VGTM_Dan Englander_Full Audio Interview_Edited_V1
[00:00:00] Corey Quinn: 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 author and CEO, Dan Englander.
[00:00:21] Corey Quinn: Welcome, Dan. Corey, thanks for having me. It's always good to talk to a fellow banana slug.
[00:00:28] Dan Englander: That's right. Yeah, I [00:00:30] forgot we were both slugs. Uh, it feels like so long. What college were you at? I was in college eight. Okay. That must've been, yeah, that was, I was at Merrill, which means I had to walk up that
[00:00:40] Corey Quinn: giant hill every day.
[00:00:41] Corey Quinn: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah. College A, it's not a very colorful name. It's very, I think it's a functional name. I think it was the eighth college at UC Santa Cruz, but, uh, uh, always great to talk to a fellow slug. Could you introduce yourself to the listening audience to share a little bit about who you are and the work
[00:00:57] Dan Englander: you do?
[00:00:58] Dan Englander: Sure. So again, uh, Dan [00:01:00] Englander, I'm CEO and founder of a company called Saleschema. We help marketing agencies and other B2B service companies basically build predictable pipeline through tasteful and targeted outreach. So a lot of the times we're working with agencies that have built themselves up on referrals.
[00:01:15] Dan Englander: It's reactive. It really doesn't get them to where they need to go. It'll get them from zero to one, but not from one to N a lot of the times. And then. From there, a lot of the other solutions are kind of built on spammy tactics, mass marketing, mass [00:01:30] sales, when the fact is for most agencies, just winning any client isn't, isn't good.
[00:01:34] Dan Englander: They want to win specific clients. A handful of great clients is a complete sea change better than dozens of bad ones. And also reputations and, and all the, all that stuff being authentic, being tasteful. Matters a lot more than just simply doing anything you possibly can to get meetings in business. So that's what our team specializes in.
[00:01:54] Dan Englander: Historically, we've done that for clients. Now we're developing a model where we teach them how to fish and do this [00:02:00] alongside them. And that's what we're focusing on. Yeah. Awesome.
[00:02:02] Corey Quinn: We're kindred spirits in the, in the respect of wanting the right client, not any client. So I think that's, that's right on from my perspective.
[00:02:10] Corey Quinn: What could you share about the sort of your business sales schema, like the number of employees or clients or revenue, anything you can share just for context?
[00:02:19] Dan Englander: Yeah. So we're, we're basically a boutique consultancy, we're like a nice lean team of five or so full time. And we've got a. a pool of probably like 15 or 20 for you answers we, we draw from and [00:02:30] work with in different capacities, you know, hovering around that seven figure level basically been around since 2014, worked with, with hundreds of agencies and B2B service companies at this point, and I've learned a whole lot through the process, which I can talk about.
[00:02:44] Corey Quinn: Sure. Absolutely. And one of the things I, I, I can. I recognize that just in your book that I'm really excited to dive into, which talks about your sort of your approach and a lot of the case studies. So when we introduced that book, you wrote a book called Relationship [00:03:00] Sales at Scale. What is Relationship Sales at Scale?
[00:03:02] Corey Quinn: What's the book about and what's the, what's the promise to the reader? Yeah,
[00:03:06] Dan Englander: I'll hopefully do it in a concise way. We'll see how long I drone on about it, but, but basically what I kind of noticed was like throughout my whole career in sales and then like running a company, there was a way that most people sort of did things on their own, especially like veteran agency owners that have gotten good at it and done it for a long time.
[00:03:26] Dan Englander: And the way that they would like reach out to people in the way that I would, and the [00:03:30] sort of like, it almost felt like trade crafts in a way, or it's just like, The way that we all communicate with each other in this B2B world is like different than the way that everybody says that you have to communicate, right?
[00:03:41] Dan Englander: So it was a lot of the times it's like casual, it's based on on trust, on doing things that inherently build trust. Whether or not, you know, that's conscious or subconscious. And I just noticed that like almost nobody was teaching it that way. Everybody was saying like, you've got to set up this funnel and it should include [00:04:00] 10 touch points and these pieces of software, it should tie back to this content and all that sort of thing.
[00:04:05] Dan Englander: And I just felt like in terms of. Making targeted outreach, like making outbound work. The things that we saw at work were completely different than the way everybody was teaching it. And to give like, you know, a poignant example of what kind of planted the seed for the, for the book. A couple of years ago, we were working with an agency specialized on like blue chip tech companies based in Silicon Valley.
