Starting Simple with Chad Spaide
Starting Simple with Chad Spaide
[00:00:00] Ryan Chapman: Alright, hey, this is Ryan Chapman and today I'm excited to have a good friend of mine, Chad Spaide. Chad and I actually became friends through Fix Your Funnel, which it seems like where most of my friends are coming from these days. But, Chad, you work in the insurance industry and you kind of got roped into this whole automation thing by accident. Would you mind sharing a little bit of your story? We talked about this before we started this episode here, but share with us a little bit of your story. How did you get into marketing automation? How did you start taking control of that as the business owner? And then we'll kind of go from there.
Chad Spaide: Sure! I originally found out about automation through an insurance Facebook group and I didn't know much about it. I just thought it was cool that we could send out automated emails and that would be good enough. And then I found out we could text with it on a campaign level and I'm like, [00:01:00] oh even cooler! You know? Because years ago I just- I thought it was still Mailchimp level where you, even for customer service stuff, you just send everybody the same thing and it was one off's back then.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: But then I learned 'oh, you can do this.' So I hired another ICP to put it together for me and just thought it was great. And we didn't really have any training and just things went south from there and it didn't really work out and I had enough money on leads sitting in it that I started taking a look and seeing what was going on and knew- I kind of saw the power in it but I didn't know what I was looking at, specifically, and-
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: My setup came with a Fix Your Funnel service and I was trying to figure out where to go to get access to that message and that's where I called your support, which is phenomenal by the way. It was a key component in getting-
Ryan Chapman: Before you go into that, we of course we want to hear about that, but it [00:02:00] seems as though this is a one of the hurdles, kind of the dangers, right? People that are getting into using marketing automation software the first phase is the set up and the training. And in your case, you said 'okay, I have no problem investing money in setup. I just need some help in getting this going.' And so you did that. But the problem was you didn't really know what was set up, right?
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: It was just a bunch of stuff in this application and you're like 'okay, I got to discover what's actually going on here.' Because you're- It seems like you were saying you were hearing little whispers here and there that something was going on but you weren't sure what was happening. And so did it make you feel uneasy?
Chad Spaide: Well, yeah, it did and it was a lot of fear of the unknown. And then, you know, the first time you click into a campaign in Fix Your Funnel and I'm like 'what are all those lines and cells-'
Ryan Chapman: Infusionsoft?
Chad Spaide: Err, yeah, Infusionsoft.
[00:03:00] Ryan Chapman: I know we're synonymous with Infusionsoft.
Chad Spaide: And I just wanted to click out of it! I'm like 'oh, this is like on a whole other level.' I didn't, you know, really know. It's just like using dot-to-dot on the crayons, but that's where it was. It was really intimidating the first time I looked at it and, you know, my only source was to use the little chat feature there and at night or on the weekends or whatever and just bang it out through there through reading. And that was the real tough part and I see that go on a lot and other people's apps there. They just don't know what to do with it.
Ryan Chapman: I think that unfortunately there's too many people that get caught in that trap and they either bail because they're like 'I can't do this anymore.' You know? 'I'm donating because I don't know what's happening.'
Chad Spaide: Mmhmm.
Ryan Chapman: -Infusionsoft and they're like 'I've got to change something.' And so they bail. Or, you know, they start getting things going but things aren't working right and it's too overwhelming and so, again, [00:04:00] they bounce.
Chad Spaide: It is and most of us are small business owners. And we really don't just have the time. I was fortunate enough to be in a position to where I could actually spend the hours doing it and-
Ryan Chapman: That's not always typical, huh?
Chad Spaide: No, no most of the-
Ryan Chapman: What was the size of your business at that time? Because I was having an interesting conversation with Gregg Jenkins other day, and we were talking about what type of business actually can make it through that hurdle or that...
Chad Spaide: Well, I think there's two issues with it, Ryan. One: you got to have the revenue and, you know, have that delegation system setup to buy you the time to actually get into it. And then you actually have to want to. You know? I was curious about it. I was interested and-
Ryan Chapman: You'd heard enough on the Facebook groups that you were like 'hey, there's some promise here. I just don't know how to realize it. But it seems like this is the answer to some problems I'm seeing.'
Chad Spaide: It is. And each little thing you get- [00:05:00] once you get a little comfortable with it and it's like can I do that? Yeah. What about this? Probably! You know?
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: And you get curious and you start just building things and testing it and you realize that it's so much more than what you originally intended it to do.
Ryan Chapman: So when you first got started though, you know, you were getting into it, you were kind of figuring it out yourself. You paid, obviously, somebody to set stuff up, that didn't quite work out. 'Okay, I got to take the bull by the horns because I've got this ton of leads that I've paid for in the system.' What did you say 'hey, this is the first thing I've got to do.' What's the first thing that you did with infusionsoft to make it work for you?
Chad Spaide: The first thing I did is I had to go into the campaigns and figure out what things were doing, like ARD timers and, you know, Round Robins that were switching up my agent's [00:06:00] leads. That was very... That was a very frustrating time because I didn't know the tools or the purpose of them. And I literally was banging the head on the chat bot with Fix Your- I mean, Infusionsoft After-Hours, and then-
Ryan Chapman: You said that there was an aha moment for you when things finally clicked. What kind of precipitated that?
Chad Spaide: I'm going to give Jaden Butler a hundred percent credit for that. He was willing to take the time and, you know, even before I met you I would tell people that were thinking about this to call you guys because you're the only company that actually reaches out and will jump in to assist if you need it. You know? You felt like, you know, you had a team member that wanted you to win with it and help you out in that way. And that was such a big help that [00:07:00] he really cracked it wide open for me. He showed me a couple things and was generous with answering my questions and teaching me some of the basic stuff that just really allowed me to start to see what I was doing. And then learning about the potential of the integrations that you could do with Infusionsoft and primarily Fix Your Funnel.
