Ep 007: Nathan Bourne Grew His Business To Over 50 Employees By Focusing On This One Trait

Ryan Shank wrote this on on October 25, 2018 in Podcast

Nathan Bourne has grown his business to over 50 employees in less than 2 years by focusing on the “who”. Using an analogy to dating, you don’t date/marry someone because of the “why”. You are with them because of who they are. And he applies this to his employees and his customers.

If you want to watch the video, here you go:




Here’s the full transcript:

Ryan Shank: 00:01 All right guys, episode seven, growing your agency today. Super excited today. I have a, what am I, what am my friends? I’ve actually known nate born with my coordinate can, can introduce himself before you do. Just want to say I’ve known nate for about 15 years now. That’s crazy, right? A, a seeing them go into multiple businesses, succeed at most of them. Um, and uh, nate, thanks so much by the way, for, for being here.

Nathan Bourne: 00:34 It’s good to be here, man.

Ryan Shank: 00:39 We don’t need, we don’t need to go into the age thing, but that’s fine. So, so tell us, tell everyone a little bit about your background. I think you have to obviously have an interesting story. How’d you get into, how’d you get into business? Um, and you know, how’d you get into the current business that you’re in?

Nathan Bourne: 00:55 Yeah, absolutely. To keep it short, I worked really hard in school because of what society teaches us. Go to school, get good grades, get a good job. And um, you know, I grew up big family, fourth of dying children and I grew up very poor, so I wanted to succeed and have a comfortable life and I followed that path and I did that through athletics, specifically wrestling and through academics. So I found myself 20 years old about a decade ago. Exactly. I’m at an Ivy League school. I was at U Penn. I was arrested living there, but I just realized something wasn’t right. I wasn’t charged, I didn’t want to go to class, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I wanted to own my own business. So actually I left penn after starting with a company and doing well over my summer break and decided at that point that I was gonna centrally be an entrepreneur and for 10 years, grinded it out.

Nathan Bourne: 01:54 I worked with one company for seven years and I did well. I mean, I made a living and um, you know, essentially, uh, uh, close to a six figure income and kind of teetered right around that six figure mark. But more importantly, I learned leadership. I learned how to market myself. I learned how to speak, train, develop, and I took those skills, what I kind of say I got a doctorate in business and in leadership, got my 10,000 hours durIng those seven years and then launched my own company. I’m coming up on three years ago now and it’s really kind of the fundamentals that I learned from that business and then applied it to a new industry.

Ryan Shank: 02:38 That’s what I’m starting to see from a lot of, uh, you know, a lot, a lot of people that I talked to, especially agency owners, marketers, just entrepreneurs in general. it’s like, you know, they go and they get their mba at their first job is, it’s kind of like how a lot of people are positioning it and then they’re able to. And that’s actually what I did as well. And then you can kind of parlay that into your own thing later. Right. And I think a lot of people who are listening, you know, maybe want to do that. It’s like, look, go heads down and learn as much as you can, you know, at, you know, call it job number one gig number one. And then let’s go ahead and, uh, you know, you’re gonna be able to use those skills for the rest of your life. So in john, never want to tell me, you know, or the gig number one, um, as much as you feel comfortable talking about, but like, you know, what did you do? What were some of the tactical things you were able to do there to recruit people, gained clients, be successful and retain. I think retention is a big thing in any business. And uh, correct me if I’m wrong, that was a subscription business as well. So what were you doing to retain clients, gaining clients, that sort of thing?

Nathan Bourne: 03:40 Well, you understand this ryan better than better than most, better than anyone I know, which is your network is your net worth and you can know everything in the world, but if you don’t know anybody and nobody knows you, it doesn’t really matter. Right? The, the, the biggest threat to your business is obscurity. That, that people don’t know who you are. And ultimately what you stand for. So you, you mentioned attract and retain in our business, being in the, in the hr space, and I’m really speaking directly to the employee experience. That term gets thrown around a lot, you know, attract and retain a. We talked about something we call an attract and inspire. I don’t know about you and especially as an entrepreneur, I don’t want to be retained anywhere, you know, that sounds like a like jail or something. So it’s really about how do you attract people but not just to stop by or to check you out or use your for six months or even a year.

