As real estate investors, many of us are always looking for how to expand, how to outsource and how to live a better lifestyle. Todd Toback joins us today to talk about how to build a virtual team, how to manage sales people virtually, and how to build team that people want to be a part of. If you hate being tied to a desk or office, are limited by your own personal capacity, and are looking to grow…you don’t want to miss this episode. Todd Toback is the winner of the Best Flipnerd show for 2015 on Team Building.
Highlights of this show
- Meet Todd Toback, real estate investor, mentor, sales trainer, and virtual team builder.
- Join the conversation on how your physical office is likely limiting your ability to grow and attract the best people.
- Learn how Todd’s business has evolved over time to include people from across the country that are still focused on ‘results’ vs. having to ‘show up’ each day.
Resources and Links from this show:
Listen to the Audio Version of this Episode
FlipNerd Show Transcript:
Mike: Hey, it’s Mike Hambright with FlipNerd.com. Welcome back for another exciting Expert Interview where I interview awesome people like Todd Toback, successful real estate investing experts and entrepreneurs in our industry. Today I’m joined by the former mentioned Todd Toback. He’s a high volume real estate investor through his company Get It Done House Buyers, he wears Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirts. He’s a fellow podcaster. He has, what many of you know as, No Limits Real Estate Investing podcast, and most recently he has a sales training podcast that we’ll talk a little about today, it’s called Ignite Your Sales Team. I know Todd is real, real excited about that.
But the thing about Todd, and we talk often, we’re in a mastermind together, is that he’s changed his business, just like me and a whole bunch of people listening to this, you change your business all the time. You’re trying to make it efficient. How do I scale up? How do I get a better lifestyle? And most recently he spent a lot of time working on taking his business virtual, where he has employees that wanted to move out of state then move back, people that have long commutes that are thinking about leaving for that reason. And for him to kind of get out of feeling like he has to come to the office everyday, which he doesn’t do.
And so what he’s tried to spend a lot of time on, is how to build a virtual business that will give him the lifestyle he wants, help his employees be more flexible, and at the same time, eliminate some roadblocks with ramping up your business because then time and certainly geography are not as important as they once were. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today, is how to build a virtual business and Todd Toback is going to show us the way. Before we get started, let’s take a moment to recognize our featured sponsors.
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Hey Todd, welcome to the show my friend.
Todd: Thank you Mike, excited to be here.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Hey, so before we get started you got to tell us the story behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt you’re wearing there, my friend.
Todd: Well, we just passed Fathers Day and you probably came from our generation where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were like “it” when you were a kid, right?
Mike: Yeah, yeah.
Todd: So I’ve been talking about this. I read a book to my kids every night and they have those shows that they watch and I was like “Man, I wish Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was still around.” I was like, “This is a really, really cool show and it’s about these turtles who ran into this mutagen and all of the sudden became these teenagers and knew karate and they fought the bad guys.” And I’ve been telling them about this story forever, and what I didn’t know is that actually this brand, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has actually been revived.
Mike: It’s back.
Todd: Yeah, it’s back. And so my kids one day, they’re watching and all of a sudden they’re like “Oh.” and they recognized it. So they were out at Target the other day and saw this shirt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the cool thing about this shirt though, is that the new show. . . You know the ninja turtles aren’t as cool as they used to be, they’re like all skinny now and not as strong. And they’re more emo, that term they do that. And this picture, they’re totally jacked and they got the old school one and so it’s vintage. So they got this for me for Father’s Day, and this is the third day in a row wearing this t-shirt. I wash it everyday, but I haven’t been allowed to take it off, so.
Mike: You got to wear it out. It’s funny, my son is about to turn eight, and he’s kind of discovered Legacy video games recently. So, part of it is this movie Pixels, that’s coming out.
Mike: You know he’s like. . . So keep in mind he’s about to turn eight, so he has a hard time distinguishing between the ’80s, okay, and the 1800s. So he’s like “A long, long time ago, did they have Donkey Kong in the 1800s?” We’re like “No, no they didn’t have electricity in the 1800s.” So we have to go with it. I’m like “I’m not that old.” All this stuff is happening recently were people think I’m like 100 years old, I’m like “I just turned 40, I’m not that old.”
Todd: You’re in the video game generation, you’re good.
Mike: Yeah. But anyway we’ve been talking about the different video game eras, so he’s like “Donkey Kong, was that around the same time as Pac Man?” And so we’re having those discussions, they’re coming back. So anyway.
