John Eyres, Cold Calling Strategy Specialist, Business Owner, Author and Telemarketing Trainer
The very word or idea of Sales often strikes terror in the heart of many and stress in the heart of every business owner. And yet sales are your very lifeblood! Cold calling strategy specialist, author, speaker and business owner John Eyres helps individuals overcome their fear of cold calling and improve results.
Sharing skill sets and knowledge to become successful on the phone, John Eyres delivers high impact principles to cause an upswing in meetings, a stronger pipeline, higher sales volume and an increase in revenues.
John founded Business Connections Consulting in 2007 after being downsized four times in seven years. The virtual outbound telemarketing company has 2-4 part time calling contractors. John, who also does calling, is committed to helping people realize their potential and power to master their phone calling talents to achieve their business goals, create new business, close more deals and make the money they desire. BCC is a niche business that just does outbound calling in the B-B sector.
John crafted an 18-page workbook entitled The Art and Science of Cold Calling, to teach people the fine points of telemarketing, thus have an edge on their competition.
John is the author of the book Master Your Cold Calls, 52 Ways to Increase Sales. John’s training systems are taught through 1on1 and group coaching, seminars and learning programs. Attendees and participants experience how to take control of their fear issues and become calling gurus with the tools to achieve the results they envision.
John’s past and current professional affiliations include: Experts for Entrepreneurs (E4E), Facility Operators & Service Providers, (FOSPA), St. Louis Ambassadors, Business Development Group, Mastermind Group of St. Louis.
Welcome to the You Don't Know What You Don't Know podcast, by Innovative Business Advisors, successful business owners who have started, grown and led businesses share their journey and direction for the benefit of those traveling the same path. All right. Well, today we're talking with John Eyers. John is a business owner and founder of Business Connections Consulting. John's grown his company over the last 15 years to be the premier St. Louis telemarketing firm. His mission at their firm is, We make cold calls, so you don't have to. John's a published author of the book, Master Your Cold Calls: 52 Ways to Increase Sales. He's a very popular speaker and consultant, as well as a genius when it comes to using the telephone to grow a business. John, welcome to the podcast. It's an honor to speak with you today. Thanks, Steven. I'm looking forward to it. I appreciate you having me on your podcast show. Yeah, we're excited to have you. I think, as I was sharing with you before we started, you know, what you teach is, is really cool. I think it's something everybody needs to learn, because communication is the heart of what we do. And even though we've got multiple channels these days, you know, the the talking on the phone, talking via zoom like we are tonight. It's it's just fundamental how we as a species communicate, and you've got some incredible pointers about that. Yeah. And you know, talking on the phone, or in a zoom call, it just is more personable, I think, than sending out an email, it just is, is a unique way to communicate. I couldn't agree more, couldn't agree more. So tell us, tell us about the moment when you decided to get into this business, because I don't, you weren't always in this business, if you've only had it for the last 15 years. So what was the aha moment for you? So I did about 20 years of corporate sales in St. Louis, and kind of a very unique story but I like to tell it.
From 2000 to 207, I was downsized four times. So in in seven years, I lost my job four times. And
fourth time I came home and told my wife, I was downsized, let go. She told me John, that's it. We can't do this anymore. I need you to go to the bedroom, and not come out till you figure out starting your own business. So wow, yeah, that was loving your wife.
John, you need to start your own business. So. But you know, sometime, I think God forces you into some trials and things to take you to another level. And he truly did that with me. I had no idea where I've been now 15 plus years in business. And I would have never thought that at the age of 52 when I started looking for ideas to come up with a business that I could do. That was a good fit for me. Well, most most salespeople are not big fans of cold calls. But you made that, you made that the cornerstone of your business. You know, I really did. I, I had worked at Swank Audiovisuals. And I had
one or two big whiteboard pieces of paper, you know, leftover from my audiovisual days. So I started plastering white pieces of paper, big ones on the wall, and throwing ideas on there kind of storyboarding, for ideas that that I could do. I made a lot of calls to people over about two weeks. And it just kind of came back to stay in your domain. You're really good on the phone talking to people, you've got a great sales background experience. And part of, you know, being on the phone is just talking to people in a real, genuine manner. And sharing the story of the script, so to speak. And I talked to business owners, I talked to other people that I knew, real close, I talked to some friends from church, and finally came up with the idea. You know what, I think I can start a business just by myself.
