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Listen to the podcast here…
Jake Randall: Welcome everybody to another episode of The Profit Junkie Podcast where we talk about increasing your sales and making sure you keep as much of your hard earned cash in the bank as humanly possible. I am very excited to introduce you to my guest today. He’s doing some really cool stuff. We haven’t had anybody on the show yet that does exactly what Rylee does, and so this is really awesome. My guest today is Rylee Meek. Thanks for being here, Rylee
Rylee Meek: Yeah. Hey, Jake, happy to be on, man. Thanks for having me.
Jake Randall: You bet you, so for those that don’t know you, you kind of have a little bit of an interesting story of how you got to where you are today and what you do. You are the CEO of the Social Dynamic … Excuse me, Social Dynamic Selling, and some really cool stuff that we’re going to teach you how to grow your business today. But, I’d love to hear, before we get into that stuff, I’d really like people to hear a little bit about your backstory, where you came from, and how you got to where you are today.
Rylee Meek: Sure, yeah. Happy to do that, absolutely. So, yeah, I grew up in small town, South Dakota. South Dakota is a great place to be from. There’s not a whole lot going on there anymore unless you’re a farmer or rancher or something along those lines. But, yeah, I grew up in a town of about 1,000 people, less than that, even. And, I always kind of have that entrepreneurship kind of drive within me, but when you’re in a small town, there’s not a ton of opportunity available. So, my very first kind of step into the business world or even the workforce, I guess, would be when I was 15 years old. I thought I needed to get a job. I wanted that cool car, that I wanted to be able to buy the cool clothes, things along those lines.
And, I ended up taking my first job actually at our gas station, just a local gas station. And, I was supposed to be making pizzas, these little personal-sized pan pizzas. I worked an eight hour shift. I was getting paid. The minimum wage at that time was $5.15 an hour. So, after that shift, that horrible shift, I did the math in my head. I thought, there’s no way in heck I’m doing that again. So, my first day on the job was actually my last day on the job. That kind of spurred or catapulted my journey into entrepreneurship and being able to just work for myself. I got involved with a number of different business opportunities, really at that time a lot of network marketing companies and things along those lines, which it was a huge, huge time in my life that really opened my eyes to just mentorship and personal development.
I read as many books as I possibly could. I didn’t come from a family of wealth or anything along those lines. My dad, he delivered mail his entire life, a rural route as an independent contractor. My mom waited tables and things like that, so it wasn’t like I had a lot of leadership or direction in my life. So, I had to seek it out. The day I graduated high school, I ended up moving up to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is where I reside now, where we’re doing this. It wasn’t really to move to Minnesota, to move to the city. It was more so just to get out of my environment. I needed a change of atmosphere, and I ended up, my intention at the time was actually to go to college, become a chiropractor.
I thought that was kind of the path. As I was doing that, I was doing some personal fitness training, doing some selling nutritional supplements, was involved with a big company at the time, was Herbalife, which is still around to this day. Like I said, it was a great time in my life, and I had to get creative with … One of the things I didn’t really like about network marketing companies was always having to call on friends and family in different things like that. And, I kind of had to get creative, because I wanted to be able to sell products to people I didn’t know. That was what my goal was. So, I came up with this catchy little ad that we placed that said, “We pay you to lose weight.”
And, my phone rang off the hook. I put together a cool little marketing plan, some packages that they could buy. I sat down with people one-on-one and conversed with them, got them to buy into this system. Heck, within a few months, I was retailing over 10,000 bucks a month in nutritional supplements.
Jake Randall: Now, where did you run that ad, just out of curiosity?
Rylee Meek: Man, just these little Penny Saver papers like Backpages. Do you remember that, like Craigslist? I would just put it out there anywhere I could possibly get it. My phone rang off the hook. It was just, yeah, we’ve got these programs in place. We pay you per pound, per inch, and I couldn’t even keep up with it. I was working. I was making good money. I’m 19 at the time, making some decent coin. I bought my first BMW. I thought, man, this is it. I’m making it. This is going to be it.