Ryan Chapman: That's good news. I mean from my perspective. That's what I tell the guys. It's interesting because we had a rough patch where we didn't have the greatest support guys. Then we hired Jaden. And Jaden was so good I said 'can we clone you?' He said 'I have two brothers.' I was like 'ok, they're hired.'
Chad Spaide: No, I would say it's the best customer service, first of all out of automation, but even beyond that out of probably any other- I'll call you a vendor even though you're not that- that I deal with. [00:08:00] I don't get that sort of support from anybody. And I try to turn around and deliver that to the people that I help.
Ryan Chapman: I think what some businesses don't realize is that their customer support is more of the business than any other part of the business.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: In the case of Fix Your Funnel, yeah, we have our software and that is our principal deliverable, right? In terms of that's what people think that they're buying. But, really, if you interact with our support and it's not a great experience for you, then you judge the company based on that interaction. It has nothing to do with how eloquent I may be or anything intelligent I may say or advice I might give because all that doesn't matter at the end of the day when it's rubber hits the road time. You've got to be able to get someone on the line when you need them to help you out. And that's what I tell the guys. I said 'take as much time as a customer needs.' Because if you make the investment in the customer it always pays off for everybody. The customers will be better off. Our business will be better off. Because once someone [00:09:00] gets it they're also not going to need you as much in some ways, too.
Chad Spaide: Well and they'll tell other people about it. And out of all the integrations that I found myself in the middle of using that I knew nothing about Fix Your Funnel and Jaden was the only one to actually like reach out and help, you know? And he was interested in helping, you know? Where other ones it's like I can't even get through. I don't know what's going on here.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, that's unfortunate.
Chad Spaide: You know, and you said something and I don't know if it was in The Messaging Connection or one of your videos where it's like, you know, people go to Infusionsoft and sign up for an app and they think they're just going to put it together. It's just that little help of that set up that makes all the difference. Even if it's just a tiny little sequence doing something to understand it it makes all the difference. And I think what you were saying in there is like, you know, you don't mind helping [00:10:00] somebody get started because it's what the number one reason people cancel is. It's all great and everything until you go to do it and if you're not sitting beside somebody who knows it or you're trusting somebody else to do it that doesn't follow through on things you're left with the bag. And the one thing I realized really quickly which was an extra motivation is there's not an on and off switch, you know? It's just like you don't just turn it off when you go away for the weekend if you don't plan for it. So this stuff is firing out on me and I don't know what's going on.
Ryan Chapman: Well that kind of, I think, segued into the Frank- well, I was going to say Frankenstein but it's much cleaner than Frankenstein- but we kind of created a monster in you because there was a little introduction. You'd heard of Slack before but then Jaden said 'hey, by the way if you're using Slack we can crack that black box that is Infusionsoft and have it start reporting to you.' So a lot of people will say- [00:11:00] well, I'm going to hand it off to you to have you talk more about your evolution on this respect. But for me when we first got into Slack, it was a it was a game changer in that up until that point I always had to go look at reports. Like, okay is this working? You know? What's going on here? You know? And you had to check stuff and if I wasn't checking stuff, I didn't know what was really going on.
Chad Spaide: Right and it's not always easy to check stuff either.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, I'm gonna dig in and all that. And the reality is you just want to know that things are working and you want to know when humans need to step in. And you want to know that, you know, something's not messed up. And for me the best way to do that turned out to be Slack. You took it to a whole other level. So why don't you talk a little bit about that evolution of Slack and then Infusionsoft using the Fix Your Funnel Slack bot and what happened with you?
Chad Spaide: Sure! I think it was a conversation with Jaden actually [00:12:00] that I had just been introduced to Slack. I heard around for a while and I'm like 'yeah, whatever,' you know? And I had happened to have a workspace and I just got my, you know, I just put it in my office and started using it for communication and, you know, learning how to set the purpose of the channels and explain it to my employees. And just like everywhere else I had to push that in there. So I'd already been going on it and then when I talk to Jaden, I think he mentioned something about sending texts. And then I was like 'yeah, I want to do that so that way everybody can see when we get a text.' At the time we were sharing one number. It was really a monster to have. I think we had like ten people on it at that time, trying to sort out who's text message it was.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: And so then I'm like 'well, I can put... I'll get more numbers, get everybody their own number and then I'll just put it in their own channel, so they don't have to worry about that frustration.' [00:13:00] And I think Jaden might have helped me do that. And then you know from there once it's solid, you know, how we put together a post then I'm good. And then I was like 'well, why don't I just send notifications there when we receive a new lead through the automation?' Because a lot of- most of our most of our leads come in automated so I can notify the agents when they get a new lead.
And then it just went on from there and it's like these tasks are just burying them. And if I want to notify them for email engagements, right? If they tap on one of our guides, if they click on an appointment link but don't schedule, or whatever you want to notify. We have tons of them so we always know when we should make a call to action.
The task list and the space that you have with it it just becomes so overwhelming trying to keep up if you're working any real volume that it just doesn't make it fun.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, we used Infusionsoft Task [00:14:00] originally in our first business, our training business. It was okay, but then what would happen is like you're saying if they get behind one day they're toast. It takes so many clicks to resolve one. I was like 'forget it. We can't do that. It's not going to work.' We started much like you using Slack to give tasks out, you know? And, you know, talking to some other people using Slack we figured out some, you know, relatively rudimentary methods for indicating when something was done. And then Slack introduced threads and that was a huge win because it made it less confusing for us. You can have deeper conversations on a particular item. And, you know, we go so far as to- we use Intercom for our website chat.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: We just have all the Intercom conversations forward into Slack as well so that at any point in time anybody in the business from Slack- Slack is more [00:15:00] of our... If Infusionsoft is the engine that runs the business, Slack is the communication center in terms of the hub. And then there's of course our Fix Your Funnel apps for our chat and texting. But those are kind of our three basic tools that we're really utilizing. But you took Slack to a whole new level.