Calling for business owners and taking the little stress off of their plate and set up meetings and phone calls for them. So that's how I first started out. And in fact, in the summer of 207. I got my first client in June, and I was going to the offices of my clients and I would sit there for hours at their computer, maybe using their database or they would get a Excel sheet of names for me to call and I would call at their office. Wow, I didn't know that. Yeah.
So that's how I started out. And I think for probably
six weeks, I, I was able to get three clients. And then I was, on the off time I was calling other people.
I had a part time job, two days a week, four hours a day, working for a real estate commercial company. And I was helping show apartment complexes that had been turned into condos. Okay. And so I would go show people the condos,
have them fill out, fill out the right paperwork, and then turn that into the company. And, you know, picked up some slack for me because I was without a job. But eventually, by the end of December, I quit that job and was able to go full time. I had, I worked on a four hour call block. So I had five four hour call blocks, two a day, Monday through Friday. And by the end of December, another neat kind of story. They were starting to work on highway 40, coming up in January, and they were going to dismantle that. So highway system in St. Louis was going to go a little bonkers. And I decided, you know, I think I can do this calling from home, I can get the emailed Excel sheet, document every call I make at the end of the four hours, I just send it back to the client. And that's how I evolved to become a virtual company 15 years ago. Before that was, virtual company was even talked about, right? Yeah. Yeah. That's amazing. So you were full time, you were full time at home. You had to make your office at home then. I was full time at home. And I was fortunate. I had a
area off the living room that I turned into kind of an office and had a big big picture window that looked at the backyard and nature and all the squirrels and everything out there. And it just worked out perfect at that house, we were living up in Creve Couer.
And little did I know that it would kind of grow and become a, a good primary business for me to make a good living at. And over the years, I've helped support people on a part time basis that have called for me, and it turned out really, really well.
So when you were first starting out, did you do, did you make some conscious decision to be, you know, different than your competition in the marketplace? And kind of talk to us a little bit about that, your thought process if you can remember back to those days. Yeah. So I, I tried to position myself, and I think this was a real good key, to be kind of a niche in the calling arena
to where I just did outbound calling, in the B to B, the business to business sector.
And that's all I did. That's all I offered. I was the person who was going to pick up the phone and make dials with a smile, and set up meetings and phone calls and do customer surveys and other things that you would do with calling.
You just said something key, dials with a smile. Yeah, you've got some fundamental things. I've seen a number of your presentations over the years, and you're a master at this. What are some of the kind of fundamental building blocks that you always had in your company? Like dial with a smile, if you will? Yeah. You know, one thing you want to do, when you initially talk to a person is just do a quick
game breaker. Just if it's hockey season, and you're talking to a man, you know, ask them how do they think the Blues are doing. Or if it's Cardinal baseball season, you know, talk about a Cardinals game.
So bring that up real quick, just to establish a little warmth, or talk about the weather or talk about Christmas holidays, whatever season you're in, you can always come up with something just real generic that's light and quick. I call it a quick connect. And then get back on target with your script and the reason for your call.
Excellent. Really, really huge.
