Speaker 0 00:00:00 So we had a failure metric in our agency that was not a success metric, a failure metric that that said, if a client contacts us to ask us where things are at we've failed and the way to avoid that is to have those meetings pre-booked in the calendar and say, Hey, you don't need to contact us on a Thursday afternoon, chasing us up as to where things are at, because you know, every Friday morning at 10:00 PM, 10:00 AM, we're gonna have a meeting and we're gonna walk you through what we've done, what we're working on next and where we're stuck. Right? So you don't need to chase us up within the counter, just save it for the, for the weekly whip on Friday or the weekly whip on Monday. Right? And so you might find that you spend someone in your agency spends most days, most Mondays, most of the day on Mondays, just going through weekly w meetings with your clients and if that's what you do on Mondays, and that's fine, then you've got the rest of the week to get the work done. And you know, every Monday you're just doing weekly whip meetings with your clients. And that, that keeps their expectations managed. And it's proactive communication so that you are not, you know, disappear and go and do the work. And the client doesn't know you're doing the work because you're not communicating it.
Speaker 2 00:01:03 If you have a vision for the agency you want to build, then we want to help you build it. Welcome to the agency hour podcast brought to you by agency Mavericks.
Speaker 0 00:01:12 Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, wherever you are around the world. Welcome to another episode of the agency hour live here in the digital Mavericks Facebook group, possibly the best Facebook group on the planet for web design and digital marketing, freelancers and agencies. And by the way, if you are listening to this episode of the podcast on a podcast, catcher like Spotify or downcast or apple podcast or Google play, or one of those other fancy apps, and you're not actually a part of the digital Mavericks Facebook group, I would encourage you to come on over to facebook.com, join the metaverse and, uh, join the digital Mavericks Facebook group, just search for digital Mavericks and, uh, click on the group. When it comes up and answer a couple of questions promising not to be a jerk and to follow the, uh, the group rules be kind, be courteous, be helpful. And, um, we'll let you in, and then you can come and join in the fun and you can watch the podcast. As we record it, live in the group. You can join in the comments. You can ask questions, you can interact and engage, and more importantly, you can join me in heckling. My good friend, and co-host hate crispy butter. Perry.
Speaker 0 00:02:41 How are you brother?
Speaker 1 00:02:42 I was gonna say, where's my intro.
Speaker 0 00:02:44 More intro. More importantly. How's your mailbox.
Speaker 1 00:02:48 Oh boy. <laugh> <laugh> you'll I'll the, the short story will come out soon. Like, I'm gonna write a little short story about it. It's I'm I'm gonna elaborate on the real story, but
Speaker 0 00:03:00 Yeah, it's a short film, man. It is short film. It's fantastic. It's it's
Speaker 1 00:03:05 A great there's lies and deceit, the film with lies and deceit and adultery and all kinds of fun stuff.
Speaker 0 00:03:11 <laugh>, it's amazing
Speaker 1 00:03:12 Who a mailbox
Speaker 0 00:03:13 Who would've thought that a mailbox could lead to adultery.
Speaker 1 00:03:16 I'm just gonna say for posterity that the adultery had nothing to do with me or anyone in my family. <laugh> <laugh> that out there, since this is a podcast, I wanna make sure everybody knows that
Speaker 0 00:03:26 <laugh> oh, that's
Speaker 1 00:03:27 Fantastic. My mailbox, but not my adultery. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:03:31 That's fantastic. Isn't it? Um, excellent. So, Hey, what are we? What? Okay, so Tuesday we had our leadership meeting Tuesday, my time, Monday, your time, we had our leadership meeting and we were talking about, uh, agency owners and freelancers who, who get to a point in their journey where they realize they need some help or they think they need some help, whether it's an online course or a mentor or a coach and, or just joining a, you know, mastermind or hanging out with other people in an accountability group. And then they kind of get to the finish line almost of, of like making that decision. And then they wig out. For some reason they freak out, right? They're like, oh no, I'm just gonna do it on my own, which is totally fine. I'm like, look, trust me. This is, we're not here pitching you, our coaching services.
Speaker 0 00:04:21 We're totally fine. Either way. Um, but it was an interesting conversation because I was talking about the reality that growing an agency or growing any kind of business is really hard. Yeah. And it's, it's, you know, you kind of have to be prepared to get punched in the face a hundred times a day and, and just get up the next day and do it again and do it again and do it again. And it's really, I've been doing this a long time now and coach a lot of people through the process and it's a two year journey, right. That to, to, to experience any kind of significant transformation in the business really takes about two years. You reflect back on where we were two years ago and go, wow, we've made some progress. People's expectations are I think that they're gonna take your course or join a program or get involved in the group and within three months, right. You know, they're gonna have Lamborghini and you know, they get
Speaker 1 00:05:13 Into this game because they're, they're good at design or they're good at creating websites. And they did it for somebody and then they did it for somebody else. Next thing, you know, they're doing it for more and more people and they think, oh wow. It would be cool to grow, to actually have a business.
Speaker 0 00:05:30 Right. Yeah. Which is very different. Yeah. Very different from
Speaker 1 00:05:34 Different from actually having a business.
