Episode 111: Personalizing Online Sales Interactions – Jon Ferrara

Predictable Prospecting
Episode 111: Personalizing Online Sales Interactions - Jon Ferrara
00:00 / 00:00

Social interaction is part of the business of selling. In the past, salespeople often met with prospects face-to-face and spent time with them in their homes or in social settings. In today’s sales environment, many of these in-person interactions have been replaced by online interactions on social media sites. However, these digital interactions are just as important as the in-person interactions that they’ve replaced.

Today’s guest is Jon Ferrara. Jon is the founder and CEO of Nimble, a contact management solution that enhances basic contact information with richly detailed social information that helps you gain new insights about people in your network. This can help you deepen your social media relationships. Listen to the episode to hear what Jon has to say about the importance of social interactions in business, how Nimble can improve those interactions, and what role artificial intelligence plays in Nimble. You’ll also get a special offer from Jon.

Episode Highlights:

  • What made Jon want to start Nimble
  • The importance of the social aspect of prospecting and business
  • How to scale social media interactions
  • How Nimble works
  • What an effective curation methodology looks like
  • Tools that can help curate content and engage prospects in conversation
  • How Nimble is reimagining CRM and what it looks like to use Nimble
  • How artificial intelligence factors into Nimble
  • Why AI can automate processes but not replace human beings
  • A special offer from Jon


Jon Ferrara

Email Jon at: Jon@nimble.com


Special Offer: Sign up for the Nimble free trial. Before the end of the 2-week free trial, enter promo code JON40 to get 40% off Nimble for the first 3 months.


Marylou: Hi everyone. It’s Marylou Tyler. I have with me Jon Ferrara who’s the CEO of Nimble. I have known Jon, when I first started my company back in 1992; I went to go visit him. He was the founder and developer with another gentleman at the time of GoldMine Software. That software was the software that we all used in sales when I was selling to large accounts. John, welcome to the podcast. It’s so great to have you.

Jon: Marylou, it’s such a pleasure to be with you and your audience today. I really welcome the opportunity to connect with dear friends like you, as well as to inspire and educate other people because I think that’s why we are here on this planet, to help other people grow.

Marylou: Yeah, I am so impressed. Do you know you have your own Wikipedia page?

Jon: I didn’t create that. I don’t know who did but I will get paid to look at that.

Marylou: I was like, “Oh my gosh. Jon has his own Wikipedia page. I am talking to a legend.”

Jon: I hope there’s a bigger picture of me there.

Marylou: Yeah, you were on a suit, though. I don’t remember you wearing a suit ever but you do wear suits, I guess, all the time.

Jon: Yeah. I put one every once in a while. It what’s funny, is back in the day, I was an assistant engineer. That was my first job out of college when I got my computer science degree and I used to have to wear a suit every day. Back in the day, I had to work on hardware and my tie would always get caught on the back of the circuit board and I tear them. I never like to tear those things because they’re not cheap. Thank God we don’t have to wear suits everyday like that, like we used to.

Marylou: Yes. I am forever indebted because it was your software back in the day when I had my six accounts—the Bell operating companies were my accounts—which, six accounts doesn’t sound a lot but there’s a lot of people within those accounts that I had to go figure out where they were and figure out whether they needed what I had. I used GoldMine and I loved the way you organized the thought process and the way you designed that software was so intuitive. I’m assuming that Nimble is very similar.

You could have ridden off to the sunset when you sold GoldMine. What brought you back to this world? You said you want to continually educate, help people break through barriers. What was it that made you start Nimble?

Jon: After I sold GoldMine in 1999, I thought I’d go back and do something soon. I hit a little bump in the road about a year after selling the company and I ended up getting a head tumor. It was a pretty serious cancer. After going through the journey of healing, as well as growing—because if you think when you deal with a serious illness, you ideally take a look at yourself, your perspective and situation in the world—I came to the conclusion that we’re on this planet to grow by helping other people grow and the best way to grow is to connect with people you love.

