Building Relationships with Customers at Scale (E144)

  • Vincent Phamvan
  • Founder of Vyten Career Coaching





Charles (00:00):

On this episode of the Business of eCommerce, I talk with Vincent Phamvan, about building relationships with customers at scale. This is a business of eCommerce episode 144.

Charles (00:19):

Welcome to the business. E-Commerce the show that helps eCommerce retailers start launch and grow the eCommerce business. I’m here today with Vincent and we had talking about how to build relationships with customers at scale. And this episode, he has a quote from Paul Graham that I really love that I’m going to link in the show notes. He also gives a list of different ways. You should be talking directly with your customers to get better customer feedback. I think there’s some great tips there in this episode. So I will link to those in the show notes, but let’s get right into that episode. So Hey Vincent, how you doing today? Hey, I’m good, Charles. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Awesome. To have you on the show, I’m just chatting a bit on the kind of pre show here, but I want to kind of get right into it.

Charles (01:04):

So talking about building relationships with customers at scale, so quick, quickly, a little bit of background, you’re the founder of a career coaching platform. That’s right. What exactly is that? So career coaching is if I’m looking for a job, that sort of thing, I’ve kind of switching jobs and you kinda, your platform helps folks do this, that kind of at scale, basically. Yeah, absolutely. So we saw a digital membership to a program that’s called Vitan and Vitan helps people grow in their careers. So, you know, the average corporate job posting today gets 250 applications or resumes for every single application. So it’s normal for job seekers to be pretty frustrated with the process you think about you’re competing. And right now, especially with the pandemic, you’re competing with a lot more people. And so we provide support job search strategy from everything, from your job search all the way through to your next promotion.

Vincent (01:55):

After you get that job to help people find fulfilling careers and you know, a life that they really love. And it’s been really interesting when you take the look at how the pandemic has really impacted how people learn online. You know, as you know, e-commerce has taken essentially a five-year jump from the previous trends with this pandemic and has really accelerated consumer shopping online, which is why, you know, building relationships online is different than you do face to face. You know, when you have a brick and mortar store, if you were opening up a store, you know, if you sell cooking gear, you can have cooking demos in your store and invite your customers to come in. You know, you think like the, the home Depot style workshops where families come in and, you know, the children are building a bird’s nest in the store. Now the challenge ends up being, how do you do that online? And you know, the good news is you can scale that to a lot more people. Bad news is though is it’s not as easy as just setting up a table in store and just having a bunch of people come in where that’s a pretty simple strategy to do.

Charles (03:00):

Yeah. So it’s almost like you need a playbook on scale on that. Right? Cause the birds bird tables [inaudible] tables, the birdhouses, right? You can that, yeah. You pop up the little table you’re doing it, right. The strategy would be very like ad hoc. But what you’re saying is like, it’s more repeatable. You just need something to repeat though. And I think that’s a lot of people get into this thing where, you know, you have to connect to the customer, just kind of know all that. And everyone goes with kind of the basic, like let’s post on Instagram and you’re like, that’s not really, you’re not really connecting with their customers. So, and at the beginning, it’s one thing. Right? Cause you can honestly I’ve. I know when I started yoga at an order, a lot of times I would just call the people, you know, at a kind of high ticket item, just kind of call to make sure we’ve got the order.

Charles (03:45):

Right. There was any options. So it was almost like just like one on one relationship building, you get to know the people, how they’re using the product and that worked at the beginning. But as we start to grow, obviously that doesn’t work anymore. You don’t call the founder’s not calling every individual customer asking them like, Oh, what do you mean doing with this? And kind of like learning about us very quickly, that just doesn’t scale. So what would you kind of recommend if, if someone’s starting off, cause they can even start this kind of playbook from day one, right? So it’s something that you don’t maybe from day one, you shouldn’t be calling every customer. The founder should not just be calling every order. It’s just not the best thing, but what would you set up from the beginning?

