[00:00:00] Corey: Welcome to the Vertical Go-To Market Podcast, where you'll discover new opportunities to grow your business from seven figures to eight from the world's most successful agency and B2B SaaS executives. I'm your host, Corey Quinn. Let's jump into the show. Today I'm joined by Joey Gilkey. Welcome, Joey.
[00:00:21] Joey: What's up, man? Corey, thanks for having me. I'm super
[00:00:23] Corey: excited for our conversation. Could you share a little bit about who you are
[00:00:26] Joey: and the work you do? Cool. Yep. So Joey Gilkey, CEO of a company called Apex Revenue. And I guess now technically a company called Phone Ready Leads, we just acquired them. We're not sure what we're going to do with the brand there yet, but Apex Revenue is my primary company.
And I have a mastermind called the best damn agency mastermind. So Apex is my main focus. We're essentially a fractional VP of sales and sales effectiveness firm. Kind of nerdy for we help people get outbound sales, right? Beautiful.
[00:00:54] Corey: I want to dig into that. And then just from a high level, what could you share about the size of Apex revenue as far as the number of employees, clients, revenue, anything you're comfortable with sharing?
[00:01:06] Joey: Totally. We're on a good track. We should hit 10 million this year. Employee wise, we've got U. S. based and international, international. We have 85 employees and then U. S. based, we have about 20 ish, 19. Some of those are contractor part time, but they're, they spend a substantial amount of time with us still.
Who is your
[00:01:25] Corey: typical client? Who's your ICP for Apex?
[00:01:29] Joey: You know, it's, it's been a moving target over the years. I would say that we were heavy, heavy into the agency, digital agency space for the longest time. And I would say that our, our sweet spot would have probably been one to 10 million digital agency for a long time.
As we got more sophisticated in our operations, as we solved bigger and bigger problems, our target market has broadened and also gone up slightly in revenues. So I'd say our, our target market's probably doing no less than 3 million. And then I'd say our sweet spot's 3 to 30 million. Folks who don't have a sweet spot or folks who don't have like a super dialed in sales operation, sales leader, large sales team, but we've, you know, I've got a 3 billion customer in the commercial cleaning industry.
Like it's kind of random, but our sweet spots that like B2B. High ticket service company, like an agency, a cybersecurity, IT managed service company, so on. Got it. Service
[00:02:25] Corey: focused B2B. And for context with this show, there's a lot of agency folks who tune in. And so I think there's, there's some definite overlap there.
Thinking about those agency clients specifically that you've worked with over the years. What is the primary challenge in their business that leads them to say, Hey, we need to get involved with like a fractional VP of sales. Like whatever we're doing is not working. What does that pain point
[00:02:50] Joey: look like?
Well, I think you probably deal with a lot of these conversations as well. I think a lot of agencies have grown predominantly to where they've gotten to. And usually we find that ceiling is somewhere between, you know, two and a half, three and a half, and maybe like seven and a half million. Where they got there because they're good at what they do.
The referrals, their network, they've got a good reputation. The founder has predominantly driven, like driven a lot of their growth market has somewhat supported their business. But when it comes to growing on demand, if you will, marketing and sales for their own business has been somewhat sketchy. So they have, they've tried outsourcing it to lead gen agencies, and that's probably a whole nother conversation because I ran a lead gen agency a long time ago, but oftentimes the lead gen agencies frustration with agencies is that they drum up leads and they send them into a broken sales infrastructure.
And so leads get generated. They get sent to the agency. They don't get followed up with, they don't have a good sales process. They don't have a good sales framework for actually working people through a cold to close scenario. And so it doesn't work. Now the agency, the client of the lead gen agency would say different.
Obviously the leads were trash. The list was trash, whatever it might be. Right. So I guess it's the unknown. We'll never get a true answer for being on both sides of that. I can tell you it's a little bit of both, but I would say most agencies do not come from a sales background, right? They. They're not used to generating leads cold.
They're not used to working cold meetings. Those are handled way different than inbound warm meetings should be handled. And so they, they don't come from a sales background. They come from a technical background, a creative background, a strategic background. Maybe they're like the best media buyer in the world, but that doesn't make you good at sales.
And maybe they've hired sales people and say, Hey, I need sales to work. So, well, naturally let me go get someone with a good resume and those people fall on their face too. Well, I think a lot of is because sales people tends to still need a lot of process and framework and enablement to make them successful.
And if you're not a sales, if you don't have the context for sales as the founder, CEO, or leadership team, how are you supposed to support that salesperson with what they need? Because you don't know what that is. Right. And so. Usually a good client for us as someone who realizes all those problems, they've maybe thrown a few attempts at a few different things, sales trainer, hire salespeople, lead gen agency.
And they're just kind of like, I need to do this the right way. And I need true sales leadership to come in, but I don't want to spend 300, 000 on a sales leader to know if they're even going to do this. I've already tried spending money and it's not worked.
