Scott Beebe, Founder and Head Coach of MyBusinessOnPurpose.com. In this episode, we consider the power of vision stories and visualizing success in sales, business, and life.
The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.
Andy Paul 0:35
Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. I am excited to talk with my guest today. Joining me is Scott Beebe. Scott is the founder and head coach of my business on purpose.com Scott, welcome to the show.
Scott Beebe 1:11
Andy delighted man this is exciting. Happy New Year
Andy Paul 2:00
So take a minute, maybe just think of that brief introduction I gave you to talk about yourself, how you got started and how you ended up doing what you’re doing today.
Scott Beebe 2:11
Yeah, Andy. So I tell people that I’ve got a very, very nonlinear blueprint to how I got to where I’m at today. I grew up all over the country. My dad’s an engineer, so we just followed the work and then ended up going to the University of South Carolina in the mid 90s, and walked on the football team and only played one year of high school football. What the wild hair was I found one little niche called the role of the deep snapper and I tried it in high school I was really bad at it actually, and barely lettered hardly even played honestly my senior high school, which is my only year and found out they only had one player on the team that could deep snap in Division One sec schools would always travel to and so my roommate was a manager and he would bring footballs home at night. We’d practice in the the central Like dorm hallways and for about I don’t know, golly six months practice and practice and practice walked on the team ended up making the team as a walk on played my first year five games in my the first string guy went out with his arm hanging out of socket and so here I am in Baton Rouge at LSU snap in the first football I’d ever snapped in a live game at an SEC game in Baton Rouge and so that was actually on a punt was my first one to a guy named Eddie Kennison, who was the return guy who played in the NFL for like 15 years or so. Right? He wasn’t the return man for LSU. Oh, snap to charge. Oh, they punted and he ran down the man. Three years later, while I was working in business, I was actually working for a division of Thomson Reuters. Sure, selling reference materials to CPAs and CFP while I was getting a theology degree right, and then left there to go work for Pfizer. So graduated, no one went to work for Pfizer, for a few years, couldn’t figure out how to integrate faith and work. I was really wrestling with that then went to work for a church for about five and a half years, then went to work back for Pfizer for about another six years. And then was the executive director of a non governmental organization working in Nigeria for a couple of years. And so two years ago, in 2015, we had this kind of internal coup go on with the board there and I found myself Andy one day, unemployed, I’m 39 years old. My position was to be dissolved, because eight out of the nine board members had resigned on the spot, because the issue they were dealing with, right. And they were responsible for my role. And so they had to define and dissolve my role. And so I had a little severance. I invested half of it in a business coach and had never started a business in my life. Two years ago, we started the business on purpose platform, where we liberate small business owners from the chaos working in their business, that’s what we get to do every day.
Andy Paul 5:26
Well, that’s sort of a good segue because, you know, the phrase us working in their businesses, you know, off too often you hear about entrepreneurs working on their business as opposed to working in their business. So, you know, what is sort of the biggest challenge I think entrepreneurs face today?
