Oct. 5, 2022

Biz Dev Tips for Deal Makers with Matt Currie


Matt Currie is CEO of OutFlow - a Deal Sourcing company that helps M&A professionals close more deals by securing meetings with their ideal prospects.

OutFlow works with over 150+ M&A Professionals and has tracked over $500MM in transaction value for their clients.

https://outflow.agency/

Transcript

Josh Wilson
 Welcome to the Deal Scout. This show is all about deals. We go on the hunt for deals. We talk about deals. You're going to hear me say deals a lot. We have conversations with deal makers and the mission purpose and everything we do. Our business model is built around putting people and deals together. What I find is people do business with people they know, like and trust. On this show, you're going to get to see people, get to know them and hopefully do a deal with them. As they're talking their contact information and everything they say, if they resonate with you and your business, reach out to them. Do a deal. Say, hey, heard you on the Deal Scout, and I want to do a deal. Okay, I'm going to shut up now and introduce our guests. 


 Josh Wilson
 Mr. Matt from Nova Scotia, Canada. Welcome to the show. That was a horrible impersonation, but welcome to show, man. 


 matt currie
 It was good enough. Thanks, Josh, for having me. 


 Josh Wilson
 Absolutely. So, Matt, we're hanging out at a coffee shop or pub, right? Someone comes up and they go, hey, Matt, who are you? How do you typically introduce yourself? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, so if it's like a coffee shop with a random person, I'll generally say I work within corporate finance, but if it's someone like an M and a professional, I say I help M and A professionals close deals by getting meetings and appointments with their ideal prospects. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Awesome. All right, let's go into you the deal maker. You're in Canada, and you kind of niche yourself out into the M, amp a world, right? 


 matt currie
 Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 You're an agency, a business agency that helps people find deals, is that right? 


 matt currie
 That's correct. Yes. 


 Josh Wilson
 All right, so kind of take us through how did you get into the game? Like, why did you choose M and A as a niche? How did you get to this spot? Give us your journey. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. I think I've always had this weird fascination with mergers and acquisitions in general, because it's very strategic, it's complex. There's a lot of moving parts, it's high stakes, and it has a sales component to it, but then it's very, like, tactical and finance on the finance side, too. It just to me, it resonated with me. I had friends that were involved in mergers and acquisitions and big four accounting firms and stuff like that, and they're talked with these deals they're taken down. I'm like, this stuff sounds really cool, but I never found my way into that space. I actually started a marketing agency with two other gentlemen. I was a minority equity owner of it and stay with my current business partner today. We had another gentleman that owned majority of it, and we started a marketing agency. During that time, we scaled back quite rapidly. 


 matt currie
 I think we brought on a little over 500 clients within about a year and a half. Did multiple seven figures in about a year and a half as well. Just what we noticed was a groove. I noticed the groove that when we're bringing on clients that were in the m and a space, we got tremendous results for those individuals, like, astronomical, to the point where they were coming back and raving about the kind of success they were having. My ear was probably already kind of close to the ground, too, because I was already interested in the space. So fast forward a little bit. I ended up starting a different agency now where we are 100% dedicated to working with them and the professionals to find deals. 


 Josh Wilson
 Before we hit record. We were like, all right. Kind of as a part of the journey, I always ask, what questions can I ask? In the process, you said, what I really want to talk about, josh, is when m and a doesn't go well, right? M and a is sexy. Mergers, acquisitions, what are you doing on buying companies? That sounds really cool, but sometimes it doesn't go well. You have a first hand experience of buying, building, and selling a company yourself, and now you help a ton of other people do it. Walk us through walk us through some of the things that you've learned in your own journey of mergers and acquisitions. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. Back at the original agency I talked about, we had one of our clients actually approach us. It made complete sense, too, especially on their end, because they were using our organization to help accelerate not only their own growth to generate leads, but also they're using it for their clients. What they probably were looking at for us as a company was to turn an expense center into a profit center. Why don't we just acquire this group, and we'll bring them under our umbrella, and we'll just have another profit center for ourselves? What's interesting is at that time me and my two other business partners were already talking about a transition and our CEO was looking at doing other things. The timing was just ridiculously on point. They approached us, we're like, this is great timing. The lessons learned was like everything looked good. Kind of meeting into the deal. 


 matt currie
 I would say everything went wrong as soon as we started opening our financials. Okay, so everything on the outset seemed okay. I don't feel that we had a good set of financials that were consistently updated, very clear. We're on point with it. We never had a narrative or performance built ups to tell the story of where we're going and things like that. That raised a lot of confusion and questions, which was one thing. That's one thing I don't think we did a very good job at that one big mistake. Another big mistake I felt we made was meeting the potential buyer who was the buyer. Have isolated silo conversations with individuals on our team and what that started doing. It sounds silly, but it's not like were getting them to talk to frontline troops by themselves, but it was more so even management layers by themselves, but maybe even clusters of other management teams. 


 matt currie
 It started not that there was any malicious intent behind that, but it started creating more questions and almost some drama in a thing. I would put on a bumper sticker that's valuable for everybody is drama cost you money. 


