Roy: Hello everybody. Roy H. Williams with good Daniel Whittington, vice chancellor of Wizard Academy. Thank you for joining us for the monthly ASBI.
Daniel: That’s it.
Roy: Now, we have bad news, we have good news.
Daniel: Do you want me to do the bad news?
Roy: Tell them what the bad news is.
Daniel: The bad news is we’re shooting a week earlier than we thought we were going to shoot, so I didn’t have time to collect the questions I normally get from people. And I only told Roy about it 10 minutes ago.
Roy: So here’s the deal. The good news is that we did get two questions. Actually, we got one, and a spam email. We want to share that with you also, because it came from one of you, and we took it seriously because we only had two questions.
Daniel: That’s true.
Roy: So the good news is this: I’m actually going to share with this audience something that I shared in the private webcast a week ago with my Wizard of Ads partners.
So normally, the stuff I share with the Wizard of Ads partners.
Daniel: It’s practically proprietary.
Roy: They’re the only people that get that stuff. I’m sorry. They’re the only ones. So I decided, you know what? I think they would understand. Under the circumstances, we’re gonna share something amazingly valuable.
Daniel: That’s the best paper cigar ever.
Roy: And you’re gonna have to explain the paper cigar thing.
Daniel: I know.
Roy: It’s a thing.
Here’s the important part. You have no warning what I’m about to do.
Daniel: I have no idea what you’re about to do.
Roy: You have no clue. Which will make it better, this will make it better, because it will be real. We’re gonna demonstrate the technique as I explain the technique, and you, my good friend, are the guinea pig.
Roy: Guinea pig.
Roy: Alright, so.
Daniel: Do we have to wait for my check to cash with Carine?
Roy: We’ll get to that later. We’ll get to that later. At the very end.
Daniel: Oh yeah. Fair enough.
Roy: I don’t want to be here when you react. I’m just gonna give you the news and sign off, and be out the door.
So first thing, we got the one real question from Kevin Atribus.
Daniel: Alright, Kevin.
Hi Roy, I have a question about advertising a really short purchase cycle product. Have you ever done this successfully and long-term with a category like this, such as beer?
Local craft beer breweries are popping up in our area, and I see this as an opportunity to help one of these companies rise to the top. I’m hoping they will also show the gratitude to me with free beer. It seems to me that lots of customers are already going to buy beer this week, and the goal is to get them to just choose my client’s beer when they’re in the store, so a six-pack just falls off the shelf and into their cart.
Does this require a 52-week schedule, or would this be well served by a series of flights throughout the year? Small guys don’t have a ton of money in the beginning. Kevin Atrobus
Roy: Here’s what I love about Kevin. He knew somehow instinctively that beer and a handful of other products like that would be exceptions to what I call the short product purchase cycle policy.
So yes, Kevin, you can absolutely positively as you suspected, you can brand a product with a short purchase cycle so that it falls off the shelf into a customer’s cart at the grocery store, and beer is absolutely one of those products. Soft drinks, beer, believe it or not, cigarettes, anything that you believe a person might consider an expression of their identity. Anything that you think is an identity marker. You’ve been to the academy, and you know that I make a really, really big deal out of never serving at Wizard Academy bowling alley beer, which means any beer you can get in a bowling alley or is at eye level on the shelf in a grocery store, because that’s where the major brands are. Or, you can get it on an airplane. So if you can get it on an airplane, and it’s on the eye level shelf at the grocery store, or it’s in a bowling alley, if you bring that beer to the Academy, and you work for me, you’re fired.
And this is the first thing you’re told. It’s a real thing. It’s an absurd policy, it’s ridiculous, it’s indefensible. But it’s an identity marker. And I just resent cheap, mass-produced, common beer. And I don’t know why. But see, I don’t have to defend that.
Daniel: But that’s your identity reinforcement.
Roy: That’s my identity. And I impose it on everyone else. I do. I only shared that so that people would know, things like what you drink.
Daniel: Oh yeah. Guinness, man. I love Guinness, and part of it is because they’re one of the most amazing advertisers on the planet.
Roy: and another part of it’s because you’re British. And you like anything Scottish or British because you’re fancy like that.
Daniel: I guess so. I should’ve worn my shirt.
Roy: You should’ve. You saw the shirt and you rabbit holed. Tell them what it says.
Daniel: It’s got a British flag, and it says “Happy treason day, you ungrateful colonials.”
Roy: Now, Fourth of July, as you know, is happening right now in the States. By the time they see this, it will have happened already.
Daniel: It will, yeah.
Roy: Well, the point is, yes. Kevin pointed out to us, Daniel, that these guys don’t have a ton of money. So if you love these people and you really want to make somebody a big deal, the first thing you want to make sure you accomplish is what I’m gonna call the upfront agreement. And you say, “Hey look, do you believe that really big things are gonna happen for you his year, and what percentage do you think you’re gonna increase this year?”
And if they name a big number, screw it, you will never get credit for what you did. If they feel like things are flat, we’re not sure what we’re gonna do, we’re a little bit nervous. You’re looking for a person who has pain, you’re looking for a company who has a problem, they know they have a problem, and they need help solving the problem. So do not partner with somebody that’s a shooting star, they’re on the way up, because it doesn’t matter how big of a rabbit you pull out of the hat, it doesn’t matter how big of a miracle you make happen, you’re not gonna get credit for it.
Find somebody in pain, find somebody frustrated, find somebody who really is nervous about the future, and then you work out an agreement where maybe five or six times during the year, they’re going to be a co-sponsor of a major event. When you’re in the radio business, you can usually work a deal to where you have this big event, this big picnic, the listener appreciation thing, and these guys are gonna be there. They’re gonna set up a big table and they’re gonna provide all the beer for free. Give them some credit for that, they get some on-air time and stuff, for showing up and giving everybody all the beer they want. And they expend some money, but yet, you can put together a deal to where the station looks good because everybody gets all the free beer they want, and the brewery looks awesome because they’re buddies with the radio station, and they’re getting some ads.