Todd: Awesome. It’s been cool.
Mike: Well man, we’ve been talking for a long time and you’ve actually been on the show once before and we talked a lot about your wholesaling business and for as long as I’ve known you, you’re always trying to figure out how to . . . We’re kindred spirits because I do the same thing, “How do I grow this business without me, without having to physically be somewhere all the time?”
And I know you’re a definitely a thought leader in that space, certainly in our mastermind group that we’re in, about talking about how to take that to another level. And so, I’m excited to talk about it today. Why don’t you tell us your . . . introduce yourself and tell us your background about how you kind of got into this space, for those that don’t know.
Todd: Sure, I’ll give you the condensed version, if that’s okay.
Mike: Sure, sure. Include the Viagra part though.
Mike: And how you were able to stand up on your own, I understand, so. . .
Todd: Stand up on my own, yes. I started back in 2000, and after college I drove out to California, I wanted to enjoy the sun, sand and the waves. And I drove out here and I wanted to make it happen, so after some successful failures, I actually got a job working for a pharmaceutical company. And it was a job in corporate America, it’s never something that I really wanted to do, but it was a great job for being a job. And the fact that I was told that I couldn’t actually get a job with a pharmaceutical company because of my grades, I was at C- at best. And I had a PE degree, which I found the easiest path through college as fast as possible. Not to insult anyone who has a PE degree.
But I wasn’t expecting to be able to get that job, and I remember buying a book on how to get a job in the pharmaceutical industry. And it said that if you hang out in the medical office building, put on a suit, and find the people who already work there, and grab them and ask them to get you an interview, that they’ll get you in with their manager, because they’ll get a referral fee. And that’s like the back door, so forget trying to send resumes. It’s like trying to buy deals through real estate agents, sending in resumes. No, go direct to the homeowner.
Mike: Yeah, you’re looking for a pocket listing.
Todd: Looking for a pocket listing, exactly. So I was applying for all these jobs and I wasn’t getting them. And I remember I interviewed with Johnson and Johnson and the manager blew me out of the water. And Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, which was the big dog back then, and Viagra just came out on the market, and Lipitor was just popping up.
Mike: Viagra was just popping up.
Todd: And Viagra is popping up , sales were up, competition was stiff. I think I told that joke on the last podcast. I went and popped in a job with Pfizer and the great thing about this, what I learned there was how to sell. I mean these guys knew how to train, before I even was allowed to speak to anybody at the company, they gave me a week of teleconferences to study. And which I had to take tests on the telephone and hit the prompts.
And then I was in two weeks in Irvine where they made me do video conferencing with my manager and role play and present with this thing they call the detail book. And then they flew us to New York and we had to get up and present and role play, and it was awesome. And they sort of pounded you and taught you how to sell and communicate. And I really, really enjoyed it. It really pushed me and I really accredit that for some of my success in real estate. About that three and a half, four years in, I started to get that little itch of “I want to work for myself.”
Todd: And I met with my boss and I was like ” Derek,” great guy by the way, awesome mentor. I was like “I want a raise. I want to make double what I’m making right now. What do I need to do?” And he’s like “Come here. Come here grasshopper.” He’s like “I love you man, but you don’t understand how the corporate world works, and it’s not going to happen.”
Todd: And he’s like “I love you man, but it’s not it.” And he says “I’m not sure I can give you what you need.” And I just sat there, and I was like “What do you mean?” He was like “Tell me what you need, because if this is the case, I’m not going to invest in you any more.” And I was like “All right.” So I left a little depressed, a little dejected. And I’m driving on the 101 freeway and I see a Barnes and Noble book store on the right hand side. And something says pull over, and I swerved across three lanes of traffic and everyone’s giving me the finger and honking their horn. I walked in there, found the real estate section, opened a book called Multiple Streams of Income, by Robert Allen. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
Todd: And long story short, it told me to go find out-of-state owners. So I went down to the county courthouse, and this was before you could just pull a list off ListSource, data was hard to find.
Todd: And I went down to [inaudible 00:09:54] coffee, brought that down to the receptionist that worked there, and that was part of sales. And she showed me how to find owners in the area, and I remember pulling out these books. And literally it was like the movie Ghostbusters, I opened up this old book, it was like . . .
Mike: Blow the dust off of it.
