About Gary Garth: Gary Garth is a serial entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of 360° Solution for Behavioral Health Center elev8.io, Author of ‘The Zero to 100 Million Sales Blueprint ‘book, and ‘The Goals, Grit & Greatness’ Planner. He also leverages his resources via Great Dane Ventures as an angel investor, helping high-potential startups to go to market, scale, and become profitable via 360 degrees sales and marketing support, incubator programs, advisory services and proprietary technology engineered to empower entrepreneurs. He has been featured in Inc., Forbes, Success, and many other prominent publications. A serial entrepreneur since 2002, Gary has started and successfully exited six companies, including large outbound sales call centers, radio advertising networks, and an award-winning, eight-figure digital marketing agency. Born in Denmark, Gary now lives and works in Medellín, Colombia. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about Gary.
In this episode, Nancy and Gary discuss the following:
- The reasons why Gary pursues the behavioral industry.
- Gary’s view on why less than 10% of addicted get treatment.
- The challenges Gary sees right now in the behavioral health marketing industry.
- The best advice Gary gives to the centers is to reach the people who need the therapy.
- Key factors that inspired Gary to write ‘The Zero to 100 Million Sales Blueprint ‘.
- How Gary addresses the challenge that fewer than 10% achieve revenue beyond a million in his book.
- The top 25 sales metrics that everybody should monitor and improve.
- People must make the decision that they want to recover.
- The main challenge is combining the right strategies and having the right team to execute.
- If you don’t have the financial means, maybe give them some equity in the company to ensure sales get off the ground.
- An obvious metric is to understand your lifetime value.
- When you start measuring those metrics, you’ll identify where you can optimize your marketing and sales process.
“Believe it or not, Nancy, there are 20+ million in America alone that are seeking treatment or need treatment, but there are only a couple of million that receive treatment every year. So less than 10%. So that, for me, is wrong. That statistic. The opiate crisis is killing more people than any other means in the US: homicide, traffic incidents, everything combined doesn’t even surpass opiate. So, I said, this is a way to help facilities that may not be at full capacity because they’re not using the right marketing or sales strategies. If I can apply my skillset there, I can help people out of suffering and help that business grow. So that’s why I focus on behavioral health.” – GARY.
“ But I never really came across a book where it’s like “Here’s a blueprint.” If you’re starting a company, if you’re running a sales team, if you want to scale, if you want to go from zero to a hundred million, here’s a step-by-step process that you can follow. So that’s why I ended up plus for the pages because I said, “I need to include everything needed.” I had to document what was working. And I always recommend to readers that you don’t have to read it from end to end. You can just cherry-pick a chapter on the given stage you’re in, or the early wind, and leverage that by just reading it and applying it, then moving forward.” – GARY.
Connect with Gary Garth:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garygarth/
- Personal Website:https://garygarth.com/
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Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today and it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with Gary Garth, the founder and CEO of Elevate.io, a serial entrepreneur since 2002, Gary has started and successfully exited six companies, including large outbound sales call centers, radio advertising networks, and an award-winning eight-figure digital marketing agency. Gary now spends all his energy on changing the game in the behavioral health industry by helping addiction treatment and mental health centers across the US with growing their facilities. He is also the author of the Zero to a Hundred Million Sales Blueprint book and the Goals, grit, and Greatness Planner. It’s going to be a really engaging conversation, Gary. Welcome to the show.
Gary Garth: Thank you so much for having me, Nancy. [1:21]
Nancy Calabrese: I’m excited. So, you know, let’s just jump right into the behavioral industry. What made you want to, you know, pursue that route?
