Scaling a New Sales Process on the Fly with Scott Cowley

About This Episode

 Just a little over a year ago, HeySummit didn’t have a true sales team and was focused on helping small, scrappy creators connect with their audiences through virtual events. Almost overnight, everything changed. Head of Agency Scott Cowley was tasked with creating a new sales process for a completely new type of customer on the fly. And the results have been stellar.

Scott joined us on Decision Point to talk about HeySummit’s wild ride in 2020 and how they’re approaching the future of a space in which the sky’s the limit. Scott also shares a story about his early days as a sales rep and the challenges he faced – including working two jobs to make ends meet. How did he make the leap? It all started with a desire to learn and a fearlessness to ask big questions. Take a listen!

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Decision Point: Scaling a New Sales Process on the Fly with Scott Cowley

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Scott: [00:00:00] And that was kind of the biggest difference in selling something like virtual events in 2020 people went from, this is a nice, kind of nice to have cool thing that’ll take 10 years to really take off to all of a sudden, everything was virtual. 

[00:00:17] Brad: [00:00:17] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about overcoming adversity in sales and the growth that we experienced in the process. I’m Brad Seaman.

[00:00:26] Kiel: [00:00:26] Welcome to Decision Point, I’m Kiel Hauck, Director of Marketing at MonsterConnect. And I’m very excited to have you joining me today. There’s a lot of stories lately on our show about how 2020 impacted businesses, forcing sales teams to find new ways to not only thrive, but in some cases simply survive.

[00:00:43] But what happens if your company just so happens to solve a major challenge created by the pandemic and you’re not quite ready for the sudden tidal wave. Well, that’s the story of today’s show and a feature Scott Cowley, Head of Agency at HeySummit an event based marketing solution in Edinburg that just a little over a year ago, [00:01:00] didn’t have a true sales team and was focused on helping small scrappy creators looking to connect with their audience, but just like that, they were suddenly being contacted by fortune 500 fortune 10 companies to help make their virtual events a reality.

[00:01:13] So how do you level up that quickly with essentially no time to prepare? How do you not only navigate uncharted territory, but become the. The company that can lead the way for others. Well, let’s hear the story from Scott and find out.

[00:01:28] Well, I mean, you know, like I mentioned, I’m, I’m fascinated to talk, uh, about, Hey summit, but before we get into that, I want to move back to the beginning for you. Tell me a little bit about how you got into sales and kind of what led you down that path. 

[00:01:42] Scott: [00:01:42] Yeah. Gotcha. I think I’m one of those, um, There’s people who always knew I was going to go into sales.

[00:01:48] Um, I, I think it was when I was a teenager, my father left his job in accountancy and became a business coach. And that kinda, that was interesting. Cause I, I then [00:02:00] learned about sales and I was that 15 year old at all. They’d get rich quick seminars, um, which was fascinating. And then I, uh, decided that accounting was actually probably a good idea.

[00:02:10] Got a, got a scholarship, got someone else to pay me to learn how to do accounting, but never had any intention of going into accounting. Uh, I’ve only ever had jobs in sales and marketing. Um, but my first job out of uni, cause I had, I had sales jobs before that, um, tried to write a book when I was 19, that flips dismally.

[00:02:31] Uh, only, only two people ever bought it. Thanks dad. And one of the girls I went to, um, But yeah, first, first real job out of uni, uh, I applied for probably 20 or 30 jobs and the only one who returned my call, uh, was it was a sales associate job at a company called mind body. Um, basically selling yoga studios who didn’t have computers that they should get online software.

[00:02:58] So that was interesting. [00:03:00] And I, I joined, um, I joined early in 2013, uh, and was the top kind of cold calling appointment setter for a couple of months running in, in the Australian region that we’ve just got started. Um, And then they, they basically said, Hey, time to time to step up and actually start closing deals, kind of how this, the SAS world has the, the appointment setters and, and kind of cold calling outbound.

[00:03:27] And then you hand over. So I was taking on that second role and yeah, I sucked. I was so bad. Um, I actually, I ended up getting a second job delivering pizzas on the weekends. Um, cause I couldn’t couldn’t afford rent. Yeah, which, which was interesting, but then I went, no, no, hang on. Let’s let’s go back to basics.

