Personal Relationship Manager

When I started doing research on JibberJobber I had a notion that this would become a personal relationship manager.

Most CRM tools, including Salesforce, Goldmine, ACT!, etc. focus on a sales process.  They have sales jargon, sales reports, etc.  I wanted to develop something that did not have that jargon or emphasis, but would help people manage personal relationships.  I wanted something that would become a PERSONAL CRM, not a corporate CRM.

I should say, in the CRM world there has been a lot of talk about the phrase “manage relationships,” which sounds cold, calculated and transactional.  I agree that it might not be a terrific phrase, but I do think that in order to nurture relationships, and to build “intimate relationships,” it’s darn useful to have some tool to help us remember when we last talked, what we have ever talked about, and when I need to followup.  So until I hear something better, I’ll continue to say “manage relationships.”  I hope you get the idea, though, that I’m not talking about the cold, transactional aspect of managing a relationship.

Let me talk about CRM really quick… CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.  Companies would buy a CRM solution and give it to their sales professionals and business development professionals.  This is one reason why those who have had sales experience see JibberJobber and immediately “get it” … because they used something very similar in a prior job.

CRM tools allow a sales professional, or anyone who deals with external customers and prospects, to know who is in their pipeline, where they are at with each individual (has the sale been made, was there an offer, when does a follow-up need to happen, etc.), including a running log of all of the past communications.  It’s an extremely important part of a professional’s toolset, as it allows you to keep up with your relationships (and, sales).

JibberJobber came out in May of 2006, and was positioned to offer this same level of functionality to the individual, whether they were in sales or not.  Oops, what I meant to say is WE ARE ALL IN SALES, AND WE ARE ALL CEO OF ME INC.!  What do we sell?  Ourselves!  Our brand!  Our value proposition!

Whether we are unemployed or not, we are always in sales, and we should always work on our pipeline!

Here are a few relationship management tasks that JibberJobber helps you with:

  • Knowing WHO is in your network. Not just the name of the person, but information like when you met them, who introduced you to them, are they associated with any of your target companies, when you last spoke with them, etc.
  • Knowing what your target companies are. Not so much on individual relationships, but you need to know your prospects… JibberJobber helps you keep notes on your target companies, and allows you to keep track of how you “network your way into a company.”  This is critical, whether you are in a job search or not.
  • Images and log entries. Putting special extra information on a record can help you remember who the heck they are.  Many times I’ve looked at a business card and thought “I have no idea who this is, and why I have the card.”  Putting a picture on helps a lot, and putting log entries with snippets of an email conversation, or notes from a phone call, really help remind me who each person is.
  • Ranks the relationships. It’s not enough to simply have a network, or a big network, or a wide network… I want to know how strong the relationships are with each individual.  Keith Ferrazzi, in Never Eat Alone, talks about ranking the strength of the relationship with each contact – that was one of the first things designed into this personal relationship manager!
  • Tags and Categories. This helps you “slice and dice” your data later… if you tag and/or categorize a contact you can later get their info based on the tag/category.  For example, i regularly go in and say “give me all the email addresses of my blogger contacts, or my family.”  This is done by tagging and categorizing.

And, as a bonus,

  • JibberJobber is a great tool to manage a job search. While it is a comprehensive job search manager, it is not just about job search…. it is about relationship management – which is a LONG TERM thing that you do throughout your entire career!

You can see we’re merging the concept of customer relationship management and personal relationship management… and we’re doing it for YOU.

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