remote job consultationWe are offering free consultations on how to lead & manage remote teams during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn More

Thriving in the Remote Sales Environment with Christopher Snyder

Christopher Snyder has worked remotely for the past 25 years. He started specializing in the sales remote environment and moved towards other areas. Nowadays, he is the president and CMO of Juhll Agency, a highly specialized, data-driven digital marketing agency. He is also the founder of banks.com

Besides being an entrepreneur and an investor, Christian is a podcaster and an online business consultant.

Follow our guest on their social media:

Successful remote entrepreneur

Luis:

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another episode of the DistantJob podcast. I am your host as usual Luis in this podcast that’s all about leading and building awesome remote teams. My guest today is Chris Snyder. Chris Snyder is an entrepreneur, investor, podcaster and an online business consultant, the founder of banks.com and president and CMO of Juhll Agency. He podcasts at snydershowdown.com where he is the host. Chris, welcome to the show.

Chris Snyder:

Thank you, Luis. Thank you very much. Glad to be here.

Luis:

It’s a pleasure having you, and now I need to offer the now common disclaimer that this podcast is being recorded during COVID times. Now, I generally don’t try not to make a big deal off this because I do want that once hopefully we have this thing behind us, I do hope that the podcast will still be of use educationally to people building and leading remote teams. But just the disclaimer that the present pandemic situation will inevitably cover a bit of what we talk about. So that’s right listeners, we are living through this period in history and it’s no use trying to pretend we are not going to talk a little bit about it. So with that said, Chris, why don’t you start by telling me how has remote work made your business possible or helped you make it better?

Chris Snyder:

Yeah, absolutely.

Luis:

Or businesses in your case, sorry.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah, absolutely. I think that we’ve been doing remote … Well, I personally been doing remote work. I started my career as a salesperson, enterprise sales person, as I got later in life. And those roles typically forced me to be on the road. And by being on the road, you quickly realize that you want to live a little bit closer to your territory. And the way we did it was we marked off sections of the United States. I had territories, I usually had territories out West or in the mountain States. So being gone Monday through Thursday, it just made sense for me to ask my boss, this was probably 25 years ago. It made sense to just ask my boss like, why don’t I just move and live in my territory that way I don’t have to travel so much.

So I think as a sales person back in the day, it just made sense for me to work remote. I always worked remote. We got an office stipend. I think they gave us about $250 a month at a couple of companies I worked at to have a desk and have an extra room set up to work remote. So I’ve been working remote for probably the better part of 25 years. I remember opening up my laptop and looking at Lotus notes and having to sync Lotus notes on a laptop. This was before Gmail. This was before all that stuff. So fast forward a little bit and think about what we’ve done at Juhll. Juhll Agency was started and founded in 2000 at the end of 2005, 2006. I came on board in 2008 and my business partner and I, we basically ran the business out of our house.

So going back to 2006, 2007, 2008, the business has always been remote. We’ve always carved out a couple of rooms in our house and ran the business remote. I guess as an entrepreneur, when you’re a little bit younger, your dream is to get an office. Your dream is to step up your game and maybe get a leather chair in your office or maybe hang some art, maybe make it comfortable and transform that office space into something you can be proud of. So my business partner and I, who also is my wife, we had our first office in a little town called Hermosa Beach and it was in a back alley, nondescript, it had no windows. We actually had to put holes in the ceiling for skylights because it was so dark and in that spot, but that was our first office. And I think it was probably a thousand square feet. And getting back to your original question, since then we had transformed three or four offices, each becoming larger and more spectacular we continued-

Luis:

No holes in the ceiling?

Chris Snyder:

I beg your pardon.

Luis:

No more holes in the ceiling? Really?

Chris Snyder:

No more holes in the ceiling. Those holes were for skylights, but I do remember actually when it got really hot out, the bugs would start coming out and actually dropping from the ceiling, which was always interesting. But again, we’ve done it both ways. We’ve been a hundred percent remote at the beginning, we went through our office space period, our timeline. And then more recently we got rid of all of that cost because what we realized is we’re spending between probably 12,000 and $20,000 a month to have office space, that’s a quarter of a million dollars a year, right?

Luis:

Yeah.

