Ari Meisel

Would You Like To Know When You Are Most Productive?

Ever notice how there are parts of the day where you feel significantly more in “flow” than other times? When your productivity doesn’t seem to take any effort? When there’s a rhythm and momentum to your work that feels less like a slog and more like a symphony?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s probably because you’re not taking advantage of your Biological Peak Time.

Among the many reasons remote work is exploding in popularity, it’s adherents consistently report higher levels of productivity and efficiency. A big reason for this is that they aren’t hamstrung to the arbitrary 9-to-5 schedule of the post-industrial age — their biological clock naturally guides them towards working in the hours they’re most productive.

These hours are known as biological peak time, and they’re different for everyone.

On a fundamental level, humans have a distinct “energy curve” that’s dictated by our circadian rhythms. There’s a large body of research outlining a pattern for the average human:

To start the day it takes a few hours to reach peak levels of alertness and energy

After lunch/noon, those levels begin to decline, plateauing at 3pm

Alertness starts increasing again until hitting a second peak at 6pm

Alertness declines again for the rest of the evening all the way until 3:30am.

Energy levels start rising again for the rest of the morning until noon again the next day

Before even getting into individual differences, it’s painfully obvious why the modern 9-to-5 is so unproductive — some of our most productive hours are spent either sleeping or commuting home from work.

These are general trends, however — they’re rather high level, and represent the average. On an individual, day-to-day basis, your energy levels might be diametrically opposite to the norm. Your own biological peak time is affected by circadian rhythms, but it’s also influenced by your environment — your diet, your exposure to different types of light at different parts of the day, the level of stress in your work, etc.

Needless to say, one of the most important “biohacks” you can do to improve your productivity is to identify the periods of the day where your body and mind and truly ticking and schedule your most important work around those times.

The Last Customer Relationship Management Setup You’ll Ever Need

As a productivity expert, the question I get most often is…

What is the best CRM?

To which I always respond…

Why do you need a CRM?

I’ve never been a fan of the all-in-one CRM tools that have tons of features you’ll pay for but never use and fulfill 80% of your needs and still don’t move the needle for your business. Most people say they need a CRM because all of their competitors have one, because their sales team is overwhelmed, or because they heard a sales pitch about a tool that was going to 10x their business (who doesn’t want their business to be multiplied by 10?)

So, why do you need a CRM? You want to increase sales, make customers happier, and make things easier for your team, right? I want to show you how you can build your own super-powered CRM that will serve your needs and no one else’s, will cost next to nothing, and work the way you work.

I’ve built a system that works so well that people often question whether or not they are talking to a human being. Yes, you read that correctly. it’s not that the bot is so good they think it’s human, it’s that the human is so good they think it’s a machine.

When I personally communicate with someone over email or SMS, they will often say “Is this really Ari, or is it a bot or a virtual assistant?” I see this as a massive compliment because we are able to communicate with people as if we have supercomputers in an earpiece, coaching us on exactly what to say next in a way that a mere human never could. When I tell them it’s really me and give proof (such as telling them the time and weather where I am and what I’m doing) the conversation is taken to an entirely new level and more often than not, leads to long-term relationship (what some might refer to as a “close” but the transaction is less important to me than the experience)

The components of a CRM

This incredible clip art from a Wikipedia article on Customer Relationship Management software lays it out pretty clearly. We’re taking the sum of all interactions we have with leads (customers who don’t know they will be your customer yet) and customers (customers who know that they are customers). Don’t take my parenthetical sarcasm to mean I’m not serious. It’s important to consider the emotional state of the individual in your CRM ecosphere as you communicate with someone. If someone is a lead you need to create context and relevance around the conversations you have with them in order to move them closer and closer to the point of trusting you enough to transfer your feelings to them.

As Zig Ziglar said, sales is just a transfer of feelings. You are excited about your product and service and you want them to feel that too so they become a customer. Someone who has become a customer has completely different expectations around the interaction they want to have with you.

For a lead/customer, the CRM needs to make them feel understood. My friend Joe Polish often says “People don’t buy from you because they understand you, they buy from you because they feel understood.” For a customer, a CRM should make them feel like they are your only customer.

For your team, a CRM should be Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, whispering in her bosses ear as each person at the cocktail party approaches her “That’s the daughter of the Prime Minister of France, Coco, that last time you saw her was at the Vogue Christmas Party two years ago, she had just gotten back from a vacation in St. Barths and was writing a novel” at which point the boss gives Coco and air kiss and asks how her book turned out. This creates instant connection and context for further conversation.

