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#WFH - Sales Pros - Do You Stand Still, Learn More, or Dominate Your Market?

April 14, 2020

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In this episode, Chris Beall and Corey Frank welcome co-author of Outbound Sales, No Fluff, and Sales Director, Ryan Reisert. In these uncertain times, sales pros are faced with waiting for the dust to settle, then try to regain their market or take this time to learn new skills and technologies.

There is a third option and that is to reframe conversations compassionately, patiently and gain control of your market. For a guide on how to come out of this restructured sales environment with everyone working from home, join Chris, Corey, and Ryan for your tips of the week. This episode is called #WFH Sales Pros - Wait, Learn, or Dominate Your Market.

 

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The complete transcript of this episode is below:

https://marketdominanceguys.com/e/wfh-sales-pros-do-you-stand-still-learn-more-or-dominate-your-market/

Corey Frank (00:37):

... somewhere in the Northwest is Chris Beall.

Oh, Chris. How are you? Good afternoon.

Chris Beall (00:42):

I'm doing great. Yeah. My undisclosed location is here in sort of Port Townsend, Washington where one more time, I'll look up the sky there and tell you that they say the blue hole lingers longer here and apparently, it does. It's pretty sunny in this place.

Corey Frank (00:58):

Well, that background does not look like Port Townsend so that is false advertising at its finest. And I have a feeling we're going to get a bait and switch here pretty soon when you get around with all of your spare time to putting up a new virtual background.

But today, maybe the point of that virtual background is to talk a little bit about all those people because if you look over your left and your right shoulder, I can see all those little commuters. And I can see all those little commuters taking the ferry and maybe driving in, maybe trying to find some parking, and maybe trying to fuddle with their face masks as they go up to the third floor and put the face mask back on as they go to the Starbucks. So there's a whole bunch of commuters that are used to driving to cities much like the one over your shoulder there. And I think it would be good and very timely to talk a little bit about some of the things that we've learned in this massive, massive economy that is forming from the non-commuter economy, the non-commuter economic forces. And I think we were talking a little bit about that before we hit record here. Let's just dive right into that, Chris, and see if we can maybe give them a little bit of hope as far as what the trends are with this new stay at home economy.

Chris Beall (02:13):

[inaudible 00:02:13] Downtown Seattle is pretty much office buildings and those office buildings right now are pretty much empty. Today is 14th of July 2020. A lot of people thought this whole COVID thing would be over by now. I think with record number of cases per day coming in where individual states like Florida are now number four in the world is... Were they countries? There's some kind of sobering up going on with regard to what's happening. One of the interesting things is that... I think we talked about it a little bit before. The big companies always lead the way on this sort of thing for a bunch of reasons. One, is they've got the best information. Two, is they've got the best lawyers and their lawyers advise them as to what's wise and what's safe to do. And three, they can often work the numbers better than the rest of us. And so what to us might be a small savings, to them can be quite material.

So the big companies in the Seattle area, I'm thinking of Microsoft and Amazon in particular, but there's a lot of others, have pretty much declared that work from home is going to be an option and maybe even permanently. I know at least one of them, their official principle is number one, safety, and number two, choice. And there was no time limit put on that. And in fact, that's one of the reasons I'm here in Port Townsend. It freed us up as a couple to move to where we would want to be together, having no concern whatsoever for the commute, just having a concern for the quality of life and having to have good internet, right? That's our new highway that we commute on. But you can drive through Seattle right now at what would have been rush hour and there's no rush hour anymore. And I think it's going to stay that way for a while.

And I decided... Why don't I just go ahead and I'm going to share my screen here. And Susan Finch gave us some... She did a great job on this, and it was really quite something. I had a boring spreadsheet that I put up on LinkedIn, and it actually had a pretty good sized error in it. But even when you correct the error, you still get numbers that are so big they're kind of mind-blowing.

So hey, Corey. So let's take a look here at what it really costs to commute, or what it used to cost to commute for everybody, and then how much we're saving. So there's 48 million knowledge workers roughly in America and they commute by car about 26 minutes each way. So that's 0.87 hours of car time commuting. Anybody who's lived near a big city and commutes and knows that this is an understatement, but let's just take it as the number. And so it's a little bit low, but we'll accept it. That's almost 200 hours. It's almost 10 billion hours of commuting. 9.568 billion hours spent. And I will say boldly, wasted commuting.

And that multiplied by the $50 an hour that most knowledge workers are paid, which clearly is less than their worth, right? Nobody ever gets paid at their worth. That's $505 billion of labor that's being wasted commuting. And then if you throw in the car and just take the government's number, the federal government's mileage reimbursement rate of 57 and a half cents per mile, and you take the number of miles committed, 29 per day, it's about 7,000 miles a year. That's $194 billion of commute costs, which I'll call pure waste, totalling at 731 billion. In the economy, that's considered to be a positive, right? Somebody spent all that money for gas and they spent all that money for wear and tear on their car and for tires and this and that.

