David Henzel is the CEO of upcoach and a veteran entrepreneur who has been building in the saas and e-com space for over 20 years. He had multiple exits, including MaxCDN.
His passion is to help individuals and their organizations reach their full potential.
Aside from upcoach (Coaching Delivery System), he has a small portfolio of companies including LTVplus, (Outsourcing for e-commerce & saas), TaskDrive (Sales Development), Shortlist.io (Digital Marketing Agency), and his passion project Managing Happiness (Peak Performance Group Coaching for entrepreneurs)
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan podcast and today we’re here with David Henzel and David and I actually had a conversation a couple weeks ago, I think is what it was and I was just so impressed with what he’s done, where he’s been going with this company and like, we’ve got to get you on the show you’re about to hear him all over the place because he’s going on this podcast tour it sounds like promoting what they’re doing I’m excited to have him on here David is the CEO of up coach and a multiple times a successful entrepreneur I’m super excited to have him here because his take on how to build a successful company is coming from a place of experience and I love to bring this type of guest on because you can know that what they’re saying isn’t, theoretically what they’ll they would do it’s pretty much what they’ve done so David, say what’s up to everybody and let’s hop in man.
David: Thanks for having me on the show, Josh excited to be here.
Josh: No problem. All right, well, let’s hop in. So I’m going to ask you the million dollar question so if you had to start a business, again, completely from scratch, you have no network, no website, no logo, nothing, what would you do to build a successful business within let’s just say 90 days to six months?
David: All right, so but I still know what I know. Right? It’s not that
Josh: Your knowledge is still there.
David: Alright, so acquiring customers up probably via cold outreach and this is something I’m doing right now for up coach, which is working like phenomenally well, we use a tool called meet alphabet, which is an LinkedIn automation tool and I’m sending out a very simple message basically says, Hey, Josh, we’ve built up coach with coaches like you in mind or being even more specific, like what sales coaches or with people run, masterminds can be very specific, may I send you a quick video that shows you how it works, because this is very benign, it’s not like, hey, buy my stuff. It’s not, hey, let’s jump on the call and I was like, you don’t really want something from you give them something, it could be a value for them and I have a 49 to 52% response rate, which is mind blowing on cold traffic, you know, this on the people who have never heard from me and we’re going to send them to video, and then they see how we can help you and then this leads to conversations where they become customers or affiliates, or, you know, this works really well so if it would be in this position of, Hey, I have to or I want to make money really fast right now, this is probably my go to thing because you know, you can work with other, other angles with SEO and you know, there’s like a lot of different things that could work but this will probably be my my go to, since he said no, no network otherwise, if you kind of known then something that works really well, if you find people who have your audience, and you know, have them promote you, which I think actually, if you have no, you can probably still do the same pitch to multipliers so people who have your audience and what I found in my business, there’s four types of multiplies, you can find people that you know, have your audience and can recommend you the first one is other SAS businesses or products where you know, they have the same audience and you are complementary to this audience the second one is, agencies and you know, agencies can either yes, so agencies that kind of work in the same space that work with your audience, in particular competing but what works even better with agencies is individual contractors, no consultants in this space, because with an agency talk to the owner, and you build this relationship with them, but with, with what’s it called with it with a, it still has to trickle down to the entire organization to the entire agency and you know, so a lot of stuff gets lost translation, or then the people in the agency wouldn’t really pitch you but with individual consultant where you can align and you know, kind of with all these partnerships, you want to create a win win win situation where you when your partner wins, and the partners audience wins you know, these individual consultants, they, they’re, you have more success with these customers, they’re just like, closer to the customer and they they know you they built a trust with you, it’s often the trust came. Then you have competitors, it’s all something that works well, if you know, for example, you go to a competitor who works with very large organizations or very large customers, you know, they say that’s a ad agency and they only work with customers who do like 30 grants in monthly Ad spend plus all the other thing, other people that sign up or like, you know, talk to them, they, they’re below this, they, you know, they’ll just spoil you, nothing will happen with them so they can pass these leads on to you and you know, make a buck on this and given that you give to you know, take good care of them and you know, you’re not burning relationships. So I think yeah, these are the types of outreach methods or kind of ramming up business to get