Robert Hartline 4:26
Oh, wow. I don’t want my competitors to know these. Okay, okay. I’m kidding. No, I know, honestly. You know, one of the things that I’ve really gotten obsessed with is treating my marketing like a science experiment. Yeah. So what happens when you’ve done an experiment, you analyze what your results are, you document it and then you you’re ready for the next thing? Well, for us in retail, you look at you know, your black Fridays, and you try to figure out what what worked this year and we, you know, we do that every single year and talk about what worked and what didn’t work, and we had a Great team, we did some fantastic marketing all the lessons we’ve learned with marketing on Facebook and converting someone who raises their hand and said, Hey, I’m interested and get that person into the stores. One of the things that I’ve spent a lot of time on, but the reason I look so relaxed is I have a great team. That does it. I don’t sell phones in the stores anymore. But if I did, I’d be just distressing. I have more wrinkles up top here. But now I got a great team making things happen.
Jeremy Weisz 5:27
What’s one thing like another retail store should be doing to get someone online to get know, you know what
Robert Hartline 5:34
the biggest mistake is? People don’t answer the phone, right? It’s the base of a relationship, you know, 27% of all of our business occurs on the telephone first, hmm, if I take all of our clothes business, and I’m in a unique scenario, because I get paid on a phone number, and I have a really fancy phone system that tracks all this stuff. So I have all their data. So I can Tell you with 100% certainty that 27% of the time a customer started that relationship with a phone call. And you know, you and I if we wanted to ask a girl out right What do you have to do yet to call her? Like you had to have some skills on the telephone right most millennials like mean they may even copy and paste a text ask a girl out and they probably Google best text for you know, dating the girl and they just copy and paste it like I know how to talk on the phone with normal people. Well answering the phones the same way I mean, if you answer your phones with energy excitement building for you know it’s a greeting, name exchange, use their name and conversation and you build that rapport because I know if someone calls one of our stores they in fact probably past half dozen wireless stores on my way to on their way to my store. Yeah, so I gotta win them over with a great experience on the phone to get them to land in the door. So my advice there for, for retailers is be good at the phone because people are still calling. And that’s your first impression for a lot of these opportunities.
Jeremy Weisz 7:17
Yeah, I mean, I was looking at videos, there’s one of you actually, you record a personalized video to a customer and you send it to them saying thank you, I know you passed 70 different stores talk about why you created that and how that works.
Robert Hartline 7:31
Well, I use that lots of different avenues for me, I mean, building that relationship to let people know that, you know, you did not buy the phone from a corporate location like, I have, like 380 real people with real families that work for me that have kids and they have bills and they have parents they take care of and I try to give a little personal spin to let them know that when they’re buying from me to the other They’re buying from a real human with two kids and a mortgage, you know, those kind of things. You know, it’s like, we’re real people. And I think people appreciate that, to some regard that that people are being hate being real, the real life people that help help deserve Right. Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 8:17
And one of the things you mentioned on that video, which I love is you talk about one of the things we are initiatives, you train leaders, you train leaders, that will be the future entrepreneurs and future leaders. So I want to we will talk about training leaders, but I want to go back to a time period, if you remember, because you say right now you don’t cell phones, but there was a time period where you would go up to people at gas station.
Robert Hartline 8:46
Yeah. Oh, yeah. What were you doing? Well, dude, it’s called hustle. You know, it’s it’s, it’s using the top hole in your face to generate income. And, you know, talk to people and you know, a lot of people is a numbers game. It’s a people game, you know, it’s just generally talking to people. And it is outside most people’s comfort zones, talk to a stranger and most people will have this experience is, you know, being nervous, you’re sweating, you’re nervous, you know, all those things that I had to literally face that fear to generate income for myself. But once you’ve kind of done it a couple of times, you know, Jeremy, were you in band? No.
