WWW.CROSSROADS.SANDLER.COM / 208-429-9275 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2020
FIND YOUR EDGE
BEFORE Q2, DIG INTO THE REAL PROBLEMS PLAGUING YOUR BUSINESS WERE YOUR RESOLUTIONS RIGHT FOR YOU?
January has come and gone, and with it, likely much of your motivation. According to U.S. News & World Report, 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions — whether business or personal — by mid-February. If you’re among them, or if you feel yourself running out of steam, this is the ideal time to look back over those goals. Were they the right ones for you? Is there something else more vital you can tackle in Q2? It’s even more important to do this double-check if you’re still going strong on your resolutions because the last thing you want is to complete mid-necessity goals while leaving something more crucial by the wayside. I know this process can be disheartening — none of us want to think that the business-building goals and strategies we’ve worked so hard to develop for our companies are irrelevant. But far too often, I’ve seen business owners tackle goals that are solutions to symptoms rather than solutions to causes. In the process of solving the pains on the surface, these entrepreneurs, presidents, and CEOs end up ignoring simple solutions that would have rectified much larger issues.
Here’s the reality: You can’t get back on track until you have a clear understanding of why you’re off track. That goes for me, you, and every other entrepreneur under the sun. So, how do you find out whether you’re solving a cause or a symptom? First, you lay “ “FAR TOO OFTEN, I’VE SEEN BUSINESS OWNERS TACKLE GOALS THAT ARE SOLUTIONS TO SYMPTOMS RATHER THAN SOLUTIONS TO CAUSES.”
out all your resolutions and identify the problems they’re trying to solve. Maybe you resolved to increase your sales, and the problem you’re solving is that you’re not bringing in enough revenue to grow your business. Or maybe you’ve resolved to hire more people, and
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the problem is that your current team isn’t completing all the tasks required of them every day. Once you’ve identified those problems, ask yourself, “Is this the core issue? Or could I address something deeper?” In the examples I gave above, there are certainly deeper issues. Failing to bring in sufficient revenue, for example, is a symptom of a larger problem. If you’re hitting this barrier, odds are there’s something wrong with your sales funnel, or your prices are too low. Similarly, tasks going incomplete is a symptom of something else — most likely hiring the wrong people, or bringing on too many clients at once, or bringing on less-than-ideal clients. These can be tough realizations, but luckily, business problems begin to look like opportunities with enough clarity. Once you’ve taken off your blinders and examined your strategic aim, you can double down on what really matters and find success in Q2. I’ll be going through this process myself here at Sandler Training, so if you could use some expert assistance with your evaluation, don’t hesitate to drop me an email. You can reach me at jim.stephens@ sandler.com any time, day or night.
IS YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS HOLDING YOU BACK? 3 DANGEROUS BELIEFS TO WATCH OUT FOR
2. FEAR OF REJECTION Do you have a hard time stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you find yourself avoiding the word “no” at all costs? You might have been programmed with this fear. If you have been, you could be short on prospects, fail to close new clients, and miss out on your ideal customers. 3. LACK OF SELF-WORTH Do you have a bad habit of giving your time away for free or letting your prospects walk all over you? Without self-worth, you could end up underpricing your products and services, and potentially going out of business. If one (or more) of those situations sounds familiar, your mind is overdue for reprogramming. You can try to do it yourself, but odds are you’ve been there and done that without results. Luckily, our team here at Sandler Training can help. Call us today to turn your mindset around.
When it comes to succeeding in business, every entrepreneur is their own worst enemy. In our experience, negative beliefs are more crippling than any other barrier to business growth because there’s no aspect of your business they can’t reach. Unfortunately, most of us are oblivious to the thought seeds we sow and the effect of those thoughts — which is why developing an awareness of your subconscious programming and learning to upend it is essential. First, you need to realize that you are who you have been programmed to be by the faith or fear planted in your thinking mind. The inputs you received from early childhood, reinforced through your life experiences, are the building blocks of your reality. Here are three common beliefs to watch for: 1. NEED FOR APPROVAL Do you live by the words “the customer is always right?” Are you constantly looking for positive feedback, even at the expense of progress? If so, your growth could be chained by this belief. In our experience, this results in a bloated pipeline filled with unqualified prospects, a long sales cycle, and a big pending file.
