Jeremey has over 25 years of diverse experience, ranging from semiconductor engineering to writing bestseller books such as “How to Deliver a TED Talk” and “Predictable Prospecting.” Currently, Jeremey is the EVP of Sales & CS Center of Excellence at Insight Partners, a global software investor.
In this first installment of our Growth Guest series, Jeremey and Scott dive into the main themes of his book, the ways to build a predictable pipeline, tips for hiring the right people in the right positions, and more.
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Hi, everybody. And welcome back to the growth show. My name is Scott Scott. Today I will be missing my partners in growth, Eric Watkins and Jeff winners, because I'm embarking on a new trail. And I'm going to let you into a conversation that I had with a fascinating gentleman. His name is Jeremy Donovan. And this is a new segment that we're going to be doing, we're going to call it growth guests segment. The reason that we're doing this is because, you know, the three of us are still learning and there are people that are out there in the world that have been there done that, that can also bring great advice to make your journey just a little bit easier. My main man, Jeremy is the EVP and sales and customer success at insight partners. He's got over 25 years of experience spanning from engineering to product development. He's written five books, he's actually got a best seller on how to deliver a TED talk. And in this conversation him and I key in on a book he authored called predictable prospecting. You know why? Why tune in? Dude smart. He's got a CFA and a BS and MS in electrical engineering from Cornell. He's got an MBA from the University of Chicago. He's completing an MS in data science from UVA this June. Yeah, his degrees is experience. And in his position currently, at insight partners, they have over 80 billion in assets under management, they've invested in more than 700 companies 55 of them that a buck. So he's on the ground, feet on the street. He's working with hundreds of companies. He's just been there, done that, and our conversation will make that obvious. There are some growth nuggets in here for sure. So without further ado, I'm excited to let you into our conversation. Enjoy. All right, as we just heard, your resume is so impressive. But tell us about this journey from engineering to business growth. That's That's not typical how Yeah, I did that come about? I do. I do love running into other people who come from engineering backgrounds, and there are a few of us and in the sales world. For me, it makes sense. In hindsight, I don't know that I was thinking about this during the time. But I, I was basically adding a word dropping a word. So if you think about career progression, you meet a lot of people in sales, who they started out as STRS are the equivalent of what SDR was before that term existed and worked their way up to CRO and for me, I I was not sort of that upward progression, I was a stair step if you will progression. So I was originally a semiconductor engineer, I dropped the engineering part and was a semiconductor analyst. I then drop the semiconductor part and I was more of like a general purpose analyst doing some product development, I dropped the analyst part product development, dropped the development part product marketing, dropped the product, Pete part, corporate marketing, dropped the corporate part marketing and sales, dropped the marketing piece and went to sales strategy and operations. So that was the that was the method to the madness. In hindsight, I think there's a subtext to it, which is, I've never, you know, you can take the the engineer out of the workplace, but you can't take the end of the well, how can do the expression, right, but you know, you can't get the engineer out of me, whatever the right expression should be. So I have been pursuing intentionally, domains within business that would benefit from an analytical mindset. So, you know, I got into marketing when marketing was converting from the dominant, being dominated by creative marketing, like brand and so forth. And then it became much more about demand gen. So that was the entree for me there. And then Ditto with sales, right? Sales, always an art, but more and more science being applied. So that attracted me there. If I had another go on me, and I was seriously considering this going into sort of analytical HR, because I think that's the next big domain where analytics can be transformative to businesses. Absolutely. So there's really not as big of a disconnect as, as people would think. Right? You can weave the story in hindsight, yes, exactly. Your your training definitely has you thinking in a in a bigger in a more organized way. In business growth, that's gonna impact the the clients for sure. You know, I hope so. For me, it's all about Curiosity, right when I take those tests that are out there, such as my guess StrengthsFinder was a popular one a few years ago, I always over index on, on learning. And that has been a, you know, lifelong thing, I have a, you know, almost compulsive need to need to learn new things. And that's part of what draws me to these, you know, to these different areas. And, you know, a lot of times I'll get into a domain, and, you know, I, I, like many people have, you know, pretty strong degree of impostor syndrome. So the more I learn, the more confident I feel when I interact with other