[00:03:49] Let’s I can do this. Um, so I decided that I was going to, I got a particular book, uh, by a guy named Jeffrey Gitomer called the Sales [00:04:00] Bible. Uh, it’s phenomenal book. I’ve given that book away now. So many times I keep buying it for myself and then someone has a problem and Oh, you need to read this, like give away my own copy and then I have to buy another one.

[00:04:11] So I read that book. I read a chapter of that book every day. Um, and then I also decided I was going to be the number one outbound guy within, uh, within mind-body globally. Um, which was interesting. Cause it was probably anywhere between 60 and 120. I genuinely can’t remember how many reps there were, but there was, there was a lot and I set that target because it was a thing I could achieve.

[00:04:34] The top outbound guy was something I could do. Um, Whereas being the top guy, like the way they sales org was built. A lot of people just kind of had retainer contracts where they’d get five or 10 sales every month from like three or four different customers. I was never gonna be able to beat that, but I set myself the goal that I was gonna be the number one outbound guy.

[00:04:53] It took me, it took me six months, kind of $80, a hundred dollars a day. Some days doing five, 10 [00:05:00] demos, just like insane numbers that I don’t think I’d be able to do anymore. Um, just because the energy it took and I, yeah, I hit it for two months running. I was, I was pretty stoked. And since then, I’d like to say, I’ve gone from strength to strength.

[00:05:13] There’s been some lows, but, uh, but yeah, I definitely credit the, the outbound dialing. Um, but then also reading that book and I still to this day, whenever people say, what. What do you credit your success to in sales? Like how did you get started? It’s it’s that book I credit to like giving the, the direction?

[00:05:30] Um, yeah, that’s how I started selling. 

[00:05:33] Kiel: [00:05:33] Well, yeah, that’s an amazing story. I want to go back to that point in which you kind of hit that a wall, so to speak because we, this isn’t a, a story, right. Necessarily that we, um, you know, haven’t heard from other folks. So, I mean, just to, you know, if you’re crushing it as a sales rep, you will obviously want to take that next step, but it’s not always like this one to one comparison of like, Oh, I’m crushing it here.

[00:05:53] I’m going to step into this next role up and keep crushing it. I mean, For you specifically, when you think back, like [00:06:00] what was that a role that you just weren’t ready for? Was there not enough training to help you? Like, what was the reason you think that, uh, you kind of hit that bump in the road? 

[00:06:08] Scott: [00:06:08] Yeah, I mean, it’s a good question.

[00:06:10] If I really think about the role I was doing to begin with was not a very hard role and it was, uh, Australia where I started emergency I’m originally and Aussie. Um, and when I got started, we didn’t have nuisance calls. We didn’t have robo dialers. Um, I don’t even know if they’re there yet. So my cold calls, I was getting like five or six answers per 10 dials.

[00:06:38] Right. So like, it was a pretty good time to be cold calling. Um, yeah. And also the, the owners of the businesses that I was calling, they had mobile numbers listed on their websites. She’s calling the direct person. You just say a script for 30 seconds at booking an appointment. Um, that was, that was definitely the easy part.

[00:06:55] I’ve, I’ve always been, that’s always been the easy part, but then I think the step [00:07:00] up, um, I maybe, maybe it was training. Maybe it was just, I didn’t realize how hard selling actually is. And I think I probably went into it a little bit naive thinking that yeah, like I can get people to say yes to it to half an hour or an hour on the phone.

[00:07:18] I could probably get them to say yes to it. I think it was like a $50 a month software at that point, maybe a hundred was the most expensive plan. Um, so I think it was probably naivety, but I also think it’s just. Selling is hard. And when you’re entering, when you’re entering a new market, as, as my buddy, where a lot of the tips they gave us worked in the U S but the Australia is a very different market.

[00:07:44] As much as we both speak English, there is definitely, I. A different style of selling. It’s a lot of the tips I was getting from my team. I assume they worked in the U S at the time, I [00:08:00] assume they were just telling me crap because these were good people. Um, but they weren’t, those tips weren’t working in Australia.