You do that six times a year, you will have made a staggering … and when I say six times a year, I mean six one-week schedules. One week or 10 days, but they’re high-frequency schedules and anybody can afford that. Anybody can. Yet if about every other month they’re part of something that’s happening at the station, and it’s a high-impact, high-frequency, high repetition cool deal, and they’re mentioned a lot. By the end of that year, people go, “These guys are connected to the station, I love the station, these guys are obviously the cool guys,” so they get what I call the golden handshake.
When you’re connected to somebody that is deeply beloved, then you by extension will be accepted and somewhat loved.
Daniel: Do you think these guys would be more open to the idea of marketing because they’re in an industry where marketing obviously plays a huge role?
Roy: Listen, beer is one of those things to whenever I say, most of what we purchase as consumers, we buy to remind ourselves and announce to the world who we are. And beer is one of those. Beer, cigarettes, shoes, and it used to be automobiles, but less automobiles than it used to be. People don’t have quite the sense of personality projection through their vehicles.
Daniel: Yeah, it’s more utilitarian.
Roy: Used to, what you drove and the color of the thing that you drove, the style and the accessories, it was a major identity marker. But not so much anymore. Shoes are still a thing.
Yeah, Kevin, you can absolutely do that.
Now, let’s go to … you ready?
Roy: Now, I want you to read that, because-
Daniel: The word artist does not apply to writers as readily as to musicians or sculptors or painters because the medium in which they work, language, is used by everyone, without any particular regard for economy or form. Language is the common drudge of every sort of experience, it does not enter the heads of most people to use it with any conscious skill or effectiveness.
Wow, Roberson Davies.
Roy: Yeah, Roberson Davies.
Daniel: He is so good.
Roy: Now, The Merry Heart is a book by Roberson Davies, and it’s a series of essays. And the only thing I can compare it to, CS Lewis. There is a book of essays that are written by CS Lewis, who as you know was a very close friend of JRR Tolkien. And he was a brilliant professor, there have been movies made about him. And he wrote a book called God in the Dock. That actually was the title of one little essay that he wrote.
And in Britain, as you know, being British, the dock is where a person sits who is on trial. So God on the Dock is the name of this essay, and CS Lewis said, we have put God in the dock, and we have said, “Perhaps we’ll believe in you, perhaps we’ll even like you and pay attention to you if you explain a few things. First, tell us why this. First, explain this. First, you need to make me understand this thing. You have to answer for yourself.” And we’ve put God on trial.
So it’s an amazing book of essays. The Merry Heart by Roberson Davies is a book like that, but it isn’t about theology, it’s about literature. Isn’t that amazing?
Daniel: It is.
Roy: It’s about literature. So I just wanted to share that, because I want to encourage the ASBI patrons to get really serious about the study of language as an art. It is the choice of words and the choice of the sequence of ideas, and the exact framing or the approach into the subject matter. When you know how to do that, you can pull a miraculous success out of your pocket as if it were a coin and hand it to someone. You can give people miracles if you understand words and you have any access at all to the media.
And if people understood what Roberson Davies is saying here, it’s like, “Yeah, everybody can talk, but most people are idiots.”
Daniel: That’s true.
Roy: Seriously. They use words thoughtlessly and when we come across somebody who is using words intelligently and with purpose, it rocks our world. It rattles our cage.
Okay. Now, we’ll move on. This is the thing I normally only share with partners. Now, Daniel, we’re gonna do this, because it’s a philosophical thing. Unless I make it an actual thing.
Now, this is the deal right here, we’re going to see how much this will show up on the screen. Not having a whiteboard, we’re gonna use this thing right here, which is actually what I use.
Daniel: This is high technology shit going on right here.
Roy: This is. It’s about to get real right here.
So whenever you’re going to help someone, whether it’s this brewery that Kevin wants to help, or whether it is an advertising client, or whether it’s a business friend that you love, and who listens to you and takes you seriously, or even if it’s the vice chancellor of the school?
I want real answers about anything and everything related to this campus, or ASBI, or Wizard Academy that is on your mind. So my first question is, let’s show them the first question, Chad.
We’re gonna have a planning session. Tell me all the things that you want to accomplish.
Daniel: Okay, I’m gonna talk about the facilitating coaching strategy sessions we’ve designed.
Roy: So we’re gonna talk about the facilitating coaching sessions.
Daniel: That’s really good upside-down writing.
Roy: Facilitated coaching. The c stands for coaching.
Roy: That is kinda good.
Daniel: That’s not bad.
Roy: It’s bad, but not as bad as I was thinking.
Daniel: Me either.
Roy: So facilitated coaching sessions. What else?
Daniel: Okay. I want to … crap. The facilitated coaching, planning for the new vice chancellor.
Roy: Oh yes.
Daniel: His first three months, what are they gonna look like?
Roy: Alright. What else?
Daniel: My first three months after having a vice chancellor.
Roy: I want to talk about your future, is that a good way to say that?
Roy: Future is what I’m gonna put here because I made the –
Daniel: This is way more fun.
Roy: Your future. What else?
Daniel: That’s all I can think of right now.
Roy: Is there anything else you’d like to accomplish?
Daniel: No. Not that’s pressing.
Roy: Well, I have a couple things I’d like to accomplish. We’re gonna show them this, Chad, you’re not paying attention.
Chad’s not paying attention.
Daniel: He’s focusing.
Roy: First thing is, tell us all the things you’d like to accomplish today, and then we’re gonna go into number two, which is: you write down like I did, where it can be seen, everything they tell you. You don’t comment on anything they say.
Daniel: Oh so you can’t say things like, “Oh, that’s a good one.”
Roy: No, you can’t. That’s just an encouragement, but don’t try to answer it.
Daniel: Oh okay.
Roy: Don’t try to answer it.
Daniel: Don’t rabbit trail at all.
