Episode 067 – Chris Meade
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to episode #67 with Chris Meade – CROSSNET Inventors Go from Zero to 2 Million in Less Than a Year!
Chris Meade received his Bachelor of Arts in Film, Video and Interactive Media from Quinnipiac University. While studying filmmaking, Chris began his own film & photography company, as well as co-founding The King Brand, a company that three years later would go on to gross over a million dollars in online sales.
Chris moved to Miami in 2017 to begin CROSSNET, the world’s first four-way volleyball game. In less than a year, CROSSNET has flooded the market and is now being sold by dozens of top retailers in the United States such as Walmart, Target, Academy, Gopher Sports, and Flaghouse.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- The importance of maintaining a high level of care for employees, especially for small businesses.
- It’s a scary feeling to trust other people on the internet to help but entrepreneurs must focus on their zone of genius and hire help for other tasks.
- Only do what only you can do.
- When the, then newly-invented, CROSSNET was brought to the beach for the first time, Chris knew they had hit something big.
- Protect yourself. Have your inventions patented and secured before selling anything to anyone.
- Be very patient when starting out a company because you may not see profit right away.
- Entrepreneurs are actively working to make the world a better place with their products and services.
- Fighting for customers to have fun!
- CROSSNET’S performance during Black Friday 2019
- It’s a really tough pill to swallow sometimes, but honesty and being true goes a long way.
- Warehousing Team
- The Hero’s Toolbelt
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Chris Meade challenged Sean Kelly to be a guest on The HERO Show. Chris thinks that Sean is a fantastic interview because he was essentially an entrepreneur blowing up his company on Instagram. Now, Sean owns a company called Jersey Champs. He makes custom jerseys for influencers, massive rappers, and big entertainment groups everywhere!
How To Stay Connected With Chris Meade
Want to stay connected with Chris? Please check out their social profiles below.
- Website: CROSSNETGame.com
- Social Media: @CROSSNETGame
With that… let’s get to listening to this week’s episode…
– Heroes are an inspiring group of people. Every one of them from the larger than life comic book heroes you see on the big silver screen to the everyday heroes that let us live the privileged lives we do. Every hero has a story to tell. The doctor saving lives at your local hospital. The war veteran down the street who risked his life for our freedom. The police officers and firefighters who risk their safety to ensure ours. Every hero is special and every story worth telling but there is one class of heroes that I think is often ignored, the entrepreneur, the creator, the producer, the ones who look at the problems in this world and think to themselves, you know what? I can fix that. I can help people and I can make a difference. Then they go out and do exactly that by creating a new product or introducing a new service. Some go on to change the world. Others make a world of difference to their customers. Welcome to the Hero Show. Join us, as we pull back the masks of the world’s finest heropreneurs and learn the secrets to their powers, their success and their influence. So, you can use those secrets to attract more sales, make more money and experience more freedom in your business. I’m your host Richard Matthews and we are on in three, two, one. Hello and welcome back to the Hero Show. My name is Richard Matthews. I am live on the line today with Chris Meade. Chris, as you there?
– Yes, I am, how’s it going? Thanks for having me.
– Awesome. So glad to have you here Chris. So, Chris has got a really cool story. I’m looking forward to sharing with us and actually learning about a little bit myself, but Chris has a bachelors in film and video and interactive media from Quinnipiac University. And so you had your own film and photography company and in 2017, you started a brand new sport called CROSSNET, the world’s first four-way volleyball game and you’re now being sold in over a dozen retailers in Walmart, Target, Academy, Go For It Sports, Black House, a few others. I really look forward to hearing about that story. But before we get too far into it, what is it that you Chris are known for? What is it that you bring to the market? Why do people buy your stuff?
– Yes, 2017, my brother and our childhood best friend were sitting on the couch one night and we, we’re like, let’s design a product. Let’s make something, let’s invent something, let’s be entrepreneurs. And we invented a four-way volleyball net. We were watching EPSN highlights all night long and found that nobody was selling four-way volleyball net and it was kind of a crazy idea. Next day, we rigged up a net in our backyard. We made it and here we are two years later selling in the biggest stores in the world.
