- Scott shares his perspective on building authentic, human centered, relationships. (2:05)
- Mike and Scott discuss the difference between transactional relationship building (networking) and more authentic relationships (4:15)
- Tracy and Scott discuss the customer discovery approach that transcends industries. (5:30)
- Scott shares his role as a builder of informal relationships within his network. (9:25)
- Scott shares his approach to balancing confidence and humility as a leader. (15:30)
- Tracy and Scott discuss an approach to ensure that teams are focused on improving and learning from mistakes. The team discusses feedback loops, and an approach to team engagement (18:45)
- Want to watch the podcasts on video visit TEAMES & CO on YouTube.
- Learn more about how TEAMES & CO builds effective and empowered teams that deliver results
- Follow TEAMES & CO on Facebook LinkedIn, Twitter (@teamesandco) and Instagram (@teamesandco)
TEAMES Global is live! We will be launching new courses throughout the summer to support leaders and organizations as they empower their teams, connect with customers and reach their goals!!! Follow TEAMES Global on Facebook and LinkedIn, and sign up for a course today!
Learn how to foster culture and accelerate growth with communication!
Listen to Episode 33
Episode 33 Transcript
Tracy Eames (00:24):
Hey, everybody. Welcome to this week's episode of Building Teams with TEAMES & CO. Mike and I are excited to be back and this week we're welcoming Scott Rutter, a trusted advisor in our community. We're really excited about this episode because Scott has an extensive network and we're going to have a great conversation around how to you build your formal teams but also those informal teams that support you and your business as you're growing.
Tracy Eames (00:46):
Hey, Scott. Welcome to the podcast.
Scott Rutter (00:48):
Hey. Thank you so much. It's so great to be here.
Mike Vaggalis (00:51):
Great to see you, Scott.
Scott Rutter (00:53):
Yes. And Mike, real quick, has anybody ever told you you look like Bradley Cooper?
Mike Vaggalis (00:57):
You know, I've heard that a couple times and I will take it. He's a much better looking person than I am but I'll take the compliment. Appreciate that, Scott. Let's hop in. Scott, I'm so excited to talk with you today. We were talking a little bit before the show and we were talking about stuff outside of work from your bungee jumping adventures to our shared love of sports. Go Broncos. But I really want to dig into, really, the main topic of this conversation, which I know that you and Tracy have known each other for a while, but want to talk about some of the ways that you've been able to develop relationships. We were talking, again, before the show just about intentionality and your thought on building not just transactional relationships but really fostering genuine human relationships with people in your professional network and then in your personal life, as well.
Tracy Eames (01:57):
Mike Vaggalis (01:57):
I would love to hear your experience and your thoughts on building those sorts of relationships.
Scott Rutter (02:06):
Mike, great question. For me, it's a big part of my why. I just love people. It feels great to deliver value. And when you're meeting people, it's, "How can I help serve others? How can I help serve you?" I call that servant hearted-ness. And then, also, I call that giver's gain because when you do right by people and you put out that good will, it always tends to come back 10 fold. And that's not why I do it. That's not why we do it. But if you do it the right way, in an authentic, caring, genuine approach way, like I said, life's been pretty good for me.
Tracy Eames (02:43):
Scott, that's awesome. Maybe you could share a little bit. We've known each other about three years and so from our history I know that you've had a varied and really exciting career. You've lived in a lot of different places, you've held a lot of different roles, worked across industries, so maybe you could share a little bit about that with our listeners and how that's helped you build relationships over the years.
Scott Rutter (03:07):
Yeah, sure. As you mentioned, definitely had a lot of career transition over the course of the last, I'd say, 5 years after spending 10 years in one company and one industry. It's all made sense from a trajectory standpoint but it's really opened up and expanded the way I network, I communicate with people from both a leadership aspect and knowing how to meet people where they are and articulate different styles. From banking to insurance to helping a startup scale and then also having my own brands on the side, it's been a wild ride for sure.
Scott Rutter (03:49):
And I guess being in all those different fields, it's allowed me an opportunity to meet all kinds of different people, so I have a very wide, diverse network, which has come to help a lot of the people that I interact with, meet. And people like yourself where we've had now a three year relationship. You and I have kept a pulse on one another and we've monitored that and we continue to both see how we can best serve one another.