Roy: Don’t rabbit trail. You encourage them, you keep them talking, “Yeah that’s a great one, what else? What else? Is there anything else?”
And when they finally can’t think of anything else they want to tell you, then you go to step two. What do you feel like it standing in your way or holding you back, what are the things you’re most concerned about regarding these three things? The facilitated retreats, and the new vice chancellor and his first three months, and your own three months after you get the vice chancellor.
Roy: So what are the things that have got you worried?
Daniel: With the facilitated, I think we’ve developed a pretty good plan.
Daniel: But I’m not sure how to explain to people what we’re doing versus what they normally think of when they think facilitated retreats.
Roy: Okay. So one of the limiting factors with the facilitated retreats is how to explain it.
Daniel: Yeah, that’s the number one thing. I think if I could effectively explain it, then it’ll be sold out in months. For the whole year.
Roy: What else are you interested in or concerned about, what do you feel like is the limiting factor with these things?
Daniel: How much of what I do needs to be handed on the second one, VC, how much I need to do that needs to be handed off. Versus me refocusing on it.
Roy: Alright. How much to hand off versus keep.
Daniel: Yeah. And that’s basically both of those things combined. Those are the two number one things just floating in my head.
Roy: Alright. What you’re saying is right now you have these three things that you’d like to get settled. The facilitated coaching retreats, which is the new product category, and the new vice chancellor that’ll be coming in January, and what does your future look like after he gets here? You want to talk about those things. We’re definitely going to talk about those. We’re going to get all of those resolved today.
Roy: I want you to know we’re gonna get those things handled, and I am aware now of exactly the things you’re worried about might be holding you back.
Chad, we’re gonna show him the third thing. This is how you actually do an uncovering. You get everybody to list everything they can.
Daniel: You know what’s weird? Can I just say something real quick?
Daniel: What’s weird is, I know that we’re walking through this, but when you said, “We’re gonna figure these things out, these three things, I see what you’re worried about. We’re gonna get those all answered,” I had this strange strong feeling of relief. Which makes no sense, being as how I know this is an exercise. There’s no logic to that, but it just feels subconsciously like oh, I’m not on my own anymore.
Roy: Exactly. Now listen, thank you for sharing that. Whenever you sit down with a business owner, and you don’t interrupt them, and you say, “Oh yeah, okay. Let me write it down. What else, anything else? Is there anything else at all,” and they go, “I can’t think of anything else.”
They remember that moment. And then when you say, “What do you feel like is holding you back, what do you feel like are the limiting factors that you’re facing?” And you write them down. Now, you’re not gonna come back to those limiting factors. You ignore the limiting factors, this is for me to know. I’m not gonna come back to them specifically, I just need you to get them off your chest so that you feel like I’m now fully informed.
Daniel: And it’s not bugging me.
Roy: It’s not bugging you.
So now that I know what’s down behind the scenes, I just got that. But we’re not gonna really do anything with that. We’re not gonna see that again.
Roy: Now, what you just said is so powerful, Daniel, because 100 percent of the time, they’ll bring you anywhere from six to maybe 12 things, is what a business owner will usually list when you say, “What else? Is there anything else you’d like to get settled? Anything else you’d like to have a plan for when you leave here?”
And they’re like, “We can’t get all this covered, this is everything in the world.” Like, no, we’re gonna do this. And you get it written down and they’re looking at it, and you’re like, “We’re gonna handle that today, we’re gonna do that today, you’re gonna leave here with answers.”
And people just in that moment, phew! I’m not getting a sermon today, I’m getting customized answers to my problems. I’m not getting a sales pitch. The client is thinking, I’m leading the way. I’m going to get what I came for. Not what they want to give me.
So this is what I’ve referred to many times as the upfront agreement.
Roy: Now, let’s look at what happens next.
Pointing at the list, look at your client and assure them we’re definitely going to go over all that today. That’s step three. And then say, “I’m going to add a few things that I want to make sure we cover as well.”
So anything that I want to make sure we talk about-
Daniel: Gotta get it on the page so that we can cover it.
Roy: So what happens is, I’m talking, I’m wanting to talk about distractions, and I’m gonna put that right here. And I want to talk about moving expenses. And I want to talk about the board of directors.
Roy: Okay. So what happens is, now that I’ve gotten these things written down. And forgive me, you guys know this is really ugly writing, but this is just to illustrate the idea.
Chad, is this readable? Can they read that?
Roy: You think so? Okay, good.
So then what you do, and this is another important point. This is when you create a new numbered list that incorporates all their objectives for the day with the things you want to discuss as well.
Roy: This thing here-
Daniel: I’ll hold that.
Roy: – these things, they’re giant sticky notes, and you stick them to the wall, so they remain visible for the entire day. So what I’m gonna do is, I’m gonna now create a new list. Put it over here so I can look at it this way, Dan.
Daniel: You need to be able to read it.
Roy: I need to be able to read it, without everybody looking at the back of my head. Good. So over there by Chad. We’ve got now six things, I’m gonna write one, two, three, four, five, six.
And this is important. He went first. He purged everything he wanted to talk about. I then add some things I want to talk about. That’s fair, he’s done, he can’t even think about anything else.
But now I get to decide the order in which they’re going to be discussed.
Daniel: Ah. Okay. It’s like checking people’s questions from the audience before you start.
Roy: Exactly. When you’re getting ready to take questions from the live audience.
So what happens is, the reason I want to be able to list the numbers is that it’s like setting up dominoes. And you always know, this is the one.
Daniel: It feels like a setlist.
Roy: It is.
Daniel: It feels like you’re building a setlist.
Roy: For a concert.
Daniel: Yeah. Gonna start it with this show opener.
Roy: This one leads into this, and this one leads into this.
Daniel: Then we’re gonna have an acoustic session, end with the big finish.
Roy: Exactly. So what happens is, when you figure out exactly the sequence in which you want to approach these. So here’s what we’re going to do.