So let’s break down the complements of the perfect CRM into each piece you need, but first…

We interrupt this broadcast for an important message about all-in-one software tools

I’ve written before about the Rube Goldberg setup I prefer to have in my business and the businesses of those I coach because it enables me to see the components when they work, and more importantly when they don’t. I’m able to swap out the email marketing component of my setup because I’ve found a cheaper, better alternative without the massive headache of completely switching systems, dealing with my data being held hostage by a proprietary system, or fighting with the mental fallacy of the gamblers dilemma, thinking that the expensive system will work if I just keep paying for it.

At the end of the day, I know I can build a better mousetrap, and so can you.

So the three main phases of the CRM cycle are communications, data processing/analysis, and enriching the knowledge of team members.


How do you communicate, in general? Email, email marketing (newsletters, etc…), SMS, live chat, direct mail, online and offline ads, and phone calls should cover it for most of you. We should see our outbound communication as a means to get someone to raise their hand. That’s all I want, just raise your hand so I can see you in the crowd. Every time I give a talk somewhere, I like to ask questions and get people to raise their hands. The question means nothing, nor does that answer, what matters is that they raise their hands. You’ll never get the whole room to raise their hand, it doesn’t happen. You could have Tony Robbins in a room and he could ask “How many of you are humans?” And you’ll still only get a portion of the room raising their hands. The point of getting people to raise their hands is to elevate certain people in the crowd from a “No Star” prospect to a “One Star Prospect.” Dean Jackson teaches that a “Five Star Prospect” is someone who is:

  • Willing to Engage
  • Friendly and Cooperative
  • Knows What They Want
  • Knows When They Want It
  • Knows They Want It From You

So if we can get people to raise their hand we have immediately begun to segment people and once we do that, the conversation can evolve. All of our communications to “No Star Prospects” should contain a question. If you visit our website, the live chat will popup and ask “Are you interested in becoming more replaceable?” I’ve only seen someone actually say no once (and if you are reading this article, I have to meet you so you can be studied and cloned). Usually someone answers yes and now they are at level one. If I write back and they say someone that shows a genuine struggle with overwhelm and an openness to share information, now they are a “Two Star Prospect” and the conversation evolves further. I never consider any of these conversations a “sales conversation” until we’ve gotten to four stars because up until that point, it’s just a conversation, an education, hopefully for both parties.

In every communication channel, I simply want to learn more about the person so that if we do get to the point if discussing working together, I can deliver information in way that is efficient and relevant.

You can use any email provider you want for the outgoing stuff, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, MailJet, etc….I don’t care, because all those do is get people to raise their hands. Once they do, it definitely helps to have a tool that can not only consolidate communications but also spread the load across your team so no one, including the boss, can become a bottleneck in the sales process. My favorite tool for this is which can combine multiple business email address (think or help@company or, live chat on your website, Facebook messenger for your business page, Twitter DM, and even text messages and phone calls (this requires an add on called Toky).

Intercom immediately starts to build a profile on the person based on their location, their email address or phone number (if they input it), and can pull relevant history on them including past conversations with team members, the last page on your website that they visited, their last charge through Stripe if they are already a customer, even the last time they booked a call with you through Calendly, or attended a webinar through Crowdcast for example. This shows up on the right hand side of the screen as your communicating with them. This information is shared with any team member that engages that person and can even inform automated bots if you really need to ramp up communications quickly. In addition Intercom can automate messages based on someone meeting one or several criteria. So if someone visits your site from Germany and they haven’t been to your site in two months, you could have a pop up informing them that you now have team members who speak German. If someone is a customer and they have been with you for 6 months you can automatically text them to thank them for the loyalty. Both scenarios merely open the door to another possible conversation, further evolving the relationship. Every interaction, in every channel, is captured and “paper clipped” to the persons dossier to provide that context later on.

Data Processing and Analysis

The communications system is kind of like a magician’s hat. Sometimes you flip it over and there’s nothing in it. You tap on the top, spin it around a couple times and you’re met with…absolutely nothing. Other times you reach in and pull out a bunny. If you’re really good, you reach in again and pull out a second bunny and maybe a third. But how do we keep track of the bunnies when they aren’t in the hat, since they obviously still exist. That’s where the data holding tank comes into play.