 Josh Wilson
 Okay. 


 matt currie
 Drama cost you money. That was costing us a bunch of emotional capital, if you will. It was expending a lot of people playing the pin the tail and the donkey with each other and stuff. That was the second big lesson I learned during the transition. That was definitely a nightmare. Yes. 


 Josh Wilson
 So with that right. Let's just say you and I got into business and how many employees did you have, team members did you have at that time? 


 matt currie
 I think around 1313 or 14 at that point. At that point back then maybe more. Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 Okay. Let's just say same kind of thing and we have 13 and we find a strategic buyer and they approach us. How would you do that point differently? Like this few things. Books, we're going to get a CFO or fractional cleaning ups. The books get it super tight for three years financials. Right. What about the conversations between. 


 matt currie
 Key team. 


 Josh Wilson
 Employers that's hard to say. And management and employees? Like how would you do that differently? What advice do you have? 


 matt currie
 It's funny. We actually had someone recently even trying to acquire current company and I was able to shoot the sick and lame early in the game and find out if there's something we wanted to move on. So here's what I first do. I would first start very high level and say okay, before we get into talking about numbers and all this other stuff and diving into some deeper really, those are almost due diligence kind of components, let's get into understanding what is your vision in the first place. Whether you're trying to have somebody acquire you or picking majority or minority interest in your company, if your legacy is important to you probably want to understand what is their vision. Okay. I want to see what my vision looks like and to understand those two layers for sure, to see if there's an overlap, because I feel like anything else beyond that does not matter unless those two things are aligned. 


 matt currie
 That's the first thing. Second thing for sure is, yes, you should have an ongoing, consistent set of clean books, financial optics, your financial statements, your income statement, balance sheet statement, cash flows, and have those up to snuff consistently every single month. If there's question marks you have at the end of each month, you should be meeting up with your accountant to have conversations to make sure things are laid out properly so you understand what your numbers are saying. Absolutely. Those two things, first and foremost, I would definitely have going back would have redone those two items is what is the vision and does it overlap with my vision in goals and ambitions, and then with the people potentially transitioning? Secondly is having a very strong tablet set of books that is clear and you understand what is going on and what those numbers are telling you. 


 Josh Wilson
 So key right there. So good. Now, that was your first time selling a business, right? Like, in the future now, or even helping other groups, you've learned something that now you could apply to others. So fast forward to now. You guys stood up an agency wholly focused on the M and A acquisition world, and you're going after deals, right? As you're building this, what are you doing different when it comes to building it in leadership and the structure, the business model, the offer? Like, what are you doing that you learned the first time that you're doing differently? 


 matt currie
 The first thing I said when I started this business, and I've been telling my team this since day one, is I want to have a relentless focus on client retention, not client acquisition. I love client acquisition. I want clients coming in all day long, and we're pretty darn good at it. In fact, that's one of our top strong points for sure. I've always asked myself the question of what would need to happen for my clients to say, I'd have to be crazy to leave Flow, which is my company's name. So that's one thing. Second thing is I wanted to build a world class culture of people. I wanted to make sure I put culture over everything. I don't think we did a very good job at that at our last organization. We were all really relatively tight individuals, but we never had a set of core values and principles that were laid out and focused on for sure. 


 matt currie
 Those are the two things that starting the company kind of lay that groundwork for sure. Starting this business so good. 


 Josh Wilson
 There's a saying in SaaS models or business models, it's the pirate metrics. Right? Have you heard this? They call it the pirate metrics of. 


 matt currie
 Yeah, like MRR and Arr and all that stuff. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. So Aarr acquisition, activation, retention, revenue referral. Right. So this is the growth model. I love that you're saying, like, client acquisition is super important. I've heard this. This guy said, listen, it's cheaper to keep her than to get a new one. Right. It's cheaper to retain than to acquire a new. I love that you say that because a client that you have is better than a client that you don't have. 


 matt currie
 Right. 


 Josh Wilson
 What are some tips you have for client retention? Because it sounds like you guys are focused on it. 


 matt currie
 Yeah, totally. Look, clients end up leaving for one reason only. It's because there's some kind of misaligned expectation or communication line that's been dropped. That's what I would say on a bumper sticker of why clients leave. I like to look at the very beginning of the value chain, which is lead generation, and make sure our message actually matches what we do and it doesn't over promise and talk about fairy tablet things that are unrealistic. Second thing is making sure our sales actually articulate the value proposition and message properly with not over promising and making sure the expectations are aligned. When that's done, then you've got to make sure you have a tight, rigorous onboarding process that keeps the mission and the vision of what we're trying to do for our clients. Top of mind, there's no confusion. That hand off on to actually onboarding, ongoing management is constantly touted and communicated to us because we're a service based business. 


 matt currie
 Right. In any business, really, but especially in service side, we're only as good as yesterday. That was saying the Navy Seals is like, the only easy day was yesterday. I think that's what they say. Well, what we did yesterday does not matter. We need to make sure we're focused on today and consistently communicating with if things are going wrong or things are potentially going wrong or if things are going good, you have to be constantly in that communication line with the client saying, hey, things look like they're going good over here. Just making sure X, Y, and Z or hey, I spot of an error, potentially it might cause some disruption in the next seven days. Here's what we're doing to execute on it. We'll keep you in the loop over this period of time, or if things aren't going good, you have to get in front of it. 


