Building Relationships for Business Success

Do you struggle with using Linked In to meet new people and develop professional relationships? In this episode of the Ready Yet Podcast, I am speaking with Janice Porter, LinkedIn Trainer, Relationship Marketing Specialist, and host of the Relationship Rules podcast. Join us as we discuss Janice’s journey from teacher to corporate trainer to finding her passion in relationship marketing and LinkedIn training,  the importance of relationships in business, using LinkedIn to nurture those relationships, and the role of greeting cards and gifts in staying at the forefront of people’s minds.



Transcribed with Descript

Episode 201 with Janice Porter: Building Relationships for Business Success

Erin Marcus: All right, welcome. Welcome to this episode of the ready yet podcast. And my guest today is Janice Porter and Janice works And something that I just find so, so, so important. It’s all about relationships, right? It’s all about relationships. And if you’ve heard me do any of my content, we are looking at relationships over transactions every single day.

Erin Marcus: So before we get into all the conversation about how you do what you do and why you do what you do, what it is that you do, why don’t you give everybody a little more official introduction to who you are and, and your business.

Janice Porter: Thanks, Erin. I, it’s it’s always a delight to talk to people who think the same way you do and, and have no trouble talking about it either.

Janice Porter: So thank you for having me on the show is Janice Porter and I’m coming to you from Vancouver, BC, Canada, and on the West coast, and I’m a relationship marketing specialist. Specialist. And what that means to me because it took me a while to figure that out and what to call myself because I do a couple of things.

Janice Porter: I teach people, I’m a teacher by trade. And so I’ve always been that trainer teacher piece. And so I, I like to think of myself as a trainer to show you how to create the best looking you on LinkedIn and then using LinkedIn to its. I mean, there’s so many people that, that don’t know how to take advantage of this powerful platform.

Janice Porter: And the way I look at it is about relationship building. For me, it’s all in the mailbox. It’s not all content. It’s more about in the mailbox, talking to people. And then once you

Erin Marcus: let’s step right there because it’s in the mailbox, but it’s not about posting your lead magnet in the mailbox. It’s not about, right.

Erin Marcus: It’s not about. Taking a landing page worth of pitch and putting it in somebody’s mailbox, right? It’s not

Janice Porter: bad, but I mean by it’s in the mailbox is this is where I network. This is where I make connections by, by doing some certain types of messaging strategies that lead me to new connections through direct messaging in LinkedIn.

Janice Porter: So great point there. And. And then I’m all about nurturing those relationships that you build through LinkedIn by using a system of greeting cards and gifts so that you stay top of mind with those people. And you are, they’re nurtured, you’re, they’re remembering you at the times when you want them to not just at Christmas or on their birthday.

Janice Porter: Right. So that’s

Erin Marcus: so true. I mean, I think what happens is a lot of people fall into one or two sides of this client acquisition. system where they either focus only on growing their audience, or they focus only on once they’ve gotten comfortable and they’ve got their 30 people in their world, they want to know why they’re not growing, except they’re pitching and referring and pitching, referring to the same people over and over again.

Erin Marcus: And you really need that balance. And combined with the problem, I’m sure you see this, unfortunately, nobody cares about us until they need us. Right. And then there, and, and so many times it’s just brutal. You put all this energy into what you think is a relationship and then they hire the person who happens to be in front of them

Janice Porter: when the thought hits.

Janice Porter: Well, you know, that happens a lot in the real estate industry industry. So I always tell the story of a friend of mine who lived in as funny cause I was talking to a girl early earlier today who lives in the same place and who would have thought because it’s. Okonomowoc, and I could never. Oh, I know where that is.

Janice Porter: That’s right by me.

Erin Marcus: I totally know where, I could, yeah, I’ve been there. I totally know where that is. It’s not, it’s random for you, it’s like my neighbor.

Janice Porter: I don’t know how to spell it now, so that’s really cool. That’s completely, yeah. But my friend bought and sold three houses over 15 years, and every single time he used a different realtor.

Janice Porter: Why? Because they never stay in touch. And it’s a classic example and a true story as well, because if you’re not top of mind, they go with the person that’s that is with who’s in front of them. Yeah. Absolutely. And if you take that to LinkedIn as well, so you, you have people who say, you know, I need to find some new clients, I need to branch out and I say, well, how many connections do you have on LinkedIn?