[00:05:30] Corey: So in other words, you're. Your advice, I won't paraphrase, I'll ask you, so let's say you're speaking to an agency founder who has been the primary source of new revenue, maybe they're doing 2 million, they've tried lead gen agencies, what advice would you have for them as far as Finally, getting sales to be, you know, more on demand, as you said, like, how do you, you know, what's the advice there?
[00:05:56] Joey: Well, if we're looking at cold outbound, which is what most people would love to have, but dread actually pulling off because it's so hard. And there's, there's a lot of intimidation around going cold to the market, but we kind of like a six layer approach to getting outbound. Right. And it starts at the very top, which is market fit.
Right. So you and I both know agencies don't have an issue with product market fit. It's fairly obvious because there's so many agencies. But there's a, there's a market fit there with our service in the market, but the next market fit is message market fit. What is it that we say in the market to the market, to our prospects that resonates with the market in a cold environment, never heard of us.
No trust built, no authority built. I'm coming to you and I've got to create some sort of intrigue and attention. So the first is market fit. You've got to dial in, especially message market fit. The next is strategy. So I liken strategy to. I don't, I would never walk into a bar and go play a game of darts and pull out a compound bow and think that I'm playing darts well, right?
The object I'm shooting looks a lot like a dart. It's just much larger and going at a much higher velocity. Simultaneously, I'm not going to take a four inch dart, walk out to an archery range and start throwing it 30 yards down, down line to a target. You've got to know the weapons you're using, the targets you're going after, the distance, the size, the rules of the game.
And so strategy I likened to that is how are you going to go to market? Is it an account based approach? Do you have a smaller target, total addressable market? Is it a much larger TAM with a much larger ticket? Can you basically have endless opportunities? Would you have a little bit of higher volume hybrid built into that?
How will you go to market? So it goes message market fit strategy. The next layer down, number three is process. How do we then do that repeatedly and how is it then transferable to other individuals, not just a founder? And so how do you get repeatable systematic results over and over again, deploying this strategy?
To get that message in front of the right people. And the last three is what people tend to jump down to. And they skip the first three, hence why they are not successful. It is sales hiring. Who do you hire? How do you hire them? Where do you hire them from? Why are you hiring them? What does their exact role look like?
How are you going to equip them, train them, et cetera. Compensation. How do you compensate them to incentivize them yet still protect and preserve agency profitability, which you and I both know floats somewhere between 10 and 20% net profit. So how do you not eat into that too much? You get incentivize them.
The next layer down from sales hiring is sales leadership. So I bucket leadership with three different categories. Lead, manage, train. So the sales operation, which is what we're talking about right now has to be led. Well, it has to be a North star. What are we working towards? What's the strategy here? How are we going to continue to press forward?
It's got to be managed well, which is accountability to the KPIs that are important to both the individual and the company and then trained. How are we going to sharpen the weapons we have? How are we going to add new weapons to the actual tool belt? And the last one, people obsess about this one, but it's my least important on this layer of six is technology.
How do we then take all of that, the message, the strategy, the process, the people, the leadership, and how do we streamline that and make it more efficient and more effective? Those six things are the most important six things you can do in Outbound. And
[00:09:18] Corey: my assumption is that these are in chronological
[00:09:20] Joey: order.
Yeah. I mean, obviously sometimes teams have people already, but in a perfect world, you're starting from scratch. And you want to get this right. Yes. Go to go define message market fit, build out the strategy of how you're going to get it there. What channels are viable, create a process that's repeatable, and then go higher, figure out how you're going to lead them and then worry about your technology more later.
[00:09:43] Corey: What advice do you have for, let's say, agency owners who maybe have a, have a flat message or a very generic message that's not differentiated? How do they, how do you get to message market fit?
[00:09:56] Joey: There's really two parts. There's going to the existing. Converted market, which is your clients. And there is going to the cold market, which is who you would like to get in front of.
The first is the lowest taking fruit is the one that people are least afraid of. And that's literally sitting down and interviewing the client and really asking them, where were you before we worked together? What were, what was life like? When you're running business, what was life like for this particular role, et cetera, or the pains you guys were experiencing?
What had you tried before? Like, what were your options that you had already exhausted before we talked? When we talked, who else were you vetting? What were you vetting? Was it competitors? Was it a different solution altogether? What were those types of things? Ultimately, why did you choose us? What, what made you move forward?
I know we're super likable, but ultimately you're not spending 150 grand because you like me. So what was the reason, the tipping point of, of why you actually pulled the trigger with us? And then what was the results from that? What, you know, we know where you were, where are you at now? How'd you get there?
And just get the full picture of, of their journey to this particular decision they made and beyond. That's the first thing. Second thing is if you don't like this one, you got to go talk to the market cold. And so what that means is, is you've got to get. People on the phone ideally call me. You could use email, but it's not nearly as effective.