Todd: Yeah, blew the dust right of the book, and I got 26 names Mike. Twenty-six names, and I hand wrote 26 letters, and I got one phone call. And I had no idea what I was doing, I met with the seller, I was real nervous, didn’t know what to say. Locked up the house, just take all the small details out of the way.
Todd: We sold it, made 80 grand, I had a partner, I took 40 and my partner took 40.
Todd: Here’s the crazy thing.
Mike: But you had a taste.
Todd: I got a taste. If I would have asked the right questions, if I would have listened better, if I knew how to sell better than I did now, I would have made 180 grand on that property. So that was one thing I learned. I mean it was awesome, it was exciting, it gave me a taste, and I was on my way. It took me a few years to break out of Corporate America, and if you’re listening to this and you are working a job, your job is dangerous.
It’s holding you back because you’re comfortable. You’re nice and cozy and that salary, right, the nice four, five , six, $10,000, whatever’s coming in a month is keeping you from running towards your dream. And so for me, I should have just quit right then and there, and went for it. But I kind of rotted away for another three or four years until I got the bravery to let go. And finally, I made the jump.
Todd: And you know, everything happens for a reason.
Mike: During that time though, that three or four years, did you continue to try to invest, were you just kind of dabbling here and there?
Todd: I did, I was doing deals. But here’s the thing, that job kept me cozy. So I bought a couple out-of-state rentals with traditional loans, paid close to retail. I still own them today, they’re good investments.
Todd: But I wasn’t hungry. When I first did that deal I was like “Roar,” I was just doing everything and so that job kind of made me soft. And so if I had to go back and do anything differently, I would have burned the ships at that point.
Todd: And who knew what would have happened because ironically that was in 2001, and I didn’t leave my job until 2005, 2006.
Todd: So I would have been investing through that entire run-up, right and I missed out on that because I wasn’t willing to take the jump.
Mike: Sure, yeah, I understand. So talk about, I know we’re going to get into building a virtual team so we could probably spend a lot of time talking about the story of how you got from leaving your job all the way to that point. But kind of tell us, you quickly, once you got in over a period of time you ramped up really fast. And at what point did you start to realize, just like when you were at your job you’re like “Well, I need to burn the bridges.” Part of what you’re doing now is burning the bridges of. . . Not that you’re burning your office down, but you’re basically trying to evolve to where location doesn’t matter, you’re agnostic to location.
Todd: Right, well two things is that I was the one man show for awhile, so I was running really, really hard and I said “Hey, I don’t want to do this anymore.” So I started reading a lot of books on scaling and I hired a consultant and he told me stuff that I already knew. And probably by listening to this show, that you can’t do it all on your own, you’ve got to build a team. Just like, probably, someone else edits your podcast, right?
Todd: And so, we got our office. It was a small little office in the worse part of town, with a little alley. And I spent 250 bucks a month to get in there, but it kind of got me started.
Todd: There’s that second level where you don’t do everything yourself, you’re there and you’re training people and everyone’s reporting to you. And all of a sudden your revenue goes up, you’re like “Whoa” and now you’re here. But what happens is that I hired people so that I could work less. But as you grow, if you’re in the office or if you’re supervising people, all of a sudden that catches up again and you’re doing more volume, but now you’re working harder than ever, even at that point.
Todd: Are you feeling me?
Mike: Yeah, yeah, you’re expenses go up a lot too because you’re like “Well, okay, my top line grew, but I’m not necessarily taking home a lot more money.” And you’re working harder than ever, right?
Mike: But, there’s always like, “But it’s going to get better.”
Todd: It’s going to get better. And so then I really read a couple great books, one was called Traction, and this basically taught me the concept of hiring a GM, an operations manager or what they call an integrator. And this was someone who will integrate all the major functions of the business and supervise everything. And integrative-
Mike: By the way you recommended that book to me last month and I bought it the same day we were together. And I read it on the flight home, and you told me the same thing. I was with my wife Lindsay. And I was like “This is me, this is me. I can’t be like the person you say I need to be like because that’s not me.”
Todd: Yeah, so are you an integrator?
Mike: Oh, no. What were the two types again?
Todd: Visionary and integrator.
Mike: Yes, yes. I’m a visionary.
Todd: Visionary. Yeah, so the . . . And I’m like an extreme visionary, so it’s like I can’t even organize my sock drawer. But the key there was we hired a GM, and he came in and all the loose ends in the business from the postcards coming in, and being able to skip trace those, to how to handle and pay a bill, he just made sure all those functions were being handled. To make sure that the people who were responsible for doing that were doing their job.
