Prospect Conversations to increase sales

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic was prospect conversations.  The event featured a an interactive discussion on prospect conversations.    

This Business Round Table by Exit Your Way® topic was prospect conversations.  The event featured a an interactive discussion on prospect conversations.

We started off by asking the attendees to introduce themselves and answer this question.  What have you been told by a mentor that has stuck with you?  The answers were wide ranging and very interesting!

We then had Andrew Deutsch do a mock prospect discovery discussion with Kelly Robinson.  This was very interesting because Andrew has done a lot of work on building these discussions so they are very inquisitive and help him to get information he needs to accurately assess the potential opportunities of a prospect.  Kelly did a great job of answering the questions and driving follow up questions that required Andrew to think on his feet.  Overall it was an awesome example of the way you can structure these conversations to get to know someone and their business challenges while getting to know them better.

Download our free business valuation guide here to understand more about business valuations and view our business valuation FAQs to answer the most common valuation questions.

Thanks to Andrew and Kelly for sharing this and helping the group!

We didn’t get much time to review the discussion because we ran out of time but we will give some time to this next year when we do it again.

Thanks to the people who attended and who continue to support this group.  We all rise together!

Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.

At Exit Your Way we are business brokers par excellence! Our team is made up of Business Value Builders with years of experience in optimizing the value of businesses, whether they are for sale or not. Contact one of our M&A Consultants today!

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people, recruiters, mentor, client, business, stuck, company, question, prospect conversations, kelly, person, recruiting, called, build, talk, day, fractional, virginia, mark, contingency, Business broker, Business value builder, M&A consultant.


Stewart Gerber, Damon Pistulka, Jennifer Wegman, Ryan Erickson, Andrew Deutsch, Ron Higgs, Dennis Bolger, Troy Neihaus, Josh Curcio, Ira Bowman, Dr. Elia, Kon Apostolopolous, Suzanne Taylor-King, Kelly Robinson, Corey Hansen, Pete Alexander, Mark Brown, Jeffry Graham



All right.


Damon Pistulka  00:13

Well, we’ve got got some fun stuff today on the exit your way round table. Thank you everyone for coming. Once again. Great to see everyone here. Andrew is moving this week. I don’t think he’s gonna get on with us this morning. He may pop in but but we will see. So IRA and I are going to take it over this week, we’re going to do a similar format that we always that that we do. We’re going to start off by having people come up, introduce themselves. And then we the question of the day today, so everyone can think about it is what is one thing that or a mentor or important person told you that has stuck with you for a very long time and something maybe even you use today. So think about that. And you’re going to introduce yourself and kind of a little bit about what you do. And then let’s talk about that, that one thing that someone told you that really stuck with you. And I think it’ll be interesting to hear some of the comments there. So I’m Nick there in real quick before I forget, because I always do next week is our monthly networking where we dedicate one one of these a month to networking, bring a friend, it’ll be fun to get more people involved in and do that we’re going to we’re going to come up with a couple new things that we haven’t done before. We will do the introductions, but there are going to be some questions and some some rounds of getting to know people or something like that, that we’re going to we’re going to deal with which will be which will be another thing. So that’s not next week, we’re going to do the monthly networking. And actually now we’ve got the the events planned out through the end of the year. So we’re going to be releasing the schedule and doing some things there. under the curve. Yeah, I’ve been I’ve been working on that. Because it’s it’s no fun figuring that out that week of right. Yeah, yeah. Can


Ira Bowman  02:12

you come on tomorrow and talk to you?


Damon Pistulka  02:15

About? Exactly So, um, there’s I just got to follow up with a couple people yet and, and I see Josh is here, Josh is one of them. I want to talk to him about doing something maybe in December, I think it’d be cool to learn about inbound marketing, but we’ve got some other things going. So without further ado, let’s start bringing people up. We’re gonna leave Andrew Deutsch to last and I’m saying that Andrew, because it’s your last on purpose, because Andrew is going to be the first one that’s going to have the conversation today with a prospect. That’s what we’re doing. I think it’s gonna be fun. So we got Corey coming to the stage. If he’s


Ira Bowman  02:53

ready. Turn your mic on. camera ready to go.


Damon Pistulka  02:56

Morning. Morning.


Ira Bowman  02:58

I always feel like having some split pea soup and cork comes on. I don’t know why. Yeah.


Corey Hansen  03:04

Good. Get out the ham Hawks.



You Oh, you



want to mentors. I had three great mentors. And one was john huntsman senior. And he said it’s more important to be respected than liked. And another another great one said some will, some won’t. So what move on.



And the



last one I’ve loved was 99 out of 100 deals will fall through the keys to work on ones that are big enough that all it takes is





Damon Pistulka  03:41

Oh yeah. That’s all good. Good stuff, man. Oh, you’re on fire brother. Yeah. Good one, Cory. Thank you very much. So


Ira Bowman  03:49

Dr. ellia.


Damon Pistulka  03:50

Yeah. No. Pouring off here.


Dr. Elia  03:56

Good morning, fellas and ladies. So mine goes back. It’s the first advice I consciously remember having as a child, I was five years old. And my grandpa he Leah whose name I carry? And I honor and he died soon after that. He died when I was like five and a half. So I only have one memory of him. Like maybe a couple of you said to me, you know grandson babysitting Greek, I’m translating, but he basically said, if you want to be happy in life, do something for somebody else every day. And you will be a rich man. Yeah, something good. You know, do something serve somebody. And for some reason, my five year old brain, it makes sense. Like, okay, do something good for somebody else. And you’ll be at Richmond and that’s been my, like, really? That has shaped my life to a large degree.


Damon Pistulka  04:41

Yeah. Oh, that’s that’s the cool one.


Ira Bowman  04:45

too, so that’s even better.


Dr. Elia  04:46

You know, and it’s so simple to write. It’s Yeah. And yet, you know, if you do consistently, if you’re not if you’re not in a good place, go serve somebody else because somebody else and you’ll change your mood. So, yeah, yeah. Very good. Very good. Thanks, doctor. You Yeah, yeah. Next we got


Damon Pistulka  05:02

Turn on your camera, Dennis.