– That’s insane. So tell me, how did you get your start as an entrepreneur, right? Was this the first time you had an entrepreneurial like story? And we talk on the show all the time. Every hero has their origin story where you started to realize that you were different, that maybe you had superpowers and maybe you could use them to help other people. Where did you sort of start to develop and discover the value you can bring to the world?
– Yeah, so I went to school at Quinnipiac with a film degree and film was just a big passion of mine. Film and photography, tying to just make beautiful content all the time. Taking pictures when I go on a walk with my girlfriend. Oh, I see the lighting here looks cool. Making those little stops. And I turned my film passion into a business. And I was doing weddings, principal photography, real estate, all these different types of projects, which had really helped me with my second business, CROSSNET, to take beautiful photos all the time and not have to pay somebody else to do it.
– Awesome. So you guys started in the photography business. I actually had something similar. I started as a, my first well, more like my second or third business. ‘Cause my other ones were like when I was a kid and I started a few businesses that didn’t end well, but I paid my way through college as a photographer doing wedding photography and other things and I discovered, oh, I don’t know, about a year and a half into that, that it wasn’t as fun as a profession as it was as a hobby.
– Yeah, yeah, so it’s more fun. It’s more fun as a hobby. And you know, I’ve got like my fancy camera rigged up here to shoot this show and I’ve got fancy lights up and everything. So I still like it all, it’s just. It’s just play stuff for me now.
– Yeah, yeah. It’s more fun as a hobby. And the only problem with it being a hobby is like, you know all the fancy gear that we want to get as photographers and like, there’s this $10,000 lens that I would love to buy but I have no like financial justification for it.
– So you probably feel me on that exactly.
– Ah, exactly.
– Awesome. So, the next question I have for you is about your particular superpower. What is it that you think you do or build or offer this world that really helps solve problems for people? The things you use to slay the world’s villain. One of the things that I’ve started talking about with people is, it’s the one thing that you think you are better at than everyone else around you, that you really bring to the table in your business or your businesses.
– Yeah, I think having a level of, just care for my employees. We’re a small company, but we’re rapidly growing. And also just being able to give autonomy to let people grow. I learned really recently that if you’re not good at something and somebody else brings the skill set to the team, let them flourish. I know that I’m not the best photographer in the world. So, we hired better photographers. I know I’m not a graphic designers. So, let’s hire graphic designers and flourish and tell me how to help my business grow. So, I’ve been recently really just stepping back and letting people just show their worth rather than just trying to do everything.
– Yeah, that’s a hard thing for business owners to get. I know it’s one of the biggest struggles I had like I almost probably 11 years in my business running everything on my own and thinking that I could do it all the best.
– And the moment I sort of let go of everything which was a little over 12 months ago, my business quadrupled.
– And we’re on track to hit a million dollars this year because of that, right, that exact thing.
– Exactly, yeah it’s a crazy, it’s a scary feeling but trusting other people that you find on the internet to help you but, I mean I hired somebody yesterday just to help me fulfill orders. I was wasting a lot of my time fulfilling and printing labels like, we’re on track to do two million dollars. I shouldn’t be wasting my time doing something so small like that, so.
– Yeah, yeah.
– So, I kind of outsource things.
– Yeah, trying to figure out what are the things that you are the best at that you can really bring to the company and only doing those things, right. My newest mantra for everything we build in our company is only do what only you can do. Right? And so if it’s something that someone else can do, you need to hire it out and the same thing with your staff. You want to have them working at their highest and best as well. So don’t have them doing things that could be done by automations or could be done by other thing. So, yeah, it’s really important to learn.
– Yeah, to let go.
– So, what’s that trajectory been like? You said you went from zero to two million in almost like two years.
– How does that happen, right, without imploding, right? ‘Cause that’s actually, this is selfish. I am looking at my current trajectory and going holy crap. If I do this right, I’m going to hit a million dollars this year and thinking if I make a mistake, I’m going to smash into the ground really hard.
