Welcome To The For The Close Experience Episode #5

Chad Rogers is the Founder and CRO of Lemonlight Media, a Los Angeles based video marketing company that guarantees to deliver message via video directly to local customers.

  • Chads background in starting up his company Lemonlight [3:50]
  • Creating content for your brand and why it is a necessity [12:10]
  • Training a team to become laser focused [14:45]
  • Strategizing the use of your best sales person [19:31]
  • Give a shit about your client [28:20]
  • Have fun on the sales call and sharing excitement [29:15]
  • Holding firm on your price and not giving in [33:50]
  • Guaranteeing and following through with your products and services [37:53]
  • Having empathy for your clients and building a framework of communication [42:48]

 

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Ali Mirza: Alright everybody! Welcome to the For The Close Podcast. Today, I have a very special guest on here with us today. It is a close personal friend of mine that as pretty much everybody is on the Podcast. He is the co-founder and CRO of Lemonlight Media. They are on the Inc 500 Fastest Growing List Company of 2018, the one and only Chad Rogers. Chad, how are you doing today brother?

Chad Rogers: I’m doing great! I’m doing great!

Ali Mirza: Excellent.

Chad Rogers: Thanks for the Inc 500 plug.

Ali Mirza: Oh, yeah! No problem. I mean, hey! I’m going to let everybody know that I only invite big shots to my podcast here. Speaking of which and so, I was almost the best man at Chad’s wedding but I think my invite got lost in the mail or something like that? Right Chad?

Chad Rogers: Some of that happened, yeah. It was like some postage thing. The USPS, maybe USPS. [00:01:09.00] [Crosstalk] [Garbage].

Ali Mirza: Union time, I mean it’s… So, Chad you are recently married man off the market, how does that feel?

Chad Rogers: It feels great! It actually provides a lot of stability in my life.

Ali Mirza: There you go.

Chad Rogers: As you know, in Sales there’s a lot of going out that’s involved and it gives me a reason to go home early.

Ali Mirza: There you go.

Chad Rogers: By early I mean before 1 AM.

Ali Mirza: Exactly. Exactly, yeah that it sometimes that too becomes early. And obviously I’m married too but somehow today I forgot my ring and you show up your ring and I can’t show up mine.

Chad Rogers: I’m telling.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. So, a little bit of a background but Chad and I, like I mean as you guys can tell Chad is a pretty good looking fella.

Chad Rogers: [00:01:55.06] [Crosstalk] [Unintelligible]

Ali Mirza: But, I’m 6’4″ and when I first meet Chad I actually had to look up. Chad, you were well like 6’6″ish, 6’7″ish, what are you?

Chad Rogers:  Yeah, 6’7″.

Ali Mirza: Dang! And you don’t play ball? You don’t play basketball?

Chad Rogers: And I didn’t play college ball. My whole family played college ball, I ran cross-country.

Ali Mirza: How? Why?

Chad Rogers: I was really, really skinny, I was like a beam pole. I didn’t really started getting sized until after college. I was 160 pounds so, I already gotten demolished on the court. I just ran track.

Ali Mirza: And wait, you were at 160 pounds at 6’7″?

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Jeez!

Chad Rogers: You could see my ribs.

Ali Mirza: That is really thin.

Chad Rogers: Yeah, really thin.

Ali Mirza: So, how do you stay trimmed now? How do you bulk up yet stayed cute?

Chad Rogers: Yeah, well. I’m actually just get done working out, we’re here at Equinox taking a call on the mooh.

Ali Mirza: There you go.

Chad Rogers: So. Yeah, but… and I think exercise is important part of our day. I could get… again it provides us stability against going back to that. I obviously like to go to Equinox but I also have a ClassPass but I like to change it up, keep your kind of body, gassing.

Ali Mirza: Gassing. Yeah.

Chad Rogers: And also my wife made me signed up for it so, it’s what I could take.

Ali Mirza: Wait. Your wife, the wife made you signed up for ClassPass or Equinox?

Chad Rogers: Yes! ClassPass. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Got it. Got it.

Chad Rogers: So, you go take various… so you could take various boot camp with her.

Ali Mirza: Alright, got it. Got it. I hear that. So, so tell me what’s going on? And so for the… I know you quite well but all of our audience may not know you as well as I do. So, give us a little bit of a background about you. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on. You’ve had… you guys have had a big year. So, tell us what’s going on?

Chad Rogers: Yeah. We always talk about hitting ceilings, right? And how do we kind of breakthrough that ceiling and get to the next level. And we’ve actually had a session together here in LA.

Ali Mirza: Yep!

Chad Rogers: And we were going through some troubled times back then. And we figured it out this year and we broke through the ceiling and we’ve got some really nice… seen some really nice growth Q2 and Q3 and Q4 and we’re just really excited for 2019. So, it’s been a really good year for us.

Ali Mirza: Without getting to doing the weeds with the numbers and whatnot.

Chad Rogers: Sure!

Ali Mirza: Does that… I mean, everyone cares about numbers but I think that sometimes that clouds people’s understanding. How? Just give us a quick background on what do you mean that you, you guys broke through like what happened in Q2, Q3, Q4 that allowed for this growth? What did you changed? What’s stopped? Like give us some insights on that.