Vincent (04:24):

Yeah. I mean, I know countless e-commerce founders and the reality of it is in the first, I would say year to two years, that’s the reality of it. But it’s also the best way to get, to know who your customer persona is. You know, in marketing, they have this thing, the ideal customer avatar, which is kind of like this persona of who your customer is. And the reality is is if you don’t talk to your customers as a founder, that it becomes really hard to be able to understand what are their needs, what are their pain points? What are their dreams? What are their aspirations and how does your service, or how does your product help them with this transformation that they want to make in their life? And so talking to your customers is the best way of being able to do that. You know, the number one mistake that I see e-commerce founders making is being, is having an anonymous storefront.

Vincent (05:13):

What I mean by that is it’s a really great looking website and it looks really polished and it looks really professional, but it’s literally anonymous. You don’t know who runs it. You don’t know what city they’re in. You don’t know who that person is. And the truth is, is customers buy from stores that they trust. And so many founders are focused on having that professional appearance when having a person and having a face. There is, I would say early on one of the best things that somebody can do to be able to start building up their eCommerce store. Customers have a really hard time trusting anonymous stores. You know, you’re putting a credit card number in and hoping that a box shows up and something as simple as a photo of yourself with a name at the ton of credibility over an anonymous store.

Vincent (06:02):

The next thing I would say would be, you know, talking to your customers the way that you would talk if you were face to face. And so, you know, so many merchants start out, whether it’s selling at flea markets, whether it’s popping up a table at somebody else’s store, the truth of the matter is, is you’re standing there and you’re talking to other people and they’re giving you feedback on what they like about your product, what they wish they would do and kind of why they’re purchasing it, but you’re also getting to know your customers. And so, you know, I know I love how you said early on like, you know, popping up a table is super easy. And when you post on Instagram, you know, and you go to that anonymous really polished look, it’s not authentic. It’s not real, but yet if you pop up a table, literally, and you just start going on Instagram live, you can connect with your audience in a completely different way. And it doesn’t have to be this huge production thing where you have studio lights and professional gear. It can literally just be like one of those $10 stands, like cell phone stands that you can just pick up on Amazon or wherever. And you can put that on a table with a desk lamp and be able to connect with your future customers the same way that you would in person.

Charles (07:16):

Yeah. I think a lot of people way over kind of go over the bottom desk. So you need like lighting and like microphones and that all comes over time, right? Like I, if you look at episode, one of the show that’s like popping crackling in the back, like just like stuff was bad. Right. And you kind of get this lighting now and there’s better stuff, but you don’t need that. Like you can, literally everyone has a cell, an iPhone, right. You can just pop that open jet going. And then the part is if it’s live, I think a lot of people also have this like, fare that, well, no, one’s going to show up. You can always just save it for later. And like, you’ll replay it and it can go on your Instagram. So at least now you look like you, you know, done a few done, did a few of these, right. It’s not it’s not just empty page and get to see the face. Yeah.

Vincent (07:58):

I mean the hardest part is just getting started, right? Yeah. Like getting, getting started, you put so much thought into, yeah, but I got to paint this room or I got to get a better chair to sit in or I got to get a better, a better looking, whatever. And to your point, the lights all go into that and you kind of just end up over thinking it all. And you kind of pointed out the funny part, which is chances are the first time that you go live. If you don’t have an existing email list, if you don’t have an existing audience and you’re just getting started the first time that you go live, there’s going to be maybe one or two people that are anyway. So why are you like putting, you know, a month into preparation for that? When the hardest part is just getting started. And once you get started, you kind of just realize that you can just iterate over time.

Charles (08:44):

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Charles (09:32):

Now onto the show. One little tip. I remember eCommerce side back in the day. I don’t know why, but we had an about us page and I thought, Oh, I should probably have that. And you know, you go to the stock photos or you got like the guy put a box in the warehouse shelf and like, you always run the high hat and like all those nonsense photos and kind of start digging the analytics and realized that page is actually kind of popular. And when you actually go through it objectively, like it’s popular and it looks stupid and really bad, right? Like we’re all sitting around a conference table. You know, the guy in the SUNY leg, this is obviously like everyone knows the stock photo. And at time I kind of said, okay, I want to take some photos. I don’t want to put a picture of like me sitting.