And somehow nobody was reporting to me, which was great, except for the integrator, the GM. And now I’m like out of the business. So you just give them a project and they run with the project. You give them the end results and they just get to the end result and document things along the way and think about all the details.
Todd: So for me that was like the next game changer. The problem is, there are two employees, in my opinion, who are really challenging to find. But they are like, you don’t have a choice in my opinion, if you want to grow, if you want to go big, you have got to hire these two people. Actually there are three. Number one, you need really good sales people. You need an integrator, and then eventually if you have any kind of work besides organization, you’re going to need a sales manager.
And really good talent, again, if you run an ad on Craigslist, lightening might strike and you might find somebody really, really great. And my opinion though is that if you’re able to broaden the pool and offer . . . And the other thing is too, is if you’re a small company how the heck are you going to get a rock star to come work for you and compensate them?
Todd: And that’s a real challenge. So I remember-
Todd: Great Mike, so let’s pretend that your company is making half a million dollars a year and now you have someone who is amazing but he wants $150,000 to come work for you. Where is that money going to come from?
Todd: And so you have to start to develop, in my opinion, a really attractive compensation package that’s just not about money. So the job has to look really, really appealing. And so one of the things there we struggled with, I’m going to get to why we went virtual, is we hired this integrator, he was amazing working in our business and he said “Hey, you know what Todd, I have to move home to my family. We have to go to Utah.” And I’m like “No. I don’t want to be back in the business.” And I started interviewing people and I’m like “Ugh.”
So he was gone for two weeks, and all of a sudden one of my sales reps, he’s been with me for three and a half years, awesome guy, rock star. He’s like, “Hey, I’m commuting 50 minutes everyday.” He’s like “This is not worth my time.” He’s like ” I’m going to go, I’m going to got get a Regus office space, it’s like a part time office. I’m going to pay for it out of my own pocket. I’ll come down here once or twice a week. Is that okay with you?” I’m like “Yeah, sure man. Let’s do it.”
Todd: And then we recently moved to the Fresno market and we had someone working in Fresno. So now I’m looking around and I’m like “There’s nobody in our office.” And so I started to do some research and I found out there’s some really, really good sales organizations that run 100% virtual. And so I started reading books about Chet Holmes, because he’s a big proponent of that, when he was all-
Todd: And I started looking at Tony Robbins’ model also.
Todd: So that company is a huge, huge revenues, and they have all their sales reps, all their customer service reps, all of management now work at home. And they moved from a big building to cubicles and boiler room, to now everyone working at their house. And I’m like “Well if these guys are doing it, why can’t we?” And so, fast forward six months later, we’re 100% virtual and we’re able to hire sales talent and an integrator and anyone else we need on a world-wide basis.
Mike: That’s awesome. And for some of those people . . . So you’ve kind of transitioned from being, obviously not virtual, and it’s probably different for sales guys, but for customer support or administrative type people, do you . . . Especially in real estate, there’s so much, this is obviously changing a lot, you can do with iPad apps and Dropbox and stuff like that.
Mike: It still feels like it’s kind of silk paper heavy, somebody has got to touch checks, and there’s just stuff that happens that even though it doesn’t all happen that way, there’s still some of it. How do you get around some of those issues?
Todd: Okay, let’s play “Why can’t you go virtual.” Okay, because we went through this, right?
Todd: So give me the top six objections why someone needs to be in your office.
Mike: Oh jeez, putting me on the spot. Obviously, probably the biggest objection would with administrative type folks as to whether they can actually stay productive if you can’t watch them, I guess.
Mike: If they don’t have a physical place to come to.
Todd: Well the biggest thing, and in that book Traction, that we put together, is that everyone has a metric that they have to stay accountable to, right? So, there’s a term called management by walking around, and I don’t know if you ever heard about that.
Todd: But when you’re in an office your manager walking around “Yeah, oh, Lucy came in at 7 and stayed till 6 and this person came in at 9 and stayed till 5.” Meanwhile they can be doing that but they could be farting around on their iPhone.
Todd: Playing that, what do they call it? Candy Crush or whatever, right? And that happens a lot. And so you manage just by them being in the seat. Where now, the only way we manage is by end result. So for example, we have a TC who works out of his house, and his job is to, when we get a property on a contract, his job is to make sure that all the fields are filled out appropriately and make sure that it’s up on the website, that a VA does that.