As entrepreneur, I didn’t spend a lot of time with my family and friends. I was busy building. I decided I’d dedicate the next period of my life to being a present father, husband, friend, and member of my community. So I dedicated the next ten years of my life to raising three babies. I tell you, Marylou, you can really grow by being a present father and husband around three kids in the process thereof.

Around 2006, 2007, and 2008, once I got my kids into school, things began to change. I had more time and I began to use social media. I saw the way it’s going to change the way we work, play, buy, and sell, and I looked for a relationship manager that would help me to manage and connect to those conversations. I couldn’t find that. Now, it seems logical that contacts should be connected to conversations.

I found a dashboard called Hootsuite that enabled me to manage the conversations but it didn’t tie the conversations to the contacts. Ultimately, without conversations tied to contacts, you don’t have context. That was really what we built with GoldMine and that’s how I suffered as a salesperson.

Why I built GoldMine, was I was trying to manage relationships via email, calendar, my day timer, and spreadsheet with my forecast and really need to connect all those dots. That’s what GoldMine did. It unified email, contact, calendar, sales, market automation before Outlook or Salesforce existed. Most people can’t even imagine that Outlook didn’t exist at one point but it did. GoldMine not only was the first contact manager for teams, it was the first Sales Force Automation and CRM.

I continued that thought process when I build Nimble. I saw that social conversations weren’t tied to contacts so I looked for a contact manager that was social and I found basically that, really we all live today—back in those days when I started GoldMine, our Nimble—in Gmail or G Suite. That was our contact manager in the cloud. In Gmail/G Suite, your contacts aren’t connected to email or calendar. Now that’s a problem because you need to be able to bring up a contact record and view the history of interactions.

So I saw not only was the contact manager most people use not connected to email and calendar, but it wasn’t connected to social, either. I started to think, “Well, okay what about CRM, where is that today?” I started looking at CRM and I saw that CRM today isn’t really about relationships. It’s about reporting and management control. Today, CRM really stands for Customer Reporting Manager and not Customer Relationship Manager, and all CRMs weren’t social.

The big disconnect is this: Most people don’t live in their CRM. They live in their email and now, more and more of their social strains. People live in Outlook but they go to the CRM, defeat it so management gets off their back. I said to myself, “That’s so backwards because everybody lived in GoldMine back in the day because it’s a relationship manager, it was a contact manager.” What happened was Outlook came on board. Outlook separated contact management from CRM. Then Siebel and Salesforce was more about command, control, and reporting.

So I said, “Hmm, this seems like a business opportunity.” To build the next generation of GoldMine in the cloud with social that would be the first CRM that automagically worked for you by building itself and then work with you everywhere you work. I think the biggest cause of failure is CRM’s lack of use and then if you do use it, that data—there’s 225 million global businesses—less than 1% use any CRM which is a blue ocean opportunity to accompany that, say, can help people become more nimble, if you will.

Marylou: Right. This whole social, when you define, what does that mean to you? Is it living in social media or is it tracking the conversations that your ideal prospect is a part of during their interaction? I’m trying to get my arms around why social is important when we’re directly targeting people?

Jon: Sure. Marylou life is social. Business is social. People buy from people they like, know, and trust. Would you agree?

Marylou: Yeah.

Jon: And in the old days, business was totally social. You brought people to a ball game, a restaurant, a pub, or your home. Digitally, social media is just another means of connecting with human beings. If you think about it, relationships aren’t built on the business connection. They are built on the intimacy and trust that developed, and that what I call the five Fs of life: family, friend, food, fun, and fellowship. People don’t connect on the fact that they’re both sales experts or CEOs. They connect across the commonalities, the softer things in life. Social media gives you access to understand who somebody is, what they’re about, and what their business is about.

Marylou, in the old days, I used to teach my sales people. When you go in somebody’s office, look at their walls. Look at the books they read, the degree of the school they went to, the knick knacks they collect. All these things give you a clue into sharing a commonality that opens up that intimacy and trust, and social media’s just a new way to do it electronically at scale.