Chad Spaide: Yeah, for me it was... It's really a way to bring your whole, like, it's just been- from sales part of it is you can actually bring your pipeline to life if you- depending on your type of business, you know, one or two channels- if you have active sales people out there trying to go out and drum up the business one or two channels isn't going to cut it. And then what about follow-ups, right? I don't think you should really ever stop marketing to somebody unless, you know, they say 'hey, look it I'm just not going to do it anymore.' Whatever the reason is. You know when your lead is dead and when it's not. So you should keep it always going.
So the problem with my business is that without the [00:16:00] proper automation most people in insurance that- you know, they might call a lead, a really good lead, one or two, maybe three times. Then it's dead.
Ryan Chapman: That always blew me away because I came- with our training company we were in real estate. And these guys were paying a few grand a month for us to- we did a done for you lead generation program. We were doing direct mail and it was kind of a co-op. So we were able to test pieces and then send them out to everybody in their respective region.
They get these leads that they spent, I wanna say, a hundred bucks a phone number, right? Or call.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: And we sat down one time and we're like 'so how's it going?' We were having a mastermind. And we went around the room and I was like 'how many of you- how many times you calling the leads that come in?' And it was... It was beyond embarrassing to hear their answers. I think they were kind of ashamed to even give them. But they were just like 'I'll call them once... Maybe.'
Chad Spaide: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: They [00:17:00] weren't even calling them! So they're spending all this money, but they were having enough success that they didn't really take care of all of it. It just blew me away.
Chad Spaide: It's unfortunate because you- at least in insurance, I mean we have so many leads that... But yet we all focus on new leads. And it's about the journey and the process, right? That you take them through. As long as you're always giving and educating, you know, building that rapport. It doesn't mean no. It only means no today. It doesn't mean no tomorrow. And as long as you're, you know, you have their permission and you're educating them along the way with valuable resources that, you know, your competitors just won't bring up because they just would rather focus on the price side of it.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: You know, you've got to build that trust and credibility and sometimes it takes time. But most of us are sitting on mountains of leads and we're so focused on the new we forget about all that money laying there. [00:18:00] And I believe every business is a hundred percent about relationships. That's one of the things that you have going for you is that, you know, most of the people that are regular callers they know your guys. But, you know, on the insurance side it's just a catastrophe. One of the things that gets in the way I don't blame on the agents because I've been there before-
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: Is that you just get exhausted. I mean, the processing and the quoting time once you have it you have a very minimal chance of catching any sales momentum because once you get an opportunity, then it’s, you know, everything is shut down. So the way I built my, you know, my campaigns in there is to always be working. And to really just kind of help you do the things that you just you don't physically have the time to do. So, that's the beauty of it.
So, in that, back to Slack, you should be segmenting channels based on the purpose. [00:19:00] So, you know what when it pops up that you know what it is if you need to pay attention to it now or if it can wait till later. But I really think you should keep like notifications, some stages, inbound texts, new leads. I think we have like eight channels in the system that I developed. And you know what's going on in them. So it's easily managed and everything's hyper linked back to the quick search for you if you need to do a deeper dive.
Ryan Chapman: I really feel like that's the most powerful combination. I've kind of gotten up and down on this soap box before. You know, it's kind of interesting because a lot of people don't listen. They're like 'uh, Slack, okay...' They don't understand that what you figured out in depth, which is that when you have an automation engine reporting in to you and letting you know what's going on it kind of totally eliminates the human nature element of the business. Which is, like you were saying before, you get exhausted, [00:20:00] you say 'okay, I'll get that tomorrow.' Which never kept because tomorrow is always a day away. So the things don't get done until there's an emergency.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: If you’re in an emergency that's because we've hit so deep in the trough of famine that we’re like 'oh crap, if I don't get something now things are going to not going to be pretty.' You know? And you then you get back up- insurance is a little bit of a recurring revenue or it's a recurring revenue.
Chad Spaide: Oh, yeah, you couldn't make money without it.
Ryan Chapman: So what's interesting about that is that when do the emergency bells come on for most agents? Do they come on or do they just kind...
Chad Spaide: You mean like lighting a fire to where you finally got to just go do it?
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, is it like a frog in the boiling pot of water or is it-
Chad Spaide: You know, it's a wonderful business, Ryan, and it really is but you can also let it kill you and unfortunately a lot of them... I think a lot of people in the business are not killing it. [00:21:00] There's staying just enough to make their bills and have a little extra not to do anything. You know? And-
Ryan Chapman: Just in that comfort zone.
Chad Spaide: It is and it's sad because you have to treat it, really, the first 5 or 10 years like, you know, you have to make it every month. You can't count on that. And I see a lot of people where they get enough renewal going, maybe making a little more than what they had before and... I call it retirement. You're still going in and going through the motions. It's the same way the guy that goes to the gym for five years every day at 5 in the morning and you're like really nothing's changed. You know, you can go in and go through the motions so easily and retire and it'll sneak up on you. But what if you stay motivated and you keep growing and reinventing yourself it's an awesome business that just keeps giving back to you. But I think a lot of them don't have that resilience just to keep pushing through until they see-
[00:22:00] Ryan Chapman: There's not as much an emergency siren that goes off for them as it is they just get lulled into a carnal sense of security.