people. Yeah, always be growing. Yeah. All right. So somehow, in between all of this, these degrees and your incredible work experiences, you managed to write five books. And I wanted to highlight one of them. Predictable prospecting. And it's just because I believe, and maybe I put more weight on this than I should, but I believe that a predictable sales pipeline can fix almost any business. And I could you tell the, the audience, you know, can you give them just a couple of nuggets from the from the book a couple of the highlights from just predictable prospecting? And how to how to do that? Yeah, for sure. I'll start with saying I second your motion, by the way on pipeline, fixes all ales right as if I were to think about what KPIs matter, most. And I could only measure one thing, I would measure pipe Jen. And if I had to measure two things, I would measure pipe Jen and win rate because you can throw a lot of bad ops into the pipe. And win rate keeps you honest. So we could continue sort of with the progression of Bob's but on, you know, on on predictable prospecting, what other kind of piece of background there is, I had a co author there, Mary Lou Taylor, she had previously co authored a more popular book called Predictable Revenue with Aaron Ross. And Aaron did write the foreword to our book as well. So I was really riding on the coattails of, you know, of some greatness there. So, you know, their, their original book was really the, you know, the Bible of early sales development. And people followed that quite carefully. And then, you know, as the world matured, in the way that we engage prospects, you know, we That was why the sort of sequel, we wrote the sequel there. You know, even since we wrote that book, as I think about predictable, you know, prospecting or predictable pipeline, right, it's, you know, you got, you have to think about what your where all your sources are, right, so your sources are going to be outbound either via STRS, or via account executives, your or your source is going to be inbound, or, you know, another source that is sort of in the inbound domain, but somewhere between the two is product lead growth plg, there are other sources, but those are kind of the main ones people people think about, you know, you're asking about nuggets. In that particular book, we're really just advocating, you know, what has become the modern cadence or sequence based approach to engaging prospects, right. So we got really, really deep into that how to, on you know, what, what should your touches look like? What do you do on each touch? In an email in a phone call? How do you personalize? Should you even personalize right? So, and then even into, you know, I was fortunate, I think, at the time I wrote that book, I think I was at sales loft. And I had access to a ton of data around what works and what does not work. So you know, for instance, we found at sales loft that if you personalize up to 20% of an email, you get a two extra response rate. And usually, it's the beginning of the email doesn't have to be but usually, it's the beginning of the email. But if you go beyond that 20% You don't actually get any return on, you know, at scale, you don't get any additional return on that effort. So you should stop when you when you do that 20% personalization. And in fact, we found that once you have effectively blown away your starting template, and you exceed 80%, personalization, the response rate actually begins to decline. And that's because your you know, your marketing team probably did a ton of AV testing in order to get that email optimized. And and then you blown away that good work and you start to do damage. One other I guess there was a whole set of nuggets also around things like optimizing the subject line, keep those subject lines to one or two words. Should you use your name, your company name, their first name, their company name in the subject line, like all these types of things, when you greet people do you say hi hey or Hello, you In the body of the email, how long should that should be? Should you start with question marks, like, just on and on and on and on endlessly of, you know, of what works and what doesn't work. Some of those things were, you know, became relatively well adopted. And the problem is, is as soon as those things get adopted, they they lose effectiveness, right, because prospects are constantly on the prowl in their subconscious or conscious minds to eliminate anything that looks salesy. So my my best piece of advice, I think, and you know, taking from you know, the book, but or not taking from the book, and just thinking about prospecting is kind of zig when everybody else is zagging. Show people that you're authentic, show people that you're human, be pleasantly persistent, right, the way you'd want to be written to I mean, you know, I don't think I'm telling people anything, they don't they don't know, if I had one other thing, right? It's if you want to, if you want to have predictable pipeline, you have to have predictable and consistent activity. And even more, I would, I would almost say, Maybe I should have started there is that even more than all the little tricks, right, and tips of how you can tune your messaging and your cadences, and so forth? You know, if you don't, if you're not, if you don't maintain high activity, then you're not going to grow your pipeline, right. It's a sort of obvious thing, but I think activity trumps everything