June Professional Networking
June Professional Networking
This week’s Exit Your Way Roundtable episode was our June Professional Networking event. There were new and returning guests that graced the event. The conversation started with Damon introducing the pattern of the shows to follow.
After this, he invited the new guest on the stage to share his words. Jessie mentioned that he is originally from Boston but lives in Atlanta Georgia. He runs three businesses, one is a Financial Planning Firm. His second business is a podcast called The Jessie T show which highlights entrepreneurs, thought leaders, etc.
According to Damon, the question of the day was that what your ideal customer is?
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The last thing that he does is a spiritual retreat business that they hold every quarter. After this, Damon focused the talk on networking. He asked everyone to introduce themselves to Jessie. Moving on, Dan Bigger shared that he is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Chenango Valley Technologies.
Further, into the networking conversation, Grant shared what he does. His team is working on reducing plastic use in hotel spaces. As for the question, his ideal customer is a person with enough bandwidth to care. Moving on, Jacob Warren joined the show. Jacob and his team do technology management for small to midsized businesses.
After this, Jill shared that he works with small businesses in developing their staff and employees. After this, the CEO of Protocol 80, Josh also shared how he was helping people. At Protocol 80 they deliver content and also SEO.
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Mark Scrimenti is a fractional CFO based in Chicago. He said he doesn’t have an ideal client because he hasn’t found it yet. Moving on, Pete Alexander also shared his business. He is the President of Office Plants.
In addition, Brad Smith answered the questions as well. According to Brad, his ideal customer is a person who is ambitious and knows that he doesn’t have all the answers. Adding to this networking conversation, Andrew Cross shared the idea client they have for exit your way.
For Andrew, a perfect client is a person who treats his business like an investment and always has a target to hit. Damon further shared a few more strategies that they take with their customers. One of their latest strategies is to combine small businesses into one whole entity.
Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.
Talking more about networking, Damon asked Pete about his business during the pandemic. To this, Pete said that they have a pattern of first taking pictures and then a designer who shows the client the placement of the plants.
The conversation then shifted to how networking is now scrutinized behind screens. Moreover, any and every kind of client is comfortable with online coordination. Adding to this, Josh and Dan said that some manufacturers don’t get the importance of a digital space because most of their work is on the ground. This is why they are missing out on good things.
By the end of the conversation, Damon, Dan, Brad, and Andrew talked about networking in the times of Covid-19 in detail.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking everyone for their presence.
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Damon Pistulka, Brad Smith, Dan Bigger, Andrew Cross, Mark Scrimenti, Pete Alexander
Damon Pistulka 00:00
All right. I was laughing too hard here. I’m pulling everyone up on the stage because we actually get everybody on the stage. We’re not going to go live on LinkedIn. So we’re going to have a little bit of fun. And you’re getting should be getting some responses there. Turn on your cameras, and I think I can put 12 or so people on the stage we want to because we can do this. It was networking here.
Have some fun. get everybody on the road. Talk about what we’re doing in the future here. And up hopefully Andrew can get get here onto the stage with a with a phone, or never. I don’t know if we’ve been able to do that before. No, I’m here. Yep. Oh, marks here. Two marks here. Awesome. Bring mark up. Anyone can get? Yeah, I don’t know how many people we got 10 people in here now so we can get everyone in. Mark. How you doing? Good. How you doing, David?
My Fine, fine, fine. Well, Andrew Joyce was just telling the funniest damn story. I was about pinging myself. Listen, just listen to the pieces and go Sorry, I missed it. What was it? Oh, he’s gonna get here. Oh, yeah, I don’t know. Yeah. Andrew, can you get Oh God, he can’t get up here. He had to drop off. Ah, it says please invite. He’s gonna chat. I don’t see him again. What the heck go back. Oh, yeah. I’ll do it. Where are they gonna get back here? I’m gonna get participants. Do you see him? Andrew? You see Andrew Deutsch? Can you bring him up? I don’t see him on his on. on mobile. He
Mark Scrimenti 01:43
says Well, yeah. And on mobile.
Damon Pistulka 01:45
Yeah, it was. It was it was showing. It was showing him before. There. Yes. Now you should be able to come up, Dan. I see on the screen again. Let’s do this. I’ll try and turn them off and try turn them back on again. There we go. Comes a knockin hopefully. Gonna mobile might not work. But he does. Oh, darn it.
Pete Alexander 02:24
Damon Pistulka 02:27
how do we get him? How do we get him up here? We got to be able to do this because it was just too damn funny. Holy buckets. Because we can’t put 10 of us at a table. And if he can’t come to stage, it was so hilarious.
Andrew Cross 02:41
Let me drop off and see if there’s
Damon Pistulka 02:42
no, that’s not it. You know, Andrews story was was he? Okay, so I’ll just tell you he was he was helping his daughter move. And, and she lives in a interesting, la interesting area. That’s what I’ll say. I hear air quotes. Yeah. And, and he was remarking about how, oh, guy get down bigger back up here again. I don’t know why he dropped out. But uh, yeah. He said that the the, and we’re not live. So he said that he, the people down the street had the blue meth, the good stuff. He did. He did like this. Well, this is fun. It was pretty funny.
