Many of us grew up being taught “the customer is always right.” Dave and Jimmy explore this theory (spoiler alert: the customer isn’t always right). They provide details on when the customer may actually be wrong and give examples on when you may want to consider firing your customer – yes, you can fire your customers. There is a price to your team’s happiness, and you can lose employees over bad customers. It’s going to cost you more than your customer’s worth in many cases.
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Dave Webb: 00:03 "I'm Dave Webb and you're listening to RecruiterCast." Jimmy Hurff: 00:09 "The idea of business isn't based exclusively on or foundationally on whether or not we went out for a nice dinner together as a sale business development person and a buying decision-maker. It's based on whether or not you can deliver as a solution provider service provider on what the business needs, what their buying manager needs." Dave Webb: 00:33 "That's Jimmy Hurff co-founder of BrightMove and one of my oldest friends, and Jimmy is here to tell it like it is. How do we achieve our business goals? Do we really have to take potential clients out to an expensive dinner to land their business, and is wining and dining an absolute in today's job landscape or is reputation and delivery of results enough? Where do you draw the line between trying to win business and being taken advantage of? We're also going to talk about how to deal with jerks. I'm pretty sure everyone out there listening needs a little bit of help with this. I know I sure do. It's one of those things that you constantly have to practice to stay good at it. Jimmy and I will weigh in on what's the price of dealing with a customer with a bad attitude. Is it worth the money that you're receiving from that customer? Probably the most important thing is, what is the cost of that customer with your team at work and their unhappiness or how that customer's actions bleed over past work into your family life and into your personal happiness. Is it all worth it? Here's Jimmy again. Jimmy Hurff: 01:33 "To be consistently sort of dumped on because of a toxic relationship and when we made that decision to cancel the contract and move on, they saw, our team saw that as a reinforcement and an endorsement of them, and I think it helped even develop more allegiance to our company because of that. It was a win-win. We never missed the revenue; we never missed the customers work. We never missed anything on the production side of it, and all we saw was just a pain in the butt no longer being a pain in the butt." Dave Webb: 02:06 "I'm Dave Webb, CEO, and co-founder of BrightMove. For over 25 years, my job has been to learn all of the ins and outs of the recruiting industry and then write the software that makes it all happen. I know who to talk to and what to ask them. We have the information that you cannot get anywhere else so get ready to learn the secrets that will give you an advantage as a recruiter, job seeker or business owner. It's time for RecruiterCast. Advertisement: 02:34 "RecruiterCast is brought to you by BrightMove, the most innovative applicant tracking system built with a recruiter and candidate in mind. Learn more at brightmove.com." . Dave Webb: 02:45* "Jimmy, could you tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you're from? What industries do you have experience in, and what makes you exceptionally qualified to talk about bullies and jerks and dealing with them?" Jimmy Hurff: 02:56 "Hey Dave, good to talk with you, man. I am Jimmy Hurff and I'm in the Dallas Fort Worth area. That's where I live, technologist by craft. I've been in the technology space, dating back into the early nineties as you know. You and I've worked together since the early 90's in the technology space. Also, I've been a kind of a serial entrepreneur dating back to those days, started out my career working in a startup for an entrepreneur and have participated in several startups over the last 20 + years. Currently, I'm engaged in some projects around big data and you know, advanced analytics and the technology to support those kinds of use cases but have owned businesses in the staffing and staffing software space, very familiar with the recruiting industry, and I look forward to talking to you today." Dave Webb: 03:48 "You know, as a business owner and as business owners, you and I have gone through a lot of this together. So, you know, two minds are usually better than one. So I was recalling some of these things together. I imagine we're going to have some different perspectives and some similar perspectives and maybe we can paint a whole complete picture for someone and maybe save them some of the headaches. After all, that is the goal of this episode. There's a lot that you might not know if you're thinking of starting your own business or if you're just thinking of maybe incorporating to be a contractor for a 10.99 or a Corp to Corp arrangement, the staffing company or just kind of doing, what's the word, freelance, freelance work. Here's what we can both tell you as a business owner, the one thing that you can't get more of in any given day is time. It is really your most valuable asset. You're going to have to figure out what you spend your time on and what you delegate to other people quickly to stay successful in your new startup. And there're lots of things vying for your time. Now, some of those are direct attacks and sometimes they are kind of disguised as helpful things, but they really are time sucks is what we call them. So, you know, Jimmy, tell us a little bit about what is your daily routine look like as a business owner and what are some of the high-level tools and techniques that you've really focused on and honed in order to stay focused on what you're doing and to prioritize your day?" Jimmy Hurff: 05:16 "You nailed it earlier. I mean, I think there are a lot of tools and business owners that can distract you and pull you in different directions and you know the one thing that we're all bound by, no matter how much money you make or how big your organization is, there's a finite amount of time in the day. And I think there are a lot of actual even biblical references here. But like there's, I've already said it before, there's no greater sin than to do that with great precision that which should have never been done in the first place. And so being very intentional around where you spend your time, what you spend your time on, is something that I think entrepreneurs, I think that especially the ones, not just entrepreneurs, but people that are successful in their professional careers in general, that they become good at managing those resources, their time, resources specifically and then figuring out what are the things that I have to do, right. I've said this to you, Dave. I've said this to teammates and colleagues and folks that work on my team. I've had