Speaker 0 00:05:36 Yeah. Very different from, from, from being a business owner. And, and so the reality is that, uh, you can do that, like either way, it's gonna be hard work and either way, it's, it's gonna be, it's gonna test your resolve. It's gonna test your resilience. You're gonna have to learn new skills. Uh, it's gonna be freaking hard. And there are plenty of ups and downs. It's very rewarding, but it's also very challenging. So you can either do that on your own. Or you can do that with the support of other people. Uh, either way the journey doesn't like just joining a program or taking a course or getting a mentor or, or, you know, joining another Facebook accountability group or whatever it is, having a private slack community with some buddies, whatever it is that in itself is not going to make the pain go away.
Speaker 0 00:06:26 Right. That when I say the pain, the pain of growing a business and getting punched in the face 150 times a day, uh, that is not gonna go away just because you've joined some group or taken some course, or you've got a business coach. Right. What it does is it it's like, if you think about training at the gym, right. Getting a personal trainer, doesn't make it easier to lift the weights or easier to, you know, tone your muscle or lose fat or whatever it is. You've still gotta do the work. You've just got support and encouragement from someone who's a little more experienced than you. Right. So I think one of the things that we are noticing is that people's expectations are that if I buy that plugin or I join that program, or I take that course, it's going to solve all of my problems.
Speaker 0 00:07:15 And I just wanted to go on record and tell everyone, and we talked about this on Tuesday and, and that's why max was like, we should definitely talk about this on the agency hour because, uh, I just wanna go on record and tell you that it, it just doesn't work like that. Like buying the thing, whatever the thing is, does not solve the problem. You have to do the work right. Either way, you have to do the work. And as I said, you can either do the work on your own in isolation with no support, no frameworks, no experienced people, helping you, or you can enlist the people around you to help you. Now. Now I'm not saying that doesn't have to be us. That can be anyone. I, I don't care. It's entirely up to you. It's your business. I'm not your business partner.
Speaker 0 00:07:52 We are here to help businesses grow, but ultimately it's your decision. But I just wanna let you know. And Noah Britain made a video about this. Uh, a little while ago, he put it up in his YouTube channel. He's been through our programs, all of our programs. And he said, if you are not prepared to do the work, don't join any program, whether it's ours or anyone else's don't join any program. If you're not prepared to do the work because joining the program is not going to fix the problems. No. Right. It's going to give you the support. It's probably gonna help you solve those problems faster, but you still have to do the work to solve those problems.
Speaker 1 00:08:28 It's, it's like buying that, that self-help book that sits on the shelf and was never opened.
Speaker 0 00:08:33 Right. Exactly. Wrapped in plastic. Yeah. Right. Um, seeing the doctor doesn't magically cure the issue, you have to take the advice and follow through says James Megatron. Exactly. And it does take a while to change mindset. Uh, uh, thank you, Jayden Navarette for that contribution. It does take a while to change your mindset. And again, just joining the program, doesn't change your mindset. I'll give a shout out to Amber Rushton here from the Barasa valley in south Australia, she joined, uh, sales accelerator. She's just a massive action taker, huge, right. She joins sales accelerator. She's taking massive imperfect action and getting results and sharing those results with us. And when she gets stuck, she asks questions. And that's the kind of client that we love working with because they're fully engaged in the process. They're taking massive action, but she's also taking responsibility for the fact that her success is up to her.
Speaker 0 00:09:27 Right. Right. And so I just wanted to use this segue to, uh, kind of move into the, the, the, sort of the bigger topic that we wanna talk about today, which is how do you apply this to your clients? Because I know that when clients hire us to do something for them, they think that actually hiring us is gonna solve all their problems. And a lot of the time clients who might be a little bit inexperienced and have never launched a website before, or never done any online marketing before what they do is they hire us to do the work. And then they abdicate all responsibility and they go, well, great. I've hired Pete to build the website and do the SEO. Now I can just check out and not think about it, and money's gonna fall into my bank account. And that's why when we go back to them and we ask them for content, or we ask them for ideas, or we ask them for their thoughts, or we ask them for, you know, how they solve problems.
Speaker 0 00:10:21 It's very hard to get that content out of a client because they think just by hiring you, that that's solved all of their problems. Right? And this is, this is one of the most common reasons. It feels like you're being punched in the face a hundred times a day is because clients' expectations are unrealistic, are not matched with the reality of what's actually going to happen. Right? So, uh, prime example is if you're running ads for a client or you, or you're producing content for a client, you publish a blog post, or you publish an ad for them. And they don't like the image that you've used. This happens all the time. Right? I'll come back to the concept of a red herring in a minute, which max taught me, which is genius. I'll talk about that in a second. Um, but the, the, if you publish something and the client doesn't like the image, it reminds me of that scene in the wedding singer, you know where Adam <laugh> where Adam Sandler, Adam Sandler's bride says, you know, something.
Speaker 0 00:11:17 I can't remember exactly what she says, but something like, I just don't love you anymore. I'm in love with someone else. And he's like, again, information that would've been useful to me yesterday, before we were at the altar <laugh> um, so, you know, the, the, you're not getting the feedback from the client. You're not getting the input from the client into their style guide and the images that they like to use. And so you go and publish an image that you think is appropriate, and then they come back and they say, they don't like it. This is the minutia that you get stuck in trying to manage client expectations. And you end up just putting out fires. This is really common. I'd love to hear from you guys in the comments, if you've got examples of this, where you have delivered something, and all of a sudden you've missed the client's expectations, because you didn't know what their expectations were to begin with.
