Success Stories with Marshall Atkinson

Success Stories EP 23 - "Competing in an Oversaturated Market" with Sara Webb with InTandem Promotions

June 30, 2021 Marshall Atkinson Season 1 Episode 23
Success Stories with Marshall Atkinson
Success Stories EP 23 - "Competing in an Oversaturated Market" with Sara Webb with InTandem Promotions
Show Notes Transcript

Are you trying to compete in an oversaturated market?  These days, that can be a challenge even for experienced veterans of our industry.

On today’s Success Stories podcast, Sara Webb with InTandem Promotions in Kennesaw, Georgia,  will help you unlock the secrets of infiltrating and succeeding despite overwhelming competition.  Sara will share some tips and tricks that have worked for her and allowed her to be one of the top sales leaders in the promotional products industry.

If you are in sales, this is one that you don’t want to miss!



Marshall Atkinson

Are you trying to compete in an oversaturated market these days? That can be a challenge even for the experienced veterans in our industry on today's success stories podcast, Sarah Webb, within Tandem Promotions in Kennesaw, Georgia will help you unlock the secrets of infiltrating and succeeding despite overwhelming competition. 

Sarah will share some tips and tricks that have worked for her and allowed her to be one of the top sales leaders in the promotional products industry. If you're in sales, this is one that you don't want to miss.

Sarah! So welcome to the success stories podcast!

Sara Webb

I am so excited to be here today, Marshall! Thank you so much for the invitation. 


Marshall Atkinson

Yeah, it's going to be great. And we're like old buddies. Cause I knew you back when I worked at a company called T formation. And you worked at Summit and I used to print your shirts.


Sara Webb 

Way back when I think I was 12. Let's feel how many years that was that dirty secret.


Marshall Atkinson

It was forever ago. And years, if I remember,  your stuff was always great, it was always buttoned up, I never had any issues. And, that's what I loved about working with you, and that's why I wanted, one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you now because I'm sure you've only gotten better. 


Sara Webb

Well, you know, from my experience, you were always great at problem-solving. So we would constantly throw these challenges and crazy things at you. And you’d always find a way to make it happen. And, that's why we loved working with partners like yourself. 


Marshall Atkinson

Right. Thank you, thank you. All right, so let's get started with some questions. Okay. All right. So to start the show, please share with everyone some details about your career and intend promotions.

You know, we want to hear your origin story, the markets that you serve and kind of like your journey, because we're going to talk about, you know, getting in the middle of competition. I think that really. The origin story has to, has to begin the tale. 


Sara Webb

Well, and there's some definite great competition out there.

So I love having this conversation and just, and brainstorming and sharing some of the things that we have done. And Tandem is celebrating its 8th anniversary this year, which is huge. And you know, what's even crazier when you've learned about the statistics, only 4% of businesses make it past the 10-year mark.

So we're barreling toward that goal and that, ten big 10 year anniversary, but there are obvious reasons why the market is infiltrated. There are lots of buying and selling happening right now. The whole industry is crazy. SoI started in Tandem as I shared, in 2013, it started in my home office and in my basement. Yes, I absolutely started, uh, in my basement with my husband. My husband loved it. It's his favorite story to talk about, especially since I'm a hoarder. So not only am I having my entire business here and online stores and driving things back and forth to UPS, I'm hoarding things and secret places because I couldn't get rid of anything. You know, all of the samples were so valuable, so it was really hard for me to get rid of them.


Marshall Atkinson

I have this mental picture of the basement version of that scene, the raiders of the lost ark with all the boxes. 


Sara Webb

Yeah. Well, and, and I've always been that way. You know, this industry is in, it's in my blood. I am obsessed with products, I always am the person that knows that it's hidden in the fifth box and I did it in this project and this time period. 

And remember this, this one particular project that took us forever to the source. So that's exactly how it was Marshall. And we stayed in my home office. There was one other employee and me, and then we grew to like one and a half. And then, uh, in 2015 we started. We moved into an office building and had warehousing and some office space.

