The Email Uprising

The Email Uprising

Are you excited for today’s Startup Hustle episode? Matt Watson and David Valentine discuss the value of today’s email uprising in helping businesses achieve higher sales. The CEO of Avadel also opens up on the most significant challenges that various companies face regarding sales.

Covered In This Episode

Email is still one of the best weapons in sales and marketing strategies. Even with other digital marketing strategies available now, Matt and David still believe in the power of email uprising.

Find out how you can utilize email to increase the bottom line. Discover the biggest challenges businesses have to deal with to achieve more sales. And get some insider tips on how to get more clients.

Get Started with Full Scale

All these and more are discussed by Matt and David. Listen to this Startup Hustle episode now!

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Highlights

  • A little background info on David Valentine (01:35)
  • How to overcome the struggle of working too much (05:52)
  • The story of how David started his business (09:07)
  • What is one of the biggest struggles in sales? (10:48)
  • Is there an ideal Avadel client? (15:20)
  • Email vs. direct mail: creating different kinds of impact (18:10)
  • On getting your client’s attention through email (21:30)
  • The key to getting more clients (25:56)
  • How to attract and nurture leads (30:05)
  • On finding your niche (33:37)
  • Using email as the key driver (35:51)
  • On working remotely and leveraging the advantages of direct mail (37:10)
  • How to build connections through email or direct mail (38:49)
  • On investing in marketing and working with Avadel (40:45)

Key Quotes

For all of our combined clients, we have 120 right now. And 86% of those, month after month, are coming from email. The other 14% comes from creative direct mail.

– David Valentine

I think it’s so huge to have those defined roles. Because the people that are good at closing deals, especially big complex, enterprise deals, are definitely not the people that are going to make 50 phone calls a day. Like they’re just different personalities.

– Matt Watson

It’s interesting. People really appreciate that you’re just trying to do something different and fun and unique. Most of the time, people get what’s going on. It doesn’t scare them. They actually feel good.

– David Valentine
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Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00

Matt Watson

And we’re back for another episode of the Startup Hustle. This is your host today, Matt Watson, and I am very excited to be joined today by Mr. David Valentine from the Avadel agency. We’re going to be talking about email and lead generation and all sorts of cool stuff today. But before we get started, I do want to remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, but Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. David, welcome to the showman.

00:35.47

David Valentine

Um, super excited to be here. Matt, thanks for having me.

00:37.61

Matt Watson

So I guess before we get started, tell us a little bit about yourself and your agency. I mean, nobody can see our video here. But, behind you, you’ve got all these logos of all these companies you have that I’m going to guess all marketing related. So tell us all about your background. Love to learn more.

00:56.22

David Valentine

Yeah, so when I was ten years old, I started selling candy bars out of my backpack for ¢50 to my classmates. I remember going to my dad and asking for a $5 loan, so I could go find and buy candy bars for ¢25. And then mark them up to ¢50. I’ve kind of been on this entrepreneurial journey ever since I was 10, you know. Did odd jobs and mowed lawns and all sorts of stuff. And then, I started my first company when I was 25. I really had no idea what I was doing, Matt. I just knew marketing. I’d been doing marketing in the digital space and digital advertising and video production, and web design. At that point, I really enjoyed it and was pretty good at it. Not amazing, but good enough, and I’d always been in-house. What really drove me to start my own agency was I started engaging with these other agencies. And they didn’t have a whole lot of great transparency. I wasn’t getting a whole lot of information on what was working and what wasn’t working on behalf of my employer at the time. I just went, you know, I think I could do this better, so I really didn’t know what I was doing.

02:07.94

Matt Watson

We never do.

02:09.13

David Valentine

Um, and I am just, yeah, right. I just started. So right before we officially launched the first company, my wife and I found out that we were pregnant with our kid. So I was like, well, damn, I’m enough to make this work. That kind of transpired over the next eighteen months. I did both jobs, so I kept the 9-to-5, and I also did the business so that I could keep paying bills. For that first year and a half, literally, I woke up at 5 on a weekday. Work and maybe ah get ready to go to work drive 30 minutes into the office work. Sometimes, I didn’t just work on the company work. Sometimes, I worked on the business on the company dime. And then, when I had a brief moment, and then I’d drive home and hang out with my wife and newborn.

02:56.98

Matt Watson

Yep, yep, yes.

03:06.53

David Valentine

And then until about seven thirty-eight o’clock and then I’d go back to work from about 8 until 10 10 30 every weekend. It was a 9 to 5 working on the business. This is a common story, right? Finally made enough after eighteen months where I could pay myself a modest salary to replace.

03:08.51

Matt Watson

Yeah.

03:15.93

Matt Watson

Yes.