[00:08:07] It was just a fundamentally different audience. But what I’ve noticed, cause I’ve sold all around the world these days. Um, just to take those two countries, Australia is really, really hard to get someone to buy the first time. But if you call them back in two weeks or three weeks and say, Hey, it’s, it’s this person they’re gonna, they have no idea who you are.

[00:08:28] They don’t remember your name because you’re just the voice on the other end of the phone. Whereas I’ve found when selling, um, When selling in the U S for example, people are much, much more likely to take that risk and just be like, ah, it’s cheap, I’ll buy it. Um, but then they churn much faster compared to Australia, but I compare that.

[00:08:47] So I’m based in the UK these days, I’ll compare that to the UK. It’s, it’s kind of halfway between that. They’ll churn really quickly if you don’t serve them, but you have to earn their business. [00:09:00] And they will remember your name. You can call them back in three months time because I did this, I used to the easiest way to get more businesses, call you current customers and get referrals.

[00:09:10] So I used to do this. I used to reach out after a month and they knew who I was when I tried that in Australia. They’d literally be like, You were just the guy on the other end of the phone. I don’t, I don’t need anything from you. I’m like, why, why are you calling me? I’ve been dealing with support the whole time.

[00:09:24] Right? It’s just really interesting to see how those different cultures work. And maybe that was, maybe that was it. I just had to learn how the Australian way of buying at the time was, um, I dunno, no one’s ever really asked me that question. I feel like I’m just waffling it, you know, I’m not quite sure.

[00:09:40] Kiel: [00:09:40] It’s great. And you know, I mean, you kind of set it all up. The crux of our whole show of like selling is hard, you know, and, and the more layers you add on top of it, the more complex it gets. And when you’re talking about selling internationally and, you know, different countries and different cultures, like obviously there’s all kinds of other things to think about the add different elements that create an even [00:10:00] greater challenge to selling.

[00:10:01] Um, but. Talking about, you know, your, the, where you turn the corner in your career and started really, um, having some success. It came back to, you talked about going back to basics, reading that book learning. And we’ve one of the things that has been kind of a recurring theme in the conversations we’ve been having this year is this concept that great sellers never stop learning.

[00:10:23] Like if you’re going to be great in sales, you can’t ever reach this point where you’re like, I got to figure it out. I’m just going to repeat this process over and over. It’s about constantly. Learning and pushing yourself forward. Do you find like now as a sales leader and just as you work with other young salespeople, do you find that that’s a trait for people that are, um, accelerating quickly in their career and moving forward in their career?

[00:10:47] Scott: [00:10:47] Absolutely. The, the learning side and finding people to follow. I, um, Before, HeySummit. My latest role, I spent a couple of years, [00:11:00] um, kind of freelance consulting, building sales orgs for other people, um, and kind of three to six months increments effectively. I was kind of sales trainer sales consultant.

[00:11:11] It was a, it was a weird business. I still do it a little bit today, but definitely toned it down. And I came across, um, I constantly just spent time on YouTube watching other sales trainers. And one of the things that I’m actually most excited about since taking the role at hae summit is I now have an excuse to buy the services of the people, the sales trainers.

[00:11:31] You can’t really reach out and be like, Hey, I’m a sales trainer. Can I come to your course? Feel like they are well within their rights to say no. Like, um, whereas I’m really excited actually. I’ve just started working with them coach, uh, who I’m a huge fan of, um, And yeah, we’ve got a, we’ve got sessions going on.

[00:11:51] I’ve also, I’ve done the mentoring side as well. Um, I’m a member of a couple of different, uh, different incubators. Um, kind of as a, [00:12:00] as a mentor, I’ve also been involved in the platform, growth mentor quite a bit. And I find that the people who are at the top of their game are the ones who ask the most questions and the ones that are really willing to say, I actually don’t know much about this.

[00:12:14] Can you tell me more? Um, And the, the other side of that, if you really flip it round, once you start getting into the mentoring side of things or, or build your network to the point where you’re helping others anyway. You get access to like the next level of talent, because all of a sudden your, a mentor, your appeal of the people who do the helping.