Chad Spaide: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Never really amount to much. That's the challenge.
Chad Spaide: -On the service and the IT and putting it all together and stuff. And, you know, but don't get me wrong. There's some guys out there just doing incredibly well, way beyond me.
Ryan Chapman: Well, sure. In every industry there are. There people that do really well and then there's people who struggle, there's people that just get by. So it sounds like with insurance, what you're saying is, the big challenge of insurance is getting comfortable and not... And just kind of going 'yeah, we're doing it. We're surviving.'
Chad Spaide: The biggest thing is process. Is if you're not organized in your communication. Like the inbox, right? Like, if you're using that for your filing cabinet for the last three years, it's probably not going to work out well for you, you know? So, you know, [00:23:00] that's where Slack comes in again, but it's just really, you know, do you really, really want it? You know? What's going to carry you to keep growing?
Ryan Chapman: You said something earlier that was interesting which is that you use Slack to run the whole sales pipeline. So you have different channels for different, I'm assuming, opportunity stages or something that analog and so you're moving people through different stages through these different channels. And that kind of gives you an idea of where you are in terms of level on each stage. Like do we have a gap coming up or are we keeping things consistent? Is it growing? By just seeing maybe the flow in each of those channels. But you said also that you look at Infusionsoft and Slack as a way to manage your internal process post becoming a customer or client.
Chad Spaide: Yes.
Ryan Chapman: How are you utilizing Slack and Infusionsoft to handle that kind of process? What's your [00:24:00] approach or what's an example?
Chad Spaide: Well, first I would love to do a heck of a lot more. It's just a matter of getting Infusionsoft connected to the management systems through different API's. Some Management systems are easy to work with and some are incredibly locked down and just refuse. But things like cancellation notifications, you know, you can automate those to, you know, kick off the communication via text or email. Gratitude. How many people actually just reach out and say thank you for your business? So those are some of the things. I have it where my customer service reps- because we're not connected yet, but will be very soon through our management system- right now they have an Infusionsoft web form where if we get somebody that moves and doesn't tell us and we get returned mail they just copy and paste the email address and hit a button that says, you know, 'what happened? Where are you at?' Just those [00:25:00] types of communications. And also-
Ryan Chapman: That's interesting. Did you see my Facebook live I did today?
Chad Spaide: No, I didn't. I've been-
Ryan Chapman: Ok, in the Facebook live today I'm talking about the three P's of profits which are positioning, promotion and process.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: So I call those the three p's of profits. And process, this one that you're talking about, is one that I think is super underrated in terms of people's focus on it. Like, to your point earlier, most people focus on just getting the new leads.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: -New Leads. They don't pay attention to keeping customers, which is the least expensive way to grow your business is to keep the customers you get as you're putting new ones in, right?
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: So the process that I follow is I look at the yellow brick road. What are all those things that you have to do in order for this business to survive and grow, right? As I was hearing you go through these different examples it sounds like you have looked [00:26:00] at the business as a holistic whole and said 'okay, what are the things we got to do right in order to keep people happy with us and not just happy but wanting to tell the people hey, you got to go Chad?'
Chad Spaide: Right, well and that's- I mean that's a problem in my business. But as far as automation goes all the stuff I have my employee- I think we're right around 23, 25 employees, something like that- and I'm like 'I need to see everything you do repetitively.' You know? So that same email you actually finger-typed and you never saved as a draft? Okay, well, merge fields.' You know, you just you can get it done with almost hitting a button and and it's gone and it's done the same way every time. One of the things you want to do is that you want to use automation so not everybody has to be a genius to work here, right? You don't have to go hire somebody that is super advanced- not to say that you're going to hire low-level people- but you want to make their job [00:27:00] pleasurable and who wants to get hit by phone lines and going in and out of applications all day and type the same email out that they're going to do how many times as they get interrupted at correcting it? And you can automate most of those communications that they're typing.
Ryan Chapman: Okay, so that kind of leads us to your evolution which is way beyond anything I would have expected, right? You have a relative that is a developer.
Chad Spaide: Yes.
Ryan Chapman: And you said 'hey, I'm really digging this Slack stuff. I would love to be able to let my team just run the whole business, like as close as possible, out of Slack.' And so you develop something called The Funnel Cake Slack app.
Chad Spaide: Yes.
Ryan Chapman: And, you know, I've gotten to just see some of the stuff you're doing with it, but the long and short of it is a lot of these processes like 'hey, we need to set out this email to this person' they [00:28:00] can actually enter in some details that will go into Infusionsoft and then apply the tag and then boom that email gets sent off or whatever, right?
Chad Spaide: That's correct.
Ryan Chapman: So you've gone through and made it possible for people to literally run the business out of Slack.
Chad Spaide: For the most part, yeah. The repetitive tasks, yes.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. Well, that's the thing where people don't take those repetitive tasks. Like if we're doing something multiple times as soon as I know we've got it figured out, right? You don't want to automate it before you've got it figured out, in my opinion.
Chad Spaide: No, you want to have the hard system going. For me it was collecting everything that they're doing and 'show me how you do this.'
Ryan Chapman: So, it was stuff that was already proven. It wasn't like 'hey, this is a new idea I have.' It's like 'no, I'm doing this everyday 20 times.'
Chad Spaide: Right. Well, and as business owner the real value that it brings is consistency in your messages. We got like 6 to 8 people all sending it their own way. Are they communicating how you want it to be communicated? [00:29:00] You know, not that they're writing bad messages but are they clear enough? Are they, you know, to the point? Are they telling a story that doesn't make any sense?
Ryan Chapman: So I'm going through the mortgage process right now and the gals I'm working with are great. But the emails I get- you've got like, between the emails from the real estate broker and the mortgage people, I'm just like it is a wonder that you guys stay in business. It's so unclear what I'm supposed to do, you know?