managers and mentors say this to me, it's 'I can do anything but I can't do everything'. And so what are the things that I’m uniquely qualified to do, and as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, then you're going to have to make those decisions almost daily, and so in the mornings for me personally, as I start to emerge from the bed and sleep, I start out with, usually I have a cup of coffee and I start to think through what my day looks like. And I almost immediately begin to prioritize what are the things that I need to handle today. What do I have to do and what are the things that I can start to delegate, try to get those in place for others to take up and bear the burden of. But that's not just a daily thing, it's something you have to kind of build into your routine for not only today, but for next week, and for next month and even for next year. So, really thinking intentionally around how you're spending your time. Are you spending it on the right things? And, if it isn't the right thing, who should it be delegated to, right? I think we're going to run around a lot of times and really try to distill down is it important? Is it urgent? Is it both? If it's not important and urgent, it's probably not going to get the attention that it needs right now. So, time management is sort of a critical skill that needs to be, I think evolved and matured in order to be successful in entrepreneur and in business ownership." Dave Webb: 07:45 "As I was listening to you so many things ran through my head. I know I've learned a lot of time management stuff just from being an associate of yours and friend and co-worker. Time-boxing is important. Setting as-,once you get that organization in place that Jimmy just talked about, say I'm going to check emails in the morning from 9 to 9:30 and then I'm going to check them again from 12 to 12:30 and then 4:30 to 5. And make sure that you don't just get that constant distraction throughout the day, taking you away from what you're trying to do. Another thing that Jimmy taught me, and I know he probably read it somewhere. He's not smart enough to come up with this all by himself, but said, if you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. I heard that from him a week ago and it's probably popped into my head two or three times since then as I was making decisions about what to do with my time. I think it's taken for granted and I know as a business owner, no one ever comes to you and says, you know, Dave, I have this really low priority thing that I like to ask you about right now. It's usually quite the opposite of that. Everything's on fire. Everything needs to be fixed right away. Somebody's mad and we're going to go out of business if we don't stop everything we're doing, and then what you end up with is a wake of undone tasks. I'll ask Jimmy to talk a bit about what this is, but if we're writing software, we call it technical debt. If you're just living your life or running a business, we might call it process debt. Talk a little bit about how do you place a value on things that are undone or not done well?" Jimmy Hurff: 09:09 "Yeah, no, it's, I live into that every day. You're right, there's this residue that the tasks that's not completed that leaves behind and it's a debt or an inertia sucker right. When you've got that, and maybe it's even, it could be actually slowing you down or it might just be subconsciously slowing you down. You get distracted thinking about that one thing that you wish you had completed. I personally, I feel a sense of accomplishment in checking things off the done list, moving them from a to-do queue to an in-progress queue and the reward of getting it all the way to a completed state. Over the last 20 or so years, I've been kind of consistently looking for that sort of utopia in my professional work and I've dabbled in different process-improvement sort of strategies. For example, I'm an agile practitioner and I believe in the benefits of things like a scrum and Kanban methodologies to get work done and use effectively communicating. But I personally get a lot of, I feel rewarded when I get things completed. And so, people tease me sometimes but I actually have a notebook where in the mornings, I have a 'these are the things I'm going to do today.' These are the things that I completed yesterday. Here are the things that I didn't complete and these are the impediments that prevented me from completing them. I try to track my time throughout the day as I progress on whatever the tasks or initiatives are. And I use that tool. It actually, it's funny, it sits right on my desk and I look at it throughout the day and it sort of helps me stay focused because it's human nature to sort of gravitate to that which is your preference or what you're comfortable with. And so, sometimes just seeing my, these are the commitments that I made to myself this morning that I was going to do today, when I see those late in the day, I've only knocked off two or three of the items and I still have 10 or 12 left, It reminds me to go back and try to knock him off. I don't know maybe it's a little bit strange for somebody to hear this, but I feel good at the end of the day walking out with all my items crossed off on the list. I guess the debt side of it is, or the overhead side is the next day. If you come into a list of uncompleted things from yesterday, I mean your whole day can get knocked off before you've even begun. So, the idea that those uncompleted tasks or uncompleted integration points or whatever you want to talk about, they certainly can slow you down and hold you back." Dave Webb: 12:00 "I think that's a great introduction to just general time management and task management. I haven't gotten any sponsor checks for many authors yet. So, on this amazing podcast, we're not going to endorse any business self-help, self-improvement books. But I can tell you that Jimmy and I have both read a lot. I'm kidding about that. We could probably recommend more books than most people could read because we've been reading them for 20 years. But I would say find someone who you work with or someone you know that you trust, you see them having peace of mind and they manage their time well and just ask them what they do. Buy him a cup of coffee and see what works for them and then see what works for you. But there are plenty of books out there. Our first topic, these distractions that, that kind of happen when you're a business owner. I'll start off with an example because it just happened to me in the last 24 hours. Last week, I was cleaning up some banking. I had couple of checking accounts at two different banks and I just needed to go ahead and get rid of the one that I wasn't using anymore. I'd tried the new one, it was working great. I go to the bank, I closed my account and I say, "You tell me how much money's left, give me a check and we'll shake hands and everything's cool." And