Speaker 0 00:12:00 Right. So how do you, and I think their expectation is, as I said, because they've hired you, they think the problem is gonna be solved and they don't realize it's a collaboration. Yeah. So we're gonna talk, we're gonna dive into a deep, a deep dive framework in a minute about managing client expectations to avoid having to put those fires out. Um, but in the meantime, just let us know in the comments, what is something? And Pete have a think, uh, uh, maybe offer, offer up some examples too, about where you've published something in the past, or you've done some work in the past, and then you've realized, oh shit, the client's expecting something completely different. And I've, I'm realizing that now, but I, that would've been good to know that two weeks ago.
Speaker 1 00:12:41 Yeah. I'm, I'm almost famous for, um, missing on logo design. <laugh> like, that's the one thing that's like the thorn in our side is I just, I, I guess I don't set expectations well enough or get from them what I really need to get from them. Um, most other things we do a pretty good job. You know, there are some content that might need to be changed or whatever, but, um, you know, we, we try at this point, we're trying to work with clients where we get to drive the bus. So we're, you know, they're trusting us to do our thing and trusting us that if we say that should be blue, then it should be blue. You know, that kind of thing. But, um, still sometimes we do miss the boat on the, on the logo thing and I'm not really a design shop, so it doesn't happen all that often. But, um, yeah, that's the one thing, the one place we miss. Yeah. Can't you make my logo bigger. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:13:39 So, so funny. You talk about logos, cuz I wanna come back to this red herring idea that max taught me. So, uh, max has done a lot of video production and, and uh, editing in the past for corporate clients and also has produced all of our courses and does an amazing job. And he was doing a course for someone, uh, once. And he mentioned this thing and he called it the red herring. And I'm like, what's the, what's the, what's the red herring. And he said, so what you do is when you produce something for a client, you deliberately leave something wrong, right? You either you leave a typo or you make the logo black and white instead of color, or you make the logo just, or you make the logo fuzzy and all blurry or you do something that is like just an obvious mistake because every client is going to want to change something just so that they feel important.
Speaker 0 00:14:25 Yeah. Right. So you give them something wrong so that that's what they change. And then they leave the rest of your work alone. Ah, it's great. But can you just make the logo not fuzzy and, and make it color? Cuz it looks like in black and white. Oh terribly. Sorry. I dunno what happened there. Yes, of course we'll fix that. And then they don't pick on anything else because they you've given them something to fix. Right. Known as a red herring, which I think is genius. And usually it can be around the logo. You make the logo too small or too big. Not that I think you can make a logo too big for most clients. They generally want it bigger. <laugh> and they want it to dance in 3d. Thank you, Martin and James. Yes. Um, so, so what I wanna talk about now, I had a conversation yesterday with, uh, Adam Silverman.
Speaker 0 00:15:06 Who's one of our Mavericks club members. And I wanna talk about a framework for, and this is, this is I wanna talk about a framework for managing client expectations proactively and being in front of them all the time. And this is the same framework we use for our, our team meetings internally. And it's the same framework that we teach our Mavericks to use for their team meetings. But it can also be applied to client meetings. Really what it comes down to is once you've signed a client, there are three types of meetings that I like to have with a client. And the be the better you do the first one or two, then the easier the rest of them get. Okay. So the first meeting you wanna do is, and I was talking to Adam specifically about retainers, ongoing retainers, and I'm a big fan of recurring revenue.
Speaker 0 00:16:01 I'm a big fan of selling a signature system. I like working with clients over a long period of time because it helps us actually get stuff done. I know a lot of agencies and consultants and coaches like working with clients for 90 days and then they're out. They're like, all right, I've done my bit. You're out. You're gone go find someone else. I need some new clients. I like working with people over a three year period because you can see a transformation, right? Adam's been with us for two years now, just moved into his own office, you know, hired a salesperson. You tripled revenue. It's like, it's rid the transformation's been ridiculous. And you can't, I wouldn't get to share that if I only worked with people for three months. So I like the kind of, you know, three to five year lifespan of a client.
Speaker 0 00:16:40 Um, so even if you just selling a web project that might typically take three months, you can still follow this meeting cadence. The first meeting is the big picture. It's the planning meeting, right? So if you are just working on a project, it will be once you've done discovery and sign the client, this will be the planning meeting for the project. Okay. Project kickoff meeting, and a couple of things that you wanna talk about on this meeting. The first thing I wanna know is are there any key dates in the calendar coming up over the next three months that we need to be aware of? Cause I've seen this happen time and time again, where you start building a project for a client or you put them on a retainer or a marketing plan and six weeks later, they tell you, oh, by the way, next week there's a conference and we are going to that conference and we've got a bunch of banners printed out.
Speaker 0 00:17:30 We've got a QR code that needs to go to a landing page on a micro site for capturing leads. And we don't have the microsite. Can you get that built for us by next week with the lead capture and the email sequence? You know what, why didn't you tell me this a month ago? It would've been handy if I'd known this a month ago. So the key dates that are coming up in their industry, any events, any key milestones that are coming up in the calendar for the next three months? I wanna know about that right now. Do they have a hard launch date? Max has been in this horrible situation where we were editing a course for someone and they told us halfway through the edit, oh, by the way, we're doing a press release and a press conference Monday to launch this. And it's Friday and the videos aren't all edited yet.
Speaker 0 00:18:11 And max is like, what the, when didn't you tell me this two weeks ago? Like, what do you mean Monday? I'm not like I got shit to do on the weekend right now. I'm editing videos on the weekend. Thanks very much. So what are the key dates coming up in the calendar over the next three months? That's the first thing I wanna know when I'm working with any client and then I wanna know what their objectives are, what their business objectives are or their priorities over the next three months. And again, if you're just building a website, there will be other things happening in their business that you need to know about. So are they launching anything new? Are they, you know, are, are there priorities to be featured on a bunch of podcasts and drive a bunch of traffic? Are they doing a joint venture partnership?