– Yeah, it’s been fun. So, we invented this four-way volleyball net. We knew we were on to something when we brought it to the beach and set it up. As soon as we set it up, people just turned their heads. They come over, they talk, they make conversation. ‘Cause nobody’s seen it before. It’s essentially, like an alien on the beach. Everyone’s having a good time and they wanna know what it is. So, our quickest thing that we realized was the more nets we get out into the world, the more free marketing essentially that people are doing on our behalf. So, we are getting these clusters of people all over the world, while we talk right now. Playing our game at the beach. Doing free marketing for us while they having an absolute blast. So, we found that the more nets that get out to the world, the more our company just continues to grow.
– Yeah, so, it’s like making sure that if you found the one thing essentially that is leading to your growth.
– Yeah, that and a lot of Facebook ads. But yeah.
– I can imagine, a lot of Facebook ads for, yeah, I mean it’s kind of a nice viral type of ad, too because people have never seen that before.
– 100%. And you pair that with, we have Olympians playing it. So it’s a very high competitive rally that they have on the four-way net. Nobody has attention anymore for anything but if you see something you’ve never seen before, you’ll give it three seconds and you might click the link and you might put your email in. And now, we gotcha. And we do a really good job of that.
– That’s awesome. So on that, since it’s something that wasn’t on the market before, did you guys have to go through and do the patents and trademarks and stuff on it?
– Yeah, so we have a nice legal team that has taken care of all of that. But, the game is fully patented or protected in every single way. So, it’s really nice.
– So you guys get something like what, 20 years on the patent that you guys can own the market?
– Exactly. So well, we’ll welcome competition in 20 years, but who knows where it’ll be then.
– Yeah, that’s really cool. So, when it comes, for those of us who have never done that aspect of business, right, I’ve done some private labeling and worked with companies that have made products and stuff before but never on the patent side. What were some of the struggles that you run into with that? Yeah, fortunately for myself. I wasn’t specifically on the patent side, my partner Michael kind of took the reigns there. But, we we got the patent all sealed. It definitely was a process getting it all settled in the trade market game but now that we have the patent, and we’ve have gone through all the processes, we’re good to go and it feels good knowing that we’re protected. We have our kind of monthly or quarterly calls with like our attorney team just to make sure everything’s good. But yeah, it was a stressful process, but we’re covered, we have the patent on all of our packaging. So it’s very–
– Did you guys have to wait until you got the patent before you started selling or did you sell before the patent?
– Yeah, we waited. We did not want to take a risk. So we waited till we had that patent completely secured before we started selling.
– Awesome. And so, one of the other things that I know that has been really important for companies growing is to sort of grow the vertical market meaning like if you’re in the volleyball space, there’s other things that volleyball players buy, right? I don’t even know what those things are. But you know, volleyballs and other things. Have you started to expand the product line into other other things yet or you still just own the one product?
– So right now, we’re selling the one product. We’re seeing that we’re not only in the volleyball market, but we’re also just in the recreational family market. We’re seeing almost a good 50/50 split between your fun athletic volleyball player and also your mom looking to buy a game for their son or daughter to go out on the beach, their backyard and have a good time and just get off their cell phones. People need more and more excuses to get off the phone that’s constantly in their hand. So, we’re selling it. The product’s been going like crazy. It’s been nice to focus just on one product and get the most out of that product before we branch off. But in three weeks time, we’re launching our indoor model. So right now, we’ve gotten into over 2,500 schools that are learning, they’re using CROSSNET to learn volleyball. But the indoor model will allow people to play inside now which is going to be amazing.
– That’s awesome. So, still just one product, but you’re bringing a second model to market.
– Really shows what you can do with a single product if you hit a good curve with it. So, next question I have for you is your fatal flaw, right? So, just like Superman has his kryptonite or Batman’s is not actually a superhero. He’s just really dedicated and has lots of money, right? Something that you sort of have struggled with as a CEO of a business that you would either, that you’ve had to work on. And you know, what is that and I think more importantly, how have you worked on that so that people who struggle with something similar might learn from you?
– Yeah, just to correct, I’m the chief revenue office not the CEO.