we did that. And I got a bill from that bank in the mail yesterday for $61 and I was like, hmm, that's funny. I closed this account. Long story short, a bank charge hit after I closed the account and then they gave me an overdraft fee on top of that for charging my account that I closed with them. Probably computer banking is a whole different episode. But that took 30 minutes this morning like I had to do it. There was nothing I could do about it. Some other example of bank time distractions that I can think of is that you spend an hour researching something you want to buy and then you put your card in, it's like, yeah, fraud protection just kicked in. We'll call you on Monday and I'm like trying to get work done on a Saturday. So, there are all these things that you have to do as a business owner. You have to have a bank account, you have to have a phone, you have to have email, you have to talk to investors. Jimmy, maybe you got a story you can share. Maybe it's one that you could have avoided; maybe it's one that you couldn't have avoided. Talk about some of these distractions you've experienced, and as a business owner, you have to place a value or in this case, a cost to those distractions, and how do you do that and keep those from pulling you away from your goals?" Jimmy Hurff: 14:24 "I don't know if I've got a silver bullet there. I would say in terms of time management or like being on the lookout for time sucks like things that are going to take you away from your objectives are for the day or for the week, for the month or whatever. One of the things, Dave that I know you and I've talked about many times is 1- we know hindsight's always 2020 right? I mean we always had, once you have the perspective of a situation unfolding or taking place, then all of a sudden yeah, you look back. “I should have seen that". And I think one of the most frustrating things for me as, especially earlier in my sort of entrepreneurial career or business ownership sort of spec time was that if I had some sort of gut feel or I would you use the term spidey-senses? If my spidey-senses were tingling about something and I didn't actually listen to myself or listen to you, Dave, or listen to my colleagues who are pointing out, "hey, this seems fishy or this seems like it's going to be a a problem". When you look back, hindsight is 2020 but if you, if you kind of had some anticipation, or maybe an issue and you don't execute on that or do something about that, it's frustrating. And I guess one of the things that I would say to business owners, you can't be so reactionary all the time, but if your spidey-senses are tangling or if your gut is telling you like this is going to be a problem or this is starting to blow up a little bit, I would propose, I would suggest that you look to try to resource solving that somehow, and maybe that is you jumping in and working on it or maybe that's delegating. This is kind of back to the time management thing. Am I the only one who can solve it? And like your example about the banking situation, you probably were the only one that could solve it. I mean, you were the owner of the account and you just had to solve it and you maybe didn't know that it was going to hit you, but you had to deal with it. I guess in other situations, that to me, that's where I've been the most frustrated is when I had some perception that something could be solved more simply and I didn't listen to myself on it. I don't know if that's exactly what you're going for, but I do think that as especially as we go through our day in and day out experiences and running businesses and managing teams and delivering solutions to customers, you learn a lot along the way and you've got to use those wisdoms that you pick up to make better decisions in the future." Advertisement: 16:58 "RecruiterCast is brought to you by BrightMove, the most innovative applicant tracking system built with the recruiter and candidate in mind. Be sure to check out BrightMove on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @BrightMove. Visit us on the web at brightmove.com." Dave Webb: 17:16 We have some mutual friends that have started companies recently and I know that they were asking us for advice and one gentleman in particular that I'm thinking of, I kind of said, "hey, you do nothing for the first year except for find business, deliver on those promises and collect your money. If you do those three things, you have a chance. And I remember a couple of weeks in, he called me, he's all excited. He's like, "Dave man, I got a meeting over here with this factoring company". I'm like, "(name beeped out) you don't have anything to factor". I guess we'll have to beep his name out now. But, ahh, (laughs) it’s a pretty common name. No one knows which (name beeped out) I'm talking about. I said, (name beeped out), you don't have anything to factor. You have to have accounts receivable for factories. He's like "yeah, they're going to". Like this is a distraction. Let me step back. When you start a business, you set up a legal entity in most cases. And when you do that, you get put into a registry usually with your state and your fine government at the state level sells your information, no surprise there. You're going to start getting all these emails and things in the mail. You're going to get the Amex and PayPal. They're going to want to fund your business and it's all going to sound great because you're in the prime, not going to have very much money. You haven't made any sales yet, and they're giving you money and this is all just a big trap. If you don't have it to spend, don't spend it. Don't spend a lot of time going around town, meeting with people, trying to give you something, leveraging business that you haven't accomplished yet. All that's to say is that being a business owner is an exciting time. Staying focused is really important. You're going to get lots of offers. You're going to get people wanting meetings. People are going to want to be the first one to kind of get into your network to do the things that you'll probably need down the road two to three years. Those are some direct ones that aren't really, what's the word? They look like business operations, but they're not necessary to your point that you opened with. Can you think of one that we've gone through that you'd like to just illustrate and talk about what the odds are?" Jimmy Hurff: 19:19 "Nothing's free, right. If it's too good to be true, it probably is, talking about out wining and dining potential customers. That's a great way to spend a lot of money and a lot of time is around going out and trying to develop a relationship, creating some element of a rapport with a potential customer and taking them out for (laughs) for meetings and you dinner and all those kinds of things. They're really enjoying that. If the atmosphere that you're able to create as a business owner and the time that you're able to