Ira Bowman  05:09

Dennis, just turn your camera on


Dennis Bolger  05:10

there. I’m Dennis Bolger and we are insurance agents, independent insurance agents now. And the thing that has stuck with me for a lot of years is something my dad always told me and I was, you know, if you can’t do it, right, don’t do it at all. And then the second one is, if it isn’t gonna matter in 100 years, don’t worry about it. Well, I and I carry that with me all the time. My grandson gets a kick out of me telling him if it isn’t gonna matter in 100 years, don’t worry about it. Yeah, it got the he hasn’t quite got the idea of what 100 years is. Yeah. So yeah.


Ira Bowman  05:58

It’s kind of similar. It’s, if it isn’t gonna matter in five years from now, then don’t worry about it for now. Don’t waste five minutes on it. You know what I mean? Yeah, exactly.


Damon Pistulka  06:07

Yeah. Yeah. Well, good luck, Dennis. Thanks a lot. Thank you. All right, we got Jeff.


Jeffry Graham  06:15

I’ll be the like, I don’t know. Um, so mine, I think came from one of my football coaches. I played pretty competitive football. And he would say, do you want to be like every blank blank on campus? And I think that always stuck with me. You know, do you want to be like all the other kids that aren’t putting in the work? And, you know, staying after? And, you know, so that kind of stuck with me. He used to say it in a funny way. So it’s always been one thing that’s kind of hit home. You want to be like every other club like on campus?


Ira Bowman  06:47

Is it funny that? I mean, that’s how coaches Talk To Me too. Right. But you can’t talk to kids like that anymore? No,


Jeffry Graham  06:55

no, no, no. The stuff that they used to say? Yeah.



We don’t even close.


Jeffry Graham  07:01

There’s a lot of hazing into those kinds of things, too. So yeah, yeah. Yeah. If you’re a freshman too bad.


Ira Bowman  07:07

I missed those days. Jeffrey,


Jeffry Graham  07:08

were those fun?


Ira Bowman  07:10

Yeah, hazing was hazing was legal.


Jeffry Graham  07:14

That was a big one for me. But a really hard work. Yeah,


Ira Bowman  07:18

that probably still sticks with you today, though. Right? I mean, that kind of reset. I hear that in my head.


Jeffry Graham  07:24

Like everybody else, or? Yeah, yeah. It’s kinda how they look at it.



All right.


Damon Pistulka  07:31

Now, yeah. Hello, Jennifer. Today,



she’s helping


Jennifer Wegman  07:44

mentors. I think it was one of my, my mindset coaches, when I first started doing my business, she said, Only people, the only people who the only people who don’t get imposter syndrome are imposters so like, you know, wondering if you’re enough, if you know enough, if you, you know, having that that imposter syndrome, like, I’m just, you know, I can’t do this. No, people are gonna realize, like, I can’t do this. And then she’s like, if you get that, like, that means you are a genuine person, and you are truly worried and that, you know, you are enough. And so, and then that in staying your own lane, like a lot of times we let comparison, steal our joy. And so I specifically operate from an abundance mindset where, you know, I may do a very similar thing to IRA, but maybe IRA is a better fit for a client. And so why would I get mad if I or this person from me, you know, because there’s another person who needs me. And so, you know, there’s opportunities to collaborate and work together, rather than being stuck in scarcity and this attitude have served me well.


Damon Pistulka  08:59

I like that the abundance mindset rather than the scarcity mindset. That’s great.


Ira Bowman  09:05

Love it. Yeah. All right, Josh. Come on. Just turn your camera.


Damon Pistulka  09:11

There we go. Hey,



how’s it going? Good, are you?



Good? So


Josh Curcio  09:18

I’m Josh from protocol ad, we’re an inbound marketing agency located in Bradford PA. And one of those things that’s always stuck to me is more of a theme than a specific quote or phrase and it’s, you know, making small changes that lead up to a big impact. So you know, think of the tiny habits, philosophy where you just make a small change and it adds up and it builds on and it’s a it’s made me maybe to a fault like a very habitual person. But that also makes it easier. It’s, you know, one less decision that I have to make every day because I’m in that habit of wake up at 430 go to the gym. I have the same breakfast. It’s it’s valuable. For me, yeah.


Damon Pistulka  10:02

I had I had someone I worked with a long time ago that wore white socks every day. The same white socks every day didn’t matter if he had dress pants on his suit or jeans. And that was one of the things he said. He said, I never worry about what socks I’m wearing. I grab a pair and I put them on. And the simplicity of that, you know, decision fatigue. I do the same thing with socks now. But it’s it’s the decision fatigue that we run into on a daily basis is a real thing. Yep. Yeah. Well, very good. Very good, Josh. Thank you. All right, Kelly.


Ira Bowman  10:37

Come on up. Kelly was getting her hair done yesterday. Hilarious.


Damon Pistulka  10:44

Yeah. Okay. Yeah.


Ira Bowman  10:47

Colors, your roots. Kelly.


Kelly Robinson  10:50

They’re pretty good. Look, we did a low light, which means like, she’s starting to blend the dark. And so that my way. He’s so bad as a gross. All right. She blew me away because she said her revenue is up. She’s making house calls. Yeah, as a hairdresser, and her revenue is up. I


Ira Bowman  11:05

just yeah, I found that fascinating. Yeah, yeah.


Kelly Robinson  11:08

I like that was cool. Real Life stuff yesterday.


Damon Pistulka  11:12

Yeah. Kelly, what about you? What’s what is a mentor or someone important to you said that really stuck with you. So do


Kelly Robinson  11:21

some Oh, so I do. I have a recruiting company. So we help attract and retain talent,



talent management and acquisition out?