[00:12:37] Um, and that’s probably been my biggest step up as far as network, as far as like, if I have a problem, I now have a list of amazing people. That I can go to, and some of them are salespeople. Some of them are fundamentally just hardcore sales guys in the trenches all the time. Some of them though are marketing.

[00:12:58] Some are, some are all [00:13:00] different areas. Um, but that, that ability to find a person or a group of people. I, I mean, we’re salespeople. We like talking to people, some of us like reading books, some of us like watching movies or like going and watching on demand training. But I think the best is always talking to someone.

[00:13:21] Yeah. Because that’s part of the reason we got into sales. So I find those, those mentor groups just reaching out saying, Hey, I’ve got this problem who can help and being known as a peer. It’s yeah, they’re the best people I’ve, I’ve found anywhere. Um, it’s those ones in those sort of groups. 

[00:13:39] Kiel: [00:13:39] Yeah, absolutely. And there’s so many great, uh, you know, groups like that out there these days. And, uh, you know, it’s not hard to find a community of people that you can network with and, and learn from. Um, I want to talk a little bit now about, you know, HeySummit, as I mentioned, you know, You’re head of agency there.

[00:13:57] You’ve been there a little over a year. I’m [00:14:00] fascinated to hear about the past year there because, um, you know, HeySummit, if I’m understanding, right, you’re solving a very specific problem, which is when people host live events, there’s usually technical issues. There’s, uh, problems because those, you know, there’s very few people.

[00:14:14] It’s like my specialty is the technical side of hosting a live event. And you know, all of us can talk about, I’ve probably been on more. Live events and webinars where there’s, uh, an issue with somebody’s sound or the video playing or whatever, then I’ve been where everything just goes smoothly. So that the concept is obviously something that makes total sense.

[00:14:32] But then we go into this year where like it’s more important than it’s ever been. Um, so tell me a little bit about, HeySummit and just, you know, what it was like kind of stepping in here and then experiencing the, you know, 20, 20 the way that you did. 

[00:14:44] Scott: [00:14:44] Yeah, for sure. Kiel, so, HeySummit for those who don’t know.

[00:14:50] Um, it’s, it’s a virtual events platform. Um, we’re kind of the phrasing we’re using at the moment, uh, is we help creators unlock their [00:15:00] content with events based marketing. Um, it’s very much targeted at, I don’t want to say the bottom of the market because that makes it sound bad, but kind of the. The scrappiest side, the smaller creators who want to do, um, like a, a thousand person event, a 10,000 person event, but they, they own an email list or they have a community, um, he’s kind of its traditional place.

[00:15:27] So, so what’s interesting. There is they, that group of people kind of get technology, or they’re used to hiring a virtual assistant that gets technology and they’re smaller businesses. Um, But then what happened last year? Anyone who had virtual events as a keyword on their website just got attacked. In in, and that was so I’ve, I’ve kind of had two stints at hay summit.

[00:15:52] And I mean, the second one right now as a, as a, um, employee, but the first stint was actually as a, as a consultant coming in [00:16:00] through, by my consulting business, the sales mastermind, um, and helping build this sales org. And it fundamentally was through one of the communities that are part of, um, the CEO over there.

[00:16:11] I was like, Hey, I need like, we, we don’t sell. We’re a, we’re a growth led company and their price points were that, um, they were kind of lower end when you don’t, you shouldn’t have salespeople because it’s just too expensive to build the head count model when your prices are so low. So like that was the initial chat I had with him.

[00:16:30] I’m like, dude, you don’t, you don’t need sales. He’s like, no, no, no we do. Because all of a sudden we’re getting, um, what are some of the logos I’m allowed to mention? We’re getting the UN reaching out and saying, Hey, can you run an event for us? We’re getting, um, Like we did some stuff, uh, for click up. We did outreach.

[00:16:48] We did, um, kind of these tech forward companies, I’d say, uh, it’s probably a good, a good wrapping, but they, those businesses, they need handholding. [00:17:00] They, they don’t, or they don’t want to just work it out. They want someone to sit there and hold their hand and they’ve got the budget for it. Um, so while most of our, most of our best.