Janice Porter: They go 5, 200. I go, Oh, really? Do you ever talk to them? You know, like how many of

Erin Marcus: them do you actually

Janice Porter: know? Right? Yes, and that’s a warm call. Oh, that’s a warm message, right? You already are connected. I’m just as guilty as the next person I go, and maybe I just met somebody actually add on an online networking event.

Janice Porter: Last week. And we went to connect on LinkedIn. We were already connected, right? Well,

Erin Marcus: here’s the thing. We’re a couple of us are getting a little older thoughts in my head at one time. I get it. But it is why it’s so important to have, you know. When I first started growing and scaling, not just growing my business, but truly scaling my business, it did feel weird to me to feel like I was relying on notes in my CRM And what I call personalized automation.

Erin Marcus: So it’s not a hundred percent automated because you want it to be personalized. But so much of my keep in touch efforts really are automated, even if it’s just telling me what to do.

Janice Porter: Okay. Yeah. And it’s not,

Erin Marcus: you know, I was worried that, well, that makes it fake, but who the heck can remember everybody?

Janice Porter: Well, it’s true.

Janice Porter: And although I, I, I don’t know, like, what do you think about this? So you’re doing an event, an online event. You sent, you do a, you create the event on LinkedIn so that you can invite people and get them to know about it. It’s not going to be on LinkedIn. standalone. But so you send those messages out.

Janice Porter: And invitations and they all say accept, accept, accept only nobody signed up, right? I think there’s, that was it. So now you send a reminder message saying, Hey, I’m glad that you saw my event. And don’t forget to actually sign up. Here’s the link again. Look forward to seeing you there. You do get more people the next time when you do that, but nobody reads anything properly.

Janice Porter: So I wonder though, if I. If I just automate the message and send that reminder message, which I’ve done, but I’ve also done it the other way where I take an hour and I go through those messages and I personalize them glad to see you’re coming and you know, like I remember when we talked about this.

Janice Porter: Those are the ones that I start to get to actually get a response.

Erin Marcus: Well, I would absolutely, I think you’re absolutely right. And I think that is what happens. And I think that is exactly what should happen. And I think that the way to differentiate between the automated and the not automated is, are they a warm lead?

Erin Marcus: Are they have some more, you need more information. Have more data. And I know that there are tech tools out there, whether it’s Sales Navigator or other things, that can help you categorize and flag certain people into certain lists in the same way that you would in your, in a CRM that wasn’t a CRM.

Erin Marcus: Social media platform, right? You would do it in your own CRM. If you’re going to use LinkedIn that way, then use it that way. Like my only thing with LinkedIn and it’s not specific to LinkedIn is make sure you’re not completely building a business, relying on a single third parties. Because you don’t own it, it can change, it can break, it can be sold, it can be morphed into something you don’t want to play with anymore.

Erin Marcus: We’ve seen that

Janice Porter: over and over again. That’s a good reason to every once in a while do an export of your contacts on LinkedIn. Because you can, and some people don’t realize that. Now at least you’ve got Those names and those email addresses, and you can be the one of the very first things I tell people when they’re connecting with new people on LinkedIn is get it off LinkedIn as fast as possible, you know, right now, the first message or two messages or three messages on LinkedIn, at least they’ll see them if they’re active on LinkedIn.

Janice Porter: If you did try to email them cold, they may not see them it would go into junk. And I.

Erin Marcus: can only track so much at once, right? It, it reminds me of the scene of Drew Barrymore in He’s Just Not That Into You. And it was some years ago. And like this guy didn’t want to date her. And he, she’s like, she’s just exhausted.

Erin Marcus: Cause I called him on his office phone and he left me a message on my cell phone. So I DM’d him on MySpace and he replied to me on Facebook. And now I’m talking to him on LinkedIn. Like there’s 17 different ways to keep in touch with people. And I, my bad habit is if your message is below what’s on my screen, it doesn’t exist.

Erin Marcus: I can’t be alone in that.

Janice Porter: No, I’m sure you’re not. I got a big

Erin Marcus: screen to help me. Got a bigger screen.

Janice Porter: Yeah. I mean, I think any, any relationship that you’re building or rebuilding or, you know, building that trust with, That or you’re trying to let’s be we are trying to sell them something usually I mean, yeah, it depends on the person.