Believe it or not, I’m gonna start with your future. That’s what I want to talk about first. Then I want to talk about distractions, which is one of the things I was interested in talking about. Then we’re gonna talk about the new VC, then we’re gonna talk about your future. Your future and the new VC. Oh, we already had talked about your future.
Daniel: You mean moving expenses, maybe?
Roy: Oh. Facilitated retreats.
Daniel: Oh, there you go.
Roy: Facilitated retreats, or what was the other word for those?
Daniel: Coaching sessions, strategy sessions.
Roy: Yeah. It’s not exactly a private academy, it’s a different thing. And then-
Daniel: Board of directors and moving expenses were the last two that are up there.
Roy: Board of directors.
Alright. So now, put this up where everybody can see it. This is everything Daniel wanted to talk about plus everything I wanted to talk about, but they’re numbered. And this is the simplest technique in the world, but it is so unbelievably powerful. And people love it. They always think it’s the greatest today they’ve ever had.
You get to decide which item will be number one, number two and number three, but you don’t include the limiting factors. You just wanted to get those on the table.
Now, when you finish creating your numbered consolidated list, start with the item you chose as number one and share your thoughts. Get their input, and then discuss. When you feel you have an agreement, you draw a line through it to indicate it’s been covered.
What you’re looking for is, even if it’s a whiteboard, you don’t erase it from the board.
Daniel: Gotta leave it up there.
Roy: Leave it up there and you draw a single line through it so it can still be read. But you always get permission to draw the line through it. When you ask, “Do you feel like we’ve covered this? Do you feel like we’ve resolved this?” And when they say, “Yeah, I think we’re good to go on that one,” then you just draw a line through it. And it is the lines through each of the items, that gives them a sense of progress. And when you draw the last line through the last thing, and they go “Oh my god, I didn’t think there was any possible way we would get all that covered today.”
But they feel entirely in charge. They feel fully served. And they feel like they were in control every step of the way. But in reality, you as a consultant, me, I got what I needed most. The things that matter most to you. I need to know how you’re gonna make your decisions. I need to know what matters in your world, so if I go write what matters to you and figure out how to make you feel good about my answer, I’m done.
Daniel: Yeah, forever.
Roy: You’re gonna say yes. You’re gonna say yes, yes, yes.
Daniel: And no matter what else is happening.
Roy: Exactly. So what happens is, I want to start talking about your future here.
Daniel: Rock and roll.
Roy: And the second thing I wanted to talk about was distractions. Now, in the most recent board meeting, Daniel, I told the board of directors, I said, we started the Academy 20 years ago. Well, it was 20 years ago in May. And I said, I wanted to get the very last building finished, and I was gonna step down as chancellor. I’m not going anywhere, I’m still going to teach magical worlds most of the time, and things, and I’ll be around, and I’ll still be teaching stuff. But I don’t have to worry about the school.
So your future, as you’ve known for a while, it to be the guy that worries about the school. Now, the good news is, you’ve been doing that for a while. And when you get this new vice chancellor, my concerns are distractions.
We’ve already agreed on who your vice-chancellor should be, you picked him and he’s accepted the job. But I know how much of a perfectionist you are and how much you fret about things and how much you worry about things. I’m sitting here thinking, you have to trust him to do his job.
Roy: You have to empower him to do his job, and even when he screws up you assume positive intent. He meant well. He thought he was doing the right thing, it was a horrible idea, but he was trying to do the right thing.
And I just want to remind you of the number of times when you first got started and you wanted to do something, like this whole whiskey school thing, and I never told you, “I don’t want to go that direction at all, I really don’t at all,” and I knew of all kinds of problems it was probably gonna create, and all kinds of misunderstandings.
But I said you know what? I’ve seen enough positive response to this anecdotally from students, I’ve just watched it happen, I’m going, I don’t know. It’s better to give him the opportunity to pursue something he understands that to try to get him to do something that I understand.
Daniel: Right. That makes sense.
Roy: And you need to give Zack the same thing. He’s gonna come up with some real dumbass thing. And you’re either gonna go, “Alright, let’s give that a try, how much time do you think you need? Let’s put some boundaries on this,” so it’s a fair experiment.
I remember one of my bosses, Dennis Wurdon, 37, 38 years ago. I told him this plan I had to bring in a whole lot of money. And he said, “Yeah, okay that sounds really interesting. How long do you want me to let you work on this exclusively, just this one project?” And I said, “Three days, give me three days.”
And he goes, “Alright. For the next three days, put all your energy on that. But at the end of three days, if it hasn’t come together for you, you’re gonna move on, right?” I said, yeah, yeah. I just need three days. He said okay.
So I came back in at the end of the second day and I still have the letter that I got from the owner of our network, a handwritten letter saying, “You set a record, nobody ever believed this would ever be done. Ever.” I brought in so much money for such a short amount of time and they were just spellbound. And my boss called me in and he said, “I owe you an apology,” and I’m going pfft. How could you possibly owe me an apology?
Daniel: You let me focus on this for three days.
Roy: No, and he says, “I want you to know that Tom Ledding,” his close friend who’s a major advertiser, Tom Ledding was in his office whenever I walked in to talk to my boss. He said, “Me and Tom laughed ourselves teary-eyed, we laughed ourselves til we cried at how crazy that idea was, and you were gonna be slaughtered, you’re gonna go out on the streets and get torn limb from limb with that crazy idea, and you didn’t know it, but we said to give him the opportunity, we’ll put the pieces back together when he comes back to the station, but he’s gonna be shredded.”
So what I’m saying is, I give that freedom to you. You need to give that freedom to Zack. And you’re gonna be able to do my job fantastically, you’ve already been doing my job. The only thing I haven’t given you yet is, you’re not a signatory on the checking account, you don’t manage cash flow.
Daniel: I don’t have that little, the book stops here. Who was the president who put that on his desk?
Roy: Truman, I think. I’m not sure.
Daniel: Yeah. Sounds like a Truman thing.