Jeremy Weisz 9:33
Okay, I was in sports and other activities, but Okay, so
Robert Hartline 9:36
I was the band geek. All right. And so this is how band works. You’re either first year second year or third year. Okay. And if your first year You’re the best, but let’s say your second chair and Jeremy you play tenor sax if
Unknown Speaker 9:51
I would have been temperature, but yeah,
Robert Hartline 9:53
the first place well, you get to be first place through practice. And you have to Be willing to go in your bedroom and annoy the fire out of your parents playing the same song over and over till you get good. Because the way band works is if I wanted to be first chair, I would tell a band director who happened to be my dad at the time and said, Dad, I want to be first year and he’d be like, son, there. There’s no special road to success, you got to compete. In order to compete. You got to challenge your rival. And so what you’d have to do is literally, he would pick us up music and say, right, play this shooting music in front of everyone, and then give it to the first verse. The first year persons they play this in front of everyone and it was a simple, it was like American Idol without the texting the vote. I mean, it was like you’re either good or you’re bad. And that’s, and that’s how you got ahead. Well, that’s really how sales is right sales is talking to strangers, learning how to to recognize people’s behaviors, their body movements, the way they talk, how to direct your body. Body language to match who they are to you can build rapport with him and it’s just a it’s the beauty of it all, is with practice, we can get a good at anything, you know, paint the picture of regal Robert, what was going on
Jeremy Weisz 11:13
in your life and business life at the time of the gas station experiment and what you actually said when you did this?
Robert Hartline 11:22
Well, that happened to be so you know, I started selling cell phones in 1994. And phones back then were a you know, I had to sell it on the idea of you needed a phone for safety and security. Because everyone knows I don’t need a phone. You know, who had phones, you know, business people, realtors, you know, doctors, you know people highfalutin people, right would have a cell phone, right. And I did that for a number of years, started my own business in 98. And open up a retail store. Well, nobody was coming in. So I was very lucky because I was in front of a gas station. And listen, if there’s people walking by whatever you own your business, whatever, you have opportunities, Okay, forget about money and marketing and all the stuff you could do to drive me today. The most important thing for any business is a good sign that sign a lot of people like, Oh, I put up a sign says, you know, daisies. Let’s say you had a flower shop, your flower shop was called daisies. What the hell is daisies? Well, I know it’s a flower, call it flower shop like this not get too complicated here. But anyway, long story short, if you have traffic in front of your stores, it was just the conversation. So people would pull up to the gas station. And back then I had a Nextel store. And so I’d see someone at the gas station to walk up to a, I don’t know if you’re interested, Here’s my card, on the next store across the street. And I’d love to give you a quote to switching to sprint to see if it’s a fit for you. And I just had that conversation over and over and listen a captive audience was it takes 90 seconds to fill up your gas.
Unknown Speaker 13:04
They can’t go they can’t run away. Where
Robert Hartline 13:07
it you know, so it was. And, you know, at first I first I tried the, you know, the week approach and that is make a statement walk away and see if they follow. Well, what you learn over time as you make a statement with a question, right? The statement is, did you know that we’re right across the street like to give you a quote? What service Do you have today? Huh? Then then and then that was your conversation and then it was then it would, you could figure out where you could spend time where you didn’t? May literally grew my business despite I mean, just talking and getting over that fear of rejection and stranger danger and all those things that very untrue. I mean, I will tell you, there is nothing more fun and exhilarating than talking to a stranger who buys from you right then. Like this frickin nothing else beats that adrenaline rush that you Get that makes it fun.
Jeremy Weisz 14:02
Yeah. And I remember watching a video, I encourage anyone to check out your videos online, but where you map out whatever if it’s 25 conversations produces one sale, that means it’s $10 per conversations, you can actually track it down to $2 when it when it said and done.
Robert Hartline 14:19
Oh, absolutely. I mean, and really as, as leaders, our mission should be inspiring our teams to do the same thing. Because once they uncover, they have this hidden skill. It’s like this Kate that I can throw on and I’m like a superhero. Because if I need money, like I just got to use this, you know, it’s not fancy technology or all there’s all these whiz bang things you can do. But literally, you know, I used to do this thing all the time. When I was selling door to door I love this. I’d go to a tire, a tire shop. Okay, there’s a waiting room in the tire shop, and you can walk into the tower shot and sit in the waiting room. Nobody knows why you’re there. So you’d find an audience And I would literally make my phone ring. I would I would hit the button go green and I’d answer it. And I would literally get a sales pitch to the pert to this fixture in person. My product I love it. And guess what everyone heard that and I would hang out and people always talked to me there all day, which I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I was wondering about well, you know, and I, you know, you know, part of the selling part is you’re always busy, a good salesperson as a full book of business. So always had this attitude like that. I’m, I’m really busy. I gotta get my tire fixed. But let me see what I got on my schedule and see if I can fit you in. I don’t know what I can I got another call coming in. And that would just make people want you you know, I do it just literally, it. There’s nothing else in this basic selling stuff that works.