Chris Snyder:

And our team at the time, we had about 30 employees, a lot of them didn’t want to be there, oddly. It was like, well, wait a second, we have a pool table. We had happy hours on Fridays. We would go somewhere or we would just have drinks at the office. It was, I think one of the bathrooms had a shower in case you worked out and you came in, you needed to take a shower. Like I believe we had a very nice place. And I think that the values, what people value have changed more recently and coming into an office every day to put that rubber stamp on something really stopped making sense probably about five years ago for us. I mean, we’ve always had components of a remote team, but it really started making sense about five years ago for us to start thinking about, you know what? Why carry the cost? It’s our company. We don’t need to spend money unnecessarily to say that we have an office space that no one wants to come to.

Luis:

Yeah. Wow, that’s a story. There are a couple of threads that I want to pull out there, but first I would like to acknowledge that I remember Lotus and I remember working with Lotus, and I’d love to say that you’ve just made the full weight of mortality come and bear on me because I think it’s the first time I’m talking in the podcast with someone that has used Lotus.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. Lotus notes, WordPerfect. Hey man, when I was in grade school I played one of the first versions of Oregon Trail on a Macintosh. So I’ve kind of seen the evolution.

Luis:

I played the Spectrum version. We’ve seen something. Wow. So, okay. So you started at sales and I kind of feel these days actually at the present moment in history that we are living through right now, that’s something that a lot of people have come to me about, people in sales, because before this people in sales were very resistant to the remote lifestyle, they felt that they needed to meet with prospects in person, right? That they needed that energy. They needed that presence. And now they can’t, right? And they won’t for at least a while longer. So over the years, as I’ve been pushing remote work, I’ve talked with salespeople about this a lot. What will it take to convert sales into an occupation that you can do from your home office or from your living room or whatever?

And people always say, well, Louis, it doesn’t quite work like that. It’s very hard. It won’t be the same thing, but now there’s no choice. So what would you say to these professionals, to these salespeople that suddenly see the need to go remote, even if they don’t necessarily like it or expected it?

Chris Snyder:

Well, I think there’s a couple of components to unpack here. First of all, I think it depends on what kind of sales person you are. Right? And if you’re in a call center, obviously it’s a little bit more difficult to get the technology, the centralization of your tools, your management team. Doing inside sales in a larger customer service oriented or call center oriented environment is going to be more difficult, but I do believe it’s possible and I think it should be done. So that’s first and foremost, I know JetBlue many, many years ago took stay at home parents and folks who only had a few hours a day to work, they would actually send them a laptop, send them equipment, do background checks, take pictures of their room, that they were working in to make sure that it was distraction-free and JetBlue actually did this probably 10 years ago. And they had people working remote.

These were ticket agents, which I would call sales reps, these were customer service folks, people being on the phone, you don’t need to be in an office to be on the phone, right? So that’s point number one, it depends on the kind of sales person you are. Point number two is the enterprise sales folks, which absolutely should be working from home because enterprise sales folks, the ones that I’ve met anyway, they’re more outgoing. They’re a little bit more verbose, not always. And it depends on the kind of sale it is, right? If it’s a tech sale, they might be a little more technical savvy. But at the end of the day, salespeople are communicators.

So we are expected to build relationships with other human beings and we are expected to make that connection. And when we make that connection, we learn how to ask the right questions. And when we ask those questions, we get everybody comfortable. We do these needs assessment, rapport building, all the old fashioned, old school ways that we were taught to sell. By the way, that’s a different episode. I’ve got some arguments around those tactics and how we used to do that as well. But by nature, sales people have chosen this path because they want to make those human connections. Now, I said human connection, I didn’t say physical connection. So now that we’ve classified the two groups inside sales versus outside sales, really that’s the terminology that I kind of grew up with. Now we have to start thinking about, okay, what about the human being now?

Because now I think what we’re getting to is, can an inside sales person in a 600 square foot apartment in New York do inside sales in his or hers, 600 square foot apartment in New York? The answer is yes, absolutely yes. And if they can’t do that, I would ask why not? Is it because of your will or is it because of your setup at home, you have distractions. So first of all, let’s just get rid of the argument completely. Can it be done? It can be done, no doubt about it. It can be done. But I would say the second part about it, especially for those in a sales role, I think if people are saying, I really want to get back to the office, I really want to get back to the office. I really want to get back to work. They probably need something different than someone that sits in front of a computer and codes all day.