Nathan Bourne: 04:46 But how do you inspire them to engage in an experience that gets rooted in who they are, you know, in the habits of their life and the community that they want to be a part of. So it’s really just that, that season of seven years that I did a great deal of traveling across the country. I spoke, um, and I think what happened for me in that experience and that opportunity was that I was the young gun that was stepping into a 47 year old company that didn’t have very many young people, kind of new blood, fresh blood and I, I did pretty well and I did especially well coming out of the gate, hit it hard and they wanted to, to share that, you know, they wanted to show that. So I built a network I built as a skillset and a mindset, um, and have been able to turn that into an asset. So really it’s, it is about who you know, but it’s about people becoming loyalists to you and to your movement and to the people that you surround yourself with

Ryan Shank: 05:53 part of the internal team or do you talk about customers from a customer standpoint? Definitely,

Nathan Bourne: 05:58 yeah. In our world, you know, in the tech world, it’s, everything’s ux, ui. In our world we talk iex cx, right? What’s the employee experience? What’s the client experience and client experience? Cx is going to be in direct proportion to the iex and as a founder and as an entrepreneur, your employee experience has to be awesome. Like if you’re not having fun and you’re not, you know what? Literally like waking up, charged like I’m going to crush it today, all day, someone’s going to have to stop me from working today. You’re not going to attract people because it doesn’t matter how valuable your services to the matter, how more competitive you are. If you’re not creating an experience that people want to be a part of. And I don’t mean foosball tables and you know, shots, bro, you know, I mean, uh, mission, uh, cause um, and uh, development of people. So really that’s what we focus on. And to answer your questions, it’s twofold. My, my 50 plus employees have to be charged and inspired every day or the clients are going to realize do I really need to change and innovate with this company is people are creatures of habit and they’ve got to be inspired to, to try things new.

Ryan Shank: 07:16 Sorry to interrupt. But I’ve also found that, you know, that reminds me, I know myself personally when you’re talking about being inspired, but it’s also kind of like a sales rep or a sales person, which we’re all in sales at the end of the day. Right? It’s like you have to, if you believe in something, it’s so hard for someone. If you’re incredibly passionate about it and you go to them and you are speaking with that passion, with that inspiration for someone to not give you like a chance, like give it a shot. It’s when you, when you can feel it. That’s where I think companies succeed and it starts as you see this like amazing stuff happen versus what you’re saying on the other side of it. If you’re not inspired, you’re goIng, you’re going through the motions. You’re saying the pitch, you’re going to the clients, you’re doing this and you’re just like, ma. It’s like that’s not, that’s not interesting. If you come to me right now and you’re like, this is the best thing I’ve ever had. I use it again. I’m being saying it like that, but it’s like you can just feel that that’s actually so important. I haven’t heard anyone really talk about that recently, but it makes total total sense that I, you know, I, I, again, I think a lot of people will talk about it in relation to just sales, but it’s all over, right? It’s all over the,

Nathan Bourne: 08:27 it’s across the board 100 percent. It’s rooted in biology. It’s rooted in the biology of our brain. We have a guiding principle of my core that, um, is in everything we do. We call it lead with who, and it’s this concept that look in everything you do, the fIrst and foremost and like ever, um, important thing is to, is to lead with who you are and then attract people that with who you are. Uh, the, the limbic system in our brain, the core of our brain is the part of our brain that controls our emotions and our feelings. But what’s really interesting about this part of our brain is it controls our decision making. It’s not the neocortex, the outer part that controls our logic. That’s the part that controls are logic and our language, so we’re speaking right now from our neocortex, but that’s just logIcal. It’s the feeling in that intangible, the empathy, you know, the, the sympathy, all of it. The, the, the passion that goes, oh yeah. You know what? Like I’m about that. I don’t really know how to say how I feel it because that part of my brain doesn’t have the capacity for language, but I’m with you. So that’s the thing. I think a lot of people get lost in the woods, man. They get lost in the,

Ryan Shank: 09:47 to be honest, not to, but I think that’s why you’re really successful. And I think that’s also why I’m really excited.

Nathan Bourne: 09:53 Of course, and it’s while you’re successfully, because we love people, but if you don’t,

Ryan Shank: 09:58 yeah, but it’s. But it’S that emotional, like I feel like it’s that emotional intelligence, that empathy, like you know, and, and you write and that passion. It’s like you go around those kinds of people and they’re just so about It. It’s like they’re not just, you know, when I talked to people that are incredibly smart, but they’re like robots, it’s like,

Nathan Bourne: 10:17 it’s perfectly logical. It’s uninsPiring, but what you’re saying makes total sense. Yeah. Going anywhere with you, but I’ll take some notes

Ryan Shank: 10:29 to take a step back. So tell us about the current business. 50 employees. You said, tell us about the product and we don’t have to go to, to just so we can kind of talk about some of the stuff that you’re doing to get to the stage that you’re at to be able to scale to 50 employees. There’s, the employee is super impressive.

Nathan Bourne: 10:49 Thank you man. Yeah, totally. And know this as well. You know, we’re, we’re rocking and rolling. we’re onboarding around 10. We’re at about an average seven to 10 clients a month right now and I can log into our software and every time I do it our coordinator who manages all of this and the technology, it’s like more and more companies are being added them all up. Um, but it is a, it is for me a, a, a nine to almost 10 year narrative because I started entrepreneurship at 20. So when people, when you, when people see companies that succeed and they’re on the map, there’s always a story behind that story. There’s um, you know, a long night for that overnight success, right? It was, it was an all nighter when people start to see that and we’re far from where we want to be.

