Service in the Sell with Jeff Zelaya

About This Episode

Serving, growing, and empowering people are three tenets Jeff Zelaya holds close. From his time as a Sales Consultant until now as the VP of Franchise Development at Hite Digital, Jeff focuses on his impact on his clients more than the bottom line.
This service first focus has allowed Jeff to empower clients everyday, and not have to worry about the bottom lines. Join Brad, as Jeff explains how he’s found success along his journey, and how he continues to help and empower new people everyday!

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Service in the Sell with Jeff Zelaya

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Episode Transcript

Serving, growing, and empowering people are three tenets Jeff Zelaya holds close. From his time as a Sales Consultant until now as the VP of Franchise Development at Hite Digital, Jeff focuses on his impact on his clients more than the bottom line.
This service first focus has allowed Jeff to empower clients everyday, and not have to worry about the bottom lines. Join Brad, as Jeff explains how he’s found success along his journey, and how he continues to help and empower new people everyday!

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: I’m a I’m I’m excited. So I think we were sort of talking there before is like, I always think of you cause you had the best, um, response. And I can’t remember what you said, but you did a great job. Uh, when I was looking at AAA though, I get me to back down because I wanted to. I wanted the PR I wanted to know the price and I thought I knew everything about account-based marketing.

And you got me, you got me talked

[00:00:22] Jeff Zelaya: about my Angelo has a closest, you says people forget what you say, but they never forget how you make them feel. So hopefully in a way that may okay. I believe in Jeff. Okay. He has a reason that he’s not maybe giving me a price right away. Like let’s talk, let’s figure this out together.


[00:00:37] Brad Seaman: yeah, you did a good, I don’t know. Do you remember what your what’s your default, do you have like a default. Do you remember what you said to me so well, or you dealt with me so well,

[00:00:47] Jeff Zelaya: yeah. So for, for pricing, you know, typically, and I coach now I coach agency owners, uh, to hand knock on the sales side.

So typically when it comes to pricing, you know, the conversation that we have is like, like it’s, it’s difficult for me to be able to prescribe you something. If I don’t know the symptoms that you’re having, or be able to dive into your particular situation. So let’s talk about that first and then I’ll be, I promise, I’ll give you a specific pricing.

Once I have enough information to be able to, um, You know, propose prescribing you something that is specific for your needs. So that’s, and we

[00:01:16] Brad Seaman: do that on the, on the pro on the product side. So like I said, I can’t remember what you said to me. I just, you know, I’m a CEO I’m educated, like around the product.

I remember being like, feeling like I knew a lot. And you did just like, I just wanted to get to the number and you did just such a good job. I don’t remember what you said, but I definitely remember when we talked, when you talked to me, I remember feeling good about you. You get me to back down.

[00:01:46] Jeff Zelaya: So tell me a bit more about when you say feeling good.

Like what, what feelings, I just

[00:01:51] Brad Seaman: remember you handled it really well. Like it was super, it was super smooth. Like it wasn’t, you know, when you’re dealing with. Somebody, you know, so you’re dealing with CEO or you’re dealing with somebody that knows what they want. They know where they’re at in the process.

Obviously price, the price can be people fall on two sides of the fence. Um, in terms of sometimes people go straight to the, the price. Other people will bird, dog. Yeah. And I just can’t remember what you said. I just remember whatever you did as made me think about you all the time. Cause you did say how I felt.

I was like, oh, he did such a good job or getting me to get me to

[00:02:29] Jeff Zelaya: back down. Yeah. So I think a couple of things that go into, I think, uh, crafting a good answer to that. Right. I think understanding who the audience is. Right? So in your case, you’re an executive, like your time is limited. You don’t want to.

You know, to get, get, uh, yanked around and maybe are going to deeper into a conversation where this is like way out of the budget. We thought, you know, what you had even imagined spending. So I think part of the, the, the answer that I recommend re crafting to this is, you know, potentially giving a range.

So like, Hey, you know, our prices range from this amount to this amount, obviously I don’t know exactly what it is that you need, but if that is not a deal breaker for you, let’s get into some of the discovery and that can give you a specific. So that way you’re, you’re not like evasive because I feel sometimes people, you know, they’re like hiding the price when I don’t have time to get into it.

