reputation • reach  results 

 

 

Influence Marketing Management for HR Tech

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Getting to "Exactly!"

A good lead gets you to the right person. A great lead gets you to the right person at the right time.

It’s the difference between getting someone to take your call, and someone ready to listen. It’s the difference between a polite conversation and getting to the “aha moment” – you’ve identified their pain (“exactly!“), anticipated their questions (“exactly!!“) and have all the answers (“exactly!!!“), shortening your path to a signed agreement/closed sale. 

Influence Marketing Management

Leads2Results brings together the expertise, resources, and influence that we have accumulated over the past 20 years to reach, engage and persuade the people who drive and make purchasing decisions.

Influence is our currency.  Tech vendors, senior executives and thought leaders know us and our work (marketing, content, podcast production, trade show support). It’s why they give our clients their time, attention and trust.  

On the podcasts, roundtables and forums we host…on our daily calls with vendors, CHROs, senior executives and analysts…we speak with people at all levels about their business challenges and pain points.  

And we listen, which gives us a better handle than just about anyone on aligning messages that resonate, which doors to open, and how to open them. We augment your team’s efforts with influence…shortening your path to “exactly!!!” and a signed agreement.

Influence Leads to Results

Our Influence

Amplifies Your Clout

Via 

Reputation

long-established industry, technology, and market knowledge.    


Trust-Transfer

heightens brand/product reputation, opens more doors.  

- marketing/messaging audit.
- collateral refresh/update to reinforce expertise/ authority (landing page, use cases, white papers, product sheets).

- branded podcasts. 

Reach

the analysts, consultants, influencers, vendors, executives we regularly talk with, work with and engage. 

Engagement

ability to leverage our reach, and your expertise to meaningfully engage/influence decision-makers.

- regular network/media outreach

- trusted vendor network for profitable partnerships. 

- HRTA Collaboration Zones

- podcasts we host/produce

- trade shows we attend

Results

spearheading all phases of "campaign," from initial outreach to final purchasing decision. 

Exactly!!

getting decision makers from the "aha" moment to a signed agreement.  

- creating and managing digital communications

- sustaining engagement with decision-makers, widening sales funnel and increasing deal flow.

 

Your Voice. Your Vision.Turnkey production and hosting.

A Fun Approach to LearningCustomizable company-facing podcasts. 

The L2R Playbook

using our influence and reach to build innovative solutions for today’s agile, all-in organizations. 

#ComingtoAmerica Playbook let us be your US “concierge” in getting the right message to the right people (go-to-market partners, media, influencers, purchasers), enabling you to enter this market and grow your footprint.   

People Provisioning Solutions: we are bringing to market an integrated toolkit that automates processes to assure that the right people and teams have access to the right tools, resources and support to be successful and thrive. 

Quality of Engagement Diagnostic: applying Organizational Network Analysis to digital communications traffic (unstuctured data; email, Zoom, Slack, etc.) to glean belonging behaviors in the flow of work – an early warning system for flight risk.

Tweekender: a “belonging” platform that makes the weekend more fulfilling, purposeful and well-rounded for all segments of the workforce.  Combines healthy competition (“who won the weekend?”) and sharing, promoting an all-in culture.  

Companies Our Team Has Supported Include: 

Shut Up and Listen! 

The art of asking good questions.  Over the years, people who were getting into podcasting would ask me for tips, knowing I’d been at it for a while. Regardless of the person’s experience, or skills as a communicator, my advice was always the same:  be yourself and listen. For better or worse, I never had a problem with the “be yourself” part – listening, however, is a skill I had to work on.   I would listen to our produced podcasts and hear all the missed opportunities because I was busy formulating my next question or assembling in my head a witty retort or amusing anecdote. Even worse, I’d do any or all of the above and mindlessly ask a question the interviewee had just answered! I didn’t have any tricks up my sleeve to get better at listening, I just…listened. I also got better at listening and holding the thoughts in my head at the same time.    On our homepage, we talk about “getting to exactly.” It’s essentially a process of getting the other person to the “aha moment” by asking probing questions based on careful listening. The trick is to ask questions in the flow of the conversation. Think of it as a form of conversational jujitsu in that you give in the direction the other person’s leaning; each question teases out their pain points, which shows how deeply you understand their pain and, by extension, them – you’ve been there, you’ve seen it, you’ve experienced it. When the person you’re engaged with finally exclaims, “Exactly!” it’s the aha moment that brings the conversation and the relationship to another level…it’s also a signal that they’re prepared to listen to you, which is just the opening you’ve been looking for.        Humility and fearlessness don’t always go together, but they are indispensable ingredients in asking good questions – humility is required to willfully defer to the person you are listening to – she is the expert – and fearlessness in not worrying whether your next question will be perceived as “dumb.”  I learned the latter from a business partner who was almost invariably the smartest person in any room he walked into. His questioning was respectful but relentless, and he’d occasionally ask something that would be considered uncomprehending or ill-informed if it came from anyone else. But he had the well-earned confidence to care only about knowing what he needed to know and being certain the topic was completely within his firm grasp. Often, we pretend to understand but are afraid to betray our lack of understanding and wind up with a critical gap in our knowledge.  Another thing that gets in the way of being an attentive listener is our tendency to talk way too much, particularly in the initial “feeling out” stages. There’s a natural urge to show what we know.  This may seem counterintuitive, but letting the other person talk, and keeping him/her talking by asking pertinent questions, shifts the power dynamic in your favor. I remember an interview with Michael Caine in which he said the reason he spoke so fast – and so much! – was because of the deep-seated insecurity stemming from his lower-class background. In England’s intensely class-conscious society (which was more acute at the time), people from the upper classes were more laconic because they could be – they expected people to lean in when they spoke. You may have many intelligent things to say, but often the less you say, the more you’re heard. Plus, sympathetic listening tends to get the other person to say more –  if you’ve ever seen a Harold Pinter play, you know how powerful it is to let the other person talk and talk…and talk. But why listen to me when you can listen to Richard Feynman. As a youngster growing up on Long Island, Feynman was continually peppered by his dad with “why questions”: why does the sky appear blue during the day, why is ice slippery? He attributes his lifelong curiosity to these questions, an approach he applied to all the problems he tackled over his celebrated career as one of the most brilliant physicists who ever lived. Do a search online and you’ll find several fascinating interviews and lectures he gave on the subject of why questions – which actually suggests a modification to the title I’ve given this post: shut up, ask questions, and listen!  