Yeah, yeah, I agree. You know, as 15 years,
I didn't know the story of how you started with your wife telling you go figure, go figure this out and go figure out where you're gonna start. And that's wonderful that you had that that level of support at home. That had that had to be a huge weight off your shoulders from that regard. Well, it was very good, and my wife was working, you know, four days a week doing dental hygiene, along with raising our four kids. And, you know, when you lose a job, you don't pick one up usually right away. It takes weeks,
months to land another job back at that time in 2000 207. So yeah, and even though it's not, even though it's not your fault when the organizations are downsizing, it still is a blow, isn't it? I mean, it is. I, the first time I lost my first time job,
I cried. I sat in the car and just cried to go, Wow, I can't believe it. I don't have a job. The second time, I cried a couple tears. The third time, no tears, the fourth time I just came home and said, Well, I got let go again. And that's when my wife said,
go to the bedroom, figure out a business you're going to start. Very, she was instrumental. Yeah, put your, put your destiny in your own hands. Excellent. Right. So over, over the years, is there anything about your business that you're most proud of as you as you think about the whole kind of arc of the business to date?
I think that I have been very proud that what we do really helps a certain
criteria for some people, especially in the small to midsize companies.
The business owner who really, they hate cold calling, they try to put it off and do other tasks on their list. And it always keeps going down the list. And to have someone else call for you, that is going to be a good caliber person, someone you trust, and you're going to like, and know, they're going to do a great job calling for you representing your company. Because when I call for companies, I'm always part of their team. I'm never calling on behalf of, you always call as part of the company. And just
keeping that same niche of, you know, making outbound calls in the business to business world and being real, driven towards that you're real focused, it can make a difference for that business owner. And we've even called for salespeople that we help them set up extra meetings to keep the pipeline full. You, wait a minute, make sure I heard that right. You call for salespeople. So you’re calling for business salespeople? Yes. And, and really, when you think of it,
I think it's a very smart move on their part.
To have someone else dial and try to set up meetings to keep the pipeline full. While they're out doing meetings, they're not back at the ranch making phone calls.
So they're spending their dollar to have someone else call for them
and set up meetings. And it just,
you know, makes that much more flow through for their business and pump up their revenue.
Yeah, I can imagine so. I, I'm just sitting here also imagining that probably over the years, you probably had a lot of people that said, Hey, John, we'd like to hire you full time. Right? I have. Yeah. In fact,
probably after my second year of business, I was approached by a company that I'd been calling for. And they wanted me to come work for them, you know, full time, and offered me a pretty good salary and some perks and stuff. But you know, I was really just kind of getting into the start of it. And I thought, I kind of like working for myself, I'm my own captain of my own ship. This is great. If I sell my company, or if I go land with them. I lose all that. So
I declined the offer. And you know, after that I probably had two or three more opportunities
to be purchased and come on board with my company. And you know, I've always had other part time callers that had worked for me. And so pretty much, I had a business coach when I first started. And he was a great person to give me, bounce ideas off of and I was getting more work than I could handle and I told my business coach, what do I do? He goes John, just find some part time people, train them and make them duplicates of what you do. So they can call for you. And keep, keep the calling going. So that's what I did. And it's also one of the challenges is finding good people to call. Working from home was gold at that time, because all my people were kind of independent contractors, but they could work from home. Yeah. And that was, that was great for people.
Did, was that, was that where your book came from as well? As you were thinking about training others?
You know, I didn't develop the book
right away. In fact, I had a client that was an advertising agency. And I was calling for her. She was a president of the company I was calling, setting up meetings for her to go out and get new business leads. And one of her clients was a commercial real estate company in Clayton. And they had asked her, that guy that's calling for you, can he come in and train my, he had 14 sales reps?
And he said, if he's good on the phone,
can he come in and train my people.
And it was a neat situation, because the business owner lady helped me craft up kind of an outline for an 18 page workbook
that I put together on like a, I call it The Art and Science of Cold Calling. Yeah. So it's built in three sections, kind of the first one is all about how do you work with lists and getting names of people to call. And the second part is all about scripts. Because the script is huge on what you say on the phone, with a, with a very crafted script. And then the third area is all about the person making the calls. So a lot of it is psychology, about I hate cold calling, I'm afraid of it. Turning that fear into a
dynamic to make it Wow, I'm really going to be good on the phone. I do like calling, I'm getting better at it. And I'm setting up meetings. So
that that workbook turned out pretty good. And over the years, then I did training
out of that workbook, and it has worked very well. Since that workbook came out
seven years ago, that's when I decided, well, I need to take some of that information. I'll just wrap it into a book and have a book to help me with public speaking and things like that.
