Podcast

Transitioning From Bespoke To Productised Selling With Adam Callow Of Expert Trades.

Adam Callow – Expert Trades

Ontraport expert case study for everlast epoxy image

Name: Adam Callow

LinkedIn Profile: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/adamcallow

Company Name: Expert Trades

Company Website: https://www.experttrades.com/

Short Bio:

Adam Callow is the Founder CEO of Expert Trades. Expert Trades is on a mission to help trades professionals build a professional and profitable business. It is the home to a growing community of 21,000 trades and provides the tools, relationships and support they need to build their business.

Show Notes

Talking about moving from a custom, bespoke selling process to a more productised and scalable sales process with Adam Callow of Expert Trades. A fun and flowing conversation that dives into the issues that Adam is facing right now, the pros and cons of selling bespoke services as well as geeking out on tech and software.

I hope you guys will learn something from it. And let me know if you’ve got any feedback on the show or you have any questions you can always hit me up at [email protected]

If you enjoy the episode, please take 10 seconds to leave a review on Apple Podcasts or like, share and follow with your favourite pod catcher!

Adam’s LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/adamcallow
Website: https://www.experttrades.com/

Transcription

Sam Wilcox:

All right, Adam Callow, good friend of mine. Welcome to the show. How’s it going, man? You good?

Adam Callow:

Yeah, I’m good, man. I really appreciate getting your very professional introduction and an invite to the show. 

Sam Wilcox:

No problems.

Adam Callow:

I thought, “Here we go. The big leagues.”

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, all I would really need to do is technically just send you a WhatsApp message and say, “Hey, we’re doing this next week.

Adam Callow:

Exactly.

Sam Wilcox:

But I think you deserve the proper invitation to be treated like a proper guest of the show, even though we are good friends.

Adam Callow:

I appreciate it.

Sam Wilcox:

So why don’t you give the listeners who don’t know who you are, a bit of a heads up in terms of who Adam Callow is, what you do, and a little bit about Expert Trades and everything, business-wise, that you do.

Adam Callow:

Okay, so I’m first-time founder, eight years into my startup, as I like to say, because we definitely haven’t hit that maturity stage in the business; we’re still working things out. Before that, crafted my skillset in sales from, I guess, take me way back. I actually started selling gas and electricity door to door.

Sam Wilcox:

Gas and electricity door to door. I didn’t even know you were doing that.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, so I used to work for a company called SSE, Scottish and Southern Electric. So I’d have a patch. We’d have to sell 15 units in a day. So I’d knock on doors and sell gas, electricity or phone lines. I did that. That was an interesting introduction to sales. Then moved into telesales from there. Met my now wife. Actually, that’s not true. I didn’t meet her there. We actually met in high school, but let’s not go down that-

Sam Wilcox:

I can’t hear you very well.

Adam Callow:

Is that better?

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, that’s much better, mate.

Adam Callow:

Cool.

Sam Wilcox:

That’s all good. We keep all this stuff in. We just move mics around. We want to make sure people can hear. It’s all good, it’s part of the process.

Adam Callow:

I like it.

Sam Wilcox:

Processes is art, that’s what I like.

Adam Callow:

I just keep knocking this. That’s the problem. I’m way too slouched. I’m too comfortable with you right now. Okay. Yeah, so did they telesales, then built a telesales team out, then weirdly joined the Army? Let’s not go down that.

Sam Wilcox:

Oh you did, yep.

Adam Callow:

As you do. Came out, and then my whole career has just been about sales, I guess is the point here, which is door to door sales, telesales, then moving into selling building materials. So heavy side materials, light side materials. And then back in 2013, started Expert Trades. And I guess from there, built a couple of services inside the business. Team is 13 and a half people now. Raised a bit of seed funding, raised a bit of venture capital, made loads of mistakes, tried to learn from them and having fun man, to be honest.

Sam Wilcox:

And if, for somebody that doesn’t know what Expert Trades is, what would you say Expert Trades is?

Adam Callow:

Two parts of business. So firstly, we’re trying to build the one-stop shop for trades professionals to run their business. So everything like a plumber needs to run a professional and profitable business, from getting found online, to all the way through to doing the paperwork. And second part of that is, because we’ve got this large engaged community of tradespeople, we’ve got an advertising platform that allows us to run really effective campaigns and allow brands to really build trust and increase sales.