started and then you know kind of really depends on, on your experience in my my situation I can coach on so many different aspects on business and personal development. My latest passion is organizational development, because I’ve seen with, you know, with the businesses, I’ve built businesses that I’ve built, how big of a difference it makes if you’re, if you’re having a red system in mind and Josh, in the beginning, you mentioned that you also have huge systems now that’s just like, you know, makes so much sense and there’s this amazing book called traction, get a grip on your business by Gino Whitman, which explains the EOS, the entrepreneurial operating system and you know, kind of how to set up the proper mission vision core values, how to have the right people in the right seats, how to figure out your 90 day goals, how to run proper meetings, etc. so I’ll probably teach this to people because this just, you know, has provided so much value in my business so I’m very passionate about this. So I can actually sell this thing on, you know, also, you know, if you sell something, if you, you know, you want to money is a side effect of providing value. So if you figure out how to provide the most value to, you know, the most people, then you will be the richest person around so it’s just like kind of about, you know, finding this value, and then also being it’s another thing, it’s gonna sound super happy, but I’m gonna say it anyway, because I’m a firm believer in this. If you sell out of love, it’s going to be very easy to sell versus selling out of fear. You know, I used to hate sales, I’m a recovering introvert, I used to also hate hate being on podcasts or being on stage or will prefer to shoot myself in the face versus being on stage for a lot of people but now I’m doing it because I would have to say can potentially help you in your life in your business. CLC you know, come with and verses and if I’m, if I’m in this states that I’m acting out of love, you know, because I want to help you versus if I’m acting out of fear, because when I think about me, like, Oh, do they think I have a weird German accent do they think I look weird to the thing with us are saying stupid, you know, it’s like, then I’m making it about me in a freezing I can’t present same if I want to sell in a sell out of fear because I have to pay my mortgage, I have to reach my number hit my numbers, etc. Then also can sell you have to turn around and make it about the other person is like, okay, Josh, how can I provide value to you and kind of like, you know, figure this out and yeah, so I’ve been talking a lot, maybe give you
Josh: a couple pieces that I hope people are taking notes here and he just made some like major value bombs shared exactly how they’re getting clients for their business, that’s most people are really averse to wanting to reach out to people to cold traffic, right? Oh, I only want to work through warm, I think it’s because of what you’re saying at the end there it’s they’re coming at it with fear instead of with the love for the for the people and I know for us when we’ve come at it with with a sign of love is saying I genuinely care about the results that you’re going to have not because it makes me more money but because I know it’s something that you need. I know this is keeping you up at night so let me help you out I love that you’re saying hey, SAS business, cold outreach, and then you’re coming out and approach with love. So for you, what, how else would you scale at that point? Because obviously, you know, like I said, we’re big, we’re big framework nerds so what’s kind of been your framework to scale your teams, because you’ve built multiple successful companies where you’re not even really having to be there very often.
David: I mean, depends on on which where do you start, you know, if you have some, some some resources, you know, I always think a good manager manages himself out of the process, so you’re not there anymore. At some point, you know, like, that’s kind of always the idea because because then you can actually really scale the business because you’re not working in the business, you’re working on the business and a lot of entrepreneurs like, you know, don’t make this connection, like don’t like, Oh, I don’t want to hire somebody that could keep the money but you know, like, he can kind of take it much further if you invest in this, you invest in people, you invest in these processes, you invest into the systems to actually make your business grow and thrive and it’s not about like having more money in the bank it’s it’s more than that kind of really buying stuff, freedom to like really do the stuff that you’re passionate about and like also in your business that you can operate in your zone of genius, and you can focus on the stuff that you really enjoy doing, you know, and kind of like, you know, finding people out of finding business partners who are really good at the other parts. so for example, I’m not a quant, you know, I’m more of a creative person so one of my business partners is like this super nerd when it comes to numbers and you know, it’s just kind of pairing up with people who you know, support my weaknesses or the stuff that just enjoy doing you know, legal stuff, you know, I hate legal stuff for the passion. You know, it’s like really hard for me to grind through through legal hobby so in a kind of having a good attorney that I trust, they can do stuff or having a business partner who takes this part over is a really key to find people who can can just divide and conquer and just like focus on the stuff that really makes you enjoy doing what you’re doing.