Kelly Robinson  11:31

Yep. So some of you may already have heard this. But Jim shareit is part of my vibe, when I was 22 years old was one of my first managers. And he said, I was a little aggressive and direct. And he said, the best affiliate me. Hi, Josh. Um, so he said to me, he called me in and he said, Hey, Kelly, I just wanted to say to you, it’s not always what you say. But it’s how you say it. And that is something that I’m not always good at. But I have it stuck with me. And then when I started my business last year, and I was so like, this is what I’m offering. And I was in this little. And, you know, this little This is exactly what I want to do. I had my coach say to me, you need to stop saying no. Just say yes, take the money and get it done. Figure it out. And I love that just figure it out. Say yes. and figure it out. So


Damon Pistulka  12:34

I did. Those are good ones. Awesome. Thank you so much. And Kelly’s gonna be on later, she’s gonna be one of our our people doing the prospect conversations. So it’s gonna be great. We got Kon Apostolopolous.



We are.



There is nice.


Kon Apostolopolous  12:55

All right. We have coach, I don’t just play one on TV. So just people know. So by I go by the moniker coach con, I have a talent management and training boutique operation that I run and I do HR consulting. I am a change and performance improvement experts, whether it’s athletes or executives. And I’ve written a book with Dr. Elia that we’ve talked about, most people don’t even know you put your cap on there is a trend here, Ira. All right. I don’t want to put my little yet. From a coach’s perspective, I’ve got a couple of things that if I may share, Damon,






one of the things I tell my kiddos and I tell my executives is practice makes permanent, good practice makes perfect. And it’s important for people to understand the power of systems and good habits that really make it just because you do something all the time doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. The second thing is the concept of risk and entrepreneurship. One of the best pieces of advice that I got when I was starting is friend of mine says you have to get comfortable with the feeling of running full speed towards a cliff, that’s three months away. It says you’re trying to finish up the job to get paid. So you’re running as fast as you can. But you’ve only booked about three months worth of work. So you’re praying that you’re going to fill that pipeline and that clips going to get further away. You’re not comfortable with that feeling you’re in the wrong business. So that’s the second piece of advice about entrepreneurship and risk. And the third one that I think relates to our prospect conversation today is a very wise man that’s been doing this for a very long time said to me Don’t try to hit a homerun every time you meet a client. You can’t get all of your revenue from one source try to get on base playing Moneyball. And then as you add clients little by little little by little that’ll fill up your your your pipeline and you’ll be able to get a lot of work done and at the same time you’re diversifying so you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket as that one client goes away. You are host. Yep.


Damon Pistulka  15:01

Yep. That’s a great one. That’s a big thing.



I love it. Yeah. Well,



thanks for having me on, guys.


Ira Bowman  15:08

All right, Michael. Michael just popped in. Let’s get Michael on. Michael. Just turn your camera on. You mean not know how to do it?


Damon Pistulka  15:19

Yeah, there we go. Hey, Michael. Hey,



how you doing? Good. How are you? Sir?


Damon Pistulka  15:25

Did you hear a question of the day?


Ira Bowman  15:27

He probably didn’t


Damon Pistulka  15:28

know. Well, question of the day is one thing a mentor or important person to you told you that stuck with you? Other than explain, tell us who you are and what you do first, and then. Okay. Michael, get loose key achievement unlimited work with small to mid sized companies to help them build a leadership team that can more effectively execute their strategic plan. Okay, good. Thank. So what I learned from a mentor early early on was the value of follow up. Real structured follow up.



In fact, he turned me on to Harvey Mackay had a for me called the McKay 66. And it was 66 items you want to try to find out about every client. It’s obviously extremely in depth. But if you just keep focusing on



what is important and valuable to the client, how you can help them create that by knowing more and more about them. Following up. It’s very powerful.


Damon Pistulka  16:36

Mm hmm. That’s cool. All right.



Well, thanks for coming on. Thank you.





Damon Pistulka  16:44

we got Pete on now. Thanks, Michael.


Ira Bowman  16:47

I first p he’s stressing me out.


Damon Pistulka  16:56

It’s getting stressed.


Pete Alexander  17:00

Oh, my gosh, you guys, crack me up, I tell you. Oh, thanks for having me on. Um,


Ira Bowman  17:06

did you hear? Dr. Coach Khan gave a reference to our ace. Yeah, yeah, I


Pete Alexander  17:13

got that. I got that. And no. So I like that as well. Um, so you know, I’m as IRA’s as well, I’m in the A’s in a Raiders fan. So in addition to being a popular podcast host, you guys know me, I facilitate one hour zoom workshops that help with stress relief, as well as a 30 day stress Buster challenge I’m going to be starting next week. During those activities, I’ll share easy to implement techniques to provide immediate stress relief from one to two minutes so that leaders can better protect them their health and handle challenging situations with grace. So that’s my, that’s my elevator pitch. But more importantly, on the mentor question. It’s interesting, because the two that I have are related. The first one, I was told to remember the lottery. And what that means is, you know, when we have those days where we wake up, and we go, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to go to work, I hate my job, or whatever it is. Ask yourself the following question. Is there anyone else in the world having it worse than me right now? And if you honestly answer that question, it should start getting you out of that, you know, poor me mode, because really, you should be very grateful for what you have. And that’s the other part is that is the gratitude. Because if we’re grateful for even the little things that we have in life, you wake up, you literally, if you’ve waken if you’re alive today, we’re all here in these in this Roundtable. We’ve already won the lottery. Because, you know, 14 out of 15 people who have ever lived on earth, our dad we’re alive. We’re here. So yeah, remember the lottery have gratitude for the little things. We’re still in the game. game. All right. Yeah.



There you go. Oops,


Ira Bowman  19:28

I was about to skip somebody. I don’t know why. Well, I’m just gonna roll with it. We’re going out of order here. That was right. Yeah. Sorry. I was supposed to. I was supposed to go to Ron. And I went to Ryan. Sorry about that. Brian. We’ll get you next. Ryan you’re up.



Later p



e he Ryan Erickson Here he is.


Ira Bowman  19:51

Sorry. I went out of order Ryan over doesn’t bother too much.


