Social Business: Managing Relationships to Build Personal and Business Brands

This Old New Business Podcast with Jeff Korhan

This is Episode 6 of This Old New Business weekly business podcast with Jeff Korhan.

Would you like to learn how to better network to achieve your personal and professional objectives? Then listen in on my conversation with Jon Ferrara.

Jon openly admits he loves to “get on his soapbox” and teach what he has learned about relationship management to help others achieve greatness.

One of the challenges for everyone these days is we have not just one, but multiple digital soapboxes – channels for connecting, having conversations, and sometimes putting together mutually beneficial business deals.

Nevertheless, it’s not every day that you have the opportunity to learn firsthand from one of the pioneers of an industry. That’s why I’m sure you’ll enjoy this high energy conversation, and also get a lot of value from it too.

Our Featured Guest: Jon Ferrara

John Ferrara has over 20 years of experience in customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA). An entrepreneur at heart, Jon founded Goldmine in 1989 with a college friend, which he turned into a highly successful venture that he eventually sold to FrontRange. In 2009 he founded Nimble Inc, which produces the popular Nimble Social CRM.

Business is Personal Relationships

Like many of us, Jon’s first experience with business relationship management was with bits of information on little pieces of paper.

Social Business: Managing Personal and Business Brands However, having a background in computer science, he decided to quit his job and develop a digital solution that would help businesses bring more value to their network of relationships.

After creating Goldmine, Jon had to literally build what we now know as the CRM market, also take a look at Salesforce CRM alternatives. Not surprisingly, he took advantage of relationships with channel partners that offered accounting and other software solutions, thereby helping them offer more value to their customers.

Business, and especially selling, has always been about personal relationships. As our world becomes more digital, we have to remember that, and be mindful of using technology to nurture relationships on a human level.

Managing Conversations Across Multiple Channels

After selling Goldmine, social media began to explode across multiple channels. Now the challenge is not so much making connections, but intelligently managing the opportunities they present.

In the early days of social media we were all consumed with managing our thousands of fragmented followers across multiple channels. It wasn’t long before we realized we had regressed to the days of collecting bits of information on scraps of paper. 

In this interview Jon and I discuss at length his latest venture, Nimble CRM. Nimble is a platform that is designed to smartly use the intelligence that is buried within our networks to move appropriate connections to conversations, thereby unlocking the potential business opportunities associated with them.

Personal Brands Build Business Brands

Businesses and brands are beginning to wake up to the reality that the business brand is a direct result of the personal brands associated with it, namely customers, staff, and so many other influencers.

This is a important shift that you will be hearing more about in future episodes. To be honest, it’s scary for businesses to realize they do not have complete control over their brand.

Business does come down to personal relationships. Using tools like Nimble, you can quickly learn a lot about people by walking in their digital shoes. What happens after that determines the quality of your personal brand and what you can offer to others.

Lighting Round Tips and Advice

Jon’s Top Sales or Marketing Advice – Become a trusted advisor to your prospects and customers by inspiring and educating them about how they can improve and grow their business. Teach people to fish and they will figure out that you sell fishing poles.

His Favorite Productivity Tip – Connect to people in person to sort out business issues and nurture relationships. Go beyond the surface digital interactions we’ve become so used to settling for and you will see the extra benefit it brings.

A Quote that has Inspired Jon’s Success – “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar

Key Take-Aways

  • Business has always been about personal relationships. Now it’s a digital experience that still needs to be a human experience.
  • Nimble listens to digital signals and pulls opportunities out of the stream.
  • Everyone leaves a digital footprint that speaks to their their needs and desires.
  • Learn more about Nimble Social CRM at and on Twitter at @nimble
  • The best way to reach Jon is on Twitter at @jon_ferrara

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How is your business adapting its practices to an environment where buyers have new expectations of their relationship with you?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+