Mike Vaggalis (04:13):
What advice would you give to some of our listeners, Scott, who have heard this term networking and are trying to get out and network with many different people. What advice would you give, maybe, to that person who is trying to build relationships in a world that seems to value, really, a lot of transactional relationships? I'll help you if you can help me sort of thing. What advice would you give?
Scott Rutter (04:39):
Sure. I think you hit the nail on the head... First of all, don't ever be in a tit for tat mindset ... is what I call that. Don't do for others to expect to receive. If it comes back, which often times it will, most of the time it won't, but do it for the right reasons. My best advice would be don't network what you do, network who you are because I really think it comes down to the like, know, trust aspect. I know that's the way I do business. You could be the most skilled professional in the world but if I don't know like you, know you and trust you ... I think a lot of people get it wrong because they're like, "Hey, I do insurance," or, "I'm a financial advisor," or, "I'm a business broker." But it's kind of like, "Hi, where are you from?" And all the personal things that come out first.
Tracy Eames (05:28):
That's great. I think that's a good segway, also, into business leaders and how they treat their customers and how they deliver value to their customers. On an individual basis as you're growing your company, you might be out there networking and building relationships, getting to know other business leaders in the community, but it's also a great lesson in terms of really putting your customer at the center of your organization and getting to know them.
As you've moved around in different industries and built your experience, how have you connected with customers? How do you start that "customer discovery" where you get to know what's important to them, how can you deliver value. What's that process like for you?
Scott Rutter (06:06):
Right. Sure. Yes. First of all, I call it client-centric approach. One of the things that has really helped me is, number one, look at all the different places that I have, but also from a lesson that my grandfather instilled in me at a very young age, which is from bum to billionaire, you treat everybody the same way. And that goes a real long, long way.
I know recently I had an encounter with a realtor who had sent business to a mortgage lender and on the $500,000 it was a really seamless, great client experience. But then he had shared with me on like a $300,000, the client felt slated in a sense; was not given that same experience. I think that's the best advice to give the listeners out there is definitely treat everybody the same. Consistency.
But really, it comes down to what's one's love language? And for everybody it's different. Whether you're leading teams or you're working with clients, there's different pain points. So, really getting to understand where you can best ... not sell them, but what's the solution? Take, for example, banking. The bank I work for, the first bank, they were not acquisition focused but it was all about deepening of client relationships so I had to train my team on what cues and clues to look out for but also how to have conversations with everybody.
Again, it goes down to the bum to billionaire. I know for me, prior to me working at a bank - Maybe it's because of the balance that I held in my account. I never really had a banker try and sideline me into their office or explain or the features and benefits and ways that banks can help people. Specifically, home equity line. We had plenty of equity but I didn't really understand what a home equity line was. And then also financial. I have a wealth advisor outside of the bank but had I known that there was one available within the bank, they could have maybe had that business.
It's really what I call mile wide, mile deep. That's one example as it relates to banking. Insurance, just being somebody's risk advisor, being able to articulate and do the things that no other insurance person has ever done because we don't know our options unless we know our options, if that makes sense.
Tracy Eames (08:21):
Yeah, definitely. One of the things I've seen in action from you over the years, Scott, is again, we talk about these - We all have our formal teams within our organizations but this informal team outside, what strikes me as one of your strengths is that you do a really good job at connecting people. As a small business owner, they may come to you for advice about insurance but you're also able to compare them to other people who have really great expertise. They may need somebody with operations support or maintenance support and you seem to have a wide range of contacts that you can help your clients find additional services and additional support even if you can't provide them. How do you manage being that trusted advisor, that informal team, and supporting people beyond, maybe, your scope and recommending them to other people so while you're not directly supporting the solution, you're indirectly giving them an option to be able to find the solution that they need?
Scott Rutter (09:25):
Yeah, definitely. I almost would call that project management or air traffic controlling. Once you've heard the trust of people -I've been very blessed and fortunate to surround myself with people much better than myself. I've got one hell of a tribe, as you just mentioned. So, different personalities work with different people. Take, for example, financial advisor. I know three that I would trust to refer out but it's based on being able to read the client or being able to read the person that reached out to me to know who they're going to work best with.
Yeah, it feels really good. Like you said, directly I might not be in that field but knowing the subject matter experts like yourself, Tracy, right? I know if people were looking to catapult and grow their business and they need help, I know you're the person to send them to, right?