Jake Randall: I own the world.
Rylee Meek: Yeah, exactly, young and dumb. I realized I was making great money. At that point, I kind of realized schooling wasn’t for me. I thought, I can figure this out on my own, more on owning your own business and doing sales. But, for anybody that’s been in network marketing, the goal isn’t always to earn 100% of your own efforts. It’s one percent of 100 people’s efforts, right? And, I realized this system that I had created, well, it wasn’t a system. It was solely dependent upon me, and it wasn’t something that could be duplicatable or taught, really. It was just something that I just stumbled into, and it worked.
That was frustrating for me, so I needed to … I wanted to figure out how I could leverage my time and energy and efforts and ultimately my income. So, I ended up, at the time this company was expanding into a different country. I thought, okay, this is it. I’m going to be opening up operations, kind of ground level, ground floor opportunity type of thing. At the age of, man, I think I was 21 at this time then, a couple of years into this. I ended up catching a one way flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At a young age, I’d never been overseas. I mean, I’ve been to Mexico, but I’d never been overseas before. I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know a soul there. I ended up having literally what I consider kind of my first midlife crisis, as a straight panic attack.
Within three days, I was on a flight back home. It was like I can’t do this. I need to figure life out. And, it was frustrating, because at the time, it was like this is what I was going to do. Then, I just had this meltdown. I thought, man, what am I going to do? I need to be able to provide for my family. I was engaged at the time. What am I going to do here? So, I got my insurance license, my series six, 63, thought this is going to be it. But, really it came back to again calling on friends and family. Gosh, I just don’t want to do this. And, another business opportunity kind of came about where I was going to open up operations in Mexico, which was funny.
I thought, here we go again, but it was Mexico. I kind of knew the language. I took a couple classes in high school in Spanish, and I kind of figured it would be a little bit easier. Things were going great. I moved down there. I’d actually rented out my condo here in Minnesota, and my wife actually, at the time I was married at this time. Then, she was literally sleeping on my sister’s couch so I could invest time and energy and efforts down in Mexico. Things were going great down there, but about five months into it, the Mexican government shut us down. Again, this was selling little nutritional supplements. They said, “Nope, not happening here.” I didn’t grease enough palms, I don’t think down there. So, within a few months, I was on a flight back here to the States, kind of tail between my legs. Not only had I pretty much invested all of my money, but at that time I was technically homeless.
I rented out my condo. My wife and I were now sleeping on my sister’s couch. What am I doing here? This is what I consider kind of my second midlife crisis. So, I knew I wanted to, and I knew I needed a new opportunity, but I certainly knew I wasn’t going to go work for somebody else. That just wasn’t even an option for me. So, I spent a few months that summer just trying to figure out what to do, a lot of just soul searching, a lot of late nights online, just looking at all sorts of different opportunities with very limited income. I had time, though. That was what I was, but I wanted to find out, I needed to find what was right for me. And, I came across this ad on Craigslist of all places. It said work three days a week and make 10,000 bucks.
Actually, that’s pretty enticing for people. And, at first I thought, yeah, right, but the inquisitive spirit within me, I just had to inquire and see what it was all about. This was kind of my first introduction to this new concept of selling, one that I hadn’t really ever thought about before, because everything that I had done prior to this was selling one-on-one, just sitting down with somebody, kitchen table or knee to knee or whatever, and just conversing and taking them from A to Z, however long that presentation may be, whether it’s an hour, two hours, three hours. That’s just what I did. I love that ability, because I felt like I could control my own income. I could earn what I was worth, so to say, and nobody was putting an hourly rate upon me.
So, I love that, but I still ultimately knew that the amount of income that I could make was still dependent upon the amount of time within a day, right? Unless I was going to sell higher ticket item products, which I did, I kind of worked up, worked the ladder up on that, but I was still capped by the amount of time in a day, dependent upon how long, how many presentations I could actually do. When I conversed with this gentleman off of this Craigslist ad, he started talking to me about selling to groups, to groups of people. And, I didn’t really grasp what he was really telling me at the time, but a couple of weeks after our initial conversation, he invited me out to one of his events. It was a couple hour drive. I thought, heck, I haven’t got anything else to do, and I might as well come down and check it out.