Ryan Erickson  19:55

He’s got to go. I was actually having some unfortunate condition. issues there. So if I just was popping in and out for a second, I got that figured out but my name is Ryan Erickson started Erickson consultants group, we primarily work in the cold calling realm like to help people engage through true human conversation always starting with the phone as a as an actor, I have been racking my brain about it and toy, there’s nothing there’s no one in particular that really sticks out to me other than act of me mentoring myself to get up every morning and push myself to make those calls every day. I mean, it’s a it’s a battle, lots of lots of ups and downs, lots of times it’s feels like it’s going terribly then you just never know you just got to keep grinding, every call every moment every hour. But that’s if I had somebody who could who has mentored me in the cold calling arena. It’s they would come to mind. But I think it’s more just been myself my perseverance to get this thing started.


Damon Pistulka  21:06

It’s something


Ira Bowman  21:07

I don’t think that’s going to be in common. Look, we haven’t talked about this. But I think mentorship is a generational deal. Where the closer you are to your 30s in your 20s for sure. There’s less mentoring going on. It’s actually I think, an epidemic that needs to be corrected. Yeah. I think there’s there’s more people that are younger, that will have would have that answer, honestly, like I don’t have a mentor to look at. Yeah.


Ryan Erickson  21:34

This would be an interesting question for the group. But like, I mean, maybe in the younger generations, maybe people utilize like, I could say, this is a collection of mentors we have right now on this chat, because everyone gives such valuable advice now. And like so many of you, you see, like a complete networking event as a group membership, where there’s no one specific but pieces of each prospect conversation that people bring to the event itself as true membership.



Yeah. Because


Ira Bowman  22:03

part of it what’s happened generationally is it used to be people would stay at the same company for their career, or decades now. It’s like three, four years, you’ve you swapped? Yeah, you’re not you’re not with a person long enough to to build that relationship.


Damon Pistulka  22:18

That’s exactly. That’s exactly. Right. Thanks, Ryan.


Jeffry Graham  22:24

on your own.


Damon Pistulka  22:27

Yeah, yeah. Ron Higgs, how are you, man?


Ron Higgs  22:31

Hey, guys, I’m doing all right. So I’m right here. I’m in Seattle. I’m a fractional CEO. But I am also looking for a full time role in operations. So believe it or not, throughout my entire career, I have never had a mentor. And we could probably have a discussion, a long discussion about that, why, but I have had people who’ve told me things that I’ve remembered. So when I was in the Navy, this Admiral Admiral told me, he said, Don’t let the Navy define your sense of self worth. And so when people don’t get what you want in your company, or something like that, don’t let anyone else, you know, define your sense of how valuable you are in the world. So if



you’re comparing



yourself to other people, you’re you’re letting your organization whatever that organization is, if you don’t get the promotion that you want the job that you want, position that you want, you know, don’t let them define it for you, because you define success for you.


Ira Bowman  23:33

I love that advice. But I’m kind of surprised that that came from a military unit that came from Adam on the Navy, but I just usually military think of you know, they’re putting team or country ahead of individuality. So I’m actually kind of surprised. Well, the service



above self is the military. And there’s a lot of preconceived notions about military people, which we discussed before. Yeah. One other thing, I’ll tell you, one of the things that I do, like, Don’t obsess over things over which you have no control,



I have



a simple example will leave the present example out, right? So no matter how the election turned out for you, what can you do, right? And then I live in the Pacific Northwest, and people are like, hey, how can you deal with all that rain? It’s like, I can’t control the rain. So I just don’t let the rain stop me from doing whatever it is I want to do. So if I wouldn’t go out and ride my bike, or whatever it is. I’ll just do it in the rain. Right? Yeah. You know, people obsess about oh, my God, I just turned 30 or whatever the number is, well, you can’t do anything about that. So why no.


Ira Bowman  24:40

Alternative is you stop.


Damon Pistulka  24:42

Yeah, now and then alternatives. Not good. But yeah, I mean, that’s a huge one. Because we worry about the stuff and you go you can’t do a damn thing about it. Be just turn your guts over for you know, worrying about it. Just anxiety like that will eat you up and stop you from doing the things that you Could have control. Yeah. So



yeah, there’s a book I’m reading now called designing your life. And they describe that as a gravity problem. Which means Hey, there’s this thing called gravity in, it’s really weighing me down. What can I do about it? Well, yeah, absolutely nothing. Right. So it’s it’s in the, it’s categorized as sort of a gravity problem, right?





Ira Bowman  25:20

Maybe a little bit about the goatee. Thanks, Ron, you’re Thank you. You’re up next.



All right, Stuart. Morning. Thanks



for having me on. All right, Stuart.


Stewart Gerber  25:35

So I’m Stu Gerber. I live in Alberta. And I work in little business. I started up this summer called parallel business solutions. And essentially what I do is I focus on business growth, business strategy and channel partnerships. And my primary focus is working with startup companies. So a lot of these guys have great ideas, great ambitions. But it’s so hard to make a mark in the markets. As we all know, markets a little slow. So I have a side gig to work with as well with my kids. And I do woodworking with my kids on the side trying to teach them about entrepreneurship.


Ira Bowman  26:09

Amazing was I posted some of those things right. yet. There. He made a headboard. And he made a it was, it was just a picture. But that was like mountains, no snow capped mountains or something intricate work.



Yeah, I launched a website, actually this weekend for that business. And we’re focusing a little bit on the e commerce side of it, because my dad’s really want to get involved with it. And we’re having a lot of fun with it.


Damon Pistulka  26:30

Yeah, drop it into the chat. If you haven’t already that


Ira Bowman  26:32

I will do that. It’s beautiful. And it



was a mentor for me. So I grew up through the foster system. And growing up that way. It’s it’s tough as a kid trying to make your mark and figuring out where you belong. And a kid I met through rodeo, his dad actually kind of took me in like a lost puppy, if you want to call it that. And dawn, God rest his soul. He’s been gone a few years. But one of the things he always told me is that courage doesn’t mean you don’t get ahead. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you. And that’s always stuck with me. And you always have that ability to keep moving on regardless of how you feel about it. I’ve always been my parting words that I would give are what I give to my son every day, and that is, I thought about quitting. And then I noticed who was watching. And every time I think about that, I see that shadow behind me and it’s what propels me to keep me going.


