The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 77: Getting Commitment Upfront w/ Justin Welsh

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 77: Getting Commitment Upfront w/ Justin Welsh

Part of the "Is This a Good Time?" Series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the revenue collected podcast. I am your host, Brandon martin, you're listening to Is this a good time? The show where I asked revenue Collective members some really basic questions and they have great answers in a short 15 minute conversation every Tuesday and thursday shows her out. So please hit subscribe. So you don't miss any today. Our guest is Justin well, she is the founder of Justin Well, Strategic Advisory and we discussed the importance of getting commitment up front from a potential buyer. This episode was brought to you by quota path. The commission tracking software built for sales operations, finance and accounting teams. Running commissions and payroll. Has you running for the hills quota path is for you quarterback helps organizations track and manage commissions and pay their teams accurately and on time every time, keep your team motivated and on target. Simplify your commissions. That quota path dot com slash revenue dash collective. Give your reps the gift of transparency. All right, let's do this Episode 28. Is this a good time? Alright, super excited to have today's guest Gestion. Well, she is a advisor to many B two B SAs startups. I believe That's that's that's what it would be. All I'll be to be SaAS startups for the most part. Yeah, that's right. Mostly early stage. So anywhere between three and 10 million is sort of my sweet spot and you are most famous because you were the revenue collected podcast host. The original revenue collected podcast host. And I know that that was the thing that made you become incredibly linked in famous, right? Not quite uh it was probably 22 years previous, but no, I think it's just writing every morning. That's uh that's got me I guess quasi popular, but I'll take it. I'm sure it helped. Okay, good. I mean, I'm only doing this for the fame. So anyway, here we are. All meat. No filler. Jump right in with the questions. Tell us about your career and how you got to where you are. Yeah. I graduated school in 03, went to...

...the Ohio State University and You know for the first six years of my career I actually was not very good at what I did. I got fired from a bunch of companies. I was a sales guy and I got fired my first three companies. So 2003-2009, pretty much the definition of what you would call a failure. And in late 2000 and nine I got connected with a guy named Cyrus Masumi who was hiring the second sales guy in the 10th employee at a very small start up in new york called Zodiac. And um I got that job and I don't know, it was like this, I I kind of describe it as this intersection, like my own maturity, the energy of the city, the incredibly smart people there, the product that was representing, they kind of all crossed and I made a sale my first day and having come from failure, like I got really hooked next five years, I had a bunch of leadership roles at doc doc. I turned that into my first executive role at 33 a company called patient pop six person start up and grew that from its very first dollar in revenue to about a little over 50 million and recurring in about 4.5 years, wow, jeez that's incredible. Zach doc's office was in soho, right, like right in uh one of those big buildings that had a bunch of, I remember that, I think Foursquare was in that building too, weren't they? That's right. Foursquare was in the building And I think thrillist was in the building. It was 568 Broadway corner of Prince and Broadway. Yeah, this was the this was definitely the, when Silicon Alley was coined right? Like yes between there and Union Square, you know from Union Square to Madison Square Park, right? Like that that whole thing. Very I'm so how did you, how did you come across this job? Like maybe this is part of your your luck story. I don't want to I don't want to take from from later on in the pot here. No I wouldn't call it luck, I would call it maybe deception. Like I I um you know I had I had had a terrible career and I did what anyone with a terrible career generally does with...

...their resume. It's it's on steroids to resume on steroids right? It's and I put it on, I put it on Monster and I think the recruiter who reached out to me, Karen Hayes very first employee at zodiac and she said we love your resume and I was like great. So um I remember that I wanted that job and so I like prepped so hard for that interview. Like I don't recommend people go make up their resumes but I think it does anyways good Good Good Asteras don't do that but fine. Right. I've also never interviewed a bottom performers. So my my assumption is that 50 of people are making up their resume to begin with. But I ended up being a good higher there and I got it through monster through sheer I guess Luckman Good. I like now you're talking now it's like because obviously I I definitely believe that success comes from a mixture of luck and hard work. Maybe. You know, you obviously just told us a little bit about the luck side. Jump into something on the hard work side. I mean going from first dollar in the door to 50 million and they are in four years is incredibly hard. Talk about that journey at patient pop because I I've been able to follow that company from afar, you know, being another new york startup, you know that I was in at the time. But tell us about that journey. Yeah, I think um it was another I guess combination of luck good choice, which was like when I went to get my first executive role, I made it in the space of vertical that I knew very well health care at an average contract value and velocity that I was extremely comfortable in. So I like I chose something that I knew how to do or had been doing for a team of 20 to 25 at stock doc and I was just gonna be the VP of sales, doing something the same at patient pop. It's only two people in the company when I joined to sales guys and I think on the hard work side where I was really lazy from 23 to 28 29. Zach Duke had this culture and if you've ever read about their culture, you talk to some folks who came from that there's so many executives and C suite and and founders that come from that company today the culture there...

