Get Offshore Leverage

Virtual Assistants / Executive Assistants are good.  They tackle the tasks you or your team don’t want to do.  But they don’t create meaningful operational leverage for your business.  Meaningful leverage comes when there is a lead, sales, customers up-selling, new products being shipped… or when massively expensive onshore talent costing you $100,000’s per year is outsourced offshore for ¼ the cost – allowing you to skyrocket profitability.  That’s leverage!

Here is what we’ll cover this week:

  1. Forget headhunters pushing VA’s.  Think big, think Operating Leverage.
  2. How outsourcing allows for international and 24/5/365 expansion.
  3. The life lesson is that English Proficiency can increase a candidate’s salary rates by  2x-3x.

Forget headhunters pushing VA’s. Think Big. Think Operating Leverage.

My friend Dan Martell wrote an excellent book called Buy Back Your Time, in which Dan outlines the order of operations that founders/CEO’s need to delegate functions away from themselves (called “The Replacement Ladder”).  Step #1 is Administration.  This is where the VA comes in.  It’s important to get tasks like Inbox & Calendar “time burglars” off your plate.

The problem I see is that too many outsourcing recruiting firms spend all their time convincing you to “hire a VA”.

✅Check – go it.

What next?

It’s time to focus your attention on operating leverage that drives a meaningful impact to your business.  As you will see in the above photo, the next steps are to focus on:

  1. Delivery (Customer Support or Success)
  2. Marketing 
  3. Sales

This is where impact is made.  This is where you focus:

  • Customer Support and/or Customer Success to take over support tickets, onboarding, training, QBR’s with the customer.
  • Every single element of your marketing stack
  • Demand Generation, Social Selling, Digital Prospecting.

You will completely change your Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC) and Gross Margins (Cost of Goods Sold / Cost of Delivery).

Think bigger.  Go bigger.

How outsourcing allows for international and 24/5/365 expansion.

A customer of ours wanted to expand to EMEA and said that after 6 years they were ready to “open an office and hire someone locally to handle the timezone”.  WHAT?  I felt bad for the founder who’s legacy bias assumed that this was the binary optionality they had – to get big enough to afford local talent in the UK, Amsterdam, Switzerland, etc.  This is a customer that sells a $500/month product digitally.  Already selling remotely.

I explained that since they were already selling “from anywhere America to anywhere America”, what is the difference when selling “from anywhere world to EMEA?”  This is where legacy bias can kick in:

  • Communication – remember that many, many countries around the world speak English, French, Spanish, etc.
  • Quality of Service (Time Zones) – this is your own preconceived notion that people work 9-5 based on their local timezone.  You can have talent work at any timezone around the world you want.
  • Quality of Service – you sell a digital product that has 100% digital interaction with a customer.  You can test for verbal and written communication skills.

His mind opened up!  EMEA expansion was years too late.  He could have been servicing that market a long time ago.  I was lucky at Sales for Life to see that trend early.  More than 20% of our revenue comes from EMEA and APAC.  Our outsourced team in the Philippines serves our customers in a 24/5/365 capacity.

You can expand faster than you think!

The life lesson is that English Proficiency can increase a candidate’s salary rates by  2x-3x.

This is one of the most important decisions that high-quality talent can make as an investment in themself – verbal & written communication.

I’ve watched the demand for talent in the Philippines skyrocket because of the commitment the ecosystem has made to English.  The same marketer, customer success manager, software engineer, etc. in other countries aren’t able to command even ½ of the same rates.  It’s very obvious when you search for talent on Upwork.

My message to founders has always been to treat English communication as a mutually exclusive evaluation criteria from role-based skills.  Our subconscious mind will lump them together and we’ll assume “if they aren’t able to articulate and enunciate as I do, they must not be very smart/good at their job”.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth, but our minds have trouble processing the difference.

For offshore talent-seeking opportunities with US-based companies, NOTHING will alter your fortunes more than your communication skills.  Your role-based skills will most likely be equivalent to / maybe better than, other talents in other countries.  This will get you to $10/hour.  What gets you to $25/hour is your ability to take over customer conversations.  Your ability to communicate with cross-functional departments inside a company to which your manager isn’t shielding you from ELT-level conversations internally.  If you invest here, you will change your career trajectory forever.

Create objective clarity in every role BEFORE you onboard talent – for example Standard Operating Procedures

Access it here.

How have you prepared your Executive Assistant for success?

Here is an example of my Standard Operating Procedures document for my Executive Assistant (specific to Email and Calendar Processing).