But anyway, that’s enough of that. Sorry about that. Andrew, if you weren’t on mobile, you would be here up here with us. laughing and having a good time. So we got Dan, back up here. Hello. Hey, thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Just we we didn’t know we know we’re getting into summertime. We know how this is going. We wanted to announce a couple things. We wanted to talk about it and have some good time for people to network today. And get get through a couple things, talk about a few things. And then and then look towards the future.
Because what we’re going to be doing with with the roundtable is making making some changes, hopefully positive changes. be talking with some of you about about these. But basically what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be moving to a bi weekly format, we’re going to be on the first first Thursday and third Thursday of the of the month. So we’re a little bit less time we’re going to be cut in it to one hour. So we’ve got one hour, it’s gonna open a few minutes to be 15 minutes before stay open a little bit later if people want to hang around and talk before after, but we’re going to be doing that.
The second thing we’re going to do is we’re going to be sure the format of the program is going to change a bit. We’re going to try to get some speakers that have more have a presence or an audience that we would tend to maybe have to pay to go see. And try to do that try to get at least one of those two a month, there’s going to be more into that. And we’re going to have specific topics around business we’re going to cover in a given month, like we may be talking sales this month wealth planning the next month, financial, whatever, the next month, and all in and work through those kind of details.
And then try to build more of a community around it maybe and really try to look for your input on that as to how we can solidify the community solidify, getting more business that’s transferring around as appropriate between the people in the community and doing those kinds of things. So pretty excited about that. We are going to take a break. This is the last one we’re going to have until August 5 I think it is August 5, the first Thursday of August. We’re gonna get into speaker announced we’re going to probably in the mid by the middle of July. And we’re going to is Andrew still tell it if I see dad, he’s running
Dan Bigger 06:15
Damon Pistulka 06:16
Okay, I’ll try again. Still bullet free. Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Here we go try it one more time. And what the we’re gonna make a few few internal changes to that that are going to hopefully make it easier to see what’s going on we’re gonna lay the speakers out much earlier we’re going to make long term invites for these so it’ll be on your calendar for hopefully through the end of the year when we send the next ones out. And so you can disregard drop it off if you can’t make it if you can make it great.
But we want to make it simple for people to find it and get on and those kinds of things. What else Andrew? I was trying to think of that stuff first. And get through that Yeah. takes care of the house cleaning yes takes care of that part of it. And then I got as as I am I got a document here I’ll make sure I didn’t forget anything. So with without further ado then we have a new person joining us today Jesse to disco. So Jesse tell us a little bit about yourself and and how you’re helping people where you’re from that kind of stuff.
The the great, powerful lines. I Bert invited me here, but I don’t see him. So he kind of just left me to the wolf. So
I’m I’m from Boston, but I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I run three businesses. The first one is a financial planning firm called 46 and two wealth partners. We’re a fee only financial planning firm. So we operate as a fiduciary. We don’t charge commissions. We don’t we don’t sell products and services. We just help entrepreneurs and executives create a quality life that leads to happier wealth. The second thing I do is a podcast called the Jessie t show. And it highlights entrepreneurs, thought leaders, creators, athletes and authors and shares their journey with the world, syndicated in 12 cities can be heard around the world, and we’re doing our third year.
And we have people just share their journey. They can inspire people to give them tools and insights on how to level up in relationships, business, health and wellness, spirituality, all these things that I’m into. And then the last thing is a retreat business that we host every quarter. And it’s a spiritual retreat business things like ecstatic dance and breathwork and plant medicines, and we go all around the world we help people heal and grow and realize a better way of life.
Damon Pistulka 08:42
Very cool. Very cool. All right, we got Jill here today to awesome. Good morning. Good morning. All right. Well, Jesse, thanks for being here. Jay. Make sure to drop your LinkedIn in the chat, but other people will connect with you there. And feel free to reach out to any of us here on the call today. And just to get to know Him and do that we’ve got you’re in Atlanta, we got a lot of people on the East Coast, Dan, Josh, mark in the Midwest there. And we a lot more that that these people know that probably could connect with you.
So awesome. Well, I think today, you know, this is gonna be we’re gonna do our monthly professional networking. And what I’d like to do for for the benefit of Jesse, is to do a quick run around the room and just go Okay, a little bit about what you do. But what we want to do is dry scribe your ideal client. Describe your ideal clients. So, Dan, since you’re you’re you’re transitioning Tell us about your new firm and that
Dan Bigger 09:56
I’m still learning about my new firm, but yeah, I figure I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing at Chenango Valley technologies for now. I’m moving my family south from New York to Hilton Head, South Carolina in August. And I’m starting a new position with a custom plastic extrusion company called custom profile in July.
So a lot of things going on. But the company I’m working for has three plants, one in Michigan, one in South Carolina, and one in Mexico. All ISO certified clean rooms, value added services all over the place. So it’s a big it’s a big jump of jumping from a $5 million company to a $50 million company doing all the business development for them. And I’m just thrilled to death to get started.
Damon Pistulka 10:48
Cool. Congrats. Yeah, yeah. Congratulations, man. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Good news. Good news, for sure. And you’re moving to a cool place.
Dan Bigger 11:00
I will be living five minutes from the beach. So
Damon Pistulka 11:03
yeah, that’s gonna be nice. That’ll be nice. All right. Well, Dan, great to have you here today. Grant. Tell us a little bit about about yourself. And then what you’re doing ideal customer.