Someone that sits in front of a computer and codes all day by choice, that’s where they drive their energy and their enjoyment. So someone that is out with people, making human connections and in a lot of times physical connections, that’s where they drive their energy and their enjoyment. It’s part of the job is to have the human touch. So I think what we need to do is really understand who are the exact people that we’re referring to. I don’t necessarily, and I’ve been surrounded by staff, partners, like all that stuff my entire time and when I get on the phone, it’s like this. You don’t want me in your office, around you when I’m like this, selling, right? I’ll call it selling, but they’re really having conversations. So you want me in my own quiet space, I want me in my own quiet space. I don’t want people listening to my conversations.

I’m okay with it. I kind of grew up in a bit of a boiler room environment, so I’m okay with it, but I’ve been trained. So the inefficiency and the argument around having sales folks specifically, because that was the question is about sales folks, having sales folks in the office, it doesn’t make any sense to me. If you need as a human being human connection, you need to drive that human connection through various ways in your life. If work is one of them and you get that connection through work by going to an office and by meeting Sally and Jimmy and Susie and Johnny bag of donuts, like that’s fine. But just say that, right? Let’s classify the real issue here. Humans need human connection, it’s not about the work at that point. Does that make sense?

Luis:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So what are some … For the people listening to this and that are faced with that issue, what are some of the tools that you use yourself? I am assuming that you see a bit of yourself in those people needing connection. If you were driven to do sales online right now, how would you cover the distance? Right? How would you make up for it?

Chris Snyder:

Yeah, so I mean, again, I’ve been doing sales online and via telephone for the better part of 25 years. I would say let’s fast forward into being an entrepreneur and understanding how valuable your time is. I would say for since 2008, I’ve been doing most of my selling online, both B2B enterprise sales, large agreements that range between $15,000 a month and $90,000 a month. Obviously there are some key points in relationships where you have to go and you have to show up and you have to say, okay, here I am, I’m the human being behind the telephone, I’m the human being behind the video call or the Zoom call. By the way, Zoom is a recent phenomenon. It’s a couple of few years old, we are at the front of that as well. But some of the tools that I use, I mean, I get on the phone before Zoom, we onboarded Zoom about two years ago, two and a half years ago, before that we had GoToMeeting and nobody used video. Nobody.

Luis:

Yeah, I know.

Chris Snyder:

So I use GoToMeeting, I use Skype. I use the telephone, not a single one of those calls up until probably two years ago had video. So I would-

Luis:

You poor, poor human being.

Chris Snyder:

Right?

Luis:

You needed to use Skype.

Chris Snyder:

It’s just awful, awful. Well, and then when Microsoft bought Skype, they had Skype for business, which was terrible. It was just terrible. But some of the tools that I use, first of all, one of the tools that I use, just good old fashioned human communication, right? Understanding verbal cues. This was before video, understanding verbal cues, understanding how to guide a conversation, come into a meeting with an agenda and driving a meeting. Forget the tools for a minute, right? Okay. Hello, Luis, here’s our agenda for today. Thank you for taking the meeting. I’m going to spend three minutes talking about what we’re going to talk about. Now, we’re going to talk about it. Everyone’s going to be respectful. We’re not going to interrupt, we’re not going to play with our Blackberries or iPhones. Right?

This was back in the day. People have Blackberries and we are going to have a dialogue and it’s going to be between 35 and 45 minutes. Then we’re going to take action items and we’re going to wrap, and then I’m going to call you back a week later and we’re going to do the same thing again. That’s how it works. Okay. Well, that’s how it works right now, but what we have now is instead of taking down notes in a notebook, we take notes in Confluence, which is a JIRA product or which is an Atlassian product. Then those notes in Confluence, while you’re on the call, I don’t know about you, but I have a keyboard right in front of me, I could be taking notes right now, you wouldn’t see my hands moving. Then you assign a JIRA ticket from the notes you have from your phone call.