Right. So, yeah.

[00:03:20] Brad Seaman: And it’s hard to know where to fit that in, uh, you know, uh, price does is you can build a huge value. There’s a couple pieces, right? You can build a huge value case and justify it, but it’s just too much, right. It’s just like you, or you got a problem that it it’s itchy. But depending on the price makes a big difference on whether you scratch it or not.

Right? Like you can just continue to keep it, you know, it just has everything to do with, you know, so yeah. Ranges are great. I think it helps people get their mind around whether they can, um, how, how much they want to scratch the itch they’re trying to solve. And then

[00:03:56] Jeff Zelaya: one of the questions that I ask at the end, once they have a range, is that going to be a problem?

And that, what that does is like, you know, it usually a CEO or someone that has that budget. Look, that’s not, that’s not a problem. Like they don’t want to have properties. Right. They don’t want to say that’s a problem. So it typically gives me them permission to continue with the line of discovery or scheduling that next meeting.

[00:04:16] Brad Seaman: Yeah. Price can be, so it can be so tricky. I know as somebody that, like, I just want to know that, like, I just want another, the price, right. I need to understand whether it’s something we can afford or not afford. And I think understanding your audience is super important. Yes. Um, and so there’s definitely a balance between I and I think you have to be careful.

Um, and I always think about this in terms of like, when you buy a car, when you go to the Carlisle. You’ve already thought about the story that you’re going to tell yourself when you drive a car, right? Um, like you’re starting to work yourself in the car seat. Right. And, and so a lot of times buyers will ascribe their own, um, solutions to the product.

And that’s why it’s so important. I think, as a salesperson to make sure you understand where somebody’s. And then being able to, um, describe or talk about the solution in a way that makes sense based on where they’re at in their story. That’s why you get ask good questions. Right? You gotta figure out what stories they’re

[00:05:14] Jeff Zelaya: telling themselves.

Exactly. Right. The power of the, of good questions. Right. And getting, getting this as a salesperson, being able to articulate that story, like, and you’re just, I’m not taking over the story. Um, I’m supporting your story, right? I’m the guy in your. Um, I’m not the protagonist right on the I’m the sidekick. So, well, sometimes they want to be the protagonist they want to sell based on their own reasons without truly understanding the reason that’s already going on in the buyer’s mind.


[00:05:44] Brad Seaman: No, I think that’s super, I think that’s super, super important. Um, being able to figure out where people are at, because look, we’re all telling ourselves a story, right? You just got to figure out which one they’re telling themselves or what the story is. Um,

[00:05:59] Jeff Zelaya: The initial questions that I use. And that process is like, you know, what, what brought you here today and listening?

Right. I think that’s an important part like salespeople. Um, the stereotypical salesperson is all about fast talking, but the, the really good salespeople today are all about listening. Making sure that you’re asking questions. Good. They get people to open up and you’re listening to the answers and then finding ways to then follow up on the details that they’re giving you to get even more of a clearer picture of what’s going on with their mindset is out.

[00:06:31] Brad Seaman: Do you think so? I think, okay. So I had this conversation with Jen Allen, who is a chief evangelists over at the challenge, uh, challenges. Uh, they wrote the book, the challenger, and, um, you know, I, I don’t know if it’s my, and I’ve talked about this several times. I have a natural reflux to getting stuck in the sand or sales funnel.

So like if I get in the funnel and I, I feel like I’m going down and my hand goes up and my foot goes out and I like lock my elbows. You know, like, I’m not going, I’m not going to, I’m not going into. One of the challenges, I think with a Sandler method, which is around questioning, right? Is that, um, there’s a balance between asking good questions and being antagonistic.

And if you’re, if you can always tell you get a new SDR that comes through the class, they’re out on the phones or a new a, and they’ve been through Sandler. And it’s a bumpy ride, right? It’s like they ask questions that, um, you don’t your, your questions. You gotta be careful cause you can come up like a cop or you can Intacct somebody by trying to ask questions.

I think that are already answered, like that are obvious, right? And so I’m holding it, I’m holding the nail and I’m holding the hammer and I’m standing in front of a wall and you come and say, well, you know, why do you want a hammer? And it’s like, well, I’m holding the nail, I’m holding the hammer. And I’m standing in front of a hole, a hole in the wall.

