Jullien Gordon on Increasing Business Coaching Sales and Impact

In Chapter 18 of 21 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, business coach Jullien Gordon "How Are Your Career Aspirations Changing as You Gain Experience?"  Gordon shares how he has learned that while his consumers are individuals but his customers are organizations.  As a result, Gordon shifts his relationship building and sales strategy away from social media - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc. - and toward organizational sales and outreach.  Jullien Gordon is a high performance coach and consultant to organizations, individuals and teams who want to increase employee performance, motivation, engagement and retention.  He earned a BA from UCLA, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.


Erik Michielsen: How are your career aspirations changing as you gain experience?

Jullien Gordon: One of the biggest insights that I’ve had this year is that while my consumer is individuals, my customer is actually large organizations, whether that’s companies, non-profit organizations, conferences, or colleges. And up until this point I’ve been trying to get the hearts and the minds of individuals through videos, through Facebook, through my writing, through LinkedIn, et cetera. And when in fact—when I think about the greatest impact that my work has had, it’s been through organizations, whether that’s a large organization like PWC bringing me in, or some school, or some non-profit to speak at a large conference, that’s where I’ve had access to the most individuals, and so my shift in energy in 2013 is going to be focused on how to build relationships with those key decision makers and less about social media, less about trying to get individuals, because I will get individuals once I get through them.

I’d rather have 10 relationships with people in those key decision positions than relationships with a thousand individuals. Because those 10 relationships are gonna give me access to a thousand individuals or more. And so that’s a big shift for me because—yeah, it’s just a big shift for me as I think about what it’s actually gonna take to grow the business, it’s not as sexy as… It’s not as sexy, I mean the sexy route is almost like being in a music band and you see your Facebook fan page likes go up and all of a sudden you have 50,000 likes. But how many of those 50,000 people are actually buying your CD? Right?

And so when you think about the business model behind my work, while I have books, and there’s a margin, a slim margin on a book where I’ve actually been able to spread the work and actually get compensated fairly for the work that I do, it’s been through organizations and so that’s gonna take me on a completely different path in 2013 and probably onward, is that I’m gonna access individuals through larger organizations. So my presence in social media, the videos that I do, while they’re nice and it’s nice to see people comment and things like that, that’s not what’s driving the business model which sustains me to continue to do the work that I’ve been called to do in the world, then that has to change. And that’s been a hard realization to accept.