– I’m just one of the co-founders. But we all wear a lot of of different hats. But, essentially one thing that we’ve had to struggle with and a lot of entrepreneurs will learn is patience. Patience, patience, patience. We’re very young, we’re 26 years old and it’s a completely self-funded company. So, there’s been times where we could have went out and went to a bank and asked for a loan or gave away 50% of our company for a big loan to get inventory. But we started with less than like 50 nets. And then we sold the 50 nets, and we took the money from the 50 nets and we bought a 100 nets and the we sold 100 nets. And then we bought 250 nets. It was like running a lemonade stand with that essentially when we were just really starting out. And we’ve turned the lemonade stand into a Starbucks. And we’re buying 7,500, 10,000 nets at a time. But just knowing that if you have a good product and you have that camaraderie with your teammates, you’ll be able to build a business. It just takes a lot of time and just having the mindset. It was tough, it was really tough. There’s a lot of times like, I’m not getting paid yet. We’re a year and a half in, like I need to get a paycheck to find ways to survive or–
– So, that’s one of the things that I always find really interesting. And like, when I was a younger entrepreneur, I had the thought that anyone can be an entrepreneur and realized that that was an incorrect thought. And my more correct thinking is more along the lines of you know, Disney’s Ratatouille. You know, it’s not that anyone could be a chef. It’s that a great chef can come from anywhere, right?
– Right, so that’s sort of one of the things that I’ve sort of come up with. I mean, I had to come to terms with is that, we’re a different breed of people, willing to take risks and work for free. And do that kind of stuff. So just out of curiosity. How long have you, how have you been surviving and working for free growing a company like this? And when do you actually plan on pulling a paycheck from the company?
– Well fortunately, we have actually just started pulling it out, I wanna say, five months ago. We got to profitability, paid our debt back which was essentially debt to ourselves. So, we all pooled money. We didn’t ask for money from anybody but our own pockets and nothing that we couldn’t really afford. And then, yeah like that photography passion, I’ve grown into a website development passion as well. I’m the one who created the website for CROSSNET. I make all the tweaks. Look, review all the analytics. So while we were building the business, I was working building websites on the side. So one website, my rent’s paid. Another website, got two months of rent stashed away. So, here we are and we’re finally paying ourselves. And we have no debt and we own 100% of our company, so.
– That is, that’s really cool.
– Having that patience and just being able to survive till we got to this point.
– Yeah, yeah. Not a lot of people have that kind of intestinal fortitude to do that.
– So good on you guys for making that a reality. I think, you know the whole purpose of this show is that entrepreneurs make the world a better place, right? So like legitimately, it is super cool that you guys have done that and you guys are are actively working to make the world a better place with your products and your services and you know, taking the sacrifices to do that. So, that’s really awesome. So, my my next question for you is, this is gonna be little interesting. It’s your common enemy, right? And this is the one thing that you fight against with your customers whether that is, you know, the problems you have to overcome to get them to buy or maybe the big problem that you’re helping them solve. What is some of the things that you know you struggle with regularly with your clients?
– Yeah, price. Our product is $150. And it’s expensive. I mean, most of our consumers don’t have $150 just laying around to shell out for a recreational game. So, we see a lot of our competitors in the outdoor games or beach market, $20, $50, $60 tops. So we have a big jump from $60 to $150 which is a very difficult pain point of ours. But, volleyball nets cost a lot of money. Most people buy one volleyball net and they might not even remember buying that volleyball net ’cause they’ve had it for so long. So, or it’s at an institution, right? You roll up to the beach. And the volleyball net’s there. Nobody’s really thinking about how much did it cost that beach or park to put that volleyball net in. So, when they’re actually buying it, yeah, it’s a big selling point. And it definitely hurts with our conversion, having that price point. But we are also a premium product. We might not be for everybody. We’re for people who really love volleyball or wanna learn how to play volleyball or just looking for awesome time with their friends. And they can set up the net in five minutes, so. Definitely some pain points come from selling $150 product but we’ve learned a lot too.
– So, how do you overcome that price objection for the people who do buy? Because obviously you’ve sold $2 million worth of them, so. So, you’ve got something going right. So, has it been a marketing message? Or what has been your solution to help overcome that price objection?