Roy: Here’s my point. Zack’s gonna screw up. Budget for it. Emotionally and financially.
Daniel: Emotionally is a big one.
Roy: Don’t try to save him.
Roy: In other words, you’re worried about stepping back in because you’re better at it than him.
Daniel: Or assume I am, which is way worse.
Roy: Let me tell you even worse than that. Let me tell you how bad it gets. It’s confession time.
Daniel: This is turning into a really unveiled as me. You guys are getting some shit right now.
Roy: I want people to know how this is actually done, because listen, normally it wouldn’t be between you and the client talking about your relationship. I just happen to be his boss, so that’s why we’re having this personal conversation. You’ll never do that with your client. It’s always going to be a more disconnected conversation about something that’s not directly involving you as a consultant. Ignore that part of this whole dynamic.
Because I know you’re a perfectionist, just be aware. I have such an astounding, outrageous and absurd self-confidence. Anything I do, I believe I do it better than anybody in the world.
Daniel: Like photography.
Roy: Yes. Exactly. I am the greatest photographer who’s ever been, that’s even been in the history of the world. And a number of other things too. That ridiculously insane belief is down in my heart, and I know that when I give somebody something to do, that I could’ve done it better.
Daniel: What was the story you told me about the first big consulting guy you went to? And he was like, “Do you think 60 percent of Roy would be better than no Roy at all?” Something like that.
Roy: His name was Gary Wortman.
Daniel: Okay. That’s what that reminds me of.
Roy: Yeah, it is. That’s where I learned, he actually helped me past that, and the actual conversation was this. I went to Gary Wortman, I said, “Hey Gary.” I paid him a lot of money, I had to skip meals and stuff, it was early in my career and I knew that he had answers I needed. And I bought a Davis time and Penny and I flew across the country and sat down with him.
And he said, “Okay, what are you facing?” And he did something very much like what I’m showing you now.
Daniel: The list.
Roy: Yeah. So I gave him the purge during the first few minutes. He said, “Yeah, we’re gonna cover this.”
And then he said, “Why don’t you hire some people?” I said, “You don’t understand Gary, I’m the best. Nobody, if you were the greatest heart surgeon in the world and everybody who had unlimited money wanted you because you’re the best heart surgeon in the world, do you actually believe you could say, listen, I’m really busy right now, so my assistant is gonna work on you, but he’s really good. I trained him. They’re just not gonna go for it.
He said, “Alright, I understand.” One of the things I’d written on my list was, I was working pretty much around the clock seven days a week. Wasn’t getting any rest, the phone was ringing off the wall with people who wanted to hire me. And Penny and I were just frantic, we had to have help, and I’m turning people away every day.
And he said, “Alright, Roy, the one thing we’ve talked about is,” and he pointed up at that board, “There’s no more you, there’s no more Roy, Roy is off the table.” And I said, “Yeah.” And he said, “There are all these people that want to hire you, but they won’t settle for anybody else.”
And I said, “Nope.” So then he did something that I thought was brilliant. Even though he probably knew that I was full of myself, and I was, horribly full of myself, he said, “Look, Roy, let’s agree you’re the best there will ever be. There will never be anybody as good as you. Oh no, you’re it.” He was very convincing, he wasn’t mocking me at all, he was 100 percent, you’re the man.
He said, “Now I have a question. If you personally chose people, you hand-picked them and then you trained them according to your methods, and your techniques, how close to your ability could you get them? What percentage of you could you get them?” And he didn’t put any numbers into my mouth.
And I said, “you know Gary,” and I thought about it and said, “I could probably get somebody 80 percent as me, I might be able to get someone occasionally 85 percent as good as me.”
And he goes, “Okay. So you chose them, you trained them, and your methods. You think they’d only be 80 percent as good as you.” He chose the lower number, 80 percent as good as you. And I said, yeah.
And he said, “Here’s the question. All these business owners out there, there’s no more Roy, there’s no more.”
Daniel: They’re gonna go to somebody.
Roy: That’s not an option, they can’t get you. So is somebody that you chose and you trained, and they’re only 80 percent as good as you, is that still a better value? Is that better or is that not as good as them hiring someone else? And I just exploded, I said “Oh my god. Are you out of your mind? Most people in this business are morons. These people, they’re counterproductive. They’re 80 percent as good as me, hell yes, it’s way better.”
And he goes, “Why don’t we do that?” Which was my very first question.
So the point was, that’s actually the next thing we’re getting ready to do.
Daniel: That’s the right way to go through it though.
Roy: It is. You have to-
Daniel: Come to their own conclusions.
Roy: They have to decide for themselves. So, Daniel, we’ve talked about what your future looks like, we talked about the distractions you’re gonna have. This new vice chancellor when he gets here-
Daniel: I give him the freedom.
Roy: You give him the freedom, and the first thing you give him is these facilitated retreats.
Daniel: That’s such a good idea.
Roy: These facilitated retreats, they’ve got you worried? Just give that to him as his first project. It’s his project. And you know what, here’s the deal. He can’t screw it up so horribly bad that we can’t resurrect it and fixed it. There’s nothing he could break so bad we can’t fix it.
Daniel: That’s true.
Roy: He’s not capable of breaking it that bad.
Daniel: He’s not, I wouldn’t have chosen him otherwise.
Roy: What happens is, now his moving expenses? Of course, we’re gonna pay those. Give him $3000, say to spend it however you want, buy cheeseburgers with it, we don’t care. Here’s $3000, you don’t even have to answer for it. No receipts.
Daniel: No receipts, just done.
Roy: Just a bonus of three grand for coming down.
Daniel: There we go.
Roy: What was that saying?
Daniel: That was the thing you wanted to add-
Roy: Board of directors, yes. So the deal is, the only thing I’ve been doing for you the past couple of years is, I don’t ever show you the financials, because I know you fret.
Daniel: Yeah I do.