It's just easier. And most people, a lot of people like to hide behind the keyboard, but true message market fit is found in the conversation. It's not so much found in the email copy that you send that you might get a conversion on. The reason being is because you don't get the negative feedback with an email, unless it's like a unsubscribe or F you go away kind of thing, but.
You know, and so I suggest cold calling and people don't like this. That's why it's a service that we do, but it's ultimately, you've got to go to the market with the assumption of what's your message is going to be. Right. And then go to the market and test it. And so build the list, build a target account profile, target the list, go get them on the phone, have 10 conversations in the market, stick to a relative script, have questions you want to ask, even if there's zero interest there, ask them what they are, what they're solving problems on.
How are they solving? What are they tried? Gather that data in 10 reassess. Iterate, refine, retest the message with the next 10. We do a hundred of those over the course of four weeks. And we have an app on R& D offer. I don't suggest, I don't think that you're gonna be able to get a hundred in four weeks necessarily, but if you're going to do it, that's the goal is do it in tranches of 10.
Evaluate, have recordings, listen to recordings. What are keywords people are saying? And what you'll find is the market will tell you what they want. Ultimately, I guess there's, there's a third option here and people will probably opt for this one is pay the cold market for their time. Reach out to them, say, Hey, I've got a, you know, we're having a messaging issue.
We have the offer. We know for a fact we can help the market, but we're having a messaging issue. I'll pay for an entire hour if I can just have 15 minutes of your time, whatever your hourly rate is, and then sit down and say, all I want you to do is I'm going to tell you kind of our messaging, our offer, our pricing model, and I want you to shoot as many holes to that as possible.
And then allow them to do that, record it, listen, iterate, refine, and eventually they're going to get there. And so you don't have to do all of that to land on message market fit. You can land on that pretty quickly if it's hitting, but those are your three avenues where you can really find that information.
[00:13:26] Corey: does list building come into this
[00:13:28] Joey: process? It has become the most important. The list is the strategy, as we say. So I mentioned in my intro a little bit that we just bought a company, and a lot of it is because we are banking on the fact that the list is ultimately the strategy.
I think people underestimate the list. I think that they think if they use Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, Apollo. io, and they input enough criteria into the system that they're going to get in a dial enough process. I don't think that's true. I think it's a combination of criteria, right? Firmographic information, size, location, you know, employee count, revenue, funded, non funded, et cetera.
But there's also psychographic stuff. Are they in a growth season? Or are they in a pullback season? Are they declining? Is a specific industry, or excuse me, a specific department declining? Do they have, like in my book, do they have a current and existing sales leader on staff? How long have they been there?
Are they new? Have they been around for a long time? Has someone recently been fired? Uh, has this guy been around a long time and now we're seeing company department headcount growth in the sales department? What that means is that guy has been there for a long time and his sales team that has historically worked and got him there is no longer working.
And therefore he's letting people off, which means something has to change. Right. And so there's those types of things that when you're building a list, you have to be thinking through those types of triggers and events. It's funny when you were
[00:15:00] Corey: saying all that, I just thinking through all, all of the different lists that I've built over the years.
I, I agree with you wholeheartedly about the list
[00:15:07] Joey: is the strategy. And the data, the data is very important. Like the actual contact information. Okay. Say more about that. Yeah. So I think that at the end of the day, especially if you're looking for an agency's need this SaaS company. Or, or even in some cases, SAS doesn't even care about profitability at all.
Right. They care about getting to the next round of funding and they care about top line only. But nonetheless, we have to care about profitability because we're an agency where a service company, our inventory walks out the door every day at five o'clock and hopefully it comes back the next morning at nine.
Right. And so if that's the case, then we have to figure out how to profitably grow. And so we can't think like a SAS company. We can't think like tech. We have to think in a very profitable way. And so when you think about that, a big piece of profitability is yes, messaging and strategy and all those kinds of things.
But it's also all about efficiency, rep efficiency, your sales reps, how efficient can they be? And if you are calling on bad data, that is, there is zero redeemable qualities to calling on someone who the data is, is like, there's nothing possibly good there. Like I can call someone who doesn't answer and I can leave a voicemail, right?
Like there's something redeemable there. But if I call the wrong person or that company is not, that person no longer at the company or that company is no longer around, or it's literally the wrong data. Or worse, I go through an entire, entire dial tree on a corporate line. And I find out the person's no longer there.
I just spent six minutes on a dial tree to not even find the person for next time. Right. And so that's one example is, is you could be calling on bad data. And secondly, the reason I bought this company, PhoneReadyLeads was because you can also spend 93 of your 100 dials and get zero answers, which is wild.
And so that means that if you are operating at a. Even if you're crushing it and you're getting 10% conversions on the people you talk to, it's still going to take multiple days of a hundred calls per day to get a meeting out of it. And you better hope that you have a hundred percent show rate because if you have a 50% of show rate, then it's going to take multiple days of that to even get someone to show up.