Gary Garth: Oh, great question. I know that’s kind of a change in career trajectory, a vertical focus per se. It’s for many personal reasons, to be frank. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur, as you mentioned since I was 19, had several businesses. I’ll be frank, especially in the early days, I was very revenue, profit-oriented. I was in it for the glory, the significance, et cetera, like many other entrepreneurs probably was fortunate to become a millionaire with the first or second company and tasted a little bit of glory then. So that kind of faded away after a while and I just remember waking up one day with my last company. We were successful and had thousands of clients and hundreds of millions of managements and I just looked myself in the mirror and said, how am I? Making a difference. You know, yes, we’re creating a lot of jobs. Yes, we’re creating impact. Yes, we’re helping businesses from that perspective. But I was looking at like, who are our clients? And a lot of them were like, personal injury lawyers or finance loan companies, you know? And I felt like, you know, I’m just adding money to technology companies. Maybe that doesn’t pay tax per se and helping lawyers with the next lottery coupon case that they’re pursuing, how’s that leaving a legacy? And simultaneously with that, not to go into a rant, I had a friend who died from drugs and addiction and overdoses, and all those experiences coupled together, I kind of saw the other side of the coin, a lot of entrepreneurs and successful executives that they typically have to cope with the stress through addictions, alcohol, drugs, etc. So, I said, okay, let me try to put all my skills, my resources, and my experiences into an industry where I can help close the gap. Believe it or not, Nancy, there are 20 million something plus in America alone that are seeking treatment or need treatment, but there are only a couple of million that receive treatment every year. So less than 10%. So that for me is wrong. That statistic. The opiate crisis is killing more people than any other means in the US. You know, homicide, traffic incidents, everything combined doesn’t even surpass opiate. So, I said, this is a way where I can, you know, help facilities that are maybe not at full capacity because they’re not using the right marketing tactics, the right sales strategies. If I can apply my skillset there, I can help people out of suffering and help that business grow. So that’s why I focus on behavioral health. [4:21]
Nancy Calabrese: Well, why do you think there are so few that are getting treatment?
Gary Garth: Ah, great question. There are a lot of reasons for that. People must be, make the decision that they want to recover. Maybe they still have experience in mental health challenges that they haven’t, and that’s deviating them away. But I think a lot of it is because of the options in the market, it’s complicated. It’s almost, it’s very political. You must have the right insurance to get accepted. There are a lot of people who want treatment but can’t necessarily get it. And, you know, addiction is not something to take easy. That’s a disease that is very difficult to combat. So, for all those reasons, it’s, uh, it’s something that needs extra attention, extra focus. [5:12]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. So, what are some of the challenges right now in the behavioral health marketing industry?
Gary Garth: Yeah, great question. Great question. Because there’s such a big demand, there’s a lot of… The competition is fierce. I’ve worked with most industries like I mentioned, legal, technology companies, finance, typically are those kinds of industries where you say, okay, that’s a tough market to enter. That’s where your cost per click on Google Ads, something $100, but I have not to date seen anything as competitive as behavioral health. I was even caught a little bit by surprise when entering the space, a while ago. So, the number one challenge for these facilities is to acquire patients at a profitable rate and stay at full centers, you know, maximizing the occupancy rate. Some centers pay tens of thousands of dollars per patient, that’s when it doesn’t go right. And so, getting a winning strategy that’s both consistent and predictable and gives them the right margin so that they can grow and cover the high operational costs, it’s not easy. So, you try to rank for something with SEO organic, good luck with that, that’s going to take a while and you have to sharpen your pencil to get ahead of that. Google Ads, you can easily spend a fortune. So, it’s about combining the right strategies and having the right team execute that. And that’s easier said than done. That’s why I entered this space. [6:52]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, wow. So, what’s the best advice you can give them or the centers to reach the people who need the therapy?
Gary Garth: Yes, so I think there’s no silver bullet to give you the short answer. It’s a combination of different strategies and tactics that when coupled together work effectively. I would say one thing that I’m noticing a pattern, not only in behavioral health, but all industries, but especially, Asina, maybe at a higher rate is that conversations are not as numbers driven as they should be. Many of our clients and prospects, you know, they know which insurance providers they work with, they know the reimbursement rates, they know all those different details. But you know, when I start asking them how many calls you get, how many of those were V.O.B. qualified so that they had the right benefits, how many touch points before they turn into an admission? What is your admission conversion rate? What is the app? You know, all those different metrics, so to speak, that are mission-critical. If you want to optimize your marketing and sales process, you have to focus on the numbers and the data. I was saying, God would trust everybody else to bring data. Unless you have that data down, forget it. You’re already losing because the savvy competitors most certainly know the numbers, and they’re looking to hire people who can help them prove those metrics. So that’s the number one recommendation. In my book, I have a chat that is devoted to that, where it’s like top 25 metrics, sales metrics that everybody should monitor and improve, right? Because most executives, you know, they have the annual growth strategy session, they go offsite and they create a plan of action and say, here’s our KPIs for the quarter for the year, and here’s our growth targets. But you know, the magic happens in the metrics where you monitor that, you know this, I’m preaching to the choir in terms of, you know, measuring your sales activities, touchpoints, and you know, where can the process be optimized? Where can you put in coaching efforts that can enable your team to outshine? So that would be the number one focus, I would say. [9:12]
Nancy Calabrese: Interesting. Well, let’s pivot to, you just mentioned your book, the zero to 100 million sales blueprints. What motivated you to write it? And I want to talk, I want you to expand on some of those 25 metrics you just mentioned.