And then once it’s blasted out to take phone calls form all the buyers and set an appointment for them to go out to that property. He also has to handle all the escrow instructions and make sure all the paperwork is signed, all the disclosures. And his job is to make sure those are all signed, right. When a document comes in we have a policy that if it comes in before 2, it’s got to go out the same day. If it comes in after 2, it’s got to be in before 12 the next day. And so that’s our metric.
And so any document that comes in, it’s out during that timeframe. Any buyer that calls you gets them out to the property. And either he has compliance with that or he doesn’t. And so you set clear expectations, it’s like “You did the job or you didn’t” there’s no middle ground. So we don’t do any kind of management by walking around, the metric is just there.
Mike: Yeah, and some of those metrics are things that you have to kind of automate so that there’s some sort of dashboard or report card that everybody can see. And people kind of are forced to be . . . They know they’re being held accountable through that dashboard, right?
Todd: Yes. So for example, this person also, we also measure . . . He’s responsible for dealing with buyers. So we also can look up his call log and say, “Hey, you’re responsible to make 40 calls everyday. If you didn’t, explain why. If you had three closings that day, attribute them to that day.” He has to fill out a report associated with that. But if we’re moving properties and we have a bid system and he’s hitting his quotas then there’s nothing really to talk about, he’s doing his job.
Mike: Right. And in the event that somebody is uber productive and gets a bunch of stuff done and goes and plays golf in the afternoon, you probably don’t even know and you probably don’t even care as long as they’re hitting their numbers, right?
Todd: Correct. So all our sales team, they all have quotas. They all have sales quotas and they’re required to hit those. We do measure activity, but we measure productivity more. So if someone is not hitting those productivity numbers, we’ll go back and look at the activity and say “Hey, this is not matching up here.” You give that person probation or talk to them about what’s going on. It doesn’t change in 30 days, they’re out, somebody else comes in. But I will tell you also that everybody in my office, with the exception of that integrator, works on 100% commission, so that’s the other thing.
Todd: So when people work on 100% commission they work remotely. There are only two people who take 100% commission jobs, okay. The really, really bad people and the really, really good people. Obviously you want to stay away from the really, really bad people, and that’s about 80% of the people that are willing to work on 100% commission. You got to find those 20% that’s willing to work on 100% commission, because they’re always willing to bet on themselves.
Mike: Yeah, I know you talk a lot about, I know you have a lot of passion about training sales people and stuff like that. Talk about the importance of having multiple sales people. One, it makes your business a little more stable because you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. But the importance for them to be able to compare each others kind of KPIs or the report cards to see . . . There’s always those competitive nature and if you have one sales person and they’re not that good, sometimes you start to say, “Well, you don’t have anything to compare them to, and they don’t have anything to compare themselves to.” So talk a little bit about that dynamic of having multiple people.
Todd: Okay, well when you only have one person, you won’t believe the stuff that you tolerate. And that’s a real word that we said, tolerate. I mean that word hurts, because you got to –
Mike: And as the owner you’re somewhat fearful, subconsciously, that if something happens to them, you’re going to have to do it, right?
Todd: Absolutely. Absolutely, so you don’t let them go because you don’t want to get your hands dirty, and you’re in a bind. And shame on us for doing that. But also sales people, look, we’re competitive, the good ones are. And they really care so we have an office, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing by the way. If you see right now I’m in my office, this is only the second time I’ve been in my office in 40 days, and I did it because we had a hard wire for this interview.
Todd: But right now one of our awesome team members, he’s working here today because he’s looking at a property down here and met some sellers. But he’s never here either. But the issue there is yeah, there’s some camaraderie that we used to have in the office when the sales people where here, but that wears off. Being here everyday, all day and the commute, like a 40 minute commute every day will take away a lot of that camaraderie.
But the score card, people look at it and say “Okay, I’m only making 40, well now this other person is making 80 calls.” Or “Hey, 50 leads came in, you only converted one deal, while 50 leads came in and this person converted three.” So there’s no standard there to metric, to see kind of where you stand. So it’s important that you have, really, numbers, data. Because maybe your sales person is hyper productive and you think they’re under performing, or maybe they’re under performing and you think that they’re over producing. You don’t know until you set that bar.
