Momentum Podcast: 830
Trust but Verify
by Alex Charfen
One of the hardest things we do as entrepreneurs is ask for help. I know that for our personality type, asking for help is one of the hardest things we do because we need far more help than the average person. But any time we ask for help, it leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed. That's why when you finally do go out and try and get help, I want you to trust the person that you're talking to. I want you to trust that they are who they are, but do everything you can to verify. In this podcast, I'm going to share with you the process that I use to go out and help get help from consultants and coaches and product suppliers from my company that I want you to use too. Because far too many entrepreneurs today are getting taken advantage of by people who claim that they can help in ways that they actually can't. And I think it's one of the biggest issues we're facing as entrepreneurs.
Far too often, entrepreneurs share stories with me of going out and trying to get help with an issue in their business and almost immediately feeling like they let themselves down.
One of the hardest things we do as entrepreneurs is ask for help. Even though we know we need more help than the average person, any request we make for help leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed.
Over the past few weeks, I have had at least three friends tell me stories of consultants or coaches they have hired that have let them down, exaggerated their capabilities, and made up their backgrounds and credibility.
When it comes to getting help, let me share with you a process that will allow you to trust but verify and have confidence you will get the help you need.
For support with your business, navigate to simpleoperations.com. We are looking forward to connecting with you.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. One of the hardest things we do as entrepreneurs is ask for help. I know that for our personality type, asking for help is one of the hardest things we do because we need far more help than the average person. But any time we ask for help, it leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed. That's why when you finally do go out and try and get help, I want you to trust the person that you're talking to. I want you to trust that they are who they are, but do everything you can to verify. In this podcast, I'm going to share with you the process that I use to go out and help get help from consultants and coaches and product suppliers from my company that I want you to use too. Because far too many entrepreneurs today are getting taken advantage of by people who claim that they can help in ways that they actually can't. And I think it's one of the biggest issues we're facing as entrepreneurs. I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for Empire Builders Game Changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off. And don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy. And we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Should we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will? We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be. Over the past few weeks, I've had too many conversations. I think it's been three over the past few weeks, but man, it is just a constant source of conversations that I have with my friends, with people around me, with clients that they have gone out to get help from a consultant or a coach or somebody who's offering services and it's not working. And they're having second thoughts and they're frustrated and they're having challenges with the person. And they're looking at some of what they're being told to do. And they're saying, like, you know, this just doesn't feel right. You know, I hired this expert, but my gut is telling me something's wrong with what they're telling me to do, but I'm doing it anyway. And the worst part is it's not working. And when I talk to this expert, they're telling me, oh, it's because you did this or it's because you made these decisions, or it's because you don't have the right perspective. It's because you don't have you know, you're not trying hard enough or you're not working hard enough or you didn't do it the right way. And they end up feeling blamed. They end up feeling frustrated, they end up feeling vulnerable. And for us as entrepreneurs, you know, given the difficulty we have with asking for help, giving the difficulty that when we go out and ask for help, it makes us feel vulnerable. I want you to create a process where you evaluate how you get help and who you get it from. And I want you to trust the people you're talking to. You know, I don't want you to just walk around suspicious. Well, honestly, maybe I want you to a little bit, because there's so much of this in the entrepreneurial world today. But when you find somebody who you think can help you or you determine the type of help that you need in your business, I want you to trust but verify so that you actually get the help that you need. Because far too often there is a scenario like what happened to one of my friends recently where they saw somebody speak on a stage and the person spoke about being a sales consultant and how they solved the sales solution or the sales issues in their and people's businesses. And they looked really credible. And so this friend of mine hired this sales consultant, and their sales conversions actually went down after they brought the consultant in. Sales didn't go up, the sales conversions went down with their sales team and the consultant told them to make certain decisions in their sales team, like bring in some more reps and change the way that they were selling things. And the friend that went through this scenario was feeling uncomfortable with it, and was thinking, These aren't the right decisions. This doesn't make sense. But because the person was a sales expert and they went on stage, they trusted the process and they went through with the process. And now they're in a place where conversions have gone down, cash flow has gone down, overall sales have gone down. The rested they have are less productive and it's causing massive challenges and frustration for them. And they asked me to take a look at what that person has suggested. And within 10 minutes, I looked at some of the things that the person told them to do, like bringing in more sales reps when the reps that they already had didn't have enough phone calls and changing their process, when the process that they had had been working, these were like sales one on one things. And the person made a decision or suggested this and suggested decisions and told them to do things that are not working but still held themselves out as an expert. And when my friend inquired as to, Hey, why aren't these working and why are we doing these things? He was told, Hey, like, you're not the expert here. You haven't done this before. You have to trust the process. You have to work harder at this. You have to give it