Charles (10:13):

I dunno, just like randomly. So I had an office, had a logo on the door, happened to me. So I started taking pictures of like a logo and like a coffee cup I had with the logo and just like, stuff like that, where you knew maybe it wasn’t showing, you know, we didn’t have obviously a warehouse and all this stuff, but just like, we have a logo where we’re actually, these aren’t just stock photos. There is an office with a logo is a coffee cup. And I think it’s just felt a lot more real than that stock photo that everyone knew was a stock photo. Like we couldn’t pretend like, you know, we weren’t really wearing the hard hat in the box on the shelf, that sort of thing. I think something little like that, just change people’s perception of, Oh, these are actual humans. And is there a coffee cup and not, yeah, just this template size.

Vincent (10:54):

I mean, it comes from the desire to like, you feel like you need to portray this legitimacy. And so that’s why you put the polished stock photo. But to your point, what customers are looking for is a site that’s legitimate, but they want authenticity along with it. Yeah. And if you, if you’re missing that authenticity, it just comes off as fake.

Charles (11:17):

Why do you feel like you got that at first? Cause I feel like at the beginning, you always, I think everyone runs into this, you get that failing on. We have to look, we have to do it at this level. And then somehow you get used to like, it’s actually like, it takes time to like have that emotion. Like, no, no, no. We should just show the real us. And it’s just, you know, a few people in an office drinking some coffee, like that’s more real than showing we have this like boardroom table and like this like tower somewhere.

Vincent (11:44):

I think it’s possible to do both. I think this is like the difference between the Instagram story feed versus the Instagram or versus the feed, the stories. And I think Don really, really well, your Instagram stories can show that behind the scenes and customers kind of want to see that stuff. They really intrigued by the that type of stuff. And you know, on your Instagram feed, you can still have that really polished really on-brand look while just giving, you know, hints of what’s going on behind the scenes to make it really authentic. And the other part is on that about me page, a lot of stores make the pro or make the mistake of trying to be the hero in the story. Meaning that the about me page is all about them, about all, about why they’re awesome. And I’m all about why their store is going to change the world when it should actually be the other way around.

Vincent (12:38):

It should be about their customers. It should be about the problems that the customers were facing and how they were inspired and motivated to go out and make an impact in that problem that they’re solving for. And so you really want to, when you know who your ideal customer is, or you’re going out to solve a problem and you’re going out to help other people’s lives improve, you want to make the story about them. And so that about me page is kinda, it’s kind of counterintuitive, cause it’s literally called an about me page yet the best pages are actually less about you and more about how you’re helping to improve somebody else’s.

Charles (13:16):

And how would you actually display that though? How would you show like, like on your, about us, do you have like customer testimonials or more kind of like the origin story, like, Hey, you know, this brand, cause we noticed this wasn’t working well. Like why would you kinda get that into like put that into that?

Vincent (13:33):

Yeah, there’s a, so there’s a really good, really great framework. That’s called StoryBrand that I love StoryBrand was a book that was written by a guy named Don Miller. I’m sure there’s show notes. So we’ll have a link in the, in the show notes for it, but he really does has a really great story.

Charles (13:47):

Sure. For telling us

Vincent (13:50):

Story around your brand and this like comes even before messaging, it becomes way before the about me page. It’s fundamentally about how you describe your business. So for me up top, like of this episode, like one of the first things that I said was on average, every corporate job posting gets 250 resumes for every applicant or every single job posting. And so it’s really common for job seekers to feel frustrated about their job search, right. That has nothing to do with about me. But then it becomes really easy to roll into the last sentence, which is vital career coaching is an online platform that helps people get the pay and purpose that they deserve in their career. And so when you take a look at that way of describing my business, it’s not, it’s not about us. It’s not about the fact that we’ve been featured in Forbes.