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MEET THE GUARDIANS OF SEATTLE’S WATER SUPPLY
We often say that Sandler Training can serve any business — no matter the size, niche, or trajectory. Our innovative training programs can take a company to the next level. In our years in this industry, we’ve been put to the test on that score many times. Sometimes, massive national companies with global reach, like Price Associates, come to us looking for optimization. Other times, we’re challenged with leveraging the extremely niche, unique skill sets of small, local-focused companies like Udder Health, and giving them the tools they need to grow. Each category of client comes with its own assets and stumbling blocks, but there’s nothing we love more than rising to the occasion. One of our most unique clients, Catchall Environmental, falls squarely into the niche company camp. Catchall is a small, nine-person company that maintains and manages stormwater systems throughout the Seattle, Washington, area. For the last 10 years, founder Jim Winskill and his team have served as the guardians of Seattle’s water supply, capturing and removing pollutants before they can penetrate Puget Sound and local aquifers.
“There’s a great deal of regulation around keeping stormwater systems maintained to keep the pollutants that are washed down through catch basins,
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etc., from going out into the environment and the municipal systems. That takes constant oversight, including inspecting stormwater systems and keeping them clean,” Jim explains, adding, “There are a lot of things underground that are hidden from people’s view. There are underground vaults, filter systems, and those types of things that need to be inspected annually — at the very least — to make sure they’re doing their job.” Catchall prides itself on being a full-service solution for businesses and property managers faced with managing their own stormwater. When a client engages Jim and his team, they handle everything from inspections and cleanouts to paperwork and stay in constant touch with local municipalities on the clients’ behalf. It’s a complex undertaking because in Washington, stormwater is highly regulated. The largest regulatory umbrella is national, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency, but under it are state and municipal rules. Catchall files reports up the chain, confirming its clients are in compliance and detailing inspections, findings, and any adjustments made. “Property managers and property owners who are forward-thinking certainly like that idea because they don’t like to have to react to letters they receive [asking them] to get something fixed within 30 days, which is typically the requirement,” Jim says. Beyond the paperwork, Catchall uses heavy equipment to get the jobs done. Vacuum excavators or “vactors” — trucks weighing upward of 80,000 pounds designed to suction liquid and sludge out of drains, then store and transport it to a safe drop-off site — are standard in the industry. But what Jim is most proud of is his company’s namesake invention: The Catch-All. “We invented and patented a product that you insert into a catch basin, and it’s like a false bottom to the catch basin,” Jim
explains. “It doesn’t filter anything, but it allows you to pull up the sediments out of the catch basin without having to use a vactor truck. The primary enemy of the environment is sediment that washes off parking lots, asphalt, and other surfaces. That includes brake dust, metals, and all those various elements.” If The Catch-All device didn’t exist, neither would Catchall Environmental. That’s because Jim’s background isn’t actually in stormwater — it’s in sales. Until his nephew-in-law (who happened to be a civil engineer) came to him with the idea for the Catch-All, Jim had made his living as a salesman and serial entrepreneur in the tech sector. His pivot from there to stormwater management is certainly a story worth telling.
