Episode 17: Jennifer Gitomer – Why Taking Your Audience Along for the Journey Helps You Stand Out From Competitors
In this episode, the Social Sales Link team are joined by Jennifer Gitomer, founder and CEO of Sales in a New York Minute. Jen helps sales professionals and organizations improve their sales programs. Listen as she shares her tips and strategies on this podcast!
Jennifer Gitomer 0:00
I think if you want to make sales socially, you have to really create that relationship, where people feel like they know you. I’ve never met these people, but I can tell you so much about them. It’s crazy, and you have to create that relationship where people feel like they know you, trust you, value what you’re offering, and then want to buy from you. (Brynne) I absolutely love that.
Intro (Bob Woods) 0:23
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales and marketing. Join hosts; Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick, as they discuss the best tips and strategies they are teaching their clients. So you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. You can also listen to us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Here are your hosts Brynne Tillman, and Bill McCormick.
Bill McCormick 1:01
Hey, everyone, welcome to Making Sales Social, I’m Bill McCormick. (Brynne) I’m Brynne Tillman. So Brynne, who’s joining us today.
Brynne Tillman 1:08
So I met this fabulous human in New York, the day she quit her VP of sales job, came to a LinkedIn training and said to me; “I need to figure out what I want to do next. Can you help me?”, and I said; “ that’s not really what I do”. And she says; “Yes, you do”. She was really good at the management side. But she really loved the coaching and the sales training side. So I said; “go be a sales trainer and take a Jeffrey Gitomer course”, and now she’s married to him. So Jennifer, thank you for being here. (Jennifer) It’s really an honor to be here, and I am just–thank you for that introduction, that was amazing. (Brynne) You’re amazing.
Bill McCormick 1:50
So Jen, tell our audience a little bit about what you do. Now, you took her advice and really took it to the extreme, I think, but–
Jennifer Gitomer 1:59
It’s kind of funny that I sold Brynne on making an offer, that she didn’t even offer. But she really did change my life because it not only impacted my future career but also my marriage, my family, my everything. So just an abundance of thank you that I’m emanating and just appreciation through the screen. I started out really young, loving sales. At five years old, I knew what selling was, and I was a salesperson. And I’m not just talking about selling candy bars to my parents in terms of like, Mom, I want this candy bar, selling her on buying it for me. But I’m also talking about, I would get really bored on Saturdays when my grandma took me to the grocery store and I would stand outside the grocery store, selling bracelets. And at this very young age, I propped up a table, no joke, I don’t know how they left me outside, different times. I had a little fold-up chair and a propped-up table and beaded bracelets. And what I quickly realized was no one wanted my bracelets, meaning like my colors, my designs didn’t really matter. They wanted their colors, their designs, the things that they cared about, their teams, their affiliations, their favorite color, whatever it may be. And so what I would do was rather than making all these bracelets that I loved, I would make custom and I would have them pay and then I would return the next week. And I would bring them their bracelets. I started out really young and selling and loving it watching my mom sell millions of dollars of printing every year for the printing company that she and my dad owned. And just learning, just absorbing, just being a sponge at our dinner table conversations. We’re like a real-world MBA literally. Eventually, I went into sales on my own selling Cutco knives, selling at school, all throughout college, and then eventually landed a job where I grew from executive assistant to the CEO, all the way to second in charge in a sales division, for a company that was like 150 people when I joined, and when I left we had grown to 1500 people, sold to News Corp, my responsibilities had skyrocketed. I was not knowingly making decisions that were impacting the stock price. I had way too much responsibility at a young age. And they just trusted me and I figured it out. And so, after that, I realized I loved and this is kind of now going catching up to when I met Brynne. I loved selling and I loved teaching people in helping people make more sales, grow their business, grow whatever it was that they were selling. And that leads me to today where I’ve written a best-selling book on sales, and help entrepreneurs make more money, make more sales. (Bill) And what’s the name of the book? It’s called “Sales in a New York minute”.
Bill McCormick 5:05
I love that title. But one of the questions we ask all of our guests is, Jen to you, what does making sales social mean to you?
