Today’s guest has built and sold two agencies that were 100% bootstrapped. He took what he learned and married it with his strong passion for scaling service-based businesses and now helps entrepreneurs and professionals scale sales without the gross sales approach.

Ready to sale more in a way you can be proud of? Please welcome James Harper.

Episode highlights:

  • 01.41.89 Background
  • 04.39.37 Prospecting Marketing
  • 06.24.61 LinkedIn Lead Generation
  • 07.36.59 Multi-channel Approach
  • 34.22.88 Website

Learn more about this guest:

Contact Info

 

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.


Today’s guest is built and sold two agencies that were 100% bootstrapped. He took what he learned and married it with a strong passion for scaling service-based businesses. And now helps entrepreneurs and professionals scale sales without the gross sales approach. Ready to sell more in a way you can be proud of.

Please welcome James. You’re ready to grow your business. And I love helping entrepreneurs find success. So let’s do this. I’m Damon Burton and Forbes contributor, author of the search engine optimization book, outrank and president of SEO national. I’ve been featured on Forbes, entrepreneur and hundreds of websites and podcasts for helping big businesses grow bigger and make more money by showing up higher on search engines, including shark tank, featured businesses, NBA teams, and Inc 5,000 company.

I’m bringing my successful network to you here at learningfromothers.com. Whether success to you means financial freedom, freedom of time or freedom of the soul. We’re in this together. Welcome to the learning from others podcast.

Ready show up higher on search engines for words that you can monetize, but without paying for ads, download your free copy of my SEO book out. If you visit www.freeseobook.com today, James Harper welcome learning from others. Hey, thanks for having me on Damon. Yeah, I am looking forward to talking because interestingly enough, um, your area of expertise is, um, I got some funny stories to go with you.

So why don’t you tell our listeners what it is you do? What are we gonna learn? Well, what I do is, uh, that’s kind of a loaded question. I’m a serial entrepreneur, but I’d like to think what you’re going to learn from me today is a little bit about high level B2B sales and more specifically a cold prospecting, the process of, uh, the sales game that a lot of people try to avoid me.

Uh, all right. Question number two is, uh, what do you suck at. Um, and I suck at quite a bit, frankly. Uh, I think my wife would say laundry, um, but on a more serious note, uh, I’m really bad at staying focused for long periods of time. I’ve uh, learned over the years that I’m not a marathon runner, I’m more of a sprinter.

And, uh, uh, I’ve never been diagnosed with like add or anything like that, but I’ve just noticed like focused for a long periods of time is not my strong suit. Well, what’s a long period of time. We’re talking like a couple hour thing or like a multiple week project. Yeah, that’s a good, good question. And I’ve thought about that.

Um, now I can work on a project because again, I can, uh, I can sprint my way to the finish line. Uh, but a long period of time is I think, like I have a two hour window of really good energy focused on one thing and focused well, yeah. Yeah. All right. So you’ve had some, you’ve built insults and businesses in the past, but what you’re doing now, like you said, it as B2B sales, uh, and you’ve specifically said cold prospecting.

And so to me, that can go a couple of different ways. I can go phone calls. I can go emails. Um, so is it all the above or where, where do you focus on your called prospecting? Yeah. I mean, where I focus on my cold prospecting is really kind of all of the above. However, you can get someone who has no idea who you are to sit there and, uh, have a quality conversation with you actually listen to you.

Um, I would define cold prospect Dean just as that. Um, it doesn’t matter what channel you’re reaching out to a potential client on, um, to grab their attention and to ask them for such a special thing, like their time. And to actually have them listen to you is very important. And I think we take that for granted, um, in the sales world.

And that’s why it’s also really hard from a prospecting perspective is where we often forget. We’re asking people to take time out of their busy day, turn off distractions and not just give us time, but also. Pay attention and listen, and then hopefully have some engagement and good conversation to potentially become a client, a buyer, whatever.

Um, so that’s how I define cold prospecting. Someone who’s completely has no idea what you do and they’re willing to actually, uh, sit there and listen to you and, and engage with you. Um, how you go about that. Um, various different ways, but I believe on doing what works right. I’m the worst person on both sides of the called prospecting.