[00:04:24] Dan Englander: They had all the experience in the world. They had all the bonafides, they had all the con, they had all the content, they had all the [00:04:30] things, and we were running the classic cold outreach campaigns for them that most companies would run. LinkedIn, email, phone, this five touch points go from one piece of content to the other, people you don't know.
[00:04:44] Dan Englander: And nothing was working, you know, it was basically crickets. We knew we were going to lose the client. And then we developed a campaign where we did a little bit more data mining. And we found You know, a situated, we basically built a campaign where we found people that used to be at one company that they had worked with and making it up.
[00:04:58] Dan Englander: Let's say it was like IBM [00:05:00] and then they went on to another company. Let's say it was HP and we send a three line email that was like, saw you used to work at IBM. We've done tons of work with them over the years. Hope they're all as well at HP. We should probably talk. We're doing some work in your space right now.
[00:05:12] Dan Englander: And that got dozens of meetings, you know, closed business. They went on to get acquired. not just because of us, but hopefully we helped and so on. So that kind of planted the seed. And then we kind of kept developing the process from there. And what we realized is that at the top of the funnel, everybody thinks that [00:05:30] they have to be special and differentiate and use bells and whistles and all these sorts of things.
[00:05:35] Dan Englander: And That does matter. All the stuff, all the great sales practices and content and all these things matter, but further down the funnel and our whole observation is that the top of the funnel, the main thing we're up against is lack of trust. Right. So then the question becomes, how do you build trust and how do you do it at enough scale?
[00:05:53] Dan Englander: So that you're getting consistent meetings without working 50 hour weeks and so on. Right. So [00:06:00] that's sort of how we developed the process and then that's what inspired the book and all the tactics we talked about. I talked about it basically.
[00:06:06] Corey Quinn: Sure. So a couple of foundational questions. So I've been in the agency space for 15 plus years and two out of the three agencies were very very much founder led when it came to generating new business.
[00:06:19] Corey Quinn: So one founder of the agency was a Harvard Business School graduate. He got an MBA from Harvard Business School and they have a great network. And as a result of that network, [00:06:30] he was able to get leads and opportunities from CEOs and CMOs from brand name companies like Lululemon and Remax and so on and so forth, which, you know, I helped close and whatnot.
[00:06:42] Corey Quinn: And then The other agency I was working at was founded by the X-C-M-C-E-O of MySpace. You know, the old school, you know, social network that, that MySpace, right? And so he also had this fantastic social network and professional network, I should say, that allowed him [00:07:00] to really work the network. He was very charismatic and whatnot, and that helped us to grow, kind of grow the business was through that.
[00:07:06] Corey Quinn: Does this concept of relationship sales at scale, does it, does it. Does it extend beyond the founder? Can it, can it extend to, you know, other parts of the company like the sales team? Like how, how would a sales team who's not a charismatic founder, ex CEO of MySpace run this play? Yeah,
[00:07:24] Dan Englander: it's, it's a great question.
[00:07:25] Dan Englander: And the short answer is yes. And that's, that's what we do for a lot of our clients and show our clients [00:07:30] how to do. And I think a lot of it is just sort of recognizing that everybody's trying to over automate. Or use personalization that isn't that compelling. And with AI, there's this arms race of like, Hey, Corey, I'm going to look at all this information about you and regurgitate it back to you.
[00:07:45] Dan Englander: And then hopefully that lands me the meeting. Right. But just thinking about the bar being so low. So for example, if, even if you are a salesperson and you don't, and you're young and you don't have a huge network yet, well, you know, is there somebody else in the company whose network you [00:08:00] can reference and then you could say, Hey.
[00:08:02] Dan Englander: I saw that you're connected to so and so on our team. That's really cool. You know, we do a lot of work in your vertical specifically. I just wrapped up, we just wrapped up this project. I have an idea for you. That's probably going to result in a higher conversion rate than almost anything else that you can do.
[00:08:16] Dan Englander: Whenever I come up with copy and I start spouting out ideas, it's usually half baked. But at the same time, People will say things like, I would never respond to that or whatever. And I think there's just, it helps to kind of take a beat and remember [00:08:30] it's sort of like saying, I see ads all the time and I don't buy the product.
[00:08:34] Dan Englander: So advertising doesn't work. Right. It's like, the fact is we're going for a higher conversion rate than the norm, which is the, the cold outreach play and the bar being very low. Right. So there's plenty of other tactics you can do, but I think the main thing to keep in mind is that. you know, most of our clients, especially in the agency space, like the total addressable market isn't massive.