Vincent (14:40):

We’ve been featured in you know, all of these publications because it’s not about us. Like we’re not the hero in this story. The hero in this story is our customers and how we’re serving them and the improvements that they’re making in their life. You know, I was just talking to one of our members the other day in a pandemic got laid off, which is, you know, unfortunately millions of people have been laid off this year and he was able to negotiate a $4,000 pay increase. And so, you know, that hero in that story is really about him and the impact that he was able to make in his life. And so for every single brand, you know, I would think about, you know, what’s the transformation that you want your customers to be able to make after they experience your product or your service.

Vincent (15:26):

And, you know, a lot of companies will say, yeah, events, but like I just so bedsheets or I just sell, like we saw a couch, like a couch is not going to make a difference in somebody’s life, but it can, you know, it can like if those bedsheets are helping somebody get better sleep, then you absolutely are having a quite arguably one of the largest impacts that you can have in somebody’s life. If those bedsheets are organic and it makes somebody feel much better about the environment and their purchases as a consumer and you know, their aspirational identity is they want to leave the world in a better place than they found it. Then your organic bedsheets that are ethically sourced can absolutely help somebody fulfill the way that they feel about that. And so, you know, this is all about going back to what you and I have been talking about, which is talking with your customers, really understanding your customers, what they aspire to become and the problems that they’re facing in their life. And, you know, really taking a look at how you, your brand, your product or your service can help them with that, that change in their life. I like that.

Charles (16:39):

What are some other, we touched on talking with customers. So, I mean, when we talked about calling them directly, right. And that, so it’s funny because some of these things I’ve done and I always talk to people and I kind of think that goofy ideas and then people say, Oh, that’s actually not the worst idea. It’s just call someone. And this is going back before Instagram was a thing. What other ways would you actually do to, or are those kinds of the ways, like, what would you do to actually talk one on one with customers I’ll want them to many.

Vincent (17:06):

Yeah. I mean, there’s so many different ways of being able to do that. Now in eCommerce email is King right now, right? And maybe maybe text messaging and SMS will increase in the future. But today for all intents and purposes, email is King. And so one of the best things that you can do is start setting up an email list. And you know, when you set up your email list, there’s a lot of different tools that can do that. And fundamentally though all you need to get started is a tool to be able to build a list, send a message out and have some type of tags on the customers and the tags on the customers. When it gets really complex, there’s a ways of being able to do segmentation on your customer. But this week’s episode is sponsored.

Charles (17:54):

Just want to say that, but they go,

Vincent (17:56):

So check out drip. And you know, all you need to do is a way to build a list and segment your customers and you’ll figure out over time what the right way to segment your customers is. But one of the first lists that I would do would be leads versus people who have made purchases, just because once somebody has taken that jump and they’ve made a purchase those are going to be likely over your over time, your most loyal customers, right? Make sense. They’ve made a purchase before you, you know, you were able to send them something or you were able to, in my case, sell them a digital good or a digital membership. And so they’re going to be most likely to make a repeat purchase, but you can also segment your customers. If you, if you find that you have several different types of customers or several different categories of customers.

Vincent (18:50):

In my instance we see a couple of different types of job seekers. We see job seekers who are unemployed. We see job seekers who are furloughed. We see job seekers who are employed and have a job right now, but maybe they’re just not happy with their job. And so you can and then the fourth one is we see students. And so one of the first areas of segmentation that we did was we started categorizing customers by those categories, unemployed, furloughed, currently employed, or a student, because the message that you would send to B to a student would be different than a message that you would send somebody who’s currently unemployed, right? The timeframe is different. And so you want to take a look at whether you have different personas, different personalities like that. And then start taking a look at what are the templates that would resonate with those different personas and there’s persona and there’s sense of urgency, right? Being able to do email well, being able to put offers out there well comes with a combination of right offer as well as the right point in time. You could have an incredible offer, but if somebody isn’t looking to be able to solve a particular problem for another few months, sending that at the wrong time, doesn’t have the impact. And honestly it comes off as spam because you’re sending it to a customer that isn’t looking for that yet.