Scott Beebe 5:47
So let’s take these $100 $500 million companies, what you have a lot of times in those setups, is you’ve got a full C suite right and get the seat Your CEO, the CFO, and sure, all the way down small business owners who are running revenues of 500,000 to 5 million, let’s say, and these are nice sized businesses, they’re gonna have 5 to15 employees, you’ve got a CEO, and then no middle band, right, all gone. So your CEO plays CMO, CTO, see, I mean, the whole C suite, essentially is one person. And so the big struggle, the big challenge, and we’ve got clients who are five to 10 to 10, our biggest clients of a $50 million company, but we don’t have many of those, we really do focus in on the half million to about a $10 million dollar range. And in a lot of those, they find themselves playing every role in the team, the quarterback center, running back wide receiver the whole thing. And so they’re having to do it because they don’t have the cash flow to hire a bunch of people and frankly, I don’t want the headaches, right go with it, why they remain the size that they do. But here’s what I found and I just had this conversation earlier this week, with a guy who’s been in business very well known in his face. He’s been in business in this industry for about a decade. He’s got more revenue. He knows what to do quite literally, he’s got incredible influence. And I asked him one simple question. I said, Do you know where you’re going with your business? And he goes, like when and I said, let’s call it three years, do you know where you want your business to be in three years, and he goes, I’ve never written it down, man I got, I could talk to you about it for an hour, but I’ve never written it down. The one gap that I’m seeing over and over and over Andy, is that small business owners don’t know where they want the business to go. And I’ve been out in the boat in the middle of the ocean. And I’m telling you, I don’t want to be out in a really nice, expensive boat out the middle of the ocean unless I know where I’m going. And I know I’ve got gas to get there. Because that is a dangerous place to be both in changing conditions. And also eventually when you’re out in the middle of the ocean, we live right on the ocean. When you’re out in the middle of the ocean, you run a gas that’s not a fun place to be. No, and that’s essentially what a small business owner is without a vision story written out.
Andy Paul 7:59
I had quite obvious questions, at least the office for me that comes out of that is, is, first of all, you know, this whole idea about where they want to be in three years, you really can’t separate where they want to be from themselves and the company. I mean, it seems like those two really go hand in hand, especially, you know, with an entrepreneur company that size. That’s one issue. We’ll come back and talk about it. The other one, then two is, you just mentioned this whole idea about the vision without a vision is Do you find that you know, entrepreneurs are starting business? Don’t they have to have a vision? I mean, what is driving them to start the business?
Scott Beebe 8:34
Yeah. So a lot of times what’s driving them to start the big vision in the business is what Michael Gerber would have called the classic e myth. Right? So you’ve got somebody who’s great at let’s take you Andy. So somebody says, Andy, man, you are a great sales guy. I mean, you’re a great sales guy. You don’t want to start your own sales training business, and you go, man, I should start my own sales training business how to do that. So you get into it, you love training, you love business, you love all of it. And so you’re training, and then all of a sudden, one day you wake up and you go, I need to send somebody an invoice. And so you send them an invoice and then you go, I need a system for sending invoices. And then you go, I don’t know that they paid the invoice and then they pay the invoice, you’ve got to collect on the invoice, you have to take the check to the bank, and you’ve got to do all of this stuff that you never intend to do when you get into business. You got an A business going, I just want to train people on sales. Man, that’s the fun stuff. But then there’s the entire back end administrative stuff that nobody ever thinks about. We don’t think about client type. We don’t think about any of this. And so most people, in my experience, they get into business, not because they’ve got a compelling vision for the future, but they feel like they can serve somebody right now. That’s not bad. But you have to have both and you’ve got to understand Yes, I’ve got a marketable service today and there is no doubt about it. But what do I want this thing to become years down the road because if you don’t define that it’s not getting in a car and not having an ultimate destination, you just start driving around. Well, that makes sense. So you mentioned the family thing too, because those, those things are there. They’re connected. You know, somebody will say, well, it’s just business. Heck, no, it’s not just business. Absolutely not those things, business life, faith, family, all those things connect. And so it’s why when I have somebody draft out a vision story, actually believe in a vision story, not a vision statement. I want your vision story to be long drawn out, I want to see detailed what that looks like. The very first section defining the term is family and freedom. I want to know what do you see in 18 months, three years, six years, whatever your vision term is, I want to know what do you want your freedom to look like? Because ultimately, that’s going to drive how much money you make, what type of product you offer to make that money, the people you hire, to serve the product to make the money to provide the freedom so we start there.
Andy Paul 10:56
Well, and is that too long of a timeframe? I mean, I think that one of the things that you see more and more planning? Have you given out 90 days? It’s all guesswork, right? So, you know what is solid? And what’s a good solid time for my guests to realistically plan.
