Sumo Cast 003 - Trey Gibson





Today’s guest has done something that few startups manage to do - he has built a business himself and boot strapped it. Trey Gibson, from Spotio. 

SPOTIO is a sales tracking and territory management solution for door to door, direct, field and outside salespeople. With its easy to use and clean interface you will be able to track every door knock, manage prospecting stats and add leads in under 3 seconds. 

0:52     Trey was fortunate enough to have business partners that believed in the product, so they all put their money into it. They did not need to seek angel funding or venture capital.

2:07     He didn’t really want to get a real job out of college, so with a friend he started an insulation business. This was great until the building market crashed and forced him to start over - and this led him to develop the App ‘SPOTIO’ to track external sales people.

3:20    SPOTIO started as something that he wanted to use internally, and it ended up being something that he wanted to invest money into to develop and market externally.

3:57     Home improvement, realtors or Solar companies would be examples of big customers of the SPOTIO App.

4:47    Trey feels he got lucky and optimized the app to top the Appstore and the downloads started almost immediately. After tweaking the registration form on the App he was able to contact the business owners that downloaded it directly and found out how much people were willing to pay to download and use it.

6:36     A stat that discovered through research that blew Trey's mind was that if you manage to reply to an enquiry within 5 minutes, you have a 400% greater chance of actually selling them even if it is even 15 minutes. Through the registration process, Trey and his team were able to obtain all kinds of valuable information about the people using the app, and lead score them - and contract them directly.

8:10     When Trey was a kid, he wanted to be a used car salesman. That is when his love of sales started. Sending emails is easy, its picking up the phone that separates the men from the boys. He feels this is where startups can make their mark.

9:33     He feels sales doesn't have to be hard. When he gets on the phone with a customer he will discuss what is and what isn’t working to be interested in his customers pain points are, and then at the very end will discuss how SPOTIO could help. Its all about building relationships.

10:50   Its not scalable for the founder to call every customer or answer every support ticket. He feels you have to do the non-scalable things for a long time - although he is bringing customer sales support on stream to help with the pressure.

12:37   Recently Trey has been looking for testimonials from customers trying to get some real statistics on how SPOTIO is working for them.

13:42   He never set out to be the king of door to door sales - he wanted an app for mobile sales people. As he learned more about the niche he found it was a perfect place to grow with a loyal forgiving customer base.

15:10   Trey made zero dollars for a long time and he worked 20 hours a day in his first startup. It really came down to the fact that he had no other choice - he had to make his situation work, and he feels the benefit of youth enabled him to do it. Take away all the distractions, and sit down and work on your business is his advice. Jump in with both feet, and expect failure.

17:10   He installed insulation in college, and his idea of starting a business coincided with the emergence of spray foam - and really thats all the due diligence that was required!

18:01   Monday is Trey’s workout day. He gets up early, goes to the gym and is in the office by 6:30. He writes down his goals and targets for the day. He also likes quotes, so he writes a motivational quote and jumps into the day before he even checks his email. The morning is best for Trey so he likes to get stuff early.

19:40   After the early start, Trey does product demos. From 10am to the end of the day he’s either demoing the product or marketing. He’s home at 6:30, put the kids to bed and then back at it until 10 or 11.

20:38  He likes to have a sit down family dinner every day - its very important to him. Saturday and Sunday he tries to spend all day with the family.

21:18   Trey is not a tech person by trade. He didn’t realize how hard it would be to create an App from scratch. Most of his failures came on this technical side.

22:13   The worst decision Trey made was when he decided to optimize his website himself. His tinkering with the settings caused the app not to work for his entire customer base - some for up to 4 days unfortunately. For 3 days straight, he dealt with customer issues and complaints on both phone and email. Thankfully his customer base is forgiving.

24:16   A tool that Trey started using recently is ‘Chart Mogul’. It tells all of his metrics - upgrading, subscriptions etc..

25:40   He’s just installed ‘Intercom’ into the app so that customers can chat at anytime during the app, and also for on boarding emails.

26:50   Favorite books include ’The 10x Rule’ by Grant Cardone.  Another one is ‘Secrets of  the Millionaire Mind’ by T. Harv Eker.

27:44   Trey feels that he needs to learn to delegate more. He’s a task driven guy and he wants to be better at delegating and managing by performance.

28:40   One of his current goal is to double down on content and to put a good content strategy with the help of an expert in it.

29:34  He feels phone calls are imperative to his business. Even if its only a $50 a month customer, he feels he needs to get on the phone. The personal touch works through referral and word of mouth for new SPOTIO customers.

31:13   Trey focusses on different tools to streamline the business. He’s implementing products to match the area code of his phone call to clients, so it looks like he is calling from their city. This improves conversion rates.

32:15   Trey advises people to pick up the phone and call - it will give more feedback then cold emailing people.

33:22   He still gets nervous and doesn’t like rejection like many others, but he feels if you set yourself up with parameters and aims from the beginning it will reap rewards in the long run.