Is Salesforce really worth 20k a month? | Season 4 Episode 5


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I love young entrepreneurs.  They inspire me.  I started my business when I was young.  But I made a ton of mistakes along the way.  It took my a long time to become a success.  That’s why I’m so impressed when I meet a young person who is already a success.  That’s why I wanted to invite Michael Morozov onto the show this week.  Michael founded his company when he was still in University.  By his second year he was making over six figures.  Now his business Aurum Property Care is one of the largest window cleaning companies in North America.

In this episode Michael and I talk about how he managed that explosive growth.  He reveals why he had to design his own software system to manage all the moving parts of his buisness.  That investment cost nearly $500 thousand.  Eventually his company outgrew that system.  So he decided to move to Salesforce instead.   That decision wasn’t easy.  And it wasn’t cheap.  So was switching to Salesforce worth the expense?  Find out more!

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Do you really need to go to school? | Season 4 Episode 3


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Friends, let me say it this clearly.  University is a giant waste of money!  Well, not always, of course.  If you’re a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer after spending $75 thousand that’s probably a wise investment.  But what I’m talking about is the BA in Lithuanian basket weaving that costs your parents more money than their first house.  It’s a degree in sweet fuck all as far as I’m concerned!

Today on the show we debate the merits of a post-secondary education.  We discuss why I think you learn way more in the real world than you ever could in a classroom.  Not everyone agrees with you, mind you.  I’d love to hear your opinions!

Guest: Dylan Gosine

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FACEBOOK: http://www.Facebook.com/TimByrneAlmostLive

 

S03E03 – Skilled Trades College: Having the skills to pay the bills


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I hated school.  I was dyslexic and wrote backwards.  I was always made to feel like an idiot.  When I was 15 I left and never came back.  It took me years to realize that I wasn’t stupid.  I eventually came to realize that the problem was with the school – not me.  I was thinking about that recently while touring the Skilled Trades College campus in Vaughan, Ontario.  My friend Ralph Cerasulo founded STC a decade ago to provide a place for young people to get the skills they need to succeed.

When I was a kid there was a “trades” school for teenagers that was universally regarded as the place where the dumb kids went.  In some ways that perception of the trades has never really went away.  A university degree is the holy grail for many parents who push their kids into getting one no matter the cost.  But the irony is the best way to become one of the top income earners in this country is to enter the trades.  Kids with  four year bachelor degrees often find themselves unemployable and laden with debt.

In this episode Ralph and I talk about why the education system is letting kids down and why the trades are so important.  It’s one of the best conversations I’ve ever had.  And, I think, it’s one of the most important.  STC is an amazing place and I think you’re going to be as impressed with it as I am.

 

S02E20 – QuadReal with Cheryl Gray Part 2


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Cheryl Gray is a titan in the Toronto real estate industry. In the second part of our conversation we discuss the looming recession and about how to build real relationships in a digitized age.

I was also extremely eager to talk with Cheryl about how young companies can get a foothold in the industry. Cheryl is untouchable to the average trade or vendor. She explained how an up-and-coming company can get the attention of a big player like Quadreal. This is must have information for start-up companies!

S02E02 – An architect’s nightmare on my street


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The relationship between architects and tradespeople is sometimes less than congenial. Today Tim tries to fix that. He’s invited Stephen Pollock, a Toronto-based architect with more than 20 years experience, onto the show. Tim asks all the questions every tradesperson has wanted to know about they guy behind the drawings.

First up is a discussion about how an architect figures out what to charge their customers. The rule of thumb is that an architect can expect to be paid between 5 to 7% of the total project cost. “I’ve never seen a project go under budget,” Tim says. People always want more than what they can afford. Stephen says the art of architecture is reconciling those differences. An honest architect will tell the client when they are not a right fit for a particular project.

Architects are expected to wear a lot of hats on any job. They need to be able to make a drawing that is on-budget and up to code Then they need to be able to work with every imaginable trade and act as advisor and therapist to the client. It’s not an easy gig.

Stephen dreams of building his firm and being able to mentor the next generation of architects. He has had plenty of bad bosses in his past and he wants to make sure that he doesn’t repeat the past.

Timology 4 – Tim’s Tips for Sales Guys


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Tim needed an audience for this week’s episode so he invited Stadia sales guys Dylan and Andy into the studio.  The three had just attended a sales seminar together.  There was plenty Tim liked about workshop but, naturally, there was also a lot he disagreed with.  So he invited the boys to join him for a post-mortem.

