Episode 157: Janice Porter – Stop Being Too “Corporate” Be Natural, Show Your Personality to Build Relationships and See the Result
Janice Porter joins our host Brynne Tillman to share the hybrid of online and offline methods she uses to create and nurture stronger relationships with prospects that are beyond digital. Janice is the founder of Janice Porter & Associates. She’s a Relationship Marketing Consultant, a LinkedIn Trainer, a Client Retention Specialist, and the author of “Create Business Relationships that Last & Close More Sales.” By her titles, it is evident that Porter is an expert in building and maintaining relationships in the business industry.
Using digital to find the right people to connect with is only the first step in creating relationships. Building one that lasts requires a more natural approach. People remember the little details you remember about them. It shows that you’re really interested in who they are and what they do without coming too salesy or too corporate.
Visit Janice Porter’s website at Janice Porter and don’t forget to connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.
Janice Porter 00:02
Making sales social, to me means finding a connection with people that allows you in and allows them into building that rapport really quickly. It’s finding a way to make them feel that you’re not being salesy, that you’re actually interested in them.
Bob Woods 00:23
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients, so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Brynne Tillman 00:48
Welcome back to Making Sales Social. I’m so excited for our guest today, Janice Porter is not only a fellow LinkedIn trainer, but she’s really become a friend. She is really strong at relationship marketing. And I’m excited to ask her the kinds of questions that we all should be asking ourselves, are we actually creating relationships on digital? The other side is she takes it from digital to physical, with really personalized follow-up mail that I’m really excited to be part of. Janice, welcome to the show.
Janice Porter 01:26
Thank you so much, Brynne. You say things very succinctly and very well. I appreciate that.
Brynne Tillman 01:31
Well, thank you. I’m excited for you to be a guest today. If you’ve listened to our podcast, the first question we ask everyone is what does making sales social mean to you?
Janice Porter 01:42
I have, and it’s a great question because that’s what I’m all about is building relationships, as you said and so making sales social, to me means finding a connection with people that allows you in and allows them in to building that rapport really quickly, because we’re starting usually digitally on LinkedIn. And so it’s finding a way to make them feel that you’re not being salesy that you’re actually interested in them and so I think it’s about starting with a question that makes them go, and I’ve had this happen recently, with something I’m using now, which is, “Wow! That’s so refreshing.” You know, that’s so different. “Oh, I love that question or whatever.” So that it feels more social than spammy or business like to start with.
Brynne Tillman 02:36
Yeah, I love that! And I think that the, you know, the core of all of this is treating this social media platform, the same treating the people on this platform the same way we would as if we were in a room with them. And one thing we often say is, “treat the person on the other side of the message the same way you would if they were on the other side of the table.” And I think that’s what you’re saying, like stop the pitch, you wouldn’t walk into, you know, a networking meeting and start pitching everyone on how you can help them do X, you’d have conversations. And that’s one thing I love about how you teach LinkedIn and how you go about things. It’s really about building those stronger relationships. So I appreciate it and just completely resonate with everything that you talk about. So let’s talk a little bit about how you will find the right people in digital, you know, is that the first place people should start is like, identifying who it is that I should be talking to?
Janice Porter 03:46
Well, I think you need to have an open mind but you also need to know what lane you want to be in, whether it’s that you want to work with a small business owners or corporate or entrepreneurs, you need to have an idea of where you feel most comfortable to start with, and then do your outbound searches strategically that way and so that when you find and of course, listen, I just want to just preface by saying, I learned from you, you are one of my mentors before we became friends and I’m very honored to be called your friend. And so everything I’ve learned really resonated with exactly what you talk about in conversations and connecting with people on a real level because that’s always been who I am.
So when I’m doing outreach to answer your question, once you find a lane or it may even be that you want to expand really, truthfully to a new area. So I’m going to Salt Lake City for a company convention. Maybe I want to look at some people in Salt Lake City that I want to connect with. My sister lives in Los Angeles. I love being able to find people down there that I can connect with when I go down there, so it could be as simple as that but they still have to be in your lane that you want the kind of people that you’re comfortable working with, and that you know their industry enough that you can ask intelligent questions to help build that rapport quickly.