Tracy Eames (10:21):
We appreciate that. We always love having businesses who are excited about growing give us a call and we'll take those recommendations.
Scott Rutter (10:29):
Mike Vaggalis (10:29):
Scott, I want to touch back on something that you were talking about earlier and that's understanding your customers. And you use the word read your customer. Can you talk to me about how you read a customer? How you understand what their needs are so that you can help understand what's the right solution for that person. Are you going to refer them to somebody? Are you going to tailor a specific insurance package for their unique risk? How do you understand some of these needs?
Scott Rutter (11:10):
Yeah, sure. To talk specifically, just because that's much easier and I think people would much more appreciate that. Take, for example, banking. And another thing I'll say is you don't have to have experience in a particular field to be successful at it. It's being a fly on the wall first. When I'd sit down with clients, they might come in with an expressed need of, "Hey, I need to replace my debit card," or, "I need to reorder a checkbook." That's the expressed need. But there's emerging needs, so it's about asking the questions and really, what I prided myself on the most was the unperceived needs; the needs they didn't even know that were there. And it all comes down to asking the right questions, treating everybody the same and just delivering value in every way you possibly can.
Scott Rutter (11:56):
And, I think, more importantly, too, is to your point earlier, Tracy is you've got to accept the fact that you're not always going to be the person for You have to know of outside solutions. So, what I really did is I learned what other banks offered that I couldn't offer and then I was able to do that more concierge approach. In fact, if a client - If I couldn't fulfill the solution that that client needed, I would actually call the other bank and have an appointment set up for them rather than them having to leave the bank and then google where they could get that.
Tracy Eames (12:28):
That's awesome. I think that really speaks to going that extra mile for your customers. I know we've talked about customers a lot and we could talk about customers all day because we love talking about customer discovery and all the data that comes along with that. But what has been your experience as a leader in leading teams? You mentioned earlier how you tried to train your teams, empower them with tools. That's a big part of the work we do, obviously. We're very focused on helping leaders make sure their team had the resources and tools and training to be successful. That really drives growth within organizations, so how have you tried to do that as a leader within the organizations that you've worked with?
Scott Rutter (13:07):
When it comes to leading people, Tracy, one of the things that took me a long time to grasp this - is I thought everybody was motivated the same way. My employees, I always wanted to see them do incredibly well, better than myself, even. But that wasn't right for them. They all didn't care about a six-figure salary, necessarily. Some people enjoy time off. Some people enjoy making the most amount of money they possibly can. So, getting to know your employees is so vital and so crucial. Finding out what their love language is, is what I call it. Yeah. That's been the key to leadership.
Tracy Eames (13:46):
What have you done along the way in terms of - If you have a team of people, what are some of the ways that you've helped bring them together, create that common, shared goal? I think earlier in our conversation you talk about having that strong why. We love talking about that why with teams. That shared purpose really helps a group of people achieve a common goal. How have you structured that with your teams in terms of creating that shared purpose, that shared why, and then executing on it together?
Scott Rutter (14:14):
Yeah. People have to weigh in before they buy in, so you really have to help people self-diagnose and really see the value and the why. And it comes down to what are they there for? What are the motivators outside of having to show up for work every day? And maybe loving the field that they're in, but you've got to take it a step beyond that. Where do they see themselves in three years, five years? Some people are content being in the same position for the rest of their lives and then some people want more. And then being able to coach and cater to those different things, if you will.
Mike Vaggalis (14:47):
Scott, I like how you talk about not just what you do but how you do it. And one thing that comes through is it seems as if you operate , and I love the term (and I've mentioned it a couple times in this podcast) the term confident humility, where you're confident in your abilities to deliver value to, to understand a new industry, to work with customers and help them in the ways that they need but also to do so with a posture of humility. Can you talk a little bit about how you think about balancing both confidence and humility for our listeners?
Scott Rutter (15:26):
Yeah, certainly. One of the things is knowing the blind spots, of where there's opportunities. And being able to realize that we all posses unique talent sets and skill sets and being able to best blend those together and leverage those from one another. I've always been very empowering of the people that work with me and you've got to trust and be able to also accept failure. One of the things - You and I being sports guy, Mike is I'd rather somebody strikeout swinging than strikeout watching the balls go by. I think that ...