...was like incredibly intense, super intense. Like He came back to the, came back, I was a field sales guy. If he came back to the office at 5:30 people are like what are you doing here? Like go back out, like go make sales, you know, if you were leaving at like 8 30 back then it's not like this today from my understanding, but back then I was like, oh half day, it's like you kind of got teased and ribbed if you were going to leave before nine, like that's just what it was. I'm not saying that's right by the way, but that's what the culture was and I like that I'm a workaholic by nature now. I have been since I joined that company and it instilled in me this like really incredible work ethic where I mean I'll go 80 to 100 hours a week and this is not trying to be braggadocious or arrogant or anything like that, it's just the way that I'm wired since joining that company. And so I actually thank them for giving me like the motor that I took to patient pop and I brought a lot of that to the business, which made it a great place for top performers and a challenging place for bottom performers, interesting. And what was from your perspective, what were some of the negative things in that culture that you are they well, is there a way to take some of the negative things out of it when keeping the sense of urgency and the amount of time, commitment and hustle that people had? Yeah, I think, I think a lot of early stage startups use a combination of workaholism and fear to drive sales, performance and that is not healthy. Right? And and again, I love it. So I'm not speaking poorly of the company because I love the culture. I loved it. Like a lot of people got fired. There's a lot of like worrying, but I don't know, I, I felt like the cream sort of rose to the top in that organization. I'm sure there's plenty of people who would disagree with me, but I liked that because the people that were left were like top performers and so I've created this incredible network of 30 40 C suite executives who exist today that came from that Zach doc mafia. I guess it was, it was called, you can look at the revenue collective. Everyone on the home page is from Zhong.

And so, um, I liked that. I would have liked less fear. I didn't bring a fear culture to patient Popeye brought a hard work culture. So I think the more you can pull fear out of that, the better off you are. And I, you know, I don't, I don't think that's a good thing to do today, but it worked for me. Yeah. It certainly does not seem like the thing that would work with the next gen z Zoomer is whatever you wanna call them. But I think you're nailing it with, you can create a culture and with people with people that want to be high achievers and work their asses off, but perhaps not to their own detriment. Right? That's right. That's right. That is a delicate balance because I also come from you and I were talking, we're the same age. I do come from a time where my first job out of college were in restaurants and we were working 100 hour weeks and it was work hard, play hard and so much of that is bullshit. But yet work ethic is something that you can learn it put in the right environment. Yeah. And like, well we definitely were expected to work hard and work long hours, like I don't know, I liked it, like I liked, I kind of live, slept and breathed it. I was in new york, I was 29 at the time, the top sales guys and gals were all real tight knit, real close because we're all working hard. But we also like drank the kool Aid, right? Because we thought like this is a huge platform, this is a great marketplace, We are solving a critical problem in the health care system. Like we all drank that kool Aid and I'm not ashamed of that, like yes, I look back at that is one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have no regrets from that experience. Love that, love that. Well you are somebody who, if you, if you get you know somebody follows you on linkedin or all this other stuff, they get tons of content. But give us give us something give us a little tactic. Give us a little flavor of something that you would recommend people do either on the icy level or on the management level that they might be able to implement into their deals like tomorrow. Yeah, I mean the one that I like the most is...

