marketing gurus and backwards ball caps

I have a blanket policy of turning down all sales meetings.

The tricky part comes when you don’t know it’s a sales meeting.

We’d recently announced that Discosloth was hiring. I was looking for a paid search specialist, and it took me a few months to find the right fit. Those few months brought an onslaught of inquiries and emails and phone calls – people looking for a job, people trying to sell outsourcing services, people selling software.

I turned them all down, except for an email from a fellow who’d gone to the same college I did (you know how old boy networks work…can’t say no). He wanted to catch up.

I didn’t know the guy, but knew of him. He had started a PPC company as well, and there was likely a lot of common ground. Why not?

Within moments of opening up the Zoom call, I knew it was a mistake. “Catching up” was code for selling me some outsourcing (turns out, he white labels management services to agencies).

But that didn’t bother me – sales are sales, I expect that.

What bothered me was the verbiage. Arrogance dripping from his tone. Backwards ball cap. Everything was 10x this and 10x that. He was crushing it. He was generating massive value. You know, that sort of Grant Cardone steroid-style snake oil.

“Why hire an employee when you can get the same value through white-labeling?” he asked. “We can do it for $300 per account.”

But it gets better.

He claimed to have been a millionaire by the age of 24. His goal was to scale his agency to 1000 employees.

He flipped his ball cap frontwards.

And then he casually offers to buy my agency. “Yeah if you ever want to be acquired, just let me know,” he said.

He had one of those standing desks. Talked about how he showed up to work before sunrise every day.

“So is your business like a lifestyle thing?” he asked, with just enough condescension to piss me off, but not enough to make me hang up.

Yeah, it’s a lifestyle thing. We work and we make money. What of it?

He flipped his ball cap around again, now once again backwards. He flexed.

What is it with ball caps and marketing gurus?

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