Yeah. So there's a lot of inefficiency that happens with reps and data is a large cause of that. So we don't know who answers the phone or who does. And, and I think that the other part is like emails are the other part, you know, think about this too, but there's a lot of different things in this data space that people don't understand.
But when, when emails, when you send too many to the wrong types of emails or you have a high bounce rate or whatever it might be, like you're naturally going to hurt your deliverability, which means that if I go from a 40% open rate to a 20% open rate, you might think that's a subject line issue. It could be, but that subject line worked two weeks before, and now it's a 20% open rate instead of 40.
It's likely a deliverability issue, which means that your stuff isn't showing up in the inbox as often, and the reason being is you either broke some rules or you had bad data and you didn't play by the Google algorithm or the Outlook algorithm or whatever it might be. But all of that is a data cleanliness and data segmenting and data enrichment process.
A lot of my
[00:18:21] Corey: agency background has been, not exclusively, but a lot of it has been in servicing or targeting companies that are like local service businesses, like attorneys or dentists or home service businesses. It's getting better all the time. Some of the things that we struggled with or I've struggled with in my past is making mistakes like buying a list of.
Attorneys from these large list brokers getting a, literally a spreadsheet with 10, 000 rows.
[00:18:51] Joey: Yep. And, uh,
[00:18:54] Corey: exactly. And the other thing is when, because I was concerned about the quality, we started going through sort of top to bottom, what you realize is at least half of them is just bad data and there's no way of knowing.
Which half that is, who to follow up on, who to deploy out to sales and marketing and so on and so forth. So how do you think about that and what are some ways to mitigate that challenge that exists?
[00:19:17] Joey: I'll explain our process and I'm going to talk about how our process and how it's really unfair that I'm explaining our process because most people won't be able to do this process, but I'll explain it because the principles are there and then I'll say, here's what I would do if I didn't have, you know, 250 grand to spend on data like we do.
So our process is we do a lookalike audience type of approach to identify accounts first. So I want to make sure that I'm targeting the right accounts. And we use a tool called get rev. ai for that very expensive, incredibly expensive, but very, very valuable. If you have a very strong use case for it, like we do.
Nonetheless, we, we put in criteria for filmographic, psychographics. We do mapping just like you would a Facebook custom audience and ads. You can do that with URLs of B2B companies and find lookalikes because it scrapes all these sites and LinkedIn and all the things. And it basically creates a TAM map of like your one star, two star, three star, four, four and a half, five star lookalikes.
And you can basically build a strategy around those. So we start there. And we find lookalikes. We, we then export accounts that we want to target in the season. We then go to a manual team and that manual team then goes and finds personas and people. So we know that at this company, there's a key buyer and there's usually one to three people on the buying committee that we want to have access to.
So if I can't get up, if I can't get into the key buyer, I'm going to enter in through below them and then try to work my way up. So we're going to find one, two, four people per, per account. And we're going to build that. And I have an offshore team that we've done, but you can have, uh, Philippines, assistant, India, a lot of these folks.
There's a ton of sources out there that can go find people in lifetime. The rule is they have to be currently employed at that company and in that role, at least according to all public resources. So that way we're never calling somebody who left the company last month or whatever. Then from there, we have to go get the actual contact data for those people.
My offshore team is literally just finding their LinkedIn profiles or about pages where they're listed. And if they don't have that, then they will run that through a list, like an Apollo or a zoom info, et cetera. But once we have that, we then take it and we get the contact data for those people. So we know that these accounts are in our sweet spot.
These contacts are in the titles of the companies that are in a sweet spot. Now let's go find the actual data for these people. And we can use any, any type of tool. We use a waterfall approach where we have multiple sources pouring into one. And then finally we then send it to a company called RightBounds, which enriches the data and gets us really high quality cell phone numbers and things like that.
Then from there, we send it off to get segmented by phone ready leads, which I now own, but previous to that, I would send it off to them, they would segment that list and tell me these people we know for a fact answer the phone. These people we know for a fact are the right person, but don't answer the phone.
These These people right here, we don't know if this is the perfect number for this person, but we know they also don't answer the phone. And then this group over here needs attention. And then from there, you have strategy of what you do with those different segments. It's a lot. Yeah, it is a lot. Yep.
That's why we just do it for clients on our end. Cause it's just like, I'm not going to make you spend, you know, 150 grand on data. We have economies of scale, but what else, what can they
[00:22:42] Corey: do? Yeah. Well, I think it is a lot of infrastructure, a lot of costs, and if you're doing it upfront and you don't have a proven outbound program yet, it's gonna be very hard to get there.
So I think that's, that's a great value that you're creating for these companies, especially as they're getting these things going.