came from a family of entrepreneurs and says watching his uncles and grandfathers run their own businesses convinced him to become a self-starter. “From a family perspective, I just observed it and I thought it would be fun. I just enjoyed my uncles and my grandfathers very much, and they enjoyed what they were doing so much, and I thought, ‘Boy, that beats warehouse work!’” Jim recalls. “... I always from the beginning wanted to have my own business, and I decided sales was something that would lead me there because I’d know how to effectively find and get customers, and that’s the first part of having a successful business.” In 1981, Jim started his sales journey selling calculators to bookkeepers and accounting firms. Next, he leveled up to copiers, microcomputers (the forerunner of today’s laptops), and finally self-calculating
The seeds of Catchall Environmental were planted back when Jim was a kid. He
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“He told me about the regulations, said that he had designed this Catch-All device, and he wanted to know if I wanted to start a company with him. I said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ — so we did,” Jim recalls. The learning curve was steep, but eventually Catchall Environmental gained traction. What began as a prototype became a full-fledged company over the course of the decade. Throughout that process, Jim never stopped learning. He was constantly looking for ways he and his team could expand and improve, and a few years back, that pursuit of excellence led him to Sandler Training. Originally, Jim came to us looking for training for his salespeople, but it wasn’t long before he started exploring our other tools for business development. Eventually, he sat down with us to build a clearly defined, one-page strategic plan for Catchall Environmental and discuss ways to bring his team on board. “I think it’s been helpful for me to clarify what our objectives are to everybody within the company. We’re a small company — we only have nine employees — so everyone is wearing a lot of different hats, and they’re highly productive. But now it’s time to take that next step in our growth and really build the company to the next level,” Jim says. “It takes vision, and it takes people understanding their future role and future op within the company. I think that’s going to help with recruiting people [in the future], and help people who have been with me for awhile see a future for themselves in this business and realize they aren’t short- termers; they’re long-termers — they see the vision.” One of the biggest challenges Catchall Environmental was facing was recruiting new talent. With unemployment rates hitting record lows, hiring had become time-consuming, frustrating, and often fruitless. After some discussion, Jim
passed the hiring buck to us. Our team helped him identify, source, interview, and hire key employees across all areas, including vactor drivers, accountants, and administration leaders. That outsourcing saved Jim time and energy, letting him refocus on his current employees and clients. Next, we plan to work with him on strategies to snap up star players from his competition. “We have one advantage, which is that we’re environmentally oriented. People who have a passion for the environment and having an impact on the world are excited about what we do,” Jim says, reflecting on the hiring process. Thanks to these new initiatives, Catchall is on an upward trajectory. Over the last three months, Jim worked with one of his employees to put together creative, eye-catching graphs that broadcast the
time-clocks. The latter was through a company called Kronos, and after several years there, Jim ended up partnering with its manufacturer to take over dealership rights for the state of Washington. He ran that operation for 14 years, expanding it into Alaska and British Columbia. Eventually, he sold it back to Kronos to start his own interface software company, which integrated Kronos’ data with payroll and HR systems. Unsurprisingly, when the time was right, Kronos snapped that company up, too. From there, Jim’s career was a roller coaster. He boomeranged back to tech sales for a few years, then jumped into the real estate market, buying and selling properties for a profit. It was during that time that his nephew-in-law approached him with the idea for the Catch-All. Despite his lack of experience in the sector, Jim was sold right away.
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company’s goals to the rest of his team. One was in the form of a fishbowl, which overflowed with fish when they met their goal. In December, the tracker featured a Christmas tree that shot out a star when they reached their target.
Is [what you’re doing] the best thing for your customers? If not, modify it, have goals, and continue to work toward those goals.” When it comes to building a business, his other piece of advice for entrepreneurs is to forge ahead without worrying about the competition. Even in markets that appear saturated from the outside, there’s always a place for the next brilliant idea. Take software, for example. “You think there’s no room for digital players but then a player steps in and does stuff a little bit different, and all of a sudden they’ve become extremely successful in a very competitive environment. So, there’s opportunity in any environment if you just do it better and do it smarter,” Jim says. One thing we admire about Jim is his relentless optimism. Instead of focusing on the challenges of the industry he’s in, he keeps his eye on the perks. This was true even back when he worked in sales, a sector that often gets flak from other workers. “I always saw the bright side of it,” Jim recalls. “I enjoyed talking to people, so that certainly helped, but I also saw this as helping people. The first thing I really enjoyed about selling was going out and sitting in front of business owners. You
know, you’re just going out and you don’t know these guys from anybody, and they certainly don’t know you from anybody, but before you know it, you’re sitting down with a business owner and they’re telling you about their problems. They’re confiding in you, and here you are, some upstart 25-year-old or whatever. I was just so interested in what made them tick, what made their business work, and what challenges they had. And if I could find a way to help them, I knew that was going to be good for them and good for me.” That positivity is as much a secret weapon for Catchall Environmental as the Catch- All itself. With those assets and our development training at its back, we can’t wait to see where Catchall Environmental goes next! To learn more about Jim and his company, visit CatchallEnvironmental. com, or reach out to Jim directly by calling 253-279-5110 or emailing jim@ catchallenvionmental.com.