Chad Rogers: Yeah. I don’t think there’s one answer. We’re still trying to figure that out. I want to say, oh yeah! I know I did it, I know exactly how to do it, I did it. I think there’s a few things. We were very reliant on inbound leads. We kind of… the way we grew so fast the way we hit that Inc 500 is kind of new how to, we’re not really kind of working on marketing, really new how to drive a ton of inbound traffic. And that was kind of the easiest way or the shortest distance from point A to point B was to do it that way, right? But what happened was is it really created a sales team that who was a bit spoiled. I guess it’s the best way to put it. They were very reliant at leads, they didn’t know how to hunt, we allowed them to resell accounts once they sold an account. So, the team just got a bit, they get just kind a bit lazy at the end of the day. And I don’t take anything from them, I’ve got guys that have been here for 3 years now, they’re great, I love them. I blame myself, right? I trained them to be reliant on getting us spoon-feed and I realized that we would not be able to break that ceiling unless we change that narrative.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: And that’s what happened this year. So, let’s say from just kind of ground level that happened… there’s a lot of really interesting things that have happened in marketing. And my marketing team is really, was really I think we talked about it, it was very two-dimensional.

Ali Mirza: Yep.

Chad Rogers: When we knew how to do one thing really well again, that was we kind of grew up on email marketing, right?

Ali Mirza: Yes.

Chad Rogers: And we knew that we wouldn’t… this business would flat lined if we did not learn how to create new ways to drive traffic and we did that this year. I think there’s some really interesting insights I can kind of share on, on what we’re doing in marketing that we’re really excited about.

Ali Mirza: Okay.

Chad Rogers: Finally, we finally figured out the recurring revenue model. So, that provides a lot of stability this year which allowed us to kind of go after a lot higher profile clients because we have this kind of recurring revenue that was really keeping us afloat. So, it’s either those of the 3 biggest things.

Ali Mirza: And so for, for the people that don’t know so Lemonlight is an agency. And Chad, correct me if I’m miss characterizing but you guys is an agency that specializes in video production. So, this is not a SaaS company where, oh well of course you guys got recurring revenue. For an agency to build a recurring revenue model that’s something legit. So, I mean I’ve got a bunch of questions but you just hit me there.

Chad Rogers: Sure.

Ali Mirza: Let’s dive into that one first and foremost. How, what explain to me.

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Agency perspective, how do you build a recurring revenue or what does that mean?

Chad Rogers: Let me… I’ll give you the big picture first. So, when we started the company we were the idea behind Lemonlight Media it was to be like your neighborhood video production company, right? It was a local video company that could… basically, we’re watching television commercials and we’re saying “Wow! We called this crap”. When you’re there in Atlanta you probably seen them on TV every day. Come on down to whatever to horde! And like they’re not great commercials.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: The production quality was low, they’re typically using kind of guys off the clock in the local broadcast affiliate. And we said “God. We could take this quality to the next level easily”, right? At a lower cost and it actually provide value by running advertising through AdWords, like running pre-roll ads. So, that’s how the company started, we made 2 products; we had a pre-roll commercial and we made what we call a brand video which is essentially a video for your website that tells a story of who you are.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: So, we really… and the reason was is we… for a long time we’re really fighting that, we want to be an… we want to be an advertising agency when we’re running ads. And we kept kind of pushed this walk up the hill and it just wasn’t, we kind of, we can never get over this hump of with a lot of attrition with our advertising, right? Because these local businesses didn’t see the results. I could send a hundred people on the door they had no way to track it, right? With this brick and mortars. And we just kept trying to push the rock and it wasn’t working. Actually, this year last December today, a year ago today we said, “Why are we still doing this? Why are we trying to run the ads when our content… we’re amazing at content we’re not great one in the ads”, right? Our clients love the content, they keep coming back for content, they’re not coming for ads. So, why do we keep trying to fight this battle when we know our identity? So, we found we’re a content company, that’s what we do best and that’s what differentiates us from all the other agencies out there, right? We can produce high quality affordable content at scale and there’s really not a lot of companies out there that can do that. So, we just… January, we sent an email to all of our clients running advertising, we sent email to all of our clients within social media and management for, we sent an email to all of our clients that we built their websites and we said, “You’re done. Well, here’s some recommendations for some agencies you should use moving forward but we will no longer be offering these services.” We looked through our PNL’s and we said we’re already losing money. We have staffs that are… we’re losing money running these ads doing the social management and we weren’t providing value to our clients, we just cut it. It was a scary moment because you cut a big chunk of the revenue whether you’re losing money or not and it…

Ali Mirza: It’s still a cash flow.

Chad Rogers: It’s still cash flow, right.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: Scary. It was the best thing we ever did, right? Because we have built relationships with these other advertising agencies by passing them clients, they’re now our partners. There’s some amazing guys that you and I both of friends with that have hired us this year as full-fledged partners who producing content put them on a monthly basis. I’m not going to dropping names because I’m not sure if they want me to share that or not but it’s been a very reciprocal relationship and it’s been amazing. And our clients were happy because we’ve hand them off the client, we hand them to a partner that knows how to do that serves them as best with every social media management or building websites or whatever and we can focus on the content. And it’s really lead to a lot of revenue we’re on at that.

Ali Mirza: That’s pretty legit. So, you take this dive or at might, dive is the wrong word. But, I mean you basically take this walk off of a ledge not knowing where you’re really going and kind of just trust in what it is that you guys do really well which is the creation of content.

Chad Rogers: Sure.

Ali Mirza: And clearly that, that was the best decision that you made.

Chad Rogers: Yes.

Ali Mirza: And was that, was that a function of okay, we got rid of all the destructions and now we can focus on what we’re good at?

Chad Rogers: Yeah!

Ali Mirza: Or was… that’s what it was?

Chad Rogers: Yeah. I’m sorry. Sorry to interrupt.