And, I drove down, and I walked into this room. This event was held at this rinky dink, local little steakhouse, small town Minnesota. I walked into this room, and there was 20, 22 people within this room just sitting there waiting for him to deliver his presentation. He did a 45 minute presentation, which I didn’t even think was a good presentation, but he did this presentation. Afterwards, he simply asked for them to meet with him one-on-one and really to take that next step to see if what he was talking about was affordable or something that they wanted to do. He walked away with seven appointments that he met with the next day. That completely blew my mind, because one of the most challenging things about doing multiple presentations is it’s draining.
Having to deliver presentation after presentation, it’s emotionally just wearing on people. He just did one rockstar presentation within an hour and afterwards asked for appointments and met with them the next day and ended up selling his products. That rocked my world. I had a couple hour drive back, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about this system and really what it could be, because I thought, man, if he did one presentation and got seven potential sales, I’ll do three a day. I’ll do five a day. That was, wow, I could actually leverage my time to increase my actual income. So, I just kept thinking about, what could I sell through this format? I knew I didn’t really want to go work for him. I wanted to figure this out on my own. So, a couple months after that, I ended up actually taking a few different products, ideas that he had, added some of my own, and I held my first event.
I actually invited people out. I did my first presentation. I remember it so clearly. I was driving to this presentation. It was a few hour drive, and I had 673 bucks in my bank account at this time. I was 24 years old with a wife and baby on the way. So, it was a stressful time in my life, but I knew it worked. I knew this could work, and I ended up making a few sales. Then, that allowed me to fund my next campaign, and my next campaign, and my next campaign. That was really the beginning of what we now know, as you called, the Social Dynamic Selling System, which really at the core of it is, is we do dinner seminars. We sell one to many by inviting people out for a free steak dinner, chicken dinner, fish dinner, whatever it is. We deliver a presentation, and then we ultimately, we only meet with those that want or need or at least are curious about what it would take to order our products or services.
Jake Randall: So cool, so cool. So, I’ve experienced this, I think maybe twice in my life, and it was so compelling. Truthfully, I even went with this idea of, well, on one of them at least, I’m going for the steak dinner, right? I know they’re going to sell me something, but I’m not going to buy, and I bought, right? Because, you’re captive right there. There’s a lot of things going on there, right, that area really cool?
Rylee Meek: That’s the social dynamic of it, absolutely, and you hit it right on right there.
Jake Randall: It was awesome. So, what types of products have you or of clients that you help to do this? What types of products have they been selling? What’s worked? What’s a good candidate for something for this, and what’s not a good candidate for this type?
Rylee Meek: Sure. Yeah, yeah. Well, when I first started out, I didn’t know what the heck to sell. I had to figure it out, what’s a need out there? And, can I provide a solution to it? And, then ultimately, can I create a compelling enough story or take people on an emotional enough journey to make that buying decision? So, when we first started out, we were doing insulation, LED lighting, in home energy conservation products, something that everybody should have, right? Everybody, I mean, utility bills were on the rise. People were complaining about it. Well, I have a solution here, and we created this system where we do a presentation. We ask for the appointment. We meet them in their home, and then ultimately, they order our products. We would fulfill, of course. There was a whole backend system to that, as well, but that was our first couple years.
My first six months in doing that, I did a little over two. It was $2.1 million in sales within six months, just delivering these presentations. It was crazy, never a more fun time in my life, though, to go from nothing to a couple million bucks within six months. That next year, we ended up adding more sales reps. we did a little over 12 million that year, the same thing the following year. At that point, I realized that we had really developed this system. It wasn’t the products that they were buying. It was, we created an environment where we got them to know, like, and trust us as the presenter in all these little steps that had kind of led up to this event that ultimately allowed them to make that buying decision.