Charles (20:10):

Yeah. I think, I think people have run to that where you don’t really know what to send them, what to send when, right. Like, should you be sending out monthly newsletters? Should you be sending her our sales? Like, what would you start to feel like there should be some frequency there on, do you just do it when you have something to tell them? Or are you just doing it based on, Hey, we knew you bought this, you know, sheets, here’s some organic sheet news. Like how would you kind of get that frequency dialed in to make sense for the customer?

Vincent (20:40):

I mean, a lot of that has to do with customer activity, right? And so if you see somebody let’s say you were running that brick and mortar store, right. And you see somebody walking past your window and every single day they’re looking into the window, that’s kind of like the same as somebody who likes your Instagram posts every single day. Right. they’re seeing it. They haven’t come in the store yet, meaning they haven’t visited your website yet. But if they like that Instagram post every day, or they walk by that window and every day they kind of look over at what’s in the window and they smile. Then, you know, you have somebody who’s interested. So then that next message. If you were running that store, you’d go, Hey, come on in, take a look. Right? So you can do that type of marketing when you get those types of signals.

Vincent (21:27):

And all of the, all of the different email marketing tools can help you do this drip as an example, they can help you personalize and they can help you take customer data and to be able to personalize this type of experience. Some of the most common flows that you would build out though, would be your welcome sequence, which is what do you do when a, when a customer first joins your email list. And that could be because of a popup that was on your website, or it could be because they put their email address in, or it could be because they placed an order. But the other most common sequences would be abandoned cart is one of the first that you would want to set up. And that’s, if somebody started the process of checking out and maybe they just had a question, maybe, you know, Charles, they just didn’t know when the box was going to show up and they were purchasing it as a gift and they just want to make sure it was gonna show up on time.

Vincent (22:21):

And so, you know, this is an example of, you know, as a founder, you know, in the early days, like literally like just send an email to that customer and just say, Hey, I noticed you started checking out, but you didn’t complete your order. Is there anything, is there, are there any questions that I can help you with? And over time, as you need to scale up, then you can automate that message. But early on, it could be as simple as sending a two line email to that customer. I’ve, I’ve seen even, you know, 40 million, $50 million annual stores that still send emails from the founder for abandoned cart. That literally say what it said back in like year one, Hey, I’m Charles. You know, I founded this store. I noticed that you started checking out, but you didn’t complete your order. Is there anything that I can help you with just reply to this email? And you know, that was what they did in the early days. And later on, they, they kept it, cause it, it worked, it was real, it was authentic. And if the customer responded to it you know, maybe sometimes Charles would respond, but more often than not, you would have you know, a customer service representative, jump in and say, Hey, I’m going to respond on behalf of Charles, just so that you get a response right away. And the answer to your question is X, Y, and Z.

Charles (23:33):

I think people underestimate and we’ve even did the Sarah. We sent out blast emails. They come from Charles and I’m actually replying to most of them, but they do go into customer service because once in a, we get a handful of replies times we get a lot more. And a lot of times it’s just, Hey Charles. And they literally just like people and it could be a newsletter about something else, or they forgot. And they’re like, Oh, I want to do this like six months ago. And it just kind of the newsletter got me thinking of it again. And it’s shocking how many people will just hit reply and just start a conversation because they got a newsletter about some random, top toe was always like shocking. But I think coming from a particular person, I don’t think it needs to be the founder.

Charles (24:14):

I get a few of these newsletters and they just come from, you know, so and so, but they always come from that same person at that company. So you start to get, you know, like, Oh, you start to almost think, you know, that person, even though you’ve obviously never met them and no idea who they are, but it’s not to build a relationship over time. When you know, every X amount of time you’re going to get this email and it’s coming from a real person. So you feel like, Oh, I can reply back just instead of coming from newsletter Ash or, well, you know, like maybe it’s going to go, who knows? Right. Then you get some generic reply. You actually expect. If it comes from Charles of Fred, you’re actually going to reply from maybe someone at least named Charles to Fred at that point. And people really underestimate that really helps to the rate of replies big time.