So you’re doing the same stuff. You’re leveraging technology to make yourself a superpower or a superhuman, right? So instead of writing with a pen, which I don’t know about you, but it takes me five times longer to write something with a pen than it does to type, and then figuring out then what to do with that piece of paper and typing individual emails to teammates, asking them to do things. Now those get assigned, those go into the project management system. They get queued up, they get distributed to the team. So having good project … First of all, having great discipline in training around being a professional when you show up for a meeting, it doesn’t matter if you’re in person and it doesn’t matter if you’re on the phone. I suspect if you are going to go to a big meeting and there is going to be 10 people there in a big conference room with ivory floors and gold doors, you would probably take two days to prepare for that meeting, create an agenda, get to know everyone at the meeting and treat it like a real meeting. Why don’t we-

Luis:

I think I would just steal one off the doors and be done with it.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah, right? But it really starts with the focus and discipline around our process. It really doesn’t have much to do with technology at some level. That’s part of the waterfall, but it’s not the number one thing. So use video, for sure. And people, turn on your video for Christ’s sake, turn on your video. Like that is the most, I got to tell you, that is the most annoying thing to me. And I know it’s hard. I’m 44 years old, it took me a couple minutes to get used to putting my face on a video. And then we brought our team along and we’re like, “Look, always turn on your video. I don’t care, it’s part of the gig. This is how we’re doing it.” When I show up for meetings and there’s five or six people in a meeting and nobody turns on their video, it’s just so annoying. Don’t do that. Please don’t do that.

Luis:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, completely, 100% agree. So you mentioned that when you were starting your business partner was your wife, you had that office, you had to build the holes into the ceiling. Is that still the situation? Are you still business partnering with your wife?

Chris Snyder:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Luis:

Okay.

Chris Snyder:

We met at work, we’ve always worked together. We have complimentary skill sets. I would say … Well, she calls me the talker. So she’s great at it, but she does not prefer to talk to people all day on the phone. That’s kind of what I do. But yeah, still partners to this day. Of course.

Luis:

So the reason I ask is because I know from interviewing people on this podcast and just for dealing with people in leadership teams and executive teams in companies in general, it is a high pressure job, right? Not to make people have pity on ourselves, it’s a gratifying job. It’s highly compensated, but there are rough times and those rough times can play some stress in a relationship, in a business relationship. Now, as an actual personal relationship on top of it and add the workplace area being the same as the living area, that’s something that a lot of people are having to face in the current moment in history.

What I’m saying is that, some of the people I talk yo, some of the managers and people in leadership teams I talk to say, it’s much harder to do my work because my wife or my husband sees at home and they don’t connect that I’m in work mode. But you’ve lived with a person apparently where you’ve had to successfully balance work mode and life mode together for a long time. So can you give us a few strategies for that?

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. Well, first of all, my wife started the company and she is extremely process driven and she has always ensured that we have the proper tools, the right balance of equipment and things that in strategy around how we’re going to communicate, how we’re going to do just a lot of things that we do. So that process was really laid out in the mid 2000s when she started the business. Getting to the specific question around, how do you deal with it? I think I’m going to revert back to what I said before about process and there’s books out there about candid conversations. I think if you have a partner, a business partner or a wife, and I think this is a partner in business and in life, I would hope that you guys could look at each other and say, I’ve got to go to the spare bedroom, or I’ve got to go to the kitchen, or I’ve got to go to the garage, or I’ve got to go take a call in the car to get away from some of the chaos, would y’all please be respectful of what I’m trying to do here.

I would hope that grown adults can have candid conversations with each other about how they’re trying to run their house. Right? I know it’s hard. It is hard, I get it. But for us, it’s not a problem. It’s never been a problem because I think we’re both good communicators. When I say, I’m on a podcast in the garage, please, everyone don’t bang around and make a bunch of noise. Right? So one of the things my wife said was like, “Look, well, I don’t know when you’re recording, so why don’t you send me a calendar invite?” Okay, so there you go. There’s a revolutionary tip for you. Send your significant other a calendar invite for when you’re having important meetings, put her on the calendar. What the heck?

Luis:

You make fun of it, but it’s actually the first time I’m hearing of it and it makes absolute sense.

Chris Snyder:

Well, Jesus Christ, just do it. Let people know, it’s called communication. Do you really need me to tell you that?

Luis:

Apparently I do.

Chris Snyder:

Actually, you don’t need me to tell you that, maybe your audience needs me to tell them that, but it’s always, we over-complicate a lot of things. We got to code all this stuff, we have to have these massive project management plans. We have to have racks and racks of tech and servers. And we dive in here and we confuse ourselves with all the moving parts, it’s not that hard. It really is not that hard. Right? If you’re having trouble with the kids doing what they’re supposed to be doing at school, make an agenda, literally make an agenda, make a plan, make them get up at the same time every day just like they’re going to school. Make them brush their hair, make them get dressed. Don’t show up to school with your pajamas on because that’s not how it works. Right? Daddy’s downstairs, daddy has to work. Make sure they understand when daddy’s working, when he’s not working. Right? Get on a program, get on a schedule, live a normal life. It is possible.