Marylou: The word ‘scale’ is really a word that I love to hear but I don’t associate scale with social. I don’t see how you scale.

Jon: Let me give you an example. I think that the sales funnel is broken, it’s dead. The sales funnel was created in France in 1880 and essentially, it’s not a funnel, it’s more like a pretzel. For you to stay top on mind with your buyer during their journey—because they’re not always in a buying cycle, they may be in a referring cycle or just not-ready-to-buy cycle, so for you to stay top of mind with your prospects, customers, and ideally their influencers as well, you need to establish yourself as a trusted adviser. You don’t do that by talking about yourself or your products. Nobody cares. They care about how they could become better, smarter, and faster.

So what you should be talking about is how you could help other people grow. For you to be able to do that today, you can’t do that through advertising, or monthly newsletters, or by emailing them how great you are, or your product is. You need to inspire and educate other people daily at scale.

The way that you that is you establish your identity—both personal and professional—and your company identity on the various social platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Google+, Coinspace and AngelList, and more. Then, you put a great photo of yourself, you put a background of yourself, and you begin to share content that is inspirational, educational, not about yourself or your products, maybe 20%, 25% of that. But most of it, 70%–80% should be how you can help other people grow.

If you do that, it’s like dripping digital lures in the social business river outside of your office, and people bite on that. When they bite of that, they begin to see you as somebody who is trustworthy, who can help them grow in and around the areas of promise to your products and services, and I’ll show an example of that. Do you know who Tiffani Bova is?

Marylou: Yes.

Jon: Okay. So Tiffani Bova was the CRM analyst at Gartner back in the day and Salesforce has intelligently hired most of the top analysts to become spokespeople for Salesforce. So she now works for Salesforce and she works with a guy named John Taschek, who I taught about CRM back when he was an editor at PC Computing.

Nevertheless, Tiffani was sharing on social the other day that CRM isn’t about commanding control. It’s about relationships and empowering customer-facing business team members. Somebody said bullshit—that’s a reply to that tweet—and said, “It is about commanding control and winner sales managers’ going to loosen the grip and isn’t this what John Ferrara’s been teaching with GoldMine and building with Nimble?”

Nimble listens to signals in social and automatically enriches the people who are talking to or about you or your brand, maps data on them, and then uses AI to determine if one of those people matches the personas of who you should connect to, and alerted me. So, I Nimbled the person, Nimble automatically built a record, and told me that this person was the head of data in CRM at Disney. Disney’s a pretty large company and they happen to be in my area at Burbank, just over the hill.

I replied to his tweet and thanked him. Nimble gives me prospect information and gave me his email and phone number. Now, because of the way he talked about me, I felt permission to respond to him personally. I sent him an email thanking him and invited him for our connection and conversation. He followed up with a LinkedIn connection, and then messaged me on LinkedIn.

The conversation shifted from Twitter—which would have never happened if I wasn’t dripping these digital drips of inspirational, educational content in and around the area as promised to my product and services, sales, marketing, social, et cetera—and he didn’t begin to see me as a trusted adviser and then talked to me. So the conversation shifted from Twitter, to email, to LinkedIn messaging. Nimble followed me along that whole way, giving me the record on all those different flows. In LinkedIn, I learned that not only does he live in my town but his daughter goes to my school.

I believe that the more digital with, the more human we need to be, and we need to take these digital relationships into face-to-face connections. So I invited him for breakfast. We met for breakfast and I asked him a few questions. I just shut up and I just listened for forty minutes and he told me everything about him, what he does, and how I might be able to help him. I figured that out based on that listening. I added some value to what he is doing and he became an advocate where he’s online supporting Nimble and what we’re doing. Now, Disney is a customer.

That’s an example of scale using social to inspire and educate, which creates connections and conversations that you can then reel in into measurable business outcomes.

Marylou: That’s a great story. Wow. Is it proper to say curation of information to inspire and educate? Are we crafting all of this information ourselves? How does that look on a canvas in order for someone to get started doing that?

Jon: Sure. Marylou, you started out with the systems Genie, right?