[00:17:13] Customers, they are looking at this as like a revenue generation tool, um, using kind of a conversion event. Like we in sales, we have sales conversations, um, and that’s our conversion event. Get someone to just talk to us. And son of a deadline was a lot of the people who use us, the conversion event is the event.

[00:17:32] So it gives you like a specific time that everyone has to be on and the standard creator. Is, um, kind of 10, 20,000 people is what they want and they’ll work it out themselves. But then all of a sudden these big corporates were coming in and Hey, someone just got inundated and they have no idea. They had no idea what procurement was.

[00:17:52] Um, so I, yeah, I kind of supported them as a, as an external consultant. The first stint. And we, we just had to go [00:18:00] back to absolute basic. What is a sales call? Who should we be talking to? Who should, should we be saying no to like, they have no qualification? Um, the person who is doing the selling, I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this.

[00:18:11] She’s an absolute weapon. Like the first time I met her, I’m like, you’re cool. Second time I met her. I’m like, you shouldn’t be in sales. Third time I met her. She’d closed like a hundred grand of business and I went, Oh, well, you’re good. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I’m gonna, I’ll get a lot of time for, um, for the team there, cause they kind of just took everything I was saying and just ran with it and we ended up building out processes and, and that was kind of the biggest difference in selling something like virtual events in 2020 people went from, this is a nice, kind of nice to have cool thing.

[00:18:47] That’ll take 10 years to really take off to all of a sudden everything was virtual. And, um, yeah, it was just land grab. Um, the competitors who started with high summit and kind [00:19:00] of started in the same breath last year. Uh, quite a few of them have raised hundreds of millions now, um, and way not going that route.

[00:19:07] Um, because we, we want to keep the. We want to go more of a volume play and kind of provide the, at the, at the base level, the SAS level still needs to be good enough to be self-service for those original what we call passion economy. Um, but I don’t talk to them. They’re they’re not going to buy, they’re not gonna buy sales and the price points are too low.

[00:19:27] So I’m talking to, um, like giant multi-nationals who are running an internal event. Um, and then you think about that sort of company. HeySummit had no idea how to go, who we talking to? Do we need to navigate internally to find the right person, or is this person the right person? Do we, how do we, how do they didn’t have a proposal?

[00:19:50] We had to create, I created a PR, to be honest, I created a proposal. They was scrappy as anything, man. We had, we had no time in the day. We just had back to back calls. No [00:20:00] idea how to say no, how to qualify. Um, Well, to be honest, I had last year, it was, it was a bump a year, but it was tough because we, we didn’t, we didn’t.

[00:20:10] And also, I didn’t know the events industry, so I’d have to learn this brand new industry with very, very big characters, really interesting characters who are used to getting up on a stage in front of a hundred thousand people. And then you’re talking to them and they’ve got, they don’t know how zoom works and they don’t know how to start a zoom call.

[00:20:29] Um, So he tried to, I had to pull on those skills. I learned originally at my body when you’re talking to Pilates instructors and yoga teachers have been doing it for 30 years, never had any intention of owning a computer, let alone putting a computer into their yoga studio. So I had to kind of go back to the original roots that I learned there and just really walk people through, just ask those really, really dumb questions because.

[00:20:55] They weren’t actually dumb questions for this group of people. It’s just, they just didn’t think [00:21:00] like technology, people who use virtual events. Um, and then I think the next thing that happened was interesting is that we, we decided, um, to, to kind of add another salesperson. Um, so that our current team could kind of step up more into the management role.

[00:21:16] Cause one of them was, it was a founder and not a sales person and I helped hire that person. Um, and she was lovely. Um, but she wasn’t a startup person. And, uh, I think the, the interesting thing there is like she had serious, serious chops at our previous roles. I quite like this person. She was lovely, but then.

[00:21:37] Understanding that in the world of startups, you’re just creating products on the fly. I’ve literally sat on calls because the agency side and the reason we’ve chosen the title head of agency, um, is because I’m not selling the SAS. I’m not selling the software, I’m selling all the services behind it. Um, and yeah, like the software tool, the lowest price point at the moment, I think is [00:22:00] 35 bucks a month.