Ira Bowman  27:28

Yep. That’s awesome. Thank you, Stuart. Suzanne, you’re up. Awesome. turn your camera on you will be up here with us.


Damon Pistulka  27:37

Now is awesome story.


Ira Bowman  27:38

That’s very good. And he grew up in the foster system that’s coming



  1. Well, Stuart took mine. That was really my rude.



You know, usually Canadians are more than that.


Suzanne Taylor-King  27:53

Yeah. Yeah, that’s all right. Um, my son’s adopted and I, you know, that’s always been a special place in my heart to, you know, really be that example. for him. growth, mindset wise, work ethic wise, but also family time, wives. So that’s, that’s mine. And I learned that from my very first boss. When I was 16 years old, I was actually babysitting for his kids. And he recruited me to work in his office. So I got stuck in the basement for a long time filing charges back in the day, have charts in the basement, you know, when we had paper, and



he really had that work ethic installed in me, you know, I started at the bottom at his office, and I was there for 20 years. Very cool.



That’s great. Thank you. Troy.



Hello, everyone. Hey, Troy,


Damon Pistulka  28:54

how are you? Awesome.


Troy Neihaus  28:56

Good. There’s a couple things. One, after I left the military, my first job I was in medical sales. And I remember, you know, were wearing my suit, I used to keep some change in my pocket. This is just a funny one that I learned from my first mentor outside of the military. And I used to, you know, walk with my hands in there and I had no idea but um, jangling my chain, my chain change. And, and, and so that was the first thing I learned was, don’t jingle your change, because it’s annoying to everyone, and you don’t even realize it? Yeah. For me, it was just a bad habit. But the best thing I think that’s stuck with me, is you learn more from listening than talking. Yeah. And and so and then, you know, I’ve heard other things people say, Oh, that’s what God gave you two years and only one mouth. But that That, to me, does more city conversations I have with whether it’s a client, by the way, I manage money for very wealthy people, and I focus my practice on business owners, and especially those that are thinking about a transaction. I’m here in Seattle area. So, you know, when I’m talking to a client or a professional colleague, I try to do more listening because I’m going to learn a lot more about how I can add value and help them than I do just talking about myself for my company.


Ira Bowman  30:16

Very good. Not read the fire in the background. Does anybody else?


Damon Pistulka  30:22

that’s that’s that’s a good background there, man.



That’s for sure.



Thanks. Awesome. Good to see everyone.


Ira Bowman  30:29

Again, next is Virginia.


Damon Pistulka  30:31

Yep. And then we’ve got Mark after that. And then we go to Andrew Deutsch, and I think we’ve hit everyone. And if we haven’t, please message me. Yeah.


Ira Bowman  30:39

If you haven’t been up, if you came late to the party, go ahead and shoot me a message. But I think Mark is the only Devlin even on Virginia. Are you there? She may have had a camera. She might be having internet trouble, too, because they they were hit in the Cayman Islands. They were hit by that at a


Damon Pistulka  31:00

um, I think this is a different Virginia. Yes, it is.


Ira Bowman  31:05

Every Virginia okay. I thought it was gonna be evergreen. Yeah.



How are you? You’re on


Ira Bowman  31:08

mute. Just say, you know, Virginia.





Ira Bowman  31:17

let’s see. Technical difficulties here. Still on me? Yeah. Oh, all right. Well, I’ll tell you what, let’s bring up mark.


Damon Pistulka  31:34

Yep. And


Ira Bowman  31:38

if we can get her to unmute yourself. Yeah. Mark, if you can turn on your camera. There we go. There is warning.



I only came on a couple minutes ago. So can you repeat the question?


Ira Bowman  31:52

You want to tell us quickly who you are what you do. And then we’re asking about something someone said to you, a mentor has said to you, that’s motivated you throughout your career.


Mark Brown  32:04

Okay. I’m Mark Brown. My y is sort of similar to Troy, but not as high minimum sounds like my Y is helping individuals protect their incomes and assets. Business owners retain staff protect cash flow and do succession planning. I do that through investment and insurance products with Northwestern Mutual. I was always and again, echoing Troy, it’s not only about being a better listener, and using the two years, but you also need to ask really good questions and a lot of time. One of my mentors said, What’s the question behind the question? So number one, when when a prospective client asks you something, there’s probably at least one more thing behind it you need to dig into and also when you’re doing your questioning, you know, don’t just take the first answer. Keep asking probing until you really get to what the what the need is.


Damon Pistulka  32:58

Yeah, that’s



Thanks, Mark.



Thank you. My pleasure. Virginia.


Ira Bowman  33:10

We got your Virginia.


Damon Pistulka  33:16

Oh, but we can’t hear ya.


Ira Bowman  33:17

We don’t gotcha. Your sounds right. Okay. Well, I guess we’ll bring up Andrew now.


Damon Pistulka  33:25

Yeah, we’ll bring up Andrew now. And Virginia will pull you around at the end. Oh, there we go. All right. Gotcha. Yeah. Yes.



All right. Well, oh, it was easy.



And I want to say thank you to Jennifer and Ryan for letting me sit in on the, on their table and not be able to talk to them, but hopefully they’ll get to meet, I’ll get to meet them next week. I am a wellness coach and a workshop facilitator. I work with people who have experienced trauma in their lives, and help them to build their confidence and increase their emotional intelligence. So I’m happy to be here and meet all of you guys. My my very first I didn’t really have a mentor myself in there. But I did have a lot of very significant people in my life. The first great advice at my first real job in a bank manager told me to go get a haircut because she couldn’t see my face. Um, and he was just, you know, being able to be more confident and who you are, and to look people in the eye so that they can interact with you and so that’s kind of stuck with me about You know, that, that the person that you are people are gonna, you know, like that. And the second piece of advice that has stuck with me was that people don’t care what until they know how much you care. So those were really two really good piece of advice that me. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  35:28

He’s Virginia. All right. And Andrew. So what? What a little bit about yourself and then the then answer the question.