“We put our goals down and we exceeded them each month, and
everybody was really, really excited about it. I just made it much clearer to [my team] what it was all about,” Jim says. Jim is 64 now, with retirement on the horizon. Looking back over his career, he says one piece of advice rises to the top: Don’t give up. “A common thing I’ve said and that other people have said, is, ‘Gosh, if I knew what it took to do this, I never would have done it in the first place.’ Everything we do always bleeds into more challenges, and hopefully rewards, but also more issues than we ever dreamed we’d be running into. It’s all par for the course. You’re out there trying to figure out what will make it work and make it successful, and there’s just not a guidebook. But there are people like [the team at Sandler] who can help bring the sanity back into it … and help us do the things we keep losing sight of because we’re so busy day-to-day,” Jim says, adding, “Just continue the fight, and evaluate what you’re doing and what the solution to [your problem] is.
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SPLASHEO THE PERFECT VIDEO CAPTION AND TRANSCRIPTION TOOL
TAKE A BREAK
Today, attention spans last for about 7–8 seconds. Everyone can agree that’s not a lot of time to catch someone’s eye! If a person isn’t drawn into a video within those first few crucial seconds, then they’re going to move on to something else and not give your content the attention it deserves. The message you’re presenting can be easily swept under the rug if you’re not careful, but if you can make it past those eight seconds successfully and really wow your watchers, then you’ll have them hook, line, and sinker. Creating content that stops people from aimlessly scrolling down their social media for a few minutes has never been harder, but it’s not impossible. You can use and adapt a variety of tools to not only catch the eye of your targeted audience but also get them to stick around to watch the entire video. Splasheo is one such tool that boosts the allure of your videos. By sending your content through Splasheo, you’re giving it the “pop” everyone is after. Every video you publish will have an eye-grabbing and appealing look; people will be interested from the moment they hit that play button. This tool frames the message of your video into a direct and intriguing headline. Your audience will get the gist of what it’s about, but it will also create enough mystery to pull them in for the next few minutes. In addition to the catchy headline, Splasheo adds accurate and visible captions, which are essential to any video you publish.
We have 20 complimentary copies of this new book to send out. If you’d like one, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208-429-9275 to request your free copy!
Without captions, videos lose their appeal. Splasheo’s captions help your videos look professional, provide accessibility for all, and are 100% accurate.
In addition to giving your videos the aesthetic they need, Splasheo also provides a number of different formats. Whether you’re planning to publish your videos on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook, you’ll be able to post and share with ease.
The process to get started is simple: Record your video, upload it to Splasheo. com, and within 24 hours, receive a video complete with your desired intrigue.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Were Your Resolutions Right for You?
Is Your Subconscious Holding You Back?
Case Study: Meet the Guardians of Seattle’s Water Supply
Give Your Videos an Eye-Catching Vibe
Meet Idaho’s 4-Legged Heroes
CHARITY SPOTLIGHT: CANINE COMPANIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE HELP MAN’S BEST FRIEND HELP US The branch of CCI that encompasses our headquarters in Meridian, known as the CCIdaho Volunteer Chapter, works hard to raise awareness for the plight of disabled Americans and the services trained canine companions can provide. They also recruit “puppy raisers” and volunteers to the cause and hold an annual DogFest Walk ‘n Roll festival in Boise as a fundraiser. Here in Idaho, we really love our dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, we topped the charts for dog ownership in 2018 with a whopping 58% of households keeping them as pets. That’s a full 20% above the national average! That said, Idahoans recognize that, in addition to being beloved furry friends, dogs can make a real difference in the workforce. One organization proving that is our local branch of Canine Companions for Independence, a national nonprofit dedicated to breeding, raising, and training assistance dogs. Since its founding in 1975, the group has paired more than 5,000 dogs with people who need their help, including adults and children with disabilities; wounded or disabled veterans; and health care, visitation, criminal justice, and education professionals — all absolutely free. There’s no doubt in our minds these dogs make a difference. Just Browsing CCI.org, you can read dozens of stories of successful partnerships between people in need and dogs provided by CCI.
“Mork helps me help myself,” one recipient, Wallis, told the nonprofit. “He can retrieve my phone and other dropped items, pull my wheelchair, and open doors for me.” To find a CCI chapter near you, donate, or sign up to volunteer with the puppies, visit CCI.org today!
“The assistance dogs we breed, raise, and train aren’t just the ears, hands, and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities and spread incredible joy,” CCI’s website reads.
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