Scott Beebe 11:13
So we’ve actually done this kind of bizarre thing and part of this goes to my study as a theology student but we actually did research on more ancient Jewish cultures. And we look back at compelling visions that are written in Jewish literature, what were the stages of the term of vision for those and I realize technology’s changed everything, everything moves faster, etc. But we look back one of the shortest amount of time frames are what we classified as compelling vision was about six months. The longest we really found was about six years now. I’m sure there’s some that are longer and some that are shorter. But over and over again, we’ve found that about six months and anecdotally, six months to six years, tends to be a nice perspective as it relates to vision. So the difference between a long term vision story and the near term goal, strategic objective, whatever you want to call it, is that strategic objective can be accomplished in 3 weeks or 9 weeks or 12 weeks or something, but a compelling vision of the future. For instance, somebody may have a compelling vision of the future where today they draw $300,000 in revenue, but in six years, they want to draw a million dollars revenue, you cannot get there in 12 weeks, or if you do not do it legally. And so they want to have something out there to where they can really strive for, and say this is where we want to go in this term of time. And so there’s a lot of things pictorially that you want to be you got to have maturity or allow things to mature to a certain level and that’s what we’re pushing people to start to see is that vision story down the road.
Andy Paul 12:46
Maturity defined as just the business maturity or the personal maturity
Scott Beebe 12:51
So financial maturity, you got a lot of time for the finances to mature the product maturity. So people say, kind of the classic thing, well, I’m not ready to launch yet, because the products are not here, you launch now the product will develop over time. The personnel maturity, for instance, in our business vision, which is a six year vision 2021, from when we wrote it, we actually have six virtual team members in our vision. Now, I couldn’t go out and get six virtual team members, the day we started, I didn’t need them, right and have clients to be able to support that. But in six years, based on the services we wanted to offer to the type of client we wanted to offer, the revenue we wanted to do, this is the personnel it’s going to take to get there. So in those categories, we’ve got to see that maturity.
Andy Paul 13:37
Okay, so you said you’re looking for detail in the vision storing, and so how does the vision differ from a mission statement?
Scott Beebe 13:51
Yeah, great question. So, if your vision story is the detailed snapshot of what the future looks like, that’s how we define it. The mission statement is a portable snippet from your vision story that drives you out of bed every morning. I mean, this is what man when you wake up you go, this is what I’m going to do. So the example of my mission is to liberate small business owners from the chaos working their business. That’s what drives me excited about that, because I see so many small business owners literally in chaos, it’s I gotta go here, I gotta go here. Gotta cancel this, I gotta. And I said, No, no, let’s liberate you from that. And that’s the snapshot, the elevator pitch, if you will, maybe. But the vision story is when I sat down with my team, like we did Monday morning, and I said, Hey, guys, let’s recalibrate now in about four years, this is where we want to end up and so they get this snapshot of the future. But now they know from the mission statement, what drives us out of bed every morning. It’s a portable phrase to take with you. Sir, what you see in the vision story down the road.
Andy Paul 14:53
So what dictates then it seems like it is there conflict between the two because which one really drives the decision making that you make as a business then?
Scott Beebe 15:02
Yeah, great question. So ultimately, there’s two things that drive the decision making and one more emotional thing that drives the decision making. So your vision story, and what we call your unique core values. Those are what drive day to day decision making.
Andy Paul 15:16
So what are unique core values?