Josh: Yeah, and I love that and I know for me, when, when we first started our, our first company, people were like, Oh, you don’t want to partner with, with family or friends or anything and, and I actually tend to disagree, I think it has to do with, it doesn’t matter what their relationship is to you it has everything to do with what skill set do they actually bring to the table, because I know I’ve shot myself in the foot and multiple businesses with partners, because they brought a skill set that we didn’t actually need now, we needed it later. And it made me realize, okay, I should have hired in, or I should have partner with somebody who could help me establish the systems and do the things I didn’t want to do. First, I still had to learn how to do them, because I didn’t have that but then later on these other partners came into play, and they were very, very valuable but I probably could have just hired them on instead of giving them equity in my company so for you, if you’re coming out, let’s just say you’re coming at it with low resources, what would be that kind of the first people you would hire into your company, as you as you kind of move forward to scale and and especially with the SAS model, I’m genuinely curious about that.
David: I mean, with the SAS model, since I’m a developer, I used to be a Linux system and network engineer, like almost in the past life, I haven’t really touched, you know, any server or code like in a shell script, and even though like 15 years or something like this so in the SAS space, of course, I have to hire developers and you know, ideally have like a CTO who’s on board or like a technical co-founder, you know, kinda depending on what you build. It’s like a really crucial elements, you know, somebody you can trust some of you spend it on that and in terms of finding partners, I have, like this thing, I, this this, I think it’s a Buddhist saying how you the one thing is, how do you everything, and so I kind of like really filter people in general, like, I’m very aware of, like, the small things they do, you know, if you’re, you know, if you’re kind of extreme example, so if you’re not faithful to your girlfriend or wife, then you would like cheating your business partner with us, you know, without even blinking, you know? Or, and this kind of even goes down to the little things like, are they late, are they unorganized, are they to the leaf shuttling around the floor, like just kind of being really anal about these, these small things, because this is like, just you are who you are, you know, if you’re a ticket work, you’re also going to be at home, it’s just like, who you are, who you are, you know and so this I think, is like a really important thing to, to filter out who you’re, you know, doing this business with.
Josh: I agree, and I love that I’m really kind of as a as a distinction for who you’re hiring, because I’ve never really thought about it that way but it’s, it’s really true and if you watch a lot of people, we all have that client, or that customer, whatever you’re selling, who has just been a pain in your butt, they’re just the worst person to work with right? And you can directly track back in the relationship you look backwards and you’re like, man, from the first interaction, I knew this person needed too much of my time or was super whiny, or you know, they had all these different things
David: then falls presented
Josh: It makes it really easy if you pay attention that to identify we recently just had that we turned out a $10,000 contract, which would have killed me back in the day, we just turned out a $10,000 contract because I’m I can’t work with these people I just can’t do it. Right and I like them had nothing to do they didn’t like them but everything they were doing was reminding me of one customer that I just cannot could not stand so I love that.