[00:22:59] Joey: But the minimum is I'd use Apollo. io, right? Like I think there's Zoom info, but you're going to get locked into a one or two year contract. You're going to spend minimum 15K, likely 25.
Apollo, you're going to spend, you know, 300 bucks a month for three seats minimum. And it's going to be 80% the quality and quantity, but it's also one, you know, 10th the cost. And so what that means is you just need to have a quality assurance layer on top of that. So speaking into here's the easier, lower cost version, get Apollo, do as good of a job as you can to identify like really in depth criteria for your prospects.
Export those. Don't take them at face value. Run those emails through NeverBounce and they'll validate the emails to make sure they are verified emails. Take out the ones who are not. For the phone numbers, that one's tough, right? It's really tough to, to, to get to the perfect phone number there, but at a bear, make sure that person is still at that company, the email is verified.
The LinkedIn profile is verified and then do your best with the phone numbers.
[00:24:04] Corey: Hey, it's Cory. Almost every day I talk with agency owners who are frustrated with getting their outbound program off the ground. The truth is too many agencies are too dependent on inbounds and referrals to grow their business.
We all know that it's getting harder and harder to generate inbounds and that it's just not a sustainable way to grow your business. I'd like to give you the 6 secrets for driving consistent ROI from your outbound. That I learned as Scorpions Chief Marketing Officer, where we doubled the business from 20 million to 40 million just by adding Outbound to an existing inbound only program.
It's a free 6 day email course that will transform your outbound from broken to consistently driving new sales opportunities. You could sign up and get the first secret right now by going to getoutboundroy. com. That's getoutboundroy. com. Now back to the show. How do GIFs play a role in Outbound?
[00:25:08] Joey: They play a huge role.
We call it left of deal and right of deal, right? So left of deal is all the things that lead up to a meeting. Right of deal are all the things from first time appointment through contract closed in one. And then obviously post deal is, is account management and so on retention. But left of deal is how do we get the meeting?
And so, you know, at the end of the day, this kind of goes back to the six layers. The second layer is strategy. So what is the strategy? What can I spend? Like, what is my actual cost to acquire a customer? I know you were at Scorpion. So you guys love gifting and you guys crush it with gifting or direct mail, if you will.
Lumpy mail, giftology. Yep. Great book called, um, by John Rowland called Giftology. If people haven't read that, you should. You got it right next to you. There you go. It's such a beautiful book. That's very simple process or a very simple concept that people don't buy into that they should, but you gotta really look at a couple of things is, is what's your cost to acquire a customer?
What are you willing to spend? Second is, are they reachable? Meaning are they work from home or they work from office? If they work from home, are they getting packages routed? You can call the front desk and find that out. I have a gift for Corey with his name on it. Do I send it here? Do I send it to a PO box?
What's the quickest path to get it to him? And they'll tell you. And so just do that homework before you send something, but nonetheless, get attention. Gifting is a huge approach, right? It might be a more expensive approach, but maybe not. I mean, it depends on the conversion depends on how solid the gifting strategy is.
Is it, is it? Is it a gift that's important to you, meaning it has your brand on it, your swag, whatever, or is it a gift that's important to them? That's an actual gift, right? And I think that's a massive, can I give you a cool, cause you and I both know him super well. I ran this campaign for Chris Dreyer years ago at Rankings.
io and he was trying to get into this attorney who is a massive personal injury firm in St. Louis. It's either Brown and Crouppen or Brown and Brown, but one of the big ones. And we wanted to get in, we couldn't get one of the managing partners attention through other means that were more maybe affordable, you know, we try to find the low hanging fruit.
Before we go spend hundreds of dollars. Well, we couldn't convert. So therefore we're like, all right, what's the approach. And so we ended up having our VA team, a bunch of assistants, basically crawl the internet and find what's important to John Brown or whatever his, his name was, I forget his name. And we found out that he collected vintage lunchboxes, like old peanuts, Snoopy, like whatever.
Right. I don't, I don't even know some of the old things he would collect, but he, there was a picture on Instagram or maybe it was a YouTube video or something where he was kind of like talking about it and showing pictures of it. So we're super proud of it. Obviously it's important to him. It's a little quirky, whatever, but it's cool to him.
And the team took a picture of the wall and we kind of just researched them, kind of figured out what he had and figure what he didn't have. And so we ended up bidding on, on eBay. We bidded on one that he didn't have, came to the lunchbox and a thermos. And so what we did was we packaged up the lunchbox into a box, FedEx, signed for, put a note inside the lunchbox that basically said, Hey.
I know you collect these, all your collection. Very cool. Didn't think you had this one. So I wanted to get it for you. Chris Dreyer, PS would love to grab lunch and all, you know, all caps. He obviously thought that was the coolest thing ever. Shot Chris an email back. I was like, dude, this is awesome. I'd love to get together, whatever.