Ali Mirza: [00:11:40.24] [Crosstalk] [Or was it something else?]. Well, I don’t know, I really didn’t know what my second part was going to be but, I mean…

Chad Rogers: Sorry.

Ali Mirza: What might it have been other than that because you just got let rid of a whole bunch of cash coming in.

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: How do you grow? How does your bottom line go up? How does your top line go up?

Chad Rogers: Got it. So, that takes me to where we said “Okay. We still want recurring revenue”, right? Who doesn’t?

Ali Mirza: Right!

Chad Rogers: We just kept… the first stop was rolls advertisement, right? That’s the only thing that can recur, well no. Why can’t content recur? Why? We went from a company that said you need a video that tells your story, we need a video that tells your story to you need video content for your brand, right? You need to be continuously creating original content that speaks to your audience exactly what you’re doing right now with this podcast actually. Whether it’s a podcast, whether it’s a Instagram content, whatever your business lyrics, video content for the LinkedIn. Why aren’t you continuously innovating and creating new content for your brand? Right? One video doesn’t do it anymore. There are so many outlets, Reddit added video this year, LinkedIn added video this year, Facebook had video not sure, 2 years ago, Snapchat, Instagram, Amazon is a huge piece of business for us. All these platforms are adding video and there was so many ways to tell your story now and they continually speak to your audience. So why are we creating that a recurring model? Why are we offering people maybe a deal if they commit to us for entire year of content. So, we built out packages that actually create video content for clients quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly. And it’s been a hit and it provides a lot more strategy, right? The other thing is sure, we want more money but secondly that’s not what drive sales, right? Me wanting to sell you doesn’t drive sales, right? Me providing you value is what drive sales, right? And what we did was we said “Okay, great. This is… we want recurring revenue but we have to actually provide something other than just you need to [00:13:47.10] [kind of address], right? And what that was was strategy. With this packages, you get deals you get from… you get discounts things like that, you get digestible charges every month versus kind of a bulk charge upfront. What you’re really getting is you’re getting a partner, right? And so basically with these packages we’re not just a vendor anymore, we’re now helping you shape your marketing plan for the year.

Ali Mirza: Got it. Got it. And so, on that note how do you get your salespeople to take that shift? Right? Because what their… and so you did something that had I… because, I mean full disclosure, right? I was in your business that’s why I know so much, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we, we work together. Had you told me that during the assessment out of I’m like, look man; can’t teach an old dog new tricks it’s not going to work. That would have been my recommendation. I mean like, hey! Look, I see where you’re going from a strategy perspective, I actually agree with it. But from a sales team perspective I don’t think it’s going to take. You just proved me wrong from what I would have said, okay?

Chad Rogers: You’re not wrong, you’re not totally wrong. It was… sure.

Ali Mirza: So, okay. Walk me through because okay, because the people listening here are it’s for the most part founder, lead sales teams which you are. You are a founder, you are leading the sales team, how does that happen? How do you get your sales team to come around that corner or if you can’t what did you go through? Walk us through how you present that to your sales team.

Chad Rogers: Yeah. Shame. no.

Ali Mirza: You are terrible if you can’t sell this.

Chad Rogers: Yeah. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: That is it. You sound like my old sales manager in the area, the worst sales manager ever. I used to sell suits when I was 17, this guy was a dirtbag. But anyways, I digress.

Chad Rogers: No. No. So, it starts with training. So, we luckily had everything ready to go, I bring my sales team out twice a year. Had them out… they’re actually out here right now, they’re actually at the office. They’re out here for our Christmas party and we had everything ready to go. So, we did a week long training not only the sales team, with the entire company. And we had the entire company, I have people from every department, editor, cinematographer, creative, marketing, sales get in teams and pick up client out of the hat and built out a strategy for them. We made it fun, right? We have them working to provide value for that client and then build out the entire strategy and plan, we picked the winner, right? Had like the cash prize. So, we train them on the product, we train them on why we’re selling it. We actually ask them how they would… we pry them options, we asked them how they like to be compensated, right? So, we had like different percentages, right? Like the problem is my sales team does an a very large commission. And when they sell a $20,000, $30,000, $50,000 deal they see a nice fat paycheck. So which means that…

Ali Mirza: [00:16:57.01] [Crosstalk] Nothing wrong with. Nothing wrong with.

Chad Rogers: Nothing wrong with but to give you instance we go from selling a $30,000 deal that can make leading for some commit to a recurring package. It’s hard because they certainly see, they want the money now, right?

Ali Mirza: Of course.

Chad Rogers: So, we kind of… let’s forge some things like what about 40% of the first month then 10% recurring or 30% on the first month then 20% recurring. So, we threw a bunch of different options out there and we let them at it, we let them vote, right?

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: And so they actually felt like they had control over their commission. In reality, it came up to be about same amount of money but we wanted them to be excited about it, right?

Ali Mirza: Right! You wanted that ownership on them or that sense of ownership.

Chad Rogers: Yeah. Yeah, so we did that and I think from being as a salesperson nobody likes to get their commission, their comm structure changed, right? So, as was that to happen but giving them some control on the matter made them feel like they’re masters of their own destiny and got them all the more excited about it. So, those are two things. Third, monthly promotions. You actually took kind of helped me with that because I was very, guess I’m like I want to give them promotions, I want to give them extra bonuses and you’re like you got to dangle the carrot, right? And I… part of having a lot of success is we’ve been able to provide more promotions, more incentives and it’s driven all our sales up. So, every… I don’t them every month but like every few months, you know we came on their toes, we’re telling them, hey! Get a cash bonus upfront if you sell package, right? If you sell 2 packages you should get even a bigger bonus, if you get 3 packages it’s a huge bonus and at those months are always the big months where we see them just driving home these packages, right? And then fourth, start listening to their phone calls. This isn’t original what we… obviously we did our deck and our collateral to speak, sell the package first, ala carte second.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: So, those are things that we did.