Well, then it must have been worth it to them, but it's not worth it to anymore if you don't have to commute. And then I thought I'd throw in a little something here for knowledge workers with children. This is really an illustration. It's not a huge number, but it's a big enough number and knowledge workers with children and you say 40% have them and you've got to have some childcare costs at eight bucks an hour. That alone is $33 billion. So the direct commute costs just for the knowledge workers, which I will call pure waste.

Oh, that adds another 32 billion plus dollars. And you get about $731 billion of waste. And then look at the rest of the workforce, there's 62 million people approximately commuting in the rest of the workforce. They're going to be kind of $35 an hour labor. And that's it, an awful lot of commute hours per day. That's 53 million, almost 54 million commute hours. And so say they got a 25% improvement from all those knowledge workers being off the freeways and off the streets and out of the parking, now you're down to a pretty big number again, a $114 billion additional savings. In total, it comes up to about $846 billion.

Corey Frank (07:03):

So if COVID's been going on, one of the bright aspects of COVID from an economic perspective is certainly that it has forced these numbers to the top. And the only people that perhaps are a little bit bitter are the parking lots and parking attendant, parking meter, and oil change workers of America here. But these are real dollars that can go back into the economy, go back into the environment, go back into industry, go back into better tool sets, better technologies to enable workers to perform probably at a higher rate, at a higher productivity rate than they did even before they jumped into the steel coffin every day.

Chris Beall (07:49):

Yeah, exactly. Getting in that 3000 pounds of steel to move your three pound brain to get it closer to somebody else's three pound brain. After there are 3000 pounds of steel moved to somewhere is a little bit weird when you think about it, right? As a way of getting things done. You and I didn't have to move any steel at all in order to have this conversation here today, and nobody who's listening to us had to do it either. It shows that you can exchange information and get work done. It also shows something else that's interesting or it predicts something else. I'll predict it anyway. I don't know if it does, but I'll just go ahead and predict it. And that's this, that money is primarily going to end up flowing into local communities, into neighborhoods, because if you're not commuting to a distant place, well, by definition, you're staying in a nearby place and you'll still be buying stuff.

So the notion that you're buying more good stuff that's of value because a big chunk of it involves your car and 26 minutes each direction really doesn't make any sense. It doesn't hold water. If you've got extra time, you're to be using that time locally if you don't have to commute. And that means we'll have a flourishing of local businesses. And I think this whole question of what's happening with restaurants and bars and all that kind of stuff and hair salons and so forth is you're going to see just more of them doing better in local neighborhoods and more people walking to dinner, maybe not always eating at home like we do here, but walking to dinner or walking over to have a drink or walking over to get their hair or their claws done or whatever it is that they want to have done. Maybe even walking to get groceries like I used to do in Reno. So I think it really ends up being a flowering of neighborhoods that comes out of this.

Corey Frank (09:38):

So getting those three pound brains more collectively, more localized, it's big money, it's big business.

Chris Beall (09:44):

It is and it's big economy. Yesterday, we've been here in Port Townsend, living out in Cape George for two weeks and three days, and yesterday, our neighbor brought over... We just met our neighbor day before, brought over two big wonderful Dungeness crabs, all cooked up and ready to eat. Now there's economic value on that. And the fact is if we were commuting, if either my fiance or myself were commuting or on a plane right now, or doing any of those things, there'd be nobody to bring those crabs to, and that economic value of those two big Dungeness crabs, which by the way, they're pretty delicious when they came out of the water about, I don't know, 45 minutes ago, and somebody cooked them up and brought them over to your house.

That's real economy too. And I think we have forgotten a lot of the facts of economy. It's about what are called satisfying services. It's about what works for people, not just about how much money to spend for it. So there's an assumption that it's all about transacting, but sometimes it's just about doing things for each other. And people do that more when they're around each other as neighbors than they're likely to do with the more or less strangers that are at the other end of their commute.

Corey Frank (10:54):

So I'd imagine that there's another reciprocal effect in temperament, if not blood pressure alone.

Chris Beall (11:00):

Yeah. Last time I was in San Francisco, this was pre-COVID, it was an hour and 42 minutes to get from Downtown out to a freeway. After that, fortunately, I only had an hour and 16 minutes home, so it wasn't too bad in that three hour commute. And that mental health thing I think is really important too, and it does come down to dollars and cents at the end. I know somebody, a member of the family works as a clinical psychologist with kids with behavior problems. And he says his caseload has dropped by more than half because kids are home with their parents and what the parents have learned to deal with the kids to help them out, to help their behavior, can actually be applied because the parents are there. Now think of what we spend overall on mental health and what helping kids with behavioral issues earlier in their life could do, 50% maybe of an overly large number. This is just one therapist experience, but 10% would be a pretty big number in terms of economic impact and improved mental health for the nation's children.