Brynne Tillman 05:17
So I think that’s great. And I do love the idea of geographic, I love the idea, you know, really coming up with what are your lanes, right? Geography, title industry you serve. So I love that. So let’s say let’s just kind of play with this, let’s say you are going to LA to visit your sister, and you look at your LinkedIn connections and say, “Boy, I don’t have a whole lot in LA.” Where would you start?
Janice Porter 05:45
I think I would start with the type of industry that I know, people love to talk and meet people. And that would be probably, I’ve done this before, when I’ve gone to LA, real estate. So realtors in, say, Sherman Oaks or something like I’d focus it’s close to my sister that I could –I’ve done this in the past before COVID, where I’ve gone and met people at a coffee shop, you know that I’ve met through LinkedIn and built a little bit of rapport “Hey, by the way, I’m coming down there, I’d love to meet you in person.” So I have done that and I have gotten clients that way. Clients for my nurturing programs, that is a company I’m affiliated with called, Send Out Cards. So I have done that, (Brynne: which I just signed up.) I know, it’s so exciting. Yeah, so it’s a way to stay in touch with people that stand out from the crowd that takes you offline to a heartfelt connection as well.
So that’s what I would do, I would look for industries that are you know, they want to talk to people because they want to build from your connection as well. And so, yeah, I mean, individually, really, I do narrow it down. I look at their profile, I have to see whether their picture resonates with me, whether what they say on their profile resonates with me before I even start a conversation. So it’s all for me. It’s from the heart. It comes from the heart, and it comes from the gut.
Brynne Tillman 07:06
Yeah, that’s great. So now we have this list of people and you’re looking through and you go, “Yes, this is someone I’d love to know or meet.” What would you do? How would you start that engagement?
Janice Porter 07:17
Okay, I would definitely have looked at their profile to see if there’s anything on there that I can pull out as small as it might be that shows that I’ve read their profile. I also have to check that they’re active so that they will even see my message, okay, in a reasonable amount of time and then I might say, but what’s working for me right now is saying something like, and so we’re assuming they’ve connected? Is that correct? (Brynne: Oh, no, this is pre-connection.) Okay. So “I came across your profile, looking to expand my LinkedIn connections to this area, like to California, Sherman Oaks area, because I’m coming down there and would you be open to connecting?” something general, I never say a lot in the first connection message.
Brynne Tillman 08:11
Well, I do like the piece that you threw in that I think is really good is “I’m going to be in Sherman Oaks. You know, I’d love to connect and potentially…” you know, that it automatically becomes relevant to them. It’s not completely general. So I think that’s interesting. So your first touch is a connection request.
Janice Porter 08:35
Right! And one of the things I learned somewhere along the way, and I don’t know if it was from you or someone else, but was that people like it better or it’s, maybe it’s a polite thing to do is to ask, “Would you be open to connect?” So I definitely do that. And quite often, it’s easy. They just say, “Yes, thanks. I’d love to connect” or something like that. So now I can start the conversation. But yeah, make it relevant to them. Absolutely. Make them have a reason to respond or to accept.
Brynne Tillman 09:07
Yeah, so I love that. So it’s funny. And I love to know how your successes –because I go through I follow them. I engage on their content first, like I go through all…
Janice Porter 09:19
I don’t do that.
Brynne Tillman 09:20
And you go right into the connection. For me, it’s like I make eye contact across the room. I flirt a little bit, right?
Janice Porter 09:31
Is it corporate though? Is it corporate?
Brynne Tillman 09:35
Janice Porter 09:36
Then I think I agree with that method. Most of my clients are not corporate. You know, it’s kind of like a long time ago, I did the corporate thing and had to wear the nylons and the high heels and go downtown and all of that and I never want to do that again, and it’s kind of the same feeling. So I just feel more better, more casual and I think small business owners and sales reps and entrepreneurs are more my lane so to speak.
Brynne Tillman 10:05
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Interesting. I love, I love that and one of these days, we’ll AB test a couple things and see, I love that. I mean, because there are people out there that will say send a connection request without any note. And I’m like, no, no, so. So I love that you’re personalizing that note. Do you ever look at your shared connections and ask people for insights on someone before you connect with them? Or do you just find that the connection requests that’s relevant really lands?