[00:08:56] Dan Englander: The numbers, the, the volume of outreach you need to do to be [00:09:00] successful isn't that big. So once you're already working with smaller numbers, then that gives you the opportunity to identify those people that are going to be more likely to talk to you based on something you have in common. So it doesn't have to be a CEO doing the outreach.
[00:09:13] Dan Englander: It could be a lot of different people in the organization.
[00:09:15] Corey Quinn: What I like is that it takes the asset, let's say, of the collective relationships in the agency as an afterthought and really brings it to the forefront of the strategy and you start there and you build your sort of [00:09:30] your approach based on what exists in the in the network.
[00:09:33] Corey Quinn: Is that fair to say? Yeah, I think
[00:09:35] Dan Englander: that's a huge part of it, but I think a lot of times people get too hung up on the exact tactic, right? Because they're like, well, I don't connect with people on LinkedIn, so my network's small, so I can't do that, or I didn't go to Harvard, so I can't do that. A lot of it is actually just looking at walking the walk and talking the talk, which is a copywriting principle that we came up with, which is that even if you are, even if you do have to go in cold, even if you don't [00:10:00] want to do the commonality thing, a lot of the times...
[00:10:03] Dan Englander: agencies will have like tons of experience in a particular vertical, but they're just not talking about it in a way that is believable, right? That is, uh, that's plausible. And some of the, sometimes this comes through terms of art. Sometimes it comes through Writing an email in a way that looks too salesy or too, too much like marketing copy.
[00:10:25] Dan Englander: But for example, like we have a client right now that's selling into [00:10:30] B2B cybersecurity and has to refer it as like, you know, referring to specific clients in a certain way or using a particular term of art that only somebody in that space would use. But it takes knowing your market well enough and then having enough attention to detail with that list building so that you're making a list of people that where you actually have that right to win basically.
[00:10:51] Dan Englander: And that's a huge part of this as well.
[00:10:53] Corey Quinn: Yeah. Let's talk a little bit more about list building. What are some best practices for building a list? Yeah, that's
[00:10:59] Dan Englander: a great question. I mean, I [00:11:00] think the first one is being, getting a lot of clarity, or if you don't have clarity, then use the process itself to find it, right?
[00:11:08] Dan Englander: So, I think, I think like less is more. Usually we see agencies going too broad as opposed to too specific with their lists. Beyond that, to get more tactical, So, account base is the way to go, you know, so you're building your ICPs out, ICPs as they apply on an account level. So tech companies is not good enough.
[00:11:29] Dan Englander: You're looking at B2B cybersecurity [00:11:30] between 10 and 20 million in revenue, right, in the US and Canada. That, that's a good ICP. From there, building that list of specific accounts, getting it 99, 100 percent good, using that account list to then inform the list of people that you want to target. And then that produces, you know, a massive, not a massive, but it produces a cohort of prospects.
[00:11:53] Dan Englander: And that's kind of the next step of building the house. And then from there, looking at commonalities, right? And [00:12:00] that's where we're getting tactical. It's not a one size fits all, but we may find it could be something very simple where it's like, you could talk, you know, contact any CMO at these companies, or you could contact the CMOs that are in your backyard or that are in.
[00:12:15] Dan Englander: A place where you have a trade show in three months or that live next to your partner, your business partner, or that, you know, went to the same college. Maybe, although that's a little bit played out, there's, there's a million, there's a million ways to think about it. Unless you went to UC [00:12:30] Santa Cruz,
[00:12:35] Dan Englander: which you can't ignore that every college is Santa
[00:12:36] Corey Quinn: Cruz. Yeah. Yeah. So what. What are some examples of tried and true commonalities besides college that are worth kind of looking for in this, in this process? Yeah. I mean, I
[00:12:49] Dan Englander: think the first one is really just getting clear on a specific niche, like, like a really tight ICP can get you a long way, even if you don't do any other [00:13:00] commonalities on top of it.
[00:13:01] Dan Englander: We always like to find a commonality when we can, but sometimes it might be harder. Sometimes it might bring the. The data down too much, right? So to back up a little bit, I think a lot of the times people are thinking about over automating and getting the numbers too massive, and then it becomes unwieldy and something breaks or you end up spamming people and then your messages don't go get delivered.