03:24.80

David Valentine

At least the bills that need to be paid and um and then really from there, man, it was a journey of stripping away the things that weren’t working and really putting things in place to make my life a better and one of the things that I did was at the age of 29. My doctor said hey, David, how do you know. You’re going to have a heart attack, and I was like, I don’t understand the question, doc, and he goes, you don’t know, you just have one. He said you’re 29, and we’ve tested 4500 people. You’re the most stressed-out person we’ve ever tested out of 40500 people of all different ages, shapes, and sizes. You’re the most stressed out. And he said you’re not gonna make it to 40, and so at the time, I was just doing the startup hustle work, right? I mean sixty eighty-hour work weeks every single week. No time off. It was just churning and churned and churn, and so at that 29-year point, I went okay.

04:09.49

Matt Watson

There you go.

04:23.17

David Valentine

Damn, I have to change some things so I started incorporating new practices back in. I was always an athlete in junior high and high school growing up and I just stopped working out because we had a kid and I had a business that was growing and doing all that stuff. So I started working out again and meditating again.

04:30.63

Matt Watson

Um, yeah.

04:38.40

David Valentine

And then I also started to build businesses in a way that didn’t need me to be the guru or the go to and that’s really when everything started to turn and while we were doing figures at the time that I had that conversation with my doctor. Um. It was a different way to do figures moving forward and so and even going into figures and so yeah, that’s really the story behind it man is a lot of challenge. A lot of trial and error. And then ultimately leading to new ways of doing life and new ways of doing business that have been very very successful.

05:10.76

Matt Watson

Well I feel like a lot of people struggle with that dynamic of you know, being the central point you know in the company and being able to step back and kind of work on the company instead of working in the company right? is what is one way they always describe it and a lot of people struggle with that. They really struggle with that and. They just don’t trust other people. They don’t hire the right people. It’s just a battle. I mean how did you overcome that battle?

05:38.58

David Valentine

Yeah, I think it was one of those things where when I was confronted with the reality that I was just working myself to death that I really had to start to go. Okay, what is it that clients want? Ah, specifically for the marketing firm that I was working with, what is it that they actually want all the things we point to like we do this and we do this. We do this. They don’t give a shit. They just want results and so the big thing that we started doing Matt was we just started saying. Okay so what? if we sold things based on results.

06:05.10

Matt Watson

Right.

06:15.12

David Valentine

Instead of saying you’re going to get this scope of work look how shiny and pretty it is. It’s a terrible way to sell things.

06:20.49

Matt Watson

So for you was it just doing less or was it that you needed to do some key hires that to help you step up, you know work less or what did you have to do to.

06:29.48

David Valentine

There always? Yeah, so one of the key hires. We may have hired it right after that situation. We hired an operator who had implemented the entrepreneurial operating system EOS at other companies. I knew that we needed a system to operate the business she came in.

06:41.87

Matt Watson

And

06:48.20

David Valentine

Ah, as a low-level employee, I really quickly identified that we needed to get her out of the low-level positions and move her up into operations more and more and so we did that that was massively helpful. The other thing that we did was we simplified what we were offering as a service. We just said hey this is what we do.

07:04.65

Matt Watson

Yeah.

07:07.22

David Valentine

And we don’t do anything else and so those were the two things that really made a huge difference. Obviously there were powerful hires along the way as well. But that was really the turning point.

07:16.35

Matt Watson

So that company um that you had back then is still a company you have today.

07:23.87

David Valentine

We sold that three years ago now and a little bit after that started Avadel which is the biggest company out of the companies that I own right now and it’s an SDR firm and so a lot of the um, the.

07:26.15

Matt Watson

Okay.

07:41.84

David Valentine

The firms that I have are like the SDR firm. We have a PR firm, we have a branding agency yeah we have a I run a consulting firm where I consult with um entrepreneurs of every size and kind of help them grow and scale. We have an internet security system that will give you information technology security. So we’ve got all these different things that complement one another a lot of times when someone hires one of the companies they end up working with another one or possibly all of the companies. And it’s ah it’s a fun way to run things.

08:19.22

Matt Watson

So what made you start the SDR business? So I guess for those who are not familiar with SDR once you explain what that is.

08:26.43

David Valentine

Yeah, so an outsourced ser agency is an outsourced sales development rep firm. So essentially what we do is we book b two b meetings for clients. Um, the reason why we started that Matt is because one of the things that we always heard back from our clients was. Um, hey I either want sales directly converting through my eCommerce site I want foot traffic to my physical location. This is from the previous business or I want b two b leads and one of the things we would do is we’d be extremely successful at driving b two b leads I mean just lead after lead after lead after lead after lead. And then they’d ultimately say hey this is great, but my salespeople have to track these down some of them are bad numbers. Some of them are bad emails. You know I don’t you sent me leads a day for the month of June and maybe 50% of those were actually solid leads. So. It was good. Not great. So they’re always like you know would be really great as if you could book us a meeting and so we actually started doing SDR for ourselves in the original company and it’s how we got all of our kind of our customers and so we landed. Ah, a lot of mom and pop shops. You’ve never heard of and we’ve also landed huge companies that everyone’s heard of like Target um, and so the way that we did that was using the SDR methods that then Avadel perfected um and executes on behalf of its clients today.