else. Couldn't agree more. And I think people turn on and off the activity, right? If things are going well, then I'm pausing for a minute and catching up. And just, we've always been successful in predictable growth by just never turning things off. And even putting the pedal down when things are going well, which is almost no one almost no one does that. I think it's smart. The natural thing in sales, right? Is because people are on often on quarterly quotas right? There, their prospecting, you know, a lot in month one, maybe 5050. And month two, and the prospecting drops down to, you know, virtually nothing in month three as they work on closing furiously on closing deals, and then you just create this whipsaw that that is constant. So I think it's advice to, as you're suggesting, right advice to sales managers and sales leaders that you need to keep a constant drumbeat on on prospecting, maybe not the last week or two of the quarter, but right, you know, at least the first two weeks of the last month of each quarter. I think you need to keep keep the pedal go on on on prospecting activity. Absolutely. Well, they can find that on Amazon, right? Oh, yeah. I encourage you to check out predictable prospecting. I appreciate that. Yeah, I think people don't know the truth of the publishing industry. The truth of publishing industry is that I think we get like a we being my a Mary Lou and I, we get like $1 a copy. And we split that 50 cents each so not that I'm not grateful for the 50 cents, but but hopefully people get value out of the out of the book. More. So actually, I think the more modern stuff, right? As you know, I'm posting on LinkedIn all the time, so that they can get that for free. And then there's a lot of good companies to follow in the space, right, who, who are putting out a lot, you know, data driven stuff. Gong obviously puts out a ton of amazing stuff. SalesLoft still puts out a ton of amazing stuff. Lavender, puts out a ton of amazing stuff. There's a guy named Chris Orlov, who's got his own thing going, Devin Reed, like there's a whole bunch of folks out there who that call in like, there's a whole bunch of people just to follow and you'll get, you know, get it for free. Absolutely, I can pass on the 50 cents. I'm more so I'm just so sold on consistent activity and learning as much as you can about prospecting and, you know, our client base, at least that's the biggest reason that they came to us because for whatever reason, they couldn't or they wouldn't or they won't, they didn't know how to. And so we're always trying to coach them on on best prospecting techniques and keeping the activity activity up. Yeah, I think I was just going to expand one more thing, which is you know, I I see so many people in sales who I feel are not students of the game, you know, like, I don't know, maybe I'm a little compulsive. I never turn off on this stuff. So I was out for a walk during lunchtime today listening to a sales podcast and learning right I'm I'm I'll be 50 this year. And I'm not selling anything anymore, right? Like I'm, I'm advising companies on how to grow their, you know, their go to market strategy. And I don't really talk that much about prospecting anymore. And yet I'm still learning right. And during the podcast I was listening to earlier today. It's called the it's a really awesome podcast like yours is it's a 30 minutes to President's Club 30 MPC. And they had a guest on who was talking about, you know, when you develop a sequence, or prospecting sequence, or cadence, you know, create two of them one for your, like high touch, highly likely to become champions, or economic buyers, that has personalization that has phone calls, and so on. And then create another one that is your, you know, your low touch people that you can mostly automate, like, I thought that was a great, really great pointer. The other one they had in there was for those like user, you know what Miller, Heiman would call user buyers, who aren't going to purchase, put them in a call to referral activation cadence, right? You know, they're not going to buy but what you're reaching out for is a, you know, if you if you want to do it automated, you could just say, you know, some version of if this is interesting to you, please connect me with your head of XYZ. I think the more clever way, if you want to personalize a little bit is to do some research and say, you know, like, let's say, Scott, you're the head of whatever, head of it, right? And I'm prospecting into it, then you prospect, that user person, and you say, like, Hey, should I be talking to Scott Sculley? That's a really clever technique, right? Because then they'll they'll pass you on? And you can you can do that bottom up, or you could do that top down, right? Like, you can go to the CEO, and have the CEO, you know, push you to the CIO, or the VP of engineering or vice versa. So that's a it's a pretty, pretty effective technique. That's so smart. Sometimes just the simplest tweaks, bring the best results, show your human, you know, because machines don't yet do that, like machines. You gotta run plays that machines don't do. Right? Chet GPT is not going to run the world, even though people say it will. One of the things that I love about about your background and your experiences is just a survey in top talent and top talent selection. I'm a firm believer in, you know, in addition to the predictable sales pipeline is that if you have the