[00:13:21] Dan Englander: correctly. So what we say is aim for approximately 300 new people contacted per week because if you do that then you're [00:13:30] contacting whatever 50 ish a day and then you can really figure out campaigns that are well targeted. But to answer your question in terms of commonalities I think a really good starting place is actually geography, is actually location.
[00:13:42] Dan Englander: It sounds a little bit old school and it sounds a little bit goofy but there's just something about it that resonates with people, right? So it could be people in your backyard. It could be a place where you have client meetings. It could be where somebody else is based in your company. It could be a place where you grew up.
[00:13:57] Dan Englander: The list kind of goes on, but that, that [00:14:00] ends up, you know, being, being pretty effective, but it also just depends on, on your vertical and what else you're doing in your situation. You know, like a lot of the times events can be another way to think about this. It could mean looking at. A particular client that you've worked with and have recently wrapped up work with, and you can hopefully talk about it and then looking at competitors and similar companies, but when, once you're drilling down to that level, now you're writing an email where it's super compelling because most people.
[00:14:29] Dan Englander: Aren't [00:14:30] willing to do that work. Most people want to automate. They want to click a few buttons and then be done with it. What we're suggesting isn't necessarily more work, but you're just putting the work at a different place in the process because what most people are doing is they're backloading work, right?
[00:14:44] Dan Englander: So they're saying, I'm going to go buy this list or, or like, you know, spend five seconds thinking about this and then running it through. A few different sequences as opposed to front loading it and figuring out, okay, I've really looked at these people. I've really looked at these companies. Like [00:15:00] this message matches this market perfectly.
[00:15:02] Dan Englander: And they also share this commonality with me and then front loading that part of the work. But then you're not necessarily like. AB testing follow up messages 100 times, then you're not necessarily chasing them down or having somebody dialing for dollars, hitting them up 100 times to scrape up a meeting.
[00:15:19] Dan Englander: Because what we see with that classic sales process is like yes, if somebody wants to talk, be persistent. Like don't, you know, be slow to get back to them. Or if they get busy or [00:15:30] Flake, like, yeah, follow up with them once they've shown interest. But when you put the persistence and all that sort of like chasing at the beginning, you're actually getting diminishing returns because A, like, you're just yelling at a brick wall a lot of the times.
[00:15:44] Dan Englander: But also, you're gonna get, you're gonna annoy people. You could hurt your reputation or they might hit the spam button and then your total addressable market's limited,
[00:15:57] Dan Englander: It's really more about more personalization and more of that [00:16:00] work at the beginning as opposed to backloading it. So anyway, I might have lost you. Yeah,
[00:16:03] Corey Quinn: no, no, I love how simply you've articulated that problem, which I too come from the camp of less is more. And to really not, uh, really to take a list and spend, you cover this in the book, but spend a lot of time on the front end.
[00:16:20] Corey Quinn: Really finding the high quality prospects that clearly have a problem that you can solve and that can afford your services, maybe your premium [00:16:30] services as a primary area to focus on the outreach. And then it sounds like you layer on the commonalities once you get to that point, which I think is really smart.
[00:16:39] Dan Englander: Yeah. Yeah. That's what we found to work really well. And I think that it's just, it's just a smaller touch that most people aren't doing. Most, most people won't. And it creates an effect where like, look, you know, we're still being realistic here. Like most of the people we reach out to are not going to be ready to talk.
[00:16:54] Dan Englander: We're looking for a percentage of them that are, but there's a qualitative element that I think it's lost. [00:17:00] Roy Sutherland talks a whole lot about how I love his work where it's like. A lot of the times we optimize for the, for a metric at the expense of everything else, right? So people will, will look at open rates, uh, click, you know, reply rate, meeting rate, but then they're not taking into, into effect the, everybody that is getting annoyed or else hitting the spam button.
[00:17:22] Dan Englander: And you never see that metric because it's, it's. It's a black box of people. It's invisible. And what happened, but the way it plays out, and we hear this all the time [00:17:30] from people is we hired a leisure company, they got us nothing. Or we tried to do this ourselves. It used to work. It stopped working. We have no idea why.
[00:17:35] Dan Englander: It's like, I know why when the open rate goes from, from 50 percent to 40 to 20 to 10, it's because everything's going to span. Right. So our whole thing is the consistency is bigger than everything else. Like if you can just keep it up and Not be offending people that even when people aren't ready to talk, they're at least not mad at you.