Yeah, marvelous, marvelous, marvelous book. Great, I love the way this whole thing. So you know, you didn't know you were gonna go into business. Now all of a sudden, you've got a business, you're building a staff, you're turning into a speaker and a trainer, right? Which lead you to become a published author.
Did you ever see all of those things in your future when you first started? No, I did not. But you know, things evolve as you go through the progression of being a business owner. And I really liked the fact that
my life was changing
as I was a business owner, and not just a salesperson for another company.
Business owners, they get involved with a lot of other
business owners and organizations and things. And as a business owner, you get invited to more things. And
I really liked the fact of being a business owner, and growing my own business, and making changes along the way that evolve and, and take your business to another level.
So let's talk about that a little bit. When you were, when you were first starting, what, what were some of the some of the biggest challenges that you faced in the business that you kind of had to learn to adapt to and adjust and, you know, allow your business to continue forward? Do you recall any of those? Well, one of the biggest challenge
and call centers that are big ones, where you have 50 to 100 people sitting in a room just dialing on automatic dialers and that, they tend to burn out pretty quick. So finding someone that's dedicated, being able to work eight or 12 or 20 hours a week making calls on the phone, they're just hard to find. And also the fact that they just
it's so important to have a desire to really to be
good and to like to be on the phone. So that was one of my biggest challenges in finding part time people. And fortunately, I go to a big church. And for a number of years, I was scaling with some people at my church who had been downsized, lost their job. I could offer them part time work kind of while they looked for another job. And this one guy, Bart, he he worked for me for probably 10 years off and on. Wow. He was a great caller and it just worked out great. But,
finding those people can be very difficult and challenging. Yeah, we think, we think today that, you know, finding people is the number one challenge. But you know, what you've just shared with us is 15 years ago, it was the same challenge that we're having today. Might be a little more acute, but it's the same thing, right? Yeah. And you want people who will be there for you, because when you assign them a client to call that
calling program might last three or four months, doing a call block once a week or twice a week. So you've got to have them be there for you dedicated, make those calls, be good at taking notes, do everything right on track, and send the client the call log when they're done after four hours of calling and CC it to me. So at night, I would look at call logs to see how people were doing. And, again, the transition of as you move through the months and years of working with people, you find out what really works well, and what doesn't work.
Yeah, as you got kind of into the middle years, and you, and you became adept with finding the right people, what were some of the other challenges that came up that you had to learn to contend with as a, as a business owner? You know,
I was very fortunate.
I'm really good at networking.
In my sales career, I was involved in a numerous amount of organizations that I went to on a weekly basis. And I really was very polished at networking, going to a networking meeting, after hours, talking to people handing out business cards, that was really key in growing my business. Yellow tie was really big back then, when I started my company, they had a St. Louis Yellow Tie. Yeah, Gil was the lead. Right, Gil Gil Wagner started out. Yeah. And he also formed a St. Charles St. Peter's organization, which was really perfect for me, because there was more smaller
to midsize companies that we're also starting out. And it really jump started my business by networking. So in the middle years, that's really how I continued to grow my business, get out there and meet people, be out there and share my story and show my face to a lot of different venues. And
you really get to be known that way. And Wow, there's John Eyres, he does cold calling. So, kind of became synonymous for my company. And again, I was niche. If you want somebody to pick up the phone and do cold calling for you, you need to contact John Eyres.
You know, that's so key, and so many business owners. And I know, you know, with your networking, you probably seen this a lot.