Thank you, uh, what we’re doing is working. It’s related to what you just said, Dan, we’re looking for better polymers. We’re in the hotel space, we’re working to get these plastic bottles that the amenities come in into something that’s more landfill degradable and take responsibility for end of life products. And our ideal customers, somebody with the bandwidth, who cares? So that’s usually women over 30. That there that’s the kind of the portal but you know, men care, too. It’s just not as many.
Damon Pistulka 11:55
Yeah. Yeah. understandably so. Yeah. Cool. Cool. Well, it’s great to have you here today, Grant. And yeah, you’re developing clean skincare products and bottles that break down in the landfills over time. So that’s, that’s nice when you consider that plastics don’t really break down. Normally. Yeah, right. Good stuff. Well, Grant, great to have you, Jacob Warren, our resident beard expert. Although janky came with a strong entry, I just have to say, his his love. groomed a lot better. Yeah. We’ll go with that. Yeah.
Yeah. So I’m Jacob Warren. And then we essentially do technology management for small to midsize businesses. And everything from cybersecurity, to data management to both public and private cloud solutions. ideal client is a professional service, organization, manufacturing, and those of you ever have some type of regulatory requirement that need to make sure that you’re in compliance from a technology standpoint.
Damon Pistulka 13:10
Very good. Very good. Yep. And that’s it, keep people secure and keep their data healthy. Yeah, and their beards looking nice. There you go. There you go. Awesome. Well, great. Great. See today, Jacob. Gil, wonderful seeing you from the warm city of Portland. Oh, my gosh, what the heck? Are you guys gonna get that heat this weekend to? Yeah, it was supposed to be well, for here record temperatures. It’s gonna be 103 I guess in Seattle. Wow. So
Mark Scrimenti 13:46
yeah, we’re supposed to be 111. Wow. Yeah. There’s no such thing as global warming. No, it’s such a myth. Right. Man, thank God for air conditioning.
Damon Pistulka 14:02
Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. That’s for sure. So Jill, tell us how you’re helping people. Oh, my goodness. I love helping people, specifically, small business service providers. I work with them to develop their staff and employees from average to amazing, which is going to bring more certainty for the future of the organization. And I get to do it without any service disruption. So business gets to keep on going. And and yet we get to help them grow. Awesome. Awesome. Well, great to have you here today. Jill, I am going to read the article you sent me. I saw it earlier today when I got on. I will do that. And just wonderful having you.
So we are we do have a couple more people that came in so So Dan, and grant and Jacob I’m gonna drop you back to tables and so we can bring on Brad and Andrew and stuff and do that and then we We’ll move to Josh because Josh, it is a Josh. First of all, I just have to say I had the greatest Father’s Day Ever this year because it was COVID free. My family is over 21 years old, so that we could go to what I like to do brewery hopping, we hit two breweries, and had a wonderful day. So, and one of them was not as bad as Andrew Deutsches were Andrew Deutsch was today, but there were bars on the windows all around us.
It was interesting. We have a brewery tour around Seneca Lake, New York, which is one of the Finger Lakes up here on Saturday. And I think we’re trying to hit eight breweries. Oh, God, no,
Damon Pistulka 15:43
that’s way too out. me.
My wife doesn’t like beer. So she’s automatically the DD. So boom.
Damon Pistulka 15:54
There you go. That’s fun. There you go. Well, tell us a little bit about Josh and what you do.
Yeah. So I’m Josh, I’m CEO and partner at protocol at we’re an inbound marketing agency located in Bradford PA. We help manufacturing clients with their lead generation and sales. We do a lot of content writing, SEO, PPC, HubSpot onboarding. So our ideal client would be like Dan’s new company, their manufacturer, that’s 30 to 300 million in annual revenue, usually going to be somewhere in the supply chain. second, third, sometimes, sometimes an OEM.
Damon Pistulka 16:38
Yeah, yeah. I was thinking that same thing. It’s interesting that dance move into that company. Yeah. Perfect. Good stuff. Well, I’m sure you guys, we’ll talk about that. And we’ve got just checking the chat here to make sure. Good, good, good. So all right, I think we’ve got Yeah, we got everybody up here. Now. We’re gonna go, gentlemen, put Jesse back on table. So Mark, tell us a little bit more about yourself today.
Mark Scrimenti 17:08
Sure. I’m a fractional CEO, I’m based in Chicago. And I’ve been at it since about November. It’s hard for me to describe my ideal client, cuz I’m not sure I found that person yet. Or that that company, but I would say that it’s a company in the five to $10 million range that definitely has revenue that’s looking to grow and needs help. Usually, this is a visionary founder, who needs help with clarifying, you know, goals and strategy.
And then on the execution side, from an EOS framework standpoint, I’m an integrator. And, you know, I’ve got one client that’s taking about half my time right now. So I’ve got, you know, at least two days a week for other clients. And that’s what I’m looking for my backgrounds in e commerce do. So ideally, an e commerce client would be great. And my background there, Damon, as we’ve discussed is pretty broad. So that’s product development, customer service, operations, scaling for operations, as well as digital marketing. Yep.