We ended up a couple of years later buying that building, and then we relocated in 2018 to one. That's now three times the size, and in Tandem is now international. We opened our Sussex office in England earlier this year. So that's happening. 


Marshall Atkinson

Cool. Did you get to go over there?


Sara Webb

Very soon. So they're starting to open up again. So as soon as that happens, I will be heading over. I'll work on my British accent, which I'm not very good at because I'm from the south.

So it might take me a minute. 


Marshall Atkinson

That's okay. Well, to them, you've got a great accent cause you're from the Southern United States. So you know. And so what markets are you serving that is so congested with the competition? You know, let’s get into that. 


Sara Webb

So we, the way that our team is divided, we have three separate departments, I guess you would call them and you have the online stores, so that's all of our programs. Consistent inventory programs that we're managing, awards and recognition, online stores, sales incentives. And that's our program team. And then we have our custom team and they are focused on the individual drop ship orders that we have. And then we have now in 2020 we launched the Intandem shop.

So that's everything that's coming in, from the internet. And so, as you can tell, we don't really divide it up into the industry. But the competition within our industry is so large and vast that there has never been a market that we have entered that there haven't been some significant and awesome players that are in there.


Marshall Atkinson

Okay. And so when you're bringing on these team members. Are you hiring people with experience and have to retrain them, or are you hiring people who don't know anything and then you're training them to do it your way? What's the best approach for them, with these folks that you were just talking about?


Sara Webb

Well, this industry is so dynamic and ever-changing, and for us, what has been key to our growth and development is to bring on employees and teammates that have come from a vast range of industries. Yes, we do have a couple of employees that came from other, other companies within the industry, but the vast majority of them have come from other similar skill sets.

So for example, our operations manager worked in retail stores throughout the United States. And for her, she knows all of the backend things. She knows about stocking, she knows about inventory, she knows about barcoding. She knows how to run and manage that. So that skillset was what we were hiring for that role.

We have one, our dropship team. We have some individuals that are. We're focused on, uh, events and event marketing. Well, guess what, they came from the event industry and actually one of them was a client of mine. Uh, two of them were clients of mine previously from the event industry.

And so they're very familiar with how events work and run so that skillset and being able to work with that client is really what was key for us and bringing them on board. And that's pretty much how we've hired. So, people that have had experience with online stores and some of the technology background, that's what we're hiring for.


Marshall Atkinson

That's great. That's kind of like how the lobby firms always hire the ex-Senator. Because you know all the secret handshakes. 


Sara Webb

Well, having that insight really helps. You know, as I shared, this industry is constantly changing. I mean, I went from fax machines on my desk and orders coming through and, you know, overnight and camera-ready artwork to everything happening through email.

And this is how we're just growing and morphing and evolving. I mean, last year was no exception. So, you know, having the right skill set, I think is the most important and people that can change that are fluid that are not expecting to come in and have a regimen a day because you won't get that here.


Marshall Atkinson

Good. Good. So let's talk about your sales process. How are you identifying an ideal customer and what are you doing to get them to stop using someone else and start using you? 


Sara Webb

No, great question. So one of the things that we really focused on in 2020 was having an idea of what is our ideal customer avatar. And once we really defined who those humans are, then we could build a process and a program around what they need and what their customer value journey is.

So for example, meeting planners, as I shared. A meeting planner is a lot of times they're looking for sponsorship items or they're looking for trade show suggestions. And so how do we build that out so that they're not having to invest a tremendous amount of time in what's the right booth for me, what's the right tablecloth, you know, what is the right swag? What are the right sponsor gifts? 

So we really understand their value journey based on, is it a one-time event? Is it a corporate event? Is it an association event? And then building that customer value journey to make that ordering process very simple for them. And you know, really anticipating our customer needs. That's the big one. So knowing when the trade shows are coming up, knowing when the events are coming, reaching out to them ahead of time, following up from previous year's events, and then understanding; what are some things that didn't go well the previous year?

That is what sets us ahead, time and time again, with, you know, against the competition or just from ordering something simply online. And it's really understanding opportunities to deliver what they're needing without them having to say it. It's about getting into their brains so that they can focus on the 15 million other things that they're working on.