[00:17:55] Dan Englander: You know, we get, we see this all the time, we get data on this, and the replies are like, thanks so much for reaching [00:18:00] out. Really appreciate it. You know, can't talk right now, et cetera. So it does, it does show itself. Yeah. Hey,
[00:18:05] Corey Quinn: it's Corey. Almost every day I talk with agency owners who are frustrated with getting their outbound program off the ground.
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[00:18:53] Corey Quinn: You could sign up and get the first secret right now by going to get outbound roi.com. [00:19:00] That's get outbound roi.com. Now, back to the show. That is definitely, I definitely agree with that philosophy and approach. And, oh, the thought I had, which I think is related, is that if you are an agency that has committed themselves to a vertical market as their primary focus, To your point, it is a relatively small pool of businesses, ultimately, that you're going to be targeting, wanting to build relationships with, and if [00:19:30] you create a negative perception of your brand that, hey, you're just a, you know, you're a volume shop, and you're doing a bunch of sort of spammy activities, or what could be perceived as spammy activities, is going to work against you as you try to, you know, build your reputation in, in that market.
[00:19:46] Corey Quinn: Yeah.
[00:19:47] Dan Englander: And like most things in life, it's a fine line. You know, the book I write about this and call it the Goldilocks zone or Goldilocks gang, where we don't want to over automate and offend people and be spammy. At the same time, you can't be [00:20:00] afraid to contact your market. And you also have to realize that, you know, like you need to keep up with a certain, a certain volume level.
[00:20:08] Dan Englander: And that If you, if you try to get it perfect, then nothing's going to happen at all. And you know, you could write these really custom love letters and stuff, but then you're going to get busy and they're going to fall off. So it's a fine line. And for us, you know, the numbers can vary. 300 is not a golden number, but that tends to be the approximate amount where we're contacting around that
[00:20:29] Corey Quinn: week.
[00:20:29] Corey Quinn: And how [00:20:30] big is the total market? Like what is there a, is there a number that you like to get? above or below when it comes to like the total number of businesses or contacts you're looking for in this outreach?
[00:20:41] Dan Englander: Yeah, that's kind of hard to say. It just really varies depending on our clients total addressable markets, but to hopefully be helpful Usually look our our clients are not necessarily niched to one industry that that's nice when it happens But usually there's like a handful [00:21:00] And some of them don't, don't want to be niche to one industry, which is fine.
[00:21:02] Dan Englander: Maybe they niche more on specialization or whatever it is. But what we always say is that, look, like you might not be, you might be industry agnostic, but the people receiving your message are, what's the first thing that they're going to say? What have you done for telecom? What have you done for manufacturing?
[00:21:18] Dan Englander: Right? So we still have to work within that constraint because that's how they're going to be thinking of themselves. And with that in mind. Let's, let's go for three. If we do more than three, it's going to be more, it's going to be [00:21:30] confusing. And if we do, you know, fewer than three, maybe you're not ready to niche that much yet.
[00:21:34] Dan Englander: So usually we're going for like three ICPs, account based ICPs at once, if that makes sense. Yep. Yeah. And then a lot of the times we're not going for, sorry, I mean, because I was going to say we're not going for hundreds of meetings a week. We're going for like a meeting a day. This is kind of the target, you know, good, sometimes we might have to get through a few more than that to get to the good ones.
[00:21:52] Dan Englander: But like our, our clients are usually happy with about that and, uh, our whole, the napkin math is like, look, if you can get [00:22:00] a 10 percent close rate, you can work your way up to doing that on outbounds. That means you're talking to 10 people, you're closing one of them, then you're potentially closing a deal every couple of weeks.
[00:22:09] Dan Englander: If that's what you want, you know, we can't, we don't promise that, you know, we, we work at the meeting level, but that's. That's definitely something we see, yeah. What
[00:22:19] Corey Quinn: are some best practices for leveraging, let's say, your first degree connections on LinkedIn to empower them, let's say, to help you to get to the contact you're trying to get [00:22:30] to, like, what's the best way to do that?
[00:22:32] Dan Englander: Yeah, that's such a great question, because like, most people, including myself at some point, have done this the complete wrong way, but like, almost everybody does this, right? The worst thing is when you go and you say, hey, do you know anybody, and so on, and then you get better, and you're like... Hey, do you know anybody that's in this sort of company between X and Y that has this problem?
[00:22:51] Dan Englander: That's great, but it's still hard for that person to help you because they have, they're busy. They, they have to understand exactly what you do, which is usually [00:23:00] complex. They have to find the right person. They have to feel comfortable introducing all these stars have to align. So I think, you know, the way we've been able to help clients and the way we see our better clients handling this is it's all about.