Andrew Deutsch  35:40

Sure. Our company fangled tech, we’re a full service, global marketing and sales, consultancy. We help companies turn every touch into voracious advocates for their brand.


Damon Pistulka  35:51

Yeah. Again,


Andrew Deutsch  35:53

I think the advice was don’t fall asleep in meetings.



I’ve read


Andrew Deutsch  36:04

No, actually, the the advice that stuck with me the most of my first job was humor has no place in the workplace. And the reason I’m saying that is because I’ve learned just as much from horrible shitty bosses, as I had from great mentors. Yeah. And this was a guy who went nowhere in his career was hated, despised his own life. And the fact that he thought humor didn’t belong in the workplace, encouraged me that it did.


Damon Pistulka  36:28

Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. And that’s good. That’s good. Awesome. Well, so I think we’ve gone through everybody. And Andrew actually going to be one of our one of our volunteers here. Now, Andrew is going to have a prospect conversation with Kelly, I’m bringing Kelly up, Kelly is going to be a prospective, prospective client, and they’re sitting down and they’re having this first prospect conversation. And what we want to do is they’re going to have this natural prospect conversation, Andrew is going to talk about talk to Kelly about our business or whatever his process is. And then we’re going to talk a little bit after, and then we’re going to go into, and we’ll see how much time we have left. But I mean, we’re at 20 minutes Still, if we can get the neck LA is going to actually be talking to me. And she’s going to be talking to me as as someone that’s running a business and doing some other things. So we’re going to do these to hopefully break him down a little bit. And I’ll quit talking. And I will let you guys get started on this is you guys got it?


Kelly Robinson  37:33

Yeah, sure. This is perfect, because we’re actually having a conversation later today for his podcast, but got good. All right, let’s good.



You guys just warming up yet.


Andrew Deutsch  37:46

You know, the assumption was that this was sort of we’ve we’ve agreed that we’re going to engage in some sort of console. Yep. Yeah. And, and my hope is to understand a little bit more about pentose. And, and how you as a company differentiate from from the other recruiters out there. So part part of the prospect conversation, typically for me, is to really understand who is if you could describe your ideal customer customers? Who would they be?


Kelly Robinson  38:16

My ideal customer, would be someone that has long term, ongoing hiring needs. somewhere above 10, or 15, employees up to maybe a few thousand, maybe 10,000, at the absolute most. And someone who has not had a lot of luck in hiring or is starting a recruitment department. Hmm. That would really be industry agnostic. And


Andrew Deutsch  39:01

in terms of that, that group of folks that you’re, you’re looking at as your ideal customer, what what are the kinds of challenges that they have now where you could swoop in and repair that issue?


Kelly Robinson  39:15

Yeah, so most of them don’t have they either don’t have a recruiting department at all. So they need someone to partner with them. They’re not ready to hire a full time person or they don’t have the capability to manage, train, lead and guide that person. So they’re looking to kind of outsource their recruiting, they they’re not sure what their needs are going to be long term and they may need to bring someone in and out right so they don’t want to necessarily hire and then turnover and the cost of turnover and then unemployment and all this all these workers comp all of these other things. You do pay severance, right? They also may not want to have the expense, which is a big expense for tools for for recruiting.


Andrew Deutsch  40:09

You, if we were to go to one of these ideal customers and ask them about their experience with recruiters in the past, what would they tell you that they liked about or didn’t like about the recruiters they had, they would


Kelly Robinson  40:19

most likely have used some kind of contingency where it’s like 100%. commission, they would have liked that, because they’re only paying for what they get. They would have hated that.


Andrew Deutsch  40:31

Hold on with it with a contingency thing, though, with the why would they like that over? over a different I mean, because like you’ve got a bias towards towards people like that.


Kelly Robinson  40:43

So a lot of small companies cannot afford to put money out up front where they think they can’t so do is they can engage four or five contingency firms, and say, here’s what I need guys go run. And then what happens is those companies throw stuff at the wall, and see if it sticks. And then the recruiter will get paid if the person gets hired. So my back, you know, that prospect likes that they don’t have to pay unless they get something.


Andrew Deutsch  41:21

The companies to do that? Do they care if the potential candidates, how they’re treated by the recruiters?


Kelly Robinson  41:30

No, I mean, they just want the people, they’re just looking for volume, because they don’t know there’s better options for them to get a more dedicated service that I would offer. Something that they can predict. So my cost is predictable. And I’m not, I’m also going to work with them and their budgets very different than traditional or even other rpos, I would work that what that I might compete with. I’m extremely different.


Andrew Deutsch  42:05

So if we asked if we asked the those companies that use the contingency, guys, what the negative of using them would be, what do you think you would hear


Kelly Robinson  42:13

it’s they get a lot of shit thrown at them. It takes a lot longer for the recruiters to actually understand what they’re looking for. And oftentimes, the recruiter jumps the person in because they just want the high fees. So they hike up salaries to get a percentage of the salary. They dump them in. And then in six months after they get their fees, six months to a year, sometimes those recruiters try to pick those people out and put them somewhere else. There’s no loyalty.


Andrew Deutsch  42:45

Gotcha. There. It’s interesting that as a as you look at that, though, in terms of what you do you have a clear message that shows them the difference now, or is that something that we would need to build?


Kelly Robinson  43:00

Yeah. So you mean messaging as far as marketing? Is that what you mean? What do you work with that?


Andrew Deutsch  43:07

Well, I’m hearing that, that they think that it’s a good deal, because they’re putting money out, but at the same time, they’re filtering through all sorts of garbage, potential candidates that may or may not fit, people who don’t understand their business. Those all seem to be the real challenges that they have. Yeah. So if we were to build a program together, they could define you as the solution to to those negatives while still getting the positive of caught. Yeah. There could be something to that. Do you? Do you consider the people who you’re actually providing the recruits, as your customers are my





Kelly Robinson  43:48

their partners, they’re my client partners.