Chad Spaide: Yeah.
Ryan Chapman: Fortunately, I'm not afraid of the phone so I just jump on the phone and say 'okay, what is this garbage you just sent me?' You know?
Chad Spaide: ‘I got the same stack of 200 papers by all three of you guys.’
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, so it's, you know, it's a miracle that some of these people can get anything done at all because it's so unclear. I don't think anybody sat down, like you're saying, and has gone through the inventory of what the things we're doing every day? Every file?
Chad Spaide: Oh, yeah, you know and-
Ryan Chapman: What's clear and what's [00:30:00] not.
Chad Spaide: Yeah, a big thing that we're doing is, you know, you have for personal lines insurance you have, you know, automatic draft forms or reoccurring credit card forms and stuff like that where, you know- or exclusions or something like that- and I'm like give me all of these things. And I look at them and I'm like these can't... They just can't be right and the up to date ones. This can't be happening where- I mean somebody actually took the time to make part of it fillable but not the key parts, so you've still gotta print it out and send it in. I'm like 'naw, go to the carrier again and see. They've got to have a better one than this.' And we're still using- for a company like Travelers, right? The EFT form we use you can tell it it was designed for when fax machine was like the latest and greatest thing.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: Well, I just remade them all and put merge fields on them and we shoot them out through DocuSign and nobody has to [00:31:00] touch them.
Ryan Chapman: See and that's the wonderful thing is once you start to- and see all of this was would have been not even, you know, a glimmer in your eye two or three years ago, right? How long has it been?
Chad Spaide: Oh, man, not even a year and a half.
Ryan Chapman: See? You're so advanced. Like, Chad, you don't even realize.
Chad Spaide: Yeah. Well, I mean keep in mind it was a sacrifice and-
Ryan Chapman: Oh, yeah! There's always a sacrifice. It's not like it comes easy for anybody.
Chad Spaide: Yeah. I made a lot of mistakes but, you know, it took long days, 7 days a week, for about a good year just banging my head. But, I'm also putting it in for other people, right?
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. So now let's talk about that. You figured all this stuff out for your own business. It seems like it's almost a natural evolution that can happen to some people and they really get it. They're like 'okay, nobody wants to go through the hell I just went through.'
Chad Spaide: No. No and for me I love to give and I love [00:32:00] to see people and when I can actually help somebody kind of rediscover their agency it's just... it has a special place for me, so-
Ryan Chapman: I can totally relate with that.
Chad Spaide: You know, and when you hear the statements or something like 'hey, man, I've been dreading going into the office for 10 years. Now I like get in early. I'm excited to come in.' You know? And that's the difference that makes all the difference but-
Ryan Chapman: That's neat.
Chad Spaide: But also, you know, what it does is you can only use your imagination with your employees and your own use so much. So for me, you know, a lot of people are like 'oh, I'm not telling people my secret' or something like that or how I do stuff. And it's like you're missing the whole point! You know, we saw a little bit of that at SuccessCon about how people partner up. But I love helping other agencies out because I get new ideas and I get different perspective. I hear different ways of [00:33:00] generating leads and, you know, so it forces me to keep growing and keep pushing my limits of what it is. Because I think for the most part with automation you're really only kind of limited to your own mind on what you can do with it. And usually if you have an idea you can... You know, if you look at it hard enough and try enough things you can figure out a way to make it happen.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, that's an interesting point because if you are committed to the process you really can get anything done. But, you know, you do have a huge advantage that, you know, some people have not tapped into which is having a developer friend.
Chad Spaide: Oh, yes.
Ryan Chapman: They help you make possible what's not possible on the paved road, right? So Infusionsoft is a paved road, Fix Your Funnel is a paved road but there are areas that are not paved and places you want to go and, you know, having a developer, [00:34:00] you know, available to you... It's more advanced stuff but, you know, talking to a general audience now the thing that I would like to say and point out that you have really kind of clarified throughout this whole process is that you just need to start somewhere simple. And the best part to do is, at least from my experience, it seems like you got to get yourself some time first. And that's where you'll get some gains right off the bat is when you're doing repetitive stuff or there's stuff that you know you should be doing.
In fact, I think it comes down to these two questions. What should you be doing that you're not doing? Right? So that's like the consistent follow up with the leads, making sure that I'm not letting them fall through the cracks, you know? That I'm reaching out to them so that they can become customers. And then what am I doing that I should not be doing? All the repetitive stuff that, you know, I'm changing every time probably and [00:35:00] everybody's got a different message. You know, that kind of stuff. If you ask those two questions I think you'll get a pretty good list of things to choose from.
And, you know, I come from the basketball background. Obviously because of my height I have to be. If not or something, you know, I have to hang drywall or paint ceilings. So with basketball when you do warm-ups before a game you don't shoot three-pointers unless you're Steph Curry. What you do is you do layups. And the reason you do layups is to get your confidence and your shot going. You know? So when you take that big list of 'okay, here's all the things I should be doing that I'm not and here's all the things that shouldn't be doing that I am' and you put that bullet point list together I just say find the easiest one on there. Get one and then start exploring with that one. You know what I mean? Yeah, it may not give you a huge returns but it will at least get you comfortable with the process. And then once you've got that you can open up other stuff. But sometimes it's [00:36:00] like in your case. It's the urgency that drives the first item that you hit.