Vincent (25:00):

Yeah, absolutely. And it’s incredible what your customers will tell you when you ask in my welcome email, I just pulled it up right now. The last line of the welcome email says, Hey, one favor before I go reply to this email and let me know why you signed up question Mark. I would love to learn more about you. And it’s incredible. The responses that I get. Sometimes people will write paragraphs about their current situation in their life right now, and exactly why they joined the email list and exactly what they want to get out of it, which then helps me deliver on what they’re looking for as well. And so, you know more often than not, you’re like staring at a list of email addresses going, these are just anonymous email addresses, but when you really are getting to know people, this is where you can ensure that your messaging is on point and that you’re solving for the core of what they’re looking for.

Charles (25:55):

Yeah. Well, I think that that’s what starts that conversation right there. And then you’ve actually started an email conversation and that can very quickly go, Oh, Hey, why don’t jump on a quick phone call. People will give you the like that actually you can start the conversation by just becoming a real person at that point and not just newsletter at, you know, or hello at that sort of thing where whatever, you know, you’re just going to be talking to someone somewhere that really doesn’t care this, you know, like, Hey, they actually want to reply back. And the little secret there has definitely helped Shara open rates. Cause at that point you’re no longer in the Gmail inbox on the side that no one looks at the promotions tab you actually become, Oh, this is a real email that people are replying to. So Gmail said in the primary inbox. Yeah. And like, you’re going to, if someone replies that coming in that primary inbox for a long time, a very long time. So just don’t abuse that power. But like, it helps big time when people actually, when you prompt a reply and people actually reply, it really starts the conversation.

Vincent (26:55):

Yeah. I love how you’re talking about all of these things like Paul Graham from the Y Coleman always talks about do things that don’t scale in year one, do things that don’t scale. And th the truth of the matter is, is you’ll find tools and technology that’ll help you scale over time, but early on, these are the types of things that learning ends up being so, so, so important and things that accelerate your learning will help you, you know, extend out your, your runtime. And, you know, it’ll, it’ll, it’ll help you move the business faster if you’re learning a lot more. And over time, you know, you’ll find tools, whether it’s drip, whether it’s spark shipping and things that end up being really time consuming to be able to do, you’ll be able to find tools to be able to help you save that time while still providing the same quality and the same level of experience.

Vincent (27:51):

I was talking at one point to any eCommerce founder who’s, this is a store that had passed multiple dozens of millions of dollars. And the founder had, had shared with me at one point, you know, the goal when you’re growing an eCommerce business is to get bigger without your customers feeling like you got bigger, meaning the, the experience that you were able to provide when you were small is the same experience that you want to provide when you get bigger. And the truth of the matter is, is you don’t go into starting a business unless you want that business to grow, right? Your goal is to grow it. But if you can do that without your customers feeling like you’re massive, the that’s where you have the win-win. And some of the most successful brands, you know, have been able to scale that.

Vincent (28:42):

And that’s why all these direct to consumer brands are, are known for having good customer experiences, whether it’s Casper, whether it’s you know, your Warby Parker’s of the world all of them start with experience. And, you know, this has to do with how you engage with your customers in your email, how you engage with customers and social media, how you engage with customers through your one-on-one customer service, but across all those channels. They’re all just different mediums of being able to communicate with your customers either in one direction or in two directions.

Charles (29:15):

Yeah. I liked, I liked that quote a lot, actually, when I add that to the show notes and I also, the Paul Graham do things that don’t scale. And this one’s been said a thousand times, but I think people still miss it. Like how many times just keeps you, like, you can be, you can like beat that Polygram drum people just keep, they want to automate everything day one. And you just realize at the beginning, at least you’re essentially like in a car driving and into direction, and everyone wants to like drive faster and you, no, no, no, you don’t want to drive faster. You want to drive in the right direction. And at first you don’t even, you don’t even know what direction you should be driving and you’re just want, but everyone’s saying I want to go faster. Like, no, no, no, doing things that don’t scale allows you to, maybe you’re going to slow down, but you’re going to see what direction you should be going in.