Jeremy Weisz 15:56
Yeah. I just for some reason, visualize your rubber with a good Pro on your head doing one of these things today and sending it to your team like an Undercover Boss. It’s undercover gas station sales, or I think that’s genius. You know, going in today into a crowded, I don’t know, waiting room of some sort and doing the sales pitch videotaping it and sending it or having someone from the team do that. That’s
Robert Hartline 16:24
right audience I mean, it absolutely will. I mean, what else are they gonna do? Where they gonna go? I love it.
Unknown Speaker 16:32
Let’s talk about training leaders, you know,
Jeremy Weisz 16:35
and a little bit about how you use shift your time to train leaders. Yeah.
Robert Hartline 16:44
So, training leaders, you know, a lot of people generally in my world when it comes to retail, number one, there’s there’s two opportunities when it comes to what I can give someone that would work. Absolute warehouse number one, I give them an opportunity to learn how to sell. And then once you’re ready to graduate to, you know, developing leaders learning how to lead people and how to get people to do things for you, and help benefit the entire team. Yeah. The the leadership piece there are. It’s definitely a skill that you can learn. And that if you spend any time and energy, uh, gosh, there’s so many tools right now to learn about leadership. But a lot of it is basically figuring out what buttons do I need to push for Jeremy to be motivated, whether it’s money, status, recognition, you know, what is it that gets your gears turning in? One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen leaders make I make this mistake every week. And that is, I sometimes assume people are being led and driven by money. And the vast majority of people are driven that way. And so you really got to find other ways to get people really bought into the mission and what the overall thing is. And I’m in a unique position with the the things that I do. I mean, I sell something frickin amazing, like a cell phone. Like, it’s so amazing. Like all the things there’s not one consumer product that tops the phone. Like literally, your phone is everything like you can may not even be able to get home without your phone without an Uber. You may not even be able to leave without Uber Eats. You may not even find the day through tender like you don’t have I mean, like there’s 1000 it’s full, it fills all the needs you have as a human to have this device. And once you can learn on YouTube, like oh my God, that’s a whole university of itself. video. You can watch it on YouTube to go through a learning process to learn whatever you want, but I get the sell that to people. And I there’s nothing that is cool, cooler than the technology piece. And, you know, a few years ago, talking about shift your time. Few years ago, a employee said, Hey, have you heard of this app called Marco Polo? And, and I looked at it and played with it. I was like, Oh my God. You mean I could do video messages to people. And it’s like store in sand and it’s not live, you’re not relying on you and I have in the same schedule. I was like, holy cow. It’s like a Nextel but with video, but without having to do it at the same time. And so if you’ve never heard of Marco Polo, I’m not a stockholder. I don’t have investment in the company. I’m not selling you to use the app. But it is a free app. You should absolutely use it. It’s completely changed my life. Because when you are trying to communicate with other people, the default of American business today has been a phone call. I want to communicate with Jeremy I gotta call Jeremy. Well, I don’t care if Jeremy’s in a meet and meeting or working or whatever, if I’m going to talk to Jeremy, my god, you’re gonna listen to me now. Like it is the ultimate intrusion device to stop what you were doing the focus on Robert heartline for whatever reason, like the fact that you even answer your phone is pretty remarkable. And most entrepreneurs don’t realize this simple fact. 80% of what we do as a business owner or leader is communicate. And for a vast majority of us It has has been for decades. It’s been the cell phone What if I call you Jeremy in the middle of you working on a project you’re on your computer, your focus, you’re writing an email, maybe you’re doing a massive change in your marketing strategy you really heavily in the thinking process, and I call you and you’re like, Oh my gosh, potential opportunity. I’m gonna answer the phone. I’m gonna stop what I’m doing, you answer that and talk to me. It takes the average person 25 minutes to get back into that state of flow.
Jeremy Weisz 21:27
It was a switching cost.