Sam Wilcox:

So brands that sell products within the trade industry.

Adam Callow:

Exactly, yeah.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, it’s a really unique setup that you’ve got, I suppose. Well, maybe not unique, but it’s definitely not common, especially in the industry that you’re in, right? Where you service the trade first. So you provide all the value to the trade, which builds I think one of the clever things that you’ve done is you’ve built a really big community around the service that you offer, if that makes sense, which a lot of people don’t do. I think it’s just a case of a lot of people will just offer a service, charge a monthly amount for it, or an annual amount for it, and then that’s kind of it. Whereas what you did is you built a whole community based around what you do as well. Which connects the trades people together, which then allows you to actually add on that second part of the business as well. Right?

Adam Callow:

Yeah. There’s a friend of ours, Richard that explained it to me. He was like, there’s this double flywheel that’s going on. So you’ve got this SaaS technology platform, which is the community, plus a bit of software to help manage the community. And the bigger the community gets, the more engagement, eyeballs and data that you get, that allows you to run the second part of the business really effectively. So the scalable advertising data-driven marketing approach. As one gets bigger, you focus on the trade side, it allows, in theory, the other side of the business to be easier and more scalable. And I probably say the word “in theory,” that is because we’re going through that process right now of moving away from retained activity, but very bespoke, to a menu of scalable items.

Sam Wilcox:

More of like a productized offering.

Adam Callow:

Exactly. And to be honest, that’s one of the reasons that on a Tuesday when we hang out, that’s where I get the most value from you is that swap over of retained activity through to a productized service. It’s new for me, so I’m learning that.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah. I think it’s probably most relevant from a sales perspective to talk about the more brand side of the business. I know you’re moving away from that now, but I’m sure we can take a lot of lessons and stuff that you’ve learned over the years, selling big projects and retainers into brands and stuff. What would you say is, If we talk about the process here, how would you say, over the past three or four years as you’ve been growing the business, what your sales process looked like to attract brands? And it’s okay if it’s loose. I think there’s value in that as well. There’s definitely lessons learned. I was speaking with a friend of mine on a podcast yesterday I recorded, Neil Kristianson. He owns a company called Email Splat.

He’s an Ontraport consultant. So he says he has similar skills as I do, but his sales process was very manual, but with elements of automation and stuff like that as well. And the reason why that’s important is because you learn a lot of stuff faster doing stuff that way when you’re running a startup, especially as a founder like yourself who is also doing the sales. I just wonder how that worked out for you, and any takeaways that you’ve got from the sales process that you did have.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, where to start, really. When you’re in a sales process, we both had a rye smile on our face, which is cool, because being honest, the product that we were selling, being a bespoke activity for brands, there was literally zero process. I think one step back. I think one of the things I love about this industry specifically, is it’s so relationship driven, which plays into one, my enjoyment, and two, my skill set, which is, if I can build a relationship with you and build some rapport and get to your side of the table, where you’ll open up to me and explain what your KPIs are in the business, and what you’re being measured on.

If I can crack that nut, I’ve got a big enough tool set next to me. So imagine I’m having a conversation with you. If I can get the potential client or the prospect to tell me what they care about, there are so many things that we can do within the business that I’ve never processed out and said, “Well, cool. Here’s what we do at Expert Trades.” My process has always been, “Well, we’ve got this great community and this is the sort of audience that you want to target.” And I’ve basically just gone in and said, “Well, share with me what’s important to you. And let me try and marry up what we do in our community.”

Sam Wilcox:

And we’ll figure out the custom package for you.

Adam Callow:

Yeah.

Sam Wilcox:

Which works well at the beginning.

Adam Callow:

At the beginning.

Sam Wilcox:

Exactly.

Adam Callow:

And then I think one of the biggest things that we’ve done is this whole land and expand approach. And that’s like go in relatively small value for a client, a couple of grand, and then expand that over time. The problem that we run into, and the reason that we’re moving now is, it’s just not scalable.

Sam Wilcox:

Exactly, which is where I was going to go with this, is that it works for a certain amount of time, but you mentioned earlier that we’re now moving away from that. So why?