Marshall Atkinson

So, are you like bundling, like you have different bundles? Like here's the starter kit, and here's the event kit, and here's the whatever, and then maybe there's like a Chinese menu of stuff to pick from to make it easy and frictionless, or are you doing stuff like that? 


Sara Webb

Yes. So, there's a lot of different things that you can do.

So we do have bundle kits so they can, if you're looking for a price point that's between X and Y you know, $5 to $10 ideas per attendee and you have 500 attendees. This is the package that we would suggest for you. But then you also have to understand who their end consumer is.

So is this a technology event? Is this a corporate event? Is this an HR event? You know, what is it? And so then really understanding those niche markets and being able to provide the right blend of products for them. So yes, thinking three steps ahead for them based on what they're trying to do, what their goals and accomplishments are, and what they're trying to accomplish.


Marshall Atkinson

So when you initially talk to a new customer, are you like, asking a gazillion questions to get a feel for what they need? What their budget is? What they're interested in, what different products that they like, or they don't like, you know, and especially the don't like, you know, I think a lot of people skip over that.

I always call it the pertinent negative, you know? So what don't you want or what was the big problem last time? That type of stuff. If you know that that's like gold because you can completely avoid that in the future. Do you do stuff like that? 


Sara Webb

So we do, but not exactly. So when you, when we first engaged with that client, I know for, from my experience, I don't want to be peppered with a billion questions. At the same time, I want you to hear me, without me saying the things that I'm supposed to say. 

So, it's that trying to figure out what that balance is, instead of saying, what is your budget? How many people are you expecting? What is your, you know, what are your goals here? And then having to keep going, you know, you know, the whole email trains that are like 15 pages long or they didn't answer one of the questions.

So normally we start the journey with, you know, we're so excited about your event. These are a couple of things that have been successful for us in the past. So we have case studies and so we can show them some of our experience. You want the customer to, first of all, really feel comfortable with who you are, especially in the very beginning stages.

You know, are you trustworthy? Can you produce for me? What are you going to do to actually save me time, energy, and effort? And then, the questions that I'm going to ask are going to be value-added for you to spend the time to answer those questions. So we always start with. 

We're really excited to work with you. Here are a couple of examples of some, either programs or projects that we've worked on. We'd love to have an opportunity to dive into this deeper. And then from there, yes, Marshall, we totally ask some of the additional questions as we go through, but then it becomes more of a conversation versus me saying, you know, me peppering you with a whole lot of things right upfront.


Marshall Atkinson

Are you using video? 

Sara Webb

You know, we have used a few of the video technologies back and forth. Now Georgia has been open for the last two months. So we've had a lot of clients actually come in the house or we'll do a showroom visit through zoom or something like that. 


Marshall Atkinson

Yeah. Well, I think the thing that you're really talking about here is building trust.

Uh, that seems to be what I'm hearing here. Am I correct? 


Sara Webb

You know, I tell the story a lot. I never intended to be a salesperson because all of my perceptions of salespeople were not positive. And we know that's not, we all know that there are different types of salespeople and there are some really great ones out there that actually care.

And then there are some not-so-great ones out there. And so for me, you're absolutely right. I want to make sure that the customer feels at ease in doing business with us. That they are assured that we are going to come through, come hell or high water and that we'll be able to deliver based on what their, what their needs are.

So always, but it's, it's like dating, right? You're not going to get married on the first date. And so when somebody comes in, I think the expectation is I'm going to pounce on you and I'm going to show you all these things and ask you all these questions. And you know, we're going to really get to the bottom of this and we're going to save each other's time.

Life and people aren't like that. It may be like that on a quiz or a questionnaire, but that human-to-human connection is very imperative. And so, yes, it's like dating. It's like, you know, “Hey, I'm interested in you”. “Hey, I'm interested in you too”. “Okay. Well, this is what I can provide”. “Well, this is what I do”.

“Okay. Well, let's go on the first date and then”, you know, then you can have that expanded conversation. 