[00:22:01] The lowest we sell our services for is a couple of grand per event up to, I think the largest deal we’ve done is getting close to close to six figures. Hmm. So like it’s an entirely different proposition and that actually caused that caused a different issue because when you’ve got someone from let’s just call it the UN, because we’ve done a fair few different, like little subcommittees within the UN, and we have permission to use their logo.

[00:22:25] So when someone from the UN reaches out and sees your price point on the page and goes, Oh, your cheapest is 35. Your most expensive is 300 a month. And then you’re like ought to run that event. It’s going to be. 35 grand. It’s true. There’s some serious sticker shock there. Yeah. Um, but that’s, that’s kind of, the events industry is a little bit opaque like that.

[00:22:47] Everyone says going to reach out for pricing, um, and that. That definitely caused issues when we were doing some of our selling, because it’s talking to companies like we’re talking to, I think the largest company we have the largest, like [00:23:00] we’re talking fortune tents, um, and some really, really big companies, so they can afford this.

[00:23:05] We know they can afford it. Do they have it set aside as budget in that particular event? Probably not. Cause everything just, just everything. That they had initially got blown up and no one knew what their budgets were. And that’s part of the reason they’re reaching out to us because our price points were so low online.

[00:23:25] Um, we ended up closing quite a few of those deals, but it did cause issues. It did cause that communication. And you had to do a lot of the, a lot of the really tough like, Oh, if I told you it was $10,000, what would you say to me? Um, Kind of the back end. So you don’t get the sticker shock. Yeah. Reduce the ridiculous stuff where you’re talking about number of attendees cost per 10 day and just all these different tricks we have to do because services are really expensive when you go to a puss and physically holding your hand on the way through, um, another thing as well, and, and feel free to [00:24:00] jump in if I’m just talking too much here, Kiel.

[00:24:01] But, um, another thing we found, HeySummit. Isn’t doing what everyone else is doing. So most of the events industry, they go out and they raise a couple of hundred million. Um, and then they build everything. In-house in fact, even the, the, the platforms that raise 10 million, they’re building everything.

[00:24:19] In-house right. Whereas we don’t want to do that. So fundamentally we don’t do any of the video ourselves and you probably thinking how on earth can you run a virtual events business without video? And that’s a problem cause we have to explain that to people. Um, and it, it, we still haven’t worked out how to do it.

[00:24:39] Well, it’s still a struggle to kind of get people’s head without having that conversation without talking about what Hey, summit actually is one of the, one of the best analogies I’ve worked out is if you think about a conference, you went to five years ago. HeySummit is everything from when you first hear about the concert.

[00:24:55] Sorry, the conference. Land on the web page register for your [00:25:00] ticket pick which sessions are you going to go to get the reminder email, turn up to the conference center, check in, and then you turn the handle to open the door, to walk into the actual session. And then we use a partner at that point and we choose one of his best in breed.

[00:25:17] Now, the reason to do that one, we don’t have to raise hundreds of millions to build 15 different event styles. Cause in the, in the old days to do an event, move some chairs around and all of a sudden you’ve gone from a keynote to a panel, to a networking session right now these days, those are the three fundamentally different pieces of technology that make that possible.

[00:25:37] Yeah. So the software is really good. Keynotes is usually okay at like round Robin networking. But what Hey summit does is we allow you to have one event experience. So your, your 10 days don’t have a Cetus, but that one event experience allows you to put the best of breed. As [00:26:00] the actual platform, they are the best of breed that you can afford as the platform that you use.

[00:26:04] So you’re using something different for your keynotes using something different for your networking. Maybe you want to do some like, really interesting stuff with, um, like virtual boots. We’re doing a student event right now, uh, where they have each of the student led organizations, the, um, What do you call them?

[00:26:24] The, uh, the clubs, the student clubs, each of those get their own like booth as such. Okay. How on earth do you put that online? Right. My team worked that out. I don’t have to work that out. I don’t know how any of the technology place, but I’ve got an amazing team it’s pain before me who actually then take, this is what we need to do, make those boots, make it all work, pick the technology.