Robert Hartline 21:28
And and that constant disruption from your day over and over and over, completely changes the game and what you can accomplish in your day. And what what Marco Polo has done is not only am I communicating with audio for my voice, but my facial expressions, the tone and tempo of my voice. What is exciting what is scary. What is anger? Lee maddening all these things I can communicate through body language. You can’t communicate through body language on a telephone call. You can’t communicate through body language on an email. Now the email is the second most popular communication tool that oh my god, how many different ways can you write an email and be wrong? Every single one of those times? How many times have you written an email was were Sally got her feelings hurt because you use a capital you know, all caps or, you know, the wrong the wrong message to the wrong people, like people communicate in different ways. And the beauty of all of this and, you know, it’s funny, I talked to so many entrepreneurs that I talked about Marco Polo, and they’re like, oh, why don’t you just get on FaceTime? Okay, again, you’re gonna stop what I’m doing to talk.
Jeremy Weisz 22:58
Ain’t you? You said this, it When we talked before is it’s asynchronous communication. Right? And that’s the power of it. Right? You don’t have to be there at the same time. You do it at your convenience.
Robert Hartline 23:09
Yeah. So, you know, what I did with my consulting model is we basically go to companies and we say, listen, let’s analyze the way you communicate, let’s develop a playbook. Because one of the number one, things that people fail on when they go to Marco Polo, they introduce it to the team. And it becomes another system in addition to slack and email and phone call, and their zoom calls in their conference calls in their video call like, it’s like a another thing. And what I do is I work with organizations and give them the why. And so listen, you’re going to use all your internal communications gonna be Marco Polo. You got a great idea. That’s great. Jeremy, tell me and Marco Polo. And when I get an opportunity, I can absorb it, listen to it, think about it before I respond. And it’s becomes a change in the way you receive information, deal with information and send information. And you just cannot get that in any other platform.
Jeremy Weisz 24:14
Where should we send people to check out more about you
Robert Hartline 24:17
cannot use your time I have a I have a course. And you know, just because Rise 25 helped me a lot with some business ideas when I came out to one of your conferences. I’ll give you guys a coach so you guys can do the course for free. We have an online course that three and a half hours of content on how to use Marco Polo to hiring and firing and coaching and training and they got to leading a sales organization or leading an ops team. All those things, I got videos on how to use it to really add that extra 40 hours a week and productivity to changing just a few things and communicating it to a playbook and it makes it super easy.
Jeremy Weisz 24:59
So Where should we will check out the website and I’ll think about it will create a code because I think people value what they pay for. So I don’t even know if it should be completely free. Like they should have some skin in the game. I mean, it’s not like you’re doing it to make money. It’s just like, if I pay you for something which I’d rather pay you then get it for free personally, because that means I’m invested in I’m actually more likely to do it, you know, so
Robert Hartline 25:22
well, you know, it’s my mission to get people to stop calling me Jeremy.
Jeremy Weisz 25:27
When I heard that, I’m like, okay, fine, I’m not calling you anymore. That’s no problem. And I respond.
Robert Hartline 25:33
Now, you can go to shift your time calm, if you don’t know come, okay. And you can go there and do the do the online course and you know, do it with your team, but you know, I do structure a little bit. You got to be very calculating the way you deploy this kind of tool in a specific way. Otherwise, you will create a little tension, you know, just getting a team to use slack. You know, you get people That’s a whole challenge in of itself, any communication. I mean, people generally are so resistant to anything new. It’s true that they literally fight it. And I have a very easy sales pitch for people. Robert, when I tell them about I said, Listen, Robert has like 400 employees and has over 100 million dollars if you think you’re too good to use this app and don’t use it. That’s, that’s my sales pitch to friends.