Janice Porter 10:37
I don’t think I have time. I feel like there’s so many people out there that I mean, if I’m talking to somebody that’s already a connection of mine and you know, I might ask them, but if I have to reach out and ask them by LinkedIn message, sometimes it takes too long. So I love your method of name-dropping, and I think that’s a great tool. (Brynne: Permission to name drop) Yes, exactly. I think I tell people all the time, look, if you want to drop my name, it’s fine people I’ve worked with, right that I’ve done some training with, because that shortens the cycle for sure but you know, I had an interesting thing happened the other day, I had a first conversation with a new connection that was from LinkedIn, I had done the outreach. He connected, I started a conversation and I actually and sometimes I do this where I use my podcast with the right people as an in sometimes, you know, I think, would you be open to talking about, you know, being a guest on my podcast? Well, they love that.
So this gentleman happened to be a CSP, do you know what that is? The highest award you can get in the American Speakers Association. I’m thinking the Canadian one is the American one. He was a really, really interesting guy. And I asked him if he wanted to be on my podcast because I thought he had a message that my audience could relate to. And so we basically had a zoom call and he said, “Yes,” which I was very surprised, but honored that he would do. And then he sent me a message afterwards with the recording, because he had wanted to record our call. And, and he said, I was talking to my friend, this person, he said, I think she would be a really good guest on your podcast, I think you should give her a call. So you know, it starts to snowball from nothing, like just one little conversation, and she’s just responded to me now as we’re speaking. So, yeah, it’s just how things can grow from just doing the right thing when you first connect with somebody.
Brynne Tillman 12:48
I love that, you know, and I was just talking with a client, last hour or so about a way that he can do something like this. He doesn’t have a podcast, so he does use Canva, canva.com. to create images. So he’s familiar with that. And I said, why don’t you reach out to these targeted people and ask for a quote around a question? So you have a question of the month and just reach out to them, get on a zoom record for seven minutes, have a conversation, and then you just use their insights. So, you know, maybe, you know, every day you have an insight from –He’s looking, in this particular case, for the mental health professionals, that’s who he’s going after. And so, you know, asking them questions, and then getting their quotes. And you can create all this amazing, original content while building relationships without having to write anything.
Janice Porter 13:52
Right. Right. So he’s asking him in a direct message to people.
Brynne Tillman 13:57
Yeah, you know, “I’d love to get a quote, this is the topic of our month…” reaching out to mental health professionals. You know, “If you’re open to jumping on a quick zoom call, I’d love to highlight your insights.” So just like your podcast, but without a podcast.
Janice Porter 14:14
Yeah! That’s a great idea because you’re asking them for their expertise. And that’s what… it’s all about them, not you so absolutely right.
Brynne Tillman 14:23
So I love that. I love that you’re doing it for the podcast. What is just –for everybody, what’s the name of your podcast?
Janice Porter 14:30
Brynne Tillman 14:32
Relationships Rule. I love that. So everyone go if you’re enjoying, how could you not be? Janice Porter today. Go follow Relationships Rule on whatever podcast service you use.
Janice Porter 14:45
It’s everyone. We’re everywhere.
Brynne Tillman 14:48
So, okay. So now they connect. Now what?
Janice Porter 14:51
So now, quite often, they just connect, and now it’s back on my plate again, right? They never ask a question, they just say “Sure. Let’s connect.” And now, I come back with my opening question, which is usually something around. “Thanks for connecting. I’m curious, what can you tell me about you that I won’t find on your LinkedIn profile?” And then I tell them something that ‘s one of my stories and see how they react and it’s been a lot of fun. So I’ll break this down for you. So basically, my story is that I was on Wheel of Fortune many years ago, and I have my 15 minutes of fame. So you know, I hope you can top that, it doesn’t matter. And then I say something at the end of it. And then they usually react quite well to it. And I’ve heard some great stories. And I’ve heard people saying, “I can’t top that but blah, blah, blah…” But it just opens the door. It’s an icebreaker. So it works pretty much all the time.
Brynne Tillman 15:52
So I love it. And you know, you’re taking relationships to a different level than I ever go, right? Because I stay very, very, very corporate professional, reaching out to the VPs of marketing, and, you know, CROs Chief Revenue officers. And so what you’re doing is really personalizing it, like I customize and tailor but you’re really building a personal relationship first versus a business relationship and I love that. You know, that’s a question I don’t think I’ve ever asked. I don’t know if I’ve ever been asked. And I think it’s such a great way to, you know, if you’re in a networking meeting, that is definitely a fun question that you could ask someone, it’s new, you’re not pitching and it’s really about caring about them and you’re connecting, everyone’s watched, we’ll fortunate, like, everyone is wanting to be on Wheel of Fortune, right? So if you can find a story, as you guys are listening, if you’d wanted to try this, find a story that you know, people will go “Oh, that’s so cool.”