 matt currie
 You can't let things faster. That's what we've been doing is just really toting two things is number one, we have the results for the client that we are promising them, but what keeps them around in trusting us to stay with us during turbulent times is the relationship component and that's where the communication comes in. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. What do you do? Because you say you follow the chain from legion to where it is. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 When you find something as you guys are building and when you start to scale and get other people getting everybody on the same vision, mission, values. Right. Getting everybody on the same place book, how do you do that? Do you guys have a pretty strong, like, SOP docked out or templates and scripts and such like, how do you do that? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, we do have systems and structure and I think that as we've grown and stuff, those things break down and what ends up getting us out of those ruts at the end of the day comes down to culture. It comes down to people saying, hey, this is not tolerable things aren't working out. I'm not going to wait around and wait for an SOP to come down from leadersre. We're big fans of that saying of extreme ownership, like, hey, if you own the results and you're going to take all the ownership of the things that are going great with your clients or your results, you better take ownership of the things that aren't going great too. And you've got to step up. If things aren't looking good, you got to communicate with your team or communicate with your client or find a reason or a way to make this thing work in some way or another. 


 Josh Wilson
 When you build your first agency with this group of people, what were you doing prior to that? Like, what was your career like before getting as a co founder of an agency? What was that? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, so actually started way back when I was 18 years old, I was working for a landscaping company. This is funny because I was working for this landscaping company and I was learning it's really great. Like I had a good mentor at the time and I'm actually still pretty good friends with the guy and he was very entrepreneurial and had big ambitions. One day him and his co founder, who also really good friend of mine to this very day as well, he's actually a very prominent investment banker. Back then these guys were hustling landscaping, right? 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. 


 matt currie
 I was working with these guys and they both approached me one day and said, hey, we're wrapping things up. I don't know, this thing ain't working or we just don't want to do this anymore. We're just going to kind of liquidate the assets and off you go. This is your schedule for much longer than working. I went back home and I had no idea what I was doing with Ma. Like I didn't even know what the heck M and A was back then. Okay, I put together a deal. I said, Why don't I just take everything over? I'll pay you a dollar on paper to say I own these things now. Over a certain period of time, I guess this is an earned or they're holding paper. I'll pay you over a period of time to take this thing over that's valued at this much. 


 matt currie
 And they said yes. I beat that drum for about three or four years and doubled its revenue, tripled its bottom line. I was learning about monthly recurring revenue and the power of that at the time because it was a very project based business, was mixed with some reoccurring stuff. I started figuring out like, hey, these project things are annoying. Sure, they're like these nice little bursts of revenue, but I started learning that, like, acquiring assets don't translate over to the whole season properly and realize they thought I was crazy. I was like, I'm going to fire these kinds of contracts and only focus on these and stuff. I built a nice little recurring model that was able to give me the ability to bust my entrepreneurial chops and learn from AI. AI transcription marketing Space I was working with marketing for LASK practices and that actually got me into the realm of understanding what private equity is. 


 matt currie
 Because when I was doing marketing for these label practices, I thought, I wonder how I could get more LASIK practices by doing less work. And I learned about private equity. Private equity owns these portfolios of all these Ophthalmology practices. That's how I started learning how to do effective outreach to get attention of players, right. I started reaching these managing directors and these managing partners via cold email, cold outreach and running a process and getting them on the phone with me where I can start to have a dialogue with them on how I can help them grow their practices. It also enabled me to focus on what do these guys care about? They sure they want to grow them, but they want to focus on increasing its enterprise value. I had to then position my product in a way to help them increase the enterprise value of their portfolio. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, super cool. Quick question about recurring revenue in Canada. Doesn't it like snow year round and there's no grass up there and you just like, I don't know. 


 matt currie
 Yeah, like I said, we have the poor bears outside. This is actually in a blue seasonal business for sure. We have falls. It's very fall clean up oriented. The summer where mowing, fertilizer, weed control, things like that. Again you're doing the spring or fall clean up and then winter you do and plowing and stuff like that. It was very up and down and wonky I. Did what I could to actually I created a program, I simplified things, and I started learning about having focus. Focus is very important. Look at the Fortune 400 majority of those people, and Warren Buffett talks about this. They focused and built their net worth based off of one really great, beautiful business. They didn't diversify into a million and a half different things. They built a good, strong tablet organization. That kind of comes back down to when I was at that company. 


 matt currie
 I focused one thing, which was one program, and I sold that one program, and it was paid out over a month to month basis. It just gave me consistent monthly reoccurring revenue in that weird industry. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Awesome. Say a few words for me. 


 matt currie
 Say about out a boat. 