And then we started coordinating. Well, we were smart and knew that we wanted to have something for a ransom. So we kept the thermos and he said, we knew, we knew that there was a chance that he's just such a busy, massive, massive personal injury attorney firm. Yeah. That it wasn't, you know, something we get lost in translation and we wouldn't be able to get that lunch on the calendar.
So sure enough, that happened. And what we ended up doing was sending him a picture in an email of the thermos and said, oops, forgot this. I'll bring it with me when we get together. By the way, when do you want to do that? Beautiful. Sure enough, Chris got into that deal. It was a massive deal.
Beautiful. So that is a left of deal gifting strategy. Right of deal would be what happens after that first time appointment. So. There's a lot of cool things that you can do. Would you
[00:29:16] Corey: ever send that as a, and maybe this is what Chris, you and Chris did, but would you ever send a gift as a first touch
[00:29:22] Joey: cold?
I think if we did enough account research and realize like, yeah, they're in our sweet spot for sure. They're in a, they're in a buying window, et cetera. Now here. Here's the good thing about sales is you can move things around where, however you see fit and you can play with cost per acquisition. If I know that I spend this much on phone, this much on email, this much on gifting and gifting is last, but gifting has a lot of conversions.
Well, what if I put gifting first? What does that do for my cost per acquisition? I don't know, but I got to come down to knowing your numbers and tracking it. So yes, I guess the answer would be yes. I actually did that a long, long, long time ago. It was the only touch point until, or I would do followups on it, but it was my very first and only like home run swing.
And we had these branded oak boxes for wine, like a wine box. And then we would put, we would put a wine bottle that had our logo as the label on it. Then we'd put a handwritten note in there and we'd go drop it off at these large manufacturing companies and we'd get a meeting out of like one out of every six.
So like the economics were huge because the deals were like 80 grand and each box cost me like 90 grand or 90. Yeah, 90 bucks. 90 bucks. So you can create a whole strategy around that if, if it makes sense.
[00:30:34] Corey: Before we transition over to the best damn agency mastermind, which I'm curious to hear more about any tips you could share with the audience about what's working in outbound right now?
[00:30:43] Joey: Yeah. So, and this isn't a plug for that company, but I bought them because I was a client first and it made a ton of sense. But Fondly Leads is really interesting. So you can send a list, the same way. Let's just say you and I would have pulled a thousand person list off Apollo or something. Normally I'm going to call, email, do social, maybe send a gift to all 1000 at some point, if they all get through an entire sequence or a cadence, I think the days of sequencing.
Are, are kind of past us. It's not working super well, but we have to do that because we don't know what channel someone's going to convert on. We don't know where they're reachable. Do they even answer phone? Do they check their email? All those types of things. So what phone ready leads does, you take that same list of a thousand, you send it to a phone ready leads.
They analyze the numbers a little bit and move some numbers around like phone numbers, they have like a predictive on which ones they think are the priority phone numbers. That then goes to an offshore team. That team will then run through that list and do passes on that list and on a phone, a cold call.
And so what that tells you is, is, and we know that statistically speaking, that people who answer the phone will answer the phone. Again, people who don't answer the phone after a certain amount of passes will likely never answer the phone. Or if they do, it's a very small 2% chance. And so what they will do is they will do all that hard work that would have spent took you days to get through that data weeks, sometimes never comes back to you and says, Hey, here's the group.
We know they answered the phone. Here's the group we know doesn't answer the phone and it's them. This is the group we know that doesn't answer the phone. And we're not sure if this is the best data or not for them. And this is needs attention. If we know they answer the phone and we know you have good messaging, you should answer, or you should call them on the phone.
Right. And only call them on the phone because we know they're reachable there. Now, can you do stuff after? Sure. But ultimately you want to run through five passes on the people we know answer the phone. The other ones who don't answer the phone, don't pick up the phone. And so what you do with those folks is you do email and you do social and things of that nature.
A little hack is take that list of email and social folks, upload it into sales navigator, filter that list by who has posted their content in the past 30 or 90 days. And now just work LinkedIn for the folks who, you know, are active on LinkedIn, engage with their content, you know, reference it, et cetera.
And then the folks who are not active, then just start on email there and do more account based email. So that'd be my strategy. Send a list off, get the segment back. Phone segment, just call, non answering segment, do email and social. And then my preference with email, if you want the highest conversions is personalize the subject line, personalize the first line.
And when I say personalize, I don't mean like first name, company name, so on. I mean, I might say to you, Scorpion, Giftology, and Dryer, right? Cause I know that, you know, Dryer, you worked at Scorpion, you read Giftology. Like what's something that only I, if I did research could find out. And it, it creates a 90% open rate.
And then your first line said, you know, something along the lines of, Hey, Corey, it's all, you know, Chris Dreyer worked at Scorpion and you've read Giftology, you're my kind of people. Anyways, to turn the corner, boom, then you can have a scripted pitch.