So me as a business owner, we do like next to no outbound cold prospecting marketing. And then me as the recipient of the efforts, I just have zero patients. Right. Well, the thing about the thing about sales, you never want to feel like you’re being sold to, and yeah. Just like prospecting. You never want to feel like you’re being prospected.

Um, now if someone presents a solution for you and, uh, you know, there that’s a solution that is needed in your life, maybe it’s a challenge in your business and they are very personal and very human. And just more than anything genuine when they reach out to you, you’re probably going to be at least receptive to the thought the idea of potential conversation.

Um, but in today’s world, there’s so much. Automation and so much, uh, outreach that’s just done at scale. Yeah. And frankly, not really done well that, yeah, we do become a little bit tone deaf, so I totally get it. I’m I’m in sales and I don’t like the insults you and frankly, I never want to feel like I’m selling to someone.

I want to feel like I’m influencing someone to make a decision that might better them. So, how do you, how do you open that discussion then? Um, well I guess even the step before that, so you said you can explore phone calls, you can explore email. Do you have, um, if you had to pick one over the other, do you have preference?

Yeah. Um, I do have a preference of kind of channel. Yeah. For me, for example, I think one, you have to know who you’re reaching out to. You have to know your prospect. We say you have to know where your, your prospects live. Um, I’m typically dealing with business owners, so I realized that there’s a huge.

Pool of my prospects on LinkedIn. Um, I’m not one of those like 10 X, LinkedIn lead generation guys, but I do use LinkedIn to connect, try to add value and try to start conversation on. So actually LinkedIn right now is my number one platform, but between phone and email, um, it’s really a toss up, uh, If this was a year and a half ago, I actually would have said it was, would have been close.

Cold email has been around forever, uh, as well as cold calling, but really the last 10 years, the sales game kind of switched from cold calling to cold email. And then it kind of got overused and maybe even a little bit abused and there’s such strong spam filters. Now we can, we can, as the user check and see automation, um, so it’s hard to get people to even open emails.

We stopped getting accustomed to getting a phone call, but since COVID, and there’s a lot of people out of office they’re working from homes and a typical sales person probably just has a board number, a company number. They don’t have the actual person’s cell phone number. I’m getting people on the phone, at least for this past year in 2020 has been really tough.

So I think that’s why you have to take a multi-channel approach. Um, but to answer. Okay. Kind of put a final answer on your question. I use a three channel approach, which is cold calling cold email, and then LinkedIn, and in no particular order, I think it’s good to switch it up. But using those three channels combined typically sees the best results.

And when you say combined, is it a combined effort for the same individually target or, or it’s just kind of a mix and you see where the response has come in and out, or do you, do you sequence them? So let’s say I’m your target, do you see, do you have a sequence where it’s like hit Damon with phone hit Damon with email, hit Daymond, say like an individual person in a sequence.

Yep. Absolutely. I I’m a big believer and the sales sequence, and I believe that’s how ultimately you get someone who has zero clue, who you are to give you 15, 20, 30 minutes of their time. Let me give you an example, Damon. If you’re my target, right. I might send you a LinkedIn request and I can add a little note on LinkedIn when I’m connecting with you and say, Hey, Damon, I see we have a few mutual contacts.

Um, I also see you’re in the SEO world. Uh, or you host a podcast. I, I make a commonality right off the bat. Um, I’m reaching out to you because I give you my reason and I’m looking to add you to my net. And maybe a serious conversation down the line is warranted. I actually start planting the seed right then and there I’m not deceptive.

And I don’t think sales people at all should ever be deceptive about why we’re intentionally reaching out to people. Um, so let’s say you accept my LinkedIn connection requests like people do. Um, we connect with people we don’t know that might be in similar industries that we have mutual people in common with.

Um, maybe we have a few. Former coworkers or something, and then you don’t respond. You don’t respond to that email. We’re just, and the ghost world of LinkedIn, we’re calm, we’re connected, but we’re not really engaging. Well then what if three, four. Days a week OBEs by and you get an email from me and it says, Hey Damon, I’m James.

I sent you a message on LinkedIn. Thanks for connecting. I know this is totally out of the blue and right then and there you’re calling Val with and out of the room. Uh you’re you’re acknowledging, Hey, I realize I’m reaching out to you, um, out of nowhere, but, and again, follow up with that reason I’m reaching out to you because.