invest as a business owner, you can afford to do that and then you see something that converts into business opportunities, and I'm not talking about, unethical things. I'm not talking about buying business from people with gifts and dinners and things like that. I'm talking about if it creates an environment that's conducive to transacting business selling whatever the widget is that you want to make or sell or whatever, then do it. But you have to be aware of the fact that on the other side, the potential client, they really have no obligation to you other than just to go out to a nice dinner and maintain some level of professional decorum (laughs). There's no contract to go out to dinner. In fact, a lot of the companies that are, especially the sizable ones, they have laws rules against that. I would be thoughtful. The amount of money that I've personally been partied to and have authorized and endorsed spending around a relationship development and trying to create business opportunities or establish a foundation for business opportunities is tremendous, the time and the energy. And I mean, I'm talking about flying airplanes to places and going out to five-star restaurants. I mean it’s crazy. And the conversion rate of those opportunities is low. Maybe a little bit better than mail and postcards, (laughs) which isn't very good. I would say to be very thoughtful of that as a, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as a business development leader within your organization. Be thoughtful where you're spending your time and your money. Are you just going out to some nice restaurants for dinner or are you actually making some progress? How is that affecting your business operations? Is it getting better or not? That's not really specific, but I mean, that's real brother." Dave Webb: 21:42 “It is real. And I'll say that I caution another person about this within the last year. The reply was, “but Dave, I have to do that to get business". The reality is that you don't. You might think you do because the company that you just worked for, that you left that steady paycheck for, that had a marketing budget, it's seven figures or eight figures that was just taking care of all those bills for you. They were doing it. They have a lot of science behind what they're spending, who they're spending it with and conversion rates that you brought up. But to the person just starting out this trying to duplicate the behavior of a large established company and brand with no budget and no income, what hope would you give or what advice would you give to someone who thinks they have to do it in order to succeed in their new business?" Jimmy Hurff: 22:29 "The idea of business isn't based exclusively on or foundationally on whether or not we went out for a nice dinner together as a sale business development person and a buying decision maker. It's based on whether or not you can deliver as a solution provider service provider on what the business needs. Real question, and this isn't going to be unique probably to everybody, but like do you want to get into business with somebody where your relationship is exclusively based on going out to nice dinners once a quarter or once a month or whatever that cadence is or is it more fulfilling to deliver on a business need and bring value to that organization so that next quarter they'll buy from you again because it helped them improve their bottom line or their operations or whatever their objectives are? I don't want to vilify making investments into relationships with clients and prospective clients, but at the end of the day, those should just be seen as tools or enabling features or capabilities of a relationship so that you can really get to the bottom of what you're trying to do, which is deliver value to that organization. I think that's where you and I have seen things in the past not work well. It's when the sum total of the relationship is purely based on how you interact with the buying manager and not actually on the real delivery side. That's when things fall apart. I don't know if that, that makes sense or not." Dave Webb: 24:01 "No, you hit on a bunch of really good points. The one that stuck with me the most was that, we're going to talk about customers in a second, because customers and prospects are going to take a lot of your time. Choosing the right customers and prospects can make or break your business. Do you have a prospect who's going to make a buying decision over which restaurant you take them out to dinner and how many shots you can take with them until three in the morning? I mean, these are real situations that I've had described. There's some that come to mind that are very questionable and ethically questionable and bunch of other areas, but you have to say to yourself, okay, if this person's making this buying decision based on entertainment, what kind of customer are they going to be? Right, how are they going to treat me when I have an invoice that I've sent them and it's 30 days late? Am I going to have to buy them dinner to get my invoice paid? And to Jimmy's point, we like prospects and customers who are focused on solving the business problems that we can solve with our business, and if your business is going to revolve around entertainment with no clear ROI and no clear conversion rate, I would say you might need to go back to the drawing board with your business model. And if that's an industry that you have to play that game to get in and you're starting off with nothing, no paycheck, no funding, then you're probably not going to get very far with that. Customers are, I'll give you an example. When we sell software as a service remotely, we have some customers say, "So, you know that first demo was great when are you flying the team out to show it to us in person" and we say," I don't think you understand, we don't do that" We save gas, we save time, we save costs. If you want a software vendor that bakes all that into the price of the software so that you're really paying for that indirectly, then maybe we're not the right company for you. Customer that can't see our software and see the value in it with live chat and email and phone calls and go to meetings and basically everything but sitting right in front of them, explaining it to them, we know that that's probably not going to be a good fit for us long-term because our support is remote. Our technical post-sales is remote. So. Jimmy Hurff: 26:08 Yeah, there's a lot of good stuff there. Dave, I just want to jump in for a second as you hit on some things that I think are really important to kind of call out and I think we'll probably talk about this a little bit more as we go, but like being able to differentiate a customer like a good prospect or a good customer from a bad one is hard to do like it takes time to do that. I mean, it takes a perspective like we were talking about earlier, and I think being able to say, if