– Yeah, so one, when we were designing the product, we made sure that it was adjustable for height. So it’s height-adjustable for men, women, and children. So you can literally just remove a pole. So you set it up, there’s poles on each side. If you want full height, adult men’s hight, you’d use all the poles. You want women’s height, use four poles. You want children’s height, use three poles. So, it’s really easy just to pull the poles out and you set it up as you go. So, having the flexibility when somebody purchases, oh it’s not only for me, but it’s also for my kids. And so, that’s the justification right there. We have really fun, enjoyable ads that we run that show how much fun it actually is. So there’s kind of that FOMO of I’m missing out on the beach.
– And while my girlfriend’s tanning for 10 hours, I can be having a blast with my friends. But now, I’m on this towel. So, we definitely sell to that, who would be myself personally. And then, we also have sold to physical education teachers. Historically, I don’t know if you remember playing volleyball in elementary school. But I just remember playing like six on six or seven on seven and just never getting the ball.
– I was just so bored standing there waiting for the ball to come.
– I remember.
– And now, kids are playing on our CROSSNET and they’re getting spiked at and they’re returning but they’re actually working on their skills. And now everyone’s having fun and the kids can’t wait till it’s CROSSNET day in gym class which is just a very rewarding feeling as an entrepreneur, knowing that people are playing CROSSNET right now in Alaska. Like, it’s just wild.
– Yeah, that’s really awesome. And I really like the take on the FOMO, right, you know, the fear of missing out. And like I’ve seen some of your ads and you can, you know, it’s fun to have a product that is like ideally situated on a beach which is where everyone wishes they were anyways, right. So you have like a default of like, even if they don’t live near the beach and they want to get the game, like in their head, you know, it’s a beach game. And I can get close to the beach even if I’ve got it in my backyard on the grass.
– Exactly, yeah, exactly. That’s exactly how I imagined it.
– Yeah, that’s really cool. So, the other side of that is your driving force, right? So just like Spider-Man fights to save New York or Batman fights to save Gotham or you know, Google fights to index and categorize all the worlds information. What is it that you guys are fighting for at CROSSNET?
– We’re fighting for fun, having fun and just literally all it takes is just 10 minutes to make your day better. I find that time and time again, and our messaging has changed as a company over time. But what it comes to me as one of of the founders, CROSSNET is the one time where I can put my phone in my backpack and not worry about my emails, not worry about my alerts, not worry about anything besides me and my three friends, just having a good time for 10 minutes or maybe two hours. So, making the world have more fun and also teaching a skill, if you really wanna take it from the volleyball standpoint. But, we’re all about fun.
– Yeah, yeah, actually one of the core tenets that we talk about all the time on the show is that a lot of entrepreneurs particularly struggle, I think with this, the idea that I work in order to earn fun, right, in order to earn relaxation without realizing that fun and relaxation and stuff like that is actually a foundational piece to actually being productive and getting the work done.
– In essence, yeah.
– Yeah, yeah. So it sounds like you’re in the same vein of thinking, that hey, if you wanna actually do good work, you need to get out there and get the blood flowing a little bit.
– Exactly. You have permission to play.
– Yeah, if you’re always working on your company, you never have time to have fun. Granted, it is rewarding building your company but just even 10 minutes. I mean, going out for a jog at night, I look forward to it, you know. like having that fun and relaxation and just enjoying it.
– That’s why we travel. My wife and kids ’cause we’re always in cool places doing cool things. My son’s currently in archery class. He’s got archery all week, all month, this month, to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. Super excited about that ’cause now as far as he’s concerned, he’s a killer. That’s awesome.
– So, it’s pretty awesome. So, I wanna talk a little bit practically. Or you talk on this section, the heroes’ tool belt, right? Maybe you’ve got a big magical hammer like Thor or a bullet proof vest like your neighborhood police officer or maybe you guys just really love how Evernote helps you organize everything in your business. What are some, one or two of your like tools you couldn’t live without in terms of growing a physical product business like this?
– Yeah, our warehouse. Our warehouse team is amazing. Shout out to my friend Kevin, my childhood best friend actually, who runs our warehouse up in Connecticut where we’re from. If we didn’t have this system of orders coming in, orders coming out, organization, we would cripple as a business. We’re a small but rapidly growing and we’re getting, we go from two orders a day, to a couple hundred orders a day, and it’s a lot of labor. And if we didn’t have like a really strong backbone of getting orders out, getting them shipped out, having UPS come in drones everyday to take up shipments, we would fail as a business immediately. So, that is definitely our strongest part of this business, I can tell you that.