Ali Mirza: Okay.

Chad Rogers: And don’t get me wrong, you’re not wrong. It was incredibly hard we have still not, I’ve still not gotten the point whether these guys are cranking out the sales but I was pleasantly surprised to see them all have sold one or two of these packages in the first couple of months each. And I guess, really excited about it and we’ve like I said continued to throw this promotions out there. We did one last month, saw a big jump in these packages. It’s a yearlong commitment to pay them a little bit of money upfront, dangle that carrot to get them to sell these packages has been really good for us.

Ali Mirza: Nah. I love that. I love that. And obviously monetary bonuses aren’t the only thing there, right? I mean there’s a whole bunch of other things with different things that you can do, it doesn’t all just have to be extra money, right? But because, you know different things motivate different people and money is a soft motivator and after a while it starts to lose its value and then they just want more and more and more up until there’s a diminishing return. But I definitely…

Chad Rogers: I would love to hear some things using the past work other than monthly bonuses because we’re trying to learn.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. No, no, no. So here’s what I always say is before we can create the bonus structure we need to learn what motivates our sales people, right? Because not everyone is motivated the same way, right? Some people are very, very money driven. I clearly I’m ego driven, right? You stroke my ego like I’ll… no matter where you drop me off I’ll make my money. What I can’t get is necessarily the ego, right? And so, for me if you’re going to pay me a little bit extra for sure I want that money, I’ll take that money but I’ll push that much harder if you challenge me, right?

Chad Rogers: Right.

Ali Mirza: And you say, “Hey look! Ali, no one’s ever broken this record before. Can you do it?” Right? Even if you don’t give me any extra money my focus is on breaking that record breaking on being number one.

Chad Rogers: Sure.

Ali Mirza: So, you have to understand what drives and what motivates that person. That would work for me, that’s not necessarily going to work for everybody else because some people shy away from that recognition. I had a client that we’re working with and their sales person, number salesperson on the whole team, she actually hated being number one because she didn’t like all those eyes on her, right? And so, we have to craft something more unique for her because the last thing we wanted is her to start pulling back. So, you really have to understand who… what motivates some people…

Chad Rogers: Interesting.

Ali Mirza: Some people it’s more about power, right? Some people it’s about telling everybody how much they know, right? If I recall you had or have somebody on your sales team that was very big for them to dangling the carrot is a function of letting them train other sales people, right? So, saying hey, look!… and you don’t even bring up money but say, hey look! You know what? If you do X, Y and Z or if you hit this number I’ll let you lead the training, right? And that allows them to pop up their chest and do it. So the different things motivate different people and you can’t just have a blanket one size fits all, sometimes you have to strike unique deals with people. When it comes to compensation you want to keep it fair and you wanted somewhat blanket it but again, there’s always different levers that you could pull. There’s a million more but I don’t want to… this is not about me brother, this is about you.

Chad Rogers: Sure! Sure! Sure! No, it’s great. I think, that really opens up our conversation that we had a couple of years ago regarding my top sales guy that I told you was kind of starting to flat line, right? We started to see him kind of disconnected and you said “Hey! This is dangerous like he’s either got to get promoted or just to let him go.”

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: I just… I’ve actually never seen it in my career, I never really… I never seen this happened but I promoted the manager, his sales went up 30% the next month. He’s just having that ownership just being kind of because he was this at top sales like 3 years in a row to promote him the manager, it wasn’t about money. We actually, we gave him a higher base, we lowered his commission, we gave him a bonus structure based of the team heading, it’s more about being that senior voice. He wants that veteran status; he wants that team captain status. And by giving that to him not only that his sales go up over the next… or his sales went up the next quarter by 30% the entire sales team. Sales went up to 30% because they got the attention they needed from him. And it was one of the best moves we ever made so thank you for that and I wish I had done that sooner.

Ali Mirza: No. No. No. That was all you. But here’s the thing and one thing and that was unique to your situation and that individual because we talked through it.

Chad Rogers: [00:23:32.11] [Crosstalk] Yup!

Ali Mirza: I don’t want anyone, I don’t want everyone here thinking like hey! I’ve got my top performer; I don’t want them a flat line let me promote them because that’s…

Chad Rogers: Sure.

Ali Mirza: I’d say, 8 times out of 10. Well, I guess 4 times out of 5 that’s actually the wrong move. In your situation because of a couple other things it actually was the right move. But most of the time when you promote your best sales person it’s actually detrimental to the team.

Chad Rogers: Yup!

Ali Mirza: But in your situation it was actually the right move.

Chad Rogers: And he’s continuing to do sales, right? So he still has the same sales goal as everyone else. He, wants that sales goal, we provide some… he is also money driven, we provide some nice cash bonuses for him and he’s been great now. That actually rate that what you just said brings up another topic conversations. So, I had another sales guy who’s my 2nd best sales guy. He’s still here. I also tried the same move on him by promoting. He was disconnected; he was interested you know, we all get burnout, right?

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: With doing the same thing day in and day out you can’t help but get burned out sometimes. So, I tried promoting him. We work really well together, I tried promoting him to partnerships, I didn’t work. It didn’t work, his sales dropped, he was equally or more disconnected, he couldn’t handle, he didn’t have any interest in the role. I… yeah.