Chris Beall (12:57):

There is a contrarian view to all this, which is folks like to be in the office because they like to talk to people in the office. I think that's true of some people. My guess is those are the people that are actually not there anymore when you're working from home so that you can have this productivity gain of 47% as measured by Prodoscore. So Prodoscore is an amazing company, have an amazing product that actually measures productivity at the desktop level. Some people would say, "Well, clicks and sending emails and doing this and doing that, that's not a real measure of productivity." And they're thinking in the micro sense.

But if you have a measurement of everybody on your team before and after the day they went to work from home and you knew how much they did, how much did they read, how many emails did they send, how many spreadsheets did they work on and how much did they do with and all that kind of stuff, before and after is always meaningful when it comes to productivity. While you can quibble over an individual and say, "Oh, that's just busy work." That tends to be by the way, people like me, who don't work very hard and go all, "Yeah, I'm so brilliant that I can just sit around and produce value by getting on podcasts or something like that." In reality, before and after means a lot and Prodoscore measured before and after work from home to the day and found this surprising number. Productivity gain, obviously for knowledge workers are 47%.

Primarily, this is speculative because those people are not dealing with what I call Social Sam. Sam's a nice gender neutral name for that person who comes over to your desk four or five or six times a day and just has one little question or one little tidbit to share with you. So they turn your desk into their water cooler. And 47%'s a big number. When you do the numbers here, they get really big really fast. So yeah, Social Sam hates it when they don't get to go to the office. They prefer a shorter commute. They sure want to have other people there to chat with. Now they don't. So say those people that they want to chat with, knowledge workers, generate or are associated with average revenue of $200,000 per year per employee. Again, we got the same 48 million of them. And that means that there is increased revenue potential just from that 47% increase in productivity of $4.5 trillion. Those are trillions there. I didn't get that wrong. Someday, I'll tell you what a trillion dollars is in hundred dollar bills stacked up.

I guarantee you, it goes well past the orbit of the moon. It's a big, big number. And so if you consider that the average gross margin of companies that employ knowledge workers is about 47% itself, that's kind of funny, isn't it? But productivity gain and average gross margin's rate is about the same. So you multiply 4.512 trillion times 47% and you get $2.12 trillion of profit dropping into those companies from the productivity gains from these workers. Now, how are they going to harvest that profit? The way you always harvest profit, you harvest it in the form of growth, you do more, you do better or in the form of cost savings. And if there are cost savings, we know that always produces dislocations and dislocations produce economic pain for individuals that have got to be managed by something. Governments tend to manage them by kind of pumping money into the economy.

But at the end of the day, productivity is a good thing for the economy. And it's a good thing for the companies that execute in it. So now I add up the commute savings to that 2.12 plus trillion dollars of productivity gains. And you have yourself just under $3 trillion of total impact from work from home. And if you compare it to various other things, well, it's a lot bigger than the stimulus of 2008 by a big margin. It's almost as much as the total outstanding debt of US companies. It's more than the college loan debt. It's some pretty big numbers here, but we come right down to it, this is the big kind of surprising number is we stopped commuting and we're more productive on a per hour basis by the way. Now, some people will say, "Well, we're working longer hours, wearing ourselves out."

That's not what this is. This is productivity gain on a per hour basis. That's what Prodoscore is actually measuring. And I know anecdotally a lot of people I talk to say, "Yeah, it is kind of weird. I'm getting more done." And I think they're getting more done because we all know it takes what us, the number 26 minutes to go back to doing what you were doing when you get interrupted. Of 10% of the workforce goes around interrupting people and they do it several times a day, that's a lot of interruption. That's a lot of 26 minutes to get back online, get back on track. So anyway, I just thought I'd share that with everybody. You can quibble with the individual numbers, but I think directionally and magnitude-wise, we're talking about the biggest injection of value into the economy.

Yes, in some interesting ways, cost savings, on one side, productivity and another with the profits driven productivity. But the biggest one you and I have seen in our lifetime and fast is already happening. That's what I want to emphasize. This is not a tomorrow only kind of thing. And one more thing is interesting is people are saying, "Yeah, but," and the yeah but is, "Yeah, but we're stuck at home and it's terrible." Well, that's the COVID related disease management and proper risk management assessment, I guess I'll call them diseases, not what's happening at that point. It's a risk. It's the management or mitigation of risk of disease. That's gone someday. We don't know when but it's gone someday. When it's gone, this commute economy, the lack of commuting and the work from home will still be around because the big companies have spoken and everybody has to compete with the big companies for talent and now talent can work from anywhere. And I'll make one final prediction.