Andrew Deutsch  43:53

So do you if you came to me? And I said, I’m looking for someone with a specific set of skills? You have a pool of people, no quality who’ve been vetted?


Kelly Robinson  44:03

No, no. So that’s the difference. These contingency firms build up a database, and then they go, hey, I’ve got a million Java developers in my database. Is that what you need, I can find them. Then they send a mass email and throw whatever sticks, right? And then they just pray. But they’re also sending that person to five other people. They’re selling bodies for money, and it’s respect. It’s totally respectable. I did young and I made a ton of money. That’s 22 years old, but I just didn’t like it. I don’t sell a database. I’m not selling bodies. I’m selling a service where I’m going to hire on your behalf. It’s very different. So I will build a database for you. If that database is going to be customized depending dependent upon what you need. Oh, it’s not going to fit other molds. Yep.


Andrew Deutsch  45:00

Do you have examples of accomplishments over time with statistics of how long people that you’ve placed had lasted within those roles? What kind of accomplishments they’ve had repeat business? Yep.


Kelly Robinson  45:11

Yep. So and and just so you know, when I talk to a prospect I, I tell them straight up, the only thing I care about this two things is that I want more business from that person or referrals. So if I don’t produce, I’m not getting either one. And I tell them that, and I say you can hold me to that. But yeah, tons of case studies, I’ve lots of people that you can talk to just just one thing I want to mention is retention. Retaining people, is not only about recruiting, it is about how well I partner with any recruiter partners with the hiring manager upfront to understand what they need, about how well that we screen and how well the client then interviews on board and train. And man. So if you think about those, it’s a partnership. It’s not just sometimes people will say, Oh, my gosh, the turnover, that recruiter sucks. The company actually has a huge part of that it is a partnership, it can’t be sure the other so


Andrew Deutsch  46:15

under and they’re paying you a regular fee to keep up with what’s going on? Or is it bi per project,


Kelly Robinson  46:21

it’s all different, I will work with a client, it’s not something I came from before was this black and white service, this is what we have, and you’re going to pay a shit ton of money every month. So I came from that and decided I would never going to do that. So my conversation with you or some other prospects or something will be completely dependent upon your needs, and the size of the company, your experience hiring kind of what you need. And I’ll build something for you. So I’ll work with your budget,


Andrew Deutsch  46:53

just a hypothesis based on what you’re telling me that sort of popping the light bulb in the back of my head, you think that there’s value in possibly framing your business in the same way that my company does with fractional chief commercial officers, that, that maybe the companies, you’re saying they can’t afford to have a full time executive level recruiter within the organization? Mm hmm. Same time, the recruiters that they’re talking to don’t understand their business. What would happen if you were able to integrate what you do, as part of their team is like a fractional HR executive. Rather than being their recruiter, if we were to separate it for yourself, would that be interesting? Or Wouldn’t it be interesting I


Kelly Robinson  47:33

would. So we do that with our recruiters. If you mean me, as a consultant, I do do some of that I don’t want to do too much, because I need to grow my business. So I want very little. So I’m not a solopreneur, I have a team of 10. I am building a business that’s actually really important to me. So I have a partner that I brought on about four months ago, five months ago, and she manages service delivery. So I manage whatever that looks like, right? That’s really me doing this stuff. But um, so I could do a little bit, but I don’t want to do too much because I need to focus on that isn’t that isn’t what I was suggesting? Because


Andrew Deutsch  48:16

it’s a team. Yeah. When we when we take on new clients, people in my organization are the ones that become the fractional chief marketing officers, not myself, because that would be impossible for me to run the business. Yeah, that I use. That’s part of how you scale the business. But it just seems it seems that there’s a pearl there to investigate that we would have to talk to potential clients, and do some qualitative research to see if they see the benefit of it. What would it mean to not have to pay a full time executive to to always be ready for your recruiting needs with somebody who actually has something distinct on my screen? That actually has a you know, a ball in the game? Yeah. But when it succeeds, they’re part of that that success because they’re part of the organization.


Kelly Robinson  48:59

I yeah, I would love to. I would love to think about that.


Damon Pistulka  49:03

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome, guys. Well, that you guys, you guys, I’ve been listening and taking notes. And it’s an awesome prospect conversation here. I don’t want to really cut it short. But we’re going to have to because we have 10 minutes left. We got to get wrapped up. And I know I know we got to do it. Let’s let’s break the conversation down a little bit. If someone’s got some ideas, comments or whatever on the conversation, I mean, I I personally, I you had her describe the ideal customer, you started talking about challenges experienced with competitors. What your difference is, it talked about pricing somewhat, and I’m just throwing these out for people to start talking about these things. And then the last thing that you did is you started to relate what you do and solutions and what they what they may need together. Hmm, that kind of summarize up what was going on there?


Andrew Deutsch  50:05

A bit. Yeah. There’s, there’s more if the prospect conversation were to go on more, it would be to really look at the specific ways that that I kind of know a little bit about Kelly’s business. But the ways that she does things differently, that could really matter if communicated properly to a company, that would eliminate the competition. Because most most companies hate recorders, because they’re there. It’s like, it’s like going to a dating service and quality search for employees. So I think I think there’s some some real advantage in the way that she operates. And the way that she even talks about her business, that if communicated positively up front, gives her the unique seat at the table with the client, and prevents other recruiters from even being able to get in the door.


Damon Pistulka  50:55

Yeah, you bring up a great point. And I think this is this is one thing that many, many people hear and and I mean, just bought, everyone has had to do is your your, you got to understand your differentiate. That’s it. That’s a huge thing. And when you find that, and that connects with your potential clients, that’s it. That’s your golden nugget. Yeah,


Andrew Deutsch  51:19

but it’s how you differentiate and have those differentiators. Which ones actually mattered to the customer? Yeah. The fact that one of her differentiators was that she could recruit from some obscure third world country better than anybody else in the world. The customer care, no, differentiate that way. But you know, who I can I tried all of the employees you want, who can also play guitar? Great differentiator, nobody cares.