Marylou: Yup.

Jon: And you’re probably math-computer science-oriented, right?

Marylou: Correct.

Jon: And by the way, you were a pioneer, thank you for blazing the trail for my daughter.

Marylou: Yes, I was a pioneer on multiple levels because I’m female and I’m Latin. So I hit all the boxes.

Jon: So, as a math-computer science major, they should read and study math-computer science. I wasn’t that good in English and I don’t really enjoy writing, although I become much better in my business career. Most business people aren’t necessarily good writers. Asking them to create, write original content and share that at scale is impossible.

You have written great books. You got Predictable Prospecting and other books. I think that’s helped build your brand and established yourself as a trusted adviser. But anybody listening to this today has forgotten more about their products and services in their industry than most of the people they sell to will ever know in their lives. Would you agree?

Marylou: Yes, I agree.

Jon: Okay, and that most people are passionate about the stuff that they do, read stuff regularly to become better, smarter, and faster at what they do. So imagine if all they did is periodically shared stuff that moves them.

Marylou: Yes.

Jon: That’s curation and that’s exactly what you should be doing but when you do it there’s a methodology to it. What you want to do is you want to use tools to find content and influencers that are creating that content, in and around the areas of promise your products and services.

There’s a product called BuzzSumo that does this really well, buzzsumo.com, and if you put in a category like sales or marketing or CRM or wine or gardening, you would get content and/or influencers that are in and around your area of products and services.

So then you can share that content and what you should do is hashtag the category with a hashtag—that’s a pound sign and the name of it, so if I was going to hashtag something about sales and marketing it will be #sales #marketing, and if it’s gardening or wine, you can figure out what the hashtags people talk around—and that helps people see the content.

Then you attribute the person’s name. So you want to say, @marylou or whatever the person’s name that created the content, and what that does is it helps people to see the content because people listen to these categories. People want to learn and grow, and they listen to content about what they’re passionate about, #sales, #marketing, #wine, #gardening, and the person that you shared the content of, their community listens to that person, and the person listens to people talking about them.

So you just killed three birds. You got people listening to that content, you got people listening to that person, and you got the person that you could all connect with. When you start having conversations with other thought leaders, eventually you become a thought leader. Because of new people walk in the room, they see you standing next to Marylou, they’re going to assume that you’re also a sales process expert as well.

If you want to build your brand in and around the areas of promise, your products, and services, simply curate content on a daily basis. It’s going to take the time that you drink your coffee in the morning and you basically use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to share the content and you use BuzzSumo to find the content, or just your regular places you read stuff, but then the most important thing you could do is then listen and engage.

If you drop fishing lures outside of your business boat into the social river and fish bite on and you don’t pull the fish in, if you don’t pull the hook and set the hook, if you don’t take it to the next level, then people are going to stop talking to you and your whole content strategy will have no effect. You need to then listen and engage in order the find ways to have value and I think that again gets back to your purpose to be on this planet, I think it to serve others. Service is the new sales.

Your job whenever you enter any engagement, is to figure out how you might add value to that person even if it means recommending somebody else’s products. But if you do is just share, if you share content on a daily basis, you’re on Twitter, you can do it literally every hour on the hour. On LinkedIn, you could probably do it three or four times a day. I even share business content on your Facebook stream because Facebook is just another channel of connecting on a personal level to business contacts. Then what happens is people going to +1, like, comment, engage. Then you need to use a tool like Nimble to reel them in, to start conversations that result in, ideally, a mutually beneficial, measurable business outcome.

Marylou: So let’s now break this down. I am a business developer who also closes accounts. I have the role of generating new business, closing that business, if luckily I can hand off the servicing to somebody else. What is my typical day in the life look like if I had Nimble sitting at my desktop? I’m also not relying on marketing to do any of this type of curation, I’m doing it myself, I get my coffee, I sit down to my desk. What’s a natural rhythm now for utilizing and engaging with a Nimble-like platform?