you're a struggling entrepreneur, just trying to make it, you're trying to create, you want your company to exist next year you're not thinking about the 5-year plan, you're, you're thinking about are we going to be around in six months? It's hard to say no to a customer. It's hard to say, "Man, you're not the right customer for us." I think what we've experienced over the years is that we actually, that was negative talk in our own heads that (laughs) we said yes to bad customers and we said yes to bad business requests because we thought that we were trapped into this, really this kind of lie that we had to solve for that customer's request even though they weren't our ideal customer. And realizing that now is something that we want. I think that's why we're having this podcast, you know, in total that was one of the things we want to share. It's like don't fall for that lie. I mean like it is the parade of principal is real and it exists in lots of different examples. Yet the Pareto Principal, you spend 80% of your time on 20% of the work. You spend 80% of your effort taking care of 20% of your customers, right. And then the converse is true let's say you spend 20% of your time on 80% well back to time management. Where are you spending your time and your example there where if you have a customer or a new customer or prospective customer and they say the only way that you're going to be able to get our business, use software as a service company is if you fly out on or fly our team around or you guys fly out and they're asking you to really stretch and you get outside of your comfort zone and your perspective is your position is the way that we keep costs low is by not doing that kind of stuff. Well, you have to stay true to your convictions, and like I said, that's hard to do when you're trying to survive. In the long run, it’ll make you healthier. We are healthier because we know this and act like we've got it all figured out. We still run into those requests routinely and you have to evaluate them and you have to make decisions in some cases they're going to be from the gut and from the hip, you shouldn't from the hip but the reality is that you're going to spend most of your time and energy taking care of the few versus the many. And if you can kind of flip that and really focus in on who your ideal customers are and then taking care of them, you're going to be happier and probably (laughs) more successful in the long run." Advertisement: 29:04 "Be sure to check out RecruiterCast on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @RecruiterCast." Dave Webb: 29:13 "So I'm going to tie this right back to the title of this podcast, which is dealing with bullies and jerks. And we haven't really talked about bullies and jerks yet, but we actually have the whole time. And so poor Jimmy and I were brought up there was kind of like this saying that the customer is always right and I know that wasn't specific to our locale and it's probably everywhere. Hopefully, somebody went into business not thinking that because it's a very painful lesson to learn, right? And the people, that they're jerks, they take advantage of you. They know that they're not going to buy from you. They have their preferred vendor already. If you want to take someone out to dinner, maybe before you take them out, just say, "hey, just happy to go out. When's the last time you added a new vendor to your list and how much business are they doing? What percentage of your business are they doing? What does that process look like If we have good rapport at dinner and you decide you want to do business with me in the future? And now we're talking about kind of bigger companies that have vendor management, but you can ask the same question of a small company. Don't be afraid to ask really detailed questions about how the business relationship is going to progress if there's a little bit of personal rapport and everybody can sit in the same room and stand each other. And I'll just wrap this up with Jimmy and I had a lot of misery for many years in our early business because quote, "the customer was always right". And I remember the first time we learned that you could fire a customer. We (laugh) kind of looked at each other and we're like, "oh, we can. Oh, we know exactly who's first" Jimmy had dealt with him more than I did. But I think Jimmy like burned rubber peeling on out of the parking lot on the way over to this guy's office. And he came back an hour later and he had just the biggest smile on his face. He's like, "we don't ever have to answer the phone when that son of a gun calls again. And it was funny the, Pareto Principal's correct. Like there was this immediate burden lifted off of us and our employees because we said, "hey, the caller ID says that guy don't answer it. I think there might've even been applause and cheering and maybe even like a parade or something. But, you remember who I'm talking about. And do you remember how excited we were about that?" Jimmy Hurff: 31:25 “No, no, no that's just like yesterday for me. I, certainly we're not going to talk about the specifics of the customer, but yeah, it was one of those ones where like we weren't making a lot of money on it in the first place. It wasn't like it was a big, a big revenue thing and I think we were making a few thousand dollars a month kind of a revenue thing is. So it was a small business relationship and then on top of it, the individual was like well, for one, he's a big dude (laughs) so he's kind of like physically intimidating. He was always rude to everybody, never happy. Everything was wrong and everything that we did was wrong. Everything that everybody did was wrong, and it was a referral. I can't remember who referred us in thanks to that person whoever (laughs) it was. But we're referred and we go in to try to save the day and help out and deliver value and all that good stuff. And there was no chance of rescuing this miserable person. I remember when I let him know that we weren't going to be coming back anymore, and it was because of the way that he had treated us and some of our staff, and he was surprised and almost started joking around, "oh, you know, I'm just, I was just being, I was just kind of joking." I mean, it was kind of the initial response and well ah too bad we're done (laughs). And yeah, it was a great feeling for me personally and then I remember you kind of commented about the cheers or the Pareto or whatever. The thing that I think was really evident to me after we made the change was how much impact that did have on the team negatively before we made the change but then also positively after we made the change because they knew that we were supporting them. And there's nothing worse than to have a dedicated team that's really trying to do the best that they can to be consistently sort of dumped on because of a toxic relationship. When we made that decision to cancel