Roy: And I wanted to hand things off to you where everything is paid for and everything is built, there’s no debt other than just the monthly expenses and maintenance. Well, if I decide to step aside a little sooner than that, I’ll still be there to help you tiptoe through that minefield. But it’s all about payables and receivables, I didn’t want to burden you with that, it’s the only two things I haven’t given you. You’ve been doing my job for a long time. Payables and receivables, and then I have shielded you from the board of directors.
Daniel: Yeah. The buffer.
Roy: So the board of directors, you have to sit down four times a year and just let them challenge every decision, and they have 100 percent legal authority. They do, they have all the authority since we’re a nonprofit. And you’ll notice at this last board meeting, that I brought you in to spend a good bit more time than usual. And this is right after I told them that I’ll probably be turning things over to you sooner rather than later.
Roy: And I told them that you’d already been doing all of it, and these last two things were the only things, and so I forgot to do something, this is really important. I feel bad. I got distracted actually having a real conversation.
Daniel: Oh, we didn’t mark anything out.
Roy: What I’m saying is, that’s right. Do you feel like we settled that, your future? Do you feel like we talked about the distractions? And do you feel like the new VC is covered?
Daniel: Yeah, we got that taken care of.
Roy: So as you go through each one of these things right here, it’s amazing whenever you look at it at the end of the day, all these things have been marked through. And then you’re going, “Alright, do you want to go to lunch?” And they go, “Oh yeah.” So now all of a sudden, their mind is clear to talk about all kinds of cool things you can do in the future. And you can start a whole new list-
Daniel: And you would leave with a lot of hope.
Roy: Hope and vision. And just relief, and experience, like now I have a plan. It doesn’t happen quite as quickly as it did with me and Daniel, because it was unrehearsed.
This is when you start on your computer list, resolved, and we’re not going to do that right now.
Daniel: And the action items.
Roy: You have action items. You summarize, this is what we resolved. We resolved to do this, we resolved to do that. And then you follow that process for every item on the consolidated list. So we had six items, and we would say these are the six resolutions. We agreed to do this, we agreed this was the answer, we agreed this was the plan.
So when you have created that list, you sign a copy. You make two copies of it. You sign one, and you sign both of them and they sign both of them. It’s not an agreement, it’s not a contract. It’s just something that is a memorial of the day that we spent talking about this. And when you’re writing it up, you say, “Do you agree with the way I languaged that? Do you agree with the way I worked that?” And they go, yes, that’s exactly what we decided.
And now all of a sudden, they have an actual ink on a paper document that is a reminder of this amazing discussion you had and the amazing decision you came up with. See what I mean?
Roy: Alright. Now, here’s what we’re gonna do next. You ready?
Daniel: Bring it on.
Roy: We’re going to talk about the Monday morning memo that everybody got this morning.
Roy: Because they’ll actually get this on July 2. Right?
Daniel: They’ll get this on … no, it’s a week ago’s. This will be July 9. Right, Chad?
Chad: Yeah. Next Monday.
Roy: Now, wait a minute. Next Monday’s July 2, isn’t it?
Daniel: No, this is July 2.
Roy: Is it?
Daniel: It is.
Roy: Well okay. So the one that they got-
Daniel: I’m losing track of time too.
Roy: The one they got-
Daniel: A week ago.
Roy: Now, the reason I’m doing this, and I’m showing them the date of the memo is because there will be people that watch this in the archives.
Daniel: Oh that’s right. You can go back and look at the archives.
Roy: A year from now, two years from now, five years from now. And if they’re watching this, they’re gonna go “Crap, I want to read that,” they’re gonna need to know what to look for in the archives.
And I love this by the way. You need to read that.
Daniel: Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how well you play, the pigeon is going to end up pooping on the board and strutting around like they won.
Roy: Every few months, I remind my partners of something that took me way too long to learn. I say, when a person believes in what they’re doing, even if it’s an imperfect plan, let them keep doing it. Give them advice and try to open their eyes, but don’t fight them too hard. Because a person convinced against their will remains unconvinced still. So be careful. If you finally convince a person to quit doing what they believe in, and to start doing what you would do if you owned their company, they’re probably going to fail.
People who have spent time with me may find this difficult to believe, but I’m a lot less combative than I used to be. Here’s the non-combative technique I use.
One: listen attentively to the person with whom you disagree. Let them speak until they’re finished.
Find a point of agreement, something you can honestly endorse. Tell them why you agree with them. And if they have altered your opinion in any way, confess that to them as well. Use the point you agree upon to introduce another point, which you feel might expand and enrich their perspective.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not talking about introducing alternative facts or attempting in any way to rebut what they said. I’m talking about introducing your idea as a logical extension of the idea about which you’ve already agreed. It’s just the obvious next step. This will cause the person to feel like they already knew the thing, that seemingly just occurred to you because you presented it as the obvious next thing.
In essence, you’ll be giving them an entirely new perspective while reinforcing what they already believe. You springboard off of the thing they already know and trust, and you springboard from that. But you listen closely enough. And when you find it, you don’t interrupt them, you just remember it, and you let them keep talking. And when they’re completely done, they have nothing else to say and they feel fully heard, then you go, “You know, you said something really amazing,” and you repeat back to them what they just said. It might have been 10, 15, 20 minutes earlier. But they remember saying it.
You’ve got to avoid telling people they’re wrong. You’ll make more progress and you’ll achieve more change if you can figure out a way to tell them they’re right.
Here’s a recent example. An air conditioning company was convinced that we should target the perfect customer profile by using “addressable TV” ads. Now, these are really fascinating. This would allow us to target specific households individually rather than demographic, geographic, or psychographic groups. By using data provided by broadcaster set-top boxes and over the top streaming devices like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, or Amazon Firestick.
Daniel: The CEO of the company said, “Why should we pay to reach people who live in apartments, rent their houses from landlords, or who have a home warranty contract with a company other than ours? Wouldn’t it make more sense to target only those homeowners living in houses old enough to need a new air conditioner and who don’t have a home warranty?