Scott Beebe 15:18
So the difference between standard core values and unique core values is that core values are something like integrity, responsibility, and if you don’t have integrity, I don’t have integrity. We don’t need to be doing business. Like that’s the low barrier to entry to the human race, integrity, responsibility, excellence, all those things, we typically hear a standard core values. What I want to know is what do you Andy value that me Scott, I may not value. It’s not wrong that you value it, but I just don’t value it. So let me give you an example. We’ve got a client who recently put together a unique core value list and usually we shoot for three, four or five because we want to memorizable and so one of his core values is clutch performance. Andy, I gotta be honest with you, man. I am not into clutch performances. I don’t want to win the game at the last second. I want to win it in the second quarter and ride out the rest, right? But this guy lives on it. He’s a high D personality and the disc profile, right? He lives for last second shots. Well, that’s a great example of something that he values. I don’t value it. It’s not wrong. He likes it. That’s good. But it’s something he values that I don’t know. So what’s the real play on that in day to day decision making? Well, he’s a concrete contractor. Concrete when you’re pouring concrete, man, it’s all last second. I mean, it’s just dry, you know. And so when they make decision making, they make it through the filtration system of those. He’s got four of those four unique core values that they’ve got laid out. Got another guy’s home builder builds 2 million to $5 million homes, one of his core values is edgy. Well when you walk into one of his homes and compare that to some of the other homes in the same neighborhood, right? I mean, you just get it. And so when he’s making decisions on interior trim and molding and all of these things, he’s making it based on his core values, and it’s what separates him. And by the way, it’s what he uses in a sales messaging, because that’s what separates him as well.
Andy Paul 17:15
Yeah, which makes me think back to the concrete contractor, I, I get the big I don’t I don’t get the first I don’t see that as a value that’s related to the business in terms of a value proposition to the customer. I mean, if you’re trying to sell me something, even as a concrete contractor, but let’s take any other business and you’re trying to say one of your, you know, core tenants of your value proposition is clutch performance is like, Yeah, I don’t think we’re a match because, you know, we shouldn’t be in that situation. We need a clutch performance.
Scott Beebe 17:46
Well, here’s where it fits in his world. He deals with general contractors all day who live and die by deadlines. I mean, they live and die by deadlines. In fact, they’re both bonus incentivized and also penalized based on the deadlines met or not met. And so what he’s telling his customers in a sales messaging from the concrete standpoint, is we live by clutch performances. When it’s time for us to be there, we will be there. We’re not gonna be sitting there waiting for you for two or three days when you tell us to be there. If it’s last second, we’re going to be there for you. And so it’s actually resonated really well, from a messaging standpoint. But you bring up another great point, Andy, see, if he were to sell to you, you would go that the statement you made was we’re not a match for each other. That’s the other thing your unique core values need to do. If somebody sits down with this homebuilder and says, oh, he values edgy. I don’t know that I value that perfect, because you’re not a great client for him. Right? And so it actually is, again, everybody believes in integrity. But when you tell me you believe in edge, and I’m not an edgy guy, you’ve also told me you’re not my builder, and that’s okay, because we probably wouldn’t have gotten along in the first place.
Andy Paul 18:52
Absolutely. So you’re really looking at these unique core values. And they, to me, that sounds like a way of really sort of defining your ideal client profile.
Scott Beebe 19:00
Absolutely and you also both receive and turn away business due to it so we had another customer homebuilders Well, actually built in the same neighborhoods about a million dollar homes in this case. And the developer of the neighborhood asked, we would like to go into a partnership and do really nice million dollar spec homes. Well, the business owner came back and we met and he was really struggling and here’s why. one of his core values was fiscal responsibility and the way that he found it was no debt. So this builder was in no debt. They owe nobody anything. Well, if they were to go in on this project, they were going to have to pony up about half the money. And they didn’t have that laying around in cash, because it was so expensive. And so their core values told them this was not going to be a fit project for him. Even though the sales of the spec homes were a slam dunk in the market, total slam dunk, they would have made their money back and more. And in fact, those homes have been built and sold since then, and have made their money back, so they decided to go sit down with the developer and tell them, I want to do this job. The problem is our core values, as defined will not allow us to do this, and the developer too and he even told the developer, I’m scared to death to tell you this, because I’m afraid you’re not gonna hire us for anything else. The developer turned around and said, Listen, because you’ve used your core values. We’ve never seen anybody come in and do this with us. Because you use your core values. We Understand why you’re telling us. But we also want you to understand that we’re going to come back and ask you to do more deals, because we realize that you really do live by these things.