My choice for this phase of your CRM mastery is Trello. Trello is amazing for 90% of cases. If you’ve got massive amounts of leads and customers (I’m talking hundreds or thousands) then you would want something better at handling structured data, and my pick for that would be Airtable .

In Trello I create a dead simple pipeline with just a few phase:

  • New Opportunity
  • Engaging and Qualifying
  • Closing
  • Closed
  • Cold

Every new opportunity gets added as a card to the first list. This can happen manually or through an automation. If I meet someone at an event and they give me their card, I’ll take a picture and make a card in the first list. If our machine learning algorithm (more about that here) picks someone out of the crowd or they book a free info call through Calendly, a card is automatically created. When a card is created, it will automatically include the source and any other information we can pull either from their existing profile in Intercom or from publicly available sources like Clearbit and will automatically add a due date for three days later to make sure someone follows up.

Then we reach out through the most appropriate means, given our initial contact. If it’s in person I like to go with SMS. If it’s email we stick to email. I strongly dislike when companies force you to “switch channels” in order to communicate. If you ever email a company to cancel a service and they tell you that you have to schedule a phone call to discuss closing your account (RingCentral shamefully does this and it’s why I will never use or recommend them) just call your credit company and deny any further charges.

If they respond, I just ask more questions about their business and their challenge. I’m genuinely interested, because it’s one of the ways I learn, improve and am more able to help people.

The questions you ask are more important than anything you will ever tell the person. Questions show that you are listening, that you understand them, and that you understand the problem. When you are able to articulate someones problem better than they can, the human brain will automatically associate you with the solution.

Once their is a two way dialogue, their Trello card gets moved to the Engaging and Qualifying list and a due date gets added for one week later, unless the person requested a specific date for follow up, then we enter it manually. All the while, our interactions continue to be appended to the card and their Intercom profile. If I have an interaction outside our normal systems, such as personal SMSto my phone, I will literally screenshot the conversation and add it to the card.

Once they have said that they want to be part of one of our programs, they move to Closing and follow up is set for a day later.

Once the Stripe card comes through, that triggers another Zapier automation to find the card and move them to Closed.

I keep a Cold list for people who are unresponsive or not interested and that adds a 45 day follow up, just in case we want to give one more try down the line. If the lead magically revives we move the card back to the second list.

Informing the Team

Each list is sorted by due date so and Trello has a calendar view which syncs with our team Google calendar so on any given day, any member of our team knows exactly who to contact, which channel to do it through, and what to say. The Trello integration with Intercom means the persons history is right there on the card for anyone to see.

We have a metric at Less Doing called “Time to Departure” which is the number of day’s notice you would have to give your team before you could go on vacation. For many companies the number is as high as 60 days. At Less Doing, it’s zero. I could start a conversation with someone about our Replaceable Founder Course, put their card in the second list, and walk out the door to a totally disconnected vacation. Two days later, someone on my team would see the follow up in the calendar, check the card and see that there was a few texts back and forth with the person, or maybe a recording of a call we had through Toky. That team member can get the context and reach out to the person, with the simple goal of furthering the conversation.

Choose your own adventure

I always think about the customer journey in my own company and others with whom I interact. You can always improve it, make it more personal, and answer questions before people even knew they had them.

We do something unique in our coaching business, we don’t offer a contract. We don’t lock people into a year or even a quarter. I always tell people that they should remain a part of our program for as long as they find it valuable. It doesn’t lock either of us into a relationship that’s not serving both of us, and keeps my team and me on our toes to continue to provide unquestionable value, month after month. We believe in what we do so strongly that I want to remind people of their option to cancel, BEFORE we bill them each month. There are plenty of ways to email someone when they make a purchase but preempting one requires some thought. Stripe won’t email someone to let them know they will be charged, nor will your email marketing tool.

So I tried to visualize who the person is that should get that email. They should be part of one of our programs, they should have been billed 25 days prior, and as of today their status should be consider active. These are all parameters I was able to set in Intercom and within a few minutes I had built the thing I wanted without contacting my CRM technician or buying some expensive add on software.

Our CRM includes about 15 different tools, all tied together through various automations (I didn’t even mention the automated text messages, voicemails, postcards, and gifts that we can integrate) and whether or not you copy what we do (you’re encouraged to!), my hope is that you can see how you can have the exact system you want, and achieve the results you need, with a little bit of tinkering, noodling, and obsessing.