Roy: I love that idea, I said. And we’ve already got some great TV ads we could air. I gave him a high five. And then asked, how much did they say it will cost us?
Daniel: They said it will be extremely efficient since we’ll be aiming a rifle with a scope instead of using a shotgun like we’re doing now.
Roy: Now, Chad, I gotta say something. Because a lot of people sell advertising. And if you sell broadcast media, broadcast TV or broadcast radio, you have been told 10,000 in your career, “I was talking to some people and we’re gonna target. A rifle with a scope and we’re gonna really zero in on the correct customer.”
Daniel: No more of this shotgun.
Roy: No more of this shotgun approach. Now, listen. I always had, Daniel, my counter to that was, “Yeah, we’re not hunting. We’re fishing. And you’re using a hook and hoping you have the right bait. I’m using the net. I’ll just throw back what I don’t want.” And I’m saying, go ahead with your little hook. I got a net, I’m bringing in thousands of fish, while you’re still praying for that one to take the hook.
Daniel: This is why people on the Biggest Catch don’t go fly fishing.
Roy: Here’s the deal. I’m not even gonna have that argument. I have abandoned that argument.
I don’t doubt that a bit, I said. Because they said, “We’re gonna target, we’re gonna target.” Yes, great, oh amen. But we do need to find out how much they’re going to charge us for 1000 households they deliver. That’s called cost per thousand or cost per million. We’re currently paying a cost per thousand of $3 on broadcast radio.
But I’m definitely willing to pay more than $3 per thousand to reach the perfect customer versus those unfiltered, mixed bag, gun-targeted customers we’re currently reaching. Damn those people, that’s riff-raff. But how many untargeted customers is one perfectly targeted customer worth? Is it 4:1, is it 7:1, are we willing to trade 10 untargeted customers for one perfectly targeted customer? How many are we willing to trade? I think at some point there’s going to be one perfect customer in our current unfiltered assortment of broadcast TV viewers and broadcast radio listeners, don’t you think?
And then when we get all those other people for free. But I still think this addressable TV thing is a great idea. It’s great, I’m so excited. Call them up and tell them exactly who you want to target, and ask for the cost per thousand.
After he checked into it, he learned that the cheapest we might possibly pay was 12 times to 16 times our current cost per thousand. But with the layers of targeting he wanted to add, we would be trading at least 26 radio broadcast listeners, listening to 60-second ads, for everyone perfectly targeted homeowner.
After thinking it over, he decided that we were already reaching more than one perfectly targeted homeowner.
Roy: In every group of 26 unfiltered, mixed-bag, untargeted radio listeners. I was so disappointed, Dan. I was devastated. I was so anxious to target this perfect customer. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
My point is, I didn’t have to argue, I didn’t have to debate, and my client, the CEO of that business, was treated like a CEO. I’m just the consultant who agreed with him.
That was a Monday morning memo, that’s not even something I save for the partners. But do you understand how it’s the same basic idea?
Roy: Give your client the courtesy of being in charge, and instead of trying to debate them and tell them you’re wrong, that you’re the expert, shut up and listen long enough to find something they believe and figure out a way to agree with something they said. It doesn’t have to be everything they said, but something. Figure out a way to agree with it, and then pivot into another discussion, but not a debate. You’re not trying to counter what they said.
I could’ve told him, I know what the price is. But if I told him the price he would doubt that. No, I wanted him to find out the price.
Daniel: Yeah, and then when you find out-
Roy: I don’t want to spoil it for him.
Daniel: And then when he finds out you’re right about the price guess, it’s embarrassing to come back and be like, “You were right.” That’s not fun.
Roy: That’s not fun.
Daniel: You want to come back and be like, “You know what? Fuck those guys, let’s go our way.”
Roy: Whenever you say, “I am so excited about this, this is gonna be awesome, this is gonna be amazing. I’m so excited, but we do need to find out how much it is, and here’s why.” Because if we’re gonna end up paying this much for 1000 listeners, let’s find out how much is it per thousand. Did they tell you? They should’ve told you, they didn’t tell you? Well, they’ll tell you. Call them up and ask them how much it is. Tell them exactly what we’re looking for, exactly who we want to target, ask them how much it’ll cost. And we need to have some kind of a number in mind. How many riff-raff are they willing to trade for this one target customer you see, that owns a house and has an air conditioner?
Daniel: 27:1? No.
Roy: Anyway. So I gave him 4:1, 7:1, 10:1, because I knew the price. But I don’t tell him I know the price, because now I’m putting him in his place, and I’m treating him like a five-year-old child. Don’t treat your client like a five-year-old child.
Roy: Or anybody for that matter. Now, here’s another one that’s interesting. This was in the rabbit hole.
Daniel: Yeah, well done, JD.
JD Campbell, this recruitment ad generated 90 responses from Indeed, which is an online recruitment engine, in less than a day. And in a category-
I’ll read the email. Brown Boys Roofing needed a front desk customer representative specialist, aka someone to answer the phone. Past efforts always fall short with little response, so they asked me to write something up. Apparently, it worked a little too well. JD Campbell.
Roy: And his email address is [email protected]
Daniel: That’s true.
Roy: That’s what partners get.
Now, this is the ad that they actually wrote.
Daniel: Customer support specialist.
Dealing with bad customer service is like pro wrestling a porcupine, it’s prickly, it’s awkward and completely avoidable. If you don’t climb into the ring in the first place, but you already know this. Because you’re really good with people, and it’s bewildering for you to see a company with poor customer service. I mean, how hard is it to actually care about another human being? For you, listening to a person comes naturally. Taking interest in someone’s life is easy. Doing the right thing may take a little effort. But you know it always pays off in the long run. You take pride in knowing the customer is happy. Maybe you’ve tried explaining this to your current manager, but it falls on deaf ears. And they tell you something like, “Who cares? Stick to the script we gave you.”
Wouldn’t it be great to work for a company that felt the same way as you do about customer service? If so, boy oh boy do we want you at Brown Boys Roofing.