Janice Porter: Absolutely. So let’s make sure that we always move it forward and we book the next appointment that way we won’t lose them. Right? Some of them we need to lose. I don’t know.

Erin Marcus: Absolutely. And then most people if you do a good job in your marketing those people kind of go away on their

Janice Porter: own too. Exactly. Well, how did you get involved in all this?

Janice Porter: I guess. Well, I was a teacher, as I mentioned at the beginning, and that was my first life. I always, I think deep down, I’m always a teacher, so it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. And by

Erin Marcus: the way, you say that, and I think that’s phenomenal, because to me, an education based approach to sales and marketing is phenomenal.

Janice Porter: hands down. Interesting. Just the best way

Erin Marcus: to approach it. It’s my, I mean, I am not a teacher, but it’s my approach as well.

Janice Porter: Well, I, I find that so many people call themselves coaches today that aren’t really, what is a coach, right? But I’m different. I’m not a coach. I’m a teacher. So I’m going to show you.

Janice Porter: The way that I learned or the way that I do it, and you can decide if it’s for you or not. I’m not gonna say, good for you. Keep going. You know, do like in the sense that that Right. I’m just not a coach that way. My husband’s actually a coach, he’s a basketball coach and he’s been coaching forever and he has a completely different approach to me.

Janice Porter: And, and so he should, right? It’s a different, anyway. But he’s also a teacher, so that’s kind of interesting too. Anyway I digress. So I was a teacher. Then I became a corporate trainer, which is the same as teaching, except the kids are bigger. That’s all

Erin Marcus: right, right? And they feel they probably feel a little more obligation to be there or sense responsibility, but they may or may not be any more interested in what you’re doing.

Erin Marcus: Yeah,

Janice Porter: they come in like this, you know,

Erin Marcus: slightly more responsible, still

Janice Porter: not interested. So you have to get their attention. And then yeah. That was a really good gig that was a, I was a contractor for many, many years and that fell apart. And I knew by this time I couldn’t go to a real job, job, nine to five job.

Janice Porter: I had a daughter at home that was an athlete. I had to be available to take her here and there and what we call it, schlep around and and then. It was like, what do I do? So I started networking like crazy, like going to the chamber of commerce, talking to lots of small business owners and entrepreneurs and looking for something right away that didn’t reinvent the wheel.

Janice Porter: And I ran into this woman who, she was amazing. She was a true entrepreneur and. She had a company that was called what was it called? Go get organized. And she was licensing her process for organizing people’s home offices and small offices. And so I kind of, she took me under her wing and I was her first.

Janice Porter: person. And and so I learned how to be a, that was no, no brain, no brainer in how to organize people because I’m a Virgo and I have to be organized. You can’t not do it. Right. But but business, that’s a whole other thing. I didn’t know how to run a business. So that was, you know, I knew how to present.

Janice Porter: At the chamber, do a lunch and learn and tell people how, you know, what I did. And this was important, blah, blah, blah, and getting some clients that way. I didn’t know how to run a business. So it was trial and error the entire way. I did that for about three years and then became a glorified house keeper or house cleaner.

Janice Porter: So I didn’t want to do that anymore. And I started in my journey in network marketing, which I absolutely love, but it was finding the right, the right product. And yeah. For me, it turned into be turned out to be a tool that people can use in their business, which is send out cards, which

Erin Marcus: and I don’t currently have it, but I’ve used that system more than once in

Janice Porter: two different businesses.

Janice Porter: Okay, so you understand that the ease of having Oh, yeah, it’s great. And it sends real cards in the mail and it’s actually changed a lot if you haven’t used it for a while because there’s so much more you can do with it now and so many more options. Anyway at the same time I was getting into network marketing, somebody introduced me to LinkedIn.

Janice Porter: It was around. I don’t know, 2011, I think I had an account, but I didn’t really use it. And I knew Facebook and I didn’t like Facebook. I was uncomfortable on Facebook, but when I learned what LinkedIn was all about, I was like, Oh, I can do this. It’s left brain. It’s logical. It’s right. And I started sharing what I learned with my friends and then I started to realize that I could train on this.

Janice Porter: And started to develop my my process for doing that and still learning along the way because I

Erin Marcus: absolutely love that. I think there’s a lot of people, you know, I, it wasn’t, it was intuitive for you, but what you did was you found some, you found this intersection and it might have been by, you know, happenstance, but you found this intersection between something you did well and something a problem people

Janice Porter: had.