Nathan Bourne: 11:39 You know, we’re just really getting started. But, um, I think what most people don’t realize and what they may not be leaning on is all the experiences and the network and the relationships and even the technologies that it can even be the specifics, the what’s from their past. If you want to shoot a bow, for example, right, with an arrow, because a bow and an arrow by themselves apart from one another, have no value, right? They can’t hunt, you can’t kill the enemy. And if you put the arrow on the bow, you have to pull back in order to get any value out of it. It’s actually the, the going backwards that leads to going forward. So I think most people get into business and it’s good to be forward thinking, but they forget to pull back and go, wait a second, what did I learn as a teenager that I could glean from now as a young professional?

Nathan Bourne: 12:35 Or what could I learn from gig one job, one internship, hated that class, hated that professor, hated that boss, but oh wait, maybe I learned something or I could call that coworker up that was, you know, a jerk and get connected wIth him. So that’s kind of the secret sauce is that I, I’m constantly looking back, but in a forward thinking way, if that makes sense in a lot of my relationships that are part of those 50 employees and some of those early sort of co founders that were the core of my core come from my past. Um, so I would just encourage people to, to pull from that because we live in a society now where everything’s go, go, go and forward thinking and what’s next and you know, we got to pull from, from, from history.

Ryan Shank: 13:23 Got it. So tell us a little bit about, totally get it, tell us a little bit about the produCt, just so then we can kind of go. And

Nathan Bourne: 13:32 so the short of it is, is, is all w we, we become clients, employee benefits, department void in hr. Um, is the benefits piece. There’s companies that you’re familiar with. Gusto zenefits, namely just works great companies, great platforms, they’re technology companies. So ultimately they’re saying, hey look, we’ll be here all in one solution, will do your benefits, your payroll and your hr pay us, but do it yourself. So the big void that my core fills is that we provide the team and it’s a local team. We have five experts, we do it right in your backyard, face to face, we put a custom strategy together and we work in the technology with you. so now you’re getting the full text solution but you’re getting a full team full time to lean on. And they’re like literally right in your backyard. They’re not in, in office, in san francisco with a chatline or a call.

Ryan Shank: 14:34 got it. Okay. Awesome. So talk to us about how you’re going out and getting clients, you know, there’s just something. So product wise, you know, a lot of, lot of people listening, maybe similar products, similar services, but you do have a big service component. So I actually think that’s going to be super applicable to a lot of people listening, a lot of people listening are going to be doing, you know, maybe some digital marketing, maybe have some clients doing ad words, you’re doing some clients that you’re doing, you know, hr packaging using some tech. So it’s actually very, very similar. How are you getting those clients? You said you, you’re adding, you know, eight to 10 clients a month. I’m assuming that means you’re adding like eight to 10 companies that you’re doing for businesses. Right? So, um, how are you getting those guys? Right. And, and also how has that changed now? Now that you’re at 50 employees from in the beginning it’s gonna be a three part question. Sorry. And just talk to me I guess about the channels, right? So talk, what channels, which channels are working with channels or can you double down? Triple down on,

Nathan Bourne: 15:32 I don’t know if you asked this but I’ll add it because when you get to these numbers you’ve got to have tools and systems and processes in place. I mean this whole year has been a grind of buIlding systems and processes and integrations and I’m like a g suite jetta. I now man. I mean I know stuff that I never thought I would know as a founder to. You got to learn it. So to answer your questIon, we actually provide our services and I’m gonna tie this in. I’m at no cost for the first 100 clients and we make our money on the insurance. We’re now introducing a subscription model when under 50 employees. It’s $123 a month for the full. My core experience. And you might be a 1:23. That’s just a no for the whole company. Got it. Yup. So the whole. Because we make it [inaudible] yeah.

Nathan Bourne: 16:25 Well no the child lead you under the hood and like you know what power do that yet, but so 123 for the busIness itself. So the company spends $123 to get the whole my core experience, but why that number? To answer your question. So we drive a philosophy, the one, two, three, and the three, two, one. So over 50 employees is going to be $321 a month. Number one is warm market. So what we teach our people that are out pounding the pavement, work in work in the business, getting those 10 clients a month right now across the enterprise is who do you already know? Who do you know that owns a business? And people always think, I got to get to the decision maker. No you don’t. Who do you know that has a job that knows the decision maker that right? and most of the time if your solution is solving something for the whole business, then you can work your way up stream that,

Ryan Shank: 17:20 right? Yeah. That internal champion, I’m a big, big proponent of the internal champion and going bottoms up. Love it

Nathan Bourne: 17:27 100 percent, right? Especially in our world. That’s pretty easy because we’re saying, hey, how would you like to have a better employee benefits program and experience and onboarding and all that stuff. So that’s number one. Warm market number two is networking. We do an insane amount of network. Okay. And do networking is wide open, especially for younger people because I go to these events and and these events and it’s kind of an older school thing.