ABC XYZ. Give them the reason, um, or maybe even discuss or ask them a question and see if you can’t discuss a problem that they may might be facing. Hey, Damon, we’ve connected on LinkedIn. Um, I see that you’re a business owner of an SEO agency. I’m wondering, is it hard for you to recruit top talent in the S real world?

So for instance, statement, after we connect on LinkedIn, You’re familiar with my main, you got an intro message. Maybe you didn’t respond and let’s say 3, 4, 5 days go by maybe a week or two even. And I reach out to you in an email and I say, Hey, Damon James here. We connected on LinkedIn last week. Um, listen, I know I’m emailing you out of the blue and right then and there, what we’re doing is we’re calling out the elephant in the room.

Uh we’re we’re telling the person we realized that we could be disrupting your day. And we’re asking for a little bit of your attention and it just comes off as human. It comes off as genuine, and then present them with, uh, your solution again, statewide. You’re emailing Jamie and I’m emailing you because I see you in the SEO world and I have ABC product that might be able to help you, um, or you could stay a challenge there.

And you’re assuming a challenge at this point. Um, but take a good guess and uh, at least try to start the conversation and it could go something. Hey, Damon. I see that you run, um, a great SEO agency. I’m wondering if recruiting top talent is a problem for you, uh, in your, in your industry. We help SEO agencies recruit the best marketing specialists out there, whatever it might be.

And, uh, and again, state that problem and the follow up with the solution, but keep it brief, keep it concise. Cause no one wants a, a novel right off the bat and. And then give them an action. Uh, give them, Hey, I, again, I know I’m totally hitting you out of left field. Here would love 15 minutes of your time.

And then always end with this, give them an out. When you get people out, it builds a level of trust and comfortability, and you want to give people an out, they don’t want to be in your funnel. You, you don’t want them in your funnel and you want to do the right thing. Just say, Hey, David, it totally makes sense for me not to follow up with you again, just let me know.

And by doing that, it just adds a level of the human element as I like to call it. And, um, you’d be surprised at just basic one-on-one human to human communication principles. By implementing that into your cold outreach, what that does? We rely so much on automation, right? Um, and so much on mass scaled outreach that we really missed the mark of just sounding genuine.

Yeah. There’s a, there’s a lot of this that I like. Cause I do on my LinkedIn is my platform of choice as well. And I take a lot of the same approaches. So, um, I don’t like I never get into the fully automated kind of thing. Pitchy sales thing, because to me it’s always just been gross. I mean, do I want more sales?

Of course I do, but I don’t. I also want to sleep at night and I don’t want to feel gross about myself. So I’ve done the same thing on LinkedIn and where I’ve found success is I don’t live in my private messages on LinkedIn. So what I do is I have a very similar outreach. I only do two steps and I’d be curious to, um, after I kind of go through my story, I want to follow up with.

I’m assuming you have a semi-automated approach just for scalability, but then you massage and personal items. So like, for example, what I do is I have tools that can scale the outreach and then I have VA’s that help. But as soon as somebody replies. If it’s beyond a generic reply or they have a sincere question, then my VA sends me the link.

All the automation stops there. Um, and then if they don’t reply, I only have one follow-up and that’s it because I don’t want to be beating a dead horse. And so what my followup is though, is very similar to what you talked about is I add a lot of personability. I basically add an hour. I address the elephant in the room.

And so I say, Hey, I think this is where most people pitch you, but I’m not going to, can I tell you a little about bit about myself and then I’ll let you go. And so I set that precedence that I’m not going to be bugging them shortly after this. So then they willing to give me that couple extra seconds to read it.

And then I start with something personal and like, okay, I’m a father, I’ve got three kids. I have, my favorite place is San Diego. And then I just give like one line about business. I do SEO. It’s been cool to work with, you know, NBA teams, shark tank businesses, just to establish that credibility. And then I get out.

Thanks for your connection. And, and a lot of times that will open up a conversation and then if it doesn’t, I don’t follow up because after that, I just want them exposed to my expertise in my content, because if I keep bugging them, then they’re going to leave and then they won’t see my content anyway.