Adam Callow:

A couple of reasons. One, I didn’t really want to build a 30 to 40 person agency. That’s not the vision that we set out to be. And I actually think we’ve probably got the right chops within the current team to then actually build a really cool agency and serve the construction industry and other spaces. I guess to be really honest, there’s this thing looming over my head, which is we’ve raised venture capital with a business vision and mission of what we’re going to do, and that isn’t building an agency, because that’s not what we’ve said we’re going to build, and that’s not the business that people have invested in. So I’ll take a step back and say, “Well, at this point in time, I either need to hire another Harry, as an example.” So Harry’s our head of production also, and good friend, reasonably good friend. We’ll see if he ever listens to this podcast. We’ll now know.

And it was like, “Do I really want to build another Harry? And then do I need to hire a creative director?” And it was a fork in the road in terms of like, what’s the business that I want to build, with a lot of other factors that have to be in consideration when you’ve raised some capital. So I was like, “Actually I don’t want to run a 30, 40 person agency. We have to build something that’s scalable and sellable, in short.” So I was like, “Okay, so what we need to do is work out how we can create value within the business that is packaged up, easy to sell and easier for the customer to buy.” And that’s not something that we’ve done in the business so far. And I’d probably say that’s the transition period we’re going through right now, but we’ve got to convert the eyeballs we’ve got into scalable products that we can sell then.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, it’s an interesting one because as you go through this process, we’ve been talking about this earlier today. You get forced into a position where you’ve really got to think about what problems you solve, that are very specific to the ideal type of customer that you want to work with, or ideal type of client that you want to work with. And then it becomes more of like a messaging and almost more of a marketing and messaging game to get the messaging right, because the sale essentially should be relatively easy. If you’ve got a really productized service that’s pretty much the same every time, then that solves a very specific problem for a very specific set of people, theoretically. So the challenge then becomes less about the sale, because the sale should be easier. It becomes an exercise in trying to perfect the messaging around what it is that you offer and try to deliver that message in the simplest way.

Adam Callow:

100%, and I’m trying, in the back of my head now, I’m thinking, “Well, what are your listeners going to get from this?” And I think this transition that I’m going through, you put me in a room with anyone and I’ll sell you something. That’s just a fact. That’s just who I am.

Sam Wilcox:

Right.

Adam Callow:

But the problem that created, and I know we’ve said it’s not scalable, but what that manifested as, is I’d go to a meeting and I’ll come back and I’d be like, “Guys, cool, 40K project done. Here’s what we now have to do to deliver it.” And then you do it and then you’d measure it. And he’d be like, “Wow, in terms of like man hours into this project, it should have been 80K. I’ve made a problem here.”

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, me and Neil were talking about this yesterday. The problem with that is that you can go into a room with somebody and spend two hours with them. And you can think that you know what this project is going to look like. But the truth of the matter is, it’s the first time you’ve done a full project that looks like this.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, everything’s new. Everything is a snowflake at that point in time.

Sam Wilcox:

Right. So you can never scope it out effectively enough. And you keep running into that same issue until it starts to become tiresome and a problem, because you can do it at the beginning while you’re trying to get on your feet, but once the business is on its feet, that’s when it becomes a problem because you can’t scale that way. You just can’t. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anybody yet that has managed to pull that off for a long term venture.

Adam Callow:

But you make a good point, and I think that’s … The thing that is interesting to talk about is that transition from bespoke to productize. And that’s what I’m going through. But the way you just explained that then is like, I think if people are listening to this and they’re like, “Oh crap, I’m doing everything very bespoke. It’s not scalable.” And the alarm bells go off. I think you need to do that, because it gets you in the room with the potential clients. You get to hear how they talk about their problems, and you get really close to them because they’re telling you exactly what they need. And I’d say the job there is to look at what they need. Let’s just take Tool Talk and what we’re doing here. A lot of the activity we did from our retained perspective. And I’m trying not to use why we are today and painting as if it was planned, because it wasn’t.

