Relationship Management with CRM Pioneer + CEO of Nimble Jon Ferrara

Relationship Management with CRM has become table stakes and who better than Jon Ferrara one of the early pioneers of CRM to interview! He shares so many gems…

Nathaniel Schooler 0:21
Today I’m interviewing Jon, a CRM and Relationship Management entrepreneur and noted speaker about Social Media’s effects on Sales and Marketing.

He has re-imagined CRM by building a Simply Smarter Social Sales and Marketing platform for GSuite and Office 365, his most recent venture is and Jon is no stranger to PR as that is the purpose of using a social CRM.

It is the first CRM that works for you by building and updating contact data for you, and then works with you, everywhere you work.

Ferrara is best known as the co-founder of GoldMine Software Corp, one of the early pioneers in the Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software categories for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs). He has recently been recognized on Forbes as one of the Top 10 Social CEO’s, Top 10 Social Salespeople In The World and Top 100 Marketing Influencers.

So let’s dig into the show.

Well it’s great to be joined by you Jon. I’ve kind of watched watched you grow Nimble and I’m really excited to sort of learn a bit more about about you and CRM obviously!

Don’t forget to use the link below and the voucher code JON40

Nimble Free Trial and 40% OFF for 3 Months Click Here 

Jon Ferrara 1:35
Well, it’s a pleasure to be with you today. I think that we’re on this planet to grow by helping other people grow and any chance that I have to connect with another human being for conversation especially about how we might inspire and educate other people to achieve their dreams is a pretty great day for me. So I appreciate the opportunity to connect to for this conversation.

Nathaniel Schooler 1:59

Super. You were involved with a company called Goldmine back in the day.

Which was when I had a lady in the office who had a Rolodex.

When I worked at my Dad’s firm, we had a winery, and she would come along and she would say, she was very posh English lady.

And she would say:-

“Oh, Nathaniel, you must you must call this lady this week. She’s got a new buyer in her garden centre, or, you know, whatever. And here’s the number and you must call her and speak to her.”

But the beauty of of the software that you’ve created now which which is called nimble CRM, is it gives me all that information and more right.

Jon Ferrara 2:52
Yes, I mean, if you think about business people buy from people that they like know and trust and in the old days you went into somebody’s office and you got to know them. You looked at the books, and the degrees, and the knickknacks, and the photographs and all that gave you clues into who they were.

And of course, you did research into what their business was about. And you did this in order to figure out a way you might be able to add value.

And then you shared what you had in common with the person in order to break the ice and build the intimacy and trust so if they open up to you about their businesses use which as a professional you can then solve and today you have to do that all electronically you Google somebody before meeting and then you’re supposed to go log that in the CRM.

And then you need to engage with them on whatever channel you can and then you know the past that was that in person and the phone and facts and now it’s email and social and and then you have to go back to the CRM and log it and I think it’s too much work and and I think the reason they called Salesforce have to force sales people to use it.

Nobody in their right mind would use a CRM if they want beat on to do it. And that’s the reason why there’s 225 million global businesses and less than 1%, use any CRM because you work for it, And you have to go to it to use it.

And my belief is that you shouldn’t have to work for your CRM. It should work for you by building itself and then work with you wherever you work. Because if you’re not in the trenches, in the river, having conversations, building relationships, and staying “Top of Mind” with their customer, then they’re not going to pick up the phone and call you when they need their products and services.

And if they don’t, your dead and like a famous actress said:-

“Out of sight is out of mind and out of mind is out of money, honey,!”

And it’s your job to stay top of mind as a trusted adviser to your prospects and customers and ideally, their influencers as well.

Nathaniel Schooler 4:50
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense if you could see me, oh, if we didn’t have a bandwidth problem at this end. But if you could see me you’d see I was nodding away here Jon.

Jon Ferrara 4:59
Well, you and I read from the same hymn book Nate.

And so many of the things I mean, what I just said, we can unpack for 30 minutes. All of those things.

But I think the key thing is, is that relationships matter, and that your network and your brand are your net worth, and we’re talking to not just sales people, we’re talking to any business person that’s listening.