 Josh Wilson
 It's a boot. Got it. When you made your first in marketing, right, you branched out on your own. You learned, Man, I love this. You can sell all day long to a basic practice, an ophthalmologist, right? You go, we can help you get new leads. We can help you get whatever. Or you could go to a private equity group and you have oh, you have ten in your portfolio. Let me help you increase the portfolio value systems and processes and scales across both. Beautiful. Nice work done. When you went out and you built your first, focus is important. What was your focus in the beginning? Or was it let's figure the s*** out and let's go after a bunch and then narrow down over time. How did you approach the launch? 


 matt currie
 The launch of the next agency? 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Or even this last agent? Well, this last one, it was because M and A and you narrowed your niche. 


 matt currie
 Right. But before that, yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 How did you find your niche? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, I wouldn't even know if we found a niche. Like, what we ended up doing was and by the way, that was a big problem in the company. That was one of the biggest issues. I said that was a disaster because I felt like we're always playing pin the tail on the donkey with all these different industries that we couldn't get a consistent system down with. That's why, look, you look at private equity funds, there's a reason why they have strike zones, because they know they're going to perform really good in these asset classes. Building a business, same thing is I feel like it's okay to go broad at the beginning. To start here's, CRE principles I go by, you need throughput first and then add friction later. You kind of have to cast out and understand what's kind of coming in. You kind of get that quantity coming in, and then you can start dialing in. 


 matt currie
 Oh, wow. This target market really likes this product. And this product gets really good results. I should drill into that groove deeper, and then that's what we should have done. We didn't were kind of smoking our own exhaust because were, like, growing fast and the clients were coming and going. Results were inconsistent and we're well, we're still making this thing still in millions of dollars. That's panic out, but we never thought of the future. There was some instability and place of foundation, for sure. I would say that we didn't do the right thing there. 


 Josh Wilson
 Interesting. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 Now, were you really making millions of dollars or loonies? 


 matt currie
 So the business was still making yeah. Profit wise, it was a relatively profitable company. Like I said, it's definitely not as profitable as we have now. It was like the margins were okay, they're good enough. The problem is that if things could stop working relatively fast and it could crumble quite quickly, like, the business was not very stable. I also don't think that we have things structured proverbs with market based wages and things. Our numbers were probably buffed in the wrong direction. If we really built a proper.org chart with market based wages and stuff, I think our bottom line would start to drop out. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. I love the way you look at business. It's super fascinating, and I'm learning a lot. When you look at top line, were making a lot of money. As a young entrepreneur, when you're making a lot of money and you're like, wow, we're crushing it. You look at the bank account at the end of the day and you're making payroll and you're doing all this, you're like, where did dogs go? The profits eat up. That why you think focus is so important, to help improve the bottom line? As you're building that, where should you put your focus as a CEO, as a founder? 


 matt currie
 Yeah. Well, when you're building, I think you really need to put a lot of tremendous effort on marketing and sales. I know that's generally what I don't focus as much of my time on anymore, but you definitely need to go out and bang on doors and generate revenue and start meeting traction. Absolutely. When you have a simplified model, like simple scales, fancy fails. 


 Josh Wilson
 Say that again? 


 matt currie
 Simple scales, fancy fails. I like that. The more simple you can make things, the easier it is to communicate with other team members. The easier it is for them to understand what the plan is, the easier for them to execute on it. It's easier for them to duplicate the system over and over again. Once you get that humming and the structure is relatively solid, then you can start making symbiotic edges. Outside of that, maybe you can start bolting on some, look at your current resources or assets you have and start kind of maybe adding some little layers of different products or maybe branching into different markets that are symbiotic. So, for example, I'm not going to do deal sourcing for M and folks in the morning or in the day and plumbing services at night. That's not symbiotic. I should be focused on my one thing and building little edges out from outside of it. 


 matt currie
 That's how I would start and really how you start to scale and make sure you have a profitable model as you grow. Here's one thing I'll tell you too that's really important that I've learned. Scalability and of itself creates complexity. Even when you have a simple model with simple things, the more scalability you have, it takes on more complexity because there's new systems that worked at $2 million a year ain't going to work at 5 million. It's going to require new critical drivers and optics and dashboards. It's going to require new SOPs we rely a lot on Google and Microsoft. They change the rules and we have to play by the rules. We have to be aware of that and have new team members that are 100% focused on following and making sure the rules are there. That could blow our business up if we don't do it. 


 matt currie
 Scalability in and of itself creates complexity. That's one thing we can't get too caught up in shiny Penny Syndrome because something else could be coming around the corner with your simple model that works really well and you got to create that defensibility around it. 


 Josh Wilson
 Building defensibility, building around your business, right. How do you do that as a marketing agency? Because I see a lot of agencies out there's a lot of competition. How do you build a defensive mode around your business? 


 matt currie
 Ours and of itself? The one thing I like to say is our positioning alone is a bit of a defensibility and a differentiator it's part of our brand. Like our positioning is, hey, we are only focused on the space. This is all we do. We live, we eat, we breathe. It enables us to have the systems in place to get the job done. That's why we're actually able to guarantee our results. Cool. That's one thing that I would definitely say defensibility. So that's a brand. I definitely think brands there. Another thing that I've noticed too, is I like to look at what are the biggest people in sectors doing to create defensibility? I've been looking at some of the giants in the marketing agency world and one that stands out to me is Scorpion. Scorpion, they're huge. They have a few different sectors they focus in. 


 matt currie
 They're doing multiple nine figures. They're investing in a lot of their software infrastructure to capture the value they're meeting for their clients and make their clients more effective from the results they're getting. Therefore, they have it all how their business pretty much starts to operate and run off of Scorpions platform. Starting to look to integrate more dependability on your services creates a most because clients kind of have to go it kind of creates that I hate this word is so overused expression software. It's created that stickiness or dependability of key. What, if I leave this company, I'm going to have to carry all of this other stuff over and it's going to be frustrating. 