– So, wait, maybe I missed that. You said UPS sends drones to pick up product.
– I mean, like just herds of trucks every day. They’re just sending so many trucks to come to our warehouse. So it’s a really rewarding feeling but if we didn’t have that, I know how we’d survive. Customers are ordering now and packages are out the door within 10 minutes.
– Wow, that’s amazing. So how was your your first big Black Friday or second big best Black Friday this year?
– Well, first big Black Friday, second Black Friday is company, yeah.
– Yeah, so how about that go for you guys? Did you guys handle it all right?
– Yeah, so far so good. I think almost every order has left the warehouse, to my knowledge. We’re still getting tons of orders. But Black Friday was great. We were on the homepage of Target as one of their door busters.
– So that was incredible getting an email saying hey, do you want to be a door buster? Of course, I wanna be a door buster.
– Heck yes, I’ll take a 100,000 orders, thanks.
– Yeah, so that was great, yeah. It was a really rewarding feeling, sold thousands of CROSSNET and just from last year’s Black Friday compared to this year’s Black Friday, it was just night and day.
– So, just a real question on that, how did you guys gauge the amount of inventory you would need for a big Black Friday sale like this for your first big one? How did that go? How did you guys sort of make that and did you do a good job?
– Yeah, from my knowledge, we did a good job. I’m very proud of the team. We definitely sold more units than we expected. But essentially, we had placed so we manufacture overseas so we know there’s a good 30 to 60 days lead time for manufacturing and shipping. And there’s always hiccups that come up along the way. But effectively, we had over 10,000 units in stock at our warehouse. We knew how much we were selling and we just prepared. We made sure we had those purchase orders in months in advance. We made sure we had money in the bank months in advance for the situation. We almost like took quarter three off just to plan for quarter four because quarter three was like, just people are going back to school, people aren’t outside as much after July. August kind of slowed down a little bit. And then we knew peak season was gonna be just a few days ago, so. All the work we did to prep for that, all the marketing, all the emails, everything just really helped us make sure we were right where we needed to be.
– Awesome, so are those things that set you up really well for next year and know exactly what you need to do?
– Yeah, definitely some learning lessons there. But yeah, we got all the inventory out. We got all the orders that we expected and we have inventory left was great and we have more. Another shipment coming actually in a few weeks, so. We should be good.
– So, I know the joke is, it’s called Black Friday because companies are running in the red until they hit that day and then they’re in the black for the rest of the year.
– Were you guys already in the black this year? Or did that put you over the line?
– No, yeah, we’ve been profitable since June. Yeah, so we’ve been super profitable.
– So it’s all just gravy at this point?
– Yeah, it’s all this money coming in. And yeah, we make sure, I mean, but definitely the struggle of Black Friday has been our CPA when you’re marketing against all these other companies, your cost per conversion is going to go up. It’s just kind of feeding the beast but, yeah, privately, we made profit on every single order that left. So as a business owner, I can’t ask for more than that.
– Yeah, that’s really awesome. So I’ll take a little bit of a detour and talk about your own personal heroes, right? Furto had Gandalf, Luke had Obi-Wan, Robert Kiyosaki had his rich dad. Who were some of your heroes growing up as an entrepreneur? Were they real life mentors? Were they speakers or author’s? Peers who were a couple of years ahead of you? And how important were they to what you guys have accomplished so far?
– Yeah, personal heroes. Honestly, the company started with myself and my brother Greg. So honestly, our parents growing up just meant everything to us. It’s kind of a cliche answer but they showed how much, just attention to details was really important growing up and caring, caring for your employees, making them feel happy. If it wasn’t for them to just kind of pave the route for us and motivate us every day, it’s like do better than they did, I don’t know where we’d be to be honest. So our parents were definitely our biggest heroes or our biggest inspiration. My mom is just like constantly gloating about CROSSNET and sending flyer, handing people flyers, oh have you heard about my son’s beach game? And it’s like, yeah mom, we’re in Target like everyone knows about CROSSNET but, it’s a surreal feeling.