Ali Mirza: Well, I recall us having that conversation. I remember when I was on my way… I was at the airport when we talked about that, wasn’t it? Because I was on my way to Manchester.

Chad Rogers: Yes. Yes. And you introduced me to the recruiter.

Ali Mirza: Amy.

Chad Rogers: Yes.

Ali Mirza: Yes. Okay, so no, no. So, I told you… didn’t I tell you not to do that?

Chad Rogers: You might have.

Ali Mirza: I might?

Chad Rogers: But I think what happened was is I think I shared what was going on and you were like you got to cut that right now and you need to go after it. We need him to go [00:25:35.09] [Crosstalk] [registered].

Ali Mirza: Oh! That was the after it?

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Got it! Got it! Okay. Because I remember some resemblance because when you said partnership I’m like hey, hang on. I remember when I was at the airport we had some conversation but, alright because that’s the point. Let’s roll this back in here.

Chad Rogers: Go on.

Ali Mirza: Because I want to touch on something that I didn’t know you did but it’s fucking genius and I want to make sure you get your credit here. So, 9 times out of 10 when somebody says “Oh, you know we’re going to do training, we’re going to bring someone in on an onsite or whatever BS”, it never ends well. Because what happens, right? They bring their people in and then they put up this PowerPoint presentations exactly in one year out the other.

Chad Rogers: Yup.

Ali Mirza: And you made it a lot more interactive, you made it a part of a whole company and you create it and I don’t know. So, my big thing is salespeople don’t sell the sex anymore, right?

Chad Rogers: Yup!

Ali Mirza: Marketing does a really good job of selling sex of…

Chad Rogers: Yup!

Ali Mirza: I don’t know, means sex like, you know… so you know.

Chad Rogers: Sure! Sexy!

Ali Mirza: Yeah. Like… yeah, I mean more from a perspective above that and [00:26:34.26] [Crosstalk] [Unintelligible].

Chad Rogers: You would [00:26:35.04] [sell say it] your video.

Ali Mirza: Thank you! Thank you! Oh, by the way, Chad and his company and his team is the one who which had that video so, big ups to you guys. But so here’s the thing, you did something and you forced them to think about it from a strategy perspective not from a feature pitch, here’s the product, X, Y and Z, logic you know, let’s checkpoint and do you know the key points that you have to hit on. Walk me… I think if the audience is going to walk away with something super valuable here I would like it to be this.

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: If you can walk us through how you arrange that because you switched strategies and you had to make people buy in to it. Help me understand how you set up that day or that week or some of the exercises that you did to get them doing that because I think that that’s brilliant. And I never heard of that before, I think it’s awesome because it’s a real life situation, its war games, right?

Chad Rogers: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s what it is, it’s like sales is a game, right? And I think sometimes we stop having fun, right? And we’re just money, money, money, money, money, right? And at the end of the day like when I…. the sales guys that I don’t have that haven’t been successful versus sales guys I have that have that I tell them “Give a shit” it’s like look straight up. Like, give a shit about your client. I have a sales guy that didn’t worked out recently and I actually moved him into a different part of the company and now he’s doing extremely well, right? He had them drive, he was… he sounded great on the phone. He had everything you would mark a checkmark on paper, he knew that industry already, right? Like and then he just couldn’t succeed and I start listening to his call I started saying why is this guy… I mean, I’m sorry I’m giving all subject again. But, I think I’ll bring it back is that he wasn’t actually selling value, he wasn’t having fun, he wasn’t trying to help the client, he was trying to sell, he was again trying to push that rock, right? Up the hill and not coming… not having the client help him push the rock up the hill, right? Because at the end of the day we’re in this together like I’m, just because… if I sell features, if I sell you know I sell it because it’s cheap or I sell it because it’s easy at the end of the day it’s just a fucking product. Sorry, I’m a lot of gust? So out of here. I so…

Ali Mirza: Yeah. Yeah. And I tell everybody R-rated is fine, X-rated try to save you.

Chad Rogers: Okay. Okay. Okay.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: And so, we want to start having fun, right? Let’s have fun with this thing because what we sell is sexy, what we sell is fun. It’s fun for you; it’s a day on camera like it’s your day kind of like in Hollywood, right?

Ali Mirza: Oh yeah! It was my day on Hollywood when I was out there where… Delray Beach. Yeah.

Chad Rogers: Yeah, Marina Del Rey. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Marina Del Rey. That’s the one, yeah. I felt… yeah.

Chad Rogers: It’s exciting and if you don’t pitch that excitement if you don’t share that excitement with the client whether you’re in project management, sales, post production if we’re not excited doing what we’re doing why are we doing it? Right? And by making it, I think making it fun it helps people learn and got them excited about selling it and got the project managers excited about selling upgrades. It got the editors kind of excited about the future of the company and made them do edits that or so. I think overall it’s just all about having fun.

Ali Mirza: It’s so simple and so stupid yet it’s so true. If you have fun on that sales call your… if you have fun it’s likely that that person, that the prospect is going to have fun. If you’re not having fun it’s unlikely that they’re going to be having fun.

Chad Rogers: It’s like a date. It’s like a date, right?

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: It’s always like… I mean we always compare it to… we compare sales to sex, we compare sales a dating but it isn’t.

Ali Mirza: 100%.

Chad Rogers: If you show up and you’re like, please, please let me take you home, let me take you home. Okay, am I getting a trade? Sorry.

Ali Mirza: No. No. No, that’s fine. Why do you going to take her home?