There is a lot of concern about social and economic justice nowadays. There's been a lot of concern for quite a while about wage disparities. How much do people make doing different things in different places? The fact of the matter is it's got to be good for all of those kinds of issues with talent anywhere can work anywhere because that kind of liquidity simply makes more opportunity for people who are talented and hardworking and want to get the job done whatever the job happens to be. They don't only have to be limited to the jobs that are right in their area. Now mind you, there has to be improvements in many places in terms of infrastructure, access to internet, so forth, but it's a lot easier to improve access to internet than pick families up and move them across the country to places that they're not familiar with, that maybe they won't feel very comfortable at.

Corey Frank (19:59):

That's great point. I'm sure we're going to hear over the coming months of who does this? We've had the man cave. People would put up man cave kind of porn about the beautiful flat screen and the jerseys and the fridge. Imagine we're going to have the same type of thing with a kind of the office cave, the ideal office scenario, a social collaboration amongst what's the best chair and the best height and raised desk, let alone productivity tools. Because yeah, I can imagine especially those that are in deeply collaborative positions where they're on Zoom calls or conference calls much of the day where previously, they had conference room sessions or whiteboard sessions. Those are the ones that are going to maybe struggle the most from a collaborative type of work environment. And it's going to be clear that there's going to have to be some new breakthroughs and some sharing of best practices when it comes to making those as comfortable and as creative as possible.

Chris Beall (20:55):

You know what's funny about work from home having done it for a long time is, and you know I'm not a fan of regular meetings, right? Holding weekly meetings, they tend to proliferate. They tend to attract parasites. And so I don't think they're great. It's easy to get away or to dispose of some of those regular meetings when they don't have the ritual of the office around them. And to let people pull information when they need it. It's one of the principles that our company runs on is if you need to know something and you don't have that information, you need to know it from somebody else in the company, they don't owe it to you. You owe it to yourself to go get it from them. And so there are short interactions that are easily scheduled when you send a request to somebody for something, and they're working from home and they're in say a Zoom meeting.

Well, when they finish that meeting, they can take a minute or so and satisfy your request for information and they may do that with a phone call. Don't underestimate the power of the human voice, not just with those invisible strangers, but with your invisible or visible, that's what we do with Zoom, friends, the people you work with. It's amazing how much information you can get to move around with voice. And if you don't pack the day with meetings, people have time to get some of those interactions to happen. Think of it as kind of like the oil in an engine, a little bit of room around the meetings lets this cooling and friction reducing oil in the form of conversations flow, and people will figure out how to talk to each other. And you want to get de-siloed. I'll tell you when everybody is working remotely, the silos kind of go away and people start talking to each other more, which is a wonderful thing. In a physical office, it's very hard to avoid physical silo.

Corey Frank (22:41):

Right. I love it. This is fantastic stuff, Chris. Even with these numbers, I got to check myself on the number of zeros here, because this is massive. And even if I'm an average sized 10 to $25 million company with 50 inside sales reps and 10 field reps selling B2B, this is a brand new way to think of an increase. And my bottom line and my top line for doing something that most folks want to do naturally anyway, which is just being more productive. I think one of our first episodes, we talked about the need to have people feel like they're accomplishing more and to feel like they're really doing a good job and it's inherent, no biophysiology to feel that way. And too often, I think a lot of the encumbrances that we've placed on the work from an office environment burdens us to feeling our best sometimes because of all the things that don't really matter, the political, the manifestations of org charts, and promotions and elbowing and all that other stuff. And this certainly just allows me to feel good about my productivity in a different way. Doesn't it?

Chris Beall (23:54):

It does. It does. Deming said that we work for pride of workmanship and the ability to get more done that's meaningful to us without interruption or unnecessary interruption, I think just helps our professional mental well-being and helps us personally. There's another thing too, which is there's a lot of evidence that says hey, being outdoors, being in greenery, so to speak. I'm looking out here right now and all the trees that surround this place that I'm living now. Over that direction somewhere, there's a rocky beach that I can walk down to. There's nothing to keep me from taking my phone, plugging in an AirPod or two into my ears. And having some meetings yesterday, I had two and a half hours of conversations with people while trotting around barefoot. And is that good for my mental and physical health? You bet. I'm not exactly a young buck. I'm 65 and change years old. And for me to get a couple hours of exercise and while talking to people is a great thing. And that is very, very hard to do at the office.

Corey Frank (24:54):

Well, I think we're going to leave it there for this episode. This was a heavy one, lot of numbers, lot at stake, and certainly a lot to consider as we move forward with hopefully an end to COVID in sight. Regrettably, the cost has been extraordinarily high. What you're doing here, Chris, and certainly with what the ConnectAndSell team continues to do is kind of look for that axle grease to at least help them make the best of a real tough situation for folks. So great stuff as always. With that, that ends this week's episode of the Market Dominance Guys for Chris Beall. This is Corey Frank from Uncommon Pro wishing you a great and successful week.