[00:23:11] Dan Englander: As much specificity as possible. So if you're on this networking meeting, all the resources are there in front of you, like at your fingertips to go and say, Hey, Corey knows these five people or might know these five people that I'm hoping to reach. And then you could be able to say, Hey. Corey, [00:23:30] like, can I run some names by you?
[00:23:31] Dan Englander: And like, you know, can I help you in any way as well? Do you actually know these people? You know, are these intros you'd feel comfortable with? Great, you can help me out. I'm gonna follow up with you and send you a template that you can use to make this super easy to connect, to connect me, right? So it's that kind of thing that I think gives our clients a lot of leverage.
[00:23:48] Dan Englander: This can get much fancier. There's stuff we do that's proprietary that involves ranking your first degree, you know, prospects so that you can say, hey, This person knows 50 people I want to [00:24:00] reach and then you can reach out to them and like there's ways to systematize this, but even if you do it just that alone, you're already like miles ahead of everybody else.
[00:24:09] Dan Englander: Let's
[00:24:09] Corey Quinn: say you're, uh, you mentioned you're, you're helping your clients with a done with you type of approach. Is the, is the expectation that they're going to basically build this capability in house, this relationship sales at scale capability in house? Is that the vision? with your clients?
[00:24:26] Dan Englander: It is. And it's a lot of the times it's not just, you know, [00:24:30] so the owner can, can network better or use their network because that, that to me is medium to long term kind of fragile, right?
[00:24:37] Dan Englander: Cause if they ever want to sell the agency, you know, that's going to, you're going to have to have a system for teeing a business that goes beyond just that network. But I think as a philosophy and as a process relationship, sales and scale, you know, scales to the team, right? Cause that, that it's not just your Rolodex.
[00:24:53] Dan Englander: It's also looking at The commonalities that you the individuals have with prospects that you have [00:25:00] with the specific companies that you want to reach, or even on an account basis, kind of how you're doing that, you know, how are you doing outbound well, and so on. So that's, that's how we're thinking about it
[00:25:09] Corey Quinn: anyway.
[00:25:09] Corey Quinn: Are there other metrics that a sales manager or a leader could be, you know, Using to ensure that they're, you know, practicing a relationship at scale, a relationship sales at scale approach.
[00:25:23] Dan Englander: Yeah, I mean, I think, I think the biggest thing is being able to budget just the [00:25:30] time to the systemization of it and the time for doing outreach and putting in that sort of activity with the knowledge that focusing on it's going to give you more leverage than a lot of other things you could be doing.
[00:25:41] Dan Englander: So that's the first thing I think as far as. It's hard to measure like the value of just networking because there's a lot of ancillary benefits to it as well. It's not just for new business, but I think that if you have, if you're hiring a salesperson, you want to empower [00:26:00] that person, right. And you want to kind of give them, give them leverage.
[00:26:04] Dan Englander: And so part of that is being able, is for them to be able to say like, okay, you know, if I, if, if I, if I want to break into telecom. Why don't I have the process for identifying who in the company knows people that know a lot of people that we want to do business with and then being able to do outreach to get introduced in a tasteful way, you know, so I think that's one way to measure it.
[00:26:26] Dan Englander: Obviously, the other, the other classic sales metrics from there, you know, [00:26:30] opportunity value and so on. Yeah,
[00:26:32] Corey Quinn: that's awesome. How do you see just, you know, having been in the sort of the sales space now for as long as you have, and what are your, what is your perspective on AI, generative AI? How is sort of these type of technologies in the near term, because who knows about the long term, but in the near term, how do you see these impacting sort of sales organizations and that function overall?
[00:26:56] Corey Quinn: Yeah,
[00:26:57] Dan Englander: I'm keeping an eye on it. And I'm still completely [00:27:00] open minded to it, but I'm not impressed yet, to be honest. I'm just not. And I think that everybody's like, and I feel like awkward saying that because there's a lot of pressure to, to get with the program and to pretend and to sell AI because it's the new thing.
[00:27:13] Dan Englander: But I think that it's going to make what's already scarce, even more valuable, right? The thing that you have in common. I mean, it's not just a commonality, but the, the thing that I think it's going to make trust even more important. And I [00:27:30] think that it's going to create a lot more noise, which is going to make that which is scarce, even scarcer.