Speaker 0 00:18:55 Are, are there any live events coming up? Uh, is there an acquisition coming up? Are they employing more staff? That's gonna actually take them out of the project and keep them really busy. And you're not gonna be able to get access to them for a couple of weeks because they're onboarding new staff. What are their business priorities over the next three months while we are working together? Right? So that's really the first kind of meeting is any key dates coming up. And then what are your business objectives and business priorities over the next three months while we're working together. And again, doesn't matter if you're just building a, a website project for them, which might have a lifespan of three months and then we're done. Or if they're on a retainer or a signature system, same conversation, the second meeting. And I, we call that the flight planning meeting, cuz we talk in aviation terms, right?
Speaker 0 00:19:36 So we call that the flight planning meeting. The second thing that the second meeting that I like to have is what I call the monthly traffic control, right? So every month we're gonna, and then by the way, the quarterly kind of flight planning meeting might be two to three hours, right? You wanna spend a lot of time in that workshop, a lot of time asking a lots of questions and getting all the information you need in that meeting. In fact, the, the, the more detailed you go in that meeting and the more information you get, the easier your life is gonna be over the next three months. Once we've done that. And what you might do is you might roll the first months, uh, traffic control meeting into the same quarterly planning, cuz you go, okay, now we know what's happening over the next three months.
Speaker 0 00:20:20 Let's break down the next four weeks. What are the priorities over the next four weeks? What are the key dates in the next four weeks? What are the priorities? What absolutely must happen by when and who's doing what and let's prioritize, uh, the build or the campaign or whatever it is, let's prioritize what we need to get done in the next four weeks. Okay. And we do typically do that at the end of every month for the following months, then we run a weekly whip, a weekly work in progress meeting, right? And the weekly work in progress is, you know, either Friday or Monday and it's, Hey, this is what we're doing this week. And we basically work in weekly sprints. This is what we're doing this week. This is what we did last week. This is what we're doing here. This is where we're stuck.
Speaker 0 00:21:03 This is what we need from you this week. We're gonna need this, this, this, this, and this. And this should be no surprise to the client or to your team because you should have already discussed this on the monthly traffic control meeting. So you know, this stuff's coming up, right. And you should have talked about it at a high level during the quarterly flight planning meeting. So when you're asking them for content for their staff profile pages this week, cuz that's what we're working on this week. It should be no surprise. It should be like, oh yeah, that, that makes sense. Cuz we talked about that last week. We haven't done it yet, but it's okay. We'll get it done. There shouldn't be any, oh, hang on. What do you mean? No, we didn't. That's not, we didn't know that was happening. Okay.
Speaker 0 00:21:44 Now when, so when you start working with a client, if you're building a website and it's gonna take three months, you need to have these meetings in your calendar booked in. So the part of the onboarding with the client is right. Let's get the quarterly, the big planning meeting locked in the calendar. Let's get three monthly traffic control meetings booked in the calendar and let's get a weekly whip booked in the calendar with the key people from your team and their team. Let's get those meetings locked in the calendar before we touch the crayons or start coding anything, right? Get them locked in the calendar and share the agenda for each of those meetings with your client so that they turn up prepared. They know exactly what needs to be done, you know, what needs to be done. And there are no surprises.
Speaker 1 00:22:29 Well, I mean having a good onboarding process and then following this meeting cadence, um, is just gonna set up communication, which is gonna set expectations. That's really what it boils down to.
Speaker 0 00:22:42 Yeah. The, the, the number one, uh, reason that, so, so I explained this to Simon Kelly. Once what happens is when you first start working with someone, the relationship's really tight. You're on the same page. And over time you do it this way over time, you tend to drift, right? You kind of, you kind of do this on making sides with my hands. By the way, if you're listening to this as a podcast, this is great radio because you can't see what I'm doing. But typically what happens is that you get further and further away from each other as the relationship continues. It's the way to bring you back on the same page with your client is constant touch points and constant communication. So we had a failure metric in our agency that was not a success metric, a failure metric that that said, if a client contacts us to ask us where things are at, we failed, right?
Speaker 0 00:23:34 So the, the, and the way to avoid that is to have those meetings. Pre-booked in the calendar and say, Hey, you don't need to contact us on a Thursday afternoon, chasing us up as to where things are at, because you know, every Friday morning at 10:00 PM, 10:00 AM, we're gonna have a meeting and we're gonna walk you through what we've done, what we're working on next and where we're stuck. Right? So you don't need to chase us up in the, just save it for the, for the weekly whip on Friday or the weekly whip on Monday. Right? And so you might find that you spend someone in your agency spends most days, most Mondays, most of the day on Mondays, just going through weekly whip meetings with your clients. And if that's what you do on Mondays and that's fine, then you've got the rest of the week to get the work done.
Speaker 0 00:24:12 And you know, every Monday you're just doing weekly whip meetings with your clients. And that, that keeps their expectations managed and it's proactive communication so that you are not, you know, disappear and go and do the work. And the client doesn't know you're doing the work because you're not communicating it to them. And also if you don't have an account manager or a project success manager, and it's just you, and you want some, you wanna talk about how to switch hats or how to work out, how to, you know, block calendar in your time to have these calls so that it doesn't interrupt your work. Uh, we, I had a client once who eventually called them up and I said, listen, I'm gonna get this job done a lot quicker. If you stop emailing me and stop calling me, like let's have a meeting once a week and I'll tell you where we're at.