the contract and move on, our team saw that as a reinforcement and an endorsement of them and I think it helped even develop more allegiance to the company, to our company because of that. So, I mean it was a win-win. We never missed the revenue. We never missed a customer's work. We never missed anything on the production side of it. And all we saw was just a pain in the butt, no longer being a pain in the butt like we started off, you wouldn't even realize that you can do that if you're well, I guess, let me self-project than everybody else. I didn't realize I could do that as an entrepreneur until after I did it the first time and I was like, wow, that was awesome. So yeah, no, I totally remember it was a while ago now, but I remember like it was yesterday." Dave Webb: 34:11 "You almost said everything I was thinking in order that I was thinking it. I guess that's why we've been working together for so long (laughs). But the adult to adult thing is critical and here's how I kind of want to tie all that back together. The situation Jimmy and I just described was our knee jerk reaction to getting new information and insight that we didn't have before. We had an aha moment and we were able to quickly take care of a situation, increase our employee morale and our own mental health, but we took it many, many steps further and what we did is we incorporated that into our prospecting process really, really early on. If you're talking to our prospect, and you start feeling like you're the adaptive child and they're the critical parent. Jimmy and I will say out loud to the person, hey, let's slow down for a second. I'm starting to feel like you think that you're going to be able to kind of boss me around and be critical of everything that we do. If that's the case, we're not the right fit for you. We are professionals. If you want to talk to us like two adults, we will hunker down with you in the trenches all night long and help you in your business with whatever problem that you need, but as soon as you get to that point where you just feel bad being around this person all the time, cut it of, even if you're in the pre-sales process and the prospecting process, the best time to get that relationship under control is before you're in, in deep with it." Jimmy Hurff: 35:38 "Oh yeah, absolutely. Before you, (laughs) what was that saying about like you can't lose something that you never had in the first place, right, I mean like if you have a customer that's like kicking your butt before, your perspective customer that's kicking your button before they're actually a customer, stop that don't. (Laughs), don't let that go on for long. That's going to just kill you in the long run. Yeah. So firing customers is great. Firing perspective customers is even better because you haven't, you haven't lost anything." Dave Webb: 36:06 "Yeah. The other thing you made me think of as we had a situation just within the last year where we had a pretty nice sized customer, guy kind of just flew off the deep end one night and fired off some emails to some of our employees in. They're very mean. Letting people know right away. We actually have it in our contract that if you're verbally abusive to us, we reserve the right to not answer the phone and support you and we'll actually take it one step further and help you find a new vendor by turning you off. Like you said, Jimmy, we're professionals. We're spending our time on this and not on other things that are also very important. The last thing we're going to do is be verbally or any other in any other way, abused while we're doing our job or let that happen to our employees. Sticking up for your employees, doing the right thing and putting people in front of money and profits has always paid off and it feels good. It will solidify your team like nothing else. And I wish I could tell everybody you can avoid those situations but you can't." Jimmy Hurff: 37:04 " Well, I think, and the interesting thing about that Dave is that we added those clauses that you referenced because of experiences and again, kind of the purpose of the conversation today and in this podcast series is around, you advice like put that in there, like have that as a lever in your agreement. I remember, I know what you're talking about in that situation. I remember the empowerment that I felt when I was talking with you and we're kind of hashing out what should we do and that what we've got this clause in the agreements, well, we've already established a protocol for behavior and it's in writing that they've (laughs) DocuSign and all that stuff. Let's hold them to it. So, I guess the messages, hindsight's 20, 20, if you don't have that, something like that in your agreement that sounds like something that would be beneficial to you in your line of work at it, add it. Do it now and I remember you saying to me one time, Dave, the reason why we have agreements is that so a year or two or three down the road, we don't have to think back to what we thought we agreed to. We can actually go and look at it and writing. Put it in writing and then hold your folks to it. And you're right, that was. I remember the sort of conversations that we have with the internal team afterward when we executed on that, how appreciative they were of the leadership that you showed and that the company showed in making sure that we took care of our people and we were thoughtful around those kinds of interactions with our customer base in our agreement. So, I certainly don't want to act like all of our customers are bad or challenging, but there's going to be some out there and those are the ones that can fit into that, that 20% of the population that takes 80% of your time and thinking about ways to effectively deal with them is what we're talking about today.” Dave Webb: 38:54 "Well, I'll say this to any customers listening. Thank you for being our customers. I can count on one hand all the bad apples probably in the last 15 years. So yeah, it's not a widespread problem, but it's what we're talking about here. One company, one person can take up so much of your time and energy and pull you away from your core focus of your business, and depending on how much of a foothold you have, how established you are, how financially strong you are at that time, it really could put you out of business-one bad relationship. You mentioned the agreements. Great point. Agreements are, let's all agree when things are not emotional, how we're going to act, when things do get emotional, and I think that's a great description of a contract. And if we're going to be on the hook for delivering whatever it is, widgets, software services with precision of four nines of up-time and quality control metrics of one in a million bad apples and a batch of whatever, then it's okay to ask the customer in return to be respectful and reasonable. We should probably do a whole episode on SLA's, which stands for service