[00:33:57] Corey: Can you, that's awesome. Can you share the name again of that, of that resource?
Can you spell
[00:34:02] Joey: it?
[00:34:07] Corey: Perfect. We'll also include that in the show notes. Awesome. Tell us about the Best Damn Agency Mastermind. When did that begin? What was the inspiration
[00:34:16] Joey: behind that? Yeah, we are in our third year. We passed over the two year mark in, I believe it was May. We run it for, We've not lost hardly anybody.
I never saw myself as a mastermind owner. Never wanted to be. I felt like my time and money was well spent in higher leverage things. I've built a brand in the agency space. We have a podcast that's really well, or that we, that's, that does really well. We've got 28, 000 agency owner lists or something like that.
Now people have opted into stuff over the years. We've got a bunch of stuff. And so I've had people over the years asked me. To like create some group or what do they use mastermind or peer group or some other name for it? They kind of ask for like, Hey, someone who like really knows growth for agencies would be cool to have like a mastermind.
And so I was always like, no, just pay more money and other things I'm doing. Not really a thing. Well, over time, when I got more money, when I had an exit, when I, when I figured out more of streamlining my main company and I had a little bit more time and Like I developed a lot of relationships with guys in the group or guys in the space specifically.
And, and me personally, I may, and I hope women or men who get offended at this kind of stuff, don't get offended. But I am very passionate about, about growing male leadership. I think that a lot of problems in the world. Can be brought back to men not doing what they should be doing as leaders. And so whether that people believe in that ideology or not doesn't really matter, but it's kind of part of the story is I could go elsewhere and go build a men's group right in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I live or anywhere else, but I'm very influential in a space where there's a lot of men.
And there's a lot of men who are being very successful, but they're not necessarily being successful in all facets of life necessarily. So I told myself, I said, Hey, if I'm going to start a mastermind, it has to be with zero monetary influence involved. Like I just, if I'm going to do it, it's got to be for something more than money.
And so when I started the mastermind, the whole goal was I wanted to help men multiply. I want them to, yes, multiply the business, multiply their revenue, multiply their take home and their income, but also multiply their wealth outside of the business. Multiply who they are as a husband, multiply who they are as a father, as a community member, as a leader.
And so I started the mastermind. It was, I don't have a curriculum. My entire job is to be as intelligent as I can get the coolest, smartest vetted agency owners doing between 2 million and 20 million, 25 million. In the same room together where they can kind of sharpen each other and then bring in bad ass guests that know their stuff on very specific niche topics.
And then let's have long form retreats a couple of times a year where we get in the room and we lock ourselves in a, a big mansion on the cliff side of Lake Tahoe, or we're going to Palm Springs in November and doing a big event there. I've got like a 90 million in revenue agency guy coming to speak.
I've got Tiger Woods, mental mindset coach coming. And I've got like a holistic integrative medicine guy who talks to like entrepreneurs on how to peak performance, their body. And we come into the room and we just sharpen each other. We solve each other's problems and that kind of stuff. And so, yeah, I charge a lot to be in the group because I believe in, uh, what you invest in, you, you invest time into, I purposely lose money on every retreat.
You know, I spend six figures for four days together every time we do it twice a year. And the whole premise was I want guys to come in and become better men, not just better agency owners when they come be a part of this group. Is the group
[00:37:50] Corey: open in terms of receiving more people who fit within this sort of 2 to 25 million
[00:37:55] Joey: space?
Yeah, we don't market. We don't sell, you know, we're capping it probably at about 45 members. And we currently have 35 and we're, we're in no hurry to get there. That's kind of the benefit of not making financial decisions. And so we're just looking for the right people to come. We don't lose people hardly ever.
And so when we do, it's usually for a unforeseen event or something unfortunate happens or business changes. But at the end of the day, we're yeah. If there's someone who's fits that criteria, you're. Two to 20 million, run an agency. I'm bullish on female leadership too. I'm just not equipped to help as much as men.
Maybe my wife could, but you're a male and you have a desire to build the business, but also build your life. Then I think it'd be a great fit. Bestdayofmastermind. com. Beautiful.
[00:38:42] Corey: And we'll make sure to include that in the show notes. You mentioned people don't typically leave, except for extenuating circumstances, generally speaking.
What is the transformation that people who are part of this mastermind get? Like, why are they staying?
[00:38:56] Joey: A lot of people come for like, initially, the group started because of me, right? Like, it was like, Joey's brand, he knows sales, I'm gonna get next to guys. Like, I'm not gonna spend 194, 000 with Joey's company, but I'll spend 30, 000.
To be around that kind of person who can help him with sales. So they might, they might've come for that reason. They might've come because I've got a really deep network and I invite really cool people. Like a lot of names, people would know to come be speakers. Um, you think they might come for that and stay for that, but they don't stay because of me.