 Josh Wilson
 Right? I think it's so good. That's why it's working so well. I've heard mixed reviews on Scorpion. Like I haven't used it myself or I might have and I didn't even know it, but I heard that it's maybe not even the best, but they create this dependency on it and to move the cost of moving the cost of switching the cost of is too big of a headache. People won't do it. Like when's the last time you guys changed her auto insurance or this or that? Once you get some things, you're stuck with it for a while. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 It's smart business as you guys are building. Actually, let me do another candidate questions. When's the last time you had a Timmy's? 


 matt currie
 Honestly, it's been a couple of weeks. Because that's a great question of the way it's been a couple of weeks. I've been addicted to Starbucks for sure, more so, but Tim's definitely it has my heart, but two weeks to answer your question. 


 Josh Wilson
 So for us, floridians. What is Timmy's? 


 matt currie
 Timmy's is called Tim Hortons and it is named after an XL NHL player from the Toronto I believes. And it's a coffee shop. It's like the Canadian version of Starbucks. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. If you go up to Canada, you better try Tim Hortons because it's really good coffee doughnuts in the midst, but it's fun. Everybody up there is super loyal to Timmy's. 


 matt currie
 They totally are. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Except you, man. You're switching over to Starbucks. 


 matt currie
 Sorry. 


 Josh Wilson
 Back to deals. As were going through this, you mentioned that you focus a lot on principles. 


 matt currie
 Right. 


 Josh Wilson
 I think in the world of deal makers, we're focused on the tactics like, just show me how it's freaking done and I can do it. You're like, well, it's more of a let's focus on principles first. Let's talk about principles versus tactics. Explain why that's important. 


 matt currie
 Yeah, because I feel like I'm inherently lazy. I just want to learn things once and say, hey, if I understand this principle or a truism in life, then the tactics of how it's executed is always going to change. I just need to find smart people so other people to be monitoring those changes tactically and to be updated. As long as I understand the principles and foundations, I know that I can always reflect back on them to get results. Like here's one, for example, is the more people you reach out to, the more people you end up doing business with. That's just a fundamental I know that sounds silly and it's amazing. It's rocket science. I know, but it's a fundamental is it profound? I don't know. It's worked for me and it's worked for my businesses. Yeah, that's the reason why I feel like as the owner of my company, I think a lot of people nowadays value being a specialist. 


 matt currie
 I think I pride myself on being a bit of a generalist. Being a generalist, I get to look at principles across different departments or different sections of business and operate off those principles and be able to ask my leadersre in those departments good questions that are based around principles so we don't lose sight of that because sometimes we can get a little too far down the path of excitement. Running enthusiastically in the wrong direction and coming back to the principles enables us to get refocused. 


 Josh Wilson
 It comes to business development, cold outreach like knocking on doors, right? Banging on doors, trying to tackle some deals. Principle versus tactic. Tactic is what do I say? Right? Tell me exactly what to say. What does the subject line say? This, what time of the day? Right? Those are kind of like the tactics. Principles are what give us an example. Tactic might be like, would you be open to a conversation? Would you be open? Whatever, right? That's a tactic principle. Give us an idea on a principle that works across business development. 


 matt currie
 Well, here's CRE principles episode, especially if you're doing cold outreach in general. It's crazy. I see people all the time talking about, oh, I want quality over quantity. I want to send the perfect email that's really relational and I highlight all these things about people and I want everybody to reply back with a warm and fuzzy and meeting, I want quality here's. The fact of the matter is when you're doing cold outreach, the majority of people are not going to respond to you at all or let alone book a call with you. You're going to look at about a 3% booking rate for cold outreach, okay? That means for every 100 people you reach out to, 3% are going to book a call with you. People go, oh, my response rate is way higher. I didn't say response rate. Our response rate is in the 20, some 30% too. 


 matt currie
 I'm talking about actually getting a call book with you. Call out of reach. You got to realize that you have to start at some point you're going to have to run larger numbers. I learned this from one of my mentors whose work he just sold a financial services company to Transamerica, which is a financial service insurance company, publicly traded. He's worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He said you all need to focus on running larger numbers. Like, the numbers at some point just become the numbers. You have to stop getting so caught up in the little nuances. Yes, have somebody look at those little nuances and adjust them. You have to just get over the fact that you will have to run larger numbers to grow zoom, right? 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Everyone who says it's not a numbers game, I think that they're selling something, right? Yes. You can optimize. I believe in optimization, 100% optimized. You have to have a data set big enough to optimize and split test to know if it's true or not or you're just getting lucky. 


 matt currie
 Yes. 