[00:27:35] Dan Englander: Right. So, so, you know, we haven't even seen it. We're just getting started for how weird things are going to get. Right. Because it's like. There's already deepfake technology, there's already stuff that can mimic this, that, and the third about you. People are going to get more, we're already skeptical of things and people we don't know reaching out to us.
[00:27:54] Dan Englander: But, you know, email and outreach is predicated on, and all this stuff [00:28:00] works, like we have to be able to do business with people we don't already know, right? So, this has to work, but I think it's just going to make the level of trust. Even scarcer, and I think that, you know, brings up the value of what we do.
[00:28:11] Dan Englander: Yeah. I'm excited. A hundred percent. Yeah. So,
[00:28:14] Corey Quinn: as an, as an agency owner, I mean, you own an agency, you help, uh, support agencies directly. You wrote a book and what was, what was the, was there strategic thought around that and the work you do? Were they disconnected? Like, [00:28:30] what was the impact and what's been the impact of, of having a book to you, to your work?
[00:28:33] Corey Quinn: And, The You're growing the agency. Yeah,
[00:28:37] Dan Englander: I think a lot, I think a lot of it was I just had all these, these ideas that needed to spill out of me, as you probably gauged from my droning responses. So far, I've troubled being concise. So, I, I find it much easier to write books than, than to do like tweets or, you know, snappy articles and that kind of thing.
[00:28:56] Dan Englander: So, I'm a sort of like a book every few years, kind of, kind [00:29:00] of guy. Yeah. And, and, you know, beyond that. I'm sort of trying to figure out where it lives in terms of our marketing and sales process to be honest. Yeah. Right now it's kind of becoming. the mid funnel thing that we send to people and so on. We do get people coming to us from the book more and more.
[00:29:15] Dan Englander: I found that it takes time though to kind of get it to that level. And it's, it's great. It's an authority builder. You know, I think a lot of the times I hear a lot of unfair criticism against business books and other nonfiction because people will say like, well, this could have been a blog article. [00:29:30] And it's like, yeah, it could have been a blog article, but it's a costly signal.
[00:29:32] Dan Englander: The whole point is like, I'm making a point. Like it took me a lot of energy to put a cover on this thing and to get all this stuff together. So it's like, I'm, I'm putting this in bold here. Yeah. That's, that's kind of how I'm thinking about it. One of the things I
[00:29:44] Corey Quinn: really like about your book is that it's very tactical.
[00:29:47] Corey Quinn: Like I, in reviewing it even just before this interview, it, I was getting ideas about how to, you know, how to do the specific types of outreaches. Like for instance, you talk about four different types of [00:30:00] campaigns to reach out to your first degree connections. And so, while people can criticize, I think that there's a tremendous amount of value packed into that book.
[00:30:10] Corey Quinn: So, for whatever that's worth, I wanted to share that with you. Speaking of your agency, so what is an ideal client size? You mentioned some of that at the front end of the interview, but what is an ideal client for your agency? Yeah, it's
[00:30:24] Dan Englander: really interesting because like we're going through a lot of rethinking about about this because we were we always like scream about [00:30:30] how everybody should be niched and specialized and we always kind of thought we were and I guess we were better than than some because we focus on marketing agencies and to a lesser extent other B2B service companies.
[00:30:39] Dan Englander: But I think in the past, you know, we still work with the bigger agency that's like above that 5 million, 10 million level. And it done for you capacity. Like we have, we have room for, you know, a couple of those every so often, but I think then on the lower end, you know, there's plenty of agencies I talked to that were hopefully helping out that are like below that one, [00:31:00] 2 million level.
[00:31:01] Dan Englander: But our sweet spot right now, as we're figuring it out, I think we've sort of looked back at our best clients who get the best results are sort of like. That 1. 5, 2 ish to about 5 million level, they've, you know, the owner knows that they can't be the only one selling, they know they need help, they know that they need to get past referrals.
[00:31:21] Dan Englander: They've probably worked with some legion company that got them nothing, they've probably tried to do various start and stop experiments on their own and, [00:31:30] uh, and they, they need the help finding like not just any client, but like the right client. So that tends to be. where our sweet spot lives nowadays.
[00:31:38] Corey Quinn: And how do people, how do people hear about your agency? Is it mostly through relationships or do you do obviously, well, I'll ask, well, how do you, how do you grow your business? How do you get new clients?
[00:31:49] Dan Englander: Yeah. I wish there was like a really nice like power law distribution. And I can just say like, it all comes from this, but it's kind of split, not quite evenly.