David: That’s really important like also when you scale your team you want to you know to not forced your team to work with unpleasant customers, you know, so we have you know, if we have a really unpleasant customer we’ll fire the customer because you know, it’s important that people go to work and that they’re happy serving people and acting out of love like happy because they want to help not because you know, they kind of have to because, because the customers so I think it’s an important one mix could be a little unpopular, you know, and if you want to consensus, the record podcast, you can edit it out but you know, in Germany people are like, very meticulous with this stuff. For example, if somebody is always late, you will not do business with them. If somebody is like drinking like too much or like has you know, substance abuse etc you don’t deal with him if he’s extremely overweight. You know, you don’t you will not do business with him. It’s a you’re cheating on the spouse No, because like this is like an extreme indicator that something is like unbalanced with this person in their life and you don’t know like, picking a business partner is similar to picking a life partner. You want to be like very close cautious or like very mindful on what you’re attracting in.
Josh: Yeah and I love that. I mean, really, I don’t think that needs to be filtered out to be honest I think it’s through life I mean, some people will say, oh, what you’re judging people like the book by the cover, but the reality is, is you can find pretty quickly, I always give people the benefit of doubt, right? Give them one conversation and if that one conversation, you can just tell they’re nervous, but as long as I’m not showing any big red flags, typically, I’ll give them a second conversation or a partnership, you know what I’m saying but it’s kind of interesting to watch as you get further into that, you it’s really easy for us now, especially identify who we don’t want to work with, who we don’t want to partner with, you know, because you’ve, you’ve kind of had that life experience that point so for you, you know, you’ve kind of got that system in place for finding people, how then, are you putting them into a system that allows you to scale and grow because the number one problem we see in the SAS space is people focus all their money and their effort on making the tech amazing but then half of those, I would say more than half of those software’s end up disappearing, because they don’t really have a good sales or marketing model around growing that does that make sense?
David: Yeah, that makes sense so, in terms of, you know, it goes hand in hand, Tech has to be amazing but to get tech to be amazing customer, customer success teams is you know, the way to go and the beginning when you when you’re new, you kind of do this, you know, you kind of like, are on little onboarding calls, you know, also doing onboarding calls with every customer, you know, small customer, not just like you want to hear from them, you want to talk to everybody in a mom, there’s this the president after I’m bad with US presidents, but the one after the one that did the Vietnam War, you know, went with the general who fought the general in Vietnam, they went to you know, first time after I know how many years they went to Vietnam, and the two generals met and you know, the American one asked the Vietnamese one, like, Hey, man, how could you feed us? You know, we had more people, we had more money, we had better equipment, how the world was as possible that you beat us and his response was, we know the jungle better, you know and so I had like this, this habit, I’m a huge habit nerd so I have like this habit tracker, also, which was a habit tracker and one of the habits was not knowing the jungle so because another coach by training, so I want to talk to everybody in the mom to really understand what are their pain points in a coaching business, you know, kind of what do they you know, so I really understand the jungle world and kind of, so I can actually build something that’s, that’s really meant for coaching. My business partner is now is Todd Herman he’s very well-known coach in the US, he wrote the alter ego effect and, you know, having him on board that kind of makes it a lot easier to have, like somebody who’s like, really been there, done that for like, 25 plus years so yeah, I think that’s, that’s a key thing to really understand what, what you’re building here. Oh, another tip, which is, again, cold outreach, when you’re when you’re building a SAS app, this from the founder of WP Engine, he reached out when he was building the WordPress platform, he reached out to all the thought leaders in the WordPress space, and he sent a message along the lines of like, hey, you’re like, faulted in the space we’re building this WordPress hosting platform, we’d love to pick your brain to figure out like to build something that’s actually truly amazing I’m happy to pay your hourly rate, whatever it is, that please, let’s jump on a call and he wrote this email to 90 some people, and he jumped on a call with 80 people and none of them charged them you know, so and you know, by doing this, you can get really good feedback and be you build like this network of advocates for you because you know, people give their input, you kind of keep them in the loop, like, Hey, we’re building this, and then you win them as clients, as affiliates and you know, I think there’s that kind of really simple, almost necessary strategy to talk to the right people and figure out what’s, what’s important to when you want to build a SAS?