Chad Rogers: If you like date…

Ali Mirza: Help me understand. I’ve been out of the dating in for a really long time. I don’t know why would you take her home?

Chad Rogers: Okay. How about this? Marry me, marry me, marry me on the first date like, no! She or he doesn’t want to marry you on the first date like have some fun, get to know him like how… are we going to fit? Maybe we don’t fit, right? And that’s okay too, right? Maybe we don’t fit and that’s another thing with my sales guys because I, you know we’re like sell everybody something. That was our old model and now it’s let’s figure out if we’re fit. Now 9 times or a 10 we are a fit in some way because we have packages of all shapes and sizes. But you’re never going to sell them until you find out what their needs are and provide value.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: And I think that’s one, the big thing there is it; I was so convinced that it was the deal or it was the discount or it was the… that was going to sell more. Hey! You know, they don’t have $12,000 a day; we don’t pay $1000 a month. Again, 9 times out of 10 the people that are the clients that are buying these packages, bought into us because of the strategy, because of we were their partner. They were like, why am I making a video if I don’t have somebody helping me craft how we’re going to use it? I don’t have somebody recommending a good ad agency that I can partner with and how we can distribute that content? Why am I doing this? And again that was… it all comes back to that, right? All comes back to having fun and providing value.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. No, I think that that’s important, right? I mean it’s like selling software to people that don’t have a computer, right?

Chad Rogers: Right.

Ali Mirza: Or it’s like I’m trying to be John Deere and selling a bunch of tractors and no one owns farmland, right? It’s not going to work, right? So, just for them to have this video okay, that’s great but it’s just going to sit on a shelf or on their website and basically collect dust, doesn’t make any sense. And again, you’re not going to sell as many people as you should because most people are just aren’t that stupid that they’re just going to buy just for the sake of buying it. And a few people that do it’s a one off sale, right?

Chad Rogers: It’s a one off sale. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. And now it’s…

Chad Rogers: 100%.

Ali Mirza: So, you said something there. So, you got out of the discounts, right? And walk us through that like how do you… because I’m not going to say because I know some things. I’m going to let you take say whatever you want to say here. From the perspective of holding price on… and I don’t want to get into selling value, I want to get in to actual price, right?

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: You guys aren’t the most expensive but you’re also definitely not the cheapest. How do you teach your salespeople not to shy away from price? Because I can go on Craigslist if Craigslist is still a thing.

Chad Rogers: Yep!

Ali Mirza: And find somebody with a camcorder, right?

Chad Rogers: Yep. Yep.

Ali Mirza: What would you teach your sales people on not being… not shying away from that? Because… you know, I’ll shut now.

Chad Rogers: Yeah, no, no. No, it’s a good question. A big selling bud for us this year is reliability, right? There are all… we have a lot of competitors who write and it’s not just Craigslist. There are some really good marketplaces, there’s some good new technologies that like and you make your own videos and things like that and that’s great if that’s what you need. You should do it. But at the end of the day whether you’re spending $500 or $5,000, if you don’t know why you’re creating it and you don’t get the product that you need to… and you see ROI, right? If you don’t get a quality product at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if between $500 or $5,000 wasted your money, right? So, being able to use a service that is reliable is number 1 for us is that we guarantee quality every single time. And that you don’t get that from a marketplace, you don’t get that from Craigslist that some fly by night company or a guy with a camcorder, you pay him a thousand bucks, you save a thousand by not going with us and you ended up getting garbage bag. And don’t get me wrong it could work out but you’re taking a chance. And I would say your odds are actually worse than better by taking a chance with a freelancer because you don’t know what you’re going to get back. They’re… they don’t have that marky [00:35:17.17] [admin], you’re getting a team with us, you’re getting an individual when you’re going with a freelancer. So, I would say that that’s the biggest pitches for us.

Ali Mirza: And one of the things that you said there is you guarantee quality and that’s the one thing that I’m hearing less and less of. And that’s not to say that I’m dealing with shady vendors, right? But people are afraid to guarantee anything at this point because they feel like it’s such a strong sales language that they don’t want to be salesy so they don’t do it, right? Because they feel like, oh, well then if I guarantee something I feel like I’m trying to persuade them. Well that’s what sales is. And so I’ll piggyback off of what you just said was I… 30 minutes… well, I guess 30 minutes before our call, I was on a call with a client, right? And so we’ve done the assessment and now we’re talking about the project of my… my team actually building out their entire sales process. And it’s a very large 6 figure engagement. But I told him, I guarantee you where I will get you your ROI, right?

Chad Rogers: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: I’m not… well I tell everybody, I will never give you a dime back, right? I don’t care what happens, if you don’t execute I’m not giving you a dollar back. But I guarantee you the process that I give you will work. If it doesn’t I will fly down there and I’ll sell your developments myself to prove to you that it works.

Chad Rogers: [00:36:47.17] [Crosstalk] Yep.

Ali Mirza: And if it doesn’t work we’ll iterate and we’ll make it but I guarantee you that I’ll do it. And that’s not me being sleazy, that’s not me pushing too hard, this is somebody that is scared of taking this jump, right? And in this situation it’s a 6 figure engagement and yours it’s a 5 figure engagement but it’s regardless the money is moot it’s that jump that they’re afraid of.

Chad Rogers: Right.

Ali Mirza: And sometimes you just need that reliability to stand next to somebody that says hey, I guarantee it. And I think that that’s, that is so key. Now, you have to guarantee it then, right? You can’t just say I guarantee it and then walk away, right?

Chad Rogers: Yeah. Right.