Job description: answer the telephone. Do what you do best, take care of the customer. That’s it. Logistically the rest is easy. We’ll show you how to enter the customer’s information, schedule a job, all the other stuff that happens when a person gets a new roof. You already knew the rest. Make the customer happy.
This is a full-time job with insurance and benefits. We recognize talent and pay extremely well for talented people who care about our customers. Want to learn more? Let’s have a conversation.
Roy: JD wrote that I’m sharing it with you but please know that it’s not yours to use.
Roy: And then let’s look at the email that he got back from Brown Boys Roofing. And by the way, another partner, Monica Ballard, reminded JD and he admitted it. She said, “hey remember, you have to start with a strong first mental image, wrestling porcupines.”
Now, read what they gave to JD.
Daniel: The ad you gave us produced a little too well. Posted it on Indeed at 11:44 pm and had 32 applications by 7:30 am. Had to remove the post at 4 because we had 90+ applications. Thanks, man, appreciate it. I probably need to find out how to use the sort an ad additional steps in the process, there.
Roy: Here’s what’s interesting. That’s from the owner of Brown Boys Roofing. What’s remarkable about that to me is, they already had been trying to recruit people on Indeed.
Daniel: So they knew.
Roy: They had already been on Indeed.
Daniel: At least, they thought they knew what they could expect.
Roy: They knew what to expect. They’re on Indeed. They’re using the right category on the right pool, and they use the right media. So he went to something they had already used and doing everything they knew to do, doing everything anybody ever told them to do.
It absolutely didn’t work. So JD writes something that speaks to the humanity, and it’s not about the job, it’s about the kind of person.
Daniel: Identity reinforcement.
Roy: Identity bonding, yes. It’s a bonding ad. So he talked to the person about the values of the person. Not about the values of the company.
Daniel: What’s funny, you think, I work for that company, they’re actually gonna give a crap about me, and they’re gonna recognize the things that I know I’m good at.
Roy: Exactly. They want what I’m best at. So what happens is anybody that resonates with that, or even somebody who’s reading like, “Oh, I’m not the right person, but I know who is,” and they call them.
So yes, in less than 24 hours they had more than 90 people and they’re going, whoa. This is the equivalent of, it’s not about choosing the right radio station. It’s about writing the right ad.
Roy: And it’s the same thing, with the digital weasels. Do we need to target the right people? No, you need to say the right thing. So we open with Roberson Davies, because I want people to understand, put your energy into how to language the stupid message. Because how that message is delivered is not that important.
Everything works, it’s the message that makes the media work. It’s not the media that makes the message work.
Roy: Now, let’s go to this last one. This involves you.
Daniel: Uh oh. Is this what I think it is? Oh, yeah, yeah.
He snookered me.
Roy: No, no. I know this guy.
Daniel: It was an accident. It was not his fault. He was not trying to mislead. Mike is a good guy.
Roy: Yeah, yeah. I was reading this and I said to myself, “You know what? I think this went out to everybody on his”-
Daniel: It did. I got three back to back people emailing me stuff for this broadcast. At least I thought it was three. It was two people adding stuff to this, with Mike’s email in the middle of them, and I thought, “Oh, it’s another question, I could use your help, normally I wouldn’t ask.” Oh, that’s asby. So I cut and pasted it into the questions.
Roy: And it said:
Daniel: National CPR and AED Awareness Week, 2017. I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, and the only reason I’m here today is that a coworker started CPR and a EMT used AED to restart my heart.
On December 13, 2007, Congress unanimously passed a resolution that set aside June 1-7 each year as National CPR and AED Awareness Week to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED.
Please do two things: learn how to do CPR. If you’re interested in learning, let me know and I’ll set you up a free class, it’ll take less than an hour, it includes hands-on practice.
No, it’s not me.
I like that one.
You’ll also learn how to use an AED. Click on the link below and donate something, $5, $10, $20 or whatever you can afford. I’m working at 100 additional AEDs in our community. Please help. Click on the link below to donate. If you’ve already donated, thank you. If this email offends you, accept my apology and delete it. Do me a favor, please share this email with your friends and acquaintances.
The life you save could be someone you love. Thanks for your help, Mike
That’s Mike Broderick, by the way.
Roy: Here’s what we did. Even though I realized, “We’re just on his address book, and he sends this to everybody in his address book, and that’s why we got this.”
But as he often does, Indy Beagle was reading over my shoulder. And he said, “Hey, I want to give him $100.”
And I said, Indy, I keep his wallet.
Daniel: That’s probably a good idea.
Roy: And I said, you don’t have $100 right now. And he said, “Well how much do I have?”
Daniel: What does he do for money?
Roy: He manages the rabbit hole. And he said, “How much do I have, boss?” And I said, “You have about $50.”
and he said, “No problem. Whittington owes me $50. Go ahead and send him the $100 and then just hold it out of Whittington’s check.”
Daniel: Fair enough.
Roy: So this is, on the website, I went ahead and I used my credit card, but it was Indy’s money. So he will show up hopefully on the website, as Indiana Beagle. Here’s his photo from the website, and it will show up that Indy and you donated $100, but he got all the credit for it.
Daniel: That seems fair enough.
Roy: And interesting, if all the numbers on the card are correct, but it’s not a card in the name of Indiana Beagle. It indicated-
Daniel: That it was accepted anyway?
Roy: The GoFundMe accepted that.
Daniel: We’ll find out.
Roy: Whenever you see $50 has been deducted from your check-
Daniel: Now I know why. I owe Mike.
Roy: The $50 that you owe Indy.
Roy: Indy said, “No, Daniel owes me $50, just go ahead and send it.”
Daniel: That seems fair enough.
Roy: So what’s the toast we always give?
Daniel: Oh. Until tomorrow, may your crazy stay this side of legal, and may you return before we have time to miss you.
Roy: Send questions, we’ll see you guys in a month.