 Josh Wilson
 So good man. With that said, give us two or three tips on cold outreach that has worked for you. Totally. 


 matt currie
 Yes. This is actually a mixture of both of them too. Whenever I send a cold atreach message, I can include three to four components in the message connection, credibility, curiosity, and call to action. I stack those four things in any kind of call to reach out to connection means that I'm trying to show the individual and reaching out to them that I have some kind of connection that is relevant to them, that I can solve problems to them that are relevant or help them capture opportunities that are relevant. Okay. For an example, my one liner that I talked about shows that I solve problems that are relevant to them. My one liner is I help M and A professionals close more deals by giving them meetings and appointments with their ideal prospects. That's a problem that's relevant to me. I didn't say, hey, Bob, I saw your LinkedIn profile and saw you have a golden retriever. 


 matt currie
 My parents had one as well. That's not connecting with them. They're like, what do you want? Right. You got to get over this whole I need to make it personable and all this stuff. Yes. If you can find ways to do that without being weird, do it. People more care about why you're reaching out to me, why are you relevant to my world, what relevant problem can you solve? That's how? You can open up by number one, creating some kind of connection to them in some way. If you have a referral, the connection. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. 


 matt currie
 Hey, look, I was talking to Bob the lawyer. Looks like we both use him on some transactions he mentioned. He got brought up in conversation. That's a good connection. That is starting to get in the relevant. I like to start to open up with the connection. Next thing is to show why I'm credible. Okay. I can say, hey, for example, we've worked on these kinds of transactions with these kinds of businesses and get these kinds of economic results from it. At the end of the day, if you're reaching out to, especially in business, people are going to care about me, increase my income, are going to help me decrease my costs, are going to help me expand my market share. Those are the three things. You got to kind of tie an economic component around that credibility so that's track record thirdly, the big thing, curiosity. 


 matt currie
 What do you have for me? Okay, cool. I like you. You're solving problems. You seem like a pretty incredible individual, but at least it sounds a bit why do you want to talk? Why should I spend my time with you? What do you have? Right? For M Amp A professionals, let's say you're an intermediary. One thing we like to say is, hey, there's a lot of things changing right now in e commerce. A lot of private equity group are kind of starting to bow out. Valuations are adjusting. The value drivers I'm happy to share some insights of what's happening. If you are considering a potential exit, that's curiosity. I want to jump on a call, share something with you. Last thing, call to action. What do you want me to do next? Here's one way to always remember whether or not you have a good call to action. 


 matt currie
 Are you ending your messages with a question mark? So here's an example. Does Thursday work at 03:00 P.m. Or how does your availability look over the next two weeks, say Thursday the 19th at four or Friday the 20th at whatever, 10:00 A.m.? The customer. That is the call to action. Again, connection, credibility, curiosity, call to action. That's a nice CRE principles tactic that you can intertwine together to have really effective outreach messages. 


 Josh Wilson
 Let's play the game of what are some bad outreaches? Right? I've got now 20 something followers on LinkedIn, right? Not bragging, but with that comes a lot of s*** messages in my inbox. Here's one. Dear parentheses, first name because they didn't tag their automation store, right? Maybe, hey guys, if you're going to use automation tools, do whatever you're going to do, but get the s*** right? Because I just immediately ignore what are some bad things that you have seen in the industry? 


 matt currie
 Well, the biggest one, I mean, I think this for sure, way too much, way too soon, way too detailed. It's creepy. So you don't walk up to people. You got to look at lead generation, like dating, literally. By the way, I'm not a dating coach, okay? Don't take anything I'm saying for real. But listen to me on this. You have to treat lead generation like dating. You don't walk up to somebody the first time and say, hey, I know I just met you. I love the way you look. I'm going to go to Hawaii next week. Do you want to get on a plane with me and fly there? That's weird. That's way too much, way too soon, way too fast. Crazy. I call that detail creep. Detail creep or just being creepy. We send way too much to people. It's hard to consume and understand what's going on. 


 matt currie
 A lot of times too is the messages can be vague as well. You might be not really getting to the point. Like if you think about it especially, let's say you're reaching out to do deals with somebody, especially, and think of yourself too. You just want people to get to the point, what I'm saying? It's like, what specifically do you want? I have not particularly subscribed to the idea of thinking around like, I'm going to send people blog posts to read and consume and send them this and send team chat. Because for me, that's not really building value. For me, I kind of know what you're doing. You know what I'm saying? What do you want? That's where I say relevance is more important than personalization. Like, get to the point, keep it brief, don't get into detail creep, keep it clear. Like you said, if you are doing automation of some sort, get people's names spelled right, things like that. 


 matt currie
 Those are some fundamentals. I think the detail piece, though, just throwing up on people's, a big mistake that I see. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. LinkedIn tips. Let's give a LinkedIn tip. Connection outreach. First message followed up by second message. Give us a tactic or principle on how to play well on LinkedIn. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. So here's an example. This is going back. If you want to figure out how do you make things relevant, get more focused, get uncomfortably focused with who you're reaching out to. So, for example, I have an M and social advisors client that probably does the most transactions in the world in pest control. He sells all kinds of deals to the big, like rent to kill and terminate the and all these big dial, these are the buyers that go to him. Say what deals you got? Cause you're the best. We got really focused on his messaging in that space. He also does some stuff in landscaping and solar and all stuff. We're like, hey, you're the best in the world of this. Let's just focus on this. In the connection message, when you're sending on LinkedIn, for example, you don't want to sell anything on the connection message or try to ask them to do anything. 