And, that’s when I thought, okay, the product is irrelevant. What else could we sell? What would work? I set up another company, and we started selling those products. I set up another company, we sold those services. That was my a-ha moment, really was, well, it was a Wednesday night. I know, I was out selling. We usually would do events Monday, Tuesday, sell, meet with folks Tuesday, Wednesday. It was a late Wednesday night. I came home, my wife and daughter were already asleep. When I came home, I just had kind of this feeling of just unfulfillment, because I knew what we were doing was good, good products, good services. But, I had zero passion for any of what we were selling. If anybody that’s made a decent amount of money has experienced that, they know what I mean when I say that, because I’d made a great …
We provided a great income for my family. We could do pretty much what we want when we want, but still having that kind of feeling of unfulfillment, it sucks. It’s a terrible feeling, because you’re not fulfilling really your purpose. And, I thought back to my early days of selling and entrepreneurship of, okay, what was it like back then? And, that constant struggle of finding that next sale or placing that next ad and hoping somebody will want what we have, and just that feast and famine kind of lifestyle. I thought, man, there’s business owners out there that are struggling with sales, or there’s entrepreneurs that have a great idea, a great product, but they don’t know how to reach the masses. I thought, could this be? Because, my passion at the core really is people and being able to pour into them and help them and develop not only personally, but their businesses, because everything kind of goes hand in hand.
I thought, man, if this system works for all these different products that I’ve been selling and providing, could this work for other? My big a-ha moment that night was, is this system the actual product? Could we teach this to others that have that passion to be able to go out and reach the masses that they’re struggling to get right now? At that point, I just started to write. I laid out everything that I had learned over the past four or five years in doing this, and everything from how to find your true client avatar, to designing a marketing piece, to how do you even set up a room, to what time do you even hold the events, to what, do you do salads, do you do dessert? What time do you do dinner? Do you present first? Do you present afterwards?
There are so many facets to delivering a great presentation or hosting a great campaign. I just started to write that all out, which was, as I mentioned, just kind of the beginning of now the Social Dynamic Selling System. So, that’s when we really started to transition or really pivot into more coaching and consulting people how to do this campaign. Since then, obviously, financial advisors, attorneys, they are kind of the pioneers of this. They still make millions and millions. Billions of dollars annually flow through dinner seminars by doing these events. But, what we really kind of honed in on was being able to do this within numerous different verticals.
So, obviously, home remodeling was one of the basic, the first ones that I started, just simple little things, to windows, solar, aging in place products, cosmetic dentistry, travel clubs, investment clubs, all sorts of different industries now that we fill events for every single week, all throughout the country, and not only just filling events, but actually teaching people how to hold the hold their own campaigns, how to deliver presentations, how to create sense of urgency and get buyers to make that actual buying decision.
Jake Randall: Yeah, that’s awesome. I love studying sales presentations. My partner was one of the founders of Tom Hopkins back in the day.
Rylee Meek: Oh, beautiful.
Jake Randall: So, I love inviting salespeople into my house, even if I’m not interested in what they’re selling. I just love to analyze that sale. I know, I just know that you’ve studied this as well, and you just have really put a lot of time into building this process out, because there’s these little nuances that make a huge difference. But, my favorite thing that I love about this is it kind of triggers a little bit of reciprocity, a feeling of reciprocity. They come. They know they’re getting a free dinner. They know what they’re getting into, right? But, then they eat that free dinner, and they feel like it kind of takes away, if they’re even a little bit interested in what you have to sell, they feel a little bit like, well, I should at least take a meeting. I mean, the guy did buy me dinner, right?
Rylee Meek: Exactly, exactly. It’s a beautiful thing.
Jake Randall: Yeah, it’s a beautiful thing, and you’re really actually helping them, because it’s getting them to make a commitment to something that they need or want, right?
Rylee Meek: Of course, of course.
Jake Randall: It’s not shady at all. It’s really helping to sift those, the right … It’s probably a better sifter than anything else, really.
