In this episode of Freedom In Five Minutes, we explore some outsourcing tips and the best type of business owners to work with virtual assistants — specifically, with Virtual Systems Architects at ProSulum.com.
Overview & Episode Content
- Tell-tale Signs that a Prospect Requires More Understanding on Outsourcing and Delegation
- When to Be Uncompromising in Your Business and Draw a Line on the Sand
- Outsourcing and Documented Business Processes Lead to Greater Success
- The Best Customers are Aligned with Your Values
- Process Documents Positions You for Success
Tell-tale Signs That a Prospect Requires More Understanding on Outsourcing and Delegation
I have a pretty cool story for you. Somebody started a social media thread a few days ago.
Their post said, “Hey I’m looking for an executive assistant who can help me.”
This person’s social media bears a blue checkmark — a tell-tale sign to some popularity online. And they basically run some sort of NFT funds. A few of my clients followed this thread and referred the original poster to us at ProSulum.com.
They were open to checking out Pro Sulum along with another business owner who followed that thread. Not long after, we got them in discovery calls and one of them became a temporary client.
Although these clients are very different people, they have one thing in common. They both wanted an executive assistant to outsource and help them. But they wanted their assistants to read their minds.
They never intended to let our Virtual Systems Architect document systems. During both sales calls, these people simply wanted really good VAs to outsource and that was about it.
The first prospect — who became a temporary client — refused to record five-minute process videos for our Virtual Systems Architects to work on. They did not want to “waste” their time with documentation.
The sales person who spoke with him during the discovery call apparently said that it was fine, “Our guys are very good anyway. It probably won’t be a problem — it probably won’t matter.”
After that prospect signed the agreement for our Virtual Systems Architects and paid for the invoice, my General Manager immediately sent a welcome message. Part of that message were instructions on how to create their first few process videos for our VSA.
Now of course, the prospect refused to record five-minute process videos again — this time, to my general manager. They simply wanted an executive assistant. That’s it.
When to Be Uncompromising in Your Business and Draw a Line on the Sand
The report reached my attention and after studying the incident, it became evident that this prospect did not have the mindset for growth.
Now, these people might have very good businesses but from personal experience, a library of documented systems is vital to scale and grow the business.
The thing is, one cannot expect people to “read minds” when outsourcing because that never works. Businesses who look for “mind reading” VAs end up with high turnover rates because nobody loves working for them.
I stepped in and reached out to the customer. And I say this again — I have absolutely no problem with firing customers. Keeping unwanted customers is never good for anyone — not for them and not for us. Especially if they do not get the value that they are looking for.
So I sent them a nice email, “This looks like it is not working out and seems like it’s not a good fit. We do what we do because it is a proven system.”
I was 100% happy to send them a full refund and even forwarded them to other places that might be a better fit for them.
They wrote back in fifteen minutes, “I’m really frustrated. Your sales person told me that I can have a VA and it shouldn’t be a problem. Please give me a refund and please give me some recommendations.”
So I recommended him to three different places and refunded his money. And I have no qualms about that, I do not care. But this is a good story to me.
In business, you have to draw a line on the sand. If you truly believe that there is value in your products when used the right way then you will draw that line on the sand and not compromise.
Outsourcing and Documented Business Processes Lead to Greater Success
There are certain clients who no longer do the five-minute process videos and process documentations. But they did in the beginning. And they understand the system and they adapted to the way that they want their own systems to function.
Virtual Systems Architects are basically VAs with superpowers. They are so much better than what you are going to find anywhere else out there. So they are willing to adapt but we ask our clients to really follow our system at least for a while. That is the line we draw on the sand.
Everything is based on systems at Pro Sulum. The more that you scale your system and create documented processes, the greater the success you will achieve. Our main goal is to see our clients become successful.
So, when I heard about this particular prospect, I immediately stepped in and set them free. We’ve had clients and prospects like this one before. And the funny thing is, they would realize later that they should have gone and outsourced to us.
Now, the second prospect was the one who has a blue checkmark on social media. It took a long time to get him on the phone with a different sales person. And our sales team has a very specific framework that helps them convey the meaning of our services to the prospect and to determine if they are a good fit for Pro Sulum.
The cool thing is that everyone in my sales team is trained to not care if a prospect would turn out to not be a good fit. Ultimately, our sales team will be more successful if the clients are happy. And the clients will be more successful if the sales team, themselves, are happy.
The Best Customers are Aligned with Your Values
Our sales guy started walking the prospect through the Pro Sulum process and explained exactly how the Virtual Systems Architect concept works and our Freedom Framework. He also asked a little bit more about the prospect’s business and opened discussions about whether it’s a good fit before talking about pricing.
For all intents and purposes, the prospect was basically, “Yeah, let’s just get this over with.”
So, our sales person started talking about systems and asking what the prospect does. As our sales person was talking, the prospect cut him off and there was a hint of haughtiness in their tone towards our sales person. It was like they could not listen to someone beneath them.
They basically said, “I just want an executive assistant to outsource and that’s it.”
Because we had to insist on running them through our process, then the prospect was done with us. And my sales person was pissed! He was so mad.
But I reminded my team, “Who cares?”
It would be horrible to have a condescending client on board who only wanted a mind-reading VA. The reason why they are looking for assistants is because these business owners suck at delegating and creating systems.
We only want customers who are aligned with our values at Pro Sulum.
Unless my team has been mistreated, that’s when I would get my claws out and chase the rude customer away. In fact, we had such a troublesome customer not too long ago so I gave them months worth of refund and sent them away.
He ended up apologizing and got one of his friends to be the new point of contact with Pro Sulum. That was alright but I made it clear that I will no longer directly deal with that rude person.
Process Documents Positions You for Success
Despite the way these prospects and past clients behaved, I really do hope that they have a lot of success. But in my personal experience, the reason why we created the Freedom Framework was because this way of documenting is designed to scale your business.
Business owners simply spend five minutes on a process video that the VSA can document. And once that process is documented and outsourced, you unlock that process and make it available to anyone in your organization. This is a very effective way to remove linchpins and bottlenecks within teams. You allow your business to remain afloat in case someone leaves. And that is a very powerful thing.
If you have everything documented and place people in positions to succeed, that’s where you can scale and grow. But if you’re just looking for a virtual assistant, you might find them and they will be amazing.
But I have outsourced to virtual assistants before and although they were great, a VA is just one person. None of them could lead the team because there were no systems and processes. There was no clear communication between VAs. A lot of times, I could not get things to work in concert. I might have three people but multiple things were not happening at once in a very systematic way.
That is why you see huge companies like Amazon with fulfillment centers and Tesla with their manufacturing plants. Every little bit of their processes are documented and systematized even if those parts are automated or outsourced in some way.
I urge you to outsource — especially if you are living in places with high minimum wage like California, New York, and Seattle. A great way to save money is to outsource overseas but it is not going to solve your problems unless you start on your systems first.
You have to start thinking systems and processes and growing that mindset into something huge and natural — something that you are going to do in your business every single time.
Resources and Links
This has been Dean Soto. Please visit FreedomInFiveMinutes.com.
And if you want your own Virtual Systems Architect, go to ProSulum.com. There is amazing content there. We made a cool new documentary as well. Check out those places and I will see you in the next Freedom In Five Minutes Podcast episode.