The Content Machine — Upgraded for 2020

I produce a staggering amount of content. But I don’t do it alone.

Automation and outsourcing have enabled me to get my message “out there” in myriad ways, and on most digital platforms you can imagine.

It’s not mysterious or expensive.

It’s an optimized process that only really requires a four-minute Voxer rant to get the process going. The rest is up to someone or something else.

Here’s how I do it:

I record my thoughts on a particular topic on Voxer in a private channel I share with my writing partner, Amy. She takes that message, downloads it on her laptop and uploads it to It’s an AI-powered transcription service that costs 10 cents a minute. In five minutes, the transcript comes through to our Intercom account and Amy makes a Google doc of the monologue.

She then either outsources it to to craft it into a blog post, or she does it herself, depending upon how many I’ve sent her in a given week.

Once it’s done it gets uploaded to and our automations disseminate it across every social media platform.

All this from a 4-minute Voxer message.

Still, one of the biggest sticking points for entrepreneurs who are desperate to cement their place in a very crowded content world is an inability to nail down their distinct voice. Authenticity sells. If you are not projecting your true self, especially through the written word, it’s as obvious and cringe-worthy to the reader as a 60-year-old saying his coffee is LIT AF.


A lot of folks I work with come to me and say, “I sent this out to a respected copywriter, but when it came back, it just didn’t sound like me.”

My answer has always been the same, “Well, what does ‘me’ sound like?” and that’s where most people glaze over. They haven’t first taken the time to analyze their communication style.

Analyzing Your Communication Style

And no, there’s not an app for that. But there is a terrific two-person exercise you can do that will solidify not only how you communicate, but how that message is received. The importance of working through these steps with another person is simple. The sweet spot for content lies where your intention and its reception live.

For example, you may think you are one funny guy, but maybe your comedic arsenal is overstocked with Dad Jokes. Dad jokes your audience has heard a million times. Perhaps you love to cite other thought leaders to bolster your observations or arguments. But your audience wants to hear from you and what you think. We’ve all become quite adept at sniffing out BS, so don’t waste your time pretending to be something you are not. Your story is enough. Your point-of-view is unique.

Margaret Atwood, the author of “The Handmaids Tale,” among other fantastic reads, said something worth remembering when embarking on the journey to find your voice. “The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read.”

Next, it’s imperative to work through not just your style and tone, but to do an audit of existing content, (to use it as samples for a prospective writer), and then prioritize the intent of your content.

Setting a Content Intention

Do you want to entertain? Inform? Educate?

Who is your audience? The one you have and the one you want. Describe them with words that give texture. Don’t just say, “Financial Advisors,” say, “People who are fully committed to protecting the financial future of their clients through cutting edge technology and the human touch.”

Commit to writing the foundational principles of your business. These are big concepts, like Integrity, Expertise, Empathy, Experience. If you have trouble coming up with these pillars, and many people do, it’s time to take a moment to think back to why you started your business in the first place. What was that moment of inspiration like? Describe that.

Working With The VoicePrint

The rest of the exercise is relatively self-explanatory. Make two copies of the VoicePrint attached below. Fill one out yourself and have a trusted ally fill out one as well. Then get together and compare notes. Where both points of view collide, is where you should focus your messaging.

Next, comes the outsourcing part.

It’s been my experience that asking writers to send samples of their work is a big old waste of time. You have no idea how long it took them to write that masterful 500-word blog post. You don’t know if they even wrote it or who edited it for them. I prefer to send them a piece of copy and ask them to fix it using the VoicePrint as their guide. It can be a raw transcription of a part of a speech, interview, Facebook Live or a rant I voiced into my phone when something inspirational struck me while I was driving.

Obviously, pay the scribe’s hourly rate. No one should work for free. But give the writer a limited amount of time to fix it and then see if he or she was able to mimic your VoicePrint.

It’s like owning a burger place and interviewing new cooks. You wouldn’t say, “Tell me more about all the great hamburgers you’ve cooked.” You would send them into the kitchen and ask them to make you a burger.

I’ve found that this process works for just about every business and it has the added benefit of really crystalizing your Marketing Strategy and Customer Journey. Because once you have developed an identity, it’s clear to see what works and what doesn’t, who you can help and who you can’t.