So I believe this conversation that you and I are going to have is applicable to individuals and teams that occur in small, medium, large and enterprise companies, because teams that work together win games and it’s not just sales and marketing people that talk to prospects and customers that grow a business.

There’s a team of people at a company that should be co-collaborating on the conversations and the connections that they’re doing with customers, but today, there are silos in businesses there’s an application for sales, marketing, customer service and accounting in most companies. And then there’s the contact management system which happens to be office 365 or Gmail G-Suite these days.

And every single one of the things I mentioned is a separate island of contacts. And for Office in G Suite. It’s a separate island of contacts for every team member. And that is what’s broken in business today is that there is no central contact platform for the business.

And actually, this is what I invented with Goldmine. God, I don’t even want to say I think it was 30 years ago, I can’t even count but the thing is, is that Goldmine was Outlook and Salesforce combined before either existed. And that’s why things are broken today, because we all live in what is outlook but today, it could be G Suite or Office 365, but we live in our email and social and then we have to go to the CRM to do the work and it’s only sales people that do that. And they don’t even really do it because most people don’t log who people are and what their business is about or even what they did or what they need to do.

And it’s the basics that wins games. And I think that we don’t do the basics because we’re human. And because we waste so much time doing the work for the CRM. And that’s why I got back in the business with Nimble because I think that your CRM should automatically work for you by building this house and work with you everywhere you work.

But then let’s talk about what CRM is CRM is a database. But this database isn’t just applicable to a business that wants to have plumbing for leads, reporting and pipeline.

I think that everybody needs a personal golden Rolodex, because your brand new network or your net worth and if you don’t take care of it, you won’t achieve your dreams in life. So if you’re listening to me today, you should use something other than Office 365 or Gmail or or or G-Suite for your contacts or LinkedIn. All these things separated everywhere.

You should have something that unifies it and then be able to take that network those contacts with you to work everywhere you work.

And you will be more effective that way. And then if you’re a business, you’re going to have all these silos, you need this, you need a central contact platform for your business. And that’s what nimble provides for the business. Because I think that no matter who picks up the phone, you should know who this person is, what their business about the last time you or anybody in the team ever talk to them, and what is pending.

And then what you need to do is after having a conversation logged in and schedule the next task, but 99% of people don’t do all those things because the systems are just too hard.

Nathaniel Schooler 8:35
Yeah, I mean, a lot of systems have have some some of the features that Nimble has, I mean, but so, you know, I kind of spent years just not even thinking that it was that important, but recently I’ve just realized that how important it is you know, so, so for example, like if I’m, if I’m reaching out to say, I’m moving and I’m going to I’m still with the same company.

I’m moving into a new city that might be like six or seven hours away, right. Or even across the world somewhere.

I want to meet people and I want to speak to people who I who I generally get on with quite well already. So how am I going to work out who the hell they are?

Am I gonna waste my time in in LinkedIn or am I going to waste my time you know using a Twitter search or am I going to you know use a Twitter tool or you know I’m not what I want is a find a really easy system that works so I can find the people that I want to either speak to on the phone or speak to on a Zoom call or go and meet face to face.

And it’s the value of your network! You’re completely right it’s but it’s it’s being able to manage more than was it 100 contacts or 200 is that is the amount we can actually manage without having a technology helping us is that what they say?

Jon Ferrara 9:57
It’s called the Dunbar limit and it was an English chap that figure that out that our that our mind can only manage 100 to 200 people at one time, and that most people have thousands of connections.

But let’s talk about a use case that is that you personally are doing today, you are working on a Podcast, your outreach to people that fit a certain criteria globally, whether you know them or you want to connect with them. And somehow you need identify people that matter, reach out in a one to one relevant authentic way, create a connection, start a conversation that results in ideally a mutually beneficial outcome.

And today, if you wanted to do that you need a database a CRM, then you need some type of sales intelligence software that enrich the contact with people in company data, so you can segment them into people that matter.

They fit the criteria of your outreach, then you need some sort of an email template in program that enabled you to send emails either one to one or at scale that were template ID. So they were relevant and authentic. And you had trackable open and click data.