They don't stay because of the speakers. They stay because of the community. There's a lot of loneliness, uh, the top, if you will. And it's a grind to run an agency. It's a grind to just be a human being sometimes. And so. There's the intangible, non quantifiable impact of building a community of people that you trust and that trust you and you can be vulnerable with, and you can share your biggest problems, both in business and in your personal life.
And, you know, like last month, like to not get too deep into the topic, we had an entire 90 minute session with a marriage coach who talked about how do you. Create a much better marriage. How do you, you know, not to get too in the weeds, but how do you have a better sex life and your marriage and all the kinds of things that like most masterminds are probably not going to talk about, but I am, I'm not afraid to.
And so, because I don't make money decisions, I'm okay if that makes someone uncomfortable, but it's the conversations that you're probably not having anywhere else. And so someone's got to have those or else you're not going to know. Yeah. So people have better marriages because of it. People have better businesses because of it.
People develop strategic partnerships. Acquisitions have happened. People have sold their company for two, three times what they were worth when they came into the mastermind, because we brought in an emergent acquisition guy, brought an evaluation company, like a lot of those things that kind of helped that process.
And so. I think there's a lot of ways, you know, it's kind of what do you want to get out of it. I do find that the people that invest the most in the relationships get the most out of the group.
[00:40:52] Corey: Great. Well, that tees me up for my final question for you. What's your motivation?
[00:40:57] Joey: Oh man. It's really, I was, I was just, uh, I live on a 70 acre ranch and every night I sit out for about an hour and I just look, there's a vista kind of that overlooks a lower pasture.
That's just beautiful. I live in East Tennessee, so it's gorgeous here. And I invited one of my buddies who's also an entrepreneur in town. And we sat out and we smoked a cigar and drank a little Añejo tequila. It's my go to nowadays. And uh, is it? Oh man, I'm an Añejo fiend. Yeah, it's so good. And we were sitting out and we just start talking about life and impact and greatness.
And like, it's just all these topics that most dudes just don't talk about. So I'm not afraid to go there. But I think for me, You know, there's, there's legacy, which I don't love legacy in the way that people typically describe it. Like I actually don't care if people know my name after I'm gone, necessarily.
What I care about from a legacy perspective is that. Whatever I instilled in people and I rubbed off on people that that carries on like a legacy. I don't care if I get the attribution, you know, you marketers in the room, like, I don't care about the attribution, you know, coming back to Joey Gilkey necessarily, because I probably got it from someone else who got it from somebody else.
But I want to kind of pass the torch in terms of, of that. And so for me, it's my, my son soon to be sons. I'm having another one here in about a month. Um, oh, congratulations. Uh, thank you. It's, it's my family. It's my friends, it's my mastermind members. For me, I don't care to leave a name so much as a positive impact on people, and specifically, I'm passionate about men, so I wanna see male leaders be raised up and take up the charge of leading and, and, and ownership.
And so my purpose, I think, is that I wanna pursue excellence. I wanna pursue greatness. I want that to rub off from the people around me that I'm a steward of from a relational perspective. And ultimately, I want to be able to sit on my deathbed if I have that opportunity, you know, late into my, my year, hopefully it's late.
All my deathbed, if I had the opportunity to kind of sit back and reflect on it, and it's not taken from me, like instantly, I would love to look back and just say, you know, categorically I left it on the field. I left on the field as a dad, as a husband, as a friend, hopefully as a grandfather, as a business owner, as a wealth creator, as a community servant, as a church member, like whatever, whatever my categories are, I want to say that I left it on the field and that I don't have regrets, you know, am I going to be perfect in all of them?
Absolutely not. But I want to make sure I don't have regrets when it comes to things that I could have controlled. Which is my effort and my
[00:43:25] Corey: intentionality. I love that. No, I love that. That's beautiful. If someone wants to reach out to you and connect with you, what's a good way for them to do that?
[00:43:34] Joey: I would say LinkedIn, but I like, I've had some viral stuff go off lately and it's getting lost.
So connect me on LinkedIn for sure. And then try to mess with me. If I don't respond, then email my assistant, Nick, at apexrevenue.com being very careful. [email protected] because it might also get buried in my inbox that way. So that would be, that'd be one. And if you want to check out the company apexrevenue.com, we just did a total rebrands and the site is, I'm a little biased, but I think it's the best site of all time, just saying,
[00:44:04] Corey: go check it out. All right. Joey, thank you so much for coming on. This has been fantastic. A wealth of knowledge. Thank you for being so open and sharing all of your wisdom. Sure.
[00:44:14] Joey: again, man. Yeah, brother. Thank you for having me. All
[00:44:16] Corey: right, folks, that's it for today. I'm Corey Quinn, and I hope you join me again next time for the Vertical Go-To Market Podcast. If you receive value from the show, I would love a five star rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks, and we'll see you soon.