My Process for Curating A Mountain of Content

I’ve worn many different hats as an entrepreneur. But the one thing that has remained is my unique ability to distill enormous amounts of content into workable solutions for my clients.

I’m able to “connect the dots” really well. I like solving problems. Whether that’s the best way to get an idea out of your head, or automating your hiring process.

Here’s how I process a massive amount of content on a weekly basis.

I follow about 200 different blogs that put out over 1000 posts per day. I follow and actually read about 30 email newsletters each week. I’m currently subscribed to 22 podcasts, not including my own. And now that I’ve been doing this for a while, people send my things by Twitter, Slack, Email, and even SMS on a near hourly basis.

So, needless to say, it’s a lot.

There are two sides to what I consider “processing” content.

First you have to take it all in.

Second, you have to be able to disseminate it properly; which includes internalizing it so you can recall it at some later date if needed.

The first thing I do is get everything I find from all these different sources into one consolidated place. That place, is a Trello list.

My Content List on Trello

Now the cool thing is the way that things get onto this list, a lot of it is powered by automations setup with IFTTT.

  • I use Feedly to follow all of the different blogs and when I “save” something on Feedly, IFTTT creates a card for it in Trello
  • If I get an interesting email and I forward it to a special email address for my Trello board, it creates a new card in the list
  • If I visit a cool website on my desktop I click the Trello extension and it creates a card in my list.
  • The coolest one is if I take a screenshot on my iPhone of a text message or a website or even a screen on a particular app, IFTTT will turn that into a card.

My Screenshot IFTTT Applet

So that’s how everything gets into one organized place. It means I can grab things on the fly that I want to look at later, and then when I’m in a focused place, I can batch process those new items.

It also helps me commit many of these items to memory through the use of spaced repetition which means I’m exposing myself to the same piece of information more than once at different intervals. Basically, if in three years somebody says, “Is there an app that does X” most likely I’ll be able to recall the answer easily because of this method.

This is the fun part. I produce content for nearly a dozen different outlets on a weekly basis. There’s our client emails, general newsletter, Less Doing Podcasts, our FB group, our Mastermind, etc.

I approach my main list in Trello as a sorting list. I look at it and decide if it’s something I want to try out or work on myself, if it needs to go to someone on my team or if it’s going to go to my content board.

My Content Board and Calendar

Once it’s on the content board I know what channel it has to go to and I can put due dates on items, which organizes my content calendar so I can consistently produce items, 7 days per week, and be cognizant of upcoming holidays or other events that might effect content.


I have redundancy in place.

No matter what gets saved to my list, IFTTT also creates a note in Evernote. I use it as my ultimate brain dump because Evernote is good at bringing back content that’s relevant in the moment. It does that through the things you add to it in the moment as well as whatever you search for on Google. It will pop up with any related notes from your “external brain.” This ensures that nothing ever falls through the cracks and there’s always a place for things to go in order to be useful.

Ripcords in Business: A Prioritization Exercise Every Business Owners Should Do

You’re probably familiar with the concept of a Minimum Viable Product. Coming up with the most essential, distilled version of a business you can put together and go-to-market with as a way to quickly test the opportunity.

The concept of an MVP has transformed enterprise, particularly in Silicon Valley and introduced the world to the idea of running a “lean Business”.

The issue is, once a business hits a certain scale, founders tend to lose sight of that lean approach — the mentality of distilling value goes out the window.

So there’s a cool exercise I run often I like to call the “Ripcord Exercise”. Essentially, imagine your entire business fell apart in a day — everything failed, your customers left, even the money in your business bank account vanishes.

What are you left with? What would you take with you as the Titanic sinks?

At Less Doing, it’s the Leaders program. We’d carry along the relationships with our leaders, continue helping them with their challenges, focusing on that. If all of our other programs fell apart, that’s the one we’d fall back to.

What you generally find when you run through this exercise is you prioritize — you’re forced to dig into the crux of what your business is, so you can see what you’re wasting time on.

One of my biggest challenges running Less Doing is with prioritization. I have a ton of ideas so I’m always throwing them up there on our Trello board (this is a common problem BTW: founder of Kissmetrics Hiten Shah says his company essentially failed because of his constant “Hiten bombs”)

The Ripcord exercise helps you isolate your vision by boiling down where your biggest value comes from. In our case, we’ve realized that the Leaders program is the essence of our business — so all of our prioritization now is aligned around Leaders.