right people in the right seats, there's not much you can't do. If you spend the money and take the time and put the right people in place, you can be successful. And it seems like a lot of your background. You've got projects and work in that area. What are some tricks for people out there in just finding the right people for the right positions? Yeah, I'll give you a subtext here, by the way, which is, I actually am very paranoid about my ability to hire, which is why I spent so much time studying this, because to your point. Yeah, if you're running an organization, or you're running a team, right, and you can, you know, your part of it is selecting talent, part of it is training, the talent and trading and retaining right and, and performance managing right is, so much of the benefit you're gonna get is out of the selection. So in order to just improve my ability to do this, and I don't know that I'm great at it, like I really don't I, I've studied a couple of things. So one is I read a decent amount of academic literature on hiring. And I'll go into that briefly. Two is that I've also kind of, I pulled data on my own about what makes if there's bio data markers, biographical data, markers that can be somewhat predictive, give you a little bit of an edge in hiring. And then the third is yeah, just sort of listening and learning from from sales leaders. So on the first one, there's a quite famous study where it's a study of studies, it's called a meta analysis. That was put out, I don't know some time ago, and they looked at every possible thing that you could think of to as a factor driving job performance, they looked at IQ. They looked at personality tests, they looked at skills tests, they looked all the way down to graphology, which is handwriting analysis, which people may laugh but it was a very serious thing. And it remains serious. Probably that for the longest time in France. Before you know it finally got debunked as a as a hiring signal. But the ones that there basically are like three things that matter to are easy or to check in the third thing is a little harder. So, number one thing is IQ in, you know, in the jobs that we're talking about, and the best way to assess that is to give someone a variant of a cognitive abilities test, the ones that are popular are the Wonderlic test, or the criteria Corp test, those are the big those sort of the big two that I that I recommend and rely on. I think there's, there's a few others out there. But those those two are great IQ tests. The second thing is conscientiousness. So there are five, there's like the Big Five personality traits of the five, the one that matters most is conscientiousness, and you can test for that in with a personality test. It's not perfect. But you can test for that using those same things criteria Corp and Wonderlic. Both have them, or, you know, background checks. I think it's really hard to assess during an interview process whether somebody is conscientious. I mean, do they show up on time? Do they send a thank you note? You know, these, you can sort of give them tasks to complete and see how timely and urgent they are on completing those things. But again, like maybe someone's a single, you know, like a single mom working two jobs, right. So yeah, it's always like there. But for the grace of God go I on some of those on some of those things. But the what the tests are pretty good at sussing that out. And the third thing is just more time consuming. It's job skills, right. So give somebody a scenario, or, or a project to do if you can to test the particular job. What's proven to be miserable is unstructured interviews, like just having a conversation with somebody is highly uncorrelated with ultimate success in the job. So that's the stuff from the academic studies, the stuff from my own studies, will take too long to go into. But you can you can ask, you know, I guess follow up questions on it. But I've looked at, you know, STRS, or enterprise wraps and so on, and what the bio data markers are that matter. And then the third one is just sort of listening and learning. One of my favorite frameworks is the PTC blade logic framework. Those are the folks that kind of invented enterprise SAS selling. And they have their their, their, you know, maniacal about talent selection. And they go for this acronym ice intelligence, which we talked about already coachability character, which for them is a combination of grit, and competitiveness, and then experience for them experience. A lot of them don't even really mention the experience piece, because they don't care as much about that as long as they have those other three factors. I love that one. Yeah, he has this. It's like, wow, you know, were they successful? Because it was PT, a lot of them were PTC, then they, they followed each other to blade logic, then they followed each other to AppDynamics. And then they followed each other to snowflake. So you know, one home run after the next with that team. It's working. It's working. Yes. You know, it's interesting that you point out IQ intelligence. A lot of times in selecting salespeople. That doesn't always come to mind for people, like a lot of people that are listening, that hire salespeople that may not be in part of their process, I got to figure out if this person's got a decent amount of intelligence, and but it makes sense. Like, from our perspective, we've got a lot of salespeople, and they're, they're talking to