So that’s how I use LinkedIn. Um, so I, I audit. The initial targeted outreach. Then after that it’s completely manual because I actually like to foster the relationships, you know, as a personal interest, but then also on the sales side, it just works better to have that human element, as you said. Yeah. I thought you said that you weren’t good at, uh, cold outreach.

It sounds pretty. Uh, that’s the only thing I do that was the only thing I did is LinkedIn. No, I think you’re actually right. You have a really great strategy there, Damon, and mine’s very similar. Um, I use a VA to kind of scale my initial outreach, maybe line up my, my connection requests on LinkedIn. Um, we obviously have an idea of what, um, a message template we follow, but we don’t, um, have like merged tags or any software that just blend all this together and can hit a button and mass message, a hundred people.

Um, just by filling in your first name, um, when my, uh, VA actually reaches out to you, um, they’re actually looking at your profile. They’re going to call out something on your profile. They’re going to mention you by name. They’re probably going to mention your company. If we have a mutual connection that I actually know, um, they’ll, we’ll actually call that out.

So again, uh, this goes back to knowing who you’re reaching out to. We spend the most time actually. Um, strategizing on who we’re reaching out to. And I would much rather reach out to a hundred quality people, which is realistic. That’s an attainable goal versus a thousand people that may or may not fit my target audience.

And by looking at all those hundred one by one it’s, it’s a manual effort. Um, but being like, yep, I see that Damon and I both know Bob Smith, um, and calling that out in our outreach just gets such a better response. Why? Because it’s legitimate. It’s real. Yeah. The, uh, The process that I go through is when w okay, so now I’m going to flip sides.

Now I’m on the other side. Now I’m receiving the friend requests and sales pitches. Um, it’s interesting to see like how the brain works, because it’s almost, there’s a fine line between, uh, adding a personalized note. But taking it too far with the obvious and the opposite can be better sometimes not including a note at all.

So this morning I went and caught up with my, with my LinkedIn requests and I had like 56 requests. And so what I do is, is I I’d be curious to any comments you have on this, um, as how, cause I imagine what I’m about to say, you guys think about this, how your recipient’s going to respond or read things.

So what I do is I go through and I look for the personal notes. So I actually skipped past the generic ones and that’s, that’s, that’s a good thing for the generic ones because I’m to follow up with them and round two. And so then I look at the comments and I look for what is, well, first of all, Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies and I just, yeah, exactly.

And then the second one is, is the comment too obvious that it’s fake, then I’ll usually just delete those. Um, and so then after that, I’ll go through and I’ll. Manually look at them based on industry and say, okay, is this relevant for a connection or not? So, um, what type of, I mean, I dunno what my question is like, does that, uh, as me as a recipient on the other side, is there any part of that that I added that plays in further into your approach?

Uh, yeah, a little bit. And actually I think you bring up an interesting point there, how you can. Mentally segment your connection requests before you even accept them. And I guess I’ve never really heard that out loud, but hearing you say that, I guess, um, I’m in agreeance. I do. I actually do the same thing.

Um, I take away all the 10 X-ers and Legion people and boost your agency a a hundred, a hundred X, um, people right off the bat. And then I look for the personal notes, very similar to you. Um, and, and I’ll tell you this. To kind of give a story of the best outreach I’ve ever got on LinkedIn from someone random that led to a meeting.

He wasn’t trying to sell me. We’re just colleagues. Great connections. I can’t take credit for this. I wish I could. Isn’t it? His name’s Nick Abrams. Uh, if he reached out to me with the connection request that said, Hey, and then it said first dash name, and that’s all I could say. And I said, dot.dot. And then I was like, oh, this guy just sent me an automated message and forgot to populate my name.

And I was about to go in on them. And, uh, I, I read the whole message and he’s like, just kidding. Um, it doesn’t automate it. Uh, mass outreach. Totally just suck. And he’s like, I know your name’s James and my name’s Nick and I, it was almost like a funny joke right off the bat. He knew who knew I was in state.

He thought that he knew that I would just see that first two sentences of my, a message from his connection request. And here I am thought he made an error and he made like a joke of our industry and right off the bat, it was too good for me not to respond and say, Nick, this is Nick. I’m going to steal this from you.