Damon Pistulka 18:14
Yep. Good stuff, Mark. And, and yeah, your experiences is very unique and very applicable in that. So awesome to have you here today. So Professor Pete, how are you today?
Pete Alexander 18:30
I’m great. daymond I’m actually looking forward to the warm weather. Because, um, you know, it’s nice to have a little bit of a change once in a while.
Damon Pistulka 18:38
Yeah. Well, how long will it actually get at your house, but won’t get it?
Pete Alexander 18:43
I suspect I suspect it’ll be in the 90s. Yeah, yeah. So but we have also the wind, keep it Keep it down a little bit. But that’s maybe the first time and no, gosh, at least nine months that I might turn on the air conditioner.
Damon Pistulka 19:01
There you go. There you go. Rs Rs has been on a bit already. But it’s it is it is interesting. In the Northwest when it hits 100 degrees, people think that you know that we’re going to spontaneously combust.
Pete Alexander 19:15
I know. I know. It’s It’s ridiculous. Because when I was in California a couple of weeks ago, and I just escaped the the boiling temperature there. And it was funny. I got up here and it was at and people got so hot. And I’m thinking Are you kidding me?
Damon Pistulka 19:31
Yeah. And then there’s Brad that actually does live in the pit of fire. Yeah. So tell us a little bit Pete about how you’re helping people and who your ideal client is today.
Pete Alexander 19:47
Sure. daymond. So most of you know on in addition to being the host of the popular winning a business and life podcast, I’m the president of office plants by everything grows in the San Francisco Bay Area. And we help companies reduce stress, improve productivity and receive outstanding ROI through the methodical design and placement of lush living plants and work environments. And so our great lead for us would be a company, you know, high tech or whatever it happens to be in the San Francisco Bay Area.
So San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, any of the surrounding areas, and if it has 20 or more employees that are coming into the office, at least part time during the week, they would be a great, great lead for us.
Damon Pistulka 20:39
Okay. Bay Area 20 or more office staff. Correct. There you go. Good. Good. Well, that’s awesome to have you here today. great seeing you again. And I gotta say that your posts on Facebook about your hikes the last week or so I’ve been awesome. You done some pretty nasty hikes. So it’s good.
Pete Alexander 21:01
I did I I’m actually, you know, I yesterday’s made me think that I might have to reconsider. Getting that helicopter insurance.
Damon Pistulka 21:14
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That looked like that was quite a hike. If people don’t know you guys need to go visit Pete to go hiking if you really want to hike where you can go. It’s only miles from your house isn’t it’s not very far. It’s Yeah, I
Pete Alexander 21:29
live in hikers paradise near the Olympic National Park.
Damon Pistulka 21:33
Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff. Thanks for being here today. So Brad? Yep. awesome seeing you today. How are things in in LA, a sunny and warm Las Vegas?
Brad Smith 21:46
Exactly. That sunny and warm. We actually had a little bit of rain yesterday, who was amazing. Like, oh, there’s clouds up there. It looks like the Northwest. But it’s going to go it stopped pretending to be Portland for a while. And today we’re back to the wandering up to the triple digits. So yeah, I think we’ll hit that easily. Yeah, right. It, it makes me miss the Northwest. And where it’s where it’s cooler, like, yeah, guys. I’m just gonna go get a house on the Oregon beach and just be happy, you know? Yeah. No, that’s, that’s the long term plan.
Damon Pistulka 22:25
Yeah. Yeah, we were there about a month ago. And man, every time you go there and stay there. It’s just, I think that all the time is, if you haven’t been to the Oregon coast, should try it. Or Northern California too. But those are good. So Brad, tell us a little bit about how you’re helping people and and your ideal client.
Brad Smith 22:48
My ideal client is a company, a business owner, actually or CEO for a company that is hopefully English speaking, because that’s the only language I work with. And somewhere between 5 million and up, who is ambitious, curious and realizes they don’t have all the answers. So they want someone to confer with what I have found my expertise says, I listen more deeply than they know themselves so that I pull out the things that they’re trying to wrestle with to put into articulate words, I have these issues.
I don’t know how to solve these four. And this is what I know about them. And what I do as I help them pull out of their literally pull out of their subconscious, if you would, the articulation for the thing that feels right to them. And then we put that into place, we experiment with it, we play with it. And literally doing that over a period of time, will open up the options of adding anywhere from doubling their business growth to adding zeros on a consistent basis. And that is just like one of the most exciting things I’ve done.
Damon Pistulka 24:06
Yeah, yeah, good stuff. Brad. Great to have you here today. And see, it’s always exciting to hear about you. Adding zeros, I think about that in conceptually and adding zeros to businesses is a big deal.
Brad Smith 24:21
If it’s the change from a 5 million company, $5 million company to a $15 million dollar company has two steps in it. Minimum, the change from a $50 million company to a $500 million company has about four steps in it. And you have to literally go through and change the mindset of the leader of the executive team and of the whole culture. But once you set the foundation character, which you can do at 5 million. You can hold those things all the way up, but it’s the outside stuff that need to put inside Notice how we do the work.