It seems to me that, you know, most small business owners never get above a million dollars in revenue. And I think one of the key reasons for that is they just get comfortable at a lower level. And they, and they don't do as much outbound marketing, and they don't grow like like, you know, a
larger company will, they just kind of stop growing. They get used to serving the same customers and doing the same thing, day in and day out. And they're, they’re technical experts at whatever they do so, you know, they're not always the best salespeople or the best growth folks. But you know, my hat's off to you. In the middle of your business, you realize that you had to keep out there and keep it, keep it growing and keep it going. Yeah, that's where most, you know, less than 10% of small businesses ever get above a million dollars. And I think that's a key, one of the key reasons for that. And
networking has kind of changed with COVID. Oh, yeah. But, prior to COVID, before 219 I spent a lot of extra hours going to meetings.
Probably after my
ninth year in business, I stopped working on Fridays to spend a little bit more time to maybe take a client out to lunch or meet someone new for lunch, coming up with different ways to network or meet people. And so Fridays was really key. And I'll share a really unique story that I think worked out very well for me that could be very good source for your people watching this podcast.
One of the e4e meetings in December, we had a planning meeting for the next year. And they challenge you to come up with ideas. How are you going to you know, promote and work your business? What are some six, seven strategies that you can do to meet new people, get new prospects, things like that. So
I came up with the idea of asking people to go for a walk in the park. I'm a major hiker, I love to hike in the woods and my wife and I do it quite a bit.
We've hiked over 150 miles for a number of years. And it's, it's part of what we do, and enjoy it. So I just transitioned that
to ask a business owner, or someone I was wanting to get to know, Hey, would you like to go do a walk at Forest Park for an hour on a Friday afternoon, early afternoon?
Most people said, yes, I'd love to do that. Wow. And that, that really paid off. I got some other new business over that. And talk about one on one because I didn't play golf. So I looked at situations, okay, I don't get out on the golf course and meet people. How can I get out on the grass, walk in nature, walk in the woods. Forest Park is a phenomenal place to you know, walk. We have other great parks around St. Louis. So that was pivotal for probably three years. Before COVID that's what I was doing to really network and get to meet people was doing, I asked them to do a 60 to 90 minute walk in the park with me. Wow, that's phenomenal. You know, that's, it's it's fascinating that you mentioned that too, John, because I was with a business owner last week, and we were talking about, you know, what, what was one of the regrets about his business. And he said, You know, one of the major regrets that I have is that I didn't play golf. And he said, you know, my, he said, I had mentors, and coaches that told me I got to play golf. And I just didn't enjoy it and didn't do it. And I never recognized that that was like a four hour business meeting with a with a prospect that you could use that time together to get to know the person. And he said, I regret that I never developed golf or another habit like that, that I could use in my business. So it's fascinating to hear, you know, how you use walks, to basically achieve that. It does, doesn't have to be golf, it's just quality time together with somebody that you want to get to know better. And I took something that I liked, hiking in nature, hiking in a park, and I've got some places all around St. Louis I could take you to that you would not believe to hike. And I took people on walks that they thoroughly enjoyed and had no idea that they were out there. So it is it's a time one on one, to really share information with a person, really get to know them and sit down on a bench and talk 10, 15 minutes and then get back up and walk for a mile.
Nothing better, and outside is great. And water is good,
ponds, lakes streams, they're all great to be out in nature. Yeah, no doubt, no doubt. Do you, do you have any areas of your business that were, where you felt like you didn't do as good as you could have and where you had to make a pivot or you kind of felt like you failed in that particular area? Any, any, any things that you look back on and wish you had done a little differently? Well
you know, it's all about decision making, and what you're doing with your company as, as you grow older, in your business and your business transitions with you. You know, I'm 67 years old now. My goal is to keep working till I'm 80 and then reevaluate. So, because of the longevity I want to work with my company, probably like I said, four or five years ago, now I quit working on Fridays. That's kind of sometimes a play day, or a networking, lunch and workday to meet with people.
So with COVID, I really had to cut back on networking. There are Zoom networking meetings that happen. I've attended some.
I don't think you get the impact that you do with a live networking meeting when you're there physically talking face to face with someone, but I kind of made a decision,
quality of life for me was let's sit back and see how the business runs kind of by itself
with John not out prospecting and hitting meetings because I couldn't do that in COVID.