Rylee Meek: Oh yeah. Yeah, I really think, I oftentimes equate this to, you hear everything is online nowadays, where it’s an online funnel. I really think we’ve perfected the offline funnel, because before, we don’t just willy-nilly pick a place and choose people to invite and randomly just hope they call us and want to come to our event. No, we get extremely specific with this. When we identify who your true client avatar is, we can get extremely specific. If we figure out your target demographic is blonde hair, blue eyed women above the five, nine to six, three that drive Lexuses or whatever it is. That’s how the data that’s out there is so remarkable that we can hone in on that. You could throw a dart at a map, and I can pull demographics for that area and create a message to speak to that person to get them to take action. A lot of what we do, you kind of hit the head on this, but I kind of coined a lot of what we do is like fishing with corn dogs. What I mean by that is-
Jake Randall: I love that.
Rylee Meek: If you put a corn dog, there’s not a fish in nature that’s going to sustain life on corn dogs. But, if you put a corn dog on a hook and you throw it in the water, they’re going to bite that darn thing every single time. That’s what we’re doing. That’s kind of what our free steak, dinner, chicken dinner, whatever it is, this is for. We’re getting them to the event. I don’t care how they got there, but if that true, that client avatar gets to the event, we’ve got them there. At that point, if you deliver a compelling enough presentation, you take them on an emotional enough journey, to have it make sense to them of why they should take action.
That’s the whole process of this system that we’ve developed, and getting them to be able to make a decision, whether it’s yes or no. It can be no, and I’m happy to let somebody say no. This isn’t about tricking people into making decisions or anything like that, but people need a reason to make a decision. If you don’t give them a reason, they never make a decision. That’s just how people are, and if we can create that environment where they can make that yes or no decision, if you’ve done your job well enough to get them to know, like, and trust you, I mean, that’s what this whole whole process is truly about. People want to do business with those that they know, like, and trust.
Jake Randall: The other interesting thing, I think just kind of to reiterate that point, so I lived in my grandfather’s house for a while after he passed away. My middle name is his first name. So, ever since I’ve moved, the mail system forwards me his junk mail. I still get invited to seminars, dinner seminars on hearing aids and things like that, which I don’t have any interest in, right? I think the important point there is I’ve never shown up to one of those hearing aid ones for my free dinner, because it doesn’t interest me, right? But, if it was for something that I’m interested in, it’s a huge motivator. It’s a big sifting machine to get your best leads in front of you, and you’re not attracting, for the most part, you’re not going to attract just freebie seekers, right? Because, it’s tailored to what they’re looking for.
Rylee Meek: Yes. However, I will say you do get people, believe it or not, people just show up because they like that restaurant, which I love. I absolutely love those people, and I love going toe to toe with my clients on this, because they feel like they’re wasting money on buying this person a steak dinner. That’s the social dynamic of this, because those people that are just responding simply because they want to eat a $20 steak dinner on your behalf, I love them to come on out, because they know they’re not going to buy anything. They don’t even know what they’re there for. But, they’re your biggest advocates, because they feel guilty about eating food on your dime. So, what you’re doing right now, shaking your head, that’s exactly what they’re doing in the presentation, that social dynamic.
You’re getting people, they’re looking around, and if you’ve got a few people that are on board, you’re using that to your advantage, because they’re asking questions. They’re joking. It’s laughing. They’re creating that awesome environment where people are together, like-minded people together doing something together. It just creates that atmosphere that gets more and more people to make that buying decision. So, I love those plate lickers. I love hearing that word, because I invite them out every time. Heck, dependent upon your product or service, you may only need one or two people in that room to purchase to have a huge ROI on this. So, I would gladly buy 30 people a free meal if I only need two or three sales to make it actually work for myself.
Jake Randall: That’s so cool. So, people want to learn more about, if this is interesting, and I know a lot of people, our listeners, this might be a great fit for. But, if people want to learn a little bit more about this system and what you guys do, they go to … The website is SocialDynamicSelling.com. Is that correct?
Rylee Meek: Correct, yeah, SocialDynamicSelling.com.
Jake Randall: Yeah. I love this, because this incorporates so many facets of sales and marketing. It’s really like a show, right? It’s really a well orchestrated show, and you shouldn’t just … I mean, you can go out and try it if you want without any training, but I certainly wouldn’t try it without somebody who’s done it before.