Jon: I think that you should make curation and sharing a regular part of your motion, whether you do it once a day or once every other day. I’d say spend 30 minutes a day curating content and sharing it appropriately. Then you want to plan your day and work your plan. What Nimble does is it goes in and unifies your email, contacts, and calendar from Gmail, G Suite, Office, and iCloud, and unifies the email and calendar to the contacts, and then enriches the contacts with people and company data. You don’t have to Google somebody before a meeting, you nimble them.

Then we create a dashboard that essentially gives you this glimpse of your day. You see all the people you’re meeting with and the background on those people, you’d see your pipeline, you would see your to-dos and tasks and calls you plan to make, and you’d also see signals of people of interest that have engaged with your social streams. Then from that dashboard you’d know where you really need to spend your time.

Generally speaking, I like to prepare before I speak to somebody so I’ll go to the Nimble record and I’ll get an update of who the person is, the history and interactions that my team and I had, as well as walking that person’s digital footprint and ideally I value to them so that when they do go into the meeting I’m prepared.

Then the most important thing is the follow-up and follow-through. Scheduling and taking some notes on the call and scheduling an auction is critical and I think that’s where we all fall down. Of course, I have to dig through my email hell each day. I use G Suite. Nimble then follows me in my workflow across all the apps. Not only do we unify your email, contact, calendar, social, contacts, and conversations in Nimble. We also unify over 100 different business apps.

If you’re using MailChimp or QuickBooks or whatever program you’re using, Nimble unifies all those contacts into Nimble, enriches them, and then we have a plugin into your browser, in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge, that enables you to take your contacts with you into all the apps you used up today.

So I’m going to my email and I do triage. It’s kind of like the battlefield. I look through the email and I look for ones that are important, and I’ll go into those and I’ll deal with them. When I open an email, Nimble sits there in my side tray at Gmail—this also happens to work in Office 365 as well—and it basically gives me the record of the person I open up the email from, if it exists in Nimble, and if it doesn’t, it automagically builds the record in seconds, giving me the people and company information, history, interactions, so that when I’m reading email, I have context and insights because they need to have context and insights.

Context is the history of interactions, insights is who are they, what their business is about. I need context and insights in order to be effective at the response that they do. Sometimes the response is replying to them, but if I have the history of interactions for myself and my team, I’m going to reply much more effectively.

But in many cases, it requires an exception. What I’m able to do because Nimble sits there with me as I schedule that task for myself or delegate it to my team, or I may need to message somebody about this person but ultimately, this is where the breakdown happens in business because your CRM and your contact tools are separate, and you have to go to the CRM to update those records, schedule those tasks, and log those notes. And that’s why we don’t do them.

That’s why Nimble, I think, is reimagining CRM because we’re the first CRM that works for you by building itself, and then we work with you wherever you’re working. So my flow goes from drinking coffee and doing a little curation, then going to my dashboard and preparing for my day, going into my email and doing some triage. Then I might go and look at some social streams and signals, like I go into Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, I’ll see people talking to me or about me, and Nimble follows me in those places as well.

I might run into somebody who’s talking about me in Twitter of Facebook or LinkedIn, and could then nimble them, pull them out of that stream, build a record for them, and take the next step with them. I’m prospecting all day long.

Marylou: That’s what it sounds like and those signals are the catalyst. If you align the signals with your dream accounts—in some cases a lot of my clients have a top 20 dream account that they’re really want to watch and make sure that they’re top of mind as much as possible so that when they see that buying signal, that level of awareness moving to more interest and then evaluating, they are already in, they’re already there before that happens so that they can bring them into the fold and take them the rest if the way through the pipeline.

You mentioned artificial intelligence. Right now, some of us in our world are a little shaky when it comes to artificial intelligence because the way it’s described is as a replacement for what we do for our business development. How do you use artificial intelligence in your application?