Jeremy Weisz 26:30
Okay, so it’s more like a takeaway, like, okay, like don’t because like you said, most people don’t want to download another app. So talk about what are some of the other tools you do use? And how do you integrate that with how do you integrate Marco Polo with slack? Or is it a replacement of
Robert Hartline 26:45
so it’s, yeah, we, we, we use slack a couple years ago, we stopped using slack because we were using this I mean, the power of leadership is is is inspirational, like I gotta inspire my team to go out and hit it again. So I had it A great team that hustling over the weekend. I mean, they work their Fannie’s off. But Monday, I got to get in front of everybody and get them jazzed about this week, because the sales aren’t, it’s not over, folks, you still got to come out and buy, right? So I got to get my team reengage, and there’s no other way to sell through without this, like, this is my tool. You know, me in front of people in front of an audience. And this great thing about marcopolo is you can have groups can groups of people. So I have groups of stores that groups of leaders. I have problem groups, you know, if if some problem arises, let’s say, managers aren’t setting their schedules properly. I’ll get a select group of managers and select group of VMs and couple smart people and get under marcopolo. And say, guys, by Friday, we’re going to solve this issue together. Here’s the problem. We’re going to go through the IDS model EOS, which is, you know, identify the problem, discuss and solve And so the beauty of this asynchronous conversation piece is, there’s a temptation during problem solving that me and you are going to solve the problem right now on a call. But you know what really solves problems when you go, you’re in the shower, you’re washing your hair. And then that little idea pops in my thing. Oh, my God, that’s the solution. Well, I need to give space for the idea generation to happen. That’s why not all ideas or problems need to be solved in an hour meeting. I think that’s why meetings don’t work. Generally. You got to give them a little bit of space to kind of filter some ideas, talk some stories, you know, here’s some with the real problems, often we solve the wrong thing, or we create another problem with our solution. So
Jeremy Weisz 28:51
Brother, what kind of cadence do you use? Do you do a regular cadence like every day for these groups or?
Robert Hartline 28:57
No, no, I mean, you know a lot of his lessons is more. And one of the things I do teach in that, in my course is you’re going to be on video, right? And if you’re going to press that record button, what are you going to say? Have you thought about it? Have you really thought about it? Because one of the major problems when you get on video, if you’re not, not thought through your, what you’re going to say you will ramble and ramble and ramble and ramble. So what’s what’s You know, there’s some good strategies behind you documenting what you’re going to say, putting your phone in airplane mode, so you can record a video that if you don’t like it, delete it, do another one, because the way Marco Polo works, because it’s so simple, and you hit start and stop, and when you hit stop, it’s gone. It’s gone to whoever the recipient is, they’re gonna watch it now I can quickly delete it before they watched it. But the beauty of the tool is, this is the speed of sending those videos before marcopolo I could record a video upload it to something and send it to someone but that’s a big giant Yeah.
Jeremy Weisz 30:04
What I like about it too is it’s you can watch it two times speed so I can if someone does leave a really long one you can you can get it up actually um what is you know what’s interesting someone from the outskirts I’ve never seen anyone implement as quickly as you do with with different ideas and tests which is amazing to see in action. And from observing someone like you You think this guy is just has so many things going on but what when you look closer, they all tied together. So talk a little bit about how the business is tied together with you know, you’ve absolute wires ding Repair Call proof shift your time all of them came out of
Robert Hartline 30:48
companies. Yeah, absolutely. They all they all integral Are they all are connected, really. You know, solve
Jeremy Weisz 30:55
your problem. Which one came for they all solve like an issue. that you had, or some, you know, some pain point that you had?
Robert Hartline 31:03
Well, I mean, you know, for for my phone repair business, I mean the best time to switch your services when you break your phone. So it’s a natural fit that I’ve fixed phones and try to get you to get another carrier right. You know, call for if we had a problem with outside sales people saying they were doing something they weren’t really doing because they don’t want to enter stuff in CRM, and we built an app that automated the all the information of daily activity. And then if you lead sales people, you can almost guarantee what your results are going to be next month, based on the activities you do this month, depending on what your sales cycle is. If you got a 30 day sales cycle, I mean, the results are 30 days away, right? Well, if you have a sales team not making calls and that’s how you generate business, wouldn’t you want to know that in real time, I mean, so many businesses There’s do it like this. They they’ll, they’ll look at their CRM and go, well, Johnny, you only you only call the one person yesterday. Well guess what, Jeremy, you got no time machine. I don’t care what he did yesterday, you can go back in time and fix that. Like, why even bother making that salesperson feel bad? So I tell people like, you look at data with activity in the middle of the day at noon, because guess what? sales is a tough gig. It’s hard. Like your first sales call Jeremy could be that total douche bag. That was a total jackass to you. And he like took the sale out of your you know, the wind out of your sails like right away. Well, if you’re a good sales leader, and you see that someone’s not done the activity. I’m going to call him Jeremy. Hey, how’s your day going? How’s it how’s things going? I’m not calling him. Jeremy. You only get one call today. That’s not gonna get me anywhere. We’re nowhere zero. Okay? So but I may hear you say, Well, you know, a cold this gun he was real but hot students. Yeah, that’s what sales is man. It’s pucker up Buttercup, let’s do this call together, let’s let’s do a call, I’ll do one you do one, I’ll do one you doing. If you give the rep, some ample opportunity to get a win a little bit of taste of success that will carry them on. And you have to figure out as leader, you got to figure out how to be a drug dealer dude, because that’s all success. Leadership is all about. I gotta give you a little bit of taste of success, to carry you forward. And so I gotta get you a hit. Because we all know, when you do something in sales that yields a result, you get that little dopamine hit, it feels so good, right? When that dopamine goes away, you’re like shit, I need some more. So if you got it through active selling or talking to strangers or you know, you know, doing what You do in sales? You want more of that. So you got to keep pushing that forward. You got to keep get that get them a little taste of it. So we’re all little drug dealers, right? We got to give a little Oh, I gotta figure out how can I get some dope name to Jeremy cuz I want him taste this stuff. This stuff is good. You gotta come see me, right? But you got to get people taste in it. And once they taste it, they feel how it feels and it makes them feel good. And they feel good about what they do. And then they just, it just kind of carries on and it helps it helps propel them.
