting. I see my phone ringing. I don't take it cause I'm in the meeting and I get out and it's my point of contact at the client, and there's a voice mail, and it says, Hey, Joey, by the waist I was copied on that email that went over. That is way, way, way beyond the scope. Like I'm guessing at least two x the scope. That's where my opening thought is on what we need to amend the contract to be. But I really want to have a conversation with you and see, because I'm worried that could be under shooting that. Let's talk. I will walk through fire for that client. I will go without sleep for that client. I will, much to my family chagrin, work on vacation on projects for that client. Because that client respects me and values me and wants to look out for me. So guess what? I'm gonna do the same. I'm gonna help him out. Big round of applause for a guest. Meghan, I like I didn't actually answer the question waken take a few minutes, you can grab a seat again, find so I don't want to leave. I don't I just don't want to leave you guys hanging. I don't want you to think that because I didn't give you the answer of how it's not scary. So it was so scary for me at some point to bring people on that I exited that equation and it largely was my mind set. It largely was also the way that, um the way that I had structured things I had not created a system was at the beck and call for everyone entering this new business. It wasn't just that I knew the people that were coming to me. It wasn't just that I had the brand that I built. It was that there were systems in place for how I hired people. And, you know, as Joey said, I selected people who were good people, and I would do little tests with them. You know, even if I said please contact me this way through text message or please contact me at this time, I would see how did they respond? Do they follow the instructions? You know, it would pay close attention, so there would always be a pre pre phone interview so I would get to know who the person really was. So it was a time effective process for both of us. And when it came to setting up the business, you know, as Joey said, you know this time I entered it going This business, everyone I bring in is gonna be a leader, everyone, because I can't manage all of these locations. So when I train my people, obviously I'm completely focused on how the customer service is gonna be in how the customer experiences. But beyond, you know, being strict about certain guidelines, I give them an immense amount of freedom. And I am always telling them I know one day they will leave me and then that that is the goal. The goal is to make them better business people than I am because they're there at my locations, taking care of my customers. So, you know, in all, in all fairness, you know, there is a system from beginning to end. It's very, very close. You know, it's in alignment with Joey's values, so I'm excited to be here. But I'll admit to you recently, one of my instructors, actually, we've progressively through some of the implementations of these things. Um, gotten our sales numbers up higher and higher and higher, and we don't sell. People come back for this experience because it doesn't exist really anywhere else. There are a lot of you know there's no business that has multiple locations for couples massage classes. It just isn't It isn't out there yet until mine. So this is primarily kind of a new thing for me. So where sales sort of started it zero re bookings. We didn't know what we were doing and then very quickly moved into, You know, we thought maybe we couldn't top out more than 20%. And then, as we implemented MAWR and more systems based on customer feedback, you know, I read all of my reviews and I adjust everything to it. I've already started doing the tree branch, Joey suggested already have you know I'll be putting the video website up to put that together, but the cut. But it came down to my team being trained in a certain system. But then I'll also me saying I trust you so beyond this. I hired you because I believe you are a good person with your own qualities. You have your own star quality. It's different than mine. I've given you the techniques that people are coming to look for that celebrity massage. But beyond that, this is your show to run and you know If you show me that you can raise the sales higher than I have in my re bookings, I'm gonna come in and I'm gonna watch your class and we're going to adopt that into the program. So recently I thought that my average of re booking to 80% of the class was pretty good. Are averages have gotten up where people, you know, they re buying. Probably 60% of the people before they leave that day are re booking at something that they didn't know what to expect. And they were pretty nervous when they came in. But I Yeah, if I may interrupt. So when we think about this map of advocacy, the referrals and the opportunity, what Megan is saying is 60% of her customers in the moment when they're in adoption, when they're getting the thing that the penultimate thing that they wanted their body and they're all part of it, are saying and sign me up for more. You don't need tohave a kick ass referral machine when the people that have already come in the door or staying in the door. My team was amazing. Yeah, it's amazing. And what why's it amazing. Two reasons. She said it very articulately. And I really appreciate you taking the extra time and explaining that because that was awesome. No straight because of two things she hires for trust, which we already talked about. And she has systems, which is what we're gonna talk about next. All right, thing. Big round of applause for making a big round of applause. So systems is kind of the dirty word for most creatives. Most creatives and I'm is guilty. Ifthis is anyone, man, I have lived over a decade with a hang up around this word because my definition of systems until fairly recently waas systems air for boring people systems air for anal people, systems of her people that aren't creative. They're not inspiring. They're not passionate. They're not motivated. That's rigour. That's boundaries. That's confinement. Drives me bonkers. I mean, we're here. It creativelive and I have little area where I can walk or not walk. This is the smallest stage I've performed on in years. That's why I am so like this, right? Theaters guy. I got to go somewhere. It can't go back behind the couch cause I'm off camera. So just kind of come around in here Sometimes systems, sometimes boundaries make us better. Often they make us better. Because if the basic things were taken care of, if they're automated, if they're happening like clockwork, it frees up our mental space to say, How can I take this to the next level? If the bulk of your mind is an entrepreneur is caught up with? Oh, my gosh, how do we How do we actually get