Marshall Atkinson

Right. Right. And that's so right. So I'm a big believer when I call a human to human marketing, which is you have to see... we have to see each other as people. And that's where the trust starts, where we recognize that we're not perfect or we, you know, we come to our place with different skills or different experiences or different ways I can help you. And if I don't have something you need, the trust comes in where I can go. You know what? I know a person. Let me bring them in and then we can solve that problem for you together.

And I think that's where a lot of that starts because, you know, good selling to me. Isn't, uh, isn't transactional, per se. I think really good selling is about relieving the other person or the anxiety that comes with selling or the purchase. Don't you think? 


Sara Webb

I totally agree. You know, when I look at our clients and people always talk about the lifetime value of the client.

Well, when you're looking at some of those things. Those facts and figures, you know, I've been with many of our clients since, you know, they, they got married and they had babies and their kids are now graduating from high school. Those are the stories. Those are the ones... that's where, you know, every life is just so much richer and the conversations are deeper and you actually end up selling more because you're so ingrained with who they are as an individual versus what you're trying to sell to them.

And it's like, I, you watch just, just looking at the numbers beyond just being a normal, nice, person. You know, when you look at the numbers, the value is there. The investment is there. And I think so often we're scrolling and clicking and all the things that we're not really investing. And that's really where the good stuff comes from.


Marshall Atkinson

Oh, I totally agree with that. I can't tell you how many clients I've had over the years where I'm still talking to them when they're on their third or fourth time. 


Sara Webb

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, look at us today! You know, I have you in my brain from previous relationships and knowing how you work and that trust is there. So it even makes additional future opportunities. And you're who I go to when I have t-shirt printing questions even still to this day. 


Marshall Atkinson

I've learned something over the years. What are two things anyway? And I appreciate it.


<<Commercial Break>>


Marshall Atkinson

In a saturated market. What are the most common mistakes people make when they're trying to sell? And how are you doing it differently? Because we want to avoid those mistakes, Sarah. 


Sara Webb

I don't want to tell you something that you guys don't already know, but what I'm about to tell you, you already know. You got to follow up, man. So at the end of the day, when you think about a contractor that you need to come to your house and they're going to replace your back deck, or they're going to paint your walls or ceilings. How many of those contractors are you actually reaching out to that don't even respond?

And, I know this because I've just had our basement redone and I can't tell you how many people we had to go through and the person that got the job, it wasn't because they were better or cheaper or more fancy than the other guy. It was because he called me back. He set the date, he showed up. He gave me a quote. He followed up. He came to my house. I paid him. And you know, when we, when we talk about what makes Intandem better, how is Intandem going to continue to break through the noise, to break through the saturated market? Many people stop, they send a quote. They don't follow up. They are not checking in on repeat orders or on what they did last year.

They're not checking to say, “Hey, how did that order go?” They're onto the next one. Or they're rushing to do a different quote or something like that. And you know, we don't. We don't, we're not stopping. We're sending out one more email. Just one more email. I mean, that's what my team hears me say, even before I head out before the evening. Oh just one more, just one more.

I'm sending out that extra follow-up. I'm picking up the phone one more time. And one of our… from PPAI, one of the training, said that it takes a consumer five to twelve times for thought, a conversation, a quote to stay. Five to twelve times, everybody else is going to stop at the second follow-up, the third follow-up. I'm not stopping.

I'm not even stopping at 12, you know? And so when you are, you know, when you're going through that process, I know that many people are like, well they're ignoring me. They're ghosting me -- that's the familiar term right now. But there are so many tools and software. packages that are available just to help you with the follow-up process and just, you know, send out those little reminders.

But then the other thing that we're doing is all of the touch marketing as well. So, you know, it's more than just an email. Hey, check in on this quote, Hey, checking in on this boat. My emails never sound like that. You know, what other projects do you have coming up? How else can I help if this wasn't it let me know? Or we're showing them some new fame-dangled idea. And then in addition to that, we're doing the spec samples, we're doing the virtuals, we're sharing with them other ideas, you know, throughout the time to touch base. And I think that's really at the end of the day, it's about that connection and that consistency that, you know, that separates us from everybody else.