And here we are, months later and we’re good friends. So. Go ahead. I was just gonna say, um, I think you have to be very intentional with those few message or those two sentences and the connection request line, and either give very specific value right off the bat, which is hard to do in a condensed version, or actually not set, not send a message at all and just send the request at an after they accept, then give more of a prolonged, um, targeted message approach.

I wonder how many times, um, the guy that did that, uh, Hey, F name missed ha ha had somebody that couldn’t see the full ha ha just kidding. And actually missed out because they, they took it as a straight automated thing. Yeah. I mean, listen, that’s kind of the risk you’re running. But, uh, to me, I just thought it was, I thought it was so funny.

I literally laughed out loud. I put it in our company slack and everyone was like, this is just genius. So we haven’t used it ourselves yet, but, uh, maybe, maybe someday we will, but you bring up a good point. Yeah. You might’ve missed some opportunity there, but Hey, the people that responded. Um, I’m sure it was a good, genuine response.

Yeah. Now what type of cells, um, are we talking about, like what type of results can you deliver for your clients? So like your B2B, is there a specific niche that you’re mostly B2B in and what type of either frequency, you know, quantity of leads or if there’s dollar figures you can share, like what are we talking about?

Yeah, absolutely. Um, we do B2B sales and, uh, companies hire us because they’re on the verge of one of two things. They want to hire a sales person, and they’re scared to make that commitment, give a base salary plus commission, and they’re going to try their last ditch effort to outsource it. And that’s when we get the phone call or they have an inside sales rep.

That’s really great at closing deals and harnessing relationships and account managers. Uh, but they’re not great at setting more appointments, uh, and they’re just not great at cold outreach. Um, but they’re great at closing, um, which is wonderful. Uh, our typical businesses we work with, and we’ve just learned this through trial and error, we worked with a lot of businesses over the years and a lot of different industries and you’re good in some and not great in others.

And we’ve just learned that we’re really great in what we call the facilities management realm. So typically like 80% of our clients are commercial cleaning companies. Believe it or not, not really a sexy industry. Um, we like to say we were selling and cleaning before. COVID obviously this industry has seen a big spike.

Um, since COVID, uh, cleaning went from a hundred percent like a necessary evil, um, before COVID like people would just hire Chuck and a truck to all of a sudden there. Businesses just to try to stay open, are hiring the most professional and just the biggest experts in the industry. So went really to a hundred percent essential, um, within a year.

And, uh, we, we sell four commercial cleaning companies, uh, commercial HVAC, and then some commercial, uh, electric. Now that being said, we do work with a few. We’ve worked with a few marketing agencies because obviously I have a marketing agency background. And then I worked with a few tech and SAS companies, and we’re currently working with a few SAS companies, but those are kind of referral come to us on referral basis.

We really want to double down on what we’re great at. And we’re great at doing taken non-sexy industries like commercial cleaning, and reaching out to facility directors, property managers, um, GM’s of franchises, and really just being able to set up quality meetings for our clients. Um, and I think it’s important to any person listening, whether you’re in the lead generation markets.

If you’re in inside sales, you have to really become an expert in that industry. So for us, we have limited resources just as any agency or company. So we want to make sure that the industries that we’re selling in we’re true experts in, we actually have experience and that we have some thought leadership.

We have some clout there. Um, we’re not really faking it till we make it. Um, we really had done the time and earned our stripes in these industries and understand. What the process for a commercial cleaning contract, um, looks like from trying to get that initial touch point to the actual close of the sale.

So I think that’s important to be an expert in a specialist in your realm of sales. I think a lot of people think, oh, I sold here. I can sell there and realize it doesn’t correlate. Now in terms of results, that varies. Um, the most difficult question I get on our sales calls is what type of, uh, results can we expect from hiring you?

Biggest, uh, uh, it’s the most typical question I get and I understand why and my response to every, um, business owner or VP of sales that I’m speaking with is, well, if I was interviewing for a job with you right now, and you ask me what type of sales results can I expect, um, week over week, month over month, right off.