Charles (29:57):

And maybe you shouldn’t be selling mattress. You should be selling, like you said, cheats, like, and maybe from talking to customers, you realize, Oh, they all love their mattress. We don’t want to get into that business. We should pivot a little bit, but without actually slowing down kind of that learning phase, you don’t realize that initially. So all you’re doing is just trying to go faster and to sell something that might not make sense. It might not be right for you at that time. So, and I think people just getting started off, always underestimate that it’s going to be a long game and just like slowing down a little and learn the beginning, accelerates for the long run. And you don’t need to be faster this week. You’ll get there. But in the long run, learning is going to get you there a lot faster.

Charles (30:37):

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. How do you get bigger though, without your customers feeling like you’re getting bigger? Like how do you, and you know, like the great service, but I feel like very quickly, it’s just, it’s difficult to do, right? Like day one, when you know, your email list is a hundred people reply to this and Hey will come to Charles and he’ll reply to each one. At some point, that’s not going to be scalable. How do you still have customer service, everyone replying it, like it came from the founder. What that same level of, you know, really like curiosity and wonder. And how do you, how do you keep reproducing that when you get larger?

Vincent (31:15):

I mean, it come, it all comes down to the unsexy part of business, which is good documentation, good processes, and fundamentally SOP standard operating procedures. You might be doing something over and over and over again. And I think the fallacy that many leaders face is, is, Oh, I might as well just keep doing it because it’s going to take me too long to train somebody else on how to do it. Right. Oh, it would, it would take me 40 minutes to teach. So and so to do it, it’s only a five minute tasks. So I’m just going to keep doing it every single day. And, you know, fallacy of in that is that yes, it might take you eight times as long to train somebody else how to do it. But that’s what leadership’s all about, right? Leadership is about empowering others and trusting others.

Vincent (32:08):

And yes, it might take you eight times as long to teach somebody else how to do it. Then if you were to do it yourself, but after you do that, it actually frees up in this instance, five minutes a day, right? If you have something that takes you five minutes a day to do, but 40 minutes to train somebody else, how to do it after two weeks, you’re breaking even on your time investment, but you’ve also empowered somebody else on your team. You’ve empowered somebody else to grow their role in responsibility. And you’ve shown that you trust somebody else. And quite frankly, in many instances, they might come back and surprise you. They might come back and figure out a way to either automate it or do it better than how you were doing it. And so, you know, I think this is something that’s tough in the early days when you’re used to doing everything yourself and knowing that you’re doing it to a certain standard.

Vincent (33:02):

And as you grow your role shifts, because your role shifts into helping to teach somebody else how to do it to the same level, if not better than you are doing yourself. So I think number one, there is like a mindset shift on investing your time in order to save your future time. And the second part is just really good documentation, screenshots step-by-step for how to make a change, right instruction step-by-step describing it. Or my favorite is just recording a video. They have all of these different, like Chrome extensions. Now drift makes one, boom makes one vid yard makes one where you can literally just like click a button and do exactly what you were going to do, except you just describe it out loud and it’s recording your screen. And then somebody else can go back and watch that video. And if there’s, you know, an action that you take every single week, let’s say it’s adjusting sale prices on a store.

Vincent (34:07):

Let’s say it’s changing the banner image on the homepage of the store. You can record yourself doing it. You can have somebody watch that. Then you sit down side by side with them and you say, Hey, let’s do it together. After you’ve already seen the video. And then maybe the week after that, the person that you’re training is going to take those actions. And you’re just sitting there for questions right? By week four, that person might be able to take the change independently, but they can always come back. If they, if they have questions, you know, it’s a time investment to be able to build that, to build that out. But over time, that’s how you’re able to provide the comparable experiences without doing everything yourself.