Luis:

Okay. Good talk. Good tips. And thanks for that. So let’s grab out the agenda a bit. And talk a bit about how you usually manage your day. Let’s say, how many direct reports do you have working under you and how do you manage your time with them? How do you organize your leadership tasks in a daily basis, maybe in a weekly basis, take you through your typical day and maybe your typical …

Chris Snyder:

Well, first of all, I think I could probably do a better job-

Luis:

How good?

Chris Snyder:

But I will say that the challenges of being an entrepreneur and never really knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from, you do a lot, you do a lot of different things that the executives at larger companies don’t do or don’t need to do. Now, and during this “Unprecedented time,” I think executives now get paid for leadership. They get paid to cut costs, control costs, when times are good they’re going to get paid to grow the business. Right? So that’s supposed to be what we as leaders are supposed to be doing. But to walk you through a typical day, I’ve got about, probably about 10 direct reports and they’re all over the world.

We have an analytics team in India. We have our kind of chief of staff in London. We have account people in Tennessee and in Florida. We have a developer in Argentina. We have a designer in Mexico. We also have the podcast, we have the agency and I’m a founder and operating CEO or operating founder in banks.com, which is a pretty large investment of ours. So-

Luis:

You’re busy.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. To take you through a typical day for me and how we plan it, we have everything on the calendar first and foremost. Right? So when I wake up every single morning and on Sunday night, when I look at my calendar for the week, it’s generally full. And it’s full of things that I know need to be there to move the business forward. And so if there’s a two hour placeholder there for me to get work done, that time is already booked. And when I sit down and it gets 10:00 or whatever time, and I know I have to fill out a compliance form for one of our partners, then I got to sit down and fill out a compliance form for one of our partners. Right?

Luis:

Yeah.

Chris Snyder:

Prepping for these podcasts. I know that when someone pops up on the calendar and I have to do a podcast, I have to learn a little bit more about these companies. I have to get ready for this stuff. So everything’s on the calendar for sure. I would say 15 minute stand ups with developers and designers are certainly helpful and they’re useful. I’ve been trying recently to figure out how to let some of that stuff go on the dailies and then maybe just catch up on Friday because Fridays are a little bit more casual in most cases.

So time management, when you’re an entrepreneur, I think I’ve read every book I could possibly read about it and tried to hack everything I could possibly hack. And I still wind up with, I have a couple thousand emails in my inbox, I know there’s stuff slipping, but all I can really hope for is that the stuff that I know that is important is not slipping and everything else is just going to have to go away because you’re only one person, right? You’re a small team, we’re a small team in general and you really, really, really have to get your priorities straight. You have to get focused and you have to choose. You have to choose where that priority goes. Because in the back of my mind, I say, okay, if we focus too much on the podcast, what’s going to slip?

If we focus too much on clients, what’s going to slip? If we focus too much on banks.com, what’s going to slip? But you can’t do everything well, you can do some things well, so now you need to start choosing. And I think that’s what leadership is, is to figure out where we need to go. And so when we get, three months from now, six months from now and we come out of this thing, we’re in a better spot. That’s my job.

Luis:

Yeah. Well, that’s actually a really good answer. I was expecting a more, going over your calendar, but it was actually awesome that you actually gave me the rationale behind it. And yeah, that is a good point. Something is going to have to slip, especially when … Even if you were only doing that with one business, which you aren’t, there are just so many things to keep track of that it’s unreasonable to expect that nothing is going to slip. But it’s like a friend of mine once said that as it is in this leader, you need to do fast decisions and you need to aim to get about the terms of those rights and to make it the third that’s more meaningful to success.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. Well, you got to make the decision fast and it’s okay to be wrong. But when you’re wrong, you need to make a change. And so, I’ve talked about this before, when you sit in this chair for as long as I have, and you’ve been overexposed, you don’t have to be overly smart to start to pick up on some entrepreneurial habits that are hacks. And it’s sometimes difficult to explain them, but there is an intuition part about this as you blasts through these meetings, or as you blast through your daily routine, there is intuition around how you’re handling these things. And I think you’re doing it faster, which allows you to do more, which makes you take on more. But look, I’ve got time on my calendar to check my email and it’s usually twice a day. Right?