09:53.38

Matt Watson

Well and so my last company was a b two b company and um, we got lots of inbound leads through content marketing and and we got hundreds of leads a month but yeah then the the struggle was then always like you know, getting those people on the phone getting them engaged qualifying them like having real conversations with them and that kind of sells development work was always really difficult and tedious and it’s really hard to get employees to do it right? I mean that’s one of the biggest struggles I feel like for a lot of people. They’re like. You got these sales people. They’re like yeah if you get me the calls. You know I can close the deals that it’s really hard to hire people and get them to make 50 phone calls a day and send 200 emails a day and like every day do this sort of work that’s somewhat tedious, right? But it’s a numbers game right? And so. If you can perfect it and you can do it every day it works.

10:44.48

David Valentine

Yeah, it’s one of those things that you know whenever I went to look at this business. Matt, one of the things that I learned that was really surprising to me was that it typically costs a company $100000 or more to hire an in-house. Sales development rep so someone that’s actually doing the work that Avadel does and that’s because of software and lead lists that they need and time to ramp up. It usually takes them ninety days to ramp up before they book their meeting because they’re getting a sense for who you are, what you’re doing and then.

11:10.21

Matt Watson

Yes.

11:17.45

Matt Watson

Yep.

11:22.21

David Valentine

83% of those internal SDRs miss their quota every quarter so it’s a huge number. The cost is huge for most small businesses that are growing. It’s even a large number for large businesses. Truth be told, we actually work, Avadel works with a lot of large companies. As well as small companies to do SDR work to book these meetings because they can’t do it and the reason why they can’t do it is and I had this brilliant mentor early on in my career explain this to me. He said most people want sales. At least jobs some of them want them to do 3 jobs so they’ll say something like hey I need you to prospect and get the meeting then I need you to sell them on the work and then some people would even go a step further and say and I want you to manage that account and I knew agency owners that did that and my mentors said look those people exist. They are so rare and you pay them a year. He’s like that because they’re just not that’s not normal. He said instead hire a person to do your prospecting. Hire a person to do your sales. Hire a person to manage the account and so as we’ve gone out into the world.

12:18.42

Matt Watson

Yeah, yeah.

12:35.81

David Valentine

Preaching that message from my mentor, people have a light bulb go off and they go. Oh yeah, I’m not very good at getting the meeting booked. But once I have the meeting I’m a killer at closing it or vice versa. Man, I’m really good at books in the meeting but I can’t sell it or man I’m really great at counts. But I can’t sell anything.

12:44.47

Matt Watson

Yeah.

12:54.49

David Valentine

So whenever you start to divvy those up and see those as truly 3 different positions all of a sudden man the floodgates open up to your ability to sell more books, more meetings and have better results once they are a client or a customer.

12:58.40

Matt Watson

Yep.

13:06.10

Matt Watson

And so my first company sold software to car dealerships and we had that exact model. We um the great thing about car dealerships. You call them up and they answer the phone. They’re easy to get on the phone right.

13:19.44

David Valentine

Yeah.

13:20.72

Matt Watson

And ah, you’re like I need to talk to the you know internet sales manager and you know what he answers the phone and like hey that’s the guy we’re trying to sell to and he answers the phone every time it’s beautiful, but um, we had what we called fishing poles and they were like they were the hu that just made those calls you know hundreds of calls a month.

13:32.59

David Valentine

Step.

13:35.90

Matt Watson

And yeah we had those very defined roles. You’re right I think it’s it’s so huge to have those defined roles because the people that are good at closing the deals especially like big complex enterprise deals are definitely not the people that are going to make 50 phone calls a day like they’re just different personalities and to some degree that work is sort of beneath them.

13:52.20

David Valentine

Right? right? Yep so it’s fun man. It’s a really good time and it’s fun to be 1 of the biggest and fastest growing SCR firms in the world.

13:52.27

Matt Watson

Right? Like they’re not going to do that kind of work.

14:04.30

Matt Watson

So when you guys, um, are working for your target customer, is it somebody that they’re good at doing part of that or or they have to get to a certain size. You know like. So for example, if they’ve like hey we have a salesperson today. Like are they too small like you’re like okay you know we work best when they’ve got 2 or 3 kinds of account managers or people that can close the deal where they would like to have 5 to 10 SDRs but they just struggle to hire and train them like where’s the like size that outsourcing this to a firm like you helps.