business owners, CEOs, and you know, a lot of times highly intelligent people and and that's how they're establishing trust by also being another smart individual. So yeah, it's fast on your feet also, right? I mean, when you're objection, Objection, handling or answering questions is you. Let's even take question answering, right. There's a subtext behind most questions. And that's part of I think the clock speed aspect is what are they? Like? What are they really, when they asked me this question? What are they really asking? What are they really worried about? Yeah. Well, thank you for that. You know, you have, you're in an interesting spot today, where you are seen several 100 companies and they're in their growth phases. You've you've been through and seen IPOs, lots of transactions. There are there's popular advice in the marketplace today on business growth. And is there anything that's out there that you hear time and time again, that you just disagree with? Like a growth strategy that people are out there talking about that, that you just put your foot down and say that's just I'm looking at all these companies. That's just simply not the truth. And this sounds and this sounds suspicious? Um, I don't know that I'm going to say anything that's really any different. I mean, two thoughts come to mind, as you say that, you know, one is there's there's sort of this thing in vogue right now of like x led growth, right sales, led growth, product, lead growth, marketing, lead growth is lead growth that lead growth. One of them that I'm just sort of puzzled by where people are investing a lot of time and energy into is, is community lead growth. And the reason I have I have a quibble, small quibble with that is because maybe I'm naive, and please somebody, you know, school me, message me on LinkedIn or whatever in school me, that's totally cool. Because I like I can learn. Here they come. Yeah. Well, I I, to me, Look, I get absolutely that you want to build customer communities, and you want to build those customer communities to help build loyalty and evangelists, to selfishly lower your service, and support and success costs in the process, right to build content stickiness, like I get, I totally get all that. To me, that's not me, it's just the terminology that bothers me is like, yes, that will boost net retention. But I don't think of that as like, as community led growth, like I don't think it's, it's in and of itself, a prime source in the same way that right, like salespeople, prospecting is a source, or marketing generating inbound leads is a source, where people are accessing your product for product lead growth as a source, I may be missing it, but I don't really see the community itself as sourcing leads, you know, for people to either for reps to close, or that generate additional self service business. So I have a small quibble with that. I also, just on that note, it's like everybody, especially during COVID, and Excel, every lots of things accelerated during COVID. But community stuff, especially accelerated during COVID. And it is incredibly hard, right is there's a survivorship bias where you see the successful communities. But there's a lot of unsuccessful communities that nobody ever talks about, that are left in the wake, and a ton of money is spent on, you know, on building that prospects or customers whatever, are there happy to be in user communities, and that lends itself well to very big products, right, like Salesforce user community, you know, whatever. For smaller companies, community building is very, very, very difficult. You just don't have critical mass, you probably don't, you probably didn't even hire a full time dedicated community manager, and you're just kind of hoping that your clients and prospects will, will interact with each other. Those clients and prospects, if it's not a user community are super suspicious about being part of a, like a community that's owned by a vendor. Anyway, I got on my high horse on that one. So so that's one. And then the other one, I think, is also as not as that one may be kind of a point of view, that's not as common. The one that's more of a common point of view, right, as is, you know, I work in the venture world, and pretty obvious in the last year, what's happened, you know, the venture world in general, moves from rewarding growth at all costs, right multiples of revenue, to, to efficient growth, or sustainable growth, whatever terminology you want to use, where you're not only looking at, at the revenue, arr growth component of it, but you're also looking at their the costs. And I did an analysis. Last, just like, this month, actually, I was thinking we're not. As we're recording this, we're still in the same month, I did the analysis. And if you look back if you look back between the first quarter of 2020, and the first quarter of 2022, multiples of, you know, valuation to revenue for Publix, as companies were statistically correlated with growth, no surprise, and positively statistically correlated with r&d. So it's like, the more you are spending on r&d, the better. Things have changed quite a bit. And in, in now in the world we're living in now, there still is obviously the growth, correlation, no surprise there. But now there's a significant negative correlation with cogs cost of goods sold, you know, your and with sales and marketing, excess, kind of, if you will, but high sales and marketing expenditures are now