Josh: Yeah, yeah, that was I love that distinction and the funny thing is that there’s so people think it’s so difficult to get customer feedback but the one thing you did, and I hope people really pay attention to that, you found an expert in the industry, like the number one dream user of your platform, right? You said, hey, let’s partner with him because he’s going to know exactly what needs to be done on the software he’s gonna know 90% of the features that need done. But then you’re using that methodology we’re saying, well, let’s go get 100 of these other top coaches, interview them or whatever you’ve got to do and get these specific needs from them and then they become referral partners as well genius I’m totally gonna use that just so you know, I’ll call you twice and I’ll use it David, I do want to ask you a couple of final questions here so one of the first ones is, you’ve kind of mentioned up coach a couple times, I want to give it the time that it’s the justice that it needs I mean, this the software is amazing if you’re a coach, so can you kind of give us the the 10,000 foot view of what up coaches
David: see, I’ll give you the backstory and why we built it so I have this course called managing happiness, which basically helps entrepreneurs to figure out their personal mission vision, core values, the goals and the habits that they need to actually achieve these goals and I was working with the leadership teams of my businesses, you know, to kind of coach them on this, because my thinking is, if they’re on their personal a game, this will, you know, also be good for the business and I couldn’t find a platform that was I found a lot of coaching platforms, because most of them were more for getting more customers in the door versus actually delivering the coaching and me juggling already 10 different things, I didn’t have that much time for coaching also, you know, friends of mine, other entrepreneurs took the class and they brought their teams, so it’s like, just kind of was like too much work for me so I need something to, to make this as little work for me as possible, but also kind of giving the the best possible results, you know, and I want to really hold people accountable it was like this, I did this group coaching, you know, 8 to 10 people eight weeks long, one, one hour a week, and I want to hold them accountable that actually do what they’re supposed to do and, you know, deliver them the best possible results, you know, so I can’t do this, that’s like a apiculture turned out to be a coaching platform, you know, we can do group coaching, one on one coaching, masterminds, you know, training, so they’re also kind of teaching, some agencies are using it to hold their, their customers accountable, and to colic, implement stuff and so, building this, one place where all the delivery of your coaching happens, you know, we also have like agendas in there, because I’m German like things, everything else, we talk about systems and processes, I like things very organized to have like this, this agenda in there to just kind of also deliver the consistent results and also nothing since talking about systems, I like to systematize stuff so we have locked in an online course in there, you have the agendas in there, you have all these, let’s say bumper bowling, you know, so we can hand it off to somebody else so somebody else can teach you a methodology and again, you know, I kind of always want to match myself out of the process so I can just like kind of give the, the idea and the framework, etc. and then somebody else can execute on this so I’m, I’m all out of the game again and it’s still growing and providing value.
Josh: I absolutely love that so I mean, one of the one of the big things I want to point out to everybody about up or something, we’re actually moving our entire group coaching program over to this platform, because the number one problem we see in the coaching space is fulfilling on it is very, very difficult, the communications holding them accountable where do you sit, you put the course and you have to have kajabi and the thing is they basically unified all these fulfillment tools and put them into one place, instead of saying, you’ve got to have 15 different tools to keep up with everybody so I really appreciate it we are actually moving our coaching program over there, which is exciting I’m stoked to do it but I haven’t done it yet and I’m sorry, I’m a little bit slow on the uptake are tasking somebody to do it this week so other than that, though, David, I hope everybody will go check that out so the link for that you go to theluckytitanpodcast/upcoach, very simple URL, make sure you go check that out, it will be in the description of the show notes as well and David, before we hop off one final question for you so if you could leave one final parting piece of guidance for our audience, what would that be?
David: make decisions out of love, not out of fear it’s my mantra that has been served me really well from like becoming an introvert to recovering introverts like being better at sales, being better at managing people being a better husband you know, it’s like just transcends in all areas of life being a better leader so I think if you figured out to do this, the world would be a better place and your life will just be much better than you’d be more successful.