And since that time, we've started to travel a little bit more, my wife and I started doing more traveling.
And I was very blessed. Because of all the work I think I did in the first 10 years of my business, the past
three to four years with COVID and all that,
I have a huge amount of referral business that comes my way.
So I let that be my
lead generator to help me handle and get business that we can flow with, as well as sometimes me picking up a new client. Because I've got clients that I've called for, for 10, 12 years now, they haven't gone away.
So one of the challenges, I think, during COVID, for me was, what are you going to do for new business, because you always have to have that pipeline of some new business coming in. And I realized,
looking at things, my website tracks people, I do an email blast quarterly.
And then I really rely on my networking and the other organizations that I've been in, like a mastermind group and on Experts for Entrepreneurs, that has helped the kind of key successful for me, as I age with my business, I'm not out working my tail off to get new business, I'm letting it flow into me and being comfortable at that level with that business that comes in or maybe doesn't come in. Well, you're the. you're the proto, prototype guy that has really learned how to, you know, we talk in the e4e about live, run, grow, live and grow, right? And you're the guy that is, I always think of in the forefront of live, you're putting so much balance in your life. It's astounding. Yeah. And, and I got to imagine that the last few years with the pandemic, it's gonna be hard to reach people over the phone, because a lot of folks are not in the office anymore. They may be working from home, or what have you. Have you found it to be harder to actually do what you guys do?
It is a little tougher. The only thing that is good, positive about that, the past year and a half, after COVID got whittled through a little bit,
key people are back in the office. Your C level people, they're back in the office. They might not be in every day but
operations, CFO people, CEOs, they're coming into the office along with their HR directors and the key staff. They've got to make business decisions and it's better to be making it in the office with some of your key people there. So those people tend to pick up the phone because they're in the office. What an interesting observation. So in one arena, it's a little bit more dials you're making, you're talking to maybe less percentage people, but those people are picking up the phone. You can have a conversation with them. Interesting. Yeah, that's, that's fascinating. I didn't, I didn't recognize that. I can see how that would be a real benefit.
You know, you do a lot of, you do a lot of speaking and presentations as well. I had shared with you before, you did a presentation this past fall that I thought was among the best I've heard in many years about mindset. And while, you know, while you are in your in your mid to late 60s, your mindset is of a very, very young, optimistic person. Yeah. And I think it was the greatest thing. Where did, where did that come from, John? Where did, when did you decide to change your mind, change your outlook and change your life? So about four or five years ago, I started to really key in on taking a 10 minute meditation period every day. And just I think it's been one of the best things for me physically, mentally and spiritually. Just working to sit on the couch, quiet for 10 minutes, and try to just through breathing, and get things to calm down to where you can kind of clear your mind a little bit and think about things in a very relaxed state. And because of the meditation, as I was getting to turn 65, I started thinking about Wow, okay, what do I want to do for the next umpteen years? And so I decided, John, you're gonna be turning 65, why don't you make a 30 year goal plan. I was always big into making five and 10 year goal plans through my life, but never thought of doing a 30 year. But I go, that'd be great because that'll take me to 95 years old because my goal is I want to live to be over 100. So, mindset is really important.
huge, I can't tell you how big it is. And I'm going to tell you a great story. I'll try to be very brief with it. A friend of mine sent me a email recently.
Toby Keith was out playing golf with Clint Eastwood. Okay. The two of them are friends, kind of a unique combination. You would never think they'd be best friends, but they were playing golf. And
Toby asks, Clint, you're gonna be turning 91 on Monday, what are you doing for your birthday? And Clint goes, well,
I'm getting ready to start and direct a new movie, we're going to start shooting in two weeks. Next week, we'll do some scene preparation. And I'll look at some script models and things like that. And so I'm excited. It keeps me going. And then Toby goes, I admire you, I love that you keep so active, and you're 91 years old, and you're still going real strong. And then Toby asks him another question, Clint,
what gets you up in the morning? Every morning you get up, and you're ready to roll and rock. What is it that
gets you going? And he goes, Toby, I've got a mantra. Every morning, I get up and I tell myself, don't let the old man in.