you know, not in vogue, whereas before, there was no correlation. You know, that's why people would just throw, you know, throw money at the, at the growth because they were being rewarded for it. So, you know, I don't know that I'm saying anything that people don't already know, but I just want to confirm that the rewards right now are for our free Efficient growth and to mind your, you know, mind your operating costs in a way that wasn't the case before. Are there are there one or two things that these, these companies that you guys are working with, are doing consistently to, to have great growth and to drive good value? I think the magic wand or if there if there is a magic wand, I don't know what it is. If I look at the companies who are successful, again, zero rocket science here, they have exceptional product market fit. And they are insanely disciplined in their go to market execution. So the product market fit thing may be more obvious, you know, easy to say hard, hard to do. But there's nothing I can say one way or the other on that one. But I can say one thing when one way or the other on the like maniacal dedication to, to, you know, to go to market. So So for instance, I'll use the PTC blade logic example again, and it's extreme, but it gives you gives you a sense, so So they invented medic, which is a for the listeners who don't know, it is kind of the most popular enterprise sales qualification framework. And it's not just qualification, though. It's it's really about deal health and inspection. So every single time a deal is inspected, right, the you can use a framework like this to figure out what's going on M is for metrics. E is for economic buyer, there's two Ds decision criteria, and decision process. The AI is for implied pain, there's two C's competition and champion. There's also sometimes called Med pick, and there's one or two Ps. One, the One P That's if it's there, it's usually paper process. And there's a second P which can be partners. So anyway, you got all these all these things you're looking at. And, you know, I would say that 90 plus percent of organizations who do use something like medic, or use medic for enterprise selling, they kind of use it, you know, like I don't think they hold. If you were to sit in there do reviews of their quarterly business reviews. They're not intense. If you were to sit in the deal review with a with a discipline company, they're intense, you walk away, feeling like the sales reps are not going to walk away feeling great about what just happened. And, you know, it's it's not that they were challenged as Pete This is important, right? It's like you're not challenging those people. You're challenging the deal. And you're doing it with empathy. Right? There's that book radical candor. So I think not great sales organizations sit in what Kim Scott would call ruinous empathy. Right, as those managers yes, they care deeply, but they're not challenging directly. And I think the the, like great organizations who care deeply, but also challenged the reps on an Intel, you know, like on a on not, again, not a personal level, it's not an ad hominem attack, they're challenging the deal, like, you know, do you ever again, PTC blade logic, people would say that the two most important parts of medic are, are the champion, and champion development. And the second thing is, is a decision criteria. So like, here's a good example, the the PTC blade logic, people would say, if on the decision criteria, you have not influenced their evaluation criteria, and implanted your competencies, and to that, you walk away from the deal. If you're going to do a POC proof of concept or proof of value, and the economic buyer has not agreed that if you meet this predefined success criteria, then they will buy you walk away from the deal. Right. So like, that is the kind of discipline that I think is rare. And so yeah, going back to answer the high level question, it's a combination. If I look at our best portfolio companies, it's a combination of of great go to market execution, maniacal and great product market fit. Buyers have, you know, all they need is to but they probably have five or 10 options. And whether you're successful or not, is going to come down to that maniacal sales execution, your ability to establish trust, and you know, I'll do it But wait, there's more. The what I always hate when people say uh, what but they don't tell me how. One of the ways you you know, you help build that trust is that you reduce perceived risk for the buyer. And I went and asked one of my buddies, like, he's an enterprise sales leader. How do you do that? And he said, he actually arms his salespeople with like a one page graph that shows the distribution of implementation times for their company. And even the percentage of failed implementations blew my mind, right? Like I've no one's ever showed me anything like that. And as a buyer, if I were to be able to see that, that would build incredible trust for me. And if the salesperson could talk to okay for those implementations that happened way faster than average, what what had to happen, and the salesperson could describe that I can do those things, right, as a buyer, or for those implementations that didn't go well or failed. The same thing. Like, if that salesperson knows why they failed, and they say, like, I've got your back, I know why implementations failed, and I'm not going to let that happen. With us. That's a how