Andy Paul 20:33
Yeah, that’s one of the key things I think about the unique core values to talk about. And, and I think this goes to not just entrepreneurs, but for anybody listening, the show that maybe it’s aspiring to build their own business or if you’re in sales, where it’s essentially an entrepreneurial task that you’re undertaking, maybe for the you know, for a corporation, but you’re still out there representing people on your own is you got to have these these core values, I mean, not just the standard values, he talked about integrity, and so on. Those are absolutely essential. But people have to know what you stand for.
Scott Beebe 21:03
Yeah. And again, they’ve got to know what you stand for, in contrast to what that guy stands for. Because they’re very different in terms of what you value versus, you know, some people, we live in the southeast. And if you live in the south east, man, it’s almost a birthright that you have to value hunting and fishing. Right? Well, there’s so many people. And there’s people around here that just don’t, it’s not that they’re mad at you for hunting and fishing. They just don’t value it. They don’t put their money there. They don’t put their time there. Even though there’s a perception that that’s what everybody values. And so I need to know and you need to know for me and I need to know, from you what we value we owe that to each other. We’re going to do business together.
Andy Paul 21:46
Well, it’s a differentiator. I think that people are looking, you know, in a world that’s really noisy and crowded with information. People are looking for those things to say, yeah, quickly make a decision about who they want to do business with or who they want to be aligned with. And yeah, those differentiators, it’s really important to get those up front.
Scott Beebe 22:05
Mm hmm. We’ve seen it work over and over again. We’ve even seen people make more money on projects than an architect out in San Francisco, who was working with a bakery and stuck by his proposals. I think a $23,000 project number in my head. And the client came back and said, Can you do it for 18? Because that’s where all the other bids came in. And this guy had a people pleasing, persuasive personality. So he always gave in, he would always reduce his proposal based on other proposals. Well, this time because we had just worked through his core values. He made a decision, he decided to stick by his core values. I don’t remember what the core value was. But he told the bakery client, he said, Listen, I’ve got this core value. And so I just, I’ve got to stick by my price because what we quoted you is what it’s going to take to get the job done. And sure enough, he got full price for it. And so he ended up paying for all of his coaching From that one engagement simply because he stood by his quarterbacks, that’s it.
Andy Paul 23:04
Yeah. Sounds like you should raise your price.
Scott Beebe 23:08
It’s just so fun to see those success stories come out when people actually just, they abide by what you coach him on, you know?
Andy Paul 23:14
Yeah, yeah. Well that’s I think somebody and I coach people as well. I mean, it’s always gratifying when people write back to you and say, yeah, yeah, it worked. I did what you said it would work. But I think the same thing is true of people in sales is when you sell something to somebody, and they put it to use in their business and it works. That’s why you keep on doing it.
Scott Beebe 23:33
Yeah, and I think the unique core values in division are especially important in sales because there are so many times in seminar work for Pfizer for eight years total, I think it was in the sales realm. And there’s so many times you can compromise value in the sales world because you don’t have somebody looking over your shoulder all the time. It’s not you, you know, the way that you maintain widgets or whatever, that’s very methodical. It’s very automatic, buy and sell Is maneuverable, it’s all over the place. And so you may not necessarily have guidelines where your core values want to tell people about unique core values. They’re the curves along the side of the road of the road you’re taken to get to your vision, the core values are there to kind of keep you on the road. Now, you can jump your core values if you want to, you just better make sure you know where you’re at. If you’re in the middle of Texas, and there’s a pastor out there and feel free to jump your core values, that’s alright. But if you’re going over the bridge to Hilton Head where I live near where I live, you better not jump the curb, are you going to die? And so you need to know where you’re at when you when you decide to violate your own core values.
Andy Paul 24:35
Well, yeah, which raises the question: what would be the situation that would ever justify abandoning your core values?