What do you think? I did it ever four. So what’s the balance in your mind? Like you, you have a very calm, demeanor, so like, I would guess that like a general, um, you don’t come off as antagonistic, but do you have any pointers or any thoughts around.

[00:08:14] Jeff Zelaya: Of course. So I, I typically, I, I think of always having a limit to the questions that I could ask.

Right. And I always, you know, I’m, I’m used to selling to high-level executives and we’re busy and there’s a lot that we want to get into, but I have to be productive with the time that I have. So I don’t want to waste your time. Right. So whenever I can get my questions answered through Google, through LinkedIn, through their website, they’re looking at their, uh, investor disclosure.

Like I’m gonna, I’m gonna do my research and due diligence and confirm. So the call. So when I’m bringing up information, talking to them, I may be verifying stuff that I’ve already researched and what that does it builds trust, like, okay, this person is prepared. They know me. So when I get into some of those, uh, more detailed questions are they’re keen to open up because they know this guy’s in the preparation.

He’s asking me things that really matter. So I think that’s part of it right. Being prepared and not just going, not just answer, like asking questions back to back to back, but throughout it, providing some value, you know, making sure that you’re tying in whatever the answer they’re giving you. To something that your company is doing right.

Or, uh, being very naturally curious. Tell me more about that. Right? Just a little having that curiosity and then also prefacing right. Saying, Hey, the reason I’m asking this question, I want to make sure that I, when I get into the demo, I’m going to show you the parts that are most relevant to you. And that’s what I’m going to focus on.

Right? So that’s the reason I’m asking these questions, or the reason I’m asking these questions is to be able to then do an ROI analysis so we can figure out if this is actually worth your money. And if you’re going to get a good return from this. So I think people need to know the reason that you’re asking all these questions, as opposed to just kind of getting into the questions.

And then I think people

[00:09:51] Brad Seaman: are naturally curious. Like I think curiosity is a really important part of being a salesperson.

[00:09:57] Jeff Zelaya: I believe. So. I think the good salespeople are naturally curious. They’re interested right. In what you’re saying. And they’re not just interested in, in your answers because they’re trying to sell you stuff.

They really want to help. Right. They they’re curious to know, okay, what’s happening in your businesses in your business, because typically I’m dealing with people that are very similar to you. So the more I know about your situation, I can then start comparing what you’re going through to some other previous conversations I’ve had, and I can then position myself to be an advisor and help you in those situations.

So I think it’s very important to have. Uh, good listening skills and then be able to, um, ask in a way where people are. They feel like you’re curious and that you’re, you’re caring. And that’s the reason that you’re diving into those situation.

[00:10:40] Brad Seaman: Yeah, no, I think Karen, I think Karen goes along. He goes a long way.

I mean, just knowing that the person on the other, on the other end, so we are good. Just kids are such a situation where another sales situation. So we’ve got a Salesforce rep, the Salesforce rep we had before. It was awful, very arrogant. Um, um, just, I could go on and on about the awful awful experience.

And we’ve got a new, a new guy came in, you know, they rotate these guys pretty quick, you know, every six months or so, but we’ve had the same guy for maybe 24. You’ve done a great job. And he just really cares. I mean, um, you know, I don’t, if he stays in this position long enough, it’ll really pay off for him, at least for us.

Um, but he’s just done a phenomenal job. He cares his name’s Kevin Healy. He does a phenomenal, just really, really cares. I mean, he just calls checks, just trying to make sure he can do anything he can to, to better our business. And I think it’s, it’s, um, legit. He’s not just doing it. Uh, he sat in the class and they told him to care about people.

He just really cares.

[00:11:42] Jeff Zelaya: Exactly. I actually, that’s how we, uh, came about and connected again. I was just checking in on you to see how you’re doing, because I actually care about my network. Right. And I think it’s important to nurture relationships and not just to be reaching out to them with. When you’re trying to sell them something, right.

I think part of caring is doing it consistently. It’s part of your, your, your habit, right? Just checking in on people. How are you doing? Not just because I’m trying to tell you about a new product that I’m releasing or because I want to sell you something, but more importantly, I’m just, I’m curious to know how the people that I’m connected to, how are they doing anything that I can help them with.

