You have many options when it comes to communicating with your employees and customers. Now, with your employees, they pretty much have to use what you tell them to use. But with customers, you have to have more ways available to you to satisfy their need and to communicate with them the way they like to communicate, not just what suits you.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 277
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:18] Tom's introduction to Business Communications [05:35] Using the telephone [08:29] Answering services [09:45] Chatbots and other online services [13:51] Video and audio [15:09] Cloud services [15:54] Communications with employees and contractors [20:16] Sponsor message [22:53] Virtual walkie talkie (Zello)
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – email@example.com
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
Grasshopper – https://grasshopper.com/
Ooma – https://www.ooma.com/
Ring Central – https://www.ringcentral.com/
Google Voice – https://voice.google.com/
Manychat – https://manychat.com/
Speakpipe – https://www.speakpipe.com/
Zoom – https://www.zoom.us/
Skype – https://www.skype.com/
Loom – https://www.loom.com/
Camtasia – https://www.techsmith.com/video-editor.html
Screenflow – http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/
iCloud – https://www.icloud.com/
Dropbox – https://www.dropbox.com/
WeTransfer – https://wetransfer.com/
Zello – https://zello.com/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Chatbots – https://screwthecommute.com/76/
Tim Maudlin – https://screwthecommute.com/276/
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Episode 277 – Business Communications
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode two hundred and seventy seven of Screw the commute podcast. We're going to talk about business communications today. Now, I'm not talking about what to say to your customers, prospects and employees. This episode is gonna be about the methods to communicate. Now, I hope you didn't miss episode 276. That was Tim Maudlin. And among other things, he showed us how to defeat writer's block instantly. I mean, literally it was like magic. I really was surprised myself. So check that out. Episode 276 if you missed it. Now, how would you like to hear your own voice here on screw the commute? Well, if the show has helped you out at all in your business or giving you ideas to help you start a business. We want to hear about it. Visit screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue side bar that says Send Voicemail. Click on it and talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the show's helped you. And also put your website in there so you can get a big shout out on a future episode. Now make sure you grab a copy of your automation e-book. You find it at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. We sell this book for 27 bucks, but you get it free for listening to the Screw the Commute podcast. And it has saved me millions and millions of keystrokes and allowed me to handle customers lightning fast so they like it and give me the money instead of my competitors. So check it out at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're over there, grab a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app where we have complete instructions. We have video and screen capture to show you how to use it on your cell phone and tablet so you can take us with you on the road. It does all kinds of cool stuff. Now I'm sitting here still in the middle of this pandemic. It's no big deal for me because I've worked out of my home for forty three years. So I'm used to it. But work at home. Searches on Google are going crazy. People are scrambling to figure this out. Well, I wish you would have listened to me back in nineteen ninety six or so when I started preaching this as an important skill to have. So our school IMTCVA.org teaches these skills. My mentor program, which I'll tell you about later, teaches these skills so you're not screwed and stuck if something crazy like this happens. And I mean, this has allowed me to survive 9/11 when the whole country kind of went south on us and the crash of 2008. None of this affected my business. Now, this is the worst thing I think that's happened business wise, because the whole world is kind of shut down. But still, we're thriving and surviving. So you can do this, too, if you get these skills in. Plus, it's one of the best legacy things you could ever do for the young people in your life. Nephews, nieces, grandchildren, your kids, even you learn these skills and you won't be stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars of college debt where all you learned how to do is protest. And you'll have a highly in-demand skill because every single business on earth needs these things. We have a young lady that joined the school and a month later she was making eleven hundred bucks a month on the side, and three months later she's making six thousand quit her crappy part time job. You know, so. So this is doable. But you got it. You got to get off your butt and make the move. Call us. Let me discuss your future online or what you can do for your kids and so forth. That's IMTCVA.org.
[00:04:21] All right. Let's get to the main event. I mean, you have many options when it comes to communicating with your employees and customers. Now, with your employees, they pretty much have to use what you tell them to use. But with customers, you have to have more ways available to you to satisfy their need and to communicate with them the way they like to communicate, not just what suits you. Now, there are exceptions to this, for instance, in my mentor program. I have all my mentees using the same systems. So it's not chaos and it's more efficient. And I might add, this is after they get into the program. See if they are a prospect and considering the program, I'll communicate with them however it suits them. And after they get in the program, they know I'm teaching them the most accepted ways to communicate, so I get very little or really no pushback from new students. But for the most part, you need to do what your prospects do or where they go or how they like to communicate.