[00:26:48] Um, and then just kind of hand it over and then it just, it just runs. Yeah, 

[00:26:54] Kiel: [00:26:54] Scott, this is fascinating. Cause there’s so much, there’s so much here. I mean, we’re, you know, talking about, uh, [00:27:00] um, a company that does virtual events, which, you know, until March of last year, it was kind of, you know, it was a thing, but maybe more of a niche thing.

[00:27:07] But on top of that, you’re selling basically a software license to a smaller, you know, you described it a scrappy type customer now suddenly. Virtual events are the only way to have an event. And now suddenly you’re not just selling the software license, but you’re also selling a service to like enterprise companies and working out these big deals.

[00:27:25] But there’s no process in place. There’s no proposal. You’re. I mean, there’s so many things. It sounds like you’re working through on the fly in terms of process. So many problems you’re solving for to scale. Uh, as the opportunity scales, right? And now we come into 2021. And to me, just to hear you talk about, it almost feels like the sky’s the limit on what you could potentially do, what the focus could be.

[00:27:47] How do you reign that in coming into this next year and the year after that and say like, Hey, this is who say, Hey, summit is going to be, this is who we are. This is what we figured out that as a repeatable process and how we’re going to scale from that point. 

[00:28:00] [00:28:00] Scott: [00:28:00] Oh, Kiel, you’re asking the tough questions.

[00:28:03] Uh, I would say not very well yet, but we’re trying, it’s not, how do you, how do you reign it in? Uh, I think where we’re at is we’re kind of just picking something and running with it for a period of time and seeing how it goes. Um, But when thinking about, thinking about events, thinking about moving forward, kind of thinking about the next obvious step is a lot of people are going to be going well, virtual events.

[00:28:32] Yeah. But like, we’re going to get back to seeing each other soon. Aren’t we? And I think that that’s our next biggest challenge, but I also think it’s our next biggest opportunity because. It’s two sides to that. One is hybrid where you have some people in person and some people not, but the other side is actually straight after this recording.

[00:28:51] Uh, I have a conversation with a, uh, with a not-for-profit in a state in the U S that is quite [00:29:00] low population, but, um, they do some work with municipalities. So every municipality. In the state. Um, it’s part of this association. Now, this association, when I spoke to them last time, they said, we’re never going to run, adjust in-person event again, because they might run hybrid.

[00:29:21] But they said that to me and they run me through the logic behind it. Cause I was like, hang on, tell me more, like what, why is that? It’s because the, the States just doesn’t have that many airports. So people have to drive. 10 12 hours to get to the physical event. And that really means if you’re doing a one day event, people have to take three days out of the calendar.

[00:29:46] It’s just a one day event. So like straight off the leaves, I’m going to, I’m going to go through the, there, let’s talk about the 21 event. Um, But that, that use case isn’t going away. So you, you still, we have to [00:30:00] then decide, are we going to become a hybrid tool that like helps out people with in-person and online?

[00:30:07] Um, and the other challenge that, that we’ve also got is that our original use case, what we, what we thought we were to begin with was for what we call the passion economy. People that wouldn’t have physical events in general. Cause you can’t get 5,000 people from all over the world affordably into a conference center.

[00:30:32] So that person, it was, we were solving a problem for them that wasn’t solved any other way or was it solved? Well, any other way, whereas now we have to make a decision. Do we, we’re going to keep serving them. We’re pretty good at serving them. We built some really good partnerships. Um, And we’ve got some, some awesome influencers in that space who love us.

[00:30:53] So we’re definitely not moving away from it, but that to the people on this podcast point, they’re probably going to go. Yeah, but you [00:31:00] don’t need sales for that. And you’re a hundred percent, right. So this is the tug I’m I’m then trying to say, okay, how do we, how do we, my, my ambition, um, I’ve sold on six continents and I, I want to sell something to Antarctica and I want to sell something to the international space station.

[00:31:20] So, you know, just to small goals that’s possible with, HeySummit, because if you think about it and talk tikka, well, yeah, there’s internet there, thanks to a Starlink or whatever. The, the, um, Elon Musk things called, um, but then also the international space station, like they do actually sell. Talks from the ISS, uh, Chris Hatfield was famous for doing a bunch of those.