Gary Garth: Yes. So, in the last couple of years of my last project, we focused a lot on channel sales. There are channel sales, and direct sales, so we focused on enabling other companies to sell for us and sell our products. And in that process, I was head of partnerships, so I am leading that program, that initiative. So, I would be talking with prospective resellers, onboarding them, and enabling them to sell. Also training their team, like for instance, they would be selling another product, they must learn how to sell our product and how to make, you know, there’s a lot of things to consider there. So, I got a firsthand view of how many other agencies, 200 to be specific, were running their sales teams. And I met with a lot of them and coached them, et cetera. You know, throughout those couple of years, every time I had a session, they were like, there was some golden nuggets, Gary, you dumped on us right there. Is there anywhere I can find it? Do you have a book, or is it a blog post, or anywhere I can see that? And, you know, after hearing that several times, I was like, I should maybe start documenting all of this. And, because I had the blessing of working with some very smart people that I learned a lot from at big companies like Google, and Microsoft, but…Also all our partner agencies, also my former employees. And I wanted to take all that accumulated knowledge and put it into a book. I’m an avid reader. I think most entrepreneurs or top performers are. But I found that you know, while we could have a whole episode on the greatest sales books, there’s a lot out there that I could recommend. I found that most of them are maybe a little bit, most of them are subject matter specific, how to run your sales team, right? How to be a sales manager, how to close deals, sales psychology, and different topics like that, that are great. But I never really came across a book where it’s like, okay, here’s a blueprint. If you’re starting a company, if you’re running a sales team, if you want to scale, if you want to go from zero to a hundred million, here’s a step-by-step process that you can follow. So that’s why I ended up plus for the pages because I said, I need to include everything needed. I had to document what was working. And I always recommend to readers that you don’t have to read it from end to end. You can just cherry-pick a chapter on the given stage you’re in, or the early wind, and leverage that by just reading that given chapter and applying it, and then moving forward. [12:06]
Nancy Calabrese: I think that’s a great recommendation because going through an entire book, and I have a whole slew of books on my desk, it just takes time. And I think by, you know, looking at the chapters that are appealing to you right now today is a great way to kind of scale it for yourself. Now, I’ve read, and you state, you know, it’s common knowledge that 80% of companies cease to exist within 18 months or less, and less than 10% ever make it beyond a million in revenue. So how does your book address that?
Gary Garth: Yes. Uh, incredible statistics, right? I address it in the way of elaborating on that point, that you need to put sales first. I like that. So, I have it, I have it as one of my first, the first chapters, uh, label it. I have 99 problems, but sales aren’t one. Uh, because if, if you, if you don’t have a revenue problem if you have sufficient clients and sales, then most likely you can have, but most likely you don’t have a cash flow problem. So, you can buy yourself out of problems. You can hire a consultant to solve this. You can add some software. You can hire extra employees. You have the means. The number one reason why companies cease to exist is when you boil it down that they fail to acquire enough customers and revenue. So that’s where I put some, like put some, shine some light. Like if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re a great, say, engineer or you’re a great craftsman in whatever profession services you’re offering, but you’re not a salesperson, then double down on your strength and delegate that to either a partner or a key hire. Find somebody who can execute that mission-critical task for your company’s existence, right? And that’s why the book also got so successful because you may have to go out and offer stock option plans. So, I leave a section for that, like, out of, you know, board key employees that are, you know, of high value. So, if you don’t have the financial means, maybe give them some equity in the company, just to make sure that sales get off the ground. So, it’s just putting sales first. [14:28]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. You know, I’m often blown away when I hear the companies let go of salespeople, not for performance, but for other reasons. And I don’t get why. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all. So, let’s go back to the 25 metrics. Why don’t you share a few of them with the audience?