– Yeah, yeah, my mom’s the same way. She always talks about me and my business and like every, even this episode, I guarantee you when it goes up online, she’ll be the first person to comment on it ’cause mom’s are the best. But you know, I am hoping at some point, that my children pick up the ideas that we’re talking, you know, we’re putting down so it sounds like you did, right? So hopefully my kids will at some point because you know at this point, my 10-year-old still I feel like his head’s not screwed all the way on but hopefully we’ll make it through all of that. So let’s bring it home for our listeners a little bit and talk about your guiding principles? What are the top one or two principles or actions that you use regularly today that you think have contributed to the success and the influence of CROSSNET? Ones that maybe you wish you had known when you first started out as an entrepreneur.
– Yeah, I think being truthful, just literally goes a long, long way. At first maybe when you’re learning like, you’re trying just to make the customer happy all the time. But it ends up giving you more issues in the long run. If the product is not going to get to the customer in two weeks, don’t tell them it’s gonna get there in three days. And then you shovel your way out four days after that and try to make up excuses. Just be honest and it’s going to save you a lot of effort. It’s a really tough pill to swallow sometimes but just honesty and being true goes a long, long way. I cut out a lot of headache in my life in the last year by just being straightforward, saying how I feel, holding my tongue when I need to hold my tongue, but just speaking my truth and putting my foot forward when I need to put my foot forward and stepping back when I need other people to kind of lead.
– Awesome, and I’m curious. How has that impacted your reviews online? ‘Cause I know that’s a huge portion of business today is making sure the reviews are good. So what does that look like for you guys?
– Yeah, our reviews are super positive. If you look on our Target, Walmart, our dot-com, all really, really good reviews. We’ve learned some negative reviews have been like, oh the product, it takes a long time to set up. So, you know what? What was the first thing we did? We’re making documentation and content around how we get to faster setup times. Why can I set it up in four minutes? And somebody else takes 20 minutes? So learning from the customer has been a huge thing. I want to know what’s wrong because I want to fix it. So we get feedback forms out about 14 days after somebody orders and then we’ll check back in about seven days. If we still haven’t heard back, then I’m constantly looking for improvements. Our customer service teams are going above and beyond like calling directly, expediting orders, doing whatever we can even if it costs us money, just to make sure people are getting their products especially around Christmas time.
– Yeah, that’s really awesome and have you guys, do you guys have a specific like plan in place that is specifically geared towards driving reviews and higher review rates?
– Yeah, so we had an app called Bazaarvoice, shout out to you guys. A very pricey tool but very effective tool and what they do is they essentially syndicate reviews across all of our online retailers. So when we got into the big box stores and started selling on the Target and the Walmarts of the world, our reviews didn’t populate. And you’d see 400, 500 reviews on our website and zero on their website. So there’s a big disconnect there for the customer and we saw a drop off in sales. Oh, we’re on these big websites, why aren’t people buying? Oh, it looks like you’re nobody. So, we bought this reviewer app that syndicates them across all the channels. And now we have the feedback coming out and whenever somebody leaves a review on Target, it comes to us. Somebody leaves a review on Walmart, it comes to us and it’s shared throughout the universe.
– Yeah, that’s really awesome. So, and has that made an impact in the way the sales are going on all those platforms?
– I like to think so, yeah. I certainly have seen an increase in conversion. If you look at the month-over-month data, you can see that our conversion rate is rapidly increasing and yeah, I mean our company is also rapidly increasing, our brand name and our brand strength is always growing, as well but. Yeah, we’ve seen everything just kind of level up month-over-month.
– So, one of the things I was learning recently from a friend of mine who works with Inc 500, or Inc 5000 companies, and fastest fastest growing companies is, one of the things that they all have in common is they have one number that they check that is like the heartbeat for their business. And they know that number inside and out and whatever that number goes, up or down, it’s gives them the indication of what they should do. Do you guys, have you figured out what that number is yet?
– And how’s it doing for you?
– My number one is conversion, 100%, every time I open my phone, what is our conversion rate for the day and that will let me gauge if we’re targeting the right customers or if we’re targeting the wrong customers and also how much money am I taking home at the end of the day. So I can be very predictive about my business. If I know, we’re getting 5,000 site visitors a day, and my conversion rate’s at 3%, I know how much money I’m exactly making and how much our business is making.