Marshall Atkinson

I love people that follow up and that's so professional. And I think that really separates people. I have a sales and marketing training company called ShirtLab, and we had a guest speaker in and her name is Lori Feldman. She's fantastic by the way. And so she's all about drip marketing and she has an 11-word sentence that she sends to an email and I've used it, and it's incredible for follow-up. Do you want to learn what it is? 


Sara Webb

I was just about to ask, are you going to share this? 


Marshall Atkinson

Yes, here you go. Write this down, write this down. “Am I waiting on you? Or are you waiting on me?” That's it. Just send that in. It's because we sometimes think that they got the email or their proposal, but guess what?

It went to spam. Or like, I wrote an email to somebody the other day and I didn't actually hit the send button cause I got a phone call and it was stuck in my draft folder and it was there for four days. And the whole time thinking that so-and-so has the email, so stuff happened. So this is a fantastic sequence to send. So I highly encourage you to try that out. 


Sara Webb

And I love that because to your point, even with technology. As you said, I mean, we have our email addresses in Tandem Promotions. Well, guess what? Promotions get flagged A LOT. So anything with an attachment, sometimes with a link, we get spammed out. And so a lot of times you just have to send a separate email or actually, I know--shocker, pick up the phone. 

And so some of that, you know, is all part of it, but also perception is reality. And that was one of the things I learned early on in my career, just because it's their perception, doesn't make it the reality. And so a question like this gives you an opportunity to understand what is their reality, what is their framework?

And, you know, what are your next steps? And it's always, what is next? It's not, you know, did I win or did I lose it's? What is next? What do I need to do to either secure the next opportunity or to, you know, convince you that I'm the, I'm the best for this project? Or, you know, whatever the case may be.


Marshall Atkinson

Don't you think a lot of people -- especially, I think maybe newer people in sales, just can't handle the rejection of no? So they don't maybe subconsciously even. They don't follow up because they don't want to hear the word “no”? 


Sara Webb

I would say a hundred percent. And even for this old veteran gal, I don't like hearing it either.

You know, how many times does your stomach just tying to knots? When you know, you've got to deliver that news, like this is out of stock or it's, it's not printing right. Or whatever the case may be. My stomach goes nuts. I don't want to make those phone calls, but guess what? I have to make those phone calls.

And so did salespeople. And I think even being, you know, younger and sales with so much being the quick responses, you know, we're actively clicking the -- like you get the immediate instantaneous gratification. And, so I think training some of our younger salespeople that, you know, if you don't hear from them for a week, that doesn't mean that they're ghosting you.

It just means that that week, then they might be busy and it's gone to the bottom of their mailbox. I mean, you don't even want to know how many emails I have in my inbox. And so if somebody just follows up just to say, “Hey”, you know, it's a good refresher. It pulls it right back up to the top and then I can be like, oh yeah, I do need to address this, but no, a hundred percent right. I mean, no, but nobody wants to fail. And, that's what life is about. Failing and succeeding. 


Marshall Atkinson

Yeah. Well, you know, no doesn't mean no forever. It just means no, not right now. So if you're trying to sell hoodies in July, maybe they'll need them in October, you know? So one of those things, and this is where am I waiting on you? Or are you waiting on me? That's when that becomes effective. 


Sara Webb

Yeah, absolutely. 


Marshall Atkinson

So, all right. So once you've had success, how do you stay on top? You know, once you're at the top of the pyramid, Sarah, what's your secret for staying hungry and not letting up? And I think this is why a lot of companies have a rollercoaster sales cycle because they're busy, busy, busy, oh, I need a break. And then all their orders happen. And then now there's nothing in the pipeline because they stopped working. Right. How do you keep things going? 

Sara Webb

Well, that's... it's a great question. You know, most people aren't successful overnight. You know, a lot of things that as Intandem continues to grow, they're like, “Oh, you know congratulations on your quick success” and all of this.

And I'm like, I've been in this industry for 22 years. 22, that's two twos. It's not, it didn't happen overnight. You know, I had to, I had to understand the backend I had to build. I had to build a client base, you know, a lot of times when. When new people come into the industry, they're expecting to be million-dollar salespeople.