Mike Vaggalis (15:57):
Scott Rutter (15:58):
... Letting your people know when you're leading them that it's okay if they make a mistake as long as they try and they give it - put forth their best foot forward and give it their very best effort. Because if not, if you're not empowering your people or encouraging them to make executive decisions or the betterment of the company. A lot of times you'll find your people will surprise you. They long for so much more but they're only going to do what they think they need to do until they know that you communicate as a leader that, "Hey, look." Because they're on the front lines oftentimes when we're not. We're kind of behind the scenes and so they know what our customers know a lot better than oftentimes we know what they want.
Scott Rutter (16:40):
I think it's so important to be able to solicit feedback from the people that you lead just because ... It's incredible.
Mike Vaggalis (16:47):
That's something that we talk about a lot, as well, is establishing feedback loops within your organization to make sure that you as a leader are getting the customer information and then also understanding more about your team. Can you talk about how you set up processes in your different businesses to establish those feedback loops?
Scott Rutter (17:06):
Yeah, definitely. We'll talk about the most recent one where I helped a startup company basically scale. When I came in, there was infrastructure. The company had been around for 10 years before it was acquisitioned and there wasn't really any processes in place from a technology, from a brand of marketing standpoint, and then also just from what metrics? The people have no idea outside of, "Hey, for me to make X amount of dollars I've got to make X amount of sales." But I always like to work things backwards, so if you want to make 10 sales a month, how many client interactions or how many conversations is that going to require? And it comes down to controlling the controllable.
Scott Rutter (17:47):
When I first came in , I've always been taught that behavior equals results. I've seen that time and time again and boy, does it. So we put behavior metrics in place of how many doors are we going to go knock on, how many calls are we going to make, how many visits are we going to do. And it's really important that you don't pick the number for them but you help them pick their own number. It might be an unacceptable number, which that could be a later conversation, but how are you going to commit your people to a goal that you want? Again, it comes into the weigh in/buy in and everything else.
Scott Rutter (18:20):
And then it's just that accountability. Individually accountable. We won as one, but then holding them accountable to the behaviors in which they committed to. And then, obviously, if they executed on the play and did what they said they were going to do, then it's, "Hey, what's not working if we're not achieving the success that we thought we were going to achieve?"
Scott Rutter (18:38):
It's always, "Is it a will or a skill?" As long as you have the will, we can always find a way to sharpen the skill.
Tracy Eames (18:44):
I think that there's so many nice nuggets in there for our listeners, but the thing that's striking me and that I'm replaying in my head is that focus on getting better. Yeah, we might set the wrong goal. That's okay. We're humans. We all make mistakes and we're, often in business, working on limited information. We don't have every single fact or every single piece of information we want, so I love that acceptance of like, "Hey, you know what? We're all going to weigh in. We might set the wrong goal and if we don't reach it or we don't set the right ways to get there, we'll revisit that and we'll make a new plan and then we'll get there together again."
Tracy Eames (19:20):
But that kind of feedback and that kind of continuous process is one that we like to build into teams because things do go wrong. We've all experienced that in life and in work and I think it's an important skill for leaders to have, to say, "Okay, maybe we wanted to get to point A or point B and we actually ended up at C. How do we redirect our team? How do we help them get back on track? And how do we do that together?" That's a great lesson for everybody who's listening.
Scott Rutter (19:47):
Yeah. And to go back to one of your earlier questions here, Mike, too, as far as the humility aspect and everything is people don't know how much you care until they know how much you care, so you've got to take your people out. You've got to do some team building activities, get to know what's important to them and then over-communicate. It's very important to have those feedback loops. I've always thought of it as not my people working for me, but me working for them. Kind of a board of directors, if you will. They can vote me out any time they want.
And I think another really important thing, and this has really helped me be successful throughout the various fields that I've been in, is people really don't care about your resume or your credentials or what you've done in the past. It's about what you're doing now. Market to market, when I was in Florida with one company and then came up with the same company but they don't care about what I did in Florida. It's, "Hey, can you do that here?"
Really letting people know that, "Hey, I'm here to ..." You always have to still prove yourself, be the hardest worker in the room, and just let them know that, "Hey, together we're going to make mistakes and that's okay."
Tracy Eames (20:48):
Scott Rutter (20:49):
If not, you're going to be really limited with the success that you can achieve as an organization and individually, as well.