– So when you talk about conversion rate, you’re talking visitors to your web page who turn into sales so are you tracking that same conversion rate on like your Amazon page, your Walmart page, your Target page? Or are you looking it just on your page?
– So, our dot-com is where we make the most money. So I’m primarily the most concerned about our dot-com. But, yeah, we’re also looking at the Amazons and the Walmarts and what can we do? Listing-wise, maybe there’s a tweak. Oh, this word doesn’t work here. This photo should be here and then we’ll engage that over time.
– So, if you don’t mind my sharing, what’s your target conversion rate you wish you hit every day on your on site?
– Ideally, we hit during Black Friday, we hit about about 4.5% conversion rate. That was unworldly and not realistic. But, if I can get that every day, that would be the, we’d be a $10 million company next year.
– I have a recommendation for you when we get off the phone. A good friend of mine regularly helps their clients hit 6% conversion rates every day.
– Let’s talk.
– Yeah, so I’ll send you over their direction. But anyways, that’s really awesome. So last question for you is the Hero Challenge, it’s pretty simple. We do this on every show and it’s just, it’s basically this, do you have someone in your life, in your network that you think has a cool story like yours? Who are they? First names are fine. And why do you think they should come share their story on the Hero Show?
– Yeah, one of my really good friends Shawn Kelly. He is based in New Jersey. Met him on the internet, now he’s like one of best friends. He was essentially an entrepreneur blowing up his company on Instagram. He owns a company called Jersey Champs. And what they do is he makes custom jerseys for influencers everywhere. And then he splits a prost, like a percentage of the sales that he makes. And he’s worked with like Mark Cuban–
– That’s pretty genius.
– And all these like massive rappers, big entertainment groups. But, he’s like the number one online company in making jerseys and it’s a really cool hustle. He just got onto Forbes last week, made a million dollars, like super cool kid, so.
– Yeah, that’s awesome.
– Cool. So that basically brings us to the end of our interview. So what I want to do real quick is first, thank you so much for coming on the show Chris. It’s been really cool hearing your story and hearing about CROSSNET. Where can people find you if they want to pick up a, one of these nets and then second question is, who is it ideal for? Who are the people you think should absolutely pick up one of these nets and take them home and play with them?
– Yeah, check out CROSSNET at CROSSNETGAME.com or you can follow us on social media at CROSSNETGAME. Perfect, honestly for anybody who’s looking, just have a good time on the beach, looking good be active. You don’t need to be a professional volleyball player. I’m certainly not. None of our founders are. Just looking to have a good time and enjoy the beach or enjoy the grass, like, it works perfectly in the park. So, if you’re looking for a recreational activity to have fun and get away and you’re an outdoor enthusiast, it’s perfect game.
– Awesome, thank you so much for coming onto this show. If you’re watching the show and it sounds like that would be a good time for you, definitely check out the CROSSNET thing, even if it’s just to watch their videos. Their videos are really, really good. You get an idea if you’re an entrepreneurial, someone who’s really doing a really good job of their marketing, definitely check out the work that they’re doing. Because obviously, you guys have gone from zero to $2 million in a couple of years. That’s everyone’s dream. All right, so, you know go through and watch what they’re doing. Pick up one of their nets. Chris, do you have any final thoughts for our listeners here on the show before we hit the stop record button?
– Yeah, if you have a good idea, put it into practice. Why not? We were nobody two years ago. I mean we’re just kids growing up in a small farm town and now we have our product worldwide. It’s just still crazy, rewarding feeling every single day that people want to talk and learn and are going and playing our games, so. Why not you?
– Just give it a try.
– Absolutely, just go out there and make it happen. So, thank you so much again. We’ll head and we’ll say goodbye to our audience and hit the stop record button. Have a good day.
How To Build Incredibly Persuasive Webinars To Sell Your Online Courses or Coaching
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How To Build Incredibly Persuasive Webinars To Sell Your Online Courses or Coaching
Pick your copy of my new masterclass today and learn the EXACT strategies that I personally use to build sales webinars that have sold more than $786,976 worth of online courses and coaching just in the last year.
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The HERO Show
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