[00:05:27] So let's start out on various ways you can communicate with prospects or customers and then we'll talk about internal communications with your employees and contractors later. Have any of you ever heard of a thing called a telephone? I can't believe the number of people who think they're in business, but they refuse to answer the phone or they make it virtually impossible to talk to anybody.
[00:05:54] I mean, it's almost becoming the norm. Now, if you just pick up the phone and talk to people, you could most likely make a massive jump in your business because most of the other pitiful, I guess all column businesses won't do it. They put people in voicemail. Hell, and lots of times it just hangs up on you after you've been on there ten minutes trying to get through to somebody. Now, the thing is, there's lots of ways to do telephones now. I wish I had the money back. I spent on professional business phone systems. Heck, in my house and studio, we have 13 extensions and an intercom tying them all together in my school. I don't even know how many steps we have. Nowadays, you can reliably use VEO IP or voice over Internet protocol services like Grasshopper Humor, Office Ring, Central and Google Voice. Now, it's too deep of a discussion here to go into the differences between those services, but they all offer features that can do a lot for your business, like having multiple numbers on your cell phone so you can differentiate between business calls and personal calls. But here are some of the pros and cons of those kinds of services. And one of the possible possible pros is that it can save you lots of money.
[00:07:23] And notice I said possible, OK, Umaoffice keeps chasing me around and I'd have to replace all my hardware to use it. There's no savings at all there. If you were starting from scratch and hadn't already invested a ton of money in phones in a PBX, switching devices, then maybe. Other pros are the phone number is virtual, so you can take it with you wherever you go and you can easily add on services and lines as your business grows. Just Google pros and cons of VoIP, that's voice over Internet protocol and you'll get an entire list. Now, some of the downside is that you need a good Internet connection. I tried VoIP years ago and it was horrible. You can get weird noises called latency and jitter is still to this day. Plus, it's not good for emergency tracking, let's say 911 calls. Anyway, it's worth checking out to see if it makes sense for your business. But keep in mind, talking to people will make you money less like an answering service. Some people use them and I'm okay with that. If you use a good win and check on it frequently, have your friends call and just see what the service is like. I called one yesterday to try to get some emergency service on a building I lease. The lady taken my message, seemed utterly incompetent.
[00:08:56] She could hear me just fine, but ask for the same info over and over. She literally sounded like she was on drugs. This is not good for your business image. You have to watch it though. The goods services can get real pricey real fast. And of course, they're not going to be able to give out serious info about your company or answer in-depth questions about your products and services. It just gives at least alive reception to somebody. This call. Years ago, when I was first starting, I just hired my neighbor to answer the phones when I was out of town. Now that's an option if you have competent people in your life. But even that would be difficult if there were young children in the person's house. It wouldn't sound too professional for your answering services to have babies crying in the background. All right, Chatbots. Now, I read an article recently that said by the end of this year. Eighty five percent of customer service interactions will be by board. Now, I don't know if that's true or not, but I can tell you it costs almost nothing but some time to implement a board so that it takes care of your customers and prospects immediately. I happened to use manycha, which is free, but I mean, even the pro version is only $10 a month.
[00:10:20] I covered Chatbots in episode 76, so listen to it for the basics. But many Chad has its own training on how to use the bots without getting in trouble with Facebook. And a lot has happened with Facebook and changing the way you're allowed to use boards. Now my board happens to use Facebook Messenger. You can certainly use Messenger without a board. I just recommend you set yourself up so you can respond immediately to customer and prospect queries. And speaking of Facebook, you can always have a business page for anyone to stop by and a private group only for customers or top prospects. I also have an on Web site voicemail called Speak Pipe where people can leave me a voicemail message and the message will get emailed to me and I can respond to them right from my cell phone and my message would go back to their email. I mean, these kinds of powerful and cheap services weren't available just a few years ago. Live chat is also an option to communicate with your customers and prospects, where you will get noticed that someone is attempting a live chat on your Web site and you can jump on the chat with them from wherever you are. Mean people love instantaneous service. And it will make you so far above your competitors that I mean, I actually hear things like we'll get back to you within 48 hours, 48 hours, you crazy.