Ryan Shank: 17:51 What’s up joe? Talk to me about networking. I’ve personally, I don’t. I don’t like networking. You want to kill it, right? Networking. I don’t even know how. So what is networking even mean to be? Essentially

Nathan Bourne: 18:05 there’s an immense amount of groups that get together that are either local businesses through the chamber. Bni, which is business networking international. The easiest tool for this is meetup. If you just go to meetup.com, there are meetups all in the city, all through your town

Ryan Shank: 18:22 categories. You’re going 100 percent. You’re not going to like a networking meet up. You’re going to a meetup for, to hr professionals or for. Okay.

Nathan Bourne: 18:31 Realtors. Yeah, I mean there were specific, um, and there’s a great deal of local ones that are a mishmash of different people, um, to, to connect with a, in fact, my core exists because I met somebody at a networking event. I’m the long story, but yeah, networking is where it’s at and the whole purpose. And number three, I’ll just give you that. I’ll tie it together is walk your community. So we’re saying, look, get out there in the community. Now we know that at some point you don’t have to pick up the phone and make a call, but nobody wants to be cold called, right. So it’s a lot easier to say, hey, I was in your business yesterday. I stopped by and that’s where the leading with who comes back in because it’s easy to go into business. Hey look, I just want to stop by and let you know who I am, right?

Nathan Bourne: 19:10 Why we exist, what we do. You’re not asking for anything, you’re just letting them know that you exist. Grab a business card and then call them and say, I was in your business yesterday. I stopped by. Or hey, I’m thinking about stopping by tomorrow if it’s, if it’s really in a community, and this is, I think what’s happened is most people are an inch deep and a mile wide and there’s no need for that. You can be an inch wide and a mile deep. You don’t need to have. Yeah, just stay focus, work a vertical, work a space, work a town, you know? So one, two, three is where we get it. And then the three to one in our model, it’s discovery meeting, strategy meeting, employee meeting. So we expect our people to have three discovery meetings a week to strategy meetings a week and one in an employee meeting a week where they’re getting it from the employee. So we drive that. Three, two, one. So you’re fishing from those one, two threes, right? That’s your pond, that your source, and then you’re converting into the three, two, one.

Ryan Shank: 20:09 Got it, got it. So a networking, you’re going in, you’re getting your knowing the people, but regardless, I mean you’re, you’re still, I mean this is all outbound, so it’s all outbound. You’re going in whether you’re in your business. I will meet you at the event. Ended 50 our first 20 clients without a website, have a website and that’s impressive right here. You know, it’s funny, I, and we do that too. We go out that I’ll bounce our biggest channel as well. I think so many people these days want the whole set up the site, my funnels and funnels and they don’t talk to anyone in bali and they’re disliked counting money or the bitcoin. They’re counting the bitcoin. So

Ryan Shank: 20:55 I mean this outbound, this outbound works, right? These going in and, and I think this is the next thing I want to talk about is talk to me about like, so you go in, you get to the decision maker, you get to someone. What is the, the process you said, you know, strategy meetings, this, I’m curious about the funnel. So you go in, you get to um, you know, are you presenting to one or you kind of lightly touching them with first. and then second part of that question, I know all my questions are like two and three bar questions by taking part is what is the conversion rate? You know, what is conversion rate from very top of funnel to paid customer, and then also from demo to say, I’m always curious about like number of demos or meetings to say,

Nathan Bourne: 21:35 here’s what I’d suggest, and this is why I laughed at the funnel thing is most people think top down and a funnel is a, is a vertical, um, contraption, you gotta think cyclical. You gotta think circular. You’ve got to think like an ecosystem, right? I mean, the universe will, will show you how to run your Business. the same water that we drink today has been on the planet for ever. And it has a cycle to it. So we build everything in circles. So we say, look, when you go into that first meeting, instead of thinking linear, how do we convert it from a discovery meeting in that they’re here to discover who we are and we’re here to discover who they are. Like, who are you doing jived? We have a good sense of humor, personality, you know, are we, are we have a match? and then why it’s that we exist and why we’re here. And then, oh by the way, this is what we do. It’s perfectly logical. That kicks ass. It’s awesome. You’re gonna love it. Yep. So that first meeting has to. You gotta have the discipline to just exist with people in that first meeting, you know, sInging kumbaya and hold hands. But you’re not asking for anything. That’s what’s key. It’s like a first date. You want to ask her first date to marry you. That’d be great.