14:38.65

David Valentine

So it can’t help at any size. So here’s the reason why this came about. Like I said, in my first company I needed to book meetings so that I could get more clients. Well, that’s the name of the game for every business that isn’t doing a million dollars in revenue, they just need more clients. So if you go to. Any kind of group for people that are under a million dollars in revenue in ah in a company you know what you hear every time you’ve been in these meetings man you’ll hear every time I just need to get more customers I just need to get more customers I just need more clients if I only have more customers if I only have more clients and so the reality is. Everyone needs this It’s just not accessible to everyone at a high level and so that’s the challenge right? is that if I had the service that I have right now and I was at the place where I was when I started to do this on my own I couldn’t have afforded where I am at this point in time. But what I started to realize was at that time the power of cold email outreach which is not sexy. People don’t like it. People think they have ideas about what that means. Is it spammy? Can I even do it? Legal. The answer is yes, you could totally do it does it work according to Hubspot. They did a survey last year, some of them said that they prefer to do deals, have conversations and get agreements via email over anything else and that was in October of 2021 that they came out with that so email is still huge. And then the thing that was unique to us as we decided that we were going to do creative direct mail so actually sending tangible physical things in the mail that were unique and different and that stood out so I found a vendor who the owner of the company became my close friend. And a business confidant. It’s a company called better than a letter they send out pinaas in the mail that come outside of a box. They have candy inside. They’ll have a note on the side of the pinata with a QR code that goes directly to a calendar ah calendar link. Ah, we’ll do stuff like a message in a bottle, same idea like it’s something unique. It comes in tubular mail. So you think you’re getting a poster or you think you’re getting blueprints or something and they’re getting a message in a bottle and we’ve done stuff like that. There’s also another company that we use called ignite post they’re based out of Boston. They have an ai robot that does handwritten notes so it looks authentic like I wrote it and then it sends them out on your behalf and these tools have become so powerful for us Matt they actually yield great results for not only our clients but also ourselves all the companies behind me the seven that we work with.

17:07.83

Matt Watson

Um, yeah.

17:25.42

David Valentine

They all Leverage Avadel services to grow and they’re all growing exponentially fast.

17:28.90

Matt Watson

Well, and I have to admit you know I’m not the person that really likes receiving junk mail and by us I mean spam like spam junk mail. But if you send me a physical thing in the mail like more often than not I’m gonna get it and I’m gonna see it like if you send me spam like it probably gets filtered out and like it. Likely going to skim right? over it. But that’s the thing like if I get a physical tangible thing in my I might look at it for 3 seconds and throw it away but I looked at it for 3 seconds and I never forget there was some company I don’t remember who they were now but they said us like something that was like had like a video screen on it like you opened up the thing and it was like started playing a video and. And they kept sending a shit. I’m like I don’t know who these people are, but they are desperate to get our attention and it was crazy like we kept talking about them in the office. We’re like these crazy people who keep sending to the shit. You know what we were talking about? They got our attention.

18:11.40

David Valentine

Ah, yeah, yeah.

18:20.81

David Valentine

Yeah, it’s been interesting to hear we got to so we have another thing that we send using better than a letter. It’s called emoji gram so it’s corrugated plastic so that it’s die cut into the shape and ah of an emoji with it printed on the front. And so we have like the crying laughing one or the hard eyes but we sent a poop emoji to 18 t on behalf of ah an app development firm and the app development firm got a meeting with the VP of marketing one of the VPS of marketing they have several and he goes listen. No one has ever sent me shit in the mail that was hilarious I wanna talk to you guys and that’s why I’m here and they ended up closing a figure plus deal with that with at and to do an app development for them and so if you do some of these things that are unique and and we even do this in an email as well. Matt, you know.

18:59.30

Matt Watson

Ah, yeah.

19:11.15

Matt Watson

Um, yeah.

19:13.98

David Valentine

1 of the things that people get wrong. They’ll write a 12 line email or 20 or I’ve seen some that are multiple pages and I’m like dude what are you doing I’m like we send emails out that are 2 to 6 sentences in length and that’s the sweet spot people just want to know who you are.

19:23.72

Matt Watson

Um, yeah.

19:33.71

David Valentine

Who do you serve? Do you have an offer for me? Why should I get on a call with you man you know and once you get through that you can actually have a substantive conversation about your products and services.

19:42.63

Matt Watson

So I want to talk a lot more about email marketing. But before we do that, I want to remind everybody that finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult. Visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and then see what available developers, testers, and leaders are available to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. So our company does software development, and I’m the chief technology officer basically at a company and I get spam on a weekly basis from companies trying to provide software development services. And the problem with all of them to me is like I don’t know who they are and and I don’t trust them, right? and I feel like those are the hardest things to overcome in email marketing. But if they do a good job of giving me free content or free information or can help educate me and eventually I can learn more about their company and learn more about their brand. Become you know more trustworthy about that company. Maybe I’d be more likely to contact them right? So I mean how do how do you How do you help companies overcome those challenges with email marketing.

20:50.10

David Valentine

Yeah, there are 2 things that really work. Well so one is taking case studies and shrinking them down to a singular sentence. So a lot of people will take case studies and they’ll make them multiple pages long. You don’t do that.

20:57.99

Matt Watson

There you go.