Chad Spaide: Well, at right first it was just that pressure of me being up against the wall because I knew it was possible. But that's a- the thing that you're saying is that, you know, I always just kind of... Like people that do want to dabble in it that I help I'm like just go for the quick wins. Just get something and get excited about it and build from there. I think some people want to, you know, I think we all want instant gratification to some degree, right? And some of us really want it. But even if you had everything that you can do- you know, one of the things that was hard for me to even with my own employees with 'hey! Just do this. It's so simple!' And they're like a deer in the headlights and like moving a stage. 'What?' And you know-
Ryan Chapman: Have you ever read my book How to Fix Your Funnel?
Chad Spaide: Um...
Ryan Chapman: I'm putting you on the spot here but that's okay if you say no. You're fine.
Chad Spaide: No, [00:37:00] I haven't. I've read The Messaging Connection.
Ryan Chapman: Okay, you need that one. It's five bucks on Amazon. Right as soon as we're done just go ahead and order it. I put it a five bucks because nobody can say no to that, right?
Chad Spaide: Right!
Ryan Chapman: Okay, get How to Fix Your Funnel. In that book I talk about this- cause you bring up something that's really important- is the staff. If the staff doesn't cooperate it doesn't matter how great your ideas are.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: That's yet another reason to kind of ease into it because you've got to get staff to buy in in order for you to actually get the full benefits. But at the beginning of that book, maybe not the beginning, somewhere in the book I talk about this phrase that came from a guy named Dr. Goldratt. And the phrase that he said was that 'technology can bring benefit if and only if it reduces a limitation.' And he highlights in that phrase that it can bring benefit because in order for us to operate without the [00:38:00] technological benefit, you know, technology that's reducing the limitation to our business, we have to figure some way to operate, right? So we develop shortcuts or modes of operation that we do in order to survive. When you introduce new technology if we don't change the rules that we use to survive to now leverage the new technology then it's as if the technology didn't exist. And that's why he says can and not will.
Chad Spaide: Oh, yeah. Big difference between what you will do and what you can do.
Ryan Chapman: A really important part that a lot of people underestimate as well is getting the staff to buy-in to using the technology. And, you know, when you go to a company that does all the setup for you all at once- I don't want to discourage against it- but if they don't train you and your staff and get staff buy-in it's almost wasted money.
Chad Spaide: That was a hundred percent my problem, Ryan. We had 'oh, here you go.' You know, 'here's a piece of paper on how to use it.' No, it needs to be ongoing a little bit. And for me [00:39:00] and all the people that I've helped out, it's always the hitters, you know? The top salespeople. The ones who can actually use it to just even crush it more they're the ones that are the hardest to get to stop and adopt it. You know, the regular average, you know, salespeople or agents, whatever you want to call them, you know, they're more willing and they'll get on it and they start talking about it and I kind of use them to start reframing the ones that are really out just killing it but won't take the time.
Ryan Chapman: Some people see, sometimes, team members as being lazy or hesitant or something like that but I think it's actually the good parts of them that resist the change. Because they're like 'no, I gotta get results. I know this way gets results. I don't know about your new way.'
Chad Spaide: 'What I'm doing is fine. It works for me.'
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, and that's why easing [00:40:00] in, I feel like, is so much more effective. You know, get something simple. If you're going to involve staff in a phase of automation make it something that's going to make their life a little bit better that they can buy-in to.
Chad Spaide: And that right there is one of the key catalysts of me creating the Slack app is because the training on Infusionsoft- if you don't know where to go and how to make it simple and it's very intimidating if you... Especially if you go into their contact record.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: People are just blind to it at first but, I mean, after you get used to it it makes total sense. But the way the Slack app came about was throwing the stuff through the channels and then seeing people, you know, still kind of struggling a little bit and it's like 'okay, well, I don't even want them to go there.' Unless they need to see their, you know, their pipeline on their dashboard and want to know their distribution or other key reports that we create. But if they can just manage your pipeline [00:41:00] and, through my experience with it, if you get the timing down right you don't need to worry about your leads. If you get a text you can respond back quick. If you get a new lead you can respond to it right there or go over to Quick Search and do whatever you want to do over there. You know, because you're going to get an email, typically, from them... Or you know, if an appointment is made that goes to a different place. So nothing can fall through the cracks.
I know a lot of newer guys- err, a lot of the older Infusionsoft guys don't use opportunity stages but there's not one contact in my database that's not in a stage. Even if it's called dead lead. That way I can always- there's nothing out there floating around that can't be accounted for so they build trust in the system. From then it's just working on the timing of what it is. So, you can operate everything out of the Slack app. You don't have to be worrying about [00:42:00] shifting in and out of the application so much. You know, you're always going to need to go there a little bit. But if you have a busy day going on, which most of us do, you can take care of most of the stuff right there.
So, in the Funnel Cake Slack app you can apply tags. You can put custom fields in there. You can make a note. You know, now, you know, thanks to your API you can actually respond to an inbound text out of it just for quick stuff, you know? But if there's images in it, obviously you want to still know how to go to Fix Your Funnel to grab those out but to keep it as simple as possible.
Because they have all this- at least in insurance. I mean, we have over a hundred different insurance companies. So there they have one management system. And then they're struggling with all this. They have their go-to's but then when underwriting dictates that they go to one they don't use that much now they're fighting with that and then you want to come in and give me Slack, Infusionsoft and all that? [00:43:00] You know, you gotta-
Ryan Chapman: Slack became kind of their central communication platform with one another as well. So that helped the adoption there didn't it?
Chad Spaide: Oh, yeah! I had to push that in and they're like 'what is this? Do I have to?' I'm like 'just do it.' And then, you know, as soon as they looked at it and saw a post it was off.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, we were using like Google Chat and iMessage and stuff like that before. And then the original reason I got Slack in the business was I just I wanted a little more history to stuff. I wanted a little more transparency between all our conversations and stuff like that. You just didn't get that with Google Chat.