Todd: And hire multiple people. It’s real important to be able to do that. Anyone gets lazy. And the one thing is I just started working with an awesome personal trainer. I mean this guy is a total beast, and he makes me weigh my food everyday, every single meal. And eat exactly 2200 calories. And I’ve got to send him a picture of this little app called My Fitness Pal. And then I have to send him a picture of my heart rate monitor with 800 calories burnt everyday.
Todd: And that was you have something to compare it to. And I’m like “Weigh my food? I’m like, come on man. That’s like over the top.” He’s like “You have no idea how much you’re eating.” So, long story short, the first day before I did this he . . . And I’m going to bring this back to what we’re talking about in a minute. He says I want you to just eat like you normally do, and track your calories. But I’m not going to give you any guidelines. So weigh your food, I’m not going to give you any guidelines and then we’re going to track it afterwards.
So I thought I was eating a lot, but basically I was only eating 15 to 1600 calories a day after weighing my food. Or I was eating like 3000 or 4000 at a restaurant because of the types of food I was eating. So once you get that on paper and you have something to compare it to and you’re actually weighing it and the scale being the measurement of something to compare it to, you know exactly where you stand, right?
Todd: So I lost about five pounds in about nine days.
Todd: It’s just like. . . And every single one of his clients, every single one at they all have like shredded six and eight packs, you know this 45-year-old mom with three kids, it’s like she’s totally [inaudible 00:27:10]. And so you have to have something to measure it against, whether it be a scale or other sales reps.
Mike: Yeah and I think you got to be true to yourself because there’s a lot of business owners that, like you just said, kind of a similar example of what you just said, you purposely don’t document stuff because you don’t want to be held accountable. Kind of sabotage yourself, right?
Todd: I’ve been there.
Mike: It’s easy to just say ” Well that bucket of popcorn.” We went to the movies the other day, by the way this is kind of a side note, and the side of the popcorn, it was like “Whole grain, no non-saturated fats.” I was like “So this big bucket of popcorn, they would make it sound like it’s health food,” right?
Mike: Anyway, my point is those people be like “Yeah, it’s not that bad so I’ll just eat it all.” But my point is it’s very easy to not hold yourself accountable just by not tracking your metrics, right?
Todd: Right. So I found that being virtual, it takes all the emotion out of it.
Todd: You’re not coming in and being like “Oh, busy bee, busy bee.” “Everyone is working hard, you hear those keyboards typing, you hear people on the phone.” It takes that out of it. And now it’s all about the numbers and the productivity and it forces you to take a look at everything. We were looking at some mailing campaigns that we’re doing, we’re like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we’ve been throwing away this particular money on this particular list.” By not keeping a super close eye on each campaign.
Todd: And that’s been huge for us.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Well, Todd let’s jump into the hiring. Do you want to talk anymore about hiring sales people or some of those things, or some kind of advice?
Todd: Yeah, I love it. So if you want, I mean if you have a real estate business, if you want to grow it to any way, shape, or form, your eventually going to have to hire salespeople, that’s real important. Because unless you want to be meeting with a home owner at 8:00 at night, at a kitchen table, and I’m sure you’ve been there, right Mike?
Mike: Oh yeah.
Todd: Unless you want to be there, or if you’re trying to run the bookkeeping and the marketing and be that visionary, you’re not going to be able to be a visionary and really invest in your company if you are the one answering the telephone. Those roles can’t be done by both people. So to get the highest best use, you’re going to have to hire them.
So in my opinion, you should always bring on a sales professional in your company, no matter what business. If you have a catering company you’ve got to get a sales person. If you sell cars, obviously you have to have a sales person. If you sell SEO, you got to have a sales person. And so if you’re a newbie, you’re not going to hire one your first day. But if you’ve got a couple of deals under your belt, that’s one of the best things that you can do.
Mike: Absolutely, absolutely.
Todd: Do most . . . On your show, what’s the percentage of people who have sales people, would you say?
Mike: I never ask that question, you know we have a variety of people. But I think it’s usually, most people that are on the show, we talk from people that are in the process of scaling up, or looking to kind of expand beyond themselves all the way to people that are doing high volume like some of the folks that we know.
Mike: A little bit of everybody.
Todd: Right, so the biggest thing is that you’re looking for a total rock star. And the total rock star, you ask them questions, they have a pattern of success wherever they go. So it’s like, you look at them and they’re good at everything. So, for you, let’s say Mike, you are a super star, right?
Todd: I mean, you’ve . . . Take a look at it, I mean you’re a trainer for Homevestors. Am I allowed to say that on the air?