21:07.12

David Valentine

So we actually created a formula that’s really easy to follow. So you say we worked with company x and if you can use their name. That’s best, but if you can’t because you have an India or whatever, say you know a leading fortune 500 company or a leading technology. Whatever you want to say you can find another way to be nondescript without. Ah, losing the point there so we work with company x we got y result so whatever that means for your industry your firm whatever in z time and the shorter that you can make the time span that they got the result the. More likely you’re going to get a response from that right? So this is really easily understood when it comes to getting into shape. Whatever getting into shape means for you if I say hey listen ah Matt I’m going to help you get in shape you’re going to be in the best shape of your life. It’s going to take you eighteen months. I need you to come to the gym.

21:49.86

Matt Watson

Um, life.

22:04.31

David Valentine

Every day five days a week for eighteen months, but you’ll be in the best shape of your life. I only need an hour five days a week. You’re going to be like well sure man of course like if I work out like ah a Hollywood star trying to get in shape for a superhero movie. Of course I’m going to be in great shape. Thanks. And that’s a lot of time. But if I say hey Matt all I going to do is take this pill for forty five days and you’re going to be in the best shape of your life and all you gotta do is work out 2 hours a week you’re gonna be like okay ah, that’s way more valuable to me that’s way more interesting so number is writing quality case studies in a short format number 2 and this one will actually do more power than any of your case studies combined you have to have what I call as an outrageous offer something that sounds too good to be true, but it’s actually a way for you to demonstrate the value you’re going to provide to your customer or clients. Okay, so Ah, the thing that we do for every one of our businesses is we have something that sounds too good to be true. So I own a flight school with my brother. My younger brother. He’s a pilot for American Airlines so we started this flight school. It’s based outside of the fort worth Dallas fort worth area and I said hey man, um, what’s. The best way to get new students and he said well the best way to get new students is to have them come in and do what’s called a discovery flight at most places they pay three hundred bucks they get to go up for 30 minutes with an instructor pilot. They land, they usually let them take off and. Fly the plane around and have this full experience and most schools are trying to make their money back off that as a ah lead gen source right? So they’ll pay to get this one lead and then they’re hoping to recoup that.

23:46.44

Matt Watson

In the neck.

23:57.10

David Valentine

What if we just made it so that we didn’t even cover our costs necessarily but we got way more students coming into that discovery flight and he was like well what do you mean? I was like let’s make the discovery flight fifty bucks and he was like we’re going to pay more for gas. We’re going to pay more on the instructor pilot for the 30 minutes there in the air. Then we will from that $50 I said I know I’m just trying to defer the cost. So what’s our close rate like right now for students that are going through the discovery flight and he goes oh we close 88% of them I said ding ding we have a winner because when we close a student the cheapest the cheapest. Program that we have is $10000. I was like, dude that in most students, they go for the whole Kitten Caboodle. It’s 80 grand I was like so we’re gonna lose two hundred bucks, but we’re gonna have more students come in because we have a cheap discovery flight. We have a really almost a 90% close rate after they do that and we’re gonna.

24:39.20

Matt Watson

Wow.

24:54.69

David Valentine

Upsell them into a program most likely I said this is easy. This is a no-brainer and so what that’s done is we’ve grown so fast that it’s like oh my gosh we’re got to get financing for more planes we got. We’re building a hangar right now and so when you do things like this. Um, and you give a great offer like that and you’re leading with it in emails you will get as many meetings as you want.

25:15.40

Matt Watson

I think that’s the key right? Are you going to figure out what that outrageous offer or um, you know the value that they can provide, right? I think that’s the key. The other option is providing value of some form. Providing free information free training free. Whatever it is providing some sort of value.

25:35.00

David Valentine

Yeah, we have a cannabis client who ah I don’t know if yeah, most listeners probably won’t know this but some will so in the cannabis world because it’s still not federally legal which is absurd but beside the point. You can’t cross state lines with any products. It’s actually legal to do so, so you have to grow and produce that product in the state that you’re selling it in so for cannabis companies. It’s exceptionally expensive to expand so where we’re representing this cannabis company that was based in Washington, DC.

26:05.13

Matt Watson

Here.

26:11.98

David Valentine

They decided that they wanted to open some wholesale chains to sell their stuff in California; they have a very small target audience. There are only about 350 cannabis retail stores in the state of California which shocked the hell out of me and. Out of those you have only a finite number of people that are responsible for purchasing wholesale items. They were struggling to get meetings when they came on board, and they requested a meeting with me and so I talked with Matt and here’s what I said I said guys you don’t have an offer. Sounds like everybody else is doing stuff. I’m sure that you’re offering free samples. They’re like yeah, it’s exactly what we’re doing I was like you can’t be like everybody else like what do we do? I said here I’ve got ideas for you I was like here’s the one number pay for a co branded billboard with any retail shop. That takes on you. You guys as an account I said you know cause if they buy from you. How much are they gonna buy from you and they go well usually on a yearly basis about 40 grand? I said okay, how much is a billboard cost in California they go well the most expensive spot probably like – grand for a month I said perfect I said so. You’re gonna do a co-branded billboard with that retail shop. You’re gonna spend at most places you’re gonna spend like 4 and they’re like sure I said so here’s what it’s gonna do number 1 You’re gonna get more accounts. You’re gonna have more meeting numbers when someone comes in, usually when they come into a cannabis shop. They have no idea what they want, but now they’re going to be able to say I want that product because they saw it on the billboard and like go the second thing I said was because they have an artisanal edible product I said hey man what if you had a chef go in and make these products.