Damon Pistulka 25:02
Awesome. Awesome. Good, good stuff, man. Such such a valuable stuff for when you’re thinking about scaling and really getting your mindset ready for that growth, because that’s, that’s a lot what and a lot of what presents it over time. We don’t think we can do what we can do. Yeah. All right. So Andrew Krause, why don’t you? Why don’t you talk a little bit about exit your way and and what we’re what we’re doing?
Andrew Cross 25:32
Yeah. You know, well, like Brad’s doing, we want to work with guys like Brad to come in. And we like our client, our perfect client is a business owner that treats his business like an investment, and realizes I got a target and I want to hit it. And instead of just trying to get through week to week as as a plan, and then we come in and try and help them execute that. And that is zero. Sum. Well, that’s. Yeah, that’s a it’s a great thing to see. Yep. When it when it’s an action like that. So that’s why we hang around with folks like bread. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 26:14
yeah, good stuff. Yeah, I’ll add to that just for a second. I mean, we’ve got a fun project that we’re working on. Now with a a client that actually we’re going to combine three to five businesses together into one and sell them all as one entity, because what happens is, the smaller there’s smaller ones banding together, and there’s one larger one that actually can do back office operations and other things, for the the the other ones that are folded into it,
we’re actually not going to do transactions probably to do any money swaps on these, these first ones, but in essence, we’re going to create a business that will double the value for everybody that’s in in participating in it, because we’ll be able to take the the average multiple of these people get on their profitability from about four to six or seven.
And, and this is the kind of stuff that we do that’s, that’s really not typical in in, in, in investment banking is we started with this person, I don’t know almost a year ago now talking with him about their business and how COVID was affecting it and it’s transformed into I want to sell my business into now I want to roll it up so I can make more money and I can help my the people I work with make more money and and we’re going to be able that to make a better business overall.
So this is the kind of stuff that we really like to do because we can help people realize more money either through growing their business working with someone like Brad or other people that are doing specific ecommerce manufacturing kind of sales growth stuff, or like are doing with this is just really facilitating and and helping them how do you do this? How do you integrate these things together? How do you get the synergies on the backside of this to really drive profitability increases? How do you help the top line grow?
And then and then how do you ultimately exit it and realize the money increase the value increase? It’s a tremendous amount of fun, we’d love being able to do it. And that’s, oh, yes, there is a synergy between the five Brad they’re all doing compromise, complimentary work, they refer work to each other now, or they do different pieces of the same kind of work. And we’re actually adding adding more bolt ons and competitors to it. So basically, they’ll be able to lock whoever buys us we’ll be able to lock up a region in this kind of thing. So it’s, it’s it’s one of these things that we really like to do, because it’s fun. It’s fun. It’s taking, you know, it’s
Andrew Cross 28:52
taking the big boy play. Yeah, for the equity groups do and this, these are not big businesses, but they’re gonna realize a drastic return by putting this together on this roll up.
Damon Pistulka 29:05
Yep. And just briefly, one of the things that we’re doing that’s, that might be a little unique, we’re actually talking to the investment buyers that will potentially be buying at NASSCOM What does this look like? For you to be the best deal for you to walk into?
So we’re not only just talking to the business, the business sellers, we’re talking to the buyers and we’re going to make this thing look like they want it I mean, down to the point that we got into the details yesterday in a two hour conversation with with uh, not two hours an hour, but but a conversation with a business buyer that buys in this industry in this, this specific kind of business. If we put these together, what do you need to see? What do you like to see for the future?
What do you like to see for the management team? What what are the kinds of diligence things you see hanging this up? I mean, we get into that level of detail to be able to do it. So I’ll digress on that for a moment. And then It is fun, it is fun when you get to work on that. We don’t get to do that a ton. But good stuff. Wonderful having everybody here today. Thanks so much for sharing. Once again, like I said, we’re gonna be making some changes to the format of the show to the kinds of speakers what we’re going to do, I’m pretty excited about speakers, right?
Because if we’re going to talk about marketing, say, we may bring a marketing somebody that’s got a big name and marketing might come and talk with us. And what we’re really going to do around this is try to try to find names that are big enough that they’ll have their own draw of people that would be other business owners, that might be able to come in that that someone like any of you might be interested in talking with, and really focus on that and bring in the speakers and it come and then the format will change a little bit too, we were going to have some are going to be panel discussions.
So that if we were talking about marketing, per se, maybe Josh is on the panel asking some questions about it, because he knows it really well, or marks on the panel or other people we bring in or on the panel. Or if we bring in somebody from say like even like Troy niehaus, and those guys at Bernstein, they’ve got these economics people and other things that we can talk to talk about tax people, all these that we can bring in from a company like that, and then maybe have like Jesse might be on the Jesse disko because he’s a wealth player might be on there.
And Troy and other people that are financial people that are asking questions on a panel to really extract information that they they would think that was beneficial to to a business owner in these, you know, $500 million dollar businesses and really try to focus on things that provide value for the entire group and those business owners overall to, to continue to, to attract and provide good solid information.
So, um, yeah, it’s, it’s going to be a lot of fun, we’re going to we’re going to, obviously Inc, not obviously, but we are going to increase our overall marketing outbound marketing efforts a little bit and our inbound marketing efforts a little bit on the, on the show to try to bring more new people into it. So we can, we can continue to have that. I mean, we’ve had, I think when I look at the numbers of people, we’ve had a few 100 people at different people that have attended to it, obviously, when we started it was a lot of people were just trying to figure out what the hell COVID was doing.