[00:11:52] I could be dead in 48 hours. I want an answer now. Xoom Skype and Face Time, I mean, are also vehicles for a Skype has somewhat fallen out of favor. I mean, I never was great, but when Zoom came along and it was virtually glitchless, people jumped ship as if they were on the Titanic. From Skype. And now that the pandemic occurred, Xoom accounts literally zoomed. Millions and millions of people went to zoom and. And other than that, all your information being given to China, I guess is its work and pretty, pretty darn good. I get on Xoom with my mentees all the time. I'm able to share screens both ways so I can see what they're doing on their end and I can demonstrate things to them from my end. And you'll hear what else we do with Zoom when I get to the keeping in touch with employees and contractors session coming up later. Face time, I mean, real estate agents are actually doing walkthroughs of homes for sale with face time. I mean, RV and auto sales are to text. Don't forget plain old texting my customers and prospects can get through to me easier with text than phone. Why is that? Well, I live in a fancy neighborhood that doesn't allow cell towers. Sometimes my phone doesn't even ring when somebody is calling, but texts always get through.
[00:13:24] And another reason text is great is because I hardly pick up the phone anymore because it's mostly likely a robocall. If someone text me first with a legitimate message, I'll pick up the phone when they call or I'll call them. And email, of course. Email is still a major way people contact me and it's still the number one way I make money by broadcasting information to people or using autoresponders to do it for me. Now we're talking about business communications here, so video and audio have an important place here. I communicate either in a broadcast fashion or one on one using video. Well, this podcast I'm communicating to a bunch of people, right, with with audio. So that's also an important method. Now, I don't use it too much, but loom not zoom, but loom is getting popular where instead of just sending a text email to someone, you record a personal video for the person you're talking to. And it goes via e-mail. It used to be a total pain in the neck to do this in the past and loom has now made it easy. I get questions all the time about all kinds of internet things, and many times instead of trying to explain some concept to somebody, I'll do a screen capture video using camtasia.
[00:14:51] There's another one called Screen Flow and Jing. You can use on a very for very short videos for free.
[00:14:58] And these I narrate what the person is seeing. It saves time and makes for better communication. There's that word again because they can see what I'm talking about rather than just hear about it. Things like eye cloud and Dropbox and we transfer are also business communication tools. See if I need to send or receive a big file from someone. I either share a file from Dropbox or get one that I share from somebody or someone else's shared to me or send a file through wetransfer.com. You can send up to 2 gigabytes for free. So you can see there a lot of ways to efficiently communicate with clients and prospects and you should be able to use all of the ones I just talked about. When someone wants to do business with you, that doesn't count.
[00:15:50] What phone system you pick. But you should have all of these things available.
[00:15:56] Now let's get in the communications it in-house or or I mean, with your employees and contractors.
[00:16:03] I mentioned Zoom earlier. Yeah, we have twice a week.
[00:16:07] We meet by Zoom and we hash out all the the projects we're working on. And I also want to hear personally what people are doing to improve themselves. So it's a nice little get together twice a week. And of course, we use phone and email a lot and we use Dropbox and Google Docs to share files that we all need access to. You can have a private Facebook group for your employees or a thing called an intranet, not Internet in trend that many companies have a complete employee Web site. It's easy and cheap nowadays to get a VPN. That's a virtual private network. I even have one on my cell phone when I need to deal with highly confidential information that it slows things down a little, but it's worth it for the extra security. Now let's talk about FRS and GMRS radio. FRS radio is a basic walkie talkie. It's a short range, limited power and super cheap and it does not require any kind of license. I mean, it would be just fine for around the house if you have employees around or or maybe you're in a large building with indoor and outdoor parts, you probably could still use a walkie talkie.
[00:17:24] Now, GMRS radio is quite a step up from FRS Radio in that it requires a licence and their radios can be much more powerful. Now, technically, GMRS is not supposed to be used for business use unless every person using the radio has a licence.
[00:17:44] But I think people cheat on this a little bit and I'm not recommending you do. I'm just saying that I think some people do. I don't want to be responsible in the FCC arrests you and takes you and your radio away in handcuffs. I'm not sure you can handcuff a radio. We just don't do it. You don't want to find out.
[00:18:05] Now, business banned radios are usually higher in quality and have a much longer battery life. You do need to get an expensive license and work with an FCC coordinator and jump through a bunch of hoops. And for most of our businesses, this probably isn't necessary or even an option.