27:51.13

Matt Watson

Earth.

28:03.77

David Valentine

On-site and then did a tasting and they’re like oh my gosh. That’s brilliant. So those things Matt just to give you an idea they went from booking meetings a month to booking 35 meetings a month just because they switched an offer. We still had the same targeting. It was the same people. It was the same number of emails. Nothing else changed. All they did was take the ideas that I gave them and said great. Let’s roll with those as outrageous offers, and they booked so many meetings that last month they hit up their account manager at Avadel and they said a David Valentine’s ideal. Ideas work so well that we can put a pause on the campaign for August because we can’t fulfill all the customers that we have. I call those champagne problems.

28:47.98

Matt Watson

It’s a good problem to have but it’s a bad problem to have I’ve been there before so when you’re doing this SDR kind of ah, kind of work for your customers. Do you find it? It works best when you’re doing it. You know are you dealing with inbound leads that you’re trying to qualify and warm them up and close appointments or are you just like look. We’re finding random names and calling random people or do you guys do both types of work or what can you tell me about that?

29:17.70

David Valentine

Yeah, so we have a proven process that we take everybody through so that’s pretty refined at this point honestly. So. So first thing we do is we get a signed contract and then 2 to 3 business days later. They do an onboarding call. They have it with their strategist and their account manager. And it’s a 45 minute meeting where we just do a deep dive into hey give us the unique value propositions of your company. Do you have an outrageous offer? Can you give us some case studies who’s your ideal customer persona. You know, it is a company that has 20 employees that sell B2B SaaS. Ah, massive enterprise companies. What are their job titles? We kind of go through the whole thing and then we end up doing it if we have ah we pay for 4 different database subscriptions that charge us more than my salary by an exponential every year. That’s insanely expensive.

30:05.12

Matt Watson

Um, yeah, um.

30:11.26

David Valentine

And we go and plug that data in and then it spits out information to a team member that we have multiple team members that work in that department but they look at it and they go. Okay, this makes sense. They spot check around the names just to make sure that we’re on the right track based on that onboarding. A week after that onboarding we’ll present what we call our Atlas. So at Avadel we do all adventure theme expedition themed sort of ah branding language so in the Atlas we show them hey here’s your total addressable market from the four databases here’s some sample email copy here’s some sample direct mail copy. And some sample direct mail pieces and then also how best to work with us and so that meeting usually takes 20 minutes and in that meeting a lot of the times we’re asking them to do is fact check hey did we factually get this case study correct is this is how you talk about your product or service correct. And just making sure that we’re on the same page. Um, and then from there we go finalize their ah their email campaigns and then turn them on from start to finish Matt from the email signature to when their campaigns launch is three weeks and the real story is there. We don’t charge them a dime until their campaign launches. So they’re kind of getting work for free as it were until their campaign goes and then to answer your question directly about are we just hitting people randomly or is it inbound. We really study and try to find people that are a good fit. Ah, but it’s all cold outreach outbound. So we’re looking for people that fit the icp and then we’re reaching out of it’s inbound in a traditional inbound sense at all.

31:52.67

Matt Watson

Well, that’s huge because ah I mean most companies do fairly well with the inbound stuff because they’re warm leads, right? It’s the totally cold leads like you’re talking about that is the most difficult and like at Full Scale We have the same issue. I’m sure this is ah the the hardest thing you have their clients right is trying to figure out who is your addressable market that you’re trying to to go after and trying to pair that down because everybody’s like well we can serve everybody and it’s like well you can’t call everybody so who are the most important of everybody to call if I have to call 3 people who is it like it’s not ranum everybody. There’s got to be somebody. That’s a higher priority than.

32:24.52

David Valentine

Pengo.

32:27.90

Matt Watson

Just any random person right? like that’s always a struggle but at Full Scale we have that issue. It’s like oh we provide Software Development services. So There’s like potential customers right? like it’s That’s the hardest struggle I feel like for a lot of companies I’m sure that you work with is trying to beat into them like you’ve got to narrow this down to. Your icp. You know? And um, how do you do you have new recommendations on that side of it because I feel like that’s one of the biggest problems that all entrepreneurs have is they feel like they want to chase every fish in the ocean instead of nailing it down to a specific niche.