[00:31:43] So like to bring this all back around to your actual work question, I think beyond the sky is the limit. There’s so many things we can do, right. Um, but we have to focus for each kind of month, quarter year, because we haven’t raised much money. That’s the [00:32:00] other factor we’ve got to, we’ve got to do this in a way.

[00:32:05] But it means we aren’t burning cash. Um, and that’s, that’s really where the, the agency side comes into its own as well. Because an agency, like I can turn around a 50 K deal in a month. Um, which is great. Cause if you, if you know any of the, any of the methodologies around qualifying, um, I’d never have to worry about timing.

[00:32:29] Because everyone has an event in the future and that’s the day that it has to happen. So I had done my qualifications so much easier. 

[00:32:36] Kiel: [00:32:36] Um, you know, Scott, this has been a great conversation. I want to take too much more of your time, but I do want to ask you real quick, you know, you’ve, uh, talked about all of the fascinating stuff that has happened in the past year.

[00:32:45] You’ve talked about wanting to sell a, uh, you know, a virtual. Uh, event in Antarctica or out in space, but, uh, of all these things, if I asked you right now, just in general, what are you most passionate about? What’s your answer to that? 

[00:33:00] [00:33:00] Scott: [00:33:00] Uh, I don’t want to sound cliche. I do. I do just love selling. I love getting in front of people, finding out what their problem is, then finding out what their real problem is.

[00:33:12] Then finding out how that actually happens in their life. Then solving that problem via my tool. Then getting lit, letting someone else actually deliver, uh, cause I’m, I’m not as technical as a, as I think most people think I am, but I, yeah, I just, I love, I think, I think I just love uncovering the true problem and then solving that and selling to that.

[00:33:38] I think that’s something that, um, Most people don’t do very well. And then I suppose the other part of that is I do love questions, working out the right questions, working out how to ask them. When I write a book, it’s going to be on questions. I have no idea what it’s going to be like. What’s actually going to make up the content, but I do just love asking [00:34:00] better questions and that’s yeah, I suppose I wrap all that up is I really do love sales, man.

[00:34:07] God, I sound cliche when I say that though. Well, 

[00:34:09] Kiel: [00:34:09] Hey, makes you a great guest for the show and, uh, at a great conversation. This has been so Scott, I thank you so much for being so generous with your time today and coming on the show,  I really appreciate it, 

[00:34:19] Scott: [00:34:19] Kiel. It’s been an absolute pleasure, man.

[00:34:24] Kiel: [00:34:24] Another big, thank you to Scott Kelly of HeySummit for joining me on the show. If you like what you heard today. Come visit us at We’ve got some really great additional resources for you there. And of course you can sign up for our newsletter. That’s going to do it for today’s show.

[00:34:39] Thank you so much for stopping by and we’ll catch you next time. .

[00:00:00] Scott: [00:00:00] And that was kind of the biggest difference in selling something like virtual events in 2020 people went from, this is a nice, kind of nice to have cool thing that’ll take 10 years to really take off to all of a sudden, everything was virtual. 

[00:00:17] Brad: [00:00:17] Welcome to Decision Point, a podcast about overcoming adversity in sales and the growth that we experienced in the process. I’m Brad Seaman.

[00:00:26] Kiel: [00:00:26] Welcome to Decision Point, I’m Kiel Hauck, Director of Marketing at MonsterConnect. And I’m very excited to have you joining me today. There’s a lot of stories lately on our show about how 2020 impacted businesses, forcing sales teams to find new ways to not only thrive, but in some cases simply survive.

[00:00:43] But what happens if your company just so happens to solve a major challenge created by the pandemic and you’re not quite ready for the sudden tidal wave. Well, that’s the story of today’s show and a feature Scott Cowley, Head of Agency at HeySummit an event based marketing solution in Edinburg that just a little over a year ago, [00:01:00] didn’t have a true sales team and was focused on helping small scrappy creators looking to connect with their audience, but just like that, they were suddenly being contacted by fortune 500 fortune 10 companies to help make their virtual events a reality.

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