It doesn't work that way. You know, you're building the relationships, you're building the trust. You're, you know, you're still in the dating phase. Maybe you're being serious now, but you're still in the dating phase. And so for, for me, what has been a constant is being extremely regimented. I do the follow-ups, my day is extremely detailed. I wake up, maybe we'll know, 4:45 AM. I'm at the gym for a 5:15 AM class. Having that just kind of sets my day and my framework. I manage all of my follow-ups first thing in the morning. Because by the time the afternoon comes, things start piling in. So all of my follow-ups are first thing in the morning and that includes the new business as well.

Um, I also believe in the 5, 5, 5, and 5, so five follow-ups five times a day times, you know, the number of clients that you have and prospects, and you're just following up by the end of the month, you've already touched 20 additional contacts, 20 additional prospects without even having to think twice about it, right? 

So, managing those incremental changes on a daily basis and catching in as our partners come in, while I'm in the meetings, we're automatically sending emails over artwork and designs for them based on, you know, the projects that we see come across and doing that, that also helps because, by the time I come back to my desk, I'm going back through my emails right? 

So I put it to the side and I'm like, I'm going to do this. No, you make it part of what your standard is. This is my standard. I'm going to take care of this right now in this meeting. And then I'm going to flag it for follow up and then it's done. And it's out of your head. I think that was the big key.

The other thing that happened. That I am thankful for in 2020 was learning to block out the noise. You know, I think a lot of times we're so worried about succeeding and failing and you're paying attention to all these other things that are happening, especially in the competitive space that we're in. Well, this company is doing this and this company is doing that.

Just being able to block out the noise has been hugely successful for us in Intandem where I know what our goals are. I know where we're focused and we're going to remain. Just hone in on what we're trying to accomplish and stay on that path. Obviously paying attention to what's happening in the marketplace, but just really, you know, blocking out the noise.

And the last thing that I would say. Just continue to challenge yourself. One of the things that I have learned over the years is just to never stop learning. If you guys check out my feed, you check out what I'm doing on Instagram, LinkedIn, everything within that is about learning. Last year. I finally, after 22 years, got my CAS and MAS I did more courses last year than I had ever done because I'd never experienced anything like this.

And it was both in industry and outside of the industry. But every year, by learning, you're connecting all these different things and thought patterns, and it's just making you stronger and stronger. So, you know, those would be the three is: set a schedule, be very diligent about it. Block out the noise. Don't listen to everybody else and continue to challenge yourself. And, continue to challenge yourself.


Marshall Atkinson

Are you measuring? Like how many calls you make a day or your closure rate? Or what KPIs are you using? Especially when we're working toward our goals? Cause I'm a big goal-setter and I worked backward from that and that kind of stuff. How do you do it? 

Sara Webb

So we use a system called PipeDrive. So PipeDrive enables us -- it's a CRM system and it enables us to see what our closure rate is. When we last followed up to track the follow-ups, where it is in the pipeline. And also what's really cool is it shows us our probability. So based on the different buckets, it shows us our probability of closing. So this helps me from a managerial perspective. What do we have in the pipeline?

And what do we not have in the pipeline? So, to answer your question, as I see more and more things closed, the expectation with the sales team says, okay, what are we bringing back into our pipeline? What events are attending? Who else are we prospecting? Do you know? And then who have we, who do we need to cycle back through?

Who do we need to? I look like this, I look like. Being a karate kid. So I'm glad you guys can't see me cause I'm moving my hand around like a karate kid, but you know, we're, we're cycling things through. So after that client has made that final purchase, then they need to come back to be followed back up with again and not just left dangling.


Marshall Atkinson

So one of the things that I have started doing is trying to make small habit changes that have a domino effect. And looking for these opportunities. Now I'll tell you one that's really worked for me and that is making one outbound, personal video. And at least one. And so what I'm doing is I'm using an app called a soapbox and I can record a short little one or two-minute video and I can put it in an email and I can send it.