I would be lying to you if I gave you a specific number, but what I can give you is some Mo uh, recent results. Um, and then I go into like, uh, uh, Mo more recent or not, um, case study of one of our clients, typically in the facilities management realm. It’s. Very, uh, long sales cycles, but they’re a high, um, high reoccurring revenue retainers once sold.

Um, so if we can set anywhere between four to eight meetings a month as credit has maybe as minimal as that might sound, um, And qualified meetings. Let me add that. Not just a quick conversations, actual people that are ready and willing to potentially become your buyer. Um, four to eight is a typical kind of return that we try to get on our outreach every single day.

Those aren’t great, like sexy sounding numbers, but those are also realistic. And you have to just kind of know your industry and realize that if you’re reaching out to a hundred people, 90% of them aren’t ready to buy. And then the 10% that might be willing to listen. Only half of those are. Willing to listen and the other half may, uh, be qualified to buy.

So you really have to do a strong qualification process upfront to, uh, understand what kind of numbers you can get your clients month. What type of lead in time? Is it for you when you start a new campaign for a client, what type of expectations do you set? Do you say, Hey, it’s, you know, two weeks for us to start, you know, finish initial research, and then we’re going to start sending out our initial engagements and you can start to expect your first leads within.

Whatever timeframe. Yeah. A great question. And another typical question that we get, uh, we, we like to say our onboarding process is really seven to 10 days. Um, we work with all of our clients on what we call a 90 day pilot program. And that’s just the entry phase. I believe we want to work with companies.

We like, and we respect and we know we can win for, uh, therefore, uh, you want to kind of go through the dating process together. And after 90 days we had, we asked for a long-term commitment, but the reason we do 90 days is because it puts some pressure on us to produce results, to justify the ROI, and then to justify a longterm relationship with us after those 90 days.

Um, so our onboard phase is seven to 10 days. Typically, uh, we really try to hit that week mark and we try to have our campaigns out the door. The day after the onboard phase is done. And really that’s just getting, log-ins getting messaging in place, getting your email campaign, set up your, um, you know, getting one of our phones specialists in place and doing our strategy meetings so on and so forth.

Um, and you can see results starting that first week. Um, it’s not uncommon to hit a home run. Right off the first pitch. Um, but I like to tell people to be the dumb sports guy again, to give an, uh, another analogy basically after base hit, after base hit is also, uh, it’s just good to get on base and, and get players moving.

So we like to see results. Um, the first week or two, after our campaigns building. And do you work with, with your clients on a retainer basis or a commission basis? Yeah. Great questions. Another typical question. Um, you’re really good at asking these questions as if you were interviewing me here. Uh, no, I think.

Uh, we work with our clients on a retainer basis. And let me tell you why the commission basis is a hard model to, uh, prove out on both sides. People will say, well, if you’re sales is a performance-based business, it’s not a knowledge based business. That’s absolutely correct. Um, but there’s no way for me to a hundred percent verify if I give a client a link.

And it actually becomes a client. They become a client from that lead at what price point, how that all turned out and did it actually go through, did it not go through, did the client just sign up for a month that they become your best client ever? Um, it’s a, it’s a really muddy process to manage. I’ve talked to him.

Agencies that do cost per lead. And then also you have a lot of ten ninety nine contractors in the phones at that point, just trying to book any meeting under the sun, just to get a commission there’s other sales agencies out there that charge one to $200 per lead, but that could be. Just, uh, uh, an appointment book and you can book that appointment.

It’s like, listen, your outreach is not, no one’s outreach is perfect. Our ours isn’t perfect. Um, we’ve stubbed our toe many a times. Um, and if we were billing our client one to $200 per bad appointment, um, it’s kind of a black eye on our business. And, uh, we believe that. Our retainer is low enough and make sense enough from the ROI our clients get to justify it, um, matches month over month, but year over year.

Yeah. Um, as we get kind of close to wrapping up, I wanted to shift gears a little bit, because again, I have another story to compliment yours. Uh, why don’t you tell our listeners about your bachelor’s degree? Yeah, bachelor’s my bachelor’s degree from a CU. Uh, I’m I’m in Denver, Colorado. And, uh, I grew up above Stan university of Colorado and, uh, my very first ever marketing job.