So, I also start my day around 6:30 AM. I also don’t stop my day until 5:00 PM, ish, and sometimes later. So there is a block of time there that I have allocated to do work stuff. So for me, if you’re going to work 10 hours a day or whatever it is, if you still can’t seem to figure out what your priority is and you still can’t seem to get the stuff done that is important and move the business forward in 10 or 12 hours a day, five days a week. I tried not to work on the weekends. I have two children. They’re in a lot of sports. I coach a couple things. I help out as much as I can. But if you honestly still can’t figure out how to spend 25% of your life, 30% of your life working, if you can’t figure out that 25 to 30% of your life and you can’t figure out how to move it forward, something’s wrong. Something is wrong.

I mean, you spend … There’s 24 hours in a day, you spend eight hours of your day sleeping. You spent eight hours of your day working and then you have eight hours of your day to piss off, right? So if you spend 10 hours sleeping and 10 hours working, that’s 20. Now you’re going to spend four hours sleeping. That’s not healthy. So I think you’ve really have to roll it up to first level principals and think about how you want to spend your life. What do you need as a human being? Some people need 10 hours of sleep a night. I don’t need 10 hours of sleep. I need about six, seven. Rarely do I get eight, rarely do I … I don’t want eight. I wake up after seven hours of sleep. So I don’t need that.

I like what I do. So I lean in on more of a 10 hour work day because that’s what I do. And then I spend my other time listening to podcasts, reading business books, watching CNBC, and a number of other things which other people might consider work. I don’t consider it work. Right? So I think you need to raise up the first level principals in some of these cases, there’s no hack, there isn’t a hack. Figure it out, figure out how much time you want to sleep. How much time you want to work, get your priorities straight. Put it on the calendar, sit down, get discipline and do your deal.

Luis:

That’s good advice. That’s a good strategy. And it’s even more relevant now that people are very easily finding the need to establish new routines. So it’s been like 45 minutes now, I want to be respectful of your time. So what do you say we move into some rapid fire questions? The questions are rapid fire, but the answers don’t need to be. By the way, just expand as much as you’d like. So I’m going to ask what browser tabs do you usually have open? What are your main browser tabs?

Chris Snyder:

Oh my God. I literally, I think I have 70 browser tabs open right now. I get this on my Zoom calls. Actually, that’s a funny question because a lot of people are like, oh my God, why do you have so many browser tabs? So I think the point of the question is to figure out what I’m always on.

Luis:

Yes.

Chris Snyder:

So I can tell you what I check most frequently. I check Google data studio, because that gets updated. I check Google analytics and I check Google search console. I’ve got our cloud server box account open always because I always dive into our cloud server and I grab documents. LinkedIn is open, but I rarely check it. I’m not sure why I have it open.

Luis:

It’s something to do with all that extra RAM.

Chris Snyder:

I guess, I guess. And then I’ve got a Kindle reader open-

Luis:

Oh, nice.

Chris Snyder:

Although I don’t read that much on my desktop. Sometimes I reference some of the books that I buy to get some insights or some thoughts on a particular problem I’m tackling. I use my browser for a lot of times outside of those key tabs though, I use my browser for, if I see a company that’s interesting, I will pull it up. I’ll load the page in there. If I’m in the middle of something, I’ll come back to it later and clean up a lot of these tabs. But I’ve also got a tool called Pocket. I think it’s Get Pocket and Get Pocket will save all these so I can just kind of get rid of them and it’ll save them in a database and it’ll find things that are relevant and also save the past links I had. So that’s what I have open on my browser.

Luis:

Okay. So if you had $100 to spend with each person working for you, what would you give them? And well, two small rules, you can’t give them the money and you can’t ask them for what you want. So you need to buy in bulk essentially, but it can be digital or physical, doesn’t matter.

Chris Snyder:

Wow. Well, I’m kind of a whiskey and a beer guy.

Luis:

Nice.

Chris Snyder:

So I would probably buy them copious amounts of alcohol. Let’s see. Look, I would probably buy beer and wine and booze for my team. You know what? I don’t think you can go wrong with that.

Luis:

No objection from me.

Chris Snyder:

You can’t go wrong with that at all. I mean, maybe if somebody’s vegan or whatever, I mean, I’ll get them a vegan beer.