Right. What’s what are you doing? And then maybe we could share stories or there’s the things that you’ll, you’re going to bring up. Oh, okay, great. I can point you to people that can help you with those things that we could collaborate on the project. Kind of like what we’re doing now. It came through curiosity of, of the people that I’m connected to and wanting to know how they’re doing and what they’ve been up to recently and naturally opportunities arise just from you having that.

[00:12:36] Brad Seaman: No w which is much, much appreciated. Um, so let’s, let’s go back real quick. Tell, tell me we, we got into it right out of the gates. So we missed, we missed some of the background, kind of walk me through how you got into sales, why sales and not, uh, you know, not, not something, not something. Yeah, let’s start

[00:12:55] Jeff Zelaya: there.

Yeah. So sales and marketing has always been the passionate in mind, you know, going back to my days at FIU, Florida international university, uh, I was very involved with the AMA over there and I also entered a sales contest and I won first place in a national competition. And that was kind of the, my, uh, confidence builder and saying, wow, Jeff, you’ve got a future in sales now.

So I had a great professor there that helped me kind of encourage me and say, Hey, Jeff, you’ve got, you’ve got a skill here. You’ve got it. You know, lean into that. And that was kind of got me going.

[00:13:26] Brad Seaman: So did you know when you went to school? I saw, oh, I saw you got good grades. Yeah, you’re on your LinkedIn profile.

I don’t know if it, so how’d you get into the sales? Did you come out of college knowing that you wanted to go into sales?

[00:13:39] Jeff Zelaya: Yeah, absolutely. I had that in mind. I actually, I had different internships during my time in college and I gave, and that’s, I think this is important for any people that are going through college, young, young kids, you know, inter and figure out kind of where your past.

And I had, I interned for the government. I had a, uh, uh, an internship where I worked for the local government. I actually had an internship in DC that brought me up and I worked for even illustration, the USDA doing some marketing stuff there. And I realized that that wasn’t for me, I didn’t want to go into politics.

I didn’t want to go into the federal workforce. Uh, but I did intern for ADP. And that was one of the internships that showed me how lucrative and rewarding a career in sales. And that got me really interested, and I just want to find kind of a payroll. Wasn’t really my thing I got the beauty about sales is that you could apply to industries that you really are passionate about.

So for me, I started digging into that some more and I found an opportunity to work at an eight. And that was, I interned there. I loved it. Just kind of love the fast-paced world. You know, being able to work on different projects, being like channeling my creative energy as well, and having a say in some of these campaigns, uh, and that got me going and I started at this agency called media whiz.

And I was my first year at that, in that position, I was able to generate for the company a million dollars. And I had clients like Netflix, for example, and some universities that I work with, uh, creating different lead generation programs. And that was great. I had a great ride there. I got a chance to travel and work on some cool creative campaigns.

And then we had, uh, I actually moved. I was, I was in south Florida at the time. That’s where I was born and raised. Uh, my wife got an opportunity to work at a discovery channel. So that brought us to the sea, which I was very familiar with the area. And I wanted to support my wife in this career move. So I made it.

To, to the sea. And I found him quickly found the opportunity working for a company called Vocus, which is a marketing, uh, marketing and PR software.

[00:15:34] Brad Seaman: What was.

[00:15:36] Jeff Zelaya: Vocus was known also like as PR web. Yeah. So they, they acquired a lot of different companies. Uh, today they’re known as a decision, so they’re still around, but I joined them through a period of fast growth and learn, kind of cut my teeth in, in SAS sales.

And I loved it. It was a really great position. Great, cool culture. Uh, I was there for a good bit was rookie of the year, got president’s club and it just kind of made a name for myself so much. So then one of the executives from Vocus left to start a different company, which was Stribling over right where we were you and I connected.

And he reached out to me and say, Hey, Jeff, we’re about to get some funding. Can you come and help us build out our sales team? So it made that jump from a big established company that was publicly traded to then going into. Uh, uh, Sachio, uh, uh, startup was at a startup with small group of people.

[00:16:29] Brad Seaman: Now, is that space.

I got some questions about just the Tripoli, the space. Would you consider, you would consider that in the account-based marketing space, that

[00:16:37] Jeff Zelaya: is account-based marketing. When I started there, we were not, ABM was not even the thing or the ABM software. So we started off, you know, kind of knowing like, okay, content marketing, social selling, we kind of saw some trends emerge.