 matt currie
 You just want to ask them to connect. That's it. What we say for him, for example, is we go, Hi, Jessica, was looking to connect with other pest control professionals in your space, came across your profile open to connect to your question mark. Boom. The whole goal there is just for them to say, okay, this is a real person. That's like being somewhat relevant, right? Not this vague, broad, weird message that makes people go, you're obviously just going to try to sell me something. Going back to what CRE principles was there. Get uncomfortably focused on a target market and try to tie that into the connection message somehow. Be brief to the point, don't go crazy about it. That's the one thing on connection request. What's funny is that we actually have people replying to messages like that just the connection request saying hey, it's funny. 


 matt currie
 You asked me to connect. Me and my wife were thinking of selling our business. We looked at your LinkedIn profile and saw you help business owners in our space south. Do you want to have a conversation? We have so many case studies like that. Here's a lead for you, right? That's connection message. Now, you want to know what other stuff you should include LinkedIn. You have to be relatively brief, even more brief than email. You have to kind of get to the point tighter. Principles still apply the same thing as the connection. Credibility, curiosity, call to action. Let them know Key took a peek at their profile. Be genuinely curious. Hey, I was just curious. Have you guys ever considered looking at potentially exiting over the next year to two years? And the question mark? The reason why I ask is because this is what we do, and you tell them what you do. 


 matt currie
 If interested happen to jump on a call to see if this is something you want to discuss more on question mark, like, what I'm saying? So having those little pieces to it. 


 Josh Wilson
 Team Chat sounds like a conversation you would have with someone at a pub, right? That doesn't sound like a marketing piece. It doesn't sound like this weird pick up line. It's just like, hey, man, you're doing that? I'm doing that. Would you ever be interested in it? Sounds like a real conversation. I love it. Good job, man. 


 matt currie
 Yeah. Thank you. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Detail creep. I got this one message on my phone, and I had to scroll it on LinkedIn, and I didn't even read it once. I had to scroll more than two to three times. I was like, I'm done. 


 matt currie
 CRE principles should look at your phone when you grab the message, you should be able to look at it in your phone and without any kind of scroll, just be able to scan the whole thing. That's a CRE principles there. Looking at that way. 


 Josh Wilson
 Another question. What's? Molson muscle. 


 matt currie
 Molson Muscle? Is that like a beer? Canadian beer of some sort? I couldn't tell you. I mean, you might want to ask some of the rednecks. I couldn't even tell you the fact that you said Molson. I'm like, it's probably some kind of beer of some sort with Canadians. That's what I got for you there, brother. 


 Josh Wilson
 It's what the Canadians call a beer belly up there. 


 matt currie
 Oh, that makes sense. Yeah. Love that. 


 Josh Wilson
 My cousins taught me that. They're up in Canada, they taught me about Molson, which is terrible. Sorry, guys. If you love Molson I don't. All right, so back to deals. Again, sorry, I got that side. The fun thing about having a microphone is, like, the things that roll through your head. You're allowed to say, yeah, awesome. In the world of MMA, what are you seeing? We're in 2022, September as we're recording this, what trends are you seeing? Like, I'm seeing a lot of the baby boomer businesses, the service based businesses, they're starting to get old. Their kids don't want it, they don't trust their kids or whatever and they're starting to do a lot of movement there. What are you seeing? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, I'll touch on deeper too and I'll go into some other markets. Yeah, there's a huge wealth transfer happening right now. Baby boomers, I think they control the most amount of wealth right now in the world and they're looking to transition out of that. They just went through COVID and some of them were considering selling through Covet and then their solutions took a huge dive and a lot of their advisors, rightfully so, we're saying, hey, maybe you should honestly ride through this to see and get back to where you were before. That way when people are looking to buy your business, you're not selling it for a third to two. This the price you could have got before Covet. Let's just get through this and get back. Now we're facing a recession or I guess a potential recession and there's stuff going on the market and there's more uncertainty. 


 matt currie
 Here's the thing, boomers are looking to just say, key, what, I don't know how long this thing's going to go, I don't know if I'm going to run it through anymore. There's a lot of deals going on market that can be swooped up and people are flinching. That's one, the baby boomer wealth transfer is huge in the trillions of dollars. I don't know the exact amount, but that's a big one. You want to look at different sectors that spiked because of a triggering event like ecommerce. Ecommerce had a huge wave because Covet hit and everybody and their cat could make money in ecommerce because people had no other option. These aggregators and stuff were coming together with some cash, I guess they call them garage band funds. They would get some cash and they could make some money for a little while. What ends up happening is they weren't following, they didn't have good business skills or tools or they're riding a wave. 


 matt currie
 What ends ups happening is the business started to collapse because the direct to consumer model or the ecommerce model, the habits of people started shifting back to the traditional way of doing business before Covet and those kinds of businesses now they're falling apart. Those are some opportunities if you want to swoop them up for cheaper or maybe purchase certain assets and strip those assets out and bring them in your own model or do a turnaround or be that savior and say, hey, we can integrate your business in over here as a Bolton for ours and here's the resources we provide and we can do this thing together. Those are some examples of an industry, for example, That has some waves going on that you can go and grab. I would do an assessment of what marries over your skills and expertise and what is the marketplace doing and see if you can kind of find a thread or a nuance that you could pick up and do well with. 