Mike: You just did.
Todd: Okay, great. But you’ve got a phenomenal podcast, FlipNerd, the website is amazing, and it’s like that doesn’t happen by accident. You’ve made that happen and so if you look at . . . For example we had one person come in who played collegiate football and was a captain, and he got a 4.0 in college. And he came in here and we had this push-up contest and he was like training secretly with nobody. And he came in and boom, banged out 120. He was in the bathroom drinking Red Bulls to pump himself up, super competitive, and he comes out and he was like “Roar.”
And those are the types of people. It’s the ugliest kid who dates the prom queen, and it’s like they have a pattern of success. And so you want to hear that when you interview them, be really in tune to people who just stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking at this person, you’re saying “Hey, this person just looks about average, they could do the job.” That’s not the person.
You want someone who is going to go get the deal, where all of a sudden they’re like “Hey, you know, the seller said they don’t want to do the deal right now, to call me next week.” And they said “Nope, I got in my car, I drove down there and I got the contract.” That’s someone with that kind of mindset. And so, they just make stuff happen.
Todd: And that’s the kind of person that you’re looking for. So we put an ad that attracts that, and I got this ad from Chet Holmes, it says like “Don’t even call unless you’re an absolute rock star. You can make between 100 and 300 grand a year, and if you’re even mediocre, I’ll sniff you out in a second.” And I put that out there. And so make them submit a video. Here’s a little trick that I haven’t told anybody.
Mike: Oh, FlipNerd exclusive everybody.
Todd: FlipNerd exclusive. Okay, so a lot of people have gotten in our mastermind, they used a video. You’ve heard that before, to get people to submit an application when they-
Mike: You got to submit. . . We did that the last time we were hiring for a couple positions we had them submit a video, yeah.
Todd: Okay, so that’s good. But if you want to even do two things more, make everyone take a disc test, D-I-S-C.
Todd: Before they do that, and submit that. So that’s the second thing. But the third thing that we do, and this is my favorite thing that we just started doing this. You want to see how they respond to like just a small roadblock. You want closers. A lot of salespeople, what they do is they close a couple of the deals and they think their closers. But really in essence what they were is an order taker. It was a lay down, right, the seller was like, “Needed $40,000 to get Billy Bob, our son out of jail.” And if she didn’t get that money in 30 days she was going to jail too.
Todd: And so they closed those deals and they think that they’re closers. But most people aren’t closers. Good closers, what they do is they’re constantly pushing the sale forward. And the prospect is being closed and they don’t even know it. And they’re pushing forward and they don’t let them go back. And I always like to put the analogy, it’s like a kid’s bike, where you can just move it forward, but you can’t go backwards. Any good sales person that’s how they operate, they only go forward.
Mike: Yeah, yeah.
Todd: Never backwards. So, where I was going with that is when they get the video and they take the test, we send them a quick email and say “Hey, nice video.” Send. And then just wait. Right, so other people will say “Thanks.” But the good people, the rock stars, will come back and say “Well great, when can I interview with you?”
Todd: And that’s a knack, some people have a hard time teaching that, if they understand-
Mike: Do you disqualify the people that don’t?
Todd: Yeah, I disqualify them.
Mike: Yeah. That’s interesting.
Todd: Because you opened the door, that motivated seller that said something that they didn’t pick up on. It was an opportunity. So if you say, “Hey, nice video.” What they do is you need to have them jump in and say “Great, what’s the next step? How do I come in? I’d like to interview you.”
Mike: When do I start?
Todd: Where do I start? Whatever that is, they’re pushing that sales process forward and that’s been huge. You don’t have to teach people that, they naturally have that. I’m looking for someone who can be a little pushy with us.
Mike: Hey, I want to make sure that there’s a connection here because I think you’ve made it, or we’ve talked about it, but I just want to make sure people are following here. So you’re saying one of the ways, obviously you want a virtual business for all the reasons we talked about. You’re not chained to a place, it allows you to kind of expand because you’re not limited to people that just want to come into your office.
Todd: You’re also forced to manage the business by not emotion but pure numbers.
Mike: Right, right. But one of the ways you’re able to attract more people and better people is that you may not have unlimited resources to pay them, but what you’re giving them is flexibility in terms of being able to work from home as well. Is that something I’m picking up on here?
Todd: Yeah, that’s it, that’s an opportunity, right.
Mike: It’s an incentive, for the right person?