Tim says that a good salesman focuses on what the customer wants.  People in sales too often worry about what they want.  Dylan has been working sales for Stadia for 2 years while Andy has just started working for the company.  Tim says there are about 5 tiers of experience that a sales guy will move through during his career.  In the first 3 months of a sales career everyone is totally focused on making as much money as possible.  The problem is that creating new clients often means giving away free favours.  The problem is a new sales person has no favours to give away.  It’s all about who you know when it comes to favours.  It takes at least 2 or 3 years to get there.  Those first 3 months are a long haul.

Sales workshops always emphasize the importance of knowing everything about the product that you’re selling.  Tim thinks that’s a lot of horseshit.  You don’t need to know much about your product.  You do need to know a lot about people, the resources you have around you and how to make them fit together.  If you can put a sentence together and communicate an idea in 30 seconds or less, you’ll do just fine.  In the first level of a sales career you need to learn how to communicate, how to pick-up on social cues and begin to build your network.

As you go from level 1 to level 2 the most important thing you can do is try to gain knowledge.  That might sound easy but it’s harder than it sounds.  Most people are asking questions not to learn something but to defy authority.  Especially in a male dominated industry like construction there is a lot of bravado.  Try and shut-up and listen once and a while!  You’re going to have a meltdown around 9 months in when you realize you don’t know what you’re doing.  Read, listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos constantly.  You have to be self-aware and be willing to recognize what you have to improve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timology 1 – The Secret to Being a Great Sales Guy


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Tim is excited to launch a brand new series for the summer.  His “Timology” series will reveal the secrets of great salesman.  Tim came by this knowledge the hard way – years of failing. For over 20 years Tim scratched and crawled his way to building a successful business.  Along the way he developed a winning strategy for selling his products and services.

Tim says that three are three facets to being great in sales.  Those are relationship building, marketing and accounting. In today’s episode Tim talks about the importance of building a relationship with a client.  Tim likens building those relationships to being a successful political candidate. You have to shake one hundred hands to get one vote. The math is similar in sales.  You have to introduce yourself to one hundred people to get one sale.

Building a relationship with a client depends on personal contact.  Tim insists on taking a potential client out for a drink or a meal before taking them on.  If they don’t have time for that Tim isn’t interested in working with them. You need to become friends with your clients otherwise you won’t be able to depend on them for future business.

There is a lot of negativity around sales.  There is a common idea that sales people are scumbags who will say anything to get your money.  And to be sure there are plenty of guys like that out there. Tim takes an opposite approach. If you are the only one walking away happy you’re doing it wrong.  You don’t just bid jobs in order to bid jobs. You have a moral obligation to give the client a fair price.

Episode 17 – Susan Allen’s 1st Podcast featuring BOMA Toronto


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Tim is really excited for this week’s guest.  He somehow managed to convince the President of BOMA Toronto to join him on this edition.  Susan Allen has a ton of experience in building management, including a decade at Cadillac Fairview.  Tim’s been super-impressed with her work ethic for a long time and was thrilled when she agreed to appear on the show.

Susan has been in the industry for a little over twenty years.  She worked at TD Centre for about eight years and later was asked to move over to the retail side of the business.  Her first property was at Woodbine Centre which was a faltering shopping mall in Etobicoke.  She managed to turn the place around and learned a lot about retail in the process.  Moving from commercial to retail was very different. The commercial world is a lot more buttoned-down and corporate.  Woodbine depended on a lot of small businesses with very different expectations. Tim gets to brass tacks right away.

“Who pays their rent better?  Retail or commercial?” He asks point blank.

Susan is very diplomatic in her answer.  She says big corporate retailers are pretty easy to deal with because they are so stable.  The smaller mom and pop operations are often struggling and that meant Susan had to make accomodations for them.

Susan had already worked with BOMA for more than a decade before she came over to work as President.  She had left her position at Cadillac Fairview to get her MBA. Shortly after the President of BOMA left and she was asked to take over.

“Is BOMA an old boys club?” Tim asks.

When he was more involved with the organization he found it to be a pretty insular place.  Susan says they have worked very hard to change that. Every member can apply for any position now and they will all be guaranteed at least an interview.  BOMA has also been working hard to open the organization to younger professionals.

“Do women get paid less than men?”  Tim asks.

Susan says she hasn’t experienced that in her career, with the caveat that she has worked with two great companies over the years.  These days top talent is in such high demand that she would be shocked if it was pervasive practice.

“It just doesn’t make any business sense.” She says.

Tim wraps up the conversation by asking if she works more or less hours since moving to BOMA.  Her husband asked the same question. She says she’s just not wired that way. She’s always working to raise the bar higher.