It doesn’t mean we neglect our other programs, of course, but it gives us guidance — it’s a first-pass-filter for new ideas.

The other thing it does is force you to really think in terms of the funnel. So for instance, our priority list ended up looking something like 1) leaders, 2) other programs, 3) partnerships. If we really boil those down to the funnel, it ends up being 1) retention, 2) content/marketing, 3) outreach.

Just by going through this simple exercise we managed to nail down that our core focus right now is on retention. So we guide our efforts around building a fantastic experience, really delivering value, etc. so that we don’t really have to worry about new customers — we just focus on keeping our existing clients satisfied.

As you can see, a pretty simple thought exercise, when carried all the way through, can completely illuminate the way you prioritize in your business.

“How well does this align with our vision?”

That’s a question you should be asking yourself every time you’re mulling over a new idea. Try the Ripcord exercise to gain that clarity.

Less Doing, More Sales Enablement

One of the greatest salesmen of all time was Zig Ziglar, his book “Getting To The Close” is one of the few that I always keep on my shelf and refer to regularly. In true Less Doing fashion, he once said

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.” — Zig Ziglar

You can never get to good at sales, and you certainly can’t ever get too efficient with your sales process. Sales Enablement is a simple but important concept that every organization must embrace if they want to create an efficient sales machine. Topo defines it as:

Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help sales people sell more effectively. The foundation of sales enablement is to provide sales people with what they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process. A big part of sales enablement involves equipping sales people with information they can use in sales cycles. This information might take the form of customer-facing content, sales best practices, and tools to name just a few examples. Regardless of the form the information takes, it needs to be easy to consume and reusable across the sales organization.

The Sales Pipeline

We built a sales enablement tool out of Trello, Zapier, Toky, Intercom, Voxer, Slack, and Calendly. I’m not claiming that my system is the best because it’s ever-evolving, but it works really well for us and it might work really well for you too. So here’s how it works…

Trello serves as the brains and “dashboard” of the entire process. We use one Trello Power Up which is the Custom Fields power up, this allows us to put a dedicated email address and phone number field on every card.

Our Sales Trello Board has the following Lists (which represent phases of the process)

Sales Pipeline in Trello

  • Resources — A static list of product info and pricing, templates, etc…
  • New Lead — this is where all new leads go
  • First Contact Attempt — salesperson moves the card to this list once the first contact is attempted
  • Second Contact Attempt — salesperson moves the card to this list once the second contact is attempted
  • Third Contact Attempt — salesperson moves the card to this list once the third contact is attempted
  • Final Contact Attempt — salesperson moves the card to this list once the fourth and final contact is attempted
  • Contact Made — Appointment Scheduled — salesperson or automation moves card here when a call is booked
  • No Show for Call — If a potential buyer doesn’t show up the salesperson moves the card to this list which kicks off a series of SMS and emails to the person over the course of several days to get them to reschedule. If they don’t the card automatically moves to the COLD list
  • Appointment Completed, Follow Up Call Scheduled — After a successful call with a potential lead the salesperson moves the card to this list if the person hasn’t bought or declined
  • Closed, Won — When someone makes a purchase, the card is moved to this list by the salesperson
  • Closed, Cold — If no response is received after four attempts by a salesperson or after several attempts by the no show automation, the card is moved here.
  • Closed, Lost — if the lead says no to the offer the salesperson moves their card here
  • Closed, Not Qualified — if a buyer turns out to be unqualified the salesperson moves their card here

Now to be perfectly honest, this setup by itself is a major step up from what many companies use to track their sales pipeline (I’m talking about lots of spreadsheets, like a whole lot) but here at Less Doing, we need to Optimize, Automate, and Outsource or else it’s just an Atari when what we really want is an Xbox One at our disposal.

The Machine

The first thing to tackle is how new leads get onto the pipeline in the first place. There are three ways this happens for us.


We use an intake form powered by Landbot which looks like a chatbot as a landing page, you can check out ours here. The reason we like Landbot is it allows us to pre-qualify leads and direct them to the right product or call offering depending on their circumstances. We can put an unlimited volume of leads through it and they will always be handled appropriately. Once someone fills out the form and is considered qualified, a Zap creates a card in Trello in the New Lead list with all of their information.


We use Calendly as our scheduling tool of choice to allow people to book info sessions, strategy calls, or our proprietary Productivity Power-Up Sessions. When someone books their call through Calendly it creates a card but not in the New Lead list, it puts in the Contact Made, Call Scheduled list.