But a lot of the stuff we did, for brands on a retained perspective, was all about video content to build trust in their new product launch. Reviews, to build trust that they could use on social. So you keep hearing these threads, and then you do a retrospective on, “Here’s all the bespoke stuff we’ve done. Where are the commonalities?” And well, 60% of this stuff is about reviews. Okay, let’s productize reviews and double down on that part of the business.” And that sounds like we did it as planned … We didn’t, we sort of stumbled into it that way, but I’d probably say that’s what’s important is if you listen to this, it’s okay to do the retained bespoke stuff, as long as your ears are open and you’re hearing the client with a goal of eventually building some process around it.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, I think so. If you’re looking to scale, right? I think it’s as simple as that.

Adam Callow:

It’s a good point. If you’re looking to scale.

Sam Wilcox:

If you’re looking to scale, because some people don’t want to, and that’s fine. But I think, again, everybody that I’ve spoken to so far during this podcast has been through the same thing. We all start doing that, and then you move towards this more productized model. So let’s talk about that, the productized model that you are moving towards. How have you found the transition? I know we’re mid in it now. How are you finding it? What’s going on with that? Can you give us any kind of insights into what that process has been like?

Adam Callow:

I find it painful, seriously. And I think that comes down to the fact that my whole selling career has been about, “Let me understand what you’re looking for and let me match a solution in my toolkit against that problem that you’re facing.” And to what you said earlier, it’s actually less of a sales challenge, compared to like a marketing and comms challenge. There’s a lot of work to be done in terms of crafting the message, compared to having a sales conversation. So I find that challenging. I much prefer to be in a room with someone, or be on a Zoom call with someone, and use my salesmanship to extract the most value, but by matching what we do with the value that they pay for. It’s not about charging the most, but it’s, “Okay, so …” Actually this came up earlier. It’s like, “This client’s budget is like 60K. And historically, we would have sold them a package against that budget that is really good value, but we would have got 60K. Whereas this productized service is 6K.” I’m like, “Oh, fuck the numbers are boring.” So you know what I mean?

But, that’s what the business needs. So I’m finding it uncomfortable right now, but I’m trying to flip it into more of a game. And we had a conversation earlier that you helped me with, which is, I guess just get on as many of these calls, because I enjoy being on these calls, and just get into the habit of just pitching, pitching, pitching the same thing and getting better at that. Compared to what I used to do, which is, “Tell me what you need and I’ll find something to pitch you against your needs.” That’s probably the summary of what I’m struggling with. I’ve never had to pitch the same product over and over and over again in this business.

Sam Wilcox:

I think there’s an interesting point that you touched on a little bit earlier, as well is if you continue down that path of pitching completely custom things every time, it’s not just you as the business owner, that’s then going to figure out how to deliver it. But it also impacts the team as well.

Adam Callow:

Massively.

Sam Wilcox:

Because you’ll set teams up and roles up to deliver certain things, and then when you’re coming back and saying, “Well, we need to deliver this for client A. Kind of the same thing that we did for client B, but also there’s all these other bells and whistles on it as well.” So you’ve got to go and figure that out, and then it’s kind of like, “Oh, but I thought we were doing this. And then now we’re doing something else.” And over time I can grind people down a little bit, can’t it?

Adam Callow:

Yeah, it’s not just about grinding people down as well. You create dependencies in the business for a certain type of work. So let’s just take a guy called Connor. We hired a guy called Connor in the business that was a videographer, because we found a way to start selling video working quite effectively. So like, “Okay, we need another video guy.” So Harry did recruitment, brought a video guy in. And I’m like, “This isn’t panning out the way we thought.” And we go, “Actually, we’ve kind of got this guy now. We need to start selling more video work.”

And then you go, “Well, how do you forecast HR and recruitment when you’re completely letting the needs of the client decide what the company roles should look like?” And that becomes really problematic, especially when you go, “Actually, no one wants video work right now.” And you’ve all of a sudden built a video production team around that. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. So you end up completely being a Jack of all trades, in my opinion, when you’re letting bespoke work, I’m struggling with it. Because we hadn’t decided to be a full service agency, we were acting like one, but hadn’t committed to being one. That’s where the disconnect was.

Sam Wilcox:

I think that’s interesting, because I was just thinking in terms of … I think that term, full service agency, is an interesting one, isn’t it? Because when I think about those types of agencies, they seem to be less and less and less as time goes by.

Adam Callow:

Agree.