Janice Porter: Exactly. Yes. And, and they still have, because it changes all the time, right? Right. And, but, and

Erin Marcus: I watch business owners not do that. I watch business owners create their problem solving in a bubble

Janice Porter: instead of in response to the market. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a, that’s a big one for sure. I think for me, it took me a while, you know, learning how to run a business and also how to present myself.

Janice Porter: So it wasn’t fractured and the fact that I was such networking and connecting and referrals, all of that was so comfortable for me. I love it. I’m curious. I love to talk to people. I love to connect people. It just worked. I, I would, you know, we’d go, I think about going to like an event or a party or something with my husband and we’ll come.

Janice Porter: Home and we’ll talk about, did you talk to so and so or whatever and I’ll say, did you, what did you think? I don’t know. I just talked about the golf game we had last week. I’m like, they’re so different, right? Like I knew this person’s life history in 10 minutes, right? So

Erin Marcus: yeah. And that’s, that’s me too. I laugh because in my last business I had, it was working with families with aging parents and I, I networked a lot to get my clients, not because, you know, for referrals, but also because entrepreneurs are easy to find.

Erin Marcus: Right, because they’re all collected and they’re all they’re looking to do business with other people. So they’re happy to talk to you about their business. So I networked with entrepreneurs, but I was really serving families with aging parents because entrepreneurs have parents and their friends have parents and their parents have friends.

Erin Marcus: But what I learned was. Women do that. Men aren’t aware of the fact that their friends have parents, let alone saying that they really don’t know if their friends have parents or what’s going on in those people’s lives, let alone their own lives. So the women were very, very good at I

Janice Porter: think we’re just also more collaborative, you know, in our way of thinking around things.

Erin Marcus: Right. If the men, and I wonder how you see this on LinkedIn too, because if the men can see how the dots connect They are going to take massively more action than women do. But if the dots don’t connect for them, they just don’t do anything. Women will figure out the

Janice Porter: dots. Yeah, I’m trying to think, you know, it’s funny because I started off thinking that my target audience was women, business owners, entrepreneurs, even network marketers, because they’re all coming over to LinkedIn.

Janice Porter: But I actually have a lot of male clients, so I don’t, yeah, so, but I don’t know, I think they’re more logical about making it happen, but I do have that challenge of opening them up so that, right, because I want their profile to speak to them as a person, not just their act, you know, their, their achievements and so on.

Janice Porter: So it’s fun. It is fun. So

Erin Marcus: let’s do it this. Let’s play this game because I love doing this shortening people’s learning curves. I call it if you just don’t do what I did, you’ll already be ahead of the game. What? So, you know, and I totally understand and you’ve mentioned it a couple times. You had to learn how to run a business, but what’s one or two things that you’ve tried that just let’s shorten some people’s learning curves, like massive failure.

Erin Marcus: Just don’t do this. Let me save you the time and the trouble.

Janice Porter: Well, I think. The first and foremost is probably always around the money thing. It’s like, you know, you think you can start your business on your credit card, or you think that you can keep things muddled instead of separate. I mean, I did the, the money thing in more ways than one was my biggest thing.

Janice Porter: I think it still is, but you know, it’s like understanding that you have to separate your business from you. And also there was something else about that though. It’s gone from my head, but you know, there’s, there’s many things around you know, the money, but there’s also the thing around.

Janice Porter: Not taking things personally, you know, when you get a no and learning to that business is business and don’t take it personally because there are, there’s always reasons why that have nothing

Erin Marcus: to do with you want to, you know, and the way that I often solve for that is actually with the same solution. If you look at yourself as an asset of the business.

Erin Marcus: Right. The business is its own entity and, you know, using my business. So conquer your business and Aaron, me, I’m just one more asset. Right. That the business owns. And for me, from a mindset standpoint, that has helped a lot with the business has money and I have money. Those are two separate things. The business is trying something, it did or didn’t work, right?

Erin Marcus: Like, and I think even if you don’t, when I first started and I met a lot, some of my mentors who use their name. As their business name and yet they occasionally refer to themselves in the third person. And I thought that was weird until I figured out they were talking about the business.

Janice Porter: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, again, I, if I had to do it over again, I mean, I branded myself and, and, and I’ve been, that’s been good for me, but I can see where it doesn’t help for the separation sometimes.

