The Power of 20 Minutes

Every Wednesday I have an hour open in my calendar where up to 3 people can sign up and get 20 minutes of my time. Attendees set the agenda, they can talk about anything they want. I call it office hours. I love it. It’s fast paced, direct, deep, and raw. We get right into solving problems. The time isn’t mine. I see it as their time.The goal, to provide real actionable insight that folks can use the minute they get off the phone with me. I have had founders looking to discuss a new product direction or a new business idea. I’ve had sales leaders looking for direction on new growth strategies. I’ve had conversations with individual contributors trying to grow their pipeline and closing capabilities. I’ve had some great conversations. I love office hours.

A few months ago I had a conversation with a sales guy named Andrew.  Andrew wanted to get better. He wanted to talk about how he could use social selling AND how he could improve his prospect engagement. We talked for 20 minutes.  I threw a lot of stuff at him and he took it all in.  Andy sent me this email yesterday and I wanted to share it with with this community.


Hi Jim,

Hope that your summer wrapped up well!

Just wanted to follow up on a conversation that we had a couple of months back, the premise was providing advice on how to be a better social seller during your office hours.

Wanted to keep you in the loop and let you know that the advice paid off! Here are some of the things that you had mentioned, actions I took, and their corresponding results:

1. Identify a sweet spot: 

I was able to start identifying sweet spots for potential customers and where our product fit in. For example, big blog is probably looking for back links, big brand probably looking for influencer outreach. Same proposition but different language to each potential customer which helped in identifying keywords to use to find prospects. 

2. Engaging your customers: It’s not about me, it’s about them 

My original emails had started off something like

“Hi, Came across your profile via (connection). Reaching out because I think that there is an opportunity to work with Zemanta, here’s what we do . . . ”

Now my emails are more like . . . .

“Hi, Came across your profile via (connection). Reaching out because I think that Zemanta can help your content reach its total potential audience via the organic search funnel and content distribution.The result would be (conversions, traffic, awareness)  . . . ” –  depends on who I’d reach out to, but value prop and then what my company does.


on average for every 10 emails I would send out before chatting with you –  6 read, 2 clicks, and 1 meeting.

Now for every 10 emails, I’m averaging about 7 read, 5 clicks, and 2 meetings!

That’s a huge difference. I just finished having my best month of sales yet, my boss even said I did a great job.

Thanks again for your help!


Andrew Kobylarz, Account Executive

I love this shit.  I love it when people reach their goals and see the results they are looking for.  As I said, I love office hours. But, it’s not about me it’s about those who sign up and therefore knowing it’s working for them makes it all that much better.

Far too often we think that the little things don’t make a difference, that change takes a lot of time and effort. Sometimes, 20 minutes is all we need to change everything — just ask Andrew.

Congrats Andrew!

Do you have 20 minutes?