people to sign their contracts and fill out the questionnaire when they want their website designed or Oh, my gosh, how do we actually figure out what the shot list is gonna be? We don't really. Every time we meet with a new client, we kind of sit, We write up a list. We don't have a checklist of what we go through. You are wasting so much time and so much band with and frankly, so much energy on doing stuff that could be automated and systematized in a wonderful way. And to be clear system ization does not mean that it becomes a negative experience or becomes cold or loses its personality. It just means you're okay with systematize ing the parts that are never going to be that sexy choosing when to have a meeting with a client, frankly, is never going to be sexy. No one ever said I love to sit down with new perspective clients and get our calendars and figure out when next week we can meet Now you might be excited about it because of the meeting. You might be excited about it because it's a new client. But I, in all my travels, have never met someone who said, There's nothing I like more than filling in slots on a calendar so we could automate that we could make it easier. I want to talk about in our remaining minutes some of the tools that are available to you for the 1st 100 days before we jump on and I show you any logos of companies. Let me be really clear. I am not endorsing any companies. There are other companies that are not featured here, but I know that a lot of you your mental hang up is well. If Joey Onley showed me the tool, I could do this. You're the same people who kind of maybe you're a photographer, go to the you know, amazing any Liebowitz or some other amazing photographer and you say, Well, show me what lens you used because that's what's gonna make the difference in my photos. It's not. I hate to break it to you. That's not the way this works. That being said for a lot of you, this is a new concept, this concept of tracking this level of information and doing it in an automated way and interacting with your customers in a way that is systematized. So I wanted to provide a couple of options for you, at least to dip your toe in, see what it's like explore. Okay, so we've got a couple and we're gonna start with Scrub Lee. Bob didn't even know we were going to talk about this, but Bob's in the room. He's a CEO and founder Scrub Lee, and I'm not just picking this because Bob's in the room. I'm really not. I'm picking it because Number one it's a very inexpensive product. Okay, this is how much it costs per month. All these dollars are per month. Bob's product is closer to I think, what, $39 for you buy it once and that gets you 12 months. Okay, so I did the math. Bob doesn't charge you 3 33 a month. He charges you a one time fee off $39 you get it for the year. But because all these other fees were monthly, I wanted you to see where everything fits. And most entrepreneurs I know when it comes to spending money on their business, are interested in what check do I have to write this month? I know about you. That's how I view my world. If you were to ask me, Joey, how much does it cost to run your business? I can give you a figure of what my fixed costs are every month. I know they're not gonna go below that. They may go above that, depending on the month. But I know I have my base level cost. You probably have this in your personal lives too. You know, it's a general rule. Your rent is the same every month. Your utilities air close to the same every month. Your cell phone bill, your cable, your internet, whatever you're doing, you have You know, this monthly number that you're trying to hit So the reason I want to put these out as monthly numbers when some of these companies do annual contracts is to give you an idea of what the monthly cash flow expenditure would be. The reason we start with Scrub Lee is because I have not had the experience of not having duplicate contacts ever since I started having more than one device in my own life, and I don't think I'm alone. I also had these huge gaps. And sometimes for those of you that have phones that are paired up now with Facebook, sometimes how open a record in Facebook and I'll have, like, five mobile phone numbers for someone I'm like. I know they don't have five cell phones that they have to. What is this scrub? Lee takes care of that issue. Okay, Next, contractually again. Full disclosure. I know the CEO of contractually as well. Detection is based on the East Coast. What could actually does is it syncs up with your email accounts, and it tracks how recently you've talked to someone. So if you have a client that it's been a month and they haven't sent you an email or you haven't sent them one. It pops up and says, Hey, Joe, you haven't talked to Randy in a month. Do you want to talk to him? You don't have to do it, but if you want to, it's like having a personal assistant that reminds you. Hey, you said you wanted to be in touch with these people on a regular basis. Let us remind you really interesting Software service mail Chimp got to be famous for e newsletters, right? That's really where the bulk of their business. They now have some other services. Tie. Do it as well. If you're not communicating with your customers on a regular basis that is systematized and automated, I encourage you to start thinking about that on whether you use male champ or any of the other email, news, letter services or any other contact service is something where you can actually build in and track when you send a communication to your customers, whether they actually open it, whether they read it, whether they click on a link as a little aside when it comes to newsletters, newsletters aren't bad. I get a lot of E newsletters. I get a lot of use in use letters that I don't read. And you're like, Wait a second show. You just said they're not bad and you don't even read yours. Yeah, the problem is most of them, they're not bad. They're just badly produced. The concept isn't bad. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It's that you're sending me an E newsletter with 17 articles every month. I'm not gonna read articles. Send me once. I mean, one relevant thing segmented to who I am is a customer. That's why we did that whole exercise on day one around segmenting, most people have never done segmenting with their customer base. They've heard about it. They think it's a good idea, but they've never actually sat down and said, What are the different segments I can play? This is a great place to segment. High rise by the wonderful providers of base Camp 37 signals out of Chicago Great program. CRM right customer relationship management lets you know who the folks are. You contract their email communications. You can track any notes you have about them, attach any documents, have all their contact in their their email, their phone number all of this stuff all in one beautiful set up the designers, I'm sure already familiar with high rise because base camp, the sister product for this company, is a great project management tool. And even if you're not a designer, if you have projects going on or you're doing work for clients as a service is opposed to a product, this is a great way to track it. The ones all in this line sugar, crm, sage, the RM and salesforce are all kind of similar. Okay, Now, the sales rep from Sugar CRM and the sales rep from Sage and the sales rep from Salesforce would be horrified as with sales rep from high rise that I just described. Those is being kind of similar, but they are. I mean, let's just call it what it is. Remember, I'm the guy that's just going to tell you what you want to tell you what the facts are. Tell you what you need to hear. It may not be what you want to hear, but I'm definitely gonna tell you what you need to hear. Okay. These are all tools that for less than $50 a month, give or take give you Ah, whole lot of horsepower. And if you're just starting out, this is plenty. You do not need to go higher than this in the beginning. OK, this is where you want to be if you want to take it to the next level in your little further ahead. These air the two big players in this space, right? Entre port and infusion soft as you see because most eyes go to the bottom and look at the price. Right where entrepreneurs. Well, how much is it gonna move before you tell me what it is? How much is it gonna cost, right? Even though we hate it when our customers do that. Ah, weird. Meet your customers where they're at lead with the price. That's why I'm telling you guys right out of the box. Hey, here's the price. I don't have a vested interest in either of these companies. I happen to know the CEO and founder of Entre Poor. But like I'm not getting a kickback from this or a referral or anything like that. I just know it's a good product. I know Infusion softs, a good product, their competitors. Guess what I want you to have the best tools. The other tools in this air at this level are not. The people that are in this room are watching online. Okay? Thes air. The enterprise level clients that you're gonna spending thousands and $1000 year. We're not there yet. That's fine. Some of us never want to get there. And that's totally fine, too. Okay. What's interesting about this? We have the icons. Remember, from the different ways you can communicate with your customers. These are the ones that you can do with entre port. For example, Entre part has a really neat feature that from the software you can choose to send a customer postcard. They address the postcard, they mailed a postcard, and then they tell you they've done it. That's pretty cool compared to what a lot of us are doing. They're doing direct mail right now, which is Or maybe you get the pre sticky stamps. You know, the women are just like, Oh, my God, He just looked that That was ridiculous. Why did he do that, right? Yeah. Maybe you get the pre Sticky Said the forever stamps. Okay, what's cool about this? Is it automates it. They have a text functionality that you can get their cell phone and you can automate text blasts. You can do videos, right? You can record your in person meetings, and obviously it runs all the emails. Infusion Soft does these things as well. But when it comes to the male and the text messages, it's 1/3 party partner. It's not infusions off it, somebody they partner with, so there's a little bit of a financial difference if you're doing those things. But this is just kind of the general overview on the website of the bonus pages. There's the opportunity if you put your email land for you to get the list of books because there are a couple of systems and process we talked about. I also want to say, if you send an email to Resource is at 1st 100 days dot com, I'm happy to in the future send you new resource is that I stumble across. Okay, this is not something where you were going to be subscribing to a monthly newsletter. No, no, no, no, no. It's if I come across a cool resource or technology that I think you as somebody who's into creating amazing experiences in the 1st 100 days would find valuable. I will send you that and only that that is the segment that is associated with this email address. Okay, we're going to recap in one minute teams and systems, All right, lots of us. Think of a team this way. And we think when we get a team that starts like this when we're trust founding our business or starting to work with people that eventually it's going to turn to this. All right, Roz and Cheers. What I want you to do is think of your team more like this. It's more nuance. There's different pages of music. Yes, maybe they're all professionals. Yes, maybe they're all dressed well and looking good, but they all have their own independent minds. And what are you doing to make sure that you are the chief experience composer writing the score for your business, deciding the music that you're going to play for your audience, conducting the speed in the tempo on the volume at which your customer experiences occurring? We have call centers like this around the world, or we can choose to embrace our employees in a different way like Zappos has. We can hire people that understand what it's like to deal with other humans. Instead of trying to teach them to be decent human beings. We can empower our employees to go above and beyond and create legendary stories of service. It could be a simple it's a $ lifeboat. That we throw them the line and help him when they feel like they're drowning or more complex is giving away something that most people think is our key thing, which really isn't the core of our business. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust. Are you hiring people that you can trust? Are you working with people you trust? Are you drawing in audience members that you trust? If not, that's worth a conversation and some exploration there number of tools you can work with from the really low, low priced per month to the more significantly priced per month, but will probably earn you back the money you're spending on them in short order based on the experience you can create when we come back for our next section, we're gonna be talking about tools and delivery bles in the 1st 100 days. For those of you that have been saying in the chat rooms and in the studio audience, I'd love some examples show you gave us these different phases on the white board. What? Is there any company out there that's doing it right in that phase? Can you give us an example of somebody that obviously we're not gonna copy them directly? Or maybe you are. That's fine. But I'd encourage you to take that its inspiration to figure out what you could do in your business. That's what. We're gonna come back, Teoh.