Luis:

Okay.

Chris Snyder:

I don’t know.

Luis:

What’s your selection of whiskey?

Chris Snyder:

Well, I like bourbons mostly.

Luis:

You are a man after my own heart.

Chris Snyder:

I do like bourbons, mostly. I went through a scotch phase and I do have a few bottles laying around, but I’m mostly on bourbons and at this point.

Luis:

I know it’s the appropriate European thing to do, but I could never get into scotch. I’m bourbon, true and true.

Chris Snyder:

Good.

Luis:

Okay. So what purchase has made your work life easier or more productive and the best year?

Chris Snyder:

Well, I don’t buy much, but I would say that I’ve got a four monitor setup at my desk. So I’ve got two vertical monitors, which have my email on it. Like one of them has my email on it, one of them has my Slack on it. And then this monitor that we’re talking on has my Zoom cameras and stuff on it. So I never have to worry about where did I put that document? And then just to the right of my Zoom monitor, I’ve got my browser and the stuff that I need to reference while I’m on calls. So I would say the most productive thing that I’ve been able to do is have kind of this command center at my desk. There’s also something to be said about a nice chair. If you don’t have a nice chair, your kind of toast.

So I’ve got a Herman Miller chair that I’ve had for about 10 years and the old school Herman Miller chairs, not anything spectacular, just the four or $500 variety, but you got to have a good chair and you got to have a good microphone. So the Yeti, the Yeti Blue is something I bought within the last year and that’s helped me out huge. Got to have a good chair, got to have Zoom-

Luis:

But I use my Yeti, have it right here.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. It was 99 bucks. I got it on Amazon day or something like that.

Luis:

It’s so awesome. It’s such an awesome value for the money.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. I mean, look, my routine is got to have a good chair, got to have a good workstation, got to have a quiet space where you can focus and break away. I’ve got some green screens that you can pull up from the floor. They’re relatively inexpensive as well, which makes nice for Zoom backgrounds. Got to have that microphone. Right? There’s some standard stuff that you got to have to operate so you feel good about what you’re doing and how you’re operating.

Luis:

Absolutely. Okay. So what book or books have you gifted the most?

Chris Snyder:

Wow. I haven’t gifted any books. Is that bad?

Luis:

I don’t know. I mean, not judging here. It’s not my place to judge. I like gifting books, but let’s say that if you don’t give books, what books have influenced you the most?

Chris Snyder:

Well, I read a lot of books, so many books and so many different kinds of books. In fact, I’m going to go into my Kindle-

Luis:

Why don’t you gift them?

Chris Snyder:

You know what? I should.

Luis:

That is your mission for next Christmas.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah.

Luis:

Grab the books you’re going to recommend today and you buy 20 copies of each, that’s what I do. And you give them to everyone.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. Well, you know what’s interesting, I went to Kindle exclusively. I stopped buying books. Except for, I did just buy The Invincible Company. I have not read it yet, but I did just buy The Invincible Company because that’s more of something you put on your desk and you reference, it’s a largish odd sized document. So it wouldn’t really make for great Kindle reading. But I guess if I did have to gift a book, it would be Disciplined Entrepreneurship and it’s by Bill Aulet, so that’s a good one. And then High Output Management, Andrew Grove. Honestly, I’ve got so many, I’m reading a book on problem solving, Bulletproof Problem Solving. Just, I read books on a lot of things that if I bump into issues at work or with people or with products or with whatever, I usually just go on Kindle and I buy a book and I start reading all about it. Right?

Luis:

I love that approach. So, Okay. So final question. This one, the set up is slightly more elaborate, but … So let’s say that you are hosting a dinner where there’s going to be a round table about remote work and the future of work. And to that dinner, you’re inviting decision makers at most of the top companies in the world, especially in the technology sector. These are CEOs, hiring managers, et cetera, chief technological officers, you name it. So the twist is that the dinner is happening on a Chinese restaurant. So you as the host gets to pick the message inside the fortune cookies, what is inside the fortune cookie?

Chris Snyder:

What is inside the fortune cookie and it’s regarding the future of remote work.

Luis:

What are the future of work in general?

Chris Snyder:

Yeah. The future of work in general. Well, I think maybe what I would put inside that fortune cookie is more focus, less time and more passion. And so the reason why I would say that-

Luis:

More focus, less time, more passion.