So that's what we started with and then I was like 'oh, wait they got... They got a way for me to push information in here.' And that's when it, for me, it just lit up. You've taken it to a whole new level, but I wonder do you think that if you wanted to grow the number of agents in your agency that you would be a much more attractive option to other [00:44:00] practices that, you know, other agencies that they could look at because of your systems?
Chad Spaide: Yeah. Absolutely. I had to-
Ryan Chapman: Easy to get people to go 'oh, shoot. I want to work with Chad. I don't want to work-'
Chad Spaide: Yeah. I had a guy come from AAA, I don't know, six or seven months ago. And when he saw what we were doing he's like 'man, this is like the most...' He goes 'it makes the whole prospecting process fun. It's like playing a video game.' And I'm like 'right on.'
You know, I mean you still got to make sure that, you know, you get results, but at least that management side of it, you know? You're not going to be the guy that calls one to three times.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: You know, I think I have an MIT or Harvard Business Review where, really, it takes people eight to twelve contacts to actually, you know, get them to go and then, you know, you don't really start upsetting them till more than that.
Ryan Chapman: You know what? I think if everybody had read The Messaging Connection they [00:45:00] could probably do it in three or four.
Chad Spaide: Yes, and your conversation starters. And, you know, that's a big one, you know? Because our first text, you know, it'll end with what's most important to you about. You know, and you get the response from it. And you're right, the tonality in there... You must have had some NLP training in your background, but it's... If you let them use their own filters they can only just delete, distort and generalize. So if you're making statements or commands they're going to look at what you said screaming at you.
So the conversation starter is a lightbulb. You know, two things. Watching your Slack video it was like boom! That was it for me. And then I rewrote most of our stuff after The Messaging Connection because of the statements like that where you're saying you got to use conversation starters. And our contact rate went up big time because of it. That and the pre call text because it's [00:46:00] just such a professional courtesy.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah, well and as you- because you're coming into this just like most people are where they already have a database, they already have some connection with people. If you're initiating a new connection with a vCard in some way everything else gets easier for you. And I think that's one of the... Probably the least understood strategies- after conversation starters- is getting your contact information into their phone as early as possible in the relationship. Makes a huge difference with all your contact attempts down the road.
Chad Spaide: It does. And in the beginning I was so overwhelmed. I waited too long for the vCard. I knew about it and I forgot and then when-
Ryan Chapman: Well, that's fair, you know?
Chad Spaide: And I went to your class when we met in Tucson there.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: And then it was like 'ooh, yeah.' That and the pre-call text just... I was like 'okay, you know, the vCards, you know, I need to make sure they're on there because...'
[00:47:00] Ryan Chapman: That's interesting. You point out a lot of- what I hope people are understanding is that none of the things that you've mentioned that have made a big difference are very difficult things to get started with, right? We may put them off but like incorporating a vCard into early texts? Doing a pre call SMS? Relatively simple. Thinking in terms of starting conversations? Not super hard. We all have to have conversations. Even if you're super awkward you know how to start a conversation if you have to, you know? To save your life.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: We all can do it in some way but, you know, as we think about that more everything gets easier when we follow some of these just real simple principles. And you kind of- like, what I'm always blown away by is how do people survive doing it the wrong way, you know?
Chad Spaide: Yes! Oh my gosh! You have to scratch your head. And like, you know, there can be this much... oh, jeez...
Ryan Chapman: It's that [00:48:00] and even with the mortgage-
Chad Spaide: -and you still make it.
Ryan Chapman: With the mortgage lady, even. She went like two weeks without giving me any update. I'm like 'look, I can't help it because this is what I do, but you need to stay in contact like every two or three days, even if it's just a message to say no changes. We're still processing stuff. I'll let you know when something comes up.' That message right there- and when you're in a short-term process like... This is like the engagement process with the mortgage company, right? Is I'm going through this process of giving them papers and waiting on stuff. Giving them papers, waiting on stuff. And the lack of communication builds anxiety and uncertainty, right? Like, did I pick the right person? They going to be able to get this done? Are they going to get it done in time? You know, those kinds of questions. And those are red flags, right? We don't want those kind of [00:49:00] thoughts to ever come in the minds of prospects, you know, engaging with our company.
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: Just a simple touch and the great thing about the texting, too, is that it's so easy to make sure it's seen, right? Because they're going to see it. They don't have to reply to it necessarily because not every message has to be a conversation starter, especially like when they're (inaudible), right? You can just have some notifications. Just that touch, the simple touch to say 'hey, just wanted you to know we're still in process. I'll reach out to you soon as the status changes.' That is so reassuring.
Chad Spaide: Well, it is. And I'm needy like that too, Ryan, where it's like I just want closure. Hey, are we still on track? You know? It's been a while. Just tell me everything is like, you know- for no reason. I know it's okay. I just like to hear it.
Ryan Chapman: But you can imagine how great that experience would be, you know, and how much more- like, she's very personable, takes care of stuff for the most part. But just isn't good in that communication side. If she just had that communication [00:50:00] side how many more referrals what she get?
Chad Spaide: Well, it is. And you bring up a point that, it's kind of similar to the process you're going through but it's a little drawn out. It's carried on way longer than- well, maybe not, but- Life Insurance, right?
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: Typically if we sell life insurance to somebody and help them out there it's about a two month process- sometimes going quickly. And it depends on if, you know, who they're, you know- if they're with Kaiser out in California forget about it. But, anyway... You know, so typically, you know, we get overwhelmed that, you know, the tomorrow it just never comes just to touch base with them, right?