Rylee Meek: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I wish I knew what I know now. Obviously, the last decade, this is what I’ve been doing. Starting out, it was me just throwing money out there. I wasted millions of dollars doing this, but I’ve been able to earn millions of dollars, as well. That’s really what my goal was in creating this system, as I mentioned. I love working with people, diving into their businesses, helping them identify what their true client acquisition cost is, lifetime value of their customer, and then building out a campaign that would make sense. I want to be clear. This program isn’t for everybody, okay? If you’re selling a $48 widget, and you have zero additional bites at the apple or lifetime value of that customer, don’t waste your time.
I will be the absolute first one to tell you that, you’re just not going to have a high enough return on investment to make this last longterm. Our tagline is to have a sustainable, a predictable, and a scalable selling system. That’s what we do with this. That’s why every single week, I’m hosting over 200 campaigns every single week throughout the country with multiple different clients, is because they know they have a fresh new set of leads, not leads that they’ve had to purchase or share with somebody, but their own physical leads. They own those leads coming in every single week. We’re constantly filling the pipeline with new people, new potential customers or clients every single week. So, yeah, I mean, you can learn it on your own, and I would encourage you.
I mean, I think I’d mentioned before we hopped on here, I wrote a book, super inexpensive book that can get you started on the right path called Food for Thought. It’s an Amazon bestseller now, but it’ll help kind of lay the foundation, that initial foundation of how to set up your own campaign, how to set up your room, where to find the good mail houses. We do a ton of direct mail with this. How to craft your message, your mail piece, scripts for phone calls, different things along those lines. I’ve kind of put that all together within this book. So, for somebody starting out that might not have a lot of money to invest, I would encourage them, just start there. Start somewhere, and it’ll at least be able to give you some nuggets on how to go about setting up your own campaigns, if money is even a little tight for you right now.
Jake Randall: Yeah, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well, but just the title again is Food for Thought, and Amazon bestseller, and you can go grab that. But, that would be a great place to start. But, I definitely would recommend checking out Rylee’s site as well, SocialDynamicSelling.com.
Rylee Meek: Yeah, absolutely.
Jake Randall: Yeah, I’ve got one question I ask all my guests, Rylee.
Rylee Meek: All right.
Jake Randall: So, you’ve been out there bringing lots of money in the front door through this. What’s one thing that you’ve done in your business to make sure, or help your clients do to make sure more of that money stays in the business as profit rather than leaking out the side?
Rylee Meek: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Again, this was me learning early on, not knowing what the heck I’m doing, spending money places I shouldn’t have been. So, I think the biggest thing is to develop a system, a true system. Once you’ve got that system in place, there’s no sense, there’s no reason to shift other way. If you’ve got a true system in place, and that’s what I, when I very first started, early on back when I was 18, 19 years old. I needed a system. That was what my goal was.
And, if I know my system every third quarter, if I go to the the casino, and I know every third quarter, I put it in and pull down that hinge, and I’m going to get a dollar return on my investment, I’m going to put three quarters in every single time. I’m never going to stop doing that. So, if you’ve got that system in place, just continue this system. The moment you take the foot off the gas, or even if you’re now putting in too many quarters, you’ve ruined the system. And, once you’ve got that in place, just having that true sustainable system that you can create predictable income within your business, that’s a beautiful thing.
Jake Randall: That’s great. That’s awesome. Well, Rylee, thank you so much for sharing this wisdom. I was really excited to have you on, because I think that these dinner seminars are such a huge opportunity that most people don’t know where to start. So, they never even look or think about it. But, I do think that they’re one of the most successful, tried, and proven things for certain businesses, right?
Rylee Meek: Yeah, absolutely.
Jake Randall: And, anyway, if you want more information, go check out, follow Rylee. You’ll learn some great stuff. Rylee, thanks for being here, man.
Rylee Meek: Yeah, thanks Jake. It’s been fun, man. Appreciate it.
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