Uh, I was young. I was insecure and I just needed a job, frankly. And I knew I could learn social media. That’s what I was doing at the time. And help accompany. This is like in the early days of social and, uh, I applied for this job. Uh, it’s a national non-profit based out of here, out here in Denver, Colorado, and you needed a bachelor’s.

And, uh, I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree. I actually, um, I’m not sure if I’ve even publicly have said this. I, I actually dropped out of high school, so I really, I don’t have any degree at that. Um, would that be and said, uh, I lied in the interview process that I had a bachelor’s degree and, uh, Lo and behold, the interview went great cause they, they assumed I had a bachelor’s degree.

I, I was stressing out that they were going to actually ask me for a physical copy. I went home, I told my fiance, I need to figure out how to find a template online of a fake degree. And I ended up trying to Photoshop this like template and saved it as a PDF. My, uh, my first employer never asked me for the actual physical D degree.

Two years later, the CEO found out, um, kind of as an inside joke from a colleague. That I actually didn’t have a degree and I lied to my interview process and he called me to the office, sent me a meeting request. Kind of told me, Hey, I found out you don’t have a degree. I’d like to speak to you. And my heart was pounding.

I w I thought I was getting fired two years later and I loved the job and I thought the job loved me. And, um, it was a good laugh. He sat me down and said it was probably the best lie he ever told. We just kind of do that to qualify our candidates, um, right off the bat and, uh, glad to have you part of the team.

So my first job. Morris animal foundation was the organization, uh, that they fund, they fund, uh, animal cancer research, um, great, great organization and a really a great first job for me. So, um, before I started my company, I worked for a marketing agency out of Las Vegas. So I worked remotely. I worked at home in Utah and, um, I was, I was kind of this, um, unofficial lead over kind of some of the designers.

And then they hired like a fall. Cause I told them I didn’t want to move to Vegas. I didn’t want to relocate. I didn’t want to live there full-time. And so they said, okay, well, we’re going to eventually hire somebody in the position. We wanted you to do. And so they fast forward, however much time later and they hired a gentleman.

I still know his name. I won’t say who it is, but. They hired a gentleman to be their marketing manager and he was supposed to have whatever degree and he didn’t. And what happened was he photo-shopped his in the office like the next week and left it on the printer called out like a shortly after.

What’s interesting about this guy though, is he’s, uh, you know, he, he, wasn’t a young, hungry entrepreneur. He was an older, you know, supposedly experienced marketer and I still see his name pop up every once in a while. And he’s been. In every industry possible. The guy’s just a serial. Yeah, well, yeah, I think, uh, I think my age and my ambition.

Definitely helped out the optics of that situation. Like he’s young, he’s hungry. Let’s take notes, take a chance on him. So yeah, that’s, that’s uh, leaving it on the printer though. That’s uh, like a classic old school. Hollywood mistake. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s funny. Every time I see him, I laugh so well, James Harper, everybody, I appreciate jumping on learning from others.

I’ll give you the last few moments to tell our listeners how they can find out more about you. Yeah. Um, Damon first and foremost, thank you so much. I think you’re a heck of a show host, um, and just a big fan of yours and learning some others. Uh, if anyone wants to connect with me, uh, go ahead and, uh, send me a fun connection request message on LinkedIn, uh, James Harper or on LinkedIn, or you can check out my company agencyflare.com.

That’s just agencyflare.com and, uh, james@agencyflare.com is my email. Um, listen, I’m in the business. Building great relationships and building my network. So thanks Damon. And I’m happy to add you to my network. All right. Thanks. F name. Appreciate your time. Yeah. See you later. Damond Burton here. And thank you so much for listening to the learning from others podcast.

I sincerely hope that today’s guest helped you learn something since 2007, I’ve generated millions of dollars for businesses like yours. Ready to show up higher on search engines for words that you can monitor. But without paying for ads, download your free copy of my new SEO book outrank. If you visit www.freeseobook.com today.

What did you think of this podcast?

Today’s guest has built and sold two agencies that were 100% bootstrapped. He took what he learned and married it with his strong passion for scaling service-based businesses and now helps entrepreneurs and professionals scale sales without the gross sales approach.

Ready to sale more in a way you can be proud of? Please welcome James Harper.

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