“You’re a total powerhouse.” Tim says.

Connect

https://www.bomatoronto.org/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-allen-7a28a586

Episode 15 – Cold as Ice with Boston Rob


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Tim continues his adventures a the PRSM conference in Nashville this week.  This time he’s invited an old friend Boston Rob to join him. Oddly Rob is not from Boston originally but the nickname has stuck over the 15 years Tim has known him.  His real name is Rob Atkocaitis.

“I have a cream for that.” Tim says.

Rob has had a bunch of jobs over the last 15 years but he now works with Ocean Air AC.  They manufacture portable air conditioners and heaters.  The business has changes a lot over the last decade. In the past manufacturers would sell through a stocking distributor but now the middle man has been cut out.  Most manufacturers in the HVAC world sell direct to their customers now.

Ocean Air manufacturer makes everything in the United States making them the kind of business Donald Trump says he wants to defend.  Tariffs on foreign manufacturers would be a huge boon to their company. The HVAC market has been flooded with cheap products from Asia.  They won’t last as long as Ocean Air units but they cost less up front. That’s hard to compete with.

Rob says he is a big relationship sales guy.  He’s travelling at least three days a week to keep up his relationships with all his clients.  He’s been in the industry for so long he knows his stuff back and forth. Meeting new clients can be brutally hard and he says it keeps getting harder.  It used to be much more relationship based. Nowadays it’s all about cutting costs as much as possible. Unlike most manufacturers Ocean Air actually follows up with clients after their units are installed.  

“What’s the most embarrassing things you’ve ever done in front of a client?” Tim asks.

Rob recounts a story from early in his career.  Still in his mid 20’s went on a long day of golding with a client.  Needless to say the “golf game” was just code for a long day of drinking.  After the game he was invited back to his client’s place for a nightcap. Being a young cub he was still unaware of the dehydrating effects of alcohol.  Within minutes of arriving at the house Rob passed out. A team of paramedics arrived to cart him off to the hospital. The doctor took a battery of tests and asked how much he had to drink.  Despite being 15 or 16 beers deep he didn’t even register as legally drunk. His client was so impressed he stayed with Rob for years.

Contact Rob

http://www.oceanaire-inc.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-atkocaitis-8671a7156/

1-866-GET-AIRE

Episode 7 – Cooking the brown carrot


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In today’s episode Tim is joined by Dylan, Stadia’s salesman extraordinaire. The pair are accompanied by their significant others and the conversation takes place at Tim’s place in Barrie. Drinks are drunk and tales are spun. Dylan has been with the company for a little over two years but Tim waste’s little time asking the important questions.

“Who’s your favourite customer?” He asks.

Dylan is taken aback by that question so Tim pivots and asks instead what Dylan’s favourite building is. It doesn’t take Dylan long to answer First Canadian Place or the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Both offer great shopping and even better bathrooms – which are extremely important for a salesman on the go.

“Top of the line washrooms,” Dylan says.

Tim is immediately interested in this line of conversation having visited every public washroom in the GTA over the last 30 years. Tim excitedly describes Crown Property Management’s bathrooms near the airport which have alcohol wipes that can be used to wipe down the seat prior to use. The pair then debate which building has the best washrooms in the downtown core. For the longest time Tim used Atrium on the Bay because for years the loading dock manager would let him use the second floor washrooms. (This was before the age of the security guard, of course).

“But seriously who is your favourite customer?” Tim asks again.

Dylan stumbles again over that question so Tim asks instead who Dylan hates to work with. Being the professional that he is Dylan declines to name names – much to Tim’s chagrin. But was willing to say that certain prestige properties in the downtown core that don’t give vendors a fair shot. Being told that your quote is too expensive is not very helpful. Especially when the property manager won’t tell you how much they’d like to spend. It becomes a ridiculous guessing game that no one can win. Except for the vendor the property manager wanted to pick in the first place.

“Before you even walk into the building they know who they are giving the work too,” Dylan says. “And they know how much they want to spend.”

After commiserating about the annoying habits of the industry the conversation drifts into politics.

“I don’t like to talk about politics.” Dylan says emphatically.

Undeterred Tim ploughs forward with a discussion about the evils of Kathleen Wynne’s recent increase of the minimum wage. Adversity creates ingenuity he argues. By giving people a hand up they are only going to squander that opportunity, he says.

Tim and Dylan wrap up their chat by talking about how they both want to get the CN Tower back as a client.

“There are certain buildings that you just want to do work for,” he says.

Dylan is Stadia’s downtown rep and he can be reached at 647-524-6324 or at dgosine@stadia.ca

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