time. And when I looked at some of the suggestions that they made, I can tell you that time or harder work was not going to fix anything. Like I'll give you just a simple example of one of the things I saw within 10 minutes was, you know, when you have a sales team, if your sales team is underutilized, if they're not on calls all day, every day, and I don't mean every hour of the day, but if they're not consistently on calls every day, conversions will go down. You ask anybody who's ever had a sales team that, you know, I spent the first ten years of my career in owning a sales company, and if my reps weren't utilized, if they didn't have calls to make their conversion, their productivity would go down. Anyone can tell you that that happens on a sales team. Now there are diminishing returns. If you overwhelm sales reps, their numbers also go down, but you have to keep them working full time. You have to keep them getting reps, you have to keep them getting on the phone. That's how they get in the zone. That's how they get in stride. And this friend of mine had a number of reps that were getting a decent amount of calls but not fully utilized. And he was told to bring in more reps right there. That person who was consulting with them proved beyond a shadow of a doubt for me that they didn't know what they were doing. Unless, you know, and there wasn't some extraordinary explanation for it. And that to me was proof they didn't know what they were doing. And that is just so frustrating and so challenging, especially when we go out and ask for help and we need a solution in our business when somebody comes in and has us making moves that move us in the wrong direction. It is completely and totally frustrating and overwhelming and challenging. If you've been in this situation like I have, I want you to know I've been here, I've been through this where we've gone out and we've hired help and we followed a process. And, you know, we've we've done what we were told or we followed the product that we bought or, you know, we bought advice, we bought consulting, and it didn't work. And here's the commonality for me when I've done that, and here's the process I've put in place to fix it so that you don't have to go through this again. And I will never go through this again. So first, the commonality of when I've had challenges is that I typically found somebody who looked like they could solve a problem, and I didn't evaluate other options and I didn't compare them to anybody else. And typically, if I look back through my career, it was usually somebody who looked like they had a lot of credibility. It was usually somebody who was on stage or had done something extraordinary or had a really incredible story or track record or something, something where it looked like they really knew what they were doing. But I didn't go verify and verify. I didn't I didn't compare them to other people. I didn't look at what else was out there. And so here's the process that I use now. If I'm going to hire a solution in my company, I'll just use the example. If I was looking for somebody to come in and do sales consulting, I would go out and I would talk to probably somewhere between six and ten people who do sales consulting specifically for my type of business, like who are the well-known people that can help a business like mine? And the reason I talk to 6 to 10 is because I don't know what an offer should look like. I don't know what a sales engagement should look like. I don't, that's not what I do today. I don't know how much they should charge. I don't know what services they should provide. I don't know what their services should look like. And so if I go talk to 6 to 10, here's what ends up happening. If I take notes on those meetings, I end up with a really clear idea of what sales offers look like, what they tend to include, what they tend to not include, and how much they cost over a population of 6 to 10 different offers. And doing that and having the conversations with those companies gives me so much more knowledge than I have right now about how I might solve my issue and how somebody should help me solve the issue. So the first step in the process I have is I go talk to a bunch of companies that provide the solution, or I go look at a bunch of companies that provide this solution and I understand how they solve my problem and what type of elements are typically included in their services. And it gives me an idea of what's available and it also starts to give me an idea of how I want it solved. If you only look at one, you are buying a myth, you are buying a story. Now you might win. They might be the right person. They might be the right company to help you. But you don't you can't approach that decision by only looking at one with a high level of certainty, with a high level of verification, because you only looked at one company. And so the first step is I go talk to a bunch of different companies and I and I understand what the offerings look like. And I dramatically increase my knowledge of what is offered and the solution that I need. The second thing that I do is I want to lay down to three companies. I look at all of the offers that I saw and I think, what are the top three here? And with those three companies now, I go into massive verification mode. I want to verify the story of the company. I want to verify the owner's story. I want to understand that they've actually done what they've said they do. You know, people use testimonials all over their websites. I will go and message people through social media and say, Hey, so-and-so has you on their website. What was your experience working with them? What could they have done better? What did they do really well? And I will get as much information about those three companies as I possibly can, and then I'll get on another call or another interaction with them and ask for specific details and really drill down to, is this the company that I want to use? And after I've gone through that process of verification and verifying people who've worked with them and then drilling down to details, here's what happens. I now have way more knowledge about what I'm buying. I have way better understanding about the three companies that evaluate it as a whole, and way more knowledge about the three companies that are the final contenders. I've verified what they've done and what their social proof is, and I've talked to other people and I've and, you know, it's amazing how fast people get back to you through social media to tell you both good and bad, which is important, you need to hear both. And I have dramatically increased my chances of hiring the right company and then I make the move to hire an organization and hire a solution. I make sure that it is a methodical process, not an emotional one. I make sure that I've actually followed a process and not just chosen the shiny object. And then what happens is when they come in and we start implementing their program, when we start implementing their process, when we