level agreements, but it really is like everybody, there's a queue, and if you need help, you get in the queue and you just set all that up in the contract and it just makes it so much easier to diffuse a situation before it blows up." Jimmy Hurff: 40:17 "Don't be afraid to ask, put it in writing. These are like just basic like people would probably is like, is it? Of course, absolutely. Well, yeah, it's simple. It's not that hard (laughs). This isn't rocket surgery. Build your business relationships based on authentic and sincere and real relationships with people that are professionals. Hold them accountable to a standard that you would hold yourself accountable to. Put it in writing, the basics and it makes a big difference. I think that's the message and don't be afraid to, to not work with or to turn down work from those that are really painful to work with in the first place." Advertisement: 40:57 "RecruiterCast is brought to you by BrightMove, the most innovative applicant tracking system built with a recruiter and candidate in mind. Learn firstname.lastname@example.org." Dave Webb: 41:09 " I guess last topic I'll let you touch on before we wrap it up is if you say yes to your goals, you're inherently saying no to all of these other distractions, and you already talked about your passion for lists and your commitment to the discipline that it takes to use that list and the way that it can make you feel good or bad as you get things checked off of it. Are there any other goal identification techniques that you use and any kind of like starter things to help people? Actually, I'm going to prime this for you. Tell us about smart goals. Because you taught me about this and I love this. Hopefully, I'm not putting you on the spot. I can help you if you don't remember the acronym." Jimmy Hurff: 41:45 "No, I do. Superman, no, I'm just kidding. Yeah, it's specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Yeah, that's exactly what it is. And I think I've even heard some people debate like a couple of those acronyms, but what I just told you is exactly right. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. And so one of the ones, I know we're not endorsing books, but one of the ones that I love is if you're not a golfer, it's still a good book. It's called the 'Little Red Book' and it's from Harvey Penick, a golf teacher, and he's coached the, I think, university of Houston golf team for many years. A lot of the really good professionals used him as a sort of their coach. And he has this little, it's almost like a coffee table book, It's just a little, some little things, little sayings on most, little stories. And one of them is an aim, small, miss small. And I think it's sort of part of this idea of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely around goals. And here's the general thought connected to the aim small, miss small. The more specific you can be about what you want to try to accomplish, the more you can define how you're going to measure when you got there or not. The more realistic you are with yourself about whether or not you can do this and if it can be attained in a certain period of time and then defining when it would be done, the more you can wrap that up into that five, five-letter acronym, the more likely you'll be to actually meet your goal. And the little red book, "The Aim Small, Miss Small, the point is instead of aiming out just kind of opt to the right or out there in the middle of the fairway, aim for a very specific target aim for a blade of grass. Aim for a very specific tree or the flag stick or a contour and the green. Because even if you miss a little bit, you're still going to be pretty close to what your original target was. Sort of a profound from a golf standpoint, a life standpoint in my mind but if you're trying to accomplish them and then maybe compare and contrast some goals, okay, here's a goal-start a company. Well, is it smart? Is it specific? Nah, not really. It's sort of thematic. It's like a, I'm going to start a company. How about what kind of company? What kind of business? What kind of business are you going to be in? Start an LL, start a staffing company LLC. Well, that's getting a little bit more specific. It's a type of company and you can measure its existence by the fact that it's, it's got an LLC, it's been incorporated and start a company by December of 2019 and it's got an element of timeliness to it. You'll know by the existence of your LLC and by the date of December, 2019, that not only have you measured the creation of it and then it's also a time-bound, right. Then the question around attainability and realistic, like those are, I guess, I'm kind of going out of order here a little bit here. They're not sequential, it's not synchronous or sequential. It's these are the five elements of a good goal. So, can you specifically define what you want when you want it by? Can you accomplish it? Is this something that you can do? Being an NBA center is probably not something that's attainable or realistic for me considering I'm about 5ft"11. I guess you have to have maybe some of those hard conversations with yourself and make sure that you're not setting onto something that can't be accomplished within the time frame. You have to bend the known bounds of the universe in order for this to make happen. Those are probably not going to be successful. And so, I would challenge, or I would say to the folks that are listening is write them down and then be realistic with yourself about do they meet these five elements, and if they do, my experience, you have a better likelihood of actually achieving them and accomplishing them. That's what SMART is for me." Dave Webb: 45:43 " Okay, we sure have covered a lot today and we're at that point in the podcast where I try to summarize everything and you know, give us a little Pez-dispenser of information that we can take with us out into the world. And what I got out of talking to Jimmy, I had some good memories and some bad memories of our time together in business but don't ever think it's not okay to fire a customer. The customer's not always right and I say that as a business owner and a lot of my customers are right, but they're all so nice and they're professional and they're courteous. If you get someone that's being a bully or a jerk, you don't have to deal with them just because they're giving you a couple of dollars a month or $100 a month, $4,000 a week. There is a price to your happiness. There's a price to your team's happiness. You can lose employees over bad customers. I've seen it happen many times. And then what's that going to cost you? It's going to cost you a lot more than maybe that customer's worth. So, we're in a service-oriented business. We strive to provide good service. We've won awards for providing that good service, and we will continue to do so but don't sell yourself short. Strive for adult to adult relationships