Uh, and part of my, my job there is a role was trying to find out product. So I was reaching out to my network. A lot of marketers, the, the executives there, the founders of were the executives that led Eloqua to being acquired by Oracle. So they had this background in marketing automation. So that, that was kind of their target audience, marketers, B2B marketers.

So one of my first initiatives, there was actually.


[00:17:19] Jeff Zelaya: the part of the founding team. Yes. But yeah, they did traveling to Canada a lot for, you know, to meet with the rest of the team. Um, but, uh, being there, I got to like, just an amazing opportunity to work directly with these executives who have done this before I was mentor. And we started just kind of looking at the product market fit.

That was the main thing that we needed. No this company to take off. So how I started kind of investigating that was starting a podcast. So we launched a podcast before podcasting was cool and it was a B2B marketing podcast. And the sole goal of this was to meet with our target audience, just to kind of dive into some of their challenges, their pain points.

And it was a lot easier to schedule these podcasts as opposed to having the sales discovery call, because we really didn’t have really a product to sell them just yet. So it was more for me, understanding kind of what they’re going. And I took this information. I fed it to my product, even said, Hey, I’m talking to these marketing executives.

Here are their pain points. Here are their goals. Here’s what they’re trying to accomplish. Here’s where they’re succeeding. And as we got that information and just in general in the industry, we it’s, this ABM thing started to emerge. And we started seeing an opportunity there. And we started developing a product that helped these marketers with the, uh, the challenge of, of targeting accounts, as opposed to targeting people.

And we developed that together.

[00:18:41] Brad Seaman: Is this been as, as the ABM space been really affected by all the legislation changes with the cookies?

[00:18:47] Jeff Zelaya: Absolutely. So there’s been a lot of impact, uh, you know, because of different laws are being passed and, um, you know, in Europe, you know, there’s been some legislation that’s affected some of these, uh, programs, but it’s still going strong and there’s still like work arounds and there’s loopholes.

Ways to, to kind of overcome some of the stuff that’s being passed around. And even the stuff that’s being passed around, it’s not theirs. It’s not always monitored and looked after right. In a way that people are like, okay, we can’t, we can’t do that anymore. So a lot of different ways around it basically.

Uh, but it hasn’t stopped it, you know, it may have slowed it down, but it’s still, it’s still going.

[00:19:26] Brad Seaman: Yeah, no, I was just, I was just been, I’ve been super curious, just like the, you know, um, Bombora seemed like it was on a hot rise. I haven’t really heard, you know, it seems like it’s cool. Um, so just curious, kind of how that, what what’s going on, what’s going on in the market.

So, so you’d been at these product companies and then at some point your, you shift to get the

[00:19:49] Jeff Zelaya: height digital, right? Yep. Exactly. So I made the transition to high digital right around COVID right. A lot of people made. Changes around COVID I actually had left . We got, we had an exit there. So it was an amazing, you know, the ride for me, like to be able to have one of my first startups, you know, be able to exit from it.

And I started just doing some, some consulting, working for some cybersecurity companies doing, uh, consulting around marketing and sales and building up their teams. I had just joined, uh, the cyber security company around the time that COVID hit. And that same week that I started was a of. And you know, what happened.

A lot of people started, you know, making, they started looking at the numbers, making cuts, and that was one of those cuts. And that same week Brad knew and no lie. Uh, this, the CEO, the CEO of a hight digital reached out to me via DM on Instagram, say, Hey, I got this crazy idea to franchise my marketing agency.

Can you come help me build this out? We know this guy, I knew this guy. Cause he was, he was just like you because the prospect of mine. Okay. And then he never bought for me, just like you bought for me. But when I made you feel a certain way, right? You, you got a chance to see my, like, just like who I was and we stayed in touch throughout some times.

[00:21:03] Brad Seaman: I think that’s a real, I think that’s important whether you sell the product or not is not a reflection of you as a, as a salesperson, not, you know, like you didn’t sell, but that had nothing to do. You’re not closing the deal. Had little to nothing to deal with your ability to sell it just had to do with timing and use case.