Ali Mirza: You have to hold yourself to that but I think that so many people… now, we’re founders, right? So, we can guarantee our product because we can always if it doesn’t get to where it needs to get what call and audible and we’ll put more resources on it. Salespeople I think I have have a tougher time on that. How do you enable your sales people? How do you empower your sales people? Because your team is still remote, right? All over the country, your sales team.

Chad Rogers: Yeah. You know, I do have a couple in LA now.

Ali Mirza: Okay.

Chad Rogers: I took your advice and I hired a local guy for my enterprise sales which has been amazing and we go on to that if we get there. But, my… our team, every one of my sales guys that I have on my team right now again, give a shit. They almost do a fault, they care about their clients. It’s not just about their pay check, they really truly have empathy for their clients and that helps. They stay involved, they get pissed if the video edit doesn’t come back the way it should. They really want to truly deliver a quality product. And look there’s… video production is tough there’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen [00:38:37.07] [Crosstalk] [Unintelligible].

Ali Mirza: And it’s subjective too.

Chad Rogers: That it’s subjective. That it’s like how do you commoditize? How do you commoditize and productize video?

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: I think we’ve done so successfully but setting expectations properly, providing communication and transparency. These are things that are really important so that people feel very involved in the process. It’s not a lot on like web design, it’s subjective. I would say it’s doing with web design may be more difficult, right? They like something; they don’t know why they don’t like it or whatever. But I think again if you’re listening if you’re always listening and you’re there for them and they know that they’ve been heard it really helps out. So, I would say that that’s a big thing is again empathy for our clients is incredibly important.

Ali Mirza: I… you know what? And I know you quite well and that’s why I can confidently say this. I mean, I hear founder say BS like that all the time, right? Like, oh you know we care, our sales people care or we need to have empathy, blah, blah, blah, blah to say all that stuff. Yet, and I don’t blame their sales team but their sales team don’t have that empathy or don’t actually care. And it’s always the founder’s fault because the founder cuts them at the knees, right? We need to empower our sales people to be able to say “Hey, look! This is garbage; this is not what I promised”. I know you allow your salespeople to give that appropriate feedback and say hey, this not up to our standard or this isn’t where this needs to be. That’s why your salespeople actually care. But how often do we ask our sales people I want you to care, I want you to give a shit and then the second they come back with any sort of feedback or any sort of criticism we tell them “Ah! Shut up and go do your job”, right?

Chad Rogers: Yep.

Ali Mirza: It’s like you can’t have it both ways, right? Like you can’t go north and south at the same time, you can’t tell them to care and then when they care we shut them down like.

Chad Rogers: Yeah! No, I totally agree. I mean like, I mean again like I said to a fall. I mean, sometimes I’ve just… I have to tell them like well it good, shut up! Stop complaining like stop complaining. This video like… there was a video that came out recently again it’s subjective and he’s like “Oh, it’s horrible! I hate it!” I’m like “I watched it are you?… Do the client hate it?” he said “No! But I hate it”. I said “Dude. Tell me technically what’s wrong with this video?” I’m like they’re shot beautifully, the sound is great, the lighting is great, I just, I don’t like it. And somebody say… I have someone like again like you said we can’t go on to the top but you said “Hey, look you know, I understand you feel that way let’s get a second opinion before we sit with the client and maybe take a second stab at it” but look, at the end of the day I would rather that I’m as annoying as it is at times. I don’t share this but then I complain to my co-founders but it’s annoying is that hear them kind of like pitching up about this and that. I would rather them be hearing the not.

Ali Mirza: No. I totally agree. Totally agree. So, I’m going to ask you one final question and then I’ll leave it at that. But a lot of… alright, I’ll give you an option which question you want to ask or which question you want to answer.

Chad Rogers: Okay. Alright, okay.

Ali Mirza: So, a lot of founders have a lot of difficulty… and this will be a teaser, right? We’ll leave it as a teaser maybe do a part 2. But a lot of founders have difficulty and tough time trusting a remote sales team. I am without a doubt one of them, I’ve recently got in more and more into remote team because I needed the right talent. But they have a tough time especially remote sales team. So, do you want to walk us through how you’ve been able to do that and how you’ve been able achieve such success? Because you’re a core team, it’s not like you’re a remote company. Your entire team, you guys have a legit office. It’s not you don’t work out of an Equinox but you got a whole team in LA but your sales team is all over the country and some now in LA. Do you want to answer that question and walk us through that? Or do you want to tell us about how you went from SMB to now big enterprises and which one do you want to talk about and brag about?

Chad Rogers: You know, maybe we’ll say the enterprise that I think the enterprise one is a whole another commerce. It’s a huge conversation for us, it’s like… I mean a lot of companies that we know have done it have gone from small to large but I think that’s a whole another podcast.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: Let’s go with the remote sales team because I think that’s… it’s something that a lot of company start with, right?

Ali Mirza: Yep.

Chad Rogers: Especially when you’re dealing with a local market is you start out, you start externally and then you bring it in the house. Communication is key. So, again hearing them out like I said promoting my top sales guy to a manager. I’m not the best manager in the entire world, I’m good… I think we talked with this, I feel like I’m a good leader, I lead by example but I don’t give them… I don’t have the patience. So, promoting him the manager was the best thing that happened, that’s what sort of like the biggest spike in our sales. 20%, 30%, 40% in sales increase quarter after quarter after [00:43:38.27] [per annum] is he gave them the communication and not just the daily attention of all these sales people. But we’ve always been good at communicating, right? They communicate with project managers, they communicate with us and we talk daily. And honestly, it’s a weird feeling we almost feel like we’re in the same office. I’ll tell you this is… I know I don’t keep stroking your ego but tell me you like it.