with your customers. Treat your good customers good. Ask for referrals. Be frugal especially in those early days when you're trying to get your business off the ground. You don't have to spend money to make money. That is not always true. Sometimes you just have to work hard and smart to make money and then when you start making a little bit, then you can spend it and make some more." Music Playing: 47:04 Dave Webb: 47:06 "Before we go, tell us what was your most awkward customer interaction and what made it awkward?" Jimmy Hurff: 47:12 "(Laughs). I can't even tell you about the most awkward one. Dave Webb: 47:16 (Laughs). Jimmy Hurff: 47:17 "Second most awkward point we had. This is a rated PG show. So, I had to go to the second (laughs)." Dave Webb: 47:24 "PG 13." Jimmy Hurff 47:24 "Second most awkward one. I guess one of the most awkward ones was we had a relationship with somebody in the finance industry that thought there was some reason where we might be interested in a sort of an unethical acceptance of funds like the money wasn't legitimately ours. And I remember having to say, no, no, I don't want to, we’re not going to do anything that's not above board and that was a difficult conversation. It was sort of like a customer relationship that was where we were presented with some unethical. I remember struggling with that and not struggling because I wanted to say yes to it but struggling because it was a personal and challenging conversation to have to have but that was awkward." Dave Webb: 48:10 "All right so here's kind of a trivia question and I'm going to give you a job description. You're going to try to guess the job title. Stand on a field and get yelled at for hours." Jimmy Hurff: 48:22 “It’s got to be a referee.” 48:23 (claps) Dave Webb: 48:24 That's, I'm going to give you a clap for that. It's a baseball referee. Jimmy Hurff: 48:28 "Okay." Dave Webb: 48:31 "Top three pieces of advice for anyone thinking about getting into any business, much less a recruiting business or a contractor type business." Jimmy Hurff: 48:39 "One of the things that I've been thinking about recently, and I think it's been really helpful for me, is to have really good sounding boards, not necessarily mentors but like people that you can speak to and talk with who you can trust their feedback. You know that they're going to be invested in your success and that's not because of a bias, and Dave, when I'm describing this, I'm thinking about you a little bit. I'm thinking about some others that are in my network and I mean I think those kinds of relationships are critical in starting a business. Somebody that you can really trust to give you advice and to give you feedback sounding board sort of feedback on ideas or problems. Those kinds of relationships are invaluable. I would be intentional as you're starting a business, reach out to those that you might feel could be a resource to you like that and let them know that's something that you'd like to lean on them for. I feel like that's something that has really helped me in the past, the right kinds of people that are going to help you, they're going to really appreciate that request in the first place. A lot of times people want to help others. So, that's one that's been really beneficial for me throughout the years is having a good network or relationships. I think you hit on it. Another one that I think is important. You have to, this is silly, but you have to make more money than you spend. So, be very thoughtful about your income and how that compares to your expenses and having a good banking relationship, good finance relationship, good hand on your finances. where's cashflow at? That's something that's critical for success. Most businesses fail because they're underfunded, undercapitalized. So having a good handle on your finances is a necessity, and I think, if we just kind of to summarize this one, don't be afraid to say no to customers. This podcast has been mostly about dealing with jerks and bosses that are hard to deal with. And I guess don't be afraid to fire a prospective customer. Don't be afraid to stand up for professional relationships and them needing to be adult to adult as opposed to that sort of critical plan of active trial that.That will save you tremendous amount of time in the long run. I would say that's also critical." Dave Webb: 50:58 "So on that note, if anybody wants to get in touch with you Jimmy, what's the best way to do that? " Advertisement 51:04 "Yeah, I mean through, as a co-founder or BrightMove, I'd love to hear from you guys through our website brightmove.com and I'm also on all the forms of media, Jimmy Hurff, @Jimmyhurff on Twitter and I'm on LinkedIn and all that stuff so you can find me out there." Dave Webb: 51:20 "Okay, everybody, that's a wrap for this episode of RecruiterCast. I'd like to give a big thanks to my old friend Jimmy Hurff for spending the time with us today. We hope that you took lots of knowledge and insight from our discussion and our past experiences. Our goal as always is to share and disseminate knowledge and experience to try to help someone who might come across something that we've already encountered. There's a lot to think about industry standards versus going with your gut and remember you have to trust yourself. Now, I know I'm in borderline self-help guru territory here, but I think the bottom line that we want to convey is that if you just take your time, dig deep and think about what you're doing, you'll know what to do. Do what feels right and disclaimer, I'm not a doctor nor have I ever played one on television. So this is not medical advice, but seriously trust yourself like it's your gut for a reason. If you think about it, yours might not lead you wrong too many times. So remember to hit us up on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. We are @RecruiterCast. Also, check out our website. It's top-notch- recruitercast.com. We have information for you there. We have show notes. We have links. We have past episodes, examples of our amazing production quality from our team here at RecruiterCast. You can also submit questions, recommend guests, request to be a guest, or just contact us and drop us a line and say, hey, RecruiterCast, thanks for all that great information you've really made our lives easier at work here at the recruiting firm and you helped me land that next job. And by the way, I'm starting my own business and because of you, we're going to be successful. So, call us if you want to go old school. We don't have our pager anymore, but we do have her phone number." Female Speaker: 53:03 "(904) 525-8134 and thanks for listening and happy recruiting." Advertisement: 53:12 "RecruiterCast is an original production produced and recorded in St. Augustine beach, Florida, and is hosted by me, Dave Webb. Our executive producers are Andrew Seward and Heidi green, original music by Dave Webb and Andrew Seward."