Janice Porter 17:00
I had one guy say to me the other day, and I didn’t, I couldn’t relate to it but it was okay. Because he said something like, “I’ve been mistaken for the lead singer on the Smash of the Smashing Pumpkins.” And I’m like, “My daughter just went to see that group actually here in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago.” I did have something to say, but I couldn’t relate because that wasn’t my music. However, it was great that he told that story. And that conversation led to a zoom call, which led to the possibility of doing some business together very quickly actually.
Brynne Tillman 17:35
Yeah, that’s very cool. I think that’s great. I have to think of you know what my story would be.
Janice Porter 17:43
I had another one who I reached out to. She is an interesting woman. She was an interior designer, and also a stager and looking at her profile. She was like way up there in the books, and she’s in Southern California. She had a lot of accolades, and whatever. When I first reached out, I looked and then I asked her this question, and she came back to me with something I wouldn’t have expected at all. She said she had been a race car driver and won first prize several times in this race car. So that was fun. And then that led to her becoming a guest on my podcast and she’s doing an incredible project in Costa Rica, like a philanthropic project that she’s organizing for this philanthropist that looks really, really interesting. I just love people. And so for me, it was a very interesting connection. And who knows, you know, what else will come from it?
Brynne Tillman 18:48
It’s fantastic. I love this. So fun. All right. So now we’ve connected, we’ve personalized, that we started this conversation. Is there anything else that you’d want to share before we start kind of wrapping up our conversation?
Janice Porter 19:07
Yeah! There is one other thing, quite often, even, usually, after the first couple of messages, then I’m usually ready to meet the person and so we’ll have a zoom call. That’s when I always ask my guests, the person I’m having a conversation with for their mailing address. So whether it goes any further or not, I send them a card. And that often is a door opener to the next phase.
Brynne Tillman 19:36
Can I share what I just did today? I have added in my Calendly, “Add your address” when they sign up with me. You’re gonna go in and train my team how to do all of this. I just gave away that secret but they can just look back in my Calendly for the address. So I thought that was fun. So yeah, well, I thank you so much. How can people get in touch with you? What’s the best way for them to connect?
Janice Porter 20:08
[email protected], or connect with me on LinkedIn tell me they saw us or hurt us on your podcast and let’s start a conversation.
Brynne Tillman 20:16
Awesome and I think you mentioned you have a free ebook?
Janice Porter 20:20
I actually do. And it’s on my website.
Brynne Tillman 20:23
Find that if you go to Janiceporter.com, everything is going to be there.
Janice Porter 20:28
It is at the bottom of the first page.
Brynne Tillman 20:31
So scroll down… Ah, look at that. Just scroll down to janiceporter.com scroll down to the bottom. I’m putting in my name right now. You put in your name and your email
Janice Porter 20:43
it’s definitely there. But I just I can’t…
Brynne Tillman 20:47
It’s the Seven Steps To Creating Business Relationships That Last. There you go. All right, so that’s fine, janiceporter.com scroll to the bottom, fill it out. I’ve already done it while we’re sitting here. Janice, thank you so much for your insights. I’ve really enjoyed it so much, talking with you, working with you, having you in our membership. I mean, I just really loved getting to know you and love what you’re bringing to the world when it comes to building relationships on LinkedIn and off.
Janice Porter 21:21
Thank you so much. Absolutely. And I feel really honored to be in your circle. So thank you so much.
Brynne Tillman 21:28
Thank you. For everybody, thank you so much for joining us again for Making Sales Social, and when you are out and about, don’t forget to make your sales social.
Bob Woods 21:39
Thanks for watching, and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing, sales training, and social selling strategies that will set you apart. Hit the Subscribe button below to get the latest episodes from the Making Sales Social podcast. Give this video a thumbs up and comment down below on what you want to hear from us next. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information.
Scroll all the way down from her website https://janiceporter.com to download her gift, an ebook titled “Create Business Relationships that Last & Close More Sales.”
You can also listen and subscribe to her podcast “Relationship Rule” where they reveal how to nurture and build relationships in real-time.