To reactivate customers, chase down that invoice, is to get people to accept their proposal, or like you invite you to be on my podcast. Right? So I, my goal was to start doing more videos cause I'm a human-to-human marketing guy. Right? And nothing says you're more human than you see my, you seeing my face and saying, “oh yeah, it's Marshall” -- I’m that kind of guy.

So Sarah, do you do anything like that where you set a small goal and try to work it and create a new habit? 

Sara Webb

Yes, absolutely. So one of the things that I keep, I have it posted on the front of my computer, reminders on my computer is the 1% rule. So I have to do 1% better than everybody else.

And it's, it's 1% -- 1% that's going to set me ahead from everyone else. So I don't know if you were like me, but as a kid, I had to have braces, so I had braces and it straightened my teeth. I didn't wear my retainer. I was in college. Guess what? I was like, I don't want to have messed-up teeth.

When I go out into the workforce, I'm going to have braces again. So I wouldn't have a full set of rights in college. Again, the second time I had to pay for them. So I didn't wear my retainer again. So in 2020 or 2021, I went and had to again, go back and get Invisalign. The point of that story is if I just want my retainer every single day, then my teeth wouldn't have been out of alignment.

The same is true of all of those individual actions that you're taking on a daily basis. 1% more responding back, and you know, having some of the tools in place and the processes, I think what was different from us, looking back, working out of my home versus working. Where we are now is now we have more people.

And one thing that I didn't do well, in the beginning, created processes, create standards, and really leverage technology. Mostly because there wasn't that much business. It was all in my head. I was very competent to keep orders in my head and quotes. I would like a stack that I would go through every single day, but as we continue to grow and more, I needed more of that definitive “This is what I need to focus on today”. So I still use a handwritten planner, all my TPG friends out there know because we had a class about this earlier this year about how I have to organize and set myself up for the year. But it's a legit handwritten planner. That I have, and I include, you know, the books that I'm going to read for the month, for the quarter, for the year.

I include what is the new skills training that I need to focus on. This year it was odd, you know, learning all of this SEO stuff because even though I'm not going to do it, I need to know enough about it on how to measure it. And what am I measuring? Next year, I really want to get into Adobe because to your point, everything is moving to video.

So I need to understand how to change and it. I'm not going to be the person that does it, but I need to know what questions to ask and the framework to ask them. So, you know, responding back to those emails, having that list of what you're trying to focus on, and to your point, just setting that goal for yourself daily, where it becomes a standard and much more than just a habit.

This is who you are, and it's how you're going to manage your day. That's really where it becomes fully ingrained and it's just moving the needle 1%. Anybody can do that. 


Marshall Atkinson

Yup. 1% James Clear, Atomic Habits. It's a great book. And the great thing about that is that it's a cumulative stack, so they stack up so you get better and better and better and better in a year from now… you're just kicking everybody's butt. 


Sara Webb

You know, the same is true, right? For your 401k or any of your investment portfolio, you know, you're going to have your ups and your downs. You're going to win and you're going to fail at it. And, but you continue to put it in. I don't want to look at it recently, but that being said, I'm going to keep it where it is because I know that I'm going to continue, to build on it. It's continued to grow exponentially. 


Marshall Atkinson

Perfect. What a great way to end the podcast. So, Sarah, so somebody wants to learn more about you or what, how you can help them. What's the best way to get a hold of you?


Sara Webb

Absolutely. Well, anyone can reach out to me on LinkedIn, under Sarah Webb. Instagram is @teamintandem or @saracwebb.


Marshall Atkinson

Sara's S A R A H not with an H. 


Sara Webb

Oh, yes. Do not put an H on my name. I'm not the holy version.


Marshall Atkinson

All right. Well, thank you so much, Sarah. I appreciate you. And thanks for being on the podcast. 


Sara Webb

My pleasure. Thank you, Marshall. 


Marshall Atkinson

Well, that's our show today. Thanks for listening and don't forget to subscribe so you can stay up to date on the latest Success Stories episodes. Have suggestions for future guests or topics? Send them my way at [email protected]. And we'll see you next time.