Jennifer Gitomer 5:13
Making sales social, it’s two things. Because when I think of social, I think of actually just being social and creating relationships and rapport. But there’s also this, like social selling, the kind of thing that comes to mind of selling online. And still, when you’re selling online, you’re making sales social in the sense that you still need to build rapport, you still need to build a relationship, they need to know who you are, like you, trust you. All those things, or they’re never gonna buy. Think about all the last three to four purchases you made from a human being, did you follow them for like a minute, or did you know them for a while? Last week, I bought a $37 course. But I had been following these people for maybe two or three years. And then their Facebook ad came up, and I’m like, “Oh, I know them, and I actually want to learn this”. It was a no brainer, I didn’t think for more than like, one minute about if I was going to buy it, then there’s a little order bump 27 bucks, you want that too? Yes, then it gets me to the next, I’m buying everything in their funnel. Why? Because they showed up socially, online, they created that know, like, trust, they have a great reputation, they’re always giving value. And it made me want to buy it. And so I think if you want to make sales socially, you have to really create that relationship where people feel like they know you, I’ve never met these people. But I can tell you so much about them. It’s crazy. And you have to create that relationship where people feel like they know you, trust you, value what you’re offering, and then want to buy from you.
Brynne Tillman 6:58
I absolutely love that. And that is foundational to sales generally, right? Like, if you can’t create that connection, unless you’re selling a $1.99 widget, right? Like from Amazon, if you’re in that kind of stuff, you have to build that rapport. So you know, one of the many things that you do is, you do a lot of free coaching on Facebook Live, every Friday, (Jennifer) and it’s 11:30 eastern, in my Facebook group, (Brynne) is anyone allowed to join your Facebook group?
Jennifer Gitomer 7:30
It’s for Breakthrough Babes, and it’s actually tweaking it so that it’s going to be for online coaches and course graders.
Brynne Tillman 7:38
Fabulous. What I would say is, there is extreme value in that Live every single time you get on, even if it’s a small shift in the way. I’m thinking there’s an ‘aha’ moment, and that you can do that over and over and over again, is absolutely mind-blowing. It’s one of the things that’s so great, and you never sell, yet you are incredibly successful in your sales. So I’d love to hear a little bit about your philosophy around how you keep showing up and then how that converts.
Jennifer Gitomer 8:12
Online it’s different, because it’s interesting that you said I never sell, I’m always selling. But it doesn’t feel sleazy, it doesn’t feel like I’m selling, everyone is always selling, right? You are selling with this show and people are getting to know you better. That’s selling in a sense that you’re showing up, you’re providing consistency and your value, you’re providing value or attracting people. This is all selling, except when people think of selling, they think of you saying like okay, so go down below and click that Buy Now button. Click it, that’s annoying. If we go back to that, like the idea of selling socially, it’s all about creating that relationship and then creating an offer that’s so irresistible that people want to buy it from you. It’s providing this consistency in your messaging, always right and then following that up with how you’re serving people, so that when they go to make a referral or a testimonial, like I told my coach about the program, she just messaged me an hour ago. She goes: “I just bought the program, so I can see what you’re looking at”. (Brynne) And if you’re bringing value. Yeah, that’s just snowballs.
Bill McCormick 9:19
It’s so good, as we talk about working through different things. I’m curious, what sales strategy are you teaching your clients now that helps them to stand out from their competition?
Jennifer Gitomer 9:30
If you’re selling online, one of the things, besides providing value and a consistent message and all that, is taking your audience along for the journey. So I have a podcast called the Breakthrough Babe podcast. And every week I’m there and you know, giving something of value out if I were to say next week out of nowhere, you guys they just came out with this really great program. Go here. Click now. By that, whatever, people would feel kind of lost because they’d feel like, “wow, we knew Jen for all this time we’ve been listening to her show. She’s never once mentioned that, and now all of a sudden out of thin air”, she has this thing. It’s like, why does anyone like reality TV? Or, like the housewives are the Kardashians or The Bachelor? It’s because they want to be along for the drama and the journey. And so instead of just showing up and saying, like, “Oh, this thing happened out of thin air”, no, take them along, show them behind the scenes, show them how you’re creating it. Talk about anything that may have come up while you’re doing it, right. Like, look, you guys, I’m making this course. And it never flowed out. I was up till 3 am last night, and this true story, working on this sales course that I’m about to launch. Like, that’s the kind of thing that people want to know, they want to know that behind the scenes stuff because they want to feel like they’re a part of it. That’s friggin awesome. And then they’re invested when it comes out, inherently, people want to see you win. And so they’re cheering you along, and they feel like they’re part of it. And now it’s released, and they’re like, Oh, my God, I gotta go support her. Right? Versus; “you guys, I’ve been keeping this to myself. It’s a secret. I’ve been working really hard on this thing for the past, but I didn’t think to tell you all my followers”.