Right. And and now we really want to move into more of a we are going to be want to be a good source of information that is relevant to this business owner that that is running a multimillion dollar business. And we want to have speakers, we want to be able to give the people on here opportunities to interact with those people, you know, and, and bring quite honestly bring more of them in. So we can see more of the connections like, like today that you know, just even just the possibility of Dan and Josh working together I think is really cool.
And I know I’m not saying anything in stone, but I think but if we had a room with with 10, or 20 business owners in here, or the executives in those businesses, this thing is what we want to create. We want to create it where an executive will come here because they they feel it’s worth their time to come here. And it’s not. It’s not where they’re going to be sold or anything like that. So where we’re going to actually get to know them, and they’re going to get some good information and those kinds of things. And then if if it works out down the road, they do business, they do business.
But that was my thought here. I was going to talk a little bit about the return to work. And I know across the country, we’re all returned to work at various levels. But I was I was hoping to get a bit of smattering from people across the the that are listening across the country here to really talk about what you see business looking like six months from now or a year from now. So that we can be looking at those kind of trends and really capitalizing on them. And one of them was to two places I was thinking about in b2b sales. And go ahead and hit the chat with that if you if you want to come up and talk more.
We got more room on here. But my thought was on b2b sales. Do you think that the virtual experiment that we’ve had to go through in the past year has really changed it so that There’s going to be a fair amount of the initial b2b sales that is going to be done virtually, and kind of altering the way that the sales process works. So virtual is going to be good for the initial meeting, and maybe maybe even getting up to the deal stage or something like that. I’m talking bigger deals, and then it’s going to be meeting when it’s appropriate to do the final close of a deal, or what do you guys, what what do you hear? What do you think?
Pete Alexander 35:28
So Damon, I can talk about it from our perspective. So usually, when we get a lead, our our reps will go and make a sales call on site to the customer. And obviously, during COVID, a lot of that went away. Because you know, if people aren’t going into the office, they don’t need plants in the office.
But now that’s come back. And we’re seeing a significant uptick in business, a lot of it from customers who closed up and then are coming back, but we’re actually getting a lot of new inquiries. And what’s interesting is that in some of those proposals, we do a design for where basically, we take pictures in the office environment. So the lobby, conference rooms, executive offices, you know, main areas that that could use the plants.
And then the designer goes ahead and use the software to design digital renditions of this so that people can see what the what these plants would actually look like in their facility. And what’s interesting is, is that we’re seeing some of our cut prospects who are actually emailing us pictures that we take, and actually put it in the, in those pictures, as opposed to us taking the pictures physically. So there’s, there’s this, we’ve closed some of the deals with that, where we actually physically haven’t been in their location yet. Yeah. So so it’s it’s an interesting one. That only happened once prior to COVID. In the, let’s say, it’s been now 17 years that I’ve that I’ve been running the business.
Damon Pistulka 37:25
Wow. That’s, that’s pretty crazy. And that’s a great example of two things, I think, the the change in the way that that the process happens, because they can take their own pictures and send them to you that that saves a step. And then being you know, virtual closes on your like you said, you haven’t done very many of them. And now it seems to be easier. Exactly. Yeah. That’s That’s good stuff. So, Josh, I’m curious about your business with with you guys doing marketing? Has it always been closer or a virtual kind of thing? Or? because of the size of clients and the work? You do? It was always a personal thing before?
we’ve we’ve seen a lot of shift, I don’t know that it was necessarily directly COVID related, because even prior to COVID, we’ve closed a lot of deals in which we’ve never even met people in person. Yeah. Even you know, with. I’ve got one client that we have, I don’t know, maybe a 10 year relationship retainer, and I’ve never met them. Wow. So I see more of it. I see. I think, you know, when we talk bigger deals and a major shift in in business, I think that there’s still going to be a need for in person. But I think everyone just so much more comfortable even people in the manufacturing space, which we thought would never get there are comfortable with with virtual now.
Damon Pistulka 38:55
Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s, that’s encouraging to hear. And that’s why I kind of thought you guys probably have been doing it for a while. It’s accepted in your industry more often. But it is cool, though, that manufacturers are starting to, you know, do business like that as well. Yeah.
You know, one of the things I love though, is I love the factory tours. I love what about those different businesses? So I missed that. And I was able to go on one a couple weeks ago, and it was cool.
Damon Pistulka 39:28
Yeah, that’s cool. And, you know, it’s it’s funny, you said that because someone’s actually I’m gonna be doing some videos and they go, Oh, you want to do it in a factory? I’m like, Yeah, but I haven’t been in effect. Well, now it’s kind of weird, almost. But it was. That’s, that’s great. And I understand that that personal part of it really allows you to do maybe a bit different work, if you understand it more intimately.
And that’s like Pete was And I wonder if we’re going to continue to even evolve that more that, you know, we sold a business last year where that where we had never personally met the business owners, we had never been in their facility where they manufacture the parts. And the buyers never were in there physically, before, they never physically met the the sellers.