Charles (34:48):

Yeah. I think most people simply, like you were saying earlier with just trying to do too much at the beginning, same thing. When you sit down with this document and open it as like the, you know, white page, the blinking pair. So you’re like, Oh, you start typing. And you’re like, you just go down this rabbit hole and you realize you’re like an hour in and you’re still on step one with this like long decision tree. And you’ve taken 30 screenshots and like, Oh no. Like, and kind of the tack I always take when doing this is just open the document type in your first like five bullet points. Just get something on, on the page, right? Assume it’s not going to be anywhere near complete. It’s not going to be anywhere near maybe that usable at the beginning, but you at least got something in a document on a page that goes in whatever pository, you know, and then next time you run through it, you just going to add a step each time and you’re doing this every week.

Charles (35:35):

So, you know, you’ll do it next week and you can just add another piece. So you don’t have to sit down. I think most people, they don’t want to go into this eight hour rabbit hole on how to reply to a newsletter, right? Like that just seems too much of a time sink, but just day one, you can just create the title, how to reply to a newsletter, step one, like, you know, start with your name, like just some real basic. And then we to just improve it, we three improve it at some point, you’re going to give that to someone else. They’re going to ask you a question, Oh, that should definitely be in this document. Let’s just right into the line. Like, and then each time you kind of go through it with just getting better, but at least you have that durable asset at the beginning that you can start improving. And if you kind of wait and don’t do that, then you, you know, now you’re a year end two years, whatever. And now you have this huge process that you need to start from a cold stop. And that’s just way more work than versus just getting started that little kernel at the beginning. And I think a lot of people just blow way out of proportion to stash.

Vincent (36:33):

Yeah. And I think most, most businesses wait too long to do this. Right. Cause they wait, they make it too big. Right?

Charles (36:39):

Yeah. Cause it’s, it’s a pain and you’re gonna, you’re gonna spend, you’re like, I’m gonna spend my whole Monday writing a document. How to reply to one email. When I first applied to 50 emails, like it’s just, it seems ridiculous. So they wait, they wait way too long.

Vincent (36:52):

Yeah. And the, and then they wait until there’s a negative consequence. Yes. That negative consequence is something got screwed up and boxes. Didn’t ship to customers on time because we had some type of setting that was wrong. Right. We made some type of change and it turns out, but the sale lasted too long. So now we lock, we oversold our inventory and these are the types of things that end up forcing businesses to create this process. When it could have been something that they did proactively. And the truth of it is, is it creates redundancy in your business. You don’t know if you’re going to end up getting sick. Right. You don’t know if there’s going to be some type of emergency that like takes you out of play. And so these are the types of things that create the redundancy and continuity so that somebody else can jump in and be able to help, you know, keep things running smoothly in the instance that you’re unavailable

Charles (37:52):

Well for a period of time. Yeah. I liked that. It’s 2020. So I think all of a sudden, we all realize business continuity even at, even at the entrepreneurial level is still actually a thing. Right. Cause I worked for a big corporation and I used to fill out these, do this crazy thing. And just always think like, is this really like, okay, like if Boston got nuked off the map, like something terrible, you know, some like hurricane hit and were complete black out of the state vote days. Like I get it. Right. But now you actually, it’s 2020. We realized like stuff can happen. It’s like happened in many times this year. So you have to kind of be ready for, like you said, just maybe some glitch, right? What every package is late. So now instead of answering 20 support tickets, a it’s 202,000, so now you can’t do it on your own anymore.

Charles (38:38):

You need to bring bringing it out to a support team. And like you said, now you’re going to have to start replying to each one of those. You’d have to write a document that day on how to reply to all those emails that need replies that day. So now you’ll be so far behind the eight ball versus doing it as you go, at least you’ll have something. So you can bring that team in and say, start here. Maybe it’s not the best, but it’s better than nothing. So yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Cool. I think that’s a great place to leave it. That was super helpful. People wanna find what would the career coaching or what else you’re working on? What would be some good places to check it out? Check that out. Yeah, definitely check out our website. It’s [inaudible] dot com. That’s V Y T E You can also find me on LinkedIn and connect on LinkedIn as well. Awesome. I will add that to the show notes. Thanks a lot for rock went on to, I appreciate it. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me Charles.

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