33:00.34

David Valentine

Yeah, if you’ve been in business for a while you probably have some nucleus of clients in an industry at a certain size in a certain condition. Um, you even have some idea of like who did we reach out to, who do we have that initial meeting with and how did that play out so like a thing that we’ve found a lot Matt is if you’re talking to owner founders of smaller companies. You’ll get more meetings and most of the time those are more challenging cells. Why? Because it’s their money, you’re asking them for their money to spend their money now if you get a director of marketing or CMO or a head of operations or a CTO right? It’s not their money. It’s someone else’s money so they’re fine if they’re not the owner. They’re fine to spend it. It’s just a matter of who can I justify the most back to the owner, founder, CEO, Board, whoever right? They have to justify this purchase, and so it’s an interesting model flip but of the things that I encourage people to do to find that audience is okay. Do you have a nucleus like are there clumps of companies that do really well with you guys and so like for Avadel, it’s pretty simple. Ah marketing firms. We crush it for B2B software SaaS companies. We. We just like we’re great at that. That’s where most of our clients sit. We have a cannabis company. We’ve got some ah flight part companies that we represent. We’ve got companies in all sorts of different weird industries that sell b two b and we book them a lot of meetings the two that we have the most in are b two b tech and Sas and marketing agencies. So. We run specific email campaigns to those icps and what we see Matt over and over and over again is that that’s where we have so much traction. We score so many wins and it’s outside of that that we’ll get some wins every now and again. But really, we’re trying to hit these 2 verticals.

35:08.26

Matt Watson

Um, and eating and and for all those emails is the key driver.

35:11.12

David Valentine

Um. Yeah, email so email books 86% of all the meetings we book for our clients every single month. We book around 2000 meetings for all of our combined clients. We have right now, and 86% of those month after month are coming from email the other 14% come from creative direct mail. But to your point earlier Matt about hey if you send me something in the physical mail. Not only does it have a 100% open rate. But I’m going to talk about some of you. We found that while the 14% is not as big the close rate for our clients on the 14% that come from direct mail is actually higher.

35:38.77

Matt Watson

Yeah.

35:51.39

David Valentine

Then the ones that come through email and so it’s really interesting for somebody to get a tangible physical branded product. It does something to our psyche.

35:57.34

Matt Watson

So how is the covid and working remote affected that though because if you would have maild anything to our office literally nobody would have got any of it for like a year two. So how did that happen? How did that impact the direct mail part of it?

36:13.58

David Valentine

Yeah, so that was ah that was an interesting wrinkle like every like every business owner that’s listening to this podcast. You know that she always encountered these problems that just ah, expect the unexpected right? You never know when something like that is gonna happen. So what we started doing was what we started saying.

36:16.40

Matt Watson

Yeah, ah.

36:26.16

Matt Watson

Yeah.

36:33.82

David Valentine

Reaching out to people in the sequence and saying hey listen I have a gift that I’d like to send you in the mail. This is the address that we have on file. Is this the best way for me to get it to you and it became hilarious Matt because we got something like I think the last time I heard the count before I told them to delete this information. We had somewhere in the neighborhood of plus ah home mailing addresses that people had sent to us and said hey, actually we’re not going to be in the office for a while here’s my home address. You’re not going to send me a bomb. Are you? You know like some but some people would write like some fun notes.

37:05.90

Matt Watson

Um, yeah.

37:10.61

David Valentine

And we’d like no, it’s truly a gift. It’s just something that’s fun and delightful and we wanted to send it to you. So a lot of people give us their home addresses, and that’s where we sent things and it worked out great.

37:17.70

Matt Watson

Yeah, and it’s what I imagine today. It’s still got to be. It’s still got to be a little tricky because like now I’m the chief technology officer of a company but I don’t work in their office I work from home. So if you send it to their office. Our corporate office is in Minneapolis and we have 50 people that work in that office.

37:27.14

David Valentine

Right? Yeah right.

37:35.64

Matt Watson

But I’m not 1 of them. So yeah, it’s still got to be tricky like the whole working remote thing has thrown a wrinkle into but it’s a fun way to email people and try and get like hey I have something free for you. Do you work remote or I got this cool thing I want to make sure you get it so another way to start the conversation.

37:36.30

David Valentine

But right? yeah.

37:48.51

David Valentine

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and it’s interesting people really appreciate that you’re just trying to do something different and fun and unique. Most of the time people get what’s going on.

37:57.32

Matt Watson

Um, yeah.

38:05.90

David Valentine

It doesn’t scare them. They actually feel good and they feel like oh man here’s someone that’s trying you know and I think that that’s a big deal in sales and meeting bookings. Ah for B2B sales purposes man people just want to feel like they’re important and special because we forget a lot of that. We are all the hero of our own story and everything that you Matt have going on today is vitally important to your life and so for someone to come in and say hey I just want to give you a little something It’s not huge, but I just want to give you something that has a feeling that has a resonance and that’s what. Good marketing really does is it really makes you feel seen, appreciated, and heard, and if you can do that through email and cold direct mail you’re really doing something unique and special.