receive their coaching or consulting, I have a much higher level of confidence in them and a much higher level of confidence that it's going to work. So it actually goes better for me because I have a much higher energy towards it, a much higher commitment towards it. And so it goes better in our company because I've gone through a full evaluation. You know, if you only look at one and you only and you hire that one, as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable with the process, that discomfort is going to be dramatic because, you know, you haven't done a lot of verification. You'll start thinking, man, what do I really know about this person? What do I really know about what they do? You'll start feeling the frustration of not having the confidence in the decision that you made, because it wasn't a decision that was made by following a process. It wasn't a decision that was made through actual verification. It wasn't a decision where you really understood the decision you were making. It was probably if you only looked at one. You have to know, you have to admit that that was probably an emotional decision. It was probably a decision based on shiny objects or based on one one recommendation or based on seeing somebody on stage or based on having heard about somebody. When you're going to hire anyone, go out and talk to the people who are competitors with them. Even if, you know, even if in your heart you're thinking, I really want to work with this person, still go through this process, because then once you start, it will make it stick. It will make your engagement with that person. It will make the services he got from that person so much more effective for your company if you trust but verify and go through a process to get the right help for your company. Because I don't want you to end up like one of the people on the three calls that I've had in just past few weeks and the hundreds of calls that I have every year where they have made a commitment to somebody, they have brought in a product or a coaching service or a new philosophy into their company. They are struggling with it like crazy because it's not working and it's causing frustration for them. It's causing frustration for their team, it's causing doubts on their team. It's causing a lack of trust of their team to them as the CEO because they made this decision that is now not working and then it makes it so that we don't trust going out to get help. I don't want that to happen to you. I've seen it happen to far too many entrepreneurs. It happens far too often these days. One of my you know, I've been a coach, a consultant, an advisor, an entrepreneur as an educated entrepreneur for 30 years plus. And I hold myself to an incredibly high standard that if I have to if I tell you that I'm going to help you do something is something that I've done myself. If I tell you that I can get you a result, it's something I've got a result done for dozens of people. Hundreds of people, not one or two. If I tell you I can help you, I have a certainty that I have the frameworks and the systems and the structure and the knowledge and the experience that I'm actually going to be able to help you and. You will get the result that I promise. And I think that today there are far too many coaches and consultants and providers who are promising a result they've never done for themselves or anybody else. There's far too many people who are promising a solution they wish they had themselves and they're going to help you get it. There's far too many people who are not sharing their backgrounds and their experience with integrity. They're sharing it in a way that makes them look like they've done way more than they have and like they've accomplished, make way more than they have. And there's far too many people that believe they only have to be one step ahead of their clients in order to have success. And I think that's absolutely ridiculous. Now, I will provide one exception. If you are someone who has a ton of experience doing something and you create a product where you're taking somebody through a process you know well and you put out a beta product or a master class where you tell people, Hey, this is the first time I've done it and we're going to be recording along the way. And you're in that regard, one step ahead of your customers where you're recording the videos and doing it with them and recording the resources as you create your product, then I will make that exception. But the problem is the message that you only have to be one step ahead of your customers has created this army of consultants and coaches and quote unquote experts. And I do air quotes because they're not experts who believe all they have to do is learn the information before they teach it to you and everything's going to be okay. And that's why so many entrepreneurs today are spending time and money and effort and energy and focus, learning from people who they shouldn't be. And I don't want you to be one of them. I want you to go out and get the help that you need. And if you follow the process that I just outlined, if you share this process with your team and you have them help you with this process, not only will you get the help you need, you will have a higher level of confidence. With that help coming in, you'll have a higher level of commitment to doing exactly what that person asks you to do and knowing that it's going to work and you'll have a much higher level of clarity around the problem you have and the solutions that are available so that you select the right one. And it actually makes a massive change and massive impact in your company when it comes to coaching, consulting or experts of any kind trust but verify like crazy so that you get the help you actually need. And if you're an entrepreneur who's growing your business and you're at the point where you're growing a team and you want to build that world class team around you, that really helps you get to the next level and have the confidence that you need to be able to grow the team even bigger and delegate permanently and create the company and the life that you really want. I run a company called Simple Operations and we love to help you, and I am more than happy to have you evaluate our services against anyone else in the market who does what we do. I'd love to have you verify with the people who we've helped create. Seven and eight figure business is what we've done for them. And I think if you make us part of your evaluation process, you'll end up working with us. So if you're in that process and you're looking for help, go to simple operations dot com, click the simple button on the home page, fill out a form for my team. One of us will jump on a call with you and we'll tell you exactly what we do. The track record we have and doing it will help you evaluate your needs and see if we can help you. We'd love to be part of your evaluation process. SimpleOperations.com. Thanks for being here today and thanks for being a listener of the podcast.