How Jon Ferrara Built A Relationship with Disney From A Single Tweet

Our Nimble CEO and customer relationship pioneer Jon Ferrara was recently a guest on Martin Brossman‘s Linking Into Sales show, during which he shared how he developed a relationship with Theo Rand, the Global Public Policy Systems Analyst at The Walt Disney Company, from a single Tweet.

Your Network is Your Net Worth

Jon is a huge proponent of spending time on growing and nurturing your network. He believes that: “Your network is your net worth and you should always be prospecting. There are opportunities that happen in every place and in every channel that you are in, and Nimble allows you to act on these opportunities better, faster, smarter.”

An easy way to start building your network is by sharing content that’s inspirational and educational in and around the areas of the promise of your products and services. “It’s not about you and your products but about teaching other people how they can become better at what they do”, shares Jon.

“I liken the process to dripping digital lures in the social business river,” he adds. “If you sit in your office and you do nothing, the world will pass by you. But if you instead drop digital fishing lures into the social business river with content that educates and inspires people, they will bite on that. And they will look at you, and get to know you, and they may start talking about you or directly reaching out to you.”

Jon contends you have to be able to see these likes and comments to be able to respond in a timely manner. If you don’t respond to people that are trying to engage with you, they will move on and you will miss on many opportunities. Always remember that when somebody starts talking to you, it does not mean that you can pitch them your product or send them a brochure. Instead, take people engaging with you as opportunities to learn more about them and how you can help them.

Evolving Online Conversations into Real-World Relationships

Last fall, Tiffani Bova, a former Gartner analyst and current Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, tweeted that “CRM isn’t about managements ‘command / control’ – it’s about empowering front-line resources to serve customers better and that there is a need for improving customer experience.

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Theo Rand reacted to Tiffani’s tweet by mentioning Jon Ferrara and Nimble. He posted that he was impressed with Nimble but was not sure if sales managers would loosen their grip.

This immediately got Jon’s attention. He believes most CRMs fail to empowering their customer-facing customers to successfully engage with their prospects and customers and are instead reporting tools for their managers.

Keen to learn more about Theo, Jon turned to Nimble‘s Smart Contacts App to “auto-magically” build a record about who Theo is, where he works, and what he does. To Jon’s surprise, Nimble discovered that Theo is the head of CRM and Data at Disney.

Jon next used Nimble Prospector to find Theo’s contact information, and after he commented on the Twitter stream, he decided to send him an email. Jon explains that he felt that Theo gave him permission to reach out on email by talking about him the way he did. “It was intimate. He knew who I was. He knew what my passion was, what my business was about ,and I felt comfortable reaching out to thank him for shouting me out. I also asked to connect with him to learn more about him,” he adds.

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“This is the way you should reach out to people. You should reach out with a purpose to connect to learn more about the other person and find values to add value to their journey”, continues Jon.

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The success of Jon’s outreach was visible immediately as Theo responded to Jon in a matter of seconds. They next connected on LinkedIn and Theo started messaging Jon there.

Relationships Are Messy and Happen Across Multiple Channels

“You need to be able to communicate on the channels that the other person is comfortable with. Our conversation shifted from Twitter to email and then to LinkedIn.  And in the LinkedIn conversation, I learned that not only Theo lives in the same neighborhood but our daughters go to the same school. In our LinkedIn conversation, we coordinated breakfast and met two days later. Our conversation moved from LinkedIn to a calendar appointment and to a face-to-face meeting.”

It is obvious from this example that relationships shift from a channel to channel. “The problem with relationships being so messy is that most tools people use for contact management like Office 365, GMail (G Suite), iCloud or for CRM things like Salesforce aren’t designed for engagement across multiple platforms. That’s why we built Nimble to track engagement history for you as you connect, so you can focus on relationship building using social business insights.

The More Digital We Get, The More Human We Have to Be

Jon believes that human beings connect via their eyeballs and that we have to make sure that we make time for human interactions via conference calls or face-to-face meetings. The world is going more and more digital and we mostly communicate using text messages and emails.

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When you sit across somebody and break bread with them, and most importantly, listen to them, people will love you. If you let somebody talk about what’s important to them and what they are passionate about, they will fall in love with you.”

Watch the complete interview with Jon Ferrara and Martin Brossman below.