right to lower perceived risk. So I gave you a lot in there. But I wanted to give you a little bit of how to as well. Oh, I love it. So we have a lot of clients that are in really competitive spaces. I know a mechanical contractor, commercial cleaner, local managed service provider, Commercial Roofing Company. There are a lot of folks that at some point, have aspirations of being acquired, you know, just with your, with your knowledge base, what are some of the things that they should be doing ahead of time to make sure that they're attractive, even in spaces like that, where maybe, you know, they don't necessarily have a different service or a different product than others? And it's a competitive landscape? What are some of the most important things there to drive value? I'll admit to being pretty clueless, right on on that. You know, like, business and residential services market, I really don't know, I can say, you know, for companies, in general, the two things come to mind. One is, just make sure your books are clean. And I don't mean like, tax related, I don't mean, when I say clean, I don't mean like, no fraud, or skimming or whatever, I just mean that you actually can recreate what has actually happened in your business. So I just think that having you know, the better your, your, like financial acumen is and controls, whatever you're using QuickBooks, NetSuite like, whatever, just make sure you're not just scraps of paper. Because when companies are going to be acquired like that, that that's a go no go, right, is it you really need to be able to prove, you know, cashflow, the other ones a guess. And, you know, you may or may not decide to keep this in, in this episode are not but the other guests I think is just in these services, businesses, so much of it is about, you know, your client base and your ratings, right. So, from the client base point of view, you know, the more repeat business, you have the, you know, the Yeah, happy customers, increasing their relationships with you. And then obviously, to be in, in this day and age just maniacal about your, you know, your rating. So, personal story, for me is, you know, we've been in our house 20 years, like a lot of people during COVID, we looked around and saw stuff was crumbling. And, you know, we went out to hire landscape contractor to to work on, you know, pavers in the front and the back. And I was good to quotes, it's like, my usual thing. And the quotes will vary wildly in price. If something's within like 10 or 15%, whether it's a business purchase, or a Residential Purchase, I don't care. If it's like 50% or more, more than I am, I feel like someone's trying to pick my pocket. So you know, I went with a reputable but lower cost of the two. And when I say reputable, I didn't get a personal recommendation. I've seen them in the neighborhood. And I looked on Google, and they, you know, like, those two companies had equally strong Google reviews. So that's my point about the reviews. And then on my point about the repeat business is like, you know, okay, so they came and they did the paperwork. They did it professionally. They kept things clean, you know, like, there was there actually was an issue. And I think this is a big part of it is like, stuff goes wrong, whether it's a business or a Residential Purchase, how you react when things go wrong, is that's your moment to shine. And, you know, to their credit, right, they they Yeah, I consider myself a relatively non fussy person, but like this, this is worth fussing about. And they're like, no problem. Within 24 to 48 hours, they had someone out within, you know, a day after that they had it fixed. And now I've rehired them for, I'm gonna basically rehire them for everything, because I have trust, that they're gonna, you know, they're gonna get it done professionally, but then also that they're there to, like, they stand by their work. And, you know, that's the kind of thing that shows up in their, in their Google reviews. I, I love that, you just said that, I think so many times people have looked through the due diligence lists, and really key into the financials, and sometimes, you know, gloss over the, the reputation piece, and just, they're just not managing their reputation. And there's so much online. And if somebody's looking to acquire, they're, of course, looking at social channels and reviews and ratings. And, and that's part of the decision making process. And I'm glad that you, you highlighted that. I have one more question for you. And it's, it's a little bit of an offshoot, but I just get so upset when people say, you know, it's not personal, it's business, or you got to be able to separate the two. And I just, that's one of those things that I think is a lie. I don't think that I think that somebody can have a certain level of emotional intelligence and leave out what might be bothering them at home or, or. But, you know, I, a lot of our listeners have kids and families, and they're in the middle of their growth phases, and they want to be successful at work. But they also have home and they want to be a good husband or a good wife or partner. Father. My understanding is, you have a couple of kids set, right? Yep. Yeah, they're grown grown now. But and three cats to two of which are, are about 10 feet away from me right now. Good. Well, you've had a great amount of success, and just for our audience, when they're looking to grow and have balance and keep relationships