Jon: Marylou, I think we miss stuff. I think that we’re human beings and there’s a thing called the Dunbar limit. What stage is that, you can only manage 100–200 people in your head at one time. Most people have thousands of connections. If you do what I’m teaching you to do, in order to build your brand and grow your network by sharing content, to set yourself up to the trusted adviser so you’re top of mind with not only your prospects and customers but their influencers throughout their customer journey, you’re going to get over-connected and over-communicated. It will happen because that is the nature of digital conversations. So you need AI to listen to your signals to surface people that matter. How many times have you missed an email from somebody important, Marylou?

Marylou: A lot. In fact I was walking with my daughter last night and it dawned on me that I got an email a week ago from somebody I meant to respond to and I still haven’t done that.

Jon: Yes and shouldn’t software listen to your signals and enrich them with people, company, and data to enable you to not miss signals like that person from Disney that was talking about me that never would have seen? Or an email from somebody you’ve had historical appointments and conversations with that’s going to be different than a blind Outreach.io prospecting email that’s automated from some sales person that you have never met with or spoke with? You almost need that AI ability to see through the noise and to be able to connect with people that matters most.

Marylou: But it doesn’t replace you in that initial conversation.

Jon: No, of course not.

Marylou: They were showing something recently where they connected, made an appointment, all under the guise of business developer but it was the AI system that did it.

Jon: It’s possible to do that. I think it’s entirely possible to completely automate some portions of prospecting but it will never replace human beings because I think that the more digital we get, the more human we need to be and that a handwritten note is going to trump any automated email outreach, and that ultimately by being human you stand out and you will succeed far beyond any kind of automation you could ever apply to business and sales.

Marylou: Very well said. Well Jon, we’ve extended our time. I’m so appreciative that you came on the call today. How can we reach you or what’s the best path to get more information about Nimble, your company, your message, et cetera?

Jon: First off, please connect with me and let me know how I might be of service to you. I’m easy to find. You can Google me, Jon Ferrara. You can Nimble me if you sign up for Nimble at nimble.com. My email’s jon@nimble.com. It’s easy.

Marylou: And he has his own Wikipedia page, people.

Jon: Yeah.

Marylou: That’s so great. Well, thank you so much for being on the show and I will put all the information in the show notes. I would highly recommend for those of you who are struggling with contact management, this conversation context contact triage that Jon was talking about, definitely look at the Nimble software. You guys hold regular webinars on how to use the software, etcetera, what it’s all about?

Jon: We have daily Q&A and we could do one-on-one as well. But Marylou, I want to leave you with a thought.

Marylou: Yes,

Jon: Your network is your net worth. Your personal brand plus your professional network will have to achieve your goals in life and that most people don’t manage their golden Rolodex very well. Would you agree?

Marylou: I agree 100%

Jon: Okay. Most people don’t have a place. They put them as precious contacts in and use them on a regular basis. Nimble can either be your social, sales, and marketing CRM, or work within the existing social, sales, and marketing CRM that you’re forced to use at work. I think that anybody listening to this today should have their own personal Nimble account and it will work within Salesforce or HubSpot CRM or any CRM that they use because we’ll bidirectionally synchronize with the CRM and help them any contact they prospect will automatically go into the CRM.

They could then take their network with them throughout the whole process of the flow. I’m going to give your audience a gift. If you sign up for a trial of Nimble, before the end of the two-week trial if you enter JON40, you’re going to get 40% off your first three months. So you have no excuse. The cost of Nimble is going to be less than a burger that you buy for lunch, okay?

Marylou: Perfect. Yup. Thank you so much for that. I’ll put that in the notes, everybody, but yes. In fact, if you’re going to be taking one of my classes, we’re going to start with by using the CRM to help us understand the process of prospecting and how it integrates, as Jon said, it goes with you wherever you go. I love that concept and it’s very similar to what we had way back in the day when there was this product called GoldMine. It gave us and opened up the world to us, being able to manage our relationships in a way that was authentic and very consistent. So, thank you for that, Jon, for that original software. Appreciate it.

Jon: You bet, Marylou. Thank you for being a friend and a supporter of my journey and my dreams. I think we share that together and we thrive in helping others. That’s why I think I love you so much.

Marylou: Oh, well, thank you, Jon. Well, take it easy and thank you again for joining us. Appreciate it.