Speaker 0 00:24:58 And I'll give you an update in the meantime, back off and let me do my job, cuz they were just on the phone all the time, trying to micromanagement. I'm like, why don't you just do it or come and sit in my office next to me and look over my shoulder if that's what you really wanna do, because I can't get any work done. Cause I'm spending all my time answering the phone. And what I realized during that is they were anxious because they didn't know what was happening. Right. It's kind of like having a long, long distance relationship. I don't know. I don't know where you've been for the last three days because I haven't spoken to you. And now all of a sudden my imagination's playing tricks on me and I'm getting anxious and I'm getting worried. Whereas if we just talk every day, I'm cool. I know where things are at and everyone's good. Right run.
Speaker 1 00:25:37 So I have a question. Um, I know we sometimes hear some people that do the, do the, do the kickoff or the onboarding and then do the monthly call. And then for the weekly, which I label as done doing in need, like mm-hmm, <affirmative>, what's been done. What are we doing? And what, what do we need love it. Does that, can that be a video? Like can I just do a loom video and send that update to the client every Friday and save us all awesome time? Or does it need to be a communication?
Speaker 0 00:26:12 Oh, so I think it depends on the, I think it depends on the client, right? It depends on the client and, and some clients will be happy with that. And in fact, some clients would prefer that. So I would ask during, so these are some of the things that you wanna establish during the, during the kickoff meeting, right? So during the kickoff meeting, some of the things you wanna establish are let's get these meetings set up in our calendars, right? Let's get the meeting communication, cadence set up in our calendars. And I would ask them during that first kickoff meeting, do you wanna meet with us physically come into our office once a week for a quick whip? Do you wanna do it on zoom? Do you want us just to send you a video update? How do you want us to communicate with you every week?
Speaker 0 00:26:58 I tell you what we are not gonna do. We're not gonna get on the phone with you every day because you are anxious. We're gonna communicate with you. It's gonna be set in the calendar once a week. We will communicate with you and let you know, we'll give you a done doing need update, right? That can be either over zoom. And typically if you get the quarterly, if you get the planning meeting, right. And the monthly meetings, right then the weekly whip is like a 20 minute zoom. This is what we've done. This is what we're doing. This is what we need. Right. We good. Great. Uh, do you want to just a video, do you want to catch up on zoom, manage, set that expectation from the start and ask them what they need. They may not have the time to jump on zoom for once a week.
Speaker 0 00:27:40 They might just want a loom video. They can watch at night or whatever, right? It's entirely up to them, give them that option. But what you're doing is you're basically saying once a week, we're gonna give you an update once a month. We're gonna have a deep dive to make sure that we're all on track and see what's changed, cuz things change. And once a quarter, we're gonna do our planning session. And if we're just doing a project, then that really is the kickoff. And it also depends on time zones. Like if time zones are tricky, then you know, loom videos are great. I, I have, I use Voxer and loom videos quite a bit with clients in the UK and Canada cuz the time or on the east coast of the states, cuz time zones. Aren't great. And what, what, and what I would do is I would make sure that your client has the agenda for each of these meetings in advance, right?
Speaker 0 00:28:23 So there are no surprises. He here's here's. The other thing is what happens particularly with retainers. I was talking to Adam about this yesterday with retainers, someone's paying you, you know, 4, 8, 9, 15 grand a month for a retainer. They're made up numbers. By the way, if someone's paying you a lot of money as a monthly retainer, they, and I'd made a joke about this in our Mavericks club slack recently when, uh, one of our Mavericks landed a, a, a better $9,000 a month for retainer. I'm like, yeah. And for that price, they expect you to come and mow the lawns and wash their cars and pat the dog and feed the kids and tuck them in. Right. And I'm kind of only half joking because what happens is when you're on a large retainer like that, all of a sudden, the client says, oh, uh, by the way, we're going to exhibit at this conference in, uh, three weeks and we need some banners printed up and we need a bunch of, uh, uh, pamphlets printed that we can give out.
Speaker 0 00:29:17 And we need this landing page and a micro site and a lead capture form that we're gonna connect to a QR code. Can you get that done for us too? And because they're paying you so much money, they expect you to drop everything and do it. And so in that case, what we do is go back to the CanBan board that we, but this works particularly well. If you're working on retainers and we said, Hey, at the start of the quarter, we worked out our CanBan priorities for the, for the next quarter. And we broke them down into monthly and weekly sprints. This week, we are working on this next week, we're working on this and the following week, we're working on this and we all agreed that on the monthly meeting, so we can get this stuff into our production for you. Now you tell me, what do we take off the cam band board in order to put this new priority in that you didn't tell us a month ago? Cause we're happy to do the work. Something has just gotta give that's. All right. So, um, you, you know, you, you, you tell me, and then at that point, the client's like, ah, well, yeah, okay, well we need it all. And you're like, well, that's great. That's out of scope. That's extra work. I need to put more people on this. So it's, this is, I'm just gonna have to charge you time and materials for this extra work. Got it. Um,
Speaker 1 00:30:25 Hey look, Diana Gaffney's here.
Speaker 0 00:30:27 Diana Gaffney from San friends, met her.