Unconventional Thoughts on Trade Shows

After all the time we spent dealing with business colleagues and friends on Zoom, interacting in “live space” has been genuinely exciting.  Getting out and being among my professional peers in a controlled convention center environment, going to parties, and sleeping away from home for three whole days – man, I missed that!   When it was safe to start going to shows about a year or so ago, I wasn’t sure how we’d all handle basic  social conventions, like shaking hands:  do we or don’t we?  Like emerging from a long hibernation and blinking at the mid-day sun, I knew that it would take some getting used to on a number of levels. I know this sounds silly, but after all these months of dressing from the waist up, I had a lingering fear that I’d leave my hotel room forgetting to put on my pants – and making sure I was wearing matching socks and shoes. One thing that I was particularly worried about was making eye contact, especially after all these months of making simulated eye contact through a computer screen, which was an implicit agreement between/among parties to treat what was obviously not real eye contact as real eye contact. Would it be hard having to engage in the real thing after faking it for so long? Would it be hard holding anyone’s gaze for more than three seconds? If you’re there with the aim of winning friends and influencing people, you don’t want to be nervously looking left and right and over your shoulder like you’re casing the joint. Then there’s the issue of making small talk. In an online business meeting, making small talk was an essential conversational tool. It was important to let your colleagues and co-workers know that you care enough to ask them about non-essential things. Being all business on a Zoom call – unless you’re 15 minutes late – is not good for business.  NO ONE really likes making small talk – filling 60-90 seconds with improvised nonsense is nerve-racking and intensely awkward. And if you did like making small talk, you wouldn’t admit it – it’s like boasting of being good at foreplay, which puts into your question your ability to handle the more consequential stuff. Making small talk in “live space” is hard because you have to make eye contact when you want desperately to scan the room for a familiar face to throw you a lifeline. On a Zoom call, your wandering eyes give you endless fodder for small talk – pick a chotchka, photo or book lurking in the background, and you can easily spin it into another 90 seconds of innocuous chatter.      But one thing I’ve learned is this: if you’re not comfortable with small talk, don’t feel you’re particularly adept at it, or flatter yourself by thinking you’re above it, I’ve got news: get comfortable with it, get better at it, and don’t flatter yourself. It takes some effort and skill to become comfortable with, even good at, small talk. Bear in mind that two of the greatest literary masterpieces were built on small talk: Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest is small talk raised to an art form, and Joyce’s “Ulysses” is small talk about big things:  history, religion, literature, language, politics. And let’s not forget that the greatest sitcom of all time was, famously, about nothing. No one is expecting James Joyce or Jerry Seinfeld, but with a little preparation and discipline you can become quite good at being effectively superficial.   There was no way to fully prepare to gracefully re-enter live professional settings after so much rust had collected around my underutilized social skills. The first live event I attended made me feel both excited and anxious, but I made it through.   Thankfully all of that – well, most of it – is behind me as we enter the Fall trade show season. It’s very exciting to get back into the action, to see everyone and to meet new people. But please know that, if you do approach me with the intention of embracing me in an enthusiastic hug and I recoil,  it’s not you, it’s me. And if you see me wandering the conventional hall without pants, please don’t make a scene, that will only make it worse.                   