And that hit home for me. And so I've kind of developed that as my mantra to not let the old man in. Because you're as young as you think you are. And you're young as you feel you are. And I think by speaking out positive statements about what you want to do for the next couple years,
it's all about mindset.
No doubt, no doubt, I agree with you 100%, and the older I get, the more strongly I feel about it. Yeah. The the the instruction to renew your mind daily is, is, you know, wisdom for the ages, right? It is. And incorporate that in our life. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I'm not gonna ask you what your goals are for the next 30 years. But as you think about your business into the future, tell us a little bit about you know, are you, are you planning on on retiring or handing it off at some point in the future? What's what's kind of your your succession plan as you think about your business moving forward? Yeah. I think by the time I get to 80, I hope that I can find
someone to buy my business.
My daughter, one of my daughters, who has worked for me over the years, part time, she has expressed some interest. And you know, when we get to that point, I'll talk to her about that.
I've had other companies approach me. So I've got options there.
I think I have made some a couple LinkedIn contacts and I’m keeping them in the back corner, to be able to reach out when I'm 80 years old, say, Hey, I’m selling my business, would you be interested to have the clientele that I have, and the referrals that I continue to get to add on to your business? Or maybe possibly find a middle aged guy, salesperson in his 40s? Who would like to do something like I did transition from sales into becoming a business owner and work in the telemarketing tele-prospecting sector.
Yeah, I’m with you. I don't think it's going away. And I think your skill set is timeless actually. And, and I love the fact that you're planning on, you know, a 13 year, 13 year glide path out here, I think it gives you a lot of options and keeps you open to a lot of opportunity. That's awesome.
That is awesome. Well, I love that and, you know, it's, it's interesting, about two thirds of all transactions happen with people we know, either people in our family, your daughter, I love, I love that, you know, it’d be, family businesses are always really cool. And, and outside of you know, your daughter, it's the other acquaintances and other business owners and and those are two thirds of the transaction. It's really the strangers that are 1/3 of the transaction. Yeah. And so you know, I think it happens because for for the same reasons you like to go out for walks in the park with your clients, right? Right. You get to know people, you get to trust people, you you want to do business with those that you know and trust and like and when people have had an opportunity to, to know you, they know what the underpinnings of your business is and the values that your business is based on and it just makes the, generally the transition so much easier.
Yeah, very cool.
Well, John, this is this has been a delight. And you said earlier, you're in Houston. So I love
Yeah. The fact that you and your wife are traveling what, two thirds of the time now? Half the time? Yeah. She retired in September last year. So we spent about three and a half months out in Arizona. Yeah. A couple areas in that beautiful state. And I love that state. We're down in Houston. We've been visiting Austin, we're gonna go to San Antonio, back to St. Louis. And then we'll leave for about a year. We're gonna go live in Logan, Utah, and a log cabin in Greer, Arizona. And we hope hope to go back to a retirement RV place in Surprise, Arizona called Happy Trails. Sure. Which had some of the most happiest people I've ever met in my life. It's like a summer camp there for seniors. Oh, how cool. Yeah, I loved it. It was great. Yeah. How really, really cool. That's awesome. That's awesome. Well, listen, it's been a delight to have you. I appreciate you coming on and sharing your wisdom. You built a great business, you've got an incredibly loyal clientele. You do great service, great work in the community. And, John, we're just honored that you would give us the time and help share some of your superpower and wisdom with the community. So bless you and your wife and your family. And I look forward to seeing you down the road. I know you'll be with us in several of the e4e meetings, and we'll look forward to catching up in the near future. Steven, thanks for the opportunity. I really appreciate it. And I wish you a best, great, awesome year. Thank you very much, John. Great to see you. Take care and we'll talk soon.
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