And if you want to do all that, you have to buy at least three different tools that cost $25 to $100 per user per month and they don’t even talk to each other.

And that’s another reason why we built Nimble is that we give you the the intelligent CRM that unifies itself from your email contact and calendar and G-Suite iCloud and office plus Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn plus over 140, SAS business apps so that if you have an accounting program like QuickBooks or Zero or you have a marketing program like MailChimp or or HubSpot, or you have a support program like Zendesk or whatever, Nimble unifies all these contacts and enriches them with people in company data, so you can segment them and outreach to them in a one to one way and Nate every business has some business application and most people have an accounting program that tracks who they’ve sold to.

Do you know how many businesses never follow up with somebody that they’ve sold to in the past?

Nathaniel Schooler 12:08
Oh, how many?

Jon Ferrara 12:10

Nathaniel Schooler 12:12
That’s your I mean, I’m a big fan of guy called Jay Abraham. You must know Jay Abraham right?

Yes. I’m a massive fan of his and he he talks about that and it’s it’s the they are the easiest people to sell something to as well you know.


But it’s like but it’s like your network right? If you if you just spend a little bit of time speaking to them and actually getting to know them, they are your biggest wealth there’s no doubt about it. And if and if for example, you’re looking to reach out to an influencer in I don’t know the Nordics or Israel or America or something in a specific area like I’m doing.

I’m quite lucky because I can actually knock on the door and not everybody will answer but most I would say about 85 to 90% of the people that I contact Answer me. Yeah. The ones that don’t answer me are either competitors or they are egomaniacs or they don’t receive the message that I send to them.

Which is still a risk. Because you know, if you’re sending an email, even if your email gets through to most people, there’s always going to be an email that doesn’t get through. So you know, and by the time I’ve Germany reached out to some of these people, if they don’t respond within a few days, they’ve missed this new quarter. So I’ll kind of leave them on the back burner for the next quarter.

But I think for every person it’s important whether you’re in business, whether you’re inside a business or you own a business, everybody needs to keep up to speed with even their relationships with their friends and family. I mean, you know, my Godfather is really well connected.

But sometimes we get busy and we forget to speak to people. So to be able to like set something that says this person is important to me is super important. I love that I love that feature is great. You can just set it so there’s like this individuals important and say, remind me every month to contact them. You could you know I love that I think it’s great.

Jon Ferrara 14:27
Well you know we were human and we we we forget and relationships are like a garden. So imagine if you went out and tended your garden on a daily basis, what would it be like it would it would be beautiful would produce wonderful things. Imagine if you let the garden go for a week, a month a year, the amount of weeds that would develop at some point you’d have to rotor till it and start over.

And that’s what happens to marriages and really business relationships and so It just takes a little touch periodically. And the more authentic and relevant that the touch is, the deeper the connection that it will be. And the less work it will be in order to maintain the relationship.

Did you know that most of the gas that you use is getting the car up to speed or the rocket up to velocity and the rest of it isn’t really that much. And so how many people develop relationships and they spend all that time to make the connection and then they don’t stay in touch.

What a waste, right?

Nathaniel Schooler 15:37

Jon Ferrara 15:37
And and they and they don’t stay in touch because they don’t have an organized system that enables them to identify people that matter. Reach out in a relevant authentic way and stay in touch and not just on the business side.

So many people think that LinkedIn is the social way to stay in touch with business or to do what they say is social selling but for me, LinkedIn is like walking into my lobby. It’s like you’re going to see my business persona.

But if you want to build a relationship with me, you need to connect with me on the five F’s of like, family, friend, food, fun and fellowships, which means you need to connect on the softer side of my personality in order to that and deepen the relationship.

And the way I see this typically happening is relationships don’t start on LinkedIn, they start where you’ve established yourself as a trusted adviser because you give your knowledge away and I do that daily.

I teach people how to be better, smarter, faster, it social sales and marketing by sharing content. That’s inspiration, educational across the identities where my constituents have conversations, which is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, places like that.

And then what happens is that people then engage with me and they connect and we start conversations.