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: So I built an 8 week sequence that just touches base every couple weeks with them. Letting them know where... You know, I know kind of about what we're in the process of doing by that stage there. Just kind of like just touching base with them and carrying along the way and letting them know 'hey, you should be getting this by now. And by now you should have already taken care [00:51:00] of that and, you know, just know that I'm watching it on this side.' Because very few people actually think to take the time just to let them know. It's like before you get your app submitted and you disappear like the mortgage broker. And it always bugged me because it wasn't my intention. It's just the time can go by so fast without you realizing what you-
Ryan Chapman: Well, you've got so much going on.
Chad Spaide: Yeah, when your touch points are-
Ryan Chapman: The fascinating part, though, is if they've ever been through that process with anybody else and then they go through the process with you they're like 'oh, this is how it's supposed to be!'
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: Once you get somebody to have that experience where they go 'oh, this is how it's supposed to be'- sort of like you did with our customer support, right?
Chad Spaide: Right.
Ryan Chapman: Oh, that's how it's supposed to be! This is what I should expect from a software company. Once you do that you have now pushed yourself to the top of the heap.
Chad Spaide: It is. And I really [00:52:00] think it's just the beginning, Ryan, because this is stuff I wanted to do. I started my business in, I think, like 2001. And, you know, you get kicked around for quite a while but when you're coming into it you have all these great ideas on what you're going to do for your clients and how great it's going to be and all this stuff and slowly you realize one: you don't have the revenue to like do all this custom coding or, you know, your management system falls way short of even- I mean, it's basically a glorified file box.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah.
Chad Spaide: And then the email marketing was like Constant Contact or something like that where you just pick the same message on everybody and it has no timeline. But now the tools are there. And the possibilities are there to do what I always wanted to do for our clients. To relate with them in that way and to keep educating them on how to, you know, manage their [00:53:00] personal risk. Everything depends upon it but the world is defaulted on, you know, let's beat the price now, worry about the coverage later. And it's like well now I can create that journey. If they're listening or not, just chipping away at it a little bit and once you get the ear of the one you can really set a difference from them.
And insurance it's crazy to not listen to- well, first if your agent's qualified, right? But the difference that makes all the difference is not much money. Most of the time if you would just stop and let's take in the consideration of how to do things correctly you can probably get a hell of a lot more coverage and you're going to be covered in a whole new way, on a whole nother level. And you're saving money but- and if not, maybe a little bit more.
Ryan Chapman: Are you licensed in Arizona? Because I'm wanting to switch all my insurance over to you.
Chad Spaide: Well, it is! Nobody talks about, you know, that there's a lot of stuff going on in policies that you need [00:54:00] to be aware of and it's minimal stuff but it's stuff that can kill you, you know?
Ryan Chapman: Well, let's close on this. Because I think it's an important point to close on. Which is once you get this framework in place- like you're saying, you got a lot more that you would like to automate that you currently do, but you have a framework with which you can do a lot of things in the future. And so once you get your framework established and you've got 'okay, I got a basic concept of how I can use these tools.' Then every week you can be making advancements in how you run that business. Because you get comfortable enough that, you know, like the idea to add in that 8 week campaign. What did that take you? Like maybe an hour? To add in the...
Chad Spaide: Yeah, a couple hours. I mean, you know, copy's always your killer. Once you know how to configure it, it's the copy that gets you.
Ryan Chapman: So, that's two hours- that's the nice thing about text, you don't have to write as much copy. Once you get that two hours in, [00:55:00] though, that two hours works for you for the rest of the life of the business.
Chad Spaide: Oh, man. You know, who knows what the value that.
Ryan Chapman: Tremendous. Adding in these little things that you come up with. Maybe as you've been listening to this episode, you know, someone is out there going 'oh, wow. I never considered that thing that Chad just said. I'm going to do that in my business. I've got a couple week or couple month period of time where clients are kind of hanging in limbo while we're doing our thing. How could I reach out and touch base to them to reassure them?' And you know what? You can put that in place. It might take you an hour or two, like if you want to write long emails or something.
By the way, I've learned for the most part, unless I'm really feeling inspired, short emails work as well as long ones. Maybe a video is better than, you know, the long email anyways nowadays.
Chad Spaide: Yeah, I think if you're new to automation in a small businesses, it's once you open up your eyes, and I don't mean that in a bad way, you start realizing like how much stuff is going on in your business [00:56:00] that's just ridiculous. And it can all be done in a whole new way that really saves people time and reduces their frustration.
I mean, there's so many wins in putting all this together for your business that it just changes everything. There's so much frustration going on around your office that you can eliminate it while you're really astonishing your clients. It's a win on every front.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. Well, thanks so much, Chad. This has been really fun. But, before you go, I hope you have your phone number and keyword ready because-
Chad Spaide: Yes!
Ryan Chapman: If people are interested in learning more about the Funnel Cake Slack App I wanted them to be able to do that. Not that this was a big long commercial, because it wasn't, but if you're using Slack and you're using Infusionsoft and you want to kind of see what it means to take it to the next level you should check out Funnel Cake. So, go ahead and tell them the key word and the phone number they can text you to get more information about it.
[00:57:00] Chad Spaide: Sure! Text the keyword SLACK to (949) 536-7824. That was text SLACK to (949) 536-7824.
Ryan Chapman: If you're on our website listening to it that will be at the very bottom of the page because we have the whole thing transcribed so you'll be able to see that there. Or you can just hit rewind and listen to it again. See, that's the beautiful part about podcast, right? It's not like radio where you're like 'what was the number?? Did somebody catch the number?' No, just rewind it.
Chad Spaide: Yeah, I always wondered who catches those.
Ryan Chapman: Yeah. All right. Well, thanks so much, Chad! I really appreciate it.
Chad Spaide: I appreciate it. It was nice catching up with you, Ryan. Thanks so much.