Ryan Shank: 22:53 I just talked about this. It’s like don’t want to always have an agenda. And gary vee pitches. It’s like value, value, value, right? But it’s like you don’t. And then it’s like you’ve given them so much value, then boom, you’d come with ab later, which is the ass. But you know, i hundred percent agree with this. It’s like you don’t want to be so agenda driven where you’re going and it’s like first meeting, hey, can I take over your benefits and insurance? And that’s like a big, big advantage. That’s a

Nathan Bourne: 23:20 big ask. And ultimately, especially in our world, because we’re saying, hey, we’re going to be your employee benefits department, we’re going to be entrenched, ingrained, and a part of your business. It’s like we’re down the hall. It’s like you hired us to work at your company. Would you hire us? You know, we’re a candidate. But it’s also flipped because we’re interviewing our clients. ThIs is where people don’t get it. If you’re looking for people that need what you provide, you’re missing the whole point. You need to be looking for people that are aligned with who you are. Because the only way you’re ever going to tip, the only way you’re ever going to blow up is if you have raving fans, people that are die hards. And if they don’t jive with who you are, they’re not like ride or die, then it’s too loose. You don’t get, you don’t get the bond that that’s required to build that core of whether it’s clients, whether it’s, you know, your first round of employees. Um, so yeah, 100 percent men, you’ve got to have a different approach. And I think especially now, because we live in a time where people know that they can get whatever they want at any time

Ryan Shank: 24:21 in the vendor vendor, everything so commoditized these days, that’s why it’s like brand relatIonships are so important. And uh, you know, like again, insurance especially like in the insurance world stuff, I mean this is, this is so commoditized these days, but it’s like, and what I always say is, you know, if there is, is there a hiccup and they have no relationship where they’ll drop you like a fly, go to the next thing. But like if you have to like call nathan up and tell nathan that you’re ending your relationship with them, that’s lIke a lot harder of a conversation. Especially if you guys, you know, had some beers, you know, whatever your kids hanging out at the park every sunday. And like, you know, now your kids can’t be friends anymore. And It’s like

Nathan Bourne: 25:10 pick it up. You’re absolutely right. And I think another another piece that people I think fail to consider when it comes to conversion is ultimately you’re getting to a presentation. There’s going to be a moment in this experience where you’re presenting who you are and why you exist and what you do and so many people spend such an emphasis on, you know, where do I find the people and how, what’s my script and how do I schedule the demo, how do I schedule the appointment in our team and at our company we actually have a different philosophy. We say, look, I know that if I develop these people to give kickass presentations that they’re going gonna rock the discovery meeting. Then getting it isn’t hard because they’re just chomping at the bit. They’re like, coach, let me in, man, put me and put me in.

Nathan Bourne: 26:04 And it’s just like dating, right? Like if you said to, so how do you, how do you get that first appointment? Well, how do you get a date? I know I’m going to do really well on a date, so it’s not hard for me to ask. Right? Like if, if if you weren’t confident in your competence on the date, then you’re never going to have the confidence to ask in the first place you can buy. I don’t even know what I would do if I went, you know, if, if she said yes, he said yes, whatever it is. So I think that’s the key is that people are, aren’t considering. Let me put it this way, people think that they’re afraid of failure. They’re not, they’re afraid of success. They’re actually afraid of what would, if the client says, yeah, let’s do it. Oh shoot, I didn’t mean they’re ready. They’re not prepared. They’re not prepared.

Ryan Shank: 26:48 Confidence. Interesting. that’s a good point. I, uh, I’ve recently been reading about and thinking a lot about this thing called earned confidence where you, you’re confident because you’ve already proven to yourself and others that you can do it and you know, you can do it deep down. I think there’s a lot of people who have this false sense of confidence, like you know, maybe they, you know, they were there kind of boosted by others, but they don’t truly believe or believe maybe they don’t believe in the product. If they’re in sales, they don’t believe in themselves and their close rate. But once you start to close or, or whatever you’re doing right. And you gained that, you, it’s that earned, earned confidence. I think that’s the most powerful thing, right? Because confidence and I’m gonna take you to the next level. So talk to me about close rates. Talk to me about close rates and also always a two part questIon. Close rates. And then also like quotas, like, you know, what are, what are you holding, you know, reps accountable for close rate has got to be exact numbers.

Nathan Bourne: 27:49 Yeah. Well, here’s another example where, you know, just a way to challenge conventional wisdom without being cute. You know, and there’s, there’s this fine line today in business where everyone wants to be cute, you know, they want to have these unique titles. And I’m not the ceo, I’m the chief, uh, you know, friend, visionary office shut up. Then clearly you don’t know how to execute because I’m the ceo of my company. What I mean and I execute on stuff building a bench. Exactly like facebook. So, um, so anyway, I say that, but at the risk of sounding cute, um, we see it as the opposite of closing. Most people are, are, are thinking that way. Right? I gotta close this deal. No, no, no. You need to open the deal. Like when that person subscribes and that person signs up, when that person says yes, that’s the beginning.