Speaker 1 00:30:30 We met her in New York a years ago. That's right. A long time ago, 2016
Speaker 0 00:30:35 And Diana, I have Amy and I have very, very fond memories when we were in San Francisco. Diana spent the best part of the day driving my wife and I around San Francisco showing us the sites. And it was amazing. We have absolutely lovely memories of that day. So great to have you back. How are you good that you've, uh, joined in a live stream, let us know what's going on and uh, where you're stuck and where you need help or what's happened over the last few years since we haven't spoken. I hope you're well and hope you're doing well. I hope the business is good. I hope you're healthy and I hope you're happy. She's good. She says. Excellent, fantastic. Uh, what questions do you guys have about this meeting cadence that we're talking about? Um, do you have any, have you tried this, are you doing this yourself?
Speaker 0 00:31:19 Do you have any, uh, ideas on how we can improve this? Uh, what do you need, uh, to implement this? James says, this is an area that I need to improve on. Um, and, and what, what are the action steps? How are we gonna improve on this to make sure that we can manage expectations and of, and try and, you know, reduce the number of times we're getting punched in the face every day, let us know in the comments. And if you are again, if you are what, listening to this as a podcast, come and join the digital Mavericks. Facebook group's come over to facebook.com and uh, search for digital Mavericks, join the digital Mavericks Facebook group, and then you can join in the comments and, uh, we can answer your questions. Did you cover what you discuss in the monthly meeting? So the monthly meeting really is a, uh, I, you know, in, if, if I'm put on the spot and I need to run a, a, a meeting and I'm not prepared, I just, for everything I use the why, what, how now kind of framework.
Speaker 0 00:32:12 So why are we here? The purpose of this meeting is to kind of recap what we've done in the last four weeks. Talk about what we need to do in the next four weeks, what the priorities are. Uh, any key dates that are coming up, that we need to be aware of, any changes in the priorities or the objectives that we need to be aware of. Um, and then now let's, you know, so that's why we're all here. Uh, has anyone else got anything that they need out of this meeting? What are the expectations from this meeting? Um, everyone cool. No, that's great. And then listen to people and make notes of what people need. Don't get into the details in the first five minutes of the meeting. Just, you know, why we all hear what's the purpose of this meeting. I would also share some wins.
Speaker 0 00:32:50 What's been working well so far what we've done. That's worked really well. What's been working well in our relationship. You guys presented that content to us and gave us those videos on time. It's awesome that you've been doing that. Thank you so much, max is really appreciative because now we've got that stuff loaded up into the portal, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? So what's working well, what are the wins? Why are we here? What are the expectations of this meeting then go through what needs to happen in the next four weeks? Right? So we've done all that kind of stuff. This is, these are the priorities over the next four weeks. This is what we are gonna be working on the next four weeks. Talk about how we're gonna continue to communicate how we're gonna manage this workload. Who's gonna do what by when.
Speaker 0 00:33:27 So the three Ws are really important. Who's gonna do what by when you wanna make sure that you've got that documented by the end of the meeting, that really is kind of the now, right? And then send a recap of the meeting to everyone who was on it, basically summarizing what we spoke about and then listing out. Who's gonna do what by when. And of course, if you're using something like click up or Asana, you can just, you you'll be collaborating with them in that project management tool. And you'll be assigning things to people to make sure that things get done on time by the people who said they were going to who, who said they were going to do it right? So why, what, how now? Uh, or a, you know, as Pete said a done doing need, so this is what we've done. This is what's working really well, or always start with wins and what's working well. Cause that gets everyone into a positive frame of mind and then either a done doing need or a why, what, how now? Simple framework, um, does that make sense? Can,
Speaker 1 00:34:18 Can you, can you save yourself from getting punched in the face a little bit in the, uh, in the sales process? Like, so during the sales process, can you set the stage for reducing the number of times you punched in the face during a project? Like how do you do that?
Speaker 0 00:34:36 Yeah, that's a good question. So I think, again, it comes down to setting expectations. So while you managing a client, really, it shouldn't be called project management. It should be called expectation management. There you go. I've just coined a new, I've coined a new thing. I've made up a new
Speaker 1 00:34:54 Category right here on the agency hour
Speaker 0 00:34:56 Expectation management.com. Look that up. See if it's registered. If it's not, let's grab it. Expectation management.com really cuz that's what project management is. It's just about managing people, managing the expectations of the key stakeholders. Now a stakeholder let's just break that down for a second. A stakeholder is people who have a vested interest in making sure the thing gets done that said was gonna be done by the time said it was gonna be done. Right? So key stakeholders are the client who's paying the bill, uh, might be another business partner, client side, right? You that you as the agency owner are a key stakeholder because you need the project to be done on time. So you can get paid. And so that you can stay profitable. Who are the other key stakeholders? It might be your client's customers, right? If your client's an author, it might be their PR person or their publicist needs to have the project done on time because there's a whole publicity campaign coming out about the book, right?
Speaker 0 00:35:52 So who are the key stakeholders? What are their expectations? And then your job as a project manager is to manage those expectations. Well, guess what your job as a salesperson is to set those expectations so that it's easier to manage them. Now, the too long didn't read version of this is it's really easy to set expectations. If you don't give a shit about the project and you're happy to walk away from it. In other words, if you're busy and you don't need the, you're not desperate for the work, it's really easy to go. Listen, this is what we do. This is what we don't do. This is how we can help you. I'm confident we can knock this outta the park. Are you in? And let's be clear. We're not going to do X, Y, Z. Even though you are paying us $10,000 a month as a retainer, you don't get to call me on the phone.