Jon: Thank you.

Marylou: Wonderful. Wow. I took so many notes. I think what I’m going to do is take this conversation because we start our class on Monday and I’m going to do a demo of how I’m using Nimble. Some of this dialog that you and I have had really cements the why behind a tool like this is so vital as they’re learning how to become better at prospecting and starting those conversations. Perfect segue into getting them comfortable with this is how we use it, this is why it’s important, and this is how it’s going to transform your business development life. So thank you for that.

Jon: Cool. You have a wonderful day.

Marylou: Thank you. You too.

Jon: Make sure you share a link with Michaela so we can amplify the shares once you get it setup and online.

Marylou: Yes, I have her. I will update her regularly. I’ll make sure that once we get rolling on this, I’ll share. I told her I’m going to share everything that I put together so that in the event we decide to do something like this going forward in a joint venture type of thing. She’ll have all the information and can read through what’s important for your audience and vice-versa in the business development side of life. I’m so excited that we’re working together on this project. That’s great.

Jon: I have an idea. There are a lot of companies out there that onboard new interns and students to their companies, to try and turn them into sales people. For example, Northwestern Mutual. You’ve heard of Northwestern?

Marylou: Oh yes.

Jon: Northwestern Mutual is where my son is doing an internship. They’re teaching him prospecting. He said, “Dad, they just thrown me into the fire. I got one day of training, I’m on the phone cold-calling people,” and I said, “Well, they could do a better job with that.” And I started thinking, I think, Marylou, that this is a business opportunity that most of these companies don’t really teach prospecting as it is today or tools necessary to do it. I think that what you’re doing with your students can be translated into companies like Northwestern at scale.

As my son goes through the process, I’m going to figure out who are the decision makers and maybe what you could do is you could do some sort of a class or webinar or something that could lead to not just doing something Northwestern but other companies like them. Also, I think that this can be turned into courseware in a class where you can then work with other peers at other colleges to implement some sort of curriculum that could be utilized in colleges across the nation.

Marylou: Yeah and I really like that, too. I taught a class in prospecting at Drake University here in Des Moines. They have 15 marketing classes, 0 sales classes. So I went to them, I said, “Let’s try prospecting classes and see how it goes over.” They loved it. It was real-life world stuff and it was the executive MBA program. These folks, some of them were working already in companies. They weren’t necessarily responsible for revenue but they had some exposure to business development but had no idea where to begin.

So I agree. Getting this into curriculum that could be used in colleges for kids coming out that want to get a taste for sales, it would be just a great way to help those students so that they aren’t like your son, just sinking and swimming, just thrown in the deep-end kind of thing, which is still prevalent today. Most of the clients that work with that are in the larger enterprises do sales like it was back in the 1980s.

Jon: Yeah and that’s why I really want to support you in this process of the class to make sure that that is incredibly successful. So please let me know what I can do. I’m willing to do a webinar for your class and just share a little bit of inspiration education, if you feel that it might be beneficial.

Marylou: I would love to do that. I’ll talk to Michaela and see where we can get that fit in because I want them to have a baseline of access to Nimble first so they’re just not listening to. I like the kind of webinars where they’re actionable in nature, especially in class. And because I’m doing accreditation for this particular class, I told them already, this is learning and doing. It’s not sitting back listening to your teacher. It’s not that kind of class.

I think that real life examples as they’re working through it will put in my pipeline. When I was working with Michaela, the opportunity to close the pipeline comes standard with Nimble but there wasn’t anything for prospecting the way I do it, so we added in that pipeline. I want them to be all set up with that pipeline if we would have a webinar with you, going through, “Okay, here the day in a life.” I think that’s where we really need for them is don’t get overwhelmed, it takes a portion of time, but any good habit takes repetition to discipline to then eventually become habit.

Jon: Cool. All right, let me know how I can be of service.

Marylou: Will do. Thanks, Jon.

Jon: Thank you, Marylou.

Marylou: See you later.

Jon: Bye-bye.