And they never, they didn’t go to the facility prior to selling and buying the business. And it was all done through video is all done through just like this. And, you know, I’m wondering if that will continue. Because you think about an efficiency standpoint, when we were talking about a business that was located in the northwest, headquarters manufacturing was on the East Coast, and the buyer was in Southern California, the logistics of moving all this around, you know, really is would have added a lot of cost to them to do the deal.
Andrew Cross 40:51
So we’re kind of, you know, we were forced to do it that way. And then we realized, well, this is just better. Yeah. They would have had four or five plane trips on that. That. Yep.
Damon Pistulka 41:06
Yep. And that we’d work with that client for two years and never met him.
Andrew Cross 41:13
Yeah, I got. When I finally got on the zoom with him. It was already after the acceptance offer. And I was like, Oh, hey, that’s what you look like.
Damon Pistulka 41:26
So Dan, what are you thinking, Dan?
Dan Bigger 41:29
Well, I want to echo what Josh said, manufacturers just don’t get it. They don’t understand what they’re missing out on. And I talked to a lot of people and I hear a lot of different stories that they just don’t understand how to transition out of what they’ve always done. But as far as I’m concerned, you know, meeting in person is great, you know, and I love the factory tours, just like Josh says, I love seeing Jake Paul’s videos and things like that.
You know, but I don’t meet a lot of people that I do business with, but at the same time, I still get personal and they still get to know me through emails and things like that. And it’s all about responsiveness. Really, you know, I’m I’m an early riser, like Andrew, so I’m up at 430 in the morning, starting and doing what I need to do go into the offices, tremendous pain in the ass for me, I lose two to three hours a day of production time.
So doing virtual events, and getting people on the phone that way, you know, once you do initial discovery and things like that saves time, you know, and then you know, once, once you’re, you know, getting to the point where things are gonna happen, bringing them to your plant or going to see their plan or however they want that done is is is beneficial. And I you know, I like doing that stuff. But initial discovery and running all I actually one of the tours I just did, I went out and saw Kurt and I saw two or three other companies. And that was a 15 hour day to see for people. Yeah, what I can contact 50 to 100 people, you know, during a normal business day, it’s just a waste of time.
Damon Pistulka 43:02
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s a great point. And I love your perspective, because you’re, you know, you’re selling for a big, you know, for a company and you’re doing larger b2b transactions. And, you know, cuz in molding or the extrusion, I mean, you’re talking about hundreds of 1000s of dollar deals a lot of times and, and, and it’s to be able to do those kind of sales virtually, does make you a lot more efficient.
Dan Bigger 43:33
Well, and another another point I want to make is, is just getting people on the phone is a is a headache, people don’t even want to do that anymore. I think people like email for the fact that they can trace through the conversation and go back and reread it, they can answer on their own time. You know, I try to get people on the phone, even for initial discovery, and it’s sometimes it’s difficult.
Damon Pistulka 43:55
Yeah. Yep. Yeah, that is always that is always the challenge. Or one of them. One of them. That’s for sure. So Brad, you talked about their kinesthetic What’s that mean? tend to require in person to build trust.
Brad Smith 44:11
kinesthetic is his touch. Okay. And so if you’re there, there’s like four different methods for learning. One is visual. One is auditory one is kinesthetic one is didactic wasn’t the four main ones. And so if you learn with kinesthetics, first, which is true for me, then in person is required to build that deep level of trust in order if they feel like there’s risk and if someone is in manufacturing, they’re just automatically going to be that type of person, because they do things like a mechanic a car mechanic is kinesthetic, as someone who does strategy is either visual or auditory, mostly visual, and so on.
If someone’s in manufacturing, they’re just going to be, they’re just going to be touch oriented. Even if you never, you know, other than just shake hands. Yeah. But if they tend to be a little bit more visual than the auditory, the video will work. And so I think what you’re like, like Dan was saying, people don’t want to talk on the phone anymore.
They, so you’ll be able to reach them through emails or LinkedIn messaging, and set up. I’m going through a process where I’m setting up conversations with people. And it’s almost all LinkedIn connection, to flip over into email to flip over into zoom. Yeah, and that’s the process. And so what you’re doing is you’re deepening the trail to how they learn, and how they build trust, and the learning style and the trust. Building style are very, very closely related.
Damon Pistulka 46:00
Yeah, yeah, that’s great. That’s a great input. And and so it’s still valuable to have people with different backgrounds and skill sets on on this as we talk through these topics, because that’s a I didn’t, I didn’t realize that and be like your process, and then understanding to how do you try to do that without meeting those people in person as much
Brad Smith 46:26
as you can. It takes twice as many phone calls, if you do it, because when I started out my career after I got my bachelor’s degree I had, I was in a year, and you’ll love this, Dan, I was in a plastic extrusion plant. And I was responsible for quality control. And so I had five different plants across the way there were direct customers that I had to build relationship with.
I called them on a weekly basis, and spent half an hour to an hour on the phone with him for each week. And after a but I found is after four weeks, I built out a deep enough relationship with them, that it was as if I had been there. But it took me three to four times as two to three times as many phone calls, as if I just walked in the door and spent an hour with them. Yeah, that’s got much more,
Dan Bigger 47:21
I like to add, because we do the same thing with a big client we have here we have a weekly video call, when we just update, you know, everybody gets on the call, it’s involved in the project, and we update them on the process and what’s going on and where we need help and where they need help and, and that it really has, it’s been a nice, easy, all the meetings are getting shorter and shorter, because the trust is finally getting there. But it does help to do that.