Speaker 0 00:36:38 I'm just letting you know if that's what your expectation is. We need to have that conversation. Now we're not staff. We're an agency and you are paying us to do this. We're not coming to your fricking board meetings. We're not coming to your weekly w meeting with your whole team. I had one of our Mavericks reached out the other day and said they were potentially landing a big client. And before the client was gonna sign on, the client said, oh, this is so exciting. We're super pumped to be working with you. Can you, we are really excited to have you come and meet the whole team, which was a three hour round trip for this Maverick to drive, meet with the team and then drive back. And she pinged me and said, what do I do? I said, politely tell 'em to whistle Dixie. Once you hire me, I will come out to your office and we'll run a three hour workshop, right? With the team and do a, do the planning meeting a hundred percent. But you haven't hired me yet. You haven't paid me anything. I'm not coming out to meet the team and kiss the baby in the hope of seal the deal. That's not gonna happen.
Speaker 1 00:37:35 You can pay me to do that.
Speaker 0 00:37:37 <laugh> correct.
Speaker 1 00:37:38 Yeah. And then's out. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:37:41 That's right. Um, so, so it, so it's easier if you're not attached to landing the project, right. If you're not attached to the outcome, it's it's like dating man. Yeah,
Speaker 1 00:37:53 It is. It is all like date sales is dating.
Speaker 0 00:37:56 Whatever. I don't give you shit. I mean, I remember I a brag here, but I remember, I remember, you know, when, when you're single, I remember being single. I do remember being single and when you're out and you're hopeful, oh baby, tonight's the night I might meet. Someone never happens. Never happens. In fact, the night I met my wife, I just didn't give a shit. I was like, I'm whatever I'm done. Like I was 34. I'd been through three long term living in partner relationships. I just made peace with the fact. I just had a conversation with myself about two weeks before I met my wife or I said, you know what, it's probably not gonna happen. I'm probably just gonna be single for the rest of my life and grow old disgracefully and be a Playboy and behave badly as I get old and I'm not gonna get married and have kids. And that's fine. That's just my lot in life and whatever. I don't give a shit. And I just made peace with that. And then of course,
Speaker 1 00:38:49 And then, and then of course you got amazingly lucky <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:38:52 Oh, I know, dude. I know someone looked down at me and went, you know, you've done something right in the past life. Here we go. And then I met Pete that's right. <laugh>.
Speaker 0 00:39:02 And so the nights, the, those times where, where I was out and I didn't give a shit about meeting anyone, you know, hadn't showered was wearing a hat to cover the hair. Like, you know, didn't care. Of course you meet people because you're more magnetic when you're not desperate. That's the mindset piece of it. The practicality of, of what do you do in the sales process to make sure you don't get punched in the face later is really just about setting those expectations. Here's what we do. Here's who we do it for. We are really good at it. Go and look at our case studies and our testimonials. They should have already done that before. They're on a sales call with you. So that's pre framed. Here's what we do. Here's who we do it for. We are really good at it. We can do it for you. Here's how we work by the way. Here's what we don't do.
Speaker 1 00:39:46 Right? Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:39:47 That's I don't
Speaker 1 00:39:48 Might be more important. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:39:49 Right. I don't run ads. Yeah. I don't run ads for clients. Right. Uh, I don't, uh, you know, I don't design, we don't do. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:40:01 Apparently I should stop doing logos.
Speaker 0 00:40:03 <laugh> right. Uh, stick to your knitting, stay in your wheelhouse and just do it really well and set those expectations and put those expectations in the statement of work. This is what we said we are gonna do. This is the timeline. It's not a proposal. It's a statement of work. You agree to it. We agree to it. Great. Have that and use that as the backbone for your meetings had statement of work says, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Here's what we've done. Here's what we're doing now. This is what we need. And by the way, we don't fix your printer. And we don't add HTML signatures to your email.
Speaker 1 00:40:36 That's right. Thank you, Sheila.
Speaker 0 00:40:39 Zach. So Troy,
Speaker 1 00:40:42 We would, let's take a quick two minute break here and remind everybody or tell everybody about the contest that we're running, the competition we're running. Are you even aware you have a blank look on your face?
Speaker 0 00:40:54 Ah, look, I, I, I vaguely remember seeing something in one of the slack channels about the launch of the podcast and the competition. Is that, is that, is that what you're about? Or am I giving away a car again? Like
Speaker 1 00:41:05 We are not giving away a car
Speaker 0 00:41:06 Unless you buy car, not giving away,
Speaker 1 00:41:07 Unless you can buy a car on Amazon for a hundred dollars gift voucher. Right?
Speaker 0 00:41:11 I'll tell you a funny story. Before we Don into the competition, we did a launch. Once we did a launch once for the blueprint course and all the, the videos for that launch were me standing in front of my car. At the time I was driving a Mazda CX five, which we still have is the family car now, which we're about to get rid of because we're gonna buy a, an, a plugin hybrid electric vehicle, uh, a Kia Sorento plugin hybrid electric vehicle, because I'm sick of putting petrol in cars. It's bad for the planet and it's bad for the global economy. And it's just bad for geopolitical reasons. Anyway, that's a whole other thing. But I made these videos in front of the Mazda CX five, and then we had this big competition where I gave away a thousand dollars, uh, in the, in the launch videos, the, the person who won this just goes to show you how people don't pay attention. Right. And how easily distracted people are, the person who won the thousand dollars emailed us because she thought she won my car. She's like, I'm, oh my God. I'm so excited, but how are you gonna get the car to me? And Brian was like, what the hell are you talking about? You didn't win the car. You won a thousand dollars. How did you get that? How did you even think? How
Speaker 1 00:42:20 Is that? My God, I remember that picture. Actually, you're standing, standing on a tree or something.