Ali Mirza: No! No! No! Please! I mean, hey! More ego stroking the better. I’m happier that way.

Chad Rogers: Switching from weekly phone calls to video calls was a huge help too. Just being able to like it just provide a lot of camaraderie all the team. So, we have video calls on Mondays and Fridays now so that’s been a real big help on for us as well. We’ve always been good at communicating again adding the video calls, promoting some of the manager that actually gets the attention they deserve. Building a framework that allows for a lot of kind of communication within departments, they really do feel kind of they feel at home. Also, make sure they’re online unless they’re out taking meetings. They’re not aligned, they ain’t working.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: Right? And make them turn on the notification if they’re on their mobile or on their desktop.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Chad Rogers: That was a big thing first. But, I tell you what. I think it all starts with hiring obviously that’s in whole another conversation but hiring people like communicate. Hiring correctly and firing fast. I hired a really, really bad or really amazing. You would have actually loved this guy, you’d hire him as a heartbeat, this guy was a hot shot, you know fast talker or he was like me or you.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers:  Just like fast talker like really badass sales dude.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: And I was like, wow! He is going to be amazing.

Ali Mirza: Right,

Chad Rogers: He was a piece of shit like…

Ali Mirza: Why? Did he do something or just couldn’t [00:45:40.13] [Crosstalk] [go]?

Chad Rogers: No, he closed tons of sales, he was like killing it. He didn’t work, he didn’t provide our client, he didn’t exemplify. We got to fire bad actors, it doesn’t matter how good that they are in sales because at the end of the day he was toxic to the team, right? And he was a bad example; he’s a bad example for the entire team. And he wasn’t good enough to keep him going. He was still doing a lot of sales but I was like you know what? This guy, he wouldn’t throw up for sales call, right? He just… you know.

Ali Mirza: Oh! I’d… no, no, no.

Chad Rogers: Yep. Yeah. It doesn’t matter how good you are, right? Because you’re toxic to the team. And again got to cut those guys, goes.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: Right?

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: Because they’re not on our team, right? We have to row that we’re on the same row, rowing on the same direction.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: And I think that’s a big thing when you have these external guys.

Ali Mirza: When that was… that was the conversation that we’d had, right? And in trying to discover about this, this person we…. that your salesperson that we promoted because I asked you some really tough questions. Now, it was one of the examples I gave you was, you know what? There’s this function of when the Warriors traded away Monta Ellis, their best player, right? When the Pistons traded away Jerry Stackhouse, their best player. They got Rip Hamilton and bang! They turned into a championship team.

Chad Rogers: Yep!

Ali Mirza: Same thing with when they get rid of Monta Ellis, Steph Curry grows into who he now has become. And sometimes the people that are giving us the most points, the most sales, we don’t see it, right? But they’re actually regressing the rest of team.

Chad Rogers: Yep.

Ali Mirza: I mean, anyone can be the skinniest kid at fat camp when you’re making sure that everybody else is eating cake and getting fatter and fatter, right?

Chad Rogers: Yep!

Ali Mirza: And then that’s what this bad actors do, right? Is they make everybody else worst, they know just enough what to do to have the highest level of sales. But as soon as you get rid of them everyone else in sales start to come up and it’s the toughest decision to make as a founder. But I’m glad we went through that exercise to discover that your existing sales person was not that. And then, because there’s a whole bunch. It wasn’t just as simple as what’s going on let’s promote him, right? We went through… I put you through a quite the rigorous [00:47:57.16] [style].

Chad Rogers: Yep.

Ali Mirza: Well I’m glad you did this on your own with this fella and said “uh-uh” because that not showing up to sales calls, no excuse. I mean like do what you got to say, say what you going to do, it’s…

Chad Rogers: It is difficult though. It’s difficult to… you know you see that money coming in and you’re like they cut that, you know cut that revenue this guy is the star. And I was just, you know you just you have to. And honestly, I just thought about it; Q2 is when our revenue spiked. And it’s not… we’re not really in a seasonal industry. Q1 is typically a little slower but not that slow. And I fired him and I fired him in March and the team kind of rallied behind it, they were pumped, they were like “Get rid of them”.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Chad Rogers: So, they saw that we were committed to them, we were… our core team.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. I love it. I love it man. Hey, brother. I can’t thank you enough, you dropped some serious knowledge, I really love how it was. It was just, it was very practical and stuff that everyone could take away and be actionable with. I got a direct line to you and I can reach out to you anytime. How can our audience, our viewers, our listeners reach out to you if they have any other questions regarding sales teams, regarding video production, regarding anything. Or just regarding how 6’7″ guy can be a 160 pounds. How can they reach out to you?

Chad Rogers: You can reach us at Lemonlight.com or you can always email me chad@lemonlight.com, it’s really easy.

Ali Mirza: That’s C-H-A-D, spelt the Danish way, right?

Chad Rogers: Yes. That’s right sir.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. Alright, are you Danish or what?

Chad Rogers: You know, I just done my DNA test but I’m not surprised I’m 99.99% white bread. So…

Ali Mirza: There you go! A wonder bread. There we go. Love it!

Chad Rogers: Alright man.

Ali Mirza: Alright. Well, hey brother. Thank you so much for being on the show again. And hey, everyone listening please like, comment, share, subscribe. I don’t know whatever else you’re supposed please do it all. Thank you so much for tuning in and until next time. Take care!