I can do that.


Damon Pistulka  51:48

And so let’s let’s go to that. Kelly, what do you think your differentiator is?


Kelly Robinson  51:52

My, my main differentiator is my people, I’ll tell you that, like, I’ve worked with all of them. So I don’t hire anyone. unless I’ve worked with them before, they’re referred to me. My second differentiator is that I will work with a client to customize what they need. So it’s not in a box, not pulling something out of a box, saying you need to fit in my box. Like, that’s not what’s happening. It’s, here’s what I have to offer. Tell me what you need. And let me let me You know, my methodology and my framework can fit in this way. And here’s the strategy.


Andrew Deutsch  52:30

Do you think that the customer cares that these are all people you’ve worked with before? before? Yes. Okay.



Yeah. Well, I’m


Kelly Robinson  52:38

a company. So yeah, if I were like Kelly services or manpower? No, they don’t. They don’t care. Yep.



Yeah. It also you’re not a staffing company. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  52:47

Yeah. You’re not staffing. You’re trying to help. services? No,


Kelly Robinson  52:52

I offer staffing services now. Yes. But I don’t. That’s not my main my core business. Yeah, yeah.


Damon Pistulka  52:57

Yeah. So that is a good point, though, is that differentiation, and Virginia brought it up as well. The other thing is that you’re building a customized database for that client. That’s right. It’s not just pulling people from your database, you’re building a new one, based on the people that you can find that fit their company. And then another big differentiator I’m


Ira Bowman  53:19

surprised you haven’t talked about this is the fact that you help maintain the relationship, manage the staff after they’re on boarded to keep them because it’s not just finding the talent, it’s also managing. They do talent, acquisition and management, so that you find you find good talent, you help keep them.


Damon Pistulka  53:39

Yeah, we didn’t, we didn’t really touch that. So this recruiter


Ira Bowman  53:43

must say, once you land a candidate, that’s it the hands off.


Kelly Robinson  53:48

Yeah. So the way that we do that is not like super, I’m not managing the people. But it’s check. It’s doing check ins, right. So we might have a specific line of questions. And I do a lot of like, informal check ins texts all the time. Like I’m sending texts, I have it on my calendar, like every three to four weeks, I text everyone that I’ve hired in the last year here, just to check in. So I do I do do a lot of relationship building. But the retention is really about the upfront, right? Understanding the company. That’s important work.


Andrew Deutsch  54:26

What about your ability to culture match for the organization? That’s,


Kelly Robinson  54:30

yeah, that’s huge. That’s that’s where the retention comes into play if we can, if we can find a fit, which is really the match for the culture, they’re going to stay long term. As long as the company has the right onboarding training in place. I can’t just like shoot them in there. And then they’re like, great, because retention is not just about recruiting. You know, so the culture is there’s a company called And there’s a department culture. Yeah.


Andrew Deutsch  55:03

Yeah. How many? How many of your competitors would take the time to understand the internal culture? of a business? And, and, and the how that the needs and the functioning internally, the communication styles, all of those things?


Kelly Robinson  55:17

I don’t have any competitors. I’m just kidding. So I’m



belly. Dang it.



I think I was gonna open up a recruiting business. Yeah,



I think there are


Ira Bowman  55:31

anybody. There’s no, that’s not me.


Kelly Robinson  55:35

There are a couple people that would take the time to do that. But it’s a little bit of a bigger company, they’re going to charge a lot more money. And it’s going to be probably not as personal. Yeah, will be with me, because they’re not going to have you know, those those client partners are just, they’re just customers. And they’re, they’re not client partners, and they’re not going to have exposure to the CEO of that company, the founder. You know, the other thing is, a lot of founders and CEOs of companies are not necessarily skilled in whatever the company is, sometimes they are, but sometimes they’re not. And so I’ve, you know, I’ve



done it.


Kelly Robinson  56:21

I still do it. I have one client that wants only me to recruit. So I still do her stuff. I’m not a lot of time, but I but I do I still have my hands in it.


Damon Pistulka  56:31

Gotcha. Very good. Well, it’s been an awesome listen to your prospect conversation, guys. And I’m looking at the chat here. We’ve got Virginia mark making some great comments. I really I love the input there. And what we’re going to do now is we’ll jump back to the tables. Thank you so much, guys, because I like to under I hope people like to listen to this because if we don’t get our prospect conversations into with our clients, Andrew actually asked a lot of questions. First of all, I think was was Yeah,


Ira Bowman  57:05

I was gonna say that that was that was the, to me as a sales Pro. Right? I mean, the fact that he was questions, but also his questions were leading and intelligent, like, sometimes you go in with a list of preconceived questions, right? You’re like, I want to ask all these questions. But the conversation when they start to answer takes you in another direction. It’s like, you got to follow the flow. Yeah. I think you did a great job.


Damon Pistulka  57:27

There’s a structure in your questions. And that was cool. And and Kelly, I think it was, it was nice listening to you, too, because you clearly understand your competition. And you clearly understand, you know, how you’re differentiated. And I think that the and I actually think from this too, that the two you guys talking a bit more they say you’re talking later today, there’s a couple nuggets that you might even learn from this to the two guys can uncover which is even To me, that’s that’s gold man. That’s the goal. So I wanted to do this.


Kelly Robinson  58:03

I said, I can learn from I know I can learn from this from him asking me questions. It’s that’s it’s a great learning approach is awesome, guys, I


Damon Pistulka  58:11

just, I just thank everyone for being here today. We’re going to go back to the tape. Thank you guys so much for doing this. We were going to have Kelly and now she was going to talk to me. We don’t have time today. But we’ll do that again later. Next week is the networking. Let’s let people let’s let people do that. And we’re going back to the tables now and we will talk to you soon. Thank you

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