...the upfront contract and I always use like a come from transactional SAS. So I don't sell enterprise deals, I don't sell 50 K mid market deals. I'm selling six K eight K, 10-K, 12 K transactional SAS, that's my whole living. So for me, a lot of what closing comes down to is the upfront contract and the upfront contract is I use a triple upfront contract which is getting commitment in the very beginning of the call. Before we even have the demonstration before we even have the call that at the end of this call, I'm going to get one of three things. You're either going to tell me no, go pound sand. I'm not interested. And that will cease. The deal will cease to exist. It would be great. I get it off my plate. I move to the next deal. You will tell me, yes, I want to buy this today and I will sell it to you because I'm a salesperson or you tell me I want to buy this. But there's somebody else involved in the decision making process. And because of that, we're going to schedule a second meeting where that person comes to the meeting and we make a decision. So the closing and transactional SAS never happens at the end of the call. It always happens at the beginning of the call. And if you can get by and where you're like, listen, tell me no, I won't bother. You tell me yes, I'll sell it to you or tell me yes. But and we'll schedule another meeting and you hold them accountable to that at the end of the call, you're going to get more next steps. You're going to get more yeses and you're going to get more, knows the thing you'll get less of is maybe I like that. I think I think getting to know is as important as to getting to yes in S and B right. Like exactly. You know those deals can linger on forever. I felt that at rest for a long time. So hard lesson learned school. Any of the companies that are advising for hiring for a key position that you want to broadcast out. Yeah. Boy I have a portfolio of eight companies. I have N. D. A. S with most of them. So I can't broadcast the positions. But I am in my my portfolio hiring account executives. So I'm hiring ahead of sales. I'm hiring a head of marketing and I'm hiring a head of revenue operations. So if anyone is interested in those types of roles at generally early stage companies usually between three and 10 million and recurring revenue in the transactional...

...saS space, they can email me at Justin welch at H E Y dot com. Love it. That's it sounds like there's a bit there. All right. A few other things who do you look at and love their content when they're uh you know when they're spitting on linkedin or podcasts or whatever. Yeah. I mean there's a whole plethora of people I like on on linkedin. I love chris walker I think. You know, he's you know, I've gotten to know each other over the past couple of years, he's a good dude, I'm over refined labs, I love on twitter, I love Daniel Vassallo, who's kind of like a solo procure a little bit like I am, whose content motivates me, I like Jack Butcher on twitter, he does a good job, illustrating really complex ideas in really simple ways. I like josh bronze content on linkedin, I think he's a really good sales tactician. So those are some folks that I follow and think their content adds a lot of value to the ecosystem, but I'm always discovering new smaller content creators that I think are really interesting to follow as well. Cool, you, are you a strategery person as well or no, I don't know what that is, What is that? You gotta, if I think what you just said about making kind of complex things, visual and understanding them. Ben Thompson does this thing, street eatery, uh it's like high level strategy and talking about like aggregation theory and all this other stuff so but anyway I'll pass it to, it's a good one out, I never shot anything out. That's gonna be my shout out, Very cool and any any any kind of young ends up and comers who we should keep an eye out for. Yeah, yeah definitely. I think a guy whose content I really like on linkedin is Jesse Gettler is a former manager of mine at patient pop, I like his content a lot. I think Liz lee who's a sales account executive over at a company called Optimize Health, I like her content like sarah brazier, she does a good job. And then on twitter there's all kinds of young fellas Alex lull, Jenelle Lloyd. There's a million people that I follow on twitter as well. So it's fun to see what like Younger people who are...

...10 times smarter than I was at that age are producing. Yeah exactly. It's also scary fine. All right and most importantly of all Justin I could care less about everything else we just talked about. You know that's not true but I am a restaurant fanatic and I need to know give me a spot to go eat. It could be where you are in Nashville. It could be in your old house uh You know your your old stomping grounds in L. A. But where uh what's the spot for us to go eat up. Yeah I would say um Probably too. I would say here in Nashville a great place to go is called Margot. In East Nashville. It's a James beard award winning Chef Margo McCormick. And I would say that if you're, if you're in L. A. I would recommend um probably Sushi's Oh, which is a little hidden Sushi place in a nice strip mall that does like $300. Omakase is once a year, once a year kind of thing if you're lucky, but took my wife there for a birthday and it was it was dynamite banging, banging Omakase at sushi. I've been to the one in new york. Not L. A. But for sure, totally, totally agree. Alright, Justin so great to have you on, man. Thank you for passing the torch off to uh to us other podcasters if you will. And excited to just keep keep in touch, man, awesome. I really appreciate you having me on. So, thanks for the time men, All right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please write a review in the Apple podcasts. Spotify have sent it to some friends and make sure to smash that subscribe button. Seriously. We put a lot of effort in. Would love to get the episodes out further than they are today. Send to a friend reminder. This episode is brought to you by quarter past. Quarter Path is the first radically transparent and to end compensation solution from sales reps of finance get started for free at quarter past dot com slash revenue dash collective. I had a lot of fun today. Hope you did too. Now, good question numbers. Say something.

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