[00:18:25] Murs Radio. These are just glorified walkie talkies on a certain band. You can check that out if you want. Now, some people are still actually using CB hold CB radios, so they're super cheap nowadays. And now that I brought up walkie talkies later, I'm going to tell you about my favorite virtual walkie talkie.
[00:18:48] All right. But before we do that, let's talk about GPS. I mean, it's actually another form of business communication. It can communicate the location of your business vehicles. Back to you. So, you know, employees aren't going places they aren't supposed to or simply parking and doing nothing on your dime. Collaborative software and services are yet another way you're communicating with your employees, even if it isn't in real time. I use a contact management service for particular projects where I can have other people add to the database while I'm doing something else.
[00:19:26] Then when I do a search for, let's say, for her parents who home school, the updated list is there for me. And we use Google Docs all the time to have various graphics and text and other media available to all the employees so they can just grab or add to our collection whenever they need to.
[00:19:49] Apps are yet another form of business communication. For instance, mileage apps like MileIQ and Hurdler keep a convenient check on your business mileage, which you can pass on to your bookkeeper or Occam.
[00:20:04] Again, that's communication and it's efficient communication. There are similar apps for business expenses like Biz Expense Tracker, inexpensive, expensive five. These are all forms of business communication.
[00:20:18] All right, now, before I tell you about my favorite virtual walkie talkie, I want to tell you about the Tom Antion Internet marketing retreat and joint venture program, where myself and my staff work with you for a year to either get you started in an Internet business or to use the Internet to take your existing business to the next level. That doesn't mean it has to take a year for you to start making money. We have some people within the first month can make money just having my set of eyes on what they're doing and what they could be doing. Now, the details of this are at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com.
[00:20:54] But I'll tell you what, I turned the Internet marketing kind of training world on its head around the year 2000 with this program, because people at my level were charge in 50 or 100 grand upfront to teach business people these things that we do online. And I'm a small business advocate. I knew many small businesses could never afford that kind of upfront money. So I made all those gurus mad by charging a relatively small entry fee to my program that also got a percentage of profits that was capped. So you're not stuck with me forever. So for me to get my big money, you got to make way bigger money. Currently the percentage is 50 thousand, so you have to make two hundred thousand for me to get my fifty thousand.
[00:21:42] And I got to tell you, a lot of those other gurus, if they got their money upfront, would never help you. They don't care if you're successful or not where people knew that, hey, I don't get my big money unless you're successful. And so I'm not going to disappear on you. And here I sit. You know, 20 some years later, still helping people say so I kind of live this lifestyle. So also, we have this biggest stayed home where you get an immersion weekend, not during the pandemic. Sorry, but but any other time that we have a retreat, you come in for an immersion weekend. That's the only place in the world you can do this. We have a TV studio where we shoot a video of you. I mean, it's a very comprehensive program. So check out the details at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. And you know what? You get a scholarship to my school. If you're in the mentor program, which means you can use it yourself or gift it to any person in your life that you know will take advantage of it. You don't want to you don't want to throw it away. But check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com and give me a call personally. And there's no high pressure with my organization. You know, you either see the value of this or you don't.
[00:22:56] All right. So let me tell you about before we close my favorite virtual walkie talkie.
[00:23:03] It's called Zello. Now, that's not Zillow, like the real estate site. And basically, it's a free walkie talkie that my employees have on their computers or cell phones. And I can hold the button down. And the one guy we have working up in Long Island, Larry, who actually puts these podcasts up for me. I say Earth to Long Island. Earth to the apocalypse or whatever. Mess with them. And then he can just push his button and answer me and see what we communicate is just like a walkie talkie, but it's free and it's through the Internet. So that's called Zello. I highly encourage you do something like that. And and opposed to what I did with an intercom service one time, I wanted an intercom between here and the school. Oh, my God. Spent thousands of dollars on it. Had to have static IP addresses on both ends. It never worked. So this thing for free does the same darn thing. So don't blow your money on stuff like that because I claim these Mundie training sessions. Are you going to make a lot of money or save a lot of money in this? Right there that back communication device for free will save you tons of money communicating with your employees.
[00:24:26] All right. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. We've got lots of great guests coming up on Wednesdays and Fridays and again, every Monday. You might want to go back and listen to a lot of my Monday sessions. It's stuff that's made me tons of money or saved me tons of money. So I will catch everybody on the next episode. Get out there and communicate. See ya later.
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