Jeremy Weisz 34:32
So what are some ways you see him again, you’re naturally kind of hit on supporting that person, right, how you can support them. What are certain you mentioned, sometimes we default to thinking money is going to motivate someone what have you seen the different motivations that we should be thinking about to help
Robert Hartline 34:52
lead people? Well, sometimes, if you’ve never seen money, then you don’t know what it can do for for you. So a lot of times I’ll point that out in terms of like, all right. I don’t know if you know this. But this person working in your store during the same hours that you work makes $3,000 more a month, you think about and sit on that just for a minute. Now, you really have to make a decision, whether you are renting me your time, or you want to create value, because we all know people who spend their time on value creation, make more money and everything they do. They are looking for ways to wow and impress another person who has money in their pocket that’s willing to spend money. And it’s not about just selling a lot. It’s about creating lots of value. So when I sit in front of a prospect looking at buying a phone, I want to talk about all the wonderful things that these gizmos can do to their life. And if they only had these gizmos, and you knew how to use them, how much more amazing life could be with those tools. And as long as you are able to kind of walk a salesperson to that thought process and get them to understand it’s about value creation, because literally a high performance salesperson, my organization with an average sales performer, there’s about $5,000 a month in difference in the amount of income that they can have work the same amount of hours, but they do their hours differently. And there’s two types of people in my world, people who are renting me their time, a whole show up for eight hours. And there’s other people like oh my gosh, and I got to make the most of these eight hours because listen, if I’m going to take this time away from my family, you know, I’m going to I’m going to do this work and I do talk a lot about you know, when they are on the floor, they are working for their family. That’s why they’re there. And yeah, it’s for them to to generate money from themselves. But listen, when you get a team members, spouse bottom, into that organization that Listen, I’m gonna hold you accountable Jeremy. But if I hold you accountable and you make more money, are you mad at me? I’m a let’s be real. Are you gonna be mad at me because I’m going to challenge you with some things. And if I see you on the floor, and you don’t greet a customer properly, you don’t give them good eye contact. You’re not building any report, no name exchange. When that customer walks out, I’m going to be like Jeremy dude, how do you expect to be a success if you don’t even know the customer’s name? And when you say the customers name, Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, it’s like little bitty hugs. And that person will just love you and love you forever. Because ultimately what I’m trying to do in a store is at the end of the week, Jeremy’s out with his boys going to steak dinner at Bob Steakhouse. And he slaps his brand new iPhone 11 on the counter. I want his boys to go dude, you got a new phone bout time to get rid of that old ancient I want Jeremy go, dude, Robert guy, the sprint store frickin Hey, that guy’s the bomb you gotta buy from him. That’s ultimately what I’m working for when I’m selling. It’s what I teach my team. A great salesperson is not a salesperson. They are a sales manager. Because ultimately, my role in the store is to create customers to be my salespeople to go around the community, and bring the sales to me. And I’m just simply the manager of those sales reps. So I’m not selling. I’m trying to recruit you to be my sales, part of my sales team. And I do that through value creation. Like when I sit down and show someone that they can add a shortcut in their phone, they can add their school’s address as a as a Google Map. shortlink so you get in your home screen, you just hit the maps of the school drive to pick up your kids. A lot of people don’t realize this, you may not even know this. You can save time 10 minutes a day, if you always use Google Maps, or ways any of those tools to get in avoid traffic. If you use that on every single transit, you can add that extra time in your day by just using that as a become a habit for you. But that’s about just creating, you know, value for someone, you may came in to pay your bill, but I gave you some value. I give you just a little bit of knowledge that you didn’t have before. Maybe I show you a new tool like Marco Polo, that’s going to make a far better relationship with your spouse because you can communicate better. So
Jeremy Weisz 39:38
yeah, yeah, your sales people become trusted advisors. And they’re almost becoming
Unknown Speaker 39:43
like, mini shifts,
Jeremy Weisz 39:44
you know, shift your time advocates of giving them one or two or three things that would make save them time which time is money, right? Oh,