[00:21:20] Jeff Zelaya: Exactly. And for me, it’s, it’s more about closing deals. It’s more about opening relationships because you never know when that relationship could lead to. Right. And if it’s not a good opportunity and obviously there’s a fit there’s budget, whatever we’ve made me all the other tech, all the other boxes.

And I’m going to have a deal there, but even that, when I close a deal, that relationship is still maintaining. It’s still open. It’s still nurture. And this is kind of what happened with this guy. We had met. He had, this was before he even started this agency. He was a serial entrepreneur and he just, we had a great connection, great vibe.

He remembered me and we stayed in touch through social media. Eventually you open up this white label agency started doing white labeling for a bunch of agencies across the U S and he got to a point, man is this is really taking off, but I want a franchise. I think that’s a quicker way to grow. So he brought me in and he knew kind of, uh, my story, what I was all about.

And we started this franchising journey 18 months ago with, uh, no locations, kind of got all the illegal, make it made illegal rank and all the documentation to be able to do this franchise. And now we’re at 22 locations across the country. So I’m about to head over to Nicaragua, which is that’s where our headquarters is at.

That’s where we do the fulfillment. I’ll be down there, uh, the end of April, and we’re going to onboard two more franchisees. So it’s been exciting growth. Just this past quarter, we generated $1.6 million in revenue. And these are agency owners that are selling SEO services, PPC they’re selling web. But the beauty about being a franchise at height is that they don’t have to worry about actually fulfilling that project, the high digital team, and they got always doing it.

And they’re, they’re just there, they’re just in charge of prospecting and pitching it and working and maintaining that relationship. But they no longer have to get into the weeds of actually

[00:23:05] Brad Seaman: doing that. Gotcha. So, so talk to me about like how’s the business model work like how’s the franchise. Work. So I’m a franchise.

So talk kind of about from a franchisee’s perspective, I’m

[00:23:15] Jeff Zelaya: interested. So a typical franchise model, right? You’re going to pay a franchise fee to be part of that franchise. You’re going to pay like a marketing. So this goes into a fund that is then used to promote and build out that brand that you’re a part of, and then you pay royalties.

So that’s a typical franchise model across the board, right? Most of the franchisees franchisors are doing that same exact thing. So with height, all right. The, our process is like our target audience are usually agents, existing agency owners. So people that have started their agency, but they’re struggling in scaling it because they’re running into problems that are married.

With agency owners where they’re maybe hiring people is becoming problematic, or actually you don’t want to be in the weeds of actually managing this PPC campaign day in and day out. They want, they don’t want to do that. And they’re kind of struggling to be able to do that while selling, while maintaining their marketing and doing those days.

Right. So those are the people that we really appeal. And we tell them about our, basically the, the, uh, the, the opportunity, right? Which has come with height, you’ll be part of the Hyatt family. Uh, we’ll give you all the resources. So you’re going to get sales coaching. We’re going to do some marketing.

We’re going to do marketing for you. We’re going to give you all the fulfillment, a team we’re going to have now a huge team of 140 people that we have in our, in our headquarters is all now, you know, we’ll be part of you and all you gotta do is go out there and, and sell and maintain your relationships and work.

So that’s the setup and it’s been working really well. We’ve got agency owners that have come on board. They were struggling to crack a certain milestone. Now they’re a part of the high family. They’ve doubled. In some cases they’ve tripled their book of business because they don’t have to worry now about the being day in and day out in these campaigns.

And now they have also the combined data of all these agency owners, right? Our team is handling all these different campaigns. So we could combine those best practices. We have the data on what we should be bidding for those keywords. We have a team that specialize in those SEO best practices. And it’s keeping up to date on that as opposed to you as a business owner, having to do that, digging and research.

Right. So it helps every team is very specialized in before because of that are getting better results than they would are doing it by themselves.

[00:25:30] Brad Seaman: Yeah. No, I think that, you know, the challenge with any, what the challenge with any agency. Is that you get into a peanut butter staffing situation. So whether you sell marketing, you sell development or you sell lead generation, you’re only as good as your people in your bench.

And so you end up taking your best people and putting them on the best projects. And so it’s hard to get the scale. And so it sounds like you guys kind of solve that problem by the constant hiring and training. Underneath the covers to make sure that these franchisees have the bench they need to fulfill

[00:26:07] Jeff Zelaya: the work.