Manual Entry

If a salesperson has an ad hoc email interaction with someone or if the founder gets a business card at an event the information can be manually entered by that person or a virtual assistant in the New Lead list.

In order to make the magic happen, make the salesperson’s life as easy as possible, and ultimately close more sales, there are well over a dozen automations at play, all run by Zapier.

New Lead

This is the most complex automation of the bunch and has a lot of steps to it. The trigger is a new card created in that list and it doesn’t matter if it’s manual or automated. These are the steps:

  1. Add a salesperson to the card using a round robin selection technique
  2. Try and find the lead in Intercom in case we’ve had contact with them in the past
  3. Send a message to our sales slack channel notifying the team of the new lead
  4. Format the date from Trello
  5. Find the row for that date in a google docs spreadsheet (we use this as an overall tracker for pipeline)
  6. Update the cell with the new number
  7. Update the original Trello card with the phone number from Intercom if we have it
  8. Send a text message to the person basically thanking them for their interest and letting them know a salesperson will be in touch soon.
  9. The zap then delays for 24 hours and checks to see if the card is still in the New Lead list
  10. If the card is still there after 24 hours a message is sent over Voxer to our sales group to let us know that the lead has been sitting for too long. We don’t let things fall through the cracks, ever.

First Contact Attempt

This is a simple one. When a card is moved here it sets the due date on it to tomorrow because we want the second attempt to be one day later.

Second Contact Attempt

Same idea but this time it sets the due date for three days later.

Third Contact Attempt

Again pushes the due date three more days for final contact

Final Contact Attempt

No automations here but I want to point out that none of the lists in our board are places to linger, there is always an action associated with each list so cards never sit.

Contact Made, Call Scheduled

Nothing happens when a card is moved here but if someone schedules a call in Calendly, no matter what list their card is in, the Zap will find it, move it to this list, and update the due date to the date of the call.

No Show for Call

This is a beautiful one, with sixteen steps. When a salesperson manually moves a card to this because the lead didn’t show up for their call, an email is immediately sent to them basically asking if they had trouble connecting to the zoom meeting. One hour later they get a text message asking them if they found a solution to their problem and if not, would they like to book another call. Then we delay for one day — and this part is critical — then we “Find Trello Card” and confirm that that card is still in the No Show for Call list. If it is that means the person has not responded and the zap continues. If the card is not in that list then it means the person responded and the zap will stop. This prevents a lead from getting a bunch of emails and texts even after they have responded. Three days later, it checks on the card again and if it’s still there sends them another email trying to get them to reschedule. Five days after that they get an email asking to just let us know if they are still interested. If they haven’t responded at that point, the card is automatically moved to Closed, Cold. Pretty cool right?

Appointment Completed, Follow Up Call Scheduled

The salesperson manually moves the card here and updates the due date to the expected date for follow up, no automations here.

Closed, Won

If at any point someone makes a purchase through our cart provider, ThriveCart, the zap will attempt to locate that persons card on the board and then automatically moves it to this list. If it can’t find a card for that person it will create one. The zap then continues to notify us in our Slack channel that a sale was made so we can all celebrate the win.

Closed, Cold

When a card is moved here the due date is set for THREE months from now so the salesperson can check-in and see if anything has changed.

Closed, Lost

When a card is moved here the due date is set for THREE months from now so the salesperson can check-in and see if anything has changed.

Closed, Not Qualified

When a card is moved here the due date is set for SIX months from now so the salesperson can check-in and see if anything has changed.

The Solution

So that’s how it works. This is an incredibly easy system to bring new salespeople in as the need arises since all of the minutiae is handled for them. A system like this makes life easier for salespeople for sure, but the greatest benefit, in my opinion, is that it avoids errors. Mistakes aren’t made, and leads don’t fall through the cracks. My hope is that there is enough detail for you to create your own sales pipeline and crush your sales goals

P.S. Whenever you are ready…here are 4 ways I can help you grow your business:

  1. Join our FREE Facebook Group — The Replaceable Founder
  2. Get our FREE Replaceable Founder Mini-Course
  3. Come to our next One-Day Intensive “Becoming Replaceable” Workshop. Click Here. I’ll save you a spot.
  4. Want to work with us privately? Just answer a few questions and find out if you’re a good fit. Apply Now