Chris Snyder:

Yeah.

Luis:

Nice.

Chris Snyder:

And I don’t know if that’s the right order, but I see a lot of people doing things they don’t want to do, and they don’t like to do when it comes to work. And I think that if leaders provided more focus and I think if people provided more passion by only doing the things that they really love to do. And then the middle of that is less time. I think you get from point A to point B faster, right? As far as hitting your goals and objectives, I think it doesn’t feel like you’re working. So it feels like you’re spending less time doing whatever it is you’re doing because you enjoy it. And I also feel like we spend too much time at work.

I think that a lot of the time that we spend at work is unregulated. And when I say regulated, I don’t mean someone needs to be standing over someone else regulating what they’re doing. I’m saying a lot of us are just, you’re just kind of fumbling through the day because you got to put in an eight hour day or I got to put my eight hours in. Well, no, you don’t need to work eight hours a day. That’s not the gig. Some days you might need to work 12, other days you need to work three. Right? So I think, hopefully what comes out of this is people get a little bit more passionate about what they want to do and they’re doing that. I think that they should be spending less time doing those things because there’ll be better at it. Right? So, yeah. So I can definitely stand behind that even though I just made it up exactly right now. Those are the three principles though that I might write down myself and start sharing.

Luis:

Yeah. In a fortune cookie maybe, who knows?

Chris Snyder:

Maybe.

Luis:

Who knows? All right. Chris, thank you so much. I had a blast. Now, where can people find you to continue the conversation and how can people learn more about your businesses and initiatives?

Chris Snyder:

Yeah, absolutely. You could find me on the Snyder Showdown podcast. So snydershowdown.com. You could find me on banks.com. If you wanted to go down to the footer and fill out an information card, fortunately, or unfortunately I still get every single thing that goes through that site.

Luis:

I feel you.

Chris Snyder:

So another benefit of being a bootstrapped entrepreneur, or you could go to juhll.com, J-U-H-L-L.com. And that would probably be the easiest way to find me or LinkedIn, Chris Snyder on LinkedIn. I’m sure you’ll find multitudes in there, but if you can’t find me after me giving you all that, then we probably don’t need to have a conversation.

Luis:

Good point, especially because all of those will be in the show notes and in the guest profile. So Jesus people, what’s up if you can’t. You just need to click the thing.

Chris Snyder:

If you can’t click a link, we should not be having a conversation anyway.

Luis:

Exactly. Sorry to discriminate, but it’s true. Anyway.

Chris Snyder:

Absolutely.

Luis:

Okay. So thank you so much. It was a pleasure having you and ladies and gentlemen, that was Chris Snyder and this was the DistantJob podcast, a podcast about building and leading awesome remote teams. See you next week.

Chris Snyder:

Absolutely. Take care. Thanks again.

Luis:

And so we close another episode of the DistantJob podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners, and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well. You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners.

Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click on your favorite episode, any episode, really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up, so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form. And of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. And to help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate. 40% faster than the industry standard. And with that, I bid you adios. See you next week on the next episode of the DistantJob podcast.

More ways to listen:

Although remote work has been proven to make business more successful, there are still some areas that seemed to be non-remote possible. Sales are one of these areas with many myths stating that most of the people in this sector need physical human connection to do their jobs. However, human connection can be possible when working remotely.

In this podcast episode, Christopher Snyder shares powerful tips for sales teams to thrive while working remotely. He also offers strategies for better organization and better management, emphasizing that leaders have a crucial role during the pandemic in guiding their teams towards achievable goals – no matter the challenges their organization is facing.

''Leadership is to figure out where we need to go. And so when we get, three months from now, six months from now and we come out of this thing, we’re in a better spot. '' Click To Tweet

 

What You Will Learn:

  • About his 25 years journey through remote work
  • Tips for sales teams struggling to work remote
  • How sales teams can be successful in working remotely 
  • Building human connections virtually
  • Why video calls are crucial in companies
  • Strategies for balancing work life with personal life
  • Tips for better organizing when working at home
  • How to organize leadership tasks daily
  • How to establish new routines 

 

Book Recommendations:

  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet
  • High Output Management by Andrew Grove

 

This interview is part of the DistantJob podcast.

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss all of the other interesting episodes that we have coming up in the next few weeks!

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to our newsletter now and receive our latest eBook “Agile in Remote Teams” for free.