Sam Wilcox:

But the ones that exist are big, and they generally do big campaigns with big brands. So for example, my ex partner, she used to work at Boots. So I know a little bit about the inside of Boots, which is a big pharmaceutical retailer I suppose you would say, in the UK, kind of like Walgreens in the States. But how they work with agencies. When she used to tell me about how that used to work, I was like, “This is just crazy.” The agency is an extension of that business. The agency is the marketing department, or the agency is the sales department. And they basically get the marketing department’s budget to go and hire. And it’s kind of like an extension of the business. So it sounds like you were going down that route, but without committing to being that full service agency. And it causes problems.

Adam Callow:

I think the word commitment though is really important. Like yes, there are ways that you can build these full service agencies, or even if we’d said, “Actually we’re going to be the best video production for power tools, handles and et cetera in the construction space.” That’s valid. But again, to your point, that’s niched down to a specific service. No one goes and hires as a web development agency anymore. They go, “I need e-commerce. Let me find a Shopify specialist.” And then we became this jack of all trades for everything construction, which created, and nearly through the hangover of all that now. Just a lot of internal stress in the business. Be very frank, I’d speak to clients and they’d be like, “Oh, I’m really impressed with the way that you’re doing this, and that and that.” And in my head I’m like, “Fucking hell, if you only saw what was inside this business. It’s like a fucking circus sometimes.” Because we were like a SWAT on water. We made everything look good on the outside, but inside, it was manic.

And I think as a business owner, it becomes really problematic and draining to run that business. There’s the salesmanship part of me, which is, I like to go and close deals, whatever it is. But I’m actually finding some enjoyment now in having a bit more structure and process around my sales. It’s weird actually saying out loud, because I feel like this process is forcing me to mature as a salesman. Because before, I’ve been able to just, not exactly wing it, but use salesmanship. I guess the thing here is moving from a salesman to a sales director. That’s probably the thing here is, one is selling something, and the second piece is building a strategy around how the item is sold.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, that’s an interesting way of putting it.

Adam Callow:

In terms of the mindset, not specifically the roles and the titles.

Sam Wilcox:

It makes sense though, because if you take a project that will deliver for a client, for example, so like our full stack sales system. If we’re going to implement that successfully, it’s reps that end up using it, but it needs to be signed off. And it needs to be worked on with the sales director/business owner. It needs to come from top down to apply that process and the methodology of why we sell this way, rather than the bottom up. Because an individual sales rep mentality is, “Well, I do it this way and sometimes I do it that way. And can you bend the process, because sometimes I’ll do it this way?” And then you end up in that messy situation that you got yourself into.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, because the rep is thinking, “How do I get my KPI? How do I get 100Ks rev turnover this month? And by hook or by crook, I’ll do it.” That’s the rep’s mentality, whereas a sales director is, “What’s the P&L look like on this, and how do I increase the efficiency of this process?” And that’s the difference for me.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, too much flexibility around that process, breeds inconsistency.

Adam Callow:

But the rep doesn’t have to worry about it.

Sam Wilcox:

But the rep’s happy about that because-

Adam Callow:

He’s hit the turnover number.

Sam Wilcox:

Exactly, yeah. The more flexibility from a rep’s perspective, the better. That’s why it’s a really interesting balance, trying to implement processes around sales in general.

Adam Callow:

But you asked the question earlier, which is like, I was talking to you about the sales process. And it was like, “Well, is this a short-term or long-term thing you’re looking for?” And I think that’s always got to be cognizant. It’s like, “Well, do you need the cash now, or are you trying to build something that’s scalable?” And depending on what the business needs, will depend on how you sell the product.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, that was a good conversation I think. Well, I shed a little bit of light on the situation that you find yourself in, at least. That short-term, versus long-term mentality because if you do need cash upfront short term, more flexibility is better. It’s probably not the time to be processing everything out because you need to reach that level of sustainability before you can start thinking about scalability.

Adam Callow:

That should’ve been a t-shirt. I like that.

Sam Wilcox:

What would it be? It would be sustainability before scalability.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, there you go. Nailed it.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, sustainability before scalability guys. There you go. Tribecto.com/shop/merch. Yeah, it’s an interesting one though, because you’ve got to know where you’re at. And as part of our sales process, like when we’re fielding new clients, when people are reaching out to us, that’s one of the first things that I’m trying to figure out is, where’s the business at? Because our full stack sales system isn’t for everyone, it’s for people that are ready to build a scalable process, not somebody that thinks they need a scalable process, but actually they’ve not got themselves to a sustainable place yet. Because if you haven’t got to that sustainable place, the likelihood is that you don’t actually know how the product should be, or service should be positioned exactly. And you can’t really build a process around that if you don’t have that understanding.

