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The Two Halves of Outbound Marketing: Acquiring and Inspiring

“Successful” doesn’t begin to describe Tim and Cindy Dodd, although they are. Definitively so. Their company,, has a 97% success rate with more than 700 online service providers, who they’ve helped close sales worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of months. But success—like a sale or a new client—is an end result, and the Dodds are just getting started.

“Ambitious” is a better adjective for PEMA’s founders and their small team. The company’s central value is, in fact, “resolved to win.” It’s the tenet that PEMA was founded upon, lives by and shares with its clients.

In the cold, cold world of outbound marketing, PEMA has broken from the pack saturated with self-proclaimed gurus who offer sales strategies and training courses. Tim and Cindy cut to the chase: acquiring clients rather than simply generating leads.

“Lead generation is pointless if you don’t have a really solid sales process to convert those leads into paying clients,” Cindy says. For example, PEMA can send a hundred really good leads—ideal targets, in fact—to one company, and they don’t close them. “And we can send a hundred leads to another company, and [they’re] their ideal target, and they’re able to close 20 or 30% of them. The difference between the two is a very dialed-in sales process that’s focused on client acquisition versus just lead generation,” Cindy explains.

PEMA is that dialed-in process focused on client acquisition. The system generates qualified, vetted sales meetings so you can be on calls and signing up clients within days of installation. It addresses the full sales cycle, from when someone says “yes” to a call till the day they ink the deal.

Outbound marketing principles and client acquisition

In the last six years, the Dodds have executed more than 100 million reach-outs to customers in every industry from fashion and banking to food and beverage. In that time, they’ve acquired a trove of data on human behavior principles, on what works and what doesn’t. That data is 90% of what PEMA’s outbound process is built on, they say.

“Persuasion techniques come and go. Human behavior principles are unchanging,” Tim says. “Scalability for customers is all about repeating the processes and the principles that are pretty unchanging.” PEMA installs those.

PEMA’s origins date back to when Tim was running a car detailing shop in Kansas City. He became so skilled at SEO that his shop was receiving 20 to 30 calls a day, but when he tried to transition this talent into the B2B space and launch his own SEO agency, he discovered that the move was harder than he thought.

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“I was a little disillusioned about the sales cycle, lead generation and client acquisition in the B2B space,” he says. “[Great marketing agencies] might do a great job at getting customers for their customers, but a lot of them have an incredibly difficult challenge to get their own customers.”

Realizing he wasn’t alone in this disillusionment, that other B2B entrepreneurs didn’t understand the industry, Tim started building out a way to address that gap. The result was the foundation of what he and Cindy call PEMA 1.0.

“We call it PEMA 1.0 because Tim grew PEMA really fast,” Cindy says. “He had employees and a team…. He was really good at marketing and sales. But the operations of the company, the culture of the team, just weren’t solid. And so, during our honeymoon in 2020, I found out that his company was crashing.”

Fixing a toxic culture

Although Tim’s ambition had identified a gap in outbound, he had overlooked an internal gap: his company’s culture. He called working at PEMA 1.0 “bad and toxic” and held himself responsible for letting the workplace become so.

“When I first started PEMA 1.0, it grew fast, and I just thought I was, like, ‘The Internet Entrepreneur.’ I thought I had made it. But I did a bad job of building culture,” Tim says. “The business crashed because of my failure as a leader to build the right company and culture and operations.”

That’s where Cindy came in. Her expertise is in people: When she and Tim got married in 2020—in the final months of PEMA 1.0—she was running a successful career coaching business that was helping people land dream jobs, even in an economy crippled by pandemic-induced layoffs. By bringing her talents to the table at PEMA, she and Tim were able to repair the company’s missing link.

“We built it from the grave up,” Cindy says. “I was really good at hiring, recruiting, operations. That was my background. And Tim being really good at marketing and sales, we just had a perfect alignment in our skills. And that is how we got to running what we call PEMA 2.0 together.”

PEMA 2.0

PEMA 2.0, the PEMA that’s breaking the mold of outbound marketing today, has left everything “toxic and bad” in its dust. Tim and Cindy established a set of company values and only recruit people who are perfectly aligned with those values—particularly those of personal ambition.

“Our mission and this journey that we’re on is to empower each other,” Cindy says. “It’s to empower our team to see them hit their goals. And, ultimately, it’s to win. We talk about that ‘resolve to win.’ We believe it. We don’t know the limits of our potential.”

Tim says that his own professional motivation was transformed along with PEMA. He and Cindy are focused on helping people succeed—financially and professionally—rather than simply “making a bunch of money and being a cool internet entrepreneur.”

“We have teammates in our tribe who are hitting five-year goals in six months. They’re buying rental properties to make passive income. They’re buying houses for their parents,” he says. “What drives me every single day is wanting to see these amazing people… hit their goals. There’s nothing more rewarding.”

Indeed, the Dodds are helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals beyond the PEMA tribe, too, from helping their paying clients secure new clients of their own to providing free marketing strategies on their podcast, The Takeover with Tim and Cindy, that gives entrepreneurs of every stage the tools to transform ambitions into realities.

This article originally appeared in the July/Aug 2024 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photo by Igor Trifonov/Courtesy of PEMA.

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