38:56.83

Matt Watson

Well, this has been a fun conversation today. As we wrap this up, I do want to remind everybody that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io. Do you need help hiring software engineers, testers, or leaders? We can help you. At Full Scale, we have the people and the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io, all you need to do is answer a few questions and let our platform match you up with a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, QA, and software development leaders. At Full Scale, we specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you. Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. So as we wrap this up, I’m curious. For those who may be listening, like man, I’m hiring a company like this that could help me do SDR work and ramp up the outbound. That sounds amazing. What if there’s somebody thinking about that. What is the average ticket price that they’ve got to get to where that makes sense? Like obviously, if you’re Netflix and it’s like $9 a month. There’s probably not a huge ROI thereof having these expert call center people making these calls. So what and where is that threshold? How big of a ticket does this need to be before this starts to make sense?

40:10.89

David Valentine

Yeah, generally speaking. You know if you’ve got a product that’s $20000 in annual recurring revenue or more or you’ve got an average project fee that’s around 20 to 30000 Dollars or you have a monthly recurring revenue of at least grand a month this really makes sense and there are different firms out there. We’re Avadel is a big firm. It’s as big as some of the bigger players in the space like sales hive or science a lot of people have heard of those.

40:30.60

Matt Watson

Yes.

40:46.10

David Valentine

There are a dime a dozen small shops that are out there trying to get to a large scale like Avadel and so you can find some out there that will sell you services for two grand a month or typically if you’re going to go with a larger company like Avadel or sales hive or science. You’re going to charge $8000 a month just to get started so you have to really find a good partner. Um, and so one of the things that we like to do Matt. I’d love to offer it to your listeners if that’s okay if a lot of people have been in this space and they’ve been burned and so ah, they’re not sure. Or or they’ve never tried this They’ve never outsourced it, and they don’t know if it’s going to work, so what? What I’d love to do for your listeners is just offer that we’ll give any of your listeners 3 meetings free ah no strings attached all they got to do is email me and the email or the headline of the email just type in the name of this podcast. And I’ll get them connected with a salesperson who will get them set up and literally it’s 3 meetings free after the meeting if it’s not a good fit. They’re charged zero dollars if it is a good fit then they can move into a paying model. Um, but they can just email me and my email address is David. DAV I d at Avadel ava d el l dot agency and just drop the podcast title in the headline and then we’ll get them hooked up with those 3 free meetings.

42:11.66

Matt Watson

Well, that’s ah, that’s awesome. That’s a great offer, and I think the key is, and that’s why I asked the question: kind of qualifying is like you’ve got to have a product or service. That’s, you know, $20000 or something like that, and I think that was part of our struggle with my last company. Our average customer only paid, say, $2000 a year. And it was much harder to staff and create a successful outbound um campaign now for us. It was focusing on the bigger fish, so we had customers that paid us more. We had customers that could pay 20000, but it was always trying to weed down to which ones are the 20000, and that’s why I mentioned earlier. The hard part is like when you’re trying to sell to everybody. It’s like we can’t sell to everybody because you can’t afford to do this, you know, to the people that don’t pay a lot, right? You’ve got to get it down to your niche that really pays the most. You know, close the most and focus on those, and I think that’s got to be 1 of the hardest things for a lot of people is trying to get them to focus down to that group that is the best group to focus on.

43:06.81

David Valentine

Yep, something.

43:13.74

David Valentine

Yeah, it’s one of the things that I’m constantly asking the question for all the businesses Matt is okay with. So once they sign on with us, if it’s for PR or branding or SDR, whatever it is, right? It’s like once they sign on with us. What’s the next problem they’re going to have? How can we help them solve that? And so one of the things that we’ve done at Avadel is we host an outrageous offer workshop the Tuesday of every month, and any Avadel client can join, and I’ll walk them through the process. The formula that we use to structure that offer and it really does make a difference. The other thing that we do is we offer ongoing. Sales training because to your point, Matt, the cold calls are the hardest ones to take everybody closes referrals. Everybody closes those deals all the time, then they get on a cold call, and they don’t know what to do. Well, we take cold calls a month between all the companies put together. So we’ve gotten pretty good. We’ve gotten pretty good at it.

44:06.40

Matt Watson

Now.

44:10.13

David Valentine

And so we train them on how to do that, and I think that that’s the next level thinking for a lot of business owners too is like hey once they sign on with your company. What’s the next problem that you can help them solve so that they don’t just have the success that you’re providing, but they find their own success, and if you can do that, man? You will have lifetime customers that love you.

44:28.65

Matt Watson

Well, that is amazing feedback for everybody to learn from. Thank you so much for everything today. This has been a great episode. I hope everybody learned a lot more about SDRs and cold calling. Maybe some of them gave them a little more confidence in doing cold calling. It’s difficult to do, and definitely, firms like yourselves can hope a lot. I think that offer that you provided was great. Can you remind everybody one more time how to take advantage of that free offer?

44:59.12

David Valentine

Yeah, so if you want to take advantage of that offer, you can just email me at david@avadel.agency. Just put the name of the podcast in the headline. I would be so excited to get you 3 meeting books for free.

45:15.53

Matt Watson

That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time today, David. I’ll catch you on the next one. All right, thank you.

45:20.66

David Valentine

Thanks so much, Matt. It’s been fun.

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