Bill McCormick 11:21
But as we’re talking about doing that, what you’re saying is bring them closer, we’re in this time now, you know, Social Distancing is the big thing. And I like to say, it’s got to be physical distancing because we need to be more socially connected. And so Jen, I think that’s what I hear you saying, is bring them in closer, so that you can start developing that relationship even sooner.
Jennifer Gitomer 11:43
Yes, 100%. I remember that was a really defining moment for me when I had this realization. So Jeffrey, my husband, and I have season tickets to the, well, I don’t even know if they’re even playing right now. But the Knights, the minor league baseball team in Charlotte. And it was, I think, now two years ago, we went to pick up our season tickets, to a season ticket holder day. And they make this really nice luncheon and dinner kind of thing at you know, buffet, right? And so, all I thought was we’re going to pick up our tickets, eat some free food and go home. And some guy comes out from out of nowhere. And he’s like, “Jeffrey Gitomer!”, and, you know, talking to my husband, as if, like, you know, and this happens all the time to Jeffrey. And he goes, “Oh, my God, you must be Jen”. I’m like, Yes. He’s like, “how was Paris? How is this? How’s that?”. I’m like, how did you know I went to Paris? I don’t know who this person is. Right? And he’s like, “I listened to every episode of your podcast”, because we have a podcast together, Jeffrey and I called “Sell-or-Die”. And he’s like, telling me things that I didn’t even remember talking about. Because sometimes you get into like, oh, and you just talk. And I’m like, Oh, my God, this guy thinks that he and I are really good friends. Like, I could feel the connection. Like, he knew so much about me. He was like, in it with me, except I had never heard of him. Okay, I would have walked right by him. I didn’t know who he was. And that’s the power of selling socially, is your ability to impact other people in a positive way and influence them in a positive way. I mean, influence, and give them inspiration, and positivity, and hope, and strategies that will help accelerate their growth. And so that’s the cool thing. One of the other things I teach is, like, have a platform where you’re showing up consistently because we had this podcast and he was literally like, “I listened to three episodes at a long drive today, I got caught up”, and I’m just like, oh my god!
Brynne Tillman 13:59
There’s the old saying; “Is it too, you know”, but I really think it’s “who knows you”.
Bill McCormick 14:03
What you say is so true. Because now our prospects, our clients, our networking partner, they’re right on the other side of the screen. I’m looking at a camera now. But so much more of a closer connection, I think your 9th or 10th episode, I don’t remember where we are in the numbers. But that’s 9 or 10 guests we’ve had, you’re the first one that I’ve met in person, the very first LinkedIn training I ever took was given by, she was then Jennifer Gluckow, out down in New York City. And so you’re the first one, but all the other guests that we’ve had, have been people that I’ve known though, and I’ve had conversations with and have connected with–(Brynne) relationship, friendships. (Bill) Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, Brynne and I started working together, before we actually met in person and it was in person that I turned to her and said; ”So hey, can I add Social Sales Link to my experience section on LinkedIn because we’re doing some stuff together”. It’s so very important. I think it’s Larry Levine who says, you know, businesses are personal, all business is personal. So you’re just really bringing that home for sure.
Jennifer Gitomer 15:10
What you said about physically distancing, over social distancing, I’m 100% on board with, I mean, like, who wants anyone in their personal space anyway? Like, let’s be real here. Okay? But can we get closer online and even eventually in person is going to come back eventually. And I’m still gonna want my little bubble around me, which is like my energy bubble. But you know, this notion of using social media as a platform to connect with your audience, in a way that makes them love you and want to buy from you, and want to grow because of whatever it is you’re offering or profit more, or when more whatever it is, you’re selling, right? And there’s going to be a lot of salespeople who are listening to this, who have already poo-pooed it, who have already said, Oh, no, no, my buyers aren’t aligned. My buyers don’t buy like that. They will watch my live videos, they won’t show up to whatever online is not true.