Adam Callow:

Well, there’s two parts. There’s that, which is, we don’t have the process, so we can’t put it into a system. But there’s also the reluctance from any founder, CEO or sales director that, “Hold on, I’m not fucking processing this out because it’s going to slow me down, and I need to put some revenue through the door.” So to your point, I think it’s fine the people that have the demand coming in, and it’s breaking because of lack of process, compared to the people that are like, “I need to generate more leads.”

Sam Wilcox:

Exactly, 100% correct.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, that’s the difference. And I feel that’s important for people that listen to this, is understanding where they are in the sales process. And at least recognizing where you are in dealing with that, but then thinking ahead.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah. I love having these conversations, because I’ve just learnt a lot from just that piece there. And now it’s on me to take that information that we’ve just uncovered, and build that into my sales process so that we’re attracting the right types of customers. And this comes back to this messaging piece. So consistently refining and optimizing messaging based off of new insights like that, is something that you have to pay more attention to once you make the choice to go down this process route, whether it’s implementing a sales process, whether it’s turning your service into a more processed product. Whatever it is, you have to continually be thinking about how it’s positioned, and optimizing it over time.

Adam Callow:

I think coming back to even just today, the difference for me, because I felt it today. I even came into this room and I was like, “Guys, can I borrow five minutes of your time?” I’ve normally gone into the client, closed the client and told the team what deliverables are. Whereas the difference that I’m experiencing now is, having a call with a client, experiencing what the client thought, and using that as a feedback loop to improve the next conversation. That’s the difference.

Sam Wilcox:

And improve this and improve the structure of the service and the product, right?

Adam Callow:

Yeah, like what you said is like every conversation is actually a feedback loop that the company and the org, as a whole, needs to continually just listen, adopt, listen. Do you know what I mean? Is that cycle that I’m not used to. I’ve never had to do it. I’ve either been given a product, “Hey, you sell gas and electricity. You sell telephone systems. Just go and float that.” Fine. Or, “Tell me what you need and I’ve got all these tools in my toolbox. One of them will be the solution for you.” What we’re doing now is interesting for me. Yeah.

Sam Wilcox:

And you’ve been just, I suppose, for the listener’s benefits as well. I know you very well. So I know that you’ve been doing a lot of work in the background on learning about productized services and learning about how to implement more process and structure around sales and stuff like that. It’s not like something you’re trying to do on a whim, it’s something that you’ve learned a lot about already, done different courses around. You’ve been exploring this for a little while before you really decided to jump in, right?

Adam Callow:

Yeah, 100%. And I think going back to what you said earlier is, my job in this company as the CEO, but at the moment I wear a number of hats in the business. And we got to like a second stage interview for someone to become our brand director. So the person that’s selling into brands. And during that process, it actually became a massive problem for me to, as we were saying, “What are we selling in? What does it look like?” And I was like, “I don’t know, I’m still in that process.” So the reason I’m sharing that is I think, depending on what you want your company structure to look like in the future, depends on what the level of process you need to build now. I need to build something to hand over to a brand director and say, “Here’s what we sell. That’s the team that delivers it. There’s the process and there’s three months of track record of me selling it. So if I can do this for three months successfully, you should be able to do it when you’re spending 100% of your time on it.”

That’s kind of me building a playbook, and I’ve never been in a position to build a playbook, and it’s always been like, I’ll speak to the founder, founders magic, but that’s not sellable or scalable.

Sam Wilcox:

Exactly.

Adam Callow:

I think probably the summary there is it kind of all depends to what you want at your business. It’s, if you want to be the most profitable solopreneur and do bespoke stuff and really enjoy it, awesome.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, crack on.

Adam Callow:

If you want to build a five person sales team with a sales director, and then you work on another part of the business and be the CEO, you’re going to need some processes and structure around it.