Tracy Eames (20:55):
Yeah, that's what we always say. We always say, "You can win as an individual but the exponential wins and that bigger gain comes from working as a team." Scott, you mentioned to us when we were getting started that you had some big things on the horizon and I don't want to miss the opportunity to tell our listeners about them, so maybe you could share a little bit of what's coming up for you and your different businesses and endeavors.
Scott Rutter (21:17):
Yeah, definitely. One of the things I'm most excited about is I've got a podcast, actually, coming out with Samantha Strazenek and it's going to be Scott and Straz, We Know a Guy. And it's going to be a really unique concept of podcast. And she's a brain child so I can't take any credit for it. But we're going to do two podcasts a month and the only way to be on the podcast is if we've personally done business with you. If we haven't personally done business with you, then you're not going to be a guest on the show. You can still be a sponsor, but I think that's going to be a lot of great content for people and just endorsing local businesses. We're both very much of the belief of shop local, support local, so really excited about that. Be on the lookout for that. Scott and Straz, We Know a Guy.
The other thing is I've got some really exciting things to announce that I can't give all the details out now but through being that trusted advisor and build the network I have, I've been able to really see that I have a passion for consulting and I've recently found a way to monetize that. Really, it's my tribe sharing feedback with me of, "Scott, you do such a great job of connecting people anyway. You're able to do it in a way to where people might not be able to afford the $50 to $150,000 base business development role but there is ways to still be able to go in and help businesses identify the blind spots, which is, I think, what my gift has really become through being in all the different fields that I've been in.
Of course, also, I'm partner and national director of business development with Rockstar Connect. I think you've had an opportunity to attend those, correct, Tracy?
Tracy Eames (22:53):
Yeah, I did attend one virtually during the last year. Yeah.
Scott Rutter (22:58):
Got it. The thing to know about Rockstar is we had 120 live events throughout the US and Canada and then the pandemic hit and we went down to zero live events. We're now back up to about 35% and people are more craving and in need of that human interaction, so we're starting to very quickly ramp back up to have more and more live events.
Scott Rutter (23:21):
And then, of course, just owning my own insurance agency. Property, casualty, life insurance. Just being a risk advisor for the community. I don't think I have enough things going on.
Tracy Eames (23:31):
That's right. We have nowhere to direct people now. No, seriously though, Scott, we'll put all of that into our show notes so if folks want to learn more about Rockstar Connect or about your insurance company, obviously when the podcast launches, share the link and we will share it with our audience. Obviously, they're loyal podcast listeners so hopefully they'll tune in and hear your show as well. But we would love to share all that, so folks that are listening, feel free to check out the show notes and you'll have all those details about how to reach Scott or learn more about any of the news that he's mentioned here.
Tracy Eames (24:05):
Scott, we have loved having you and loved chatting with you. Is there anything that you would want to make sure our listeners who are business owners, business leaders who are growing their teams, empowering their teams, growing their businesses ... anything you want to leave with them as a parting note?
Scott Rutter (24:22):
I'd just say I've always prided myself on just connecting people and I know a guy, right? I know a guy or know a gal, so I can help you. I can definitely bridge that gap. Yeah. Just continue to think of me as a trusted advisor and I'm always going to do right by people. Yeah. If I don't know them, I know somebody that does. That's for sure.
Mike Vaggalis (24:44):
Well, Scott, thanks so much for being on, man. We're excited for your new ventures and we'll certainly be turning into your new podcast with Sara. That sounds fantastic. Yeah. We're excited to have you in the Building Teams community, so looking forward to continuing that conversation. And for all of our listeners, be sure to give us a thumbs up, a subscribe, a comment. And be sure to refer us to your friends and family and your coworkers. We're excited to continue to build our network and the relationships that we have. And we're so grateful to have you as part of the podcast community, so with that we will see you next time.
Tracy Eames (25:21):
Scott Rutter (25:22):
You got it. Sounds good. You definitely have my thumbs up and my vote and my endorsement. Thank you guys so much for having me as a guest. Really appreciate it. Had a lot of fun with you guys.
Tracy Eames (25:29):
No, thanks, Scott. We really appreciate your time today and as Mike said, we look forward to future podcasts. You can find us where you listen to podcasts or also on YouTube if you want to watch the video versions of all our podcasts. And we will see you next week so thanks, everybody. Thanks, Scott.
Scott Rutter (25:44):
Thanks, everybody. Have a great day.
Mike Vaggalis (25:45):