Yeah. And I mean, the entrepreneur is a lonely lonely road, right? When no longer is that the case for our agency owners, because now they have a network of other agency owners that they’re also bouncing ideas off, getting support from me. Is it all

[00:26:20] Brad Seaman: territory based? How do you,

[00:26:22] Jeff Zelaya: how do you, okay, well, each franchise is based in the city, right?

So we have right now, we’re opening up one up in New York. It’s high digital Millbrook. We’re opening up another one in Atlanta and Georgia. We have, uh, Athens and we have Atlanta and you have a city, but you, you’re not limited to just working accounts from that city. If you have free reign to work any account, as long as it’s your lead, right.

We put it into our CRM and that belongs to you. So you’re not limited to a certain territory. But you’re just branded for that city. And we support like, uh, the free marketing, uh, endeavors that help you become established as an established authority in that city. So we, the chamber of commerce, we get speaking engagements locally.

We do local ad campaigns that help you kind of promote your business here locally, but you’re not limited just to that area.

[00:27:08] Brad Seaman: Gotcha. Okay. No, I, when I, when I came across that you guys were franchising. Um, the marketing agency, it just seemed like a really great idea. Like it solves one of the biggest problems for an agency owner, which is getting to

[00:27:22] Jeff Zelaya: scale.

Right. And I’m not surprised by that because actually I’ve talking to a lot of people in the marketing world and they’re, they’re just like you, they’re very, uh, interested in Malik and curious and like, man, that makes a lot of sense. So, you know, we’re getting a lot of that great feeling. Right now, our goal is to continue to, um, you know, we’re not even promoting it really a franchising as opposed to just organic.

And we have a lot of people that are interested in being part of the franchise, uh, family. And our job is really just to screen them out. So another component of our agency and, you know, we talked a lot about business, but for us, it’s not just about business. So high digital is really focused on making an impact in the country of Nicaragua.

This is a third world country, very limited operations. Uh, and we’re bringing really high paying jobs in that area. We’re bringing a culture of empowering employees and our team members. Uh, we have a culture of women empowerment. So we’re putting in our, in our company. Women are, most of the managers are actually women and we’re empowering women to be business owners.

So there’s this just interesting social aspect of what we’re doing with the company and in our company is also faith base. So I know that’s something I kind of, it’s weird sometimes to hear. But think about Chick-fil-A right. You know, they close on Sundays. That’s just part of their culture. So we’re kind of, you know, replicating some of that stuff within our culture.

So some of the things that we do is we pray together. We have a session, a coaching session, and you have access to leadership coaches at. And that are helping you, not just in your business, but becoming a better person, a better husband, a better spouse, a better father or a better mother. Right? So there’s resources internally.

You know, we have actually on our staff, a full-time pastor that we hire. So if you ever need like emotional guidance, you need some like, Hey, I’m struggling with my mental health. You could book a meeting with them and there’ll be, and again, that’s part of our benefits. And then you guys

[00:29:14] Brad Seaman: use like Chaplin.

Uh, I chaplains USA or do you out, is that somebody that you just hired director? Is that through, through like a

[00:29:22] Jeff Zelaya: chaplain’s placement? No, no, we have a full-time. So if someone that we hired, uh, that has actually has also a Hartford, you’ve got Iowa and this man, his name is Harry pastor Terry. He’s been doing missionary work, uh, for a long time into the country and he got Iowa and we just decided, Hey, you know, he’s, he’s retired.

And he’s like looking for kind of a neck, another opportunity, something new to be able to use his gifts, to help people. And we were, we just kind of got connected. He got connected with our CEO and we created this opportunity now for him to be part of, full-time a part of the.

[00:29:54] Brad Seaman: So that’s a, that’s awesome.

Yeah. So I’d lived in wake forest for a while and there’s a, um, I think it’s called chaplains international. And so they just placed chaplains all across the country. That’s why I was curious whether that was somebody that you guys just do or whether, um, you’d used, uh, an agency, I guess you’d refer to as an agency, but, um, awesome.

Well, this is great, Jeff, this was a great conversation. Is there anything that I, that you wanted to talk about that I didn’t ask you?