Robert Hartline 39:53
yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know it what’s really sad in our society In the 70s, we build these big office spaces to house big IBM mainframe computers. And so all the knowledge workers had to kowtow at office because this expensive equipment, and everyone started using the interstate more. And traffic started to creep in. Next thing, you know, you got really overweight people sitting in traffic to get to an office to use a computer that was at their house. It’s just like, it’s just the whole, the whole thing needs someone to go out. I mean, I’ve literally thought someone’s got to get on Netflix and do a documentary and how changing the way you communicate can make you healthier, wealthier, and have more time with your kids and your family. By changing this mindset of all I gotta make a phone call. I gotta be in an office to do work. I gotta have my whole team in downtown Nashville. Are you kidding me? Come on, you’re going to drive two and a half hours a day to go to an office? Like how do you have time to exercise or spend time with your kids or eat healthy? You can’t? You can’t you just give up a lot of stuff.
Jeremy Weisz 41:14
Thanks for sharing some of those things, Robert, because I think anyone who works for you or I’m boards, you know, gets probably a rockstar sales training. You know, rockdale says sales training leading into leadership training. So, thanks for sharing a few of those tidbits. I always ask Robert, since it’s inspired Insider, what’s been the toughest moment in business and then what’s been one of the proudest moments and before telling me your toughest, maybe moment, talk about just some of the tough parts about retail, because
Unknown Speaker 41:49
it’s not it’s not easy.
Robert Hartline 41:53
Now, I mean, you know, we’re in a, we’re in a challenging environment. I mean, great environment colonies, kicking But right now, which creates some pressure on what you can afford to bring people on. So, you know, when you have unemployment rate at two and a half percent, I mean, there’s not a lot of people out there that are dying to come work. And so you really have to, you have to figure out a different reason they come to work with you. And for me, it’s teaching selling skill. The most important most lucrative thing on the planet to do is selling I don’t care. There’s not one other profession that pays more than selling ultimately, you know, that skill set, man, you’re good, right? And then you transition if you want until leader not everyone wants to be a leader, but learning that leadership thing is helpful. Probably the most challenging thing in business. Oh my gosh, um, you know what it has to be dealing with people who have lack of integrity. And people that, you know, honestly, from, you know, our school system probably does not do a very good job going over what a felony is in the consequences of a felony, you know, you still steal one of our phones, it’s over $1,000 It’s a felony, right? If you get convicted of a felony, like there’s a lot of places you can no longer work at, man. You can even deliver mail if you have a felony, but some people have never been taught those kind of consequences. And a lot of it is in our school systems not built to develop entrepreneurs and get them inspired and all that stuff. And so when they get out in the real world, they realize how hard it is. And no one’s ever I mean, you I walked into my I remember watching walking into my my kids kindergarten classroom They had this, you know, profession picture, right? It had the fireman, it had the attorney, it had the police officer, the male it had all these like, like, not one of them was a salesperson. Not one of them was a sales manager. Not one of them was a business owner. Like none of those things. I mean, our schools are simply not designed to, I mean, to inspire people, and it kind of makes sense. Imagine if you took the public school system and you started inspiring people to own businesses, who would work in the factories and who would, who would sweep the streets a new one, like, like, I guess there’s probably a reason why we’re not actively promoting entrepreneurship in schools. But you know, that, you know, back to the integrity thing, it’s just it’s it’s probably a big mess. I’ve spent a lot of time and energy dealing with fraudsters and we had a had a person a few years ago, steal $340,000 What? Wow, I’m, in our, our payroll company. A person inside the payroll company had creative fictitious people, and we’re paying them for a number of years. But, you know, dealing with theft and that kind of thing is the nature of the beast. You know, I tell everyone, don’t go blindly with your payroll service, make sure you have an IRS and admissions policy. It’s critical for every business to have and they basically, that will cover you in the event of someone embezzling money from you. Or it’s very common in the payroll space, super common wardian ever believe? Where people just making people up and paying them out of your payroll and it’s
Jeremy Weisz 45:49
just like an outside service.