[00:31:57] Dan Englander: I forget the exact breakdown, but it's split in chunks between [00:32:00] like outbounds. So we get a whole lot of probably like Probably that's about half actually is us doing for ourselves what we do for clients, which is great because then we could say, Hey, we're on this call right now. We did, and I encourage agencies to do that too.
[00:32:13] Dan Englander: So if you specialize in, you know, sometimes it's not feasible depending on your situation to practice what you preach in that way, but it's something that we, we get, you know, another chunk from what I'm doing now for thought leadership and referrals is another chunk and, and so on. So we're somewhat [00:32:30] diversified, but it tends to not be like, Perfectly diversified for a long period of time, it'll, there'll be like different, different sectors that pick up the lion's share, I guess.
[00:32:39] Dan Englander: Yeah.
[00:32:41] Corey Quinn: So, couple, couple last questions as we wrap up here. If you... What advice would you have for an agency that's thinking about relationship sales and how to leverage relationships in helping them to grow their agency?
[00:32:57] Dan Englander: Yeah. I mean, I think the first one [00:33:00] is figuring out, you know, What you actually want to accomplish and what makes for an ideal client and the sort of like normal blocking and tackling and strategy that you're, that are, that agencies are probably doing for their clients.
[00:33:13] Dan Englander: So that's thinking about your ICPs, that's thinking about like really where you're trying to go, you know, and that's, that's probably pretty cliche response, but I think that's the first starting point. And then from there, it's really about. Time and resources, right? So it's like, okay, somebody's got to [00:33:30] be the sales point person.
[00:33:31] Dan Englander: Somebody's got to be the face of these campaigns and be getting on that first call. If there's nobody else in the company that can do it, that usually means it's the owner. Before long, it could be somebody else, right? Once you have the system in process for teeing up leads, then you can plug a salesperson into it.
[00:33:46] Dan Englander: It helps to have a, have an assistant role that can help with the more technical list building software, et cetera, aspects of this and so on. So that's the sort of thing where We're helping people figure out.
[00:33:56] Corey Quinn: Beautiful. Last question. What is your motivation? Oh
[00:33:59] Dan Englander: [00:34:00] man. Well, right now it's, uh, it's getting ready for the first kid, which, you know, we talked about before we throw on the recorder, so I think honestly, like, like a lot of people, we had kind of a down year in 2023, but I'm not.
[00:34:11] Dan Englander: I'm not just saying this like as a glass half full Pollyanna sort of thing, but I, I genuinely happy with where we're going qualitatively because it's had to make us focus on, you know, exactly the sort of clients we want to be working with and get really clear on like what we want to be doing. So that's good.
[00:34:28] Dan Englander: And I'm just, I'm motivated about [00:34:30] what we're, what we're building now and sort of like the morale of the team and everything like that. So kind of had to focus on what's important. Yeah.
[00:34:38] Corey Quinn: That's great. How can people reach out to you if they want to connect with you, learn more about your services or just, you know, connect otherwise?
[00:34:45] Dan Englander: Yeah, probably, uh, breaking cardinal rules by giving too many call to actions, but our site is a great place to learn more. SalesSchema. com. My email is dan at SalesSchema. com and then I'm on LinkedIn as well.
[00:34:58] Corey Quinn: Beautiful. [00:35:00] Any last thoughts you'd like to share about the topic of relationship sales at scale?
[00:35:04] Corey Quinn: Yeah,
[00:35:05] Dan Englander: I mean, I, I think the, the important thing is like the consistency and getting started with. With something as in, and then messing it up maybe as opposed to doing, doing nothing. I, I, as I'm thinking out loud, I think the most important thing is that most agencies, especially ones that have been around the block for a little while have like way more experience and trust than.
[00:35:26] Dan Englander: Anybody else that's reaching out to their prospects, that's not a [00:35:30] given. I don't know everybody listening, but what I tend to see is that people will have like these track records of like working with like dozens of the biggest XYZ companies on earth, but they're still scared to reach out to their prospects and build a relationship.
[00:35:43] Dan Englander: So I think it's mostly a problem of Getting started on something, you know, even if it's not perfect.
[00:35:50] Corey Quinn: And I can't think of a better partner to help them get started with than you and your team there. So thank you so much for joining, Jen. Thank you, Corey.
[00:35:59] Dan Englander: Appreciate the [00:36:00] kind words and everything.
[00:36:02] Corey Quinn: All right, folks, that's it for today.
[00:36:03] Corey Quinn: 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 this show, I would love a five star rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks, and we'll see you soon.