From Numbers to Narrative: How Storytelling Drives CFO Buy-In and Sales

Closing a sale requires broad-based buy-in from the CHRO, CTO/CIO, CFO, and CEO.  Sometimes, this also includes investors and the board. Vendors need to know what each wants/needs. Whether the CFO is the first or last hurdle, it’s arguably the most critical one to clear. Once the CFO affixes his/her sign of approval,  you’ve essentially made your argument for all other stakeholders. So why not cut to the chase and start with the CFO? Of course, the question becomes: What is the most effective way of engaging, persuading, and getting their buy-in?  Today’s CFO is more a strategist than just a numbers cruncher. They’re looking for insights, not just information. Their “portfolio” has expanded to encompass strategy, operations, and even elements of corporate branding. To communicate effectively with CFOs, marketers need to align their messaging to the CFO’s expanded role – bearing in mind that it’s not just about stating data points, but data points that tell a story.  Why Storytelling Matters: It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the story they tell.  While the CEO role has changed, all CEOs have the same set of essential questions and criteria:   What’s the ROI? How does it improve operational efficiency? How seamlessly can it be integrated?  Is it secure?  If it’s a financial product/service, does it deliver real-time data analysis; Does the knowledge base keep updated with regulations, market conditions, and best practices?  Does the product/service align with the company’s long-term strategic goals?  How does it mitigate potential challenges or threats? How does it promote future growth, open new markets, diversify revenue streams?  Do the benefits of change justify the investment – do they outweigh the costs of maintaining the status quo?   These are all critical issues within the modern CFO’s purview. But how these are addressed and presented can make all the difference. We know from numerous studies that contextualizing facts within a cogent narrative framework will make these facts more vivid and memorable.  Evolutionary psychology has shown us that the human mind is inherently wired to comprehend and empathize with stories. By weaving facts into relatable narratives, the story becomes an emotional conduit, bridging the gap between data and the “beating heart” of an audience – even, dare we say, the “cold beating heart” of a CFO.  There are several bottom-line reasons for weaving data within the context of a story:   Emotional Engagement: While CFOs are analytical and numbers-driven, they respond to emotional engagement. A well-crafted story can evoke emotions, making the message more memorable and relatable.  Contextual Understanding: Stories provide context and real-world scenarios that help CFOs see how a product or service can fit into their company’s operations. Contextualization aids in understanding how the offering can impact the financial metrics they care about. Simplification of Complex Concepts: Many products and services, especially those involving technology or intricate processes, can be complex to understand – the typical CFO understands numbers, but not all are technically savvy, certainly not at the level of the CIO/CTO.  A story can simplify these concepts, making them more digestible and relatable to the CFO, ultimately aiding their decision-making process. Illustration of Value: A story can effectively illustrate how the product or service adds value to the company. It demonstrates how it can directly affect ROI, cost reduction, efficiency improvement, or other financial metrics that the CFO is concerned about. Concrete Examples: Stories provide concrete examples of how other companies or individuals have benefited from the product or service. This social proof and real-life evidence can boost the CFO’s confidence in the offering’s potential impact. Memorability: Stories are more memorable than dry facts and figures. When the CFO recalls the story, they will also recall the associated product or service, making it easier to keep it in consideration. Persuasion and Influence: Stories have the power to persuade and influence decisions. When a CFO is emotionally invested in a story that demonstrates the positive impact of a product or service, they are more likely to advocate for its adoption within the organization. The Bottom Line: Storytelling is the formula for marketing and sales success.  The shortest path to a sale is through the CFO. Understanding what today’s CFO needs and making sure your marketing messages align with those needs – both tactical and strategic – is, of course, critical. Equally critical is that your data-based marketing messages are framed within a compelling narrative. Storytelling offers a structure to data, transforming it from mere information to a narrative that takes the CFO on a personal journey. The conventions of narrative structure begin with a conflict – or, in the CFO’s case, a challenge or set of challenges- the intensification of the conflicts/challenges, the turning point, and the resolution. Stories that “place” the CFO at the center of this narrative frame will ensure that your marketing messages break through the noise, get attention, are remembered…and, most importantly, make the CFO your ally as the “conversation” continues with each stakeholder in the decision chain.   

Getting to “All-In”: The Most Critical Element in the Future of Work

Belonging or an “all-in” culture begins with leadership being attuned to the needs and wants of the (hybrid/remote) teams they manage/interact with.

Who We Are 

Co-founder Larry Cummings is widely known in the HR industry as @Chief_Connector for his role in vetting and aligning best-of-class vendors around shared values and common business goals. He leverages his extensive vendor, influencer, and purchaser network to create targeted and successful lead-gen programs. Leads2Results builds on Larry’s 8 years with HRTechAlliances.com, where as co-founder he advised company founders and fellow HR Tech thought leaders on establishing/expanding their global market footprint; he has also developed “coming to America” playbooks enabling numerous companies to successfully enter the US market.

Co-founder Charles Epstein provides business development and marketing consultation to technology companies specializing in workplace and behavioral health/wellness. Charles is the host/co-host of several popular podcasts, including Workspan (for WorldatWork), the EAPA Podcast (for the Employee Assistants Professional Association), Staffing in Sync (sponsored by Essential StaffCare), the Public Eye, a podcast sponsored by the Public Sector HR Association (PSHRA) and NSFW. He also writes a column on global business issues called Piece of Work and is the co-developer of an immersive assessment framework called PEAQuest.

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Partners in Influence

Influence Platforms

 
Marketing and sales concierge support for HR Tech Companies