Nathan Bourne: 28:45 That’s the opening of the relationship. Right? So I think where our conversions are coming from is that we’re training a three step process and you’ve got to know that, that that success is a process, not an event. And in wrestling, my background, every wrestling move, if you were to watch me, I know you came to some of my wrestling matches, it looked like I did one thing, but it had a setup in execute and a finish to all of it. Set up, execute, finish, setup, execute, finish. So the way those three meetings are, as one’s a setup, one’s an execution and one’s the finish. So when you chunk it that way and you think, okay, I can do this because now I only have to win the setup. I don’t have to win the whole thing because that’s a lot. I don’t. I don’t know if I’m ready for that.

Nathan Bourne: 29:34 And you know, I lean on my wrestling career a lot, you know, when I wrestled and I attacked somebody, his leg to be specific, it was my entire body versus their one leg, not me versus them. So I never looked at the other wrestler as against me versus all of him. It was, how do I get all of me versus his arm, his leg, his back, you know, whatever. This is conversation sound kind of weird now in physical terms, but that’s where the conversions come through them. So to be specific, we use pipe drive for our crm and although we are cyclical and circular in our thinking, we’ve got a slice in and splice in some, some linear thinking because you’ve got to convert, you know? Then the day got to pay the bIlls, the lights got to stay on, you got to move them through.

Nathan Bourne: 30:23 So I love pipedrive because it, it has that left to right mindset. So literally this is how it works. It’s very simple. It’s our client experiences, the pipeline and it says prospects and then it says dm, sm eem, and there’s a fourth meeting that’s known as the tm. It’s the training meeting and this is an important part because people don’t go back and train their clients. They’re like, why aren’t we scale and why can’t we grow? Because you didn’t train your clients on how to use the you and now you don’t have leverage. You don’t have a systems and processes because you didn’t. They’re calling you or they’re not engaging and then they’re just dropping them. Then they become a client. So I think what happens with people think when the sale’s made, that person’s a client. I would build in some setup, execute and finish into that process and that and then we view it and we just said, hey, why aren’t, why aren’t these 10 prospects and move into dns?

Nathan Bourne: 31:15 Why aren’t these five dsms move into sms? And we just boom, boom, boom, move it along in that way. YeT a dm is discovery meeting, discovery meeting, and that’s important because it’s back to what we saId, right? People. Oh yeah, the dm. The decisionmaking meter decision meeting or decision maker meeting? No, actually it’s not because that says that you’re going in there expecting a decision. If I go on a date or I go to hang out with my friend and there’s no decision, right? If, if you. and if I go to New York and we’re hanging out, hey ryan, I’m gonna. Need you to make a decision about our future? No, I’m just hanging out with, you know what I mean? Um, so that’s the discovery meeting then strategy meeting than employee meeting than training meeting. So where does the sale come in? Perfect. So the decision is made from sm to m.

Nathan Bourne: 32:03 So there’s two strategy strategy goes for the clothes that it’s trading. Yeah. So let me put it this way, right? It’s number one is the d. That’s the discovery meeting in our world. We gather some information, we’ve got the census, we find out what their current plan design. Then we do the strategy meetings. So we talk about what this really is going to mean in their life and then they make a decision from that decision. Is is when the sale is made? Sure, sure, sure. And then we go and get the onboarding implementation training. Exactly. Yeah. Which, which then helps with kind of what I was

Ryan Shank: 32:40 talking about earlier helps clients and I know you position it differently in terms of language, but it helps them retain. They actually are using training their people. Maybe they expand referrals, things like that.

Nathan Bourne: 32:52 That I guess I made this, I mean all this stuff is regurgitated right, but I call it the x or o t. Um, it stands for recruiting, onboarding and training. That sounds like a hr. Yeah. You got to recruit your candidates. You’ve got to onboard them. You got to train them. No, no. You’ve got to recruit your clients, got to onboard your clients and you’ve got to train your clients in the x is that experience. It’s got to be a recruiting experience nowadays. People don’t buy things just because they need it. They want to, I want to have an experience when I come to starbucks, like I don’t just want coffee, you know. So I think that’s what most people aren’t putting the creatIve energy. And you’ve got to consider that, what is the experience like? And that’s an art in our model. It’s set up that way where they’re coming out of that first meeting going on. That was different. I don’t think they even asked for anything. Um, okay. Cool. And then by the time we’re on the second date, they’re like, yeah, what’s up? Let’s do this. I’m glad it swept swept, right?