So those softer places where they start maybe Twitter or Instagram or even LinkedIn, then shift to maybe a LinkedIn connection, which then shifts to maybe a Zoom or Go To Meeting conversation, which is established to email and calendar.

But if you do all that, right, you bring it to places like Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter, where people share the real themselves, the personal side. And this is the way business has been done for millions of years, right.

We take people to the pub, we take them to the game, we take them to our house.

And social is just a way to connect on those deeper levels. But the problem is, is if you want to know all that stuff about a person, you have to go and spend so much time Googling somebody, and it’s just too much work. And I’ll give me an example. So we’re talking about Jay Abraham.

Jay actually lives in Los Angeles. Did you know that?

Nathaniel Schooler 17:49
No, I didn’t know that. He’s super cool. I love him. He’s brilliant.

Jon Ferrara 17:52
Okay, so I’ve heard of him, but I’ve never met him. So I told him and nimble gave me his email. It’s something like I’m not going to tell you what it is.

It also gave me his Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus. And now I can walk in this digital footprint, add value to his conversation. And guess what? After doing that for a little bit, Jay is going to pick up the phone and call me because he’s going to see me as somebody that would be a value to him because I’ve added value to his journey. And he would then see that we share commonalities and that is a warm call, not a cold call.

This is what anybody listening can do not just sales people. They need to establish identity across all the places that are relevant for their constituents, then begin to share content that’s inspiration, educational and not just business content.

If you like to barbecue or backpack or mountain bike or motorcycle ride or whatever you do share that because people would then see who you are and build a deeper connection especially on the commonalities and then when they connect with you, and they start a conversation, you need to reel them in, and we pie and then engage, and then find a way to do a face to face, whether it’s digital or human face to face.

And you should have done your homework before that meeting, so you know who they are with the business about and figure out how you might add value.

They do ask some open questions and shut up and listen. Because if you listen to somebody, they’re going to tell you everything you need to know to find a way to add value, even if it’s simply an introduction. And then when you’ve done that, they will ask you, how can I help you, Nate, and at that point, you have an opportunity to engage with them, whether you want to sell them your products and services, or get them to talk about you or, or whatever.

And Nate you’re an example of that. Right. We built a relationship together because I saw you as a thought leader in social sales and marketing. I started sharing your content. We started conversation together and now we’ve gone on this journey together, we’re we’re adding value to each other as human beings. And that’s what life’s all about.

The problem is, is if you do what I just told you to do, you’re going to get so over connected over communicated, you won’t be able to manage the contacts and conversations whether you’re an individual person or you’re a company because if you want to build a company brand you need to help empower your team members to build the individual brands, which then builds the company brand, which then starts attracting people around your company like a sustainable garden that your team can engage to convert into customers and storytellers for you.

And that’s why IBM is engaging you because they want to build conversations and community around their business, to humanize their brand to stand out from the crowd and be able to serve the community. And so this is really tight short concepts of that CRM isn’t just for salespeople.

It’s not just to attract prospects and customers that every business should have a team relationship manager that that used to be outlook before that it was gold mine tomorrow it might be Nimble, but everybody listening should have their own personal golden Rolodex. I encourage them to go sign up for nimble.

And if they like, what they see, I’ve got a code for you, Jon40 that will give you 40% off your first three months.

Nathaniel Schooler 21:24
Well, it’s super cool Jon! And if you had to Nimble Free Trial Click Here and you can sign up for Jon’s amazing 40% discount three months on Nimble.

I mean, I think I think certainly what interests me the most is is actually communicating with people who you have something in common with and that’s what the bonus of reaching out in the way that you’re describing, because literally if I reach out to someone yeah and for example, they they like football and I like rugby. They like drinking beer. And I like drinking whiskey. They like, I don’t know, swimming. And I like, I don’t know, horse riding.

They’re not going to be an ideal fit for me because we don’t have enough in common. Yeah. So. So and our personalities, if our personalities are the same, we also are not going to get on that. Well, yeah. So that’s what I love about deepening your relationship before you meet people, especially if you’re trying to build a business because you’re going to know who those people are, what matters to them.