Sam Wilcox:

For sure. You can’t not have some process. I think that’s right, dude. I think we can start to wrap up the show. I think I’ve learned a lot, as I always do speaking with you my good friend. I think you’ll be a regular on the show. I would like to find out in maybe a month or two’s time, how this is all going for you. It’d be interesting for the listeners as well.

Adam Callow:

Like to share it.

Sam Wilcox:

So what we usually do to wrap up the show is I like to ask about software, because everybody loves a little bit of software.

Adam Callow:

Got a guy that has got great advice on all things software. He’s good at connecting stuff. I can jot you his information.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, everybody loves some shiny objects to look at.

Adam Callow:

Yep.

Sam Wilcox:

So if you had to pick one piece of software that has helped in your sales, let’s say your sales career, is there anything that stands out?

Adam Callow:

There’s a few things that come to mind. So for me, right now, Loom is changing completely how I present our offerings, is probably the best way I can explain it. And that’s not just, not to timestamp the show, but COVID related. I would say everyone’s just used to Zoom, and video and bits like that, and Loom’s so easy as a piece of kit to actually just get started with.

Sam Wilcox:

This is something that keeps going up.

Adam Callow:

Is it?

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, everybody keeps saying, “Well, Loom …” I spoke with Neil about Loom quite a bit last time. I think the impact of video on the sales process, especially in this day and age, just can’t be ignored anymore.

Adam Callow:

No, but if you look at my industry specifically, we used to drive two and a half hours for an hour meeting and two and half hours back. Those five hours of back, because everyone’s now been trained on Zoom video meetings. Whereas you then, everyone was like, “Actually there’s ways to be more efficient.” So when I’ve said to a client, “Oh yeah, we’ve got this thing called Tool Talk Plus. You can do this.” Rather than me jumping on an hour Zoom call now, I’d be like, “Oh, I’ll just fire up an account for you and show you a demo of your brand on my screen for six minutes. Cool.”

That’s been a game changer. One, now to efficiency, but two, come back to what we spoke to, which is the productized service. It’s forcing me to present a specific offering to the client.

Sam Wilcox:

In a simple way as well.

Adam Callow:

In a simple way. So Loom, for me, way back when, I was a big fan of stuff like Pipedrive, but I don’t use any of that now. I’d probably say that the piece of software that’s changing for me is arguably just Loom from the sales process. And not software, but people still like phone calls. And there’s this thing where people have an adverse reaction to picking up the phone. That makes me sound old, I understand that.

Sam Wilcox:

I’m laughing because I just know you so well. And I know that it irritates you to see people not picking up the phone is why I’m laughing.

Adam Callow:

But I think there’s still definitely that piece of relationship and rapport building, even if you’re selling a software product. Picking up the phone is probably more meaningful now than it used to be because it’s rarer.

Sam Wilcox:

A phone call feels special now, doesn’t it?

Adam Callow:

Yeah.

Sam Wilcox:

I think for you, it’s something that should be leaned on massively, because for you specifically, you’re talking to trades professionals. Trades professionals have to answer the phone. It’s how they get work still. It’s phone calls. So you’ll have a better success rate of picking up the phone, dropping somebody a quick courtesy call, making them feel warm and fuzzy, because somebody from Tool Talk or somebody from Expert Trade has given them a quick call and been nice to them, which you just don’t generally get nowadays. But I can see why a lot of other businesses shy away from it, because a lot of people don’t answer the phone nowadays, and it can feel draining and a little bit of a waste of time. Not to say that you shouldn’t do it, but the tactics around it should be considered. Me, personally, I don’t believe cold calling is a good thing to do, but warm calling is definitely a good thing to do.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, 100%. Someone hits your landing page, fills in a form, yeah you can put them into a lead sequence and nurture them that way. But I’d argue that depending on the ticket value of what you’re selling is like picking up the phone and being like, “Hey, got this. Just so you know, you’re going to get some emails.” Whatever the conversation is.

Sam Wilcox:

Great example. I’ve got a great example. So a client of ours, Melissa and her team at the Green Program. You’ve met Melissa, right? They’ve got a brilliant sales process now. So what happens is, one of their students will apply to become part of the Green Program, an application form comes in, the application form is reviewed. Then they would get accepted, and then at that point, they’ll get access to the student membership site and portal where they can log in and see different programs and stuff like that. As soon as they get accepted … This sounds obvious, but most people don’t do this. As soon as they get access to the membership site, one of the team gives him a call, one of the sales reps.