Todd: It’s an incentive, but there’s also the opportunity off site because everyone’s working on 100% commission, they can make a couple hundred grand a year.
Todd: Right, so the up side is there is a little more risk, sure, there’s a little bit more risk. But in my opinion, base salary is just, I like to call base salaries BS. It just makes you soft, it made me soft.
Todd: If you have a bad month it’s like “Eh, I’ve got the base salary.”
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Well Todd, we’re running a little long on time here. I want to do two things. One, tell us, summarize what you think people should do. I know, again, we’ve talked about it, having general managers and some other roles, I know a lot of your passion is in sales people. But just drive home the importance of bringing good sales people on your team. And then the second one is tell us about your new podcast as well.
Todd: Sure. Well, I think hiring good sales people could easily double, tripe, quadruple your business within in a 90 day period. If you’re a one man show right now and you’re operating that way, the easiest way to do more business is by hiring a good sales person. I guarantee you if you are listening to this, you are missing out on leads and they’re slipping through the cracks and you’re not following up like a total banshee. And you should be.
I’m in San Diego right now and the market is so competitive, so competitive. When they come in here, it’s funny, they’ll have like a million post cards sitting on the table there, and we get the deal. It’s because our team and they know they have to follow up and follow up and follow up and I would never be able to do that as the business owner. It wouldn’t happen. And so immediately if you have someone just focused on that job, then bring them on and you won’t believe the results. It’s a total game changer.
So if you get anything out of this episode, you can hire sales people and they can work out of their house, and you can train them virtually. This is the other thing too, is that for me I don’t want to come to the office every day, that was really important for me. So how, if you’re really small and you don’t have a sale manager yet, are you going to train your sales people? How are you going to do that? You’re going to have to come in everyday and be there all day, right?
Todd: Versus now, if I hire somebody I get everyone on a teleconference, now I can record it easily, it doesn’t have to be big clunky video. And now everyone’s going back and forth, we’re role playing, got the file, boom, record it, boom, now it’s done. And our CRM? Boom, training done, and now even next time I don’t have to be there because the recording is right there.
Mike: That’s awesome.
Todd: Virtually I think it’s easier to train. You can do webinar, you can use Skype, we have a bunch of these role playing back and forth with our sales people and uploaded it to our CRM. And so, yeah, if you have a business, hire a sales person.
Mike: Awesome, awesome. And I know you’re so passionate about it that you have started a new podcast to talk about training your sales people that are hired. So talk a little about that and tell us what it is and how people find it.
Todd: Sure, so if you are a business owner or a manager please check out Ignite Your Sales Team. Igniteyoursalesteam.com, and I have our sales manager on there who is awesome. And we are co-hosts on the show, we teach small business owners how to hire and train and manage and compensate and reward top sales people all over the country, working on 100% commission remotely.
Mike: That’s awesome. Yeah, I’d recommend checking it out just for your passion. I mean you’re such a passionate guy Todd. So, I encourage people to go . . . We’ll add links to your site but also to your podcast in the iTunes store, so.
Todd: Thanks man, I appreciate it.
Mike: Awesome, hey thanks for sharing your insights with us. I mean there’s no doubt that we talked about it before hand, I mean everybody is looking for a way . . . I’ve shared some experiences with you that I just got back from traveling for a couple weeks and I feel kind of guilty of telling people “Well, next week we’re going to be out again.” They’re like “Another trip? Oh, Mike is traveling again.” You know, kind of this guilt and it’s just like from my standpoint it’s like that’s the life I want to live.
Mike: But there’s this guilt, even if people don’t even say anything it’s like, “Well, they don’t have that type of flexibility.” And from my arguments it’s like “Well I own the company.” But you know, that’s the challenge that I think a lot of people face.
Todd: It is what it is, Mike. That’s one thing that as you grow, is that, because not even when you go virtual not everyone does have that same flexibility.
Todd: Is that maybe you might be on vacation and you have the ability to not maybe work for four days, five days as often as you want. Sometimes if you have a really good team, they can work remotely but they’re not going to be able to have that same flexibility as the owner.
Todd: And that’s what that integrator does, that integrator role. In my experience though, they’re usually sick and twisted people. And they love to work, they love, love, love to work and ours is that way and he takes vacations but not many.
Mike: Awesome Todd. Well we’ll add links down below the video for anybody that want to check it out and learn more about what Todd is doing. Well Todd, great to see you again.
Mike: I appreciate your time.
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