Last week’s challenge: Ask for Referrals
Last week we invited our second podcast guest, Jay Gibb of CloudSponge, a referral marketing engine, and platform that allows users to share their address book to easily share deals and products with their friends.
The thing we each did was try to be more active in asking for a review for our businesses from those clients and customers who asked for support. Since Natalie and I both run businesses with a client-base who commonly submits support tickets it provides an ample opportunity to ask for a review right away, once we resolve the customer’s issue. Natalie did get a review and I did not. I wasn’t discouraged though, eventually, someone will leave that review or make that referral.
Another thing we discuss is automating that referral/review asking process. That is, find a way in your sales cycle to automate asking for that referral or review. I typically do this at the end of a project.
For local brick and mortar businesses, we do recommend asking for reviews on Yelp and Google My Business each are essential for trying to rank well in local search results.
More than anything, Nat and I learned that asking for help is a good thing and to not fight the urge to ask people for help. You’d be surprised how many folks who enjoy working with you are happy to help you out and recommend your business.
This week’s challenge: Be the Boss of Your Email
Email. I hate the fucking thing. Email, if it were up to me, would be burned alive and sacrificed to the asshole DigiGod, Elmer the Hard Drive Warrior, who destroys all tech-related things that hinder personal productivity. Yes, I have very strong feelings about email. Email pulls you out of your work day, demands your attention, and saps your productivity. However, my brilliant co-host does not share my frustrations with email and she shares some of her tips in this week’s challenge.
I try to be clever with my emails, you see. I use and love MixMax, which is a sales dev tool that allows you to schedule emails, bounce emails back into your inbox, set reply templates etc. I use the tool to send delayed replies to people because I don’t want to engage in an exchange right away.
Natalie suggests limiting how often you check email each day. Natalie only checks emails once per day. If the email has a task associated with it, Natalie will leave that email in her inbox until she’s ready to resolve that task. In a way, she keeps her emails around as a hodge-podge to-do list (she also makes a note of those email related tasks on her daily task planner).
Email can cause anxiety if the email is timely and related to a stressful project and mess up your concentration, Natalie says.
Natalie also recommends not checking email if you don’t intend to reply.
We unconsciously set expectations when we reply to emails right away. People who “build their businesses” on be at-the-ready available set that sort of expectation on their time and their clients will no doubt take advantage. So it’s important to set the right expectations and to limit your availability to focus on your work.
I commit to going forward with the week and checking emails only three times a day; once first thing in the morning, then the afternoon, and once at the close of the business day. I have an SLA (Service Level Agreement) with my clients that I respond to emails on weekdays within four hours, so this should be easy peasy. I’m skeptical but I think I can become the boss-level character I need to be in order to vanquish my emails once and for all (kinda).
Resources for this challenge
- 03:30 — Alex berates Natalie for her vicious bender of a night drinking, doing intense amounts of cocaine and other things that will get you instantly arrested in Los Angeles and Topeka, KS. She insists it’s because she’s jet lagged and fighting a cold but Alex knows better and cannot be fooled because he’s the smartest guy in every room that he’s in. Also, they discuss last week’s challenge with special guest, Jay Gibb of Cloudsponge.
- 12:25 — Natalie makes me yell and scream so very loudly. You’ll think I lost an arm but instead we talk about becoming the boss of your email. ALEX FUCKING LOVES MANAGING HIS EMAILS!
As always, don’t forget to leave us that gushy 5-star review on iTunes and what not. And remember, kids, keep it simple and most importantly Keep it Doable!