On Mentorship

Hey, good morning 🙂

So, today’s blog post is going to be along the lines of the last few I’ve published…

However, instead of talking about a specific thing to optimize…

I’m going to talk about the broader theme of mentorship.

You see, in the context of the new offer I have…

Which is rapidly scaling to several hundred sales a day…

I’ve realized that one of my roles is to provide mentorship to my partner, Cody.

Now, when I say mentorship…

I don’t use the word with any sense of superiority…

Because that’s not what it’s about.

Cody and I are extremely good friends, and we’re also peers…

And there are plenty of things that he is WAY better than me at – including numbers, spreadsheets, processes, etc.

So, the first thing you should know about mentorship…

Is that true mentorship doesn’t have any power dynamic.

Instead…

Mentorship is about finding the right Sherpas…

Those individuals who, for a specific domain…

Have already been where you want to go.

In the case of scaling offers…

I happen to be Cody’s Sherpa…

Because while he’s flirted with 8 figures before…

I’ve taken offers to 9 figures…

And there are just a lot of things that happen between $10MM and $100MM…

That, unless you’ve experienced them before…

You simply aren’t going to be prepared for.

Here are just a few examples that are specific to our current situation:

1. Call Centers

So currently Cody isn’t using my call center for inbound.

Why?

Well, honestly he tried testing us vs. his call center two years ago…

And, at the time we weren’t very dialed in…

So he saw no reason to make the switch.

Of course, I was frustrated that my call center wasn’t better back then…

But ultimately, I wanted what was best for my friend…

So I didn’t fight when he stuck with his current provider.

And overall, his call center has done a fine job in the time since.

But now, things are a little different.

After we started scaling our offer…

It occurred to me that Cody’s call center was probably super overwhelmed.

Why?

Think about it…

For the last two years, they’ve been more or less used to the same call volume each day…

Then suddenly, there’s a brand-new product they don’t know a whole lot about…

And it’s doing 3x the volume of all of Cody’s other products combined.

Can you see how that might be a problem for his call center?

They don’t have the agents to handle the calls…

Or the product knowledge…

And most importantly, they were probably caught completely off guard.

So I realized there was just no way they were prepared for the volume here…

And pointed this out to Cody and Jeff (who we just hired to help with operations).

Jeff immediately started doing “test calls” to the call center…

And sure enough…

On average he gets put on hold for 3-4 minutes…

Then sent to voicemail.

So, why does that matter?

Well, because when customers can’t get a hold of you…

Then they can’t buy your product…

Or get answers about your product if they already bought…

That’s when chargebacks and refunds occur.

Now, we’re going to be able to fix this…

By cracking the whip at his call center to hire and train new agents…

Then watching them like a hawk.

Plus, we may use my call center for overflow too (I have a conflict of interest on this though, so trying to leave that decision to our operations director).

But, my big point is…

If I didn’t have previous experience with call centers not being able to handle scale in the past…

Or if I hadn’t seen this happen for other clients at my own call center previously, before we figured out how to handle these sorts of things…

I probably wouldn’t have brought it up.

And the problem may have continued on for months.

Leading to big spikes in chargebacks, refunds, and unhappy customers…

While we sat around scratching our heads or saying, “oh I guess it’s the offer!”

So, that’s one example…

But there are so many others.

Take the profit margin, for example…

Right now, our profit margin on this offer is 10%…

Which isn’t good…

So we’re going to fix it.

And, I know how to fix it.

It’s what I’ve written about in my last few blog posts to you.

Here’s the thing, though…

I know lots of people who scale similar types of offers…

Get to a 10% profit margin…

Then don’t know if that’s good or not…

And they run the offer for a whole year or even two years…

Thinking they are killing it…

When really, they could have made 3x to 4x as much as they did.

I made that mistake with my own health supplement company for the first two years…

And I still kick myself to this day for not realizing how much profit I was leaving on the table during that time.

I can’t do anything about the past, though…

But I can do something about the present.

Which is why I’ve been cracking the whip about getting our new upsells live…

Because those are going to increase our margins significantly.

[P.S. They were supposed to go live on Monday but didn’t, but they are going live today, thank God.]

Or, to take yet another example…

There’s inventory management.

You generally only have a limited amount of inventory, right?

Well, when you start scaling really fast…

What generally happens is that first, you’re just thrilled and excited.

You keep thinking, “oh sh*t I’m gonna be rich”…

Then suddenly, it strikes you…

With the number of sales you’re doing…

You’re gonna run out of inventory super fast!

So you call your manufacturer and you say, “hey we need more inventory NOW”…

And they tell you, “okay well we can get on it, but it’ll probably take 4-8 weeks.”

Suddenly you’re in a crunch.

You just got momentum…

But now, you’re realizing that in a matter of a few days…

Or maybe a few weeks…

You’re going to need to pause everything…

And kill your momentum until more inventory arrives.

Pausing is the enemy of scaling.

And once you kill your momentum it’s a huge pain to get it back…

Yet this happens to offer owners again-and-again.

Fortunately for us, though…

Me and Jeff (operations) recognized this issue early enough…

So we were able to figure out an inventory solution that enables us to keep running at volume without having to stop.

It’s kind of a complex solution, but it’ll work…

And there’s no way we would have pulled it off if it wasn’t for our experience.

Honestly, I could keep going here…

There’s managing merchant processing – I lost $2MM in profit two years ago when a MID shut down, I’ll tell you that story sometime…

Managing compliance – We need to consistently revise our claims to be less aggressive, while not sacrificing conversions…

Implementing analytics – it’s shocking how much better your business is when you really know your data…

Tech – load times, QA’ing, A/Bs, deployment, CRM selection, etc…

Plus, all of the stuff I’ve already been mentioning in my previous blog posts.

The point is, though…

That in the context of this offer…

I’m very thankful that I have the experience that I do…

Because it’s going to help us avoid a TON of pitfalls that otherwise would have been brutal.

In this specific context…

I get to act as a mentor to Cody…

And that’s something I’m really honored to do.

Remember, mentorship goes both ways…

Right now I’m considering joining a startup company in an advisory position (with equity)…

And this is something I truly believe will have a billion-dollar valuation in the next 5 years…

At least if we can execute.

I know that I can help get the company to $100MM…

But, if I do accept an advisory role…

Guess what one of the first things I’m going to do is?

I’m going to find a mentor who has taken a company from 9 figures to 10.

Fortunately, I have a few people in my network who have made that happen…

So that helps.

But, the point is…

I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know.

And I’m keenly aware that surest way to reach new heights…

Is to follow the guidance of someone who has already been where you want to go.

Okay, that’s it for today.

I got a pretty full and exciting day…

And feeling really grateful for all of the awesome opportunities that are in my life.

– SPG

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link.

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