[00:30:24] Jeff Zelaya: Well, I, you know, I want to also, um, you know, just share a little bit about, um, know what we’re doing this year. So one of the big things that we’re, we’re going to be doing, you know, are kind of the, the main thing on my radar right now is promoting the commitment summit.

So we took a very big leap of faith, right? We’re still growing, but we’re, we’re reinvesting every dollar that we make into our people and into continuing to grow the company. So we had this crazy idea, uh, last year to like, let’s do our own company. And this conference is called a commitment summit. So it’s something very new.

This is actually it’s targeted for agency owners. We’ve uh, rented out a resort in Costa Rica. It’s called dream. It’s going to be an all-inclusive conference. So once you get there, right, we cover all your drinks, all your food. You’ve got a room and it’s a family conference, which is also very, very unique, right.

But it aligns with the culture of our company, which is very family focused. So at this conference, we’re going to have a speakers like Damon, John, who was one of the, the sharks. Kevin Harrington also is going to be there, Jesse Itzler and we got some, just an amazing lineup.

[00:31:32] Brad Seaman: Oh, you got the whole, did you, uh, you got the whole crew, so how’d you get Jay?

Uh, Jesse, have you

[00:31:38] Jeff Zelaya: read his book? Yeah, dude, this guy’s amazing. I love it. I love Jesse, man. He’s just got so much energy and just a, an incredible person. He’s got a, quite a resume.

[00:31:47] Brad Seaman: His, uh, his, his books pretty well. I guess he got a couple of them, but the one where he does hilarious. Yeah, which I thought was like the funniest book I’d ever read, but I love my wife listened to it.

She, she didn’t think it was very funny, but I don’t think she had to say,

[00:32:03] Jeff Zelaya: yeah, so these guys are crazy and they’re doing some awesome stuff. So he’s going to be sharing his story quite inspirational. If you’ve never heard, Jesse, you got to hear, uh, in person. And so we’re, I’m excited. I’m going to be emceeing the event.

Uh, we’ve got it’s a three-day event, so we’re, you know, we’re flying out with these people, uh, agency. We got about 200 tickets already sold for the. We’re aiming to have at least 5,200 more sold within the next two months. So that’s kind of the, the big bushes. What are the dates? Uh, August 8th, ninth, and 10th,

[00:32:34] Brad Seaman: right?

Cool. That’s awesome, man. That’s that sounds like a lot of it sounds like a lot of fun. Now it’s primarily around agency growth then now is it specific? It’s not specific to the hight family though, right?

[00:32:48] Jeff Zelaya: No, it’s open to everyone. So the target audience for this as agency owners or agency executives and all the, all the different topics are going to be around, you know, growing your agency around, uh, agency scaling, uh, chat, tactics and strategies.

So there’s a ton of inspirational business topics, and we’re also, some of the topics are also family related. So again, very different type of conference that our goal is to invest in agency owners in your business, but also as people. So some of the tracks that we have are family oriented. And so there’s going to be like a family team building activities that we’re going to be doing.

Uh, there’s a, like an, a little Olympics that we’re going to gather. We’re going to have some pool parties as well. And before. Um, so yeah, man, we’re so excited about it. It’s going to be a, an amazing time and it’s, it’s a big leap of faith of us. So we’re working really hard on promoting it, marketing it, and we want to continue to have this tradition of doing the commitment summit.

So we’re excited about that. That’s

[00:33:46] Brad Seaman: that’s awesome. Well, Jeff, um, we’ll, we’ll plug on your end and I’ll talk to you offline. Uh, this was great. Thanks so much for coming on. Had an awesome

[00:33:54] Jeff Zelaya: time. Loved catching up. Yeah. Thank you, Brad. This has been great, man. I appreciate you, man. A great, great being a guest on.

[00:34:00] Brad Seaman: Hey, thank you so much for coming. It’s awesome.

Serving, growing, and empowering people are three tenets Jeff Zelaya holds close. From his time as a Sales Consultant until now as the VP of Franchise Development at Hite Digital, Jeff focuses on his impact on his clients more than the bottom line.
This service first focus has allowed Jeff to empower clients everyday, and not have to worry about the bottom lines. Join Brad, as Jeff explains how he’s found success along his journey, and how he continues to help and empower new people everyday!

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