Unknown Speaker 45:51
Jeremy Weisz 45:54
Talk about a tough conversation. You know, I’m sure that people have maybe not been ethical, maybe stolen things? How do you approach that tough conversation with someone?
Robert Hartline 46:07
You know, you know, generally what you don’t
Jeremy Weisz 46:10
say it’s also maybe someone who’s been a good performer and you’ve trusted Well,
Robert Hartline 46:14
well, this is this is something I’ve learned. You have those conversations when they start day one. So I have six core values of my company integrity, care, which is caring about the customer accountability, adaptability, respect and excite. And I call it ocher. Because we’re from the south, that’s how we say things around here. So but I talked about each one of those things in a new higher class, and I make sure everyone understands the importance of integrity. And I talked about Listen, Jeremy, just so you know. I can show you video after video of employees walking out of my store in handcuffs. I do not want that to be you. I pay a lot of people a lot of money to watch my cameras to 24 hours a day, because fraud is big in the wireless business. And I in fact, I tell them, I have a private investigator that will challenge your integrity. And if your integrity is not where it needs to be at absolute wireless, I’m going to let you go. So when I make those statements, people like, and I tell people listen, if you were going to commit fraud with me, I am the worst place to do it. There’s a you can go to a lot of different places, and you’ll get away with it. Like here, you’re not because I, I’ve got too many things in play. And that has cut. I mean, I lost two years ago $900,000 due to fraud. Wow. And it’s because I didn’t have a system. And I didn’t, I didn’t tell people up front. And when you tell people up front, you really kind of set the stage like this ain’t this guy ain’t messing around, you know, and it’s probably the most critical conversation I have with people. Every every week I it’s called How to Win call that absolute wireless. And I spent an hour and a half like walking through each one of our core values and make sure everyone’s on board and understand. Yeah, thanks for sharing that.
Jeremy Weisz 48:14
What about proud moment? If you look back over the past 20 plus years, what’s been especially proud moment?
Robert Hartline 48:23
I’m proud moments to me is when employees start their own businesses. Hmm, I really dig that. I really enjoy that. I really think that is a great sign of success as we get older. And we see people that were sitting next to us years ago that started their own thing and, and they’re being successful at it. I love seeing and I support it. And if someone’s came to me tomorrow and said, Rob, you know, I’ve been working here for the last five years. I’m gonna start my own wireless store. Dude, let me help you. I’ll sit side by side. I’ll tell you everything I know. Listen, I want to help you win. Like, I don’t care if you’re gonna be my competitor, I want to see you successful. I mean that, to me, what we leave behind is the knowledge and skills that we teach other people that go off and do wonderful things. And those are like, you know, symbols of our success, we get to look back and look at the people that were successful as a result of spending some time with, you
Jeremy Weisz 49:21
know, so what is is there a case in particular that’s happened, either they rose in the ranks to be a leader or,
Robert Hartline 49:28
Bro, I have tons of those. I mean, I have tons of those opportunities where I get to see someone just crushing it and doing well and I can, you know, talk to I know, I have I have, I have team members that I do business with, that I buy from them, and because they, they offer great service, and I really liked them, and I want to support them, and I’m going to keep supporting them.
Jeremy Weisz 49:51
Robert, thank you. I’ll be the first one. I think it has been tremendously valuable. I always learned from me whenever I talk to you, where should we point people online, we could send the shift Your time where else should they check out online?
Robert Hartline 50:02
Yeah, you can check me out on Facebook. I’m easy to find
Unknown Speaker 50:05
a call for
Robert Hartline 50:07
ya come Where else? Yeah, you can visit shift your time calm and if you want to see me on twitter it’s heartline. Robert.
Unknown Speaker 50:14
Cool, Robert. Always pleasure.
Robert Hartline 50:17