Scott Beebe 24:44
Let’s go back to the client that has fiscal responsibility, as this core value is defined by no debt, you come up with the situation to where they’re in a pinch. The economy’s gone south and there simply is no other way. They have to borrow money to meet cash flow or pay, I mean, or the business goes out. At that point, you got to look around and go, okay, what’s the damage? If we violate our core value in this situation damage isn’t that bad? Let’s file it. Let’s do it in this situation. So again, that’s why I like the idea that the metaphor that core values are curves, because you always jump curves if you need to, but just know you’re going to do some damage when you do it. You just need to figure out what’s the damage that’s going to be done? And if it’s minor damage, fixable, okay, then you can do that.
Andy Paul 25:35
So, Scott, we’re coming to the last segment of the show. I’ve got some standard questions, ask all my guests. And I’m sure sure with your experience, I’m more than capable of answering these questions. So the first one is a hypothetical scenario. You’ve just been hired as a VP of sales by a company whose sales have stalled out and they’re looking to do a sales reset, sales turnaround. So what two things we do in your first week on the job that can have the biggest impact?
Scott Beebe 26:04
You know, this is going to sound like a broken record. The very first thing that I would do is vision mission values together. I want to know, where do you see this division in x period of time? What is the term for that? And we need to articulate the details of what that looks like. We need to give a one sentence again, portable statement that’s going to motivate salespeople to get out of bed in the morning. And we’ve got to create the barriers along the way. So step number one is the vision mission values. Step number two, right is I would mandate that we have what I would call a meetings map in place. Alright, so the second most important thing for any business to have in place next to their vision mission values, is their meeting structure. And here’s why is because if you don’t have a solid meeting structure in place, and you don’t have a solid agenda and the right participants, meeting cost, all that kind of stuff in place, then your means of communication. becomes unpredictable, unpredictable communication leads to micromanagement. And so if you’ve got a predictable question, like, Hey, how are you coming on your sales calls? That’s a predictable question. You should be able to ask that question. And you ask it at a predictable time, the weekly sales meeting, you’re good. You’re not a micromanager. If you ask him a predictable question, how are your sales goals coming at an unpredictable time? Thursday afternoon at 224. Now, you’ve tensed me up as the sales guy, I wasn’t expecting it. I don’t even know what you’re asking. And all of a sudden, I feel like you’re micromanaging me. The flip side of that is if you ask an unpredictable question at a predictable time, for instance, hey, what do you think your 2018 sales targets are going to be? What Whoa, that’s an unpredictable guy. I wouldn’t even I don’t even know how to answer that at this stage of the game. Now that feels like micromanagement to me. And so your meeting structure provides communication Culture gets built through that accountability gets managed through the meeting structure. And so those are the first two things that I would say vision mission values and have your meetings structure in place.
Andy Paul 28:11
All right, good. So more rapid fire questions and give me one word answers if you want. So, when you Scott BB are out selling your services, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?
Scott Beebe 28:23
I love this question. So, persuasiveness hands down. You’re probably a fellow I am, too, and so persuasive.
Andy Paul 28:30
Okay, who’s your sales role model?
Scott Beebe 28:34
Zig Ziglar. Just to listen to how can I still listen to him on podcasts? You know, obviously, he’s passed away, but on the podcast. Yeah, I still listen to him because he’s just so influential in my mind.
Andy Paul 29:27
All right. So last question. What music is on your playlist these days?
Scott Beebe 29:30
Yeah. So one of my favorites is Amos Lee. Please, just a chilled laid back guy. And he actually did time at the University of South Carolina. So he’s one of my faves.
Andy Paul 29:41
Oh, he did. I didn’t know that.
Scott Beebe 29:43
I don’t know if he graduated. But between him and of course, we got to pull for Darius Rucker. He’s a hometown boy.
Andy Paul 29:57
All right. Excellent. Well, Scott, thank you very much for joining me. tell people how they can find out more about you and connect with you.
Scott Beebe 30:02
Yeah, absolutely just head on over to my website, and we’ve got tools and resources and all kinds of stuff.
Andy Paul 30:18
Okay, excellent. So thanks again for joining me. Until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone. Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com