 Josh Wilson
 So good, man. Such an interesting thing. We're spending some time in e commerce, acquisitions, and we're finding that maybe a year ago, 2021, the numbers were just ridiculous and now people are paying more attention to, okay, maybe I should sell this, but let's be real estate. So super interesting. Let's do this. I'm going to ask you a few more questions and then we're going to wrap up for the day. You're awesome, by the way. I've had a lot of fun with you. 


 matt currie
 Likewise. 


 Josh Wilson
 Thank you. Where can people go to connect with you and do a deal? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn. Just like my name Ups, Mattio Curie, that's Currie, not Y, like the spice. So, yeah. Curry macron. LinkedIn. And also our website, so it's outflow. Agency outflow with my accent is spelled O-U-T-F-L-O-W. Agency. Go there, check us out. This is how you spell it if you want to see on a bumper sticker here. So oat flow like that. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, that's an awesome mug I got. 


 matt currie
 Oh, thanks. Yeah, well, like I got the deal maker on the other side there. 


 Josh Wilson
 Boom. Look at that. Hey, how do we earn a yeti? What do I have to do to earn a yeti? 


 matt currie
 Yeah, will you ping me over your mailing address? I'll make sure I send you one. All of our clients get one of these when they come on board. You get a nice mug, you get some nice attire and stuff like that. We send all of our clients this nice yeti mugs. 


 Josh Wilson
 Nice. All right, I'll send you my address. I won't say it live on the show, but I'll have some detail creeps. 


 matt currie
 Knocking on my totally, you will, yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 Second question, we're going to probably have three total just to kind of prime the pump there. During this interview, there's probably a question that I should have asked you that I screwed up and did not ask you. What question do you wish I would have asked you? 


 matt currie
 One question actually I've been thinking about recently is a lot of people say if you have one skill set, if everyone can take everything away from you, what's one skill you could have to rebuild everything all over again? I heard people say all kinds of different things. One thing I've never actually heard people say that is truly authentic to me and full integrity with is leadersre, your ability to lead, be a good leadersre. The way I look at being a good leader is you're able to orchestrate a group of people to be able to work together and collaborate together all in their own best interest to accomplish some kind of mission, some kind of target, some kind of goal that we're all after. If you develop good leadership skills and tools, I think that is a very transferable skill set in any market, in any business, in any situation in life. 


 Josh Wilson
 I love that, man. What is one thing you're doing intentionally to grow rhett rross full of leadersre? 


 matt currie
 Investing in myself. I get around the best of the best in leadership and I learn. I read books, I zoom, web conference. I get around the movers and shakers in that space, and that's what I do. Investing back into me. 


 Josh Wilson
 Super cool. Matt, you're awesome. One more question. I'm going to pull ups this deck of cards. I have questions on it. It's a cheap way for podcast, SOP s a question. Okay, here we go. Here's the question. Let's read it. All right. So how old are you? 


 matt currie
 28. 


 Josh Wilson
 Okay. When you're 80, I can't do math. What is something that you're going to look back on and go and be very fond of? Right. That you're going to go, man, that was really cool when I was 28. 


 matt currie
 Well, you know what? This answer is going to sound very simple. It's going to be that I was proud to be that old and Max like my age at 28 and just focused on each day of being grateful for my age, I think. Now it's funny. This is so weird because I've talked about Chris Cook. I value my age right now more than anything else. I don't care about yes, I want to pursue my wealth goals, my financial goals, my relationships and all that, but I just wake up every day. The fact that I can go into a gym and work my a*** off in that gym and physically exert myself without worrying about having a heart attack, I value that more than my potential network that I'm going to go over time. I can guarantee when I'm 80 years old, I'm going to look back and be proud that I did that at 28, 29, 30 years old. 


 Josh Wilson
 Super cool. One more time, where do people go to connect with you? 


 matt currie
 LinkedIn. Mattio Curry. Look me up or go to my website, upload agency. 


 Josh Wilson
 Awesome. Fellow deal makers, thank you for listening into this. Hey, if you're in acquisitions, mergers and acquisitions and you need some help with finding deals, head on over to outflow dot agency. Connect that say, hey, heard you on the deal scout and I want to do a deal with you. If you have a deal that you'd like to talk about here on the show or maybe you want to connect with one of our guests in the past, head on over to thedealscout.com fill out a quick form and maybe you could be the next guest on the show and we'll talk about deals. If you go back and count how many times I say deals on this show and it's accurate because I'm not going to do it. I'll give you, like, a dollar or something like that. Just send me a message and say you said deals like, 100 times. 


 Josh Wilson
 Anyways, talk to you guys on the next episode. 



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Matt Currie

CEO

Matt Currie is CEO of OutFlow - a Deal Sourcing company that helps M&A professionals close more deals by securing meetings with their ideal prospects.

OutFlow works with over 150+ M&A Professionals and has tracked over $500MM in transaction value for their clients.