And then if you’ve got a team of 100 people, 200 people, whatever it may be, you’re going to be able to match one of your sales people to someone in that company or you’re going to be able to make a friend who might not be might not, you know, be able to buy anything from you or sell you anything or do anything, but they can introduce you to someone who they like, who knows them, you trust them.

And then you building your network and your network to such an extent, you know, it’s insane, isn’t it? Really?

Jon Ferrara 23:18
It is. But I do want to make one point that you don’t have to be friends with somebody to sell to somebody that that you can, you can build a connection with somebody, even if you don’t have any commonalities with them.

But as long as you know who they are with their business about, then you’d be better prepared to serve them. And so relationships do matter, they are critical, they’re so important, but I don’t think we want to necessarily say that you can’t sell to somebody unless you have one commonality or that you’ve built a friendship with them.

Because ultimately what you’re doing as a salesperson is you’re you’re helping that person transform, you’re helping them achieve some goal, right. And what happens is there’s a trigger in a buying cycle where somebody has a need, and you’re trying to fulfill that need.

But if you have established yourself as a trusted adviser in and around the areas of products and services that that person might be interested in, there’s a higher possibility that they’ll pick up the phone and call you.

So the stuff that we’re talking about is applicable, even if you haven’t built a quote, friendship with them. But the friendships are critical to getting through the bumps in life.

So as an example, let’s say you’ve sold to somebody and somebody else comes in and they have a better price or better deliver ability for the products, you’re consistently selling them.

If you have a relationship, there’s a high possibility that that person will call you and say, Nate, we have a little bit of a problem. Let’s find a way to solve that and you have a better opportunity to do that.

So relationships are critical, but they are. They won’t prevent you from connecting with somebody and selling to them.

Nathaniel Schooler 25:11
Right. I agree. I agree. But they’re going to be it’s,

I agree. But they’re going to be it’s, it’s Yeah, they might give you a early warning sign mind that if if you get on with someone and they’ve bought something from you, then then they will say to you, if you get on well with them, they’re going to say to you will look this, this, this competitor of yours has come in and try to sell me this but I thought I just, you know, let you met match the price or explain the differences. Why your products better than theirs, why your services better, etc, right?

Jon Ferrara 25:49
Yeah, so I’ve got a sister in law who sells to Costco. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Costco. They’re one of the biggest warehouse stores and I guess in the United States and she’s been selling to them for, I think 1015 years and pretty much the same stuff. And there’s no way she’d be able to continue to do that unless there was a relationship.

But I believe it’s the basics that wins games, I believe it’s the follow up and the follow through. And I think that’s where we most all fails human beings, because we don’t log the notes after the calls, we don’t schedule the follow up and the follow through. And that’s because we have to go to the CRM to do it.

And we have to do too much work besides that of Googling people and login what we know and logging what we did. And that’s why I think that people love what Nimble is because it takes all that work out of it that enables you to then do the human thing Listen, login note, schedule the follow up and then do what you say you’re going to do. And and and my Dad taught me a few things he said teams win games and it’s the basics that wins games and and that nimble helps you to do those things better.

Nathaniel Schooler 27:00
That’s very cool. I like your Dad’s philosophy. I agree the basics. It is so important. There’s no doubt about that at all, Jon!

But I would love to do another Podcast episode with you at some stage another interview. And I know you’ve been back to back meetings already. So why don’t we, why don’t we finish up now. And, and literally, we’ll, we’ll do another one in a few weeks time.

Jon Ferrara 27:26
Fantastic. I’m going to leave your listeners with one last concept.

Stop talking about your products and services, stop talking about yourself. Nobody cares!

Start talking about how you can help other people become better, smarter faster, because people don’t buy great products. They buy better versions of themselves. And so your job on this planet is to grow by helping other people grow. And if you enter into every business relationship, every personal relationship, every connection that you make, not with the intention of what can get from this person.

But what can I give to this person?

You will get anything you want in life. Because the more people you help grow, the more you will grow.

Nathaniel Schooler 28:11
I’m nodding. Thank you, Jon. It’s been most most interesting and thank you and I wish you a great afternoon.

Jon Ferrara 28:23
Thank you.

Unknown 28:27
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