Ryan Shank: 33:51 Yeah, absolutely. I can make some more other conversion. We don’t need to go there. So I love it. That’s awesome. I love, I love, I love actually the process. and by the way, so even a lot of our, a lot of our clients are digital marketing agencies and I think it’s funny because typically their first discovery meeting, what they’re doing is they’re actually going into someone’s like google ad words account that usually looking at their account and seeing how bad it is typically is like the first thing. And then their strategy meeting is like, all right, here’s your current account. Sounds like it looks like we can work together. There’s search volume there, there’s people there. Sounds like it makes sense. Here’s our strategy, here’s what we can do together, here’s what I can do for you, but I think like, you know, the positioning of it should always be in.

Ryan Shank: 34:43 This kind of goes back to what you were saying earlier. You were saying the why, the why, the why, what are the client’s getting from this? They’re not just getting this feature feature feature. They’re getting something that’s going to massively benefit them in the experience of it’s going to be good and I think, you know, our clients can then pitch to their client like the agencies, the marketing agencies can pitch like we’re going to help you grow your business. You’re goIng to be able to do more jobs during the day. You’re gonna be able to go home to your family and like that’s more of like the benefit versus we’re gonna do. We’re gonna underwrite three policies for it. It’s not interesting. It’s like, oh,

Nathan Bourne: 35:12 deeper to owners that a step further, right? Because what is absolutely something you can find somewhere else, the why you can probably find somewhere else to. When people ask us this often, well, why should we choose you over our current broker over a current solution, and I train our team to tell them point blank because if you don’t choose me, you don’t get me. Yeah, that’s, that’s the, it’s the who. It’s, hey look, yeah, there’s a bunch of other ad agencies out there, but you realize you don’t get up. You don’t get. And if you have that confidence, not arrogance, but confidence. Then people go, oh shoot, yeah, you’re right. And you inspire them to go, well, is that not true for your clients? I’m assuming that your clients chose you, right? Not just what you guys do. The key man is, is you’ve got to tap into that. Why? but you’ve got to go even deeper and say, hey look, you’re going to get me and my team and I know what’s out there. You’re not gonna find anyone better than us.

Ryan Shank: 36:07 Yeah, I mean that’s the approach I take. I mean that’s why I’m doing these podcasts at 9:00 at night. You know, it’s like, look, this is who you’re going to be working with. And I think just also the transparency being a human, again, going back to like, I’m not just some random software vendor, you’re not just some random hr, you know, provider. The diamond doesn’t. Right. But it’s like, look, this is who I am. I’m a, I have a family, I am a human being. Like I live in wherever I live, you know. So

Nathan Bourne: 36:40 is it a tied into relationships? Yep. The man with three children. Thank you man. My little one has chicken pox right now, which is no fun. But um, so think about marriage. You wouldn’t like get married because of your, why you’d get married because of the who. You wouldn’t be like, well, my whole life I’ve wanted to be married and it’s been a mission of mine. So you’ll do it. That’s not a good reason to get up.

Ryan Shank: 37:11 I was just looking for companionship. I love watching tv with other people. It’s like I’m just going to swap out the person with like the next cheapest solution.

Nathan Bourne: 37:19 Yeah, exactly. So it’s like, oh no, you’re marrying me because I’m the best person on the other 8 billion and you’re the best personnel, the other 8 billion, so let’s do this. So it’s no different in business. You’ve got to approach that the same way to say, hey look, this isn’t a marriage, you’re not permanently with us, but you’re, you should highly consider, forget the why we already you already have the why. it’s the who like you and me, baby.

Ryan Shank: 37:44 This is good. I hope the listeners and viewers are getting, I’m getting, I’m getting a lot of, I don’t even need to publish this because I’m getting enough value out of this. This is great. Um, alright, so, so, so wrapping, wrapping it up, uh, just, um, so talk to me about tools you’re using with the client. You said you’re using pipe drive. What are you using with your employees? Clients talk to us about that for

Nathan Bourne: 38:07 sure. Well, slack is blowing up and I don’t think that’s new to most people, but it is new in the space that we’re in because it’s antiquated and there’s a great deal of just emails that fly back and forth. So the ability to collaborate in a focused way, um, is important. We also just recently have introduced, and this is a big commitment. I’m okay. Ours. Ryan, are you, are you familiar with? Okay. Yeah, there, there, there are quite a commitment to especially, you know, 50 and I think we’re on boarding or 10 right now. Employees. So, uh, say if there’s objectives and key results. Yeah. Measure what matters.

Ryan Shank: 38:46 Yes, yes, yes, yep,

Nathan Bourne: 38:47 yep. Child jars on your doria. So, so we’re Actually looking at tools right now from a, um, you know, the product or app or sas standpoint for that. Um, but our main tools, we call them our executive tools. In fact we actually call all of our employees executives. So the idea is, look, you should be acting as if you’re an executive, and that’s really a mission of ours, is to redefine the employer and employee relationship that it should be a partnership. It should be that an employee or if you’re an employer, it’s a high calling, it’s a big deal. You’re, you’re one of the five percenters and you’re creating a space where people can come in and thrive and you’re there to serve them every day, all day. So to answer your question with tools, we’re always looking at the best executIve tools and we have pipe drive g suite, you know slack and I think a lot of people are paying for these products, but they’re not.