Brad Smith 47:46
What one of the things that we get to do with video is we get to see body language, the app though we don’t consciously register that as part of our trust building process, seeing body language and how people look out of their eyes, we’re able to gauge intelligence, unconsciously, right, we’re engaging their we’re gauging their intelligence, we’re registering or measuring their emotional capability, and actually their honesty.
So if they show up on a video, and they and they are rigid, you can tell if they’re rigid, and how well they take in ideas, you can tell how well they make eye contact, right. And so all of those things are things we used to do in person, you’re we’re now learning literally as a world how to do on a video call. And you can get and I’ve done it, you can do a conference call. And I’ve tried to do strategic planning with a group of people that were you can do it up to two people.
Me and two people, so three total, right? And then it just blows up at four people, you can’t do it. But you can do it on video, to some extent, but you only get about 75% of the trust level built with video that you can do in person. So when you get to the place where you’ve got something there is, and it depends on the level of risk involved. If the level of risk involved and the dollar amounts are high, then they’re going to be requiring in person. So I didn’t hear enough. Is this you know, if it’s a $300 million deal, they’re gonna want you here, right? Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 49:26
Yep. Yeah. And that’s, that’s what I think too, is there’s gonna be there’s gonna be this hybrid model, right? That you can do a lot of it virtually. But when it comes down to it, the the big deal is going to be in person, at least, maybe farther down the line. You’re building, building and building you’re going yeah, this is the right thing for us. Now it’s time to meet, just to you know, break bread, whatever you got to do. And then you move on.
Dan Bigger 49:55
You know me when I said it before, and I’ll say it again. daymond It’s dating. Yeah.
Andrew Cross 50:02
All right, I just recently went out to one of our first live events, it’s been a while. And you know what it was all focused around sales. And with some presentations, that was a great, just a pretty nice networking event in a short space down here in Salt Lake. And what I noticed was after, you know, haven’t been away from that a while I think that there’s that there’s an eagerness to do business, right, and in face to face business.
But there’s also a recognition that the I think part of it is because man, now we got all these shiny new tools. And you know, we can do business a lot easier. So it’s just I think there’s a combination here, between the live and doing the zoom meetings and the calls and, you know, the generate new business kind of stuff.
And then there’s a more of a reception to, you know, hey, we don’t have to follow up with another meeting at my place next week and do all this, you know, it’s more, you know, let’s just pay, let’s get on a zoom, you know, and they’re like, Yeah, let’s do that. We’ll schedule and not have to explain what zoom is and those kind of things. We kind of know what we’re, we’re getting to and I think people are like, I don’t I just felt sort of an excitement about that.
Damon Pistulka 51:09
Yeah, yeah, I am, too. I’m excited to see what Yeah, teleportation now would be cool. Yeah, but yeah, it’s funny because I I’m gonna digress for just a second Mike, my kids, my son one time when he was about 12. Last, if there’s one superpower, if you could have it, he and he didn’t even it was just like teleportation came around. I always had I still laugh at that. But you’re right. teleportation, that would be that would be good. Well, I
Mark Scrimenti 51:36
was gonna, I was gonna add, sounds like you’re about to wrap. But you know, I think at least 90% of what I do. I can do remotely. But there’s this relational component, you know, I’ve been carrying on this fracture to relationship for, you know, eight months, where I think you know, that like the 10% like, just to meet and have a beer together and just chill out and get to know each other would be valuable, especially because in this role, you have to challenge the CEO at times, you know, and so there can be friction, and there’s some of that that is harder to resolve.
I think remotely like over video, whereas like if we let’s just sit down and relax and have a beer together. You know, you can you can make a lot of makeup for a lot of ground that way.
Damon Pistulka 52:29
No doubt no doubt about that. And and those kind of relationships. And then then I also look at that, and we won’t go into it much. But the the whole Are you going to be a remote first workplace or a hybrid workplace or full in person workplace? You know, because when you look across the board and go, Okay, well, I’ve got a professional engineering firm, or I’ve got a manufacturing firm, there’s just so different ways. So many different ways you could do it. Mean, and then how do you how do you have engagement with your employees and other stuff like that, but awesome, awesome input mark. Good stuff.
Well, I just again, I’ll let I’ll let Andrew take it away here because we’re getting to the top of the hour we want to be you know on on time with this is awesome. Getting to see you everyone here today. Appreciate you appreciate the right relationships we’ve been able to build. We are going to be back strong in August. It’s gonna be crazy fun. And yeah, I understand. I’m excited for it. I’m excited.
I got some we got some other people helping. Andrew Deutsch in and Melissa, or owl, joining house. Andrew, and myself and the US. Oh, Joe jump see. So we’re excited about it. We’ll see in August and I’m excited to keep talking to you guys. We’re here. So if you want to want to just connect up Go ahead. See you later grant. See everyone. Andrew way we’re just about to the top of the hour.
Andrew Cross 54:10
Day. That was a pretty good one right there. We’ll see on the other side and go ahead zeros guys in between.
Damon Pistulka 54:15
Yeah. Awesome. Have a great rest of your week. Or to see all right.
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