And it’s an outbound call. It’s not like scheduled or anything like that. And that’s like, “Hey, we know we’ve already emailed you about congratulations being accepted, but we thought we’d give you a quick courtesy call as well. Are there any questions you’ve got?” They are the sales reps, but it doesn’t feel like a sales call because-

Adam Callow:

No it feels more like customer success.

Sam Wilcox:

Right.

Adam Callow:

But I think that’s an interesting one maybe for a future conversation is how roles are blending now. Sales, customer success, onboarding, account. All this stuff is actually the lines are becoming more blurred now, because people don’t want to feel like I’ve been sold and now this person’s looking after me.

Sam Wilcox:

100%.

Adam Callow:

It’s a different process. Use those two things together. Cool, I don’t want to do phone calls, but I’ve got Loom. Someone signs up to your service, send them a 30 second personalized Loom video, as an example. I think they’re the little touch points that as we get into more tech, more software that we forget, there’s real people behind everything that’s being clicked. And it’s adding this personal layer to technology that I think is a win.

Sam Wilcox:

So last week or the week before, I was speaking with a friend, Casey Hill, he’s the head of growth for a company called Bonjoro. And that’s exactly what their SaaS is for. So if you imagine Loom, but the thing with Looms is, it’s ad hoc. You’ve got to sit down, click a button, do a recording, get a link for the recordings and you’ve got to take that, send it and stuff like this. What Bonjoro does is it can be built into automation. So when something happens, it triggers a prompt to you, because they have an app on your phone. So it will actually send you a prompt and say, “Hey, Adam’s just signed up via this form on the website, click this button to record a quick video.” You record a quick video on your phone, looking at your phone as people do nowadays, using the selfie camera on your phone. “Hey Adam, thanks for signing up, et cetera, et cetera.”

Adam Callow:

I need that product.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah. And then you press done, and then it sends it automatically and then you can track opens and all that kind of stuff through the Bonjoro. So you can build Bonjoro steps automatically into the process, rather than you having to remember, “Oh, I need to record this personal Loom video,” or a couple of hours went by and now you forgot about it, whatever it is. You build up a backlog of almost like mini tasks to record these videos in Bonjoro.

Adam Callow:

I love that.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, it’s cool.

Adam Callow:

Depending on the price point, I might ask for an intro.

Sam Wilcox:

It’s super cheap. It’s like, I don’t know, like $15 a month, something like that.

Adam Callow:

I’m going to check that out, because you know me. That plays into me, just with the community video.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah. You should check it out.

Adam Callow:

Last bit of software. It’s kind of a newer one for me, but it’s saved me a bunch of time already. Pitch.com.

Sam Wilcox:

Pitch.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, pitch.com. They brand it as a PowerPoint killer. I spent too much time faffing, because I pretend I’m a designer. Yeah, let’s make this look great. Faffing with templates and trying to make presentations look good. And it’s by the same guy that founded Wunderlist app way back when. Comes beautiful templates.

Sam Wilcox:

Kind of like Canva for presentations.

Adam Callow:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like it. It’s saved me time, and I think if you are someone that is trying to convey a message, but know what you want to say, but are pretty piss poor at designing templates, or you’re that person that’s spending four hours on what the slides look like, compared to the content, pitch.com is a really good tool.

Sam Wilcox:

Nice.

Adam Callow:

Yeah.

Sam Wilcox:

Well, we’ll call it a day, my friend. That was insightful.

Adam Callow:

Big, big statement. It was interesting at the beginning, so I kind of nearly went down memory lane. I thought we were going to get down to like, “Cool, let’s talk about door to door sales.” But that’s just me just wanting to talk about that.

Sam Wilcox:

Hey, we can talk about that if you want.

Adam Callow:

That was a fun point.

Sam Wilcox:

Maybe on another show.

Adam Callow:

Maybe on another show, mate. But yeah, the transition period, now it’d be fun to revisit this and actually put some tactical stuff behind the learnings.

Sam Wilcox:

Yeah, for sure. I’m going to hold you accountable. All right, man. Thanks for your time. I appreciate it. Always fun chatting with you, and we’ll see you on the next one.

Loading...