Janice Porter: And the other thing that I, that I Forgot earlier, one of my friends, and she’s a business strategist, so she was coaching me a little bit around that too. She said, you always have to know your numbers. And like in the beginning, I didn’t have a clue. You know, I just, I’m just going along. So, I didn’t have the, the fortune of being able to go, like, here in Canada, there are, I don’t know about in the States, I think that you have them in the States too, where maybe if people are, are re reinventing themselves in another industry or another job, the government will give some money towards it or they’ll be, they won’t give

Erin Marcus: us any money, but we do what we have here is a small businesses administration and they have a group called score, which is, I forget what it stands for, but it’s a bunch of retired, mostly retired business people who have Offer all sorts of free advice and free training and reasonably good trainings on a variety of things, but you guys have grants, you guys get

Janice Porter: back in the day, the government was encouraging people that were losing their jobs to, you know, change into something else.

Janice Porter: And they would, there was like a three month or four month program. And you could you had to be on unemployment insurance though. And you had to qualify for it. I wasn’t, On unemployment insurance, I couldn’t qualify for it, so I was able to take this two week course that gave me a snippet of all the different parts of the business, and I just networked like crazy with these people and, you know, tried to learn from that, but that was it.

Janice Porter: That was how I learned how to have

Erin Marcus: my own business. Well, and I think the data, you know, it’s data driven decisions. I’m a big fan of keeping all sorts of numbers and all sorts of data. I think people don’t do it, one, because they don’t know. Like, they’re just not sure what to measure. Okay. Two, I think people Avoid it because they don’t want, they, you know, they think it’s going to make them look bad.

Erin Marcus: They’re going to be disappointed. So they avoid the information, but business is a puzzle, right? Business is just a series of lovers and you don’t know which, you don’t know where to focus or what to fix if you don’t have that information, right? So yeah, let’s flip it. What are you like, totally, totally proud of?

Erin Marcus: This is amazing. How did I do it? How did

Janice Porter: I get here? This is so cool. Well, one of the things I’m quite proud of is that I’ve, that I have my podcast three years in, I’ve done about 230 episodes now and I haven’t missed a week. I do, I launch once a week and it’s. And I love it because I don’t know, it’s just something I really enjoy doing.

Janice Porter: And has it made me a lot of money? Probably not, but it’s definitely got the, brought people to me from different places. And so I have had, you know, some business from it. And I’m going to take it to another level now. I’m just about. Ready to do that and starting the process. But, but yeah, love my podcast.

Janice Porter: I love the fact that I’m able to do what I love, which is. Training people. And I get to, I’ve, one of the things I was really proud of is I was asked to speak or do a half hour training on stage at the Sendout Cards conference. Mm. Just before Covid, I think it was 2019, January, 2019. And I was petrified, you know, a few thousand people in the audience and whatever.

Janice Porter: And, and it went really well. So I was really proud of myself about that. And, yeah, and the other thing you asked me if I’m proud of, it’s my kids. So that’s nice. And my granddaughter, who’s the best. Awesome.

Erin Marcus: So if people want to continue this conversation, learn more about how you can help them on LinkedIn, learn more about the send out card system, which again, I’ve used and I absolutely loved it.

Erin Marcus: What is the best way for them to get ahold of

Janice Porter: you? There’s, there’s so many options. You can email me, you can call me, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. You can send me a message from my website, Janice at Janice Porter. com. You can go check out my website, Janice Porter. com. You can go and connect with me on LinkedIn, which is.

Janice Porter: Janice Porter, you’ll find me quite easily there. And if they do find me, if your audience does find me on, well, wherever, however they connect with me, make sure they tell me that they heard me on your Conqueror business. No, it’s not called that. Get ready, ready. Yes. Time for

Erin Marcus: your business. Ready yet?

Erin Marcus: Podcast. Yes.

Janice Porter: Yes. Yes. Yeah. Exactly. Awesome. Well,

Erin Marcus: thank you for sharing your story, your ideas, all your insights and your energy. You know, I love chatting with you. So thank you

Janice Porter: again for all your time. Oh, my pleasure. Thank you.

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Erin Marcus is an author, speaker and communications specialist helping organizations to “Conquer the Conversation,” and creating improvement in sales, customer service and team dynamics. To bring Erin to your event or business:

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