Gary Garth: Yeah. So, I mean, an obvious one is obviously to understand your, for instance, your lifetime value. Because that dictates how much can you invest in marketing, you can better understand areas of opportunity, for instance, what your, metric is what is your same-store growth rate which is basically how are you able to grow your existing customer base. The terminology originates from the retail market per se, but it’s good. I worked with, the first time I was introduced to it was when I worked with, I worked very closely with Google’s channel sales team, and they kept talking about these acronyms as they watched your SSG has gone up and I didn’t want to sound stupid. I was like, what the hell is SSG? But you’re doing phenomenal, great, I’m happy I’m doing great, but I don’t understand what’s going on. So that was a key metric for them because they acknowledge that we can’t just acquire more and more customers. You know, at one point there’s a diminishing return in terms of how much you invest in sales and customer acquisition. So, you’ve got to start growing your customers. So that’s another key metric I would say. On the other side of that coin is customer churn, right? So, the cancellation rate is again tied up with lifetime value. That’s one of the key metrics you can improve that can significantly impact profitability. But then there are also a lot of subsequent ones like the obvious one lead to conversion rate, demo to close rate, deal loss rate, and proposal of win rate. When you start measuring those metrics, you’ll start to identify where in your marketing and sales process can you optimize. Let me give you a very good example. As I work with a lot of companies, I used to do a lot of consulting for SaaS technology and marketing agencies, all before going into behavioral health. And a lot of them are overly obsessed with booking meetings and getting demos, right? Because that’s like a core metric, like how many times can you get? But they’re not looking necessarily at the subsequent, like the close rate or the demo to close ratio, you know, which opportunities, how many opportunities it took to book that meeting. So, understanding all of those is where you can see where you should add additional coaching resources. If the closing ratio sucks, it’s because you don’t have like a demo process that will outline the suggested steps and a good flow, you’re not maybe incorporating the discovery call questions into the demo questions. Very often, I’m sure, you tried this, you want to sign up for some software, you got to speak with an SDR who’s had to qualify you that is the main objective. He wants to just qualify you. So, you’re giving him, you’re giving him 50 minutes of your time and you’re answering all his freaking questions. You’re a little bit borderline annoyed. And then you jump on the call with the account executive and the mother, F, sorry, excuse my French, just not even taking notes. And he’s asking the same questions. Like I just want to jump out of a building when that stuff happens, and it happens more often than you can believe. So, mesh right? So just measure those metrics and you know that’s where you know where you can get some quick wins. [18:28]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, Gary, I can’t believe we’re out of time already. You’re fascinating. Yeah, what is the, like the one, what’s the one takeaway you want to leave the audience with?
Gary Garth: Thank you. Yeah, this was fast. One takeaway, oh that’s a tough one. Well, let’s put it like this, put sales first, I would say. And then that’s why I fake it.
Nancy Calabrese: You and I agree. Agree with him. Oh, wow. So how can my audience find you?
Gary Garth: Yes, I’m on social media, obviously, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. You can search under my name, Gary Garth. If you want to read a little bit more on my current project, you can go to elevate.io. On that website, there are also links to my book, the Zero to 100 Million Sales Blueprint. You can also find that on Amazon alternatively. And the same goes for the Goals, Great and Greatest Planet that we mentioned briefly. There are links to both products on the Elevate.io website or my social media. [19:35]
Nancy Calabrese: Awesome. By the way, it’s elev8.io, not Elevate. All right. Well, listen, you’ll have to come back on. We’ll want to pick up where we left off. We didn’t get into the planner, so we didn’t have time, but everyone out there, look Gary up, download his book, and buy his book. He has great ideas.
Gary Garth: Good point. I love to be. Let’s do it.
Nancy Calabrese: Gary, I so enjoyed getting to know you and hope you will come back real soon.
Gary Garth: Likewise, Nancy, and you bet. You just say it, I’ll be there.
Nancy Calabrese: I love it. I love it. And everyone makes it a great sales day. [20:18]