strong, like what are some of the things that you've done to, to be successful in, in all areas of your life? I don't, yeah, again, even success is a charged word, I think. So I have a mentor. His name is Kevin Volpe. And he introduced this framework to me that he got from his mentor, who got from, you know, their mentor, and so forth. And it's, it's to think about seven dimensions of success. If I can remember them all off the fly right now. It's a career, family, financial, physical and mental health, intellectual and artistic, social and spiritual. That's the seven. So this thing come and taught me was basically like, at any point in your life. You're working on all those, right? And it's very rare. I mean, I can only think of instances of short, very short bursts, maybe lasting a day or something where like, all of those were in harmony, it's rare. So and all those dimensions of success, you know, matter. So that that's kind of one comment, I'll get to the how to, you know, how to advice if I have any in a second. The other the other thing? Yes, is the older I've gotten, weirdly, I mean, maybe not weirdly, but like, I used to, I used to think I was so proud of myself in my 20s I thought I figured out like the answer to the meaning of life is, is happiness optimization. And that's no longer when I what I strive for, because I think I've moved into a passive mode. And the passive mode is to allow or let yourself passively to be content, which is very different. It's an I feel it's much more healthy for me emotionally, psychologically, to not strive. Again, like this is a this is a modern first world society privilege, right to let you know if you have food and clothing and and live within your means. So yeah, now I'll get to that the things I have done, I don't know whether they're right for everybody, but I just said one of them which is live within your means, like buy, you know, rent a smaller apartment than you need or when time incomes, buy a smaller house, drive a less fancy car, you know, just live within your means I think is because financial pressure is correlated with a lot of unhappiness, no matter how much wealth, you know, you have or not. So live within your means, I think is one. And I think, you know, the other thing I just think is a relationship thing, right, which is I learned this from my mother's first cousins, husband. I don't know what that is, but second cousin or something. His name is Robert, Ducati. And I asked him for marriage advice, you know, when when we were early in our marriage, and he said, it's open, it's no surprise, it's like open communication, basically never go to never go to sleep angry. There's some academic research that shows that the most destructive behavior in interpersonal relationships, whether it's with a spouse or significant other, even at work relationship is contempt. And, like, I think you just have to have to be very mindful to never get into that zone. And I think the open communication piece is, to me the best way, right, be very open on how you're on how you're feeling. Don't bottle Don't bottle things up. Your needs. Your wants, your you know, your frustrations. Yeah, so that that maybe, you know, we've drifted a little bit from sales. But that's, we did it on purpose. My I think they're tied. My personal advice. I don't again, I don't know whether it's, it's valid for everyone. But at least that's how I live. I mean, I think it's important advice. I my kids get tired of me talking about how easy life could be if they would be good communicators. If we were having good communication, I could be really easy or not. But you have given just such good advice. There's definitely some grown nuggets in here. And I'm happy for our listeners. I guess I'll close and mentioning that you have a new podcast out called Smooth scaling. Just real quickly, could you let us know what we can expect from that? And where to find it? Yeah, for sure. So it's Yeah, I guess wherever podcasts are found, right, Apple and Spotify and Stitcher and all that. And I done a previous podcast called Hey, salespeople, we did close to 300 episodes of that. And I sort of took my learnings from that, and I apply it here. So it's all about scaling, you know, your your revenue function. And the way I've done it is, they're right around 15 minutes, so superduper short, and I'm only interviewing CROs so Chief Revenue officers, chief customer officers, CTOs and heads of revenue operations, at like the 200, fastest growing b2b SaaS companies. It's a very, very, very hyper specific guest, that I'm that I'm recruiting for that for that show. So yeah, that's the deal on that I just asked them to share one story of an initiative a specific initiative that they have led that helped grow revenue. And we do that for 15 minutes and a call to show that's great. Looking forward to listening. I'm sure others are as well. If any of our listeners are looking to engage with you or have additional questions for you, where should they reach out? Always? Yeah, always LinkedIn. That's the best way to get me. Okay, sounds amazing. I respond to every like, legit, you know, message I get. I think that's good business practice. Well, thank you again for your your time today. You know, our followers will definitely benefit from from this session. Thanks. It was fun. Wish you the best of luck. Take care. The growth show is sponsored by abstract talent solutions, recruiting for the modern world.