Nathan Bourne: 39:44 They’re not putting an emphasis on them. So when our employees are onboarded, I have assigned to that employee a, an admin executive who walks them through a number of things, but they literally sit with them and go through every executive tool to make sure that they understand the value of their business cards. They understAnd the value of the, of the hr software. They understand the value because we’re paying for it. Stuff’s not that cheap, you know, as you add more and more people, but I think a lot of times it just gets thrown over there in the shelf and people aren’t working in depth with what they currently have. It’s not about resources, it’s about being resourceful and most people that are listening to this right now already have $100,000,000 company. they already have a billion dollar company, but they’re just not digging deep enough. they’re. They’re trying to go search out here in the hope it falls out of the sky.

Nathan Bourne: 40:35 So we just make a big deal out of everything. At my core and particularly the tool was, and here’s what it comes down to. We call it tools and events. The every business on the planet has to have great tools and they’ve got to get people together and not just for the christmas party once a year, you know how, how many times a week a day are you talking to your people like a human being who to who, and then are you leveraging tools so you go back and forth, great tools, awesome events, powerful tools, impactful events. An event is wheRe any two people, again, this is an event and we’re using a tool, zoom and apple and iphone and it was really cool headset you got on.

Ryan Shank: 41:13 YeAh, it’s a lincoln bio. Awesome man. So this was super good. Um, I got a ton of value out of it. We’re going to ask a couple questions at the end. if you, someone that’s looking to break out. I know you know, you said you were at penn, you doing this job in the summer, you broke on your own. What would

Nathan Bourne: 41:34 you do? What would be the first thing that you would do that would get you to, to leave that job of years to break out on your own? Where do we start to fold? Did this, this? You have to work harder on yourself than you do on your business. If you’re putting in five hours to your business, put 20 hours into yourself like you are the deal and it doesn’t mean that you build everything dependent on you. I have a executive team that has shielded me up in a way that I know, and this wasn’t true six months ago and it it’d be touchy today, but if I died, the show goes on and you’ve got to take inventory of that and say how much of it my income and how much of my business is dependent on me? Because if your your only asset, what happens when your ass at doesn’t work right?

Nathan Bourne: 42:36 You don’t get paid, so you’ve got to work harder on yourself, but all for the purpose of developing others so you don’t do it so that you can be so great in that you can get all the attention. It’s how do I become a servant and that’s the deal. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to be a servant straight up, like tactic. Yeah, just personal development. we call it people development, ppl, personal development, professional development, leadership development. you’ve got to just get better and better and better and better and better everyday. I mean, look how many free throws did Michael Jordan take, right? I mean, how many times do these professional athletes practice and then we as entrepreneurs think that we can just kick it in our coworking space, nine to five. It’s like, dude, no, you’ve got to be on the grind.

Nathan Bourne: 43:20 I’m so work harder on yourself and then lead with who not just I love people and care about people. Meaning all your thoughts, your dominant salt should be who do I need to meet? Who do I need to be? Who I need to impact? Who is my company touching? Who are my people? Who are my raving fans? Who, who, who, and you’ve got to fight against the what’s the what’s done? Do that shit at night on primetime. You should be talking to people and that’s why you’re killing it, ryan, because you recognize you could be coding right now, but you’re connecting. You’re growing. You’re challenging yourself, stretching yourself and you’re putting yourself out there. You said something earlier and I’ll end with this man. Get me all fired up just to maybe put words to it. There’s a huge difference between faking it till you make it an acting as if when you fake it till you make it, it’s bullshit, right?

Nathan Bourne: 44:13 But acting as if is a mindset. It’s something that you know, that you know, that you know, that you are that person and that you’re deserving of that success. The only thing that hasn’t caught up yet is the time, but time is an illusion. So who you are today, like we’ve known each other for 15, right? so we go back 15 years. It’s not much different. It’s the same thing even though it’s the same shit different day. So who were you in your mind five years from now? Be that person today and don’t worry about the reality of what car you drive, how much money’s in your bank account, how much influence you do or do not have. Then every decision you’ll make will come from that position of I’m already a billionaire. There’s huge power in the words I am. You know, I am a game changer. I have made a dent on the planet. So that’s the deal, man. Act as if,

Ryan Shank: 45:04 wow, that’s some powerful stuff. And porn founder, ceo, my core benefits, they thank you so much for joining us today guys. That was episode seven, growing your agency, uh, with, uh, with newborn.

Nathan Bourne: 45:19 Good stuff, man. Love you, bro. Thanks.


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Ryan Shank

About the Author

is the CEO at PhoneWagon. Ryan loves helping small businesses generate quality leads by implementing creative solutions that are proven to work.