Bill McCormick 16:14
So let’s get real practical and tactical here for just one moment. Last question is; what tips or strategy are you teaching your clients right now, that if they do it consistently, will create opportunities for them?
Jennifer Gitomer 16:29
This is gonna sound really simple, but just show up with authenticity. That’s number one, and be real about who you are. You don’t need to be someone else. Because you’re on a screen like I’m sitting here talking to you. I have no makeup on because I didn’t put on makeup today. Okay, that’s who I am. I don’t like wearing makeup. If I have to. I’ll do it. Okay, but you know what, that’s who I am. So I wasn’t going to put on makeup to put on a show for our zoom call, like, this is me, you get me I’m here for my brain not for like, whatever my face looks like. And so just show up with that. That’s number one consistently. Like when we started our podcast, we were kind of like hodgepodge, like whenever we wanted to do whenever we got the inspiration, we would do one. And people want a routine, people want to fit you and your social selling piece into their routine. So do it with consistency. And then differentiate yourself. And the way to differentiate yourself is through creativity. Okay, I had a client call me up and he said, I sell furniture for companies to buy and then resell. Okay, so he doesn’t wholesale. And he’s like, but no one can come anymore. This was at the beginning of COVID. What do I do? And I was like, Okay, let’s do video tours. Let’s set up zooms with your camera when you’re walking out. He’s like, my WiFi is not good. Okay, let’s get a booster. Like there’s all these things you can do to stand out. I don’t know, Brynne, I don’t know, if you shop at Lululemon. And Bill, maybe you do it. And as their stores began to shut their creativity online began to grow and innovate at such an incredible speed. I needed shorts for the summer. But I didn’t want shorts that were too short, but I couldn’t go try them on as the stores were closed. So I went to their website to try and figure it out on my own. And I got this, Hey, would you like our sales consultant to meet with you for whatever you’re looking for? And I’m like, Sure. So I say yes. And then they’re like, would you like a FaceTime call, a Zoom meeting or some other option? I was like, This is cool. Let’s FaceTime. So this girl comes on from Chicago. She’s like, Okay, I know you were looking for shorts. So I’m wearing mine. This is where they come up to me. What do you think? I don’t even have to leave my home to go shopping anymore. And I have a personal shopper. Right in my phone. This is so freaking cool. There’s so many lessons in that story. Right? Like so, continue to innovate, be creative. To me, it’s about literally stepping into your customer’s shoes. If you were them. What would make it easy for them to buy? What would make it fun for them to buy? How could you help them the most? And you really have to think about it from their perspective, not yours, because Lululemon could have said, “Oh, we have a showroom online”. Like that’s what they have, right? But no, they said, Hey, we have buyers who can’t come to our stores. What happens when they come to stores, they know how things look on them. Let’s try this program. And they did, she told me she was part of a beta program. And if it worked well, they were going to expand it. You know, and now I have a relationship with a rep, who I can message whenever, which is more than I ever had when I walked into a store. (Brynne) And you keep telling the story over and over again. So you’re giving them free advertising.
Bill McCormick 19:49
You know, and this goes back to your earlier story about being outside the store. It’s giving people not what you think they want, right? So that’s the golden rule. Treat people how you want to be treated, but you took it to what I call the Platinum rule, treating others the way that they want to be treated? That’s the tactic for everyone. Listen as we’re winding this down, Jen, thank you so much, such great value from everyone. How can people support you, get in touch with you? I can’t be part of the Breakthrough Babes. But maybe we’ll do a Breakthrough Bros?
Jennifer Gitomer 20:16
So maybe at some point, we’ll have Breakthrough Bros, I kind of like the name, I’m gonna go by the URL. You can just connect with me on Instagram, I’m @jengitomer. I hate to say this, but I’m not as active as I should be on LinkedIn. You can find me there, Jennifer Gitomer. But I respond to every message on Instagram. I love connecting there and it’s just @jengitomer.
Bill McCormick 20:40
Hey, thank you so much, a lot of value in this episode. So everyone, get a hold of Jen, go check out her book “Sales and the New York Minute”. Alright, everyone, thanks for coming to Making Sales Social.
Outro (Bob Woods) 20:52
Thanks for watching and join us again for more special guest instructors bringing you marketing sales, training, and social selling strategy 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 Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play. Visit our website socialsaleslink.com for more information