Speaker 0 00:42:26 What's the videos with the, uh, with the sound down and just gone, oh, there's a car. I won the competition. Maybe I won the car. Anyway,
Speaker 1 00:42:32 Diana says, and not do you both. Since 2019, I'll let myself and client move away from my best practices. This led to my last minute requests. And I accommodated them, uh, hit burnout in 2021. After I did the blueprint and learning from you guys, the first client I brought was 3,500. The next the client I'm working with now started at 250 K Woohoo.
Speaker 0 00:42:54 Wow. That is out. So, so when, when Diana did the blueprint in whatever, it was 2000 and I don't know, long time ago, the first client she brought in was $3,500. The client she's working with now started at 250 K. That is just insane,
Speaker 0 00:43:15 Man. That is amazing. Diana, we should get on a call and talk, uh, cuz we've definitely, we can definitely help you Diana let's. You don't have to do this on your own darling, darling, Diana, let's get on a call and talk. I wanna find out where you're at. Um, that would be amazing. Hit me up. James. Merod says he's also available to sit in as a host. <laugh> oh, that's great. And Johnny will be on next week. Johnny flash, Johnny flash will be on the show next week. Are you on the show next week Pete?
Speaker 1 00:43:45 I can be. I don't know.
Speaker 0 00:43:46 Oh, there we go.
Speaker 1 00:43:47 Do we want, do we want three people?
Speaker 0 00:43:49 It's up to you. We'll be having Aina TW on the, uh, on the iron next week.
Speaker 1 00:43:52 All right. So, so far today we've talked about adultery and dating and OI. So
Speaker 0 00:43:57 And the mailbox
Speaker 1 00:43:59 And the mailbox.
Speaker 0 00:44:00 Oh fantastic. There we go. The
Speaker 1 00:44:03 Name of the that's gonna be the name of the movie by the way, the mailbox,
Speaker 0 00:44:06 The mailbox. This, uh, is the agency almost our, Hey, thanks for joining in. Thanks for having fun with us. Uh, we, we love you guys being a part of it. Someone said I'm liking this show since Adam Silverman.
Speaker 1 00:44:20 Oh boy.
Speaker 0 00:44:22 Uh, get back to work, Adam. Oh, that's right. Silver,
Speaker 1 00:44:24 Silver spoon Silverman as James called me.
Speaker 0 00:44:27 <laugh> and uh, we'll see you next week on the agency hour and live here in the digital Mavericks Facebook group. And Pete, you said we need a sign off. We used say go elevate. Didn't we? We used to say, go elevate.
Speaker 1 00:44:40 We used to say, go elevate. Now we can't say go agency
Speaker 0 00:44:43 <laugh> no, what is the sign off? Like,
Speaker 1 00:44:45 I don't know. We gotta work on that.
Speaker 0 00:44:46 Well, you know what? I think we should put it out to the community. We used to say go,
Speaker 1 00:44:50 Not be. So I think it should start with I'm Troy Dean and I'm Pete Perry and whatever. Like I
Speaker 0 00:44:56 Elevate, we used to
Speaker 1 00:44:56 Be what it should
Speaker 0 00:44:58 Be. So what is it now be your Maverick. That's a be cheesy. Isn't it? That's cheesy. Flip the bird. Go Maverick, go top gun. I don't know. What is it? You tell us what works for you guys.
Speaker 1 00:45:08 We're open to suggestions.
Speaker 0 00:45:11 Hey, you can be my wing man. Anytime silence is golden. Oh, there we go. We used to sign Simon and I used to sign off. Knowledge is power and silence is golden.
Speaker 1 00:45:21 There you go.
Speaker 0 00:45:23 I, I came up with one that the team poo-pooed cuz they thought it was too cheesy, which was Hey I'm Troy Dean and I'm Pete Perry. It's your time to fly.
Speaker 1 00:45:31 Oh, that's bad. No, we're not doing that.
Speaker 0 00:45:33 That's why we're not using it. Cause I'm a cheese ball. Don't be goose says Stuart, George. I like that. Yeah. My personal sign off when I do the Troy Dean stuff, which I don't do much of these days, but my personal sign off is stay curious and make some noise, which I know some people think is still cheesy, but I don't care. Um, make shit happen. Uh, Seth go says, um, go make a ruckus. That's his signoff. Mm-hmm <affirmative> go make a ruckus, which I like. Don't be goose. There we go. I like that one too says Stuart, George. All right. Tell us, watch it. Our sign off. Be at the end of the agency hour. And uh, we might run a competition. There we go. Max. Here's an idea for you. All right. Hey gang. Have a great week. We'll see you next week on the agency hour.
Speaker 1 00:46:13 Take care.
Speaker 2 00:46:15 Thanks for listening to the agency hour podcast, subscribe at apple podcasts, Spotify pocket, audible, and wherever you like to listen, you can catch all of the agency hour episodes on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/agency Mavericks. Or you can get involved. Check out our free digital Mavericks Facebook group, where we broadcast these episodes live for our community every week, along with a ton of free training. We'll see you there.