A Deep Dive Into the Nearbound Book, With Mike Midgley, Part 2

A Deep Dive Into the Nearbound Book, With Mike Midgley, Part 2

Mike Midgley 17 min

About the author

I’m Mike Midgley, CEO of 6teen30 Digital, Inc., based in sunny Fort Myers, Florida. With a passion for RevOps, GTM strategy, podcasting, and public speaking, I lead our U.S. expansion and drive high-growth strategies leveraging my VC experience. I’m also pioneering an AI-powered RevOps application at Relentix.com. 


I’ve achieved multiple six and seven-figure exits and raised millions in venture capital. Now, I help growth-focused entrepreneurs succeed with RevOps and HubSpot. 


Beyond business, I’m committed to giving back by mentoring entrepreneurs and supporting charities like the NSPCC. Let’s connect if you’re a C Suite leader ready to embrace the RevOps life and achieve scale-up success: Book a call with me.





Hey, nice to see you again! 


Now that you know what nearbound is and how to implement a nearbound marketing strategy (covered in the first part of this blog sequence about Jared Fuller’s “Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy” book), it’s time to share with you the second part of my Nearbound diary.


This time, we’ll only cover chapters six to ten. But stick around because I still have some diary pages and a BIG surprise to share: 


Jared Fuller, Co-founder and CEO of nearbound.com, Chief Nearbound and Partner Officer at Reveal, and THE author of the book Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy, will discuss nearbound during the Force and Friction podcast


Let’s dig in!


*All excerpts remain copyright of the author and are used to demonstrate my key takeaways only in good faith, and in areas I feel we can use proactively with our clients within their RevOps strategies.



Chapter six: How Selling Really Works



Before I review chapter 6 of the Nearbound book— ’How Selling Really Works’ by Jared Fuller (the 6 pages that will change 30 years of your sales understanding), I took some time to go back in time to where sales started for me.


It was 1994, I was a young fledgling sales apprentice inside a BMW dealership.


A True story! ...


Between mundane tasks, I’m learning from one man, the most respected of BMW GM’s ex-Sytner Group—Russell Smith.


In a smoky, crowded salesroom full of diverse characters, I learned from the best, Russ.


New to sales and surrounded by varying egos and results, I found humor in the scene, but Russ consistently outperformed everyone.


Looking back, I empathize with Russ, a top performer enduring our novice efforts as we struggled to match his no-compromising style.


Our setup was primitive yet thrilling:


  • no computers

  • a Filofax

  • a phone

  • a dot matrix-printed paper for prospects & renewals that needed cleansing!


It was outbound sales in its purest form, a testament to our determination to preach the BMW message through sheer persistence.


Russ excelled way before I met him in 1994, and continued to do so by embodying nearbound principles:


He built strong personal and professional connections, leveraging his network of friends, partners, buyers, and GMs. His respected approach consistently outperformed others, and that was 30 years ago!


Here are my top takeaways from How Selling Really Works:


1. Ring Ring—Whose There?


The Phone is not dead! But it is awfully cold as in " I’d never interact with your brand at all," cold.  We don’t answer numbers we don’t know, we block persistent offender dialers!


2. Quota Attainment!


A Senior VP of Sales at a $1BN company challenged his Executive team with a question that sparked a realization: 


"If our team achieves 100% of their activity without missing a target, does anyone truly think we’ll meet our pipeline or sales goals?" 


The unanimous response was a left-to-right shaking of heads.


3. 40% Contribution (of $100m)


Check out Jill Rowley’s back story, it’s amazing (pages 87-89). Jill was responsible for 40% ARR in a $100m org using#Nearbound strategies. Key quotes from Jill: 


Nearbound sales is about trust, influence, and value.


I partnered with the right people at the right time.


My job wasn’t to sell, It was to facilitate a buying process...Doing it with partners was how I won deals and made customers more successful.


In the Outbound Era ABC meant, ‘Always be Closing’, In the Nearbound Era ABC means, ‘Always be Connecting’ And remember, your network is your net worth!


Since learning from the best, Russ Smith, in 1994, mastery, connections, and network leverage remain timeless in sales. No Nostalgia or DeLorean time machine will save your sales career.


Embrace nearbound now —No Flux Capacitor required!


Chapter 7: The Nearbound Sales Blueprint



In the 1990s, Jordan Belfort crafted one of the most dynamic sales organizations in Wall Street history, revolutionizing sales training and motivational tactics.


His methods, while undoubtedly effective, epitomize the era’s aggressive sales culture, focusing on individual achievement and high-pressure tactics.


Since the rise, fall, and rise again of Belfort, who was frustrated at only making $49M in one year (being short of his ideal $1M p/w), the sales landscape has undergone a seismic shift.


It’s like going beyond the wolf of Wall Street, and deep diving into the rise of ethical sales ecosystems. 


Jared Fuller’s Nearbound Sales Blueprint represents a new era, diverging from traditional high-pressure sales tactics.


Today, the nearbound evolution emphasizes collaboration, partnership, and trust, significantly departing from the ’Wolf of Wall Street’ approach.


It is not about the solitary pursuit of success; it’s about creating ecosystems where businesses grow together through mutual benefit and shared success.


Here are my key takeaways from Chapter 7:


1. Nearbound Sales Comprises of 3 Steps

  • Nailing Your Nearbound Sales Math: Its goal is to calculate your optimal nearbound sales mix (at circa 33%). 

  • Creating Your Nearbound Account List: Its goal is to get strategic with partners to drive higher revenue and mutual benefit.

  • Running the 3 I’s of nearbound sales of "intel, influence & intros”: Its goal is to master the 3 I’s of nearbound sales to accelerate your pipeline by leveraging your partners’ trust and access.


2. My key takeaways on the 3 I’s include

  • Intel: Intel refers to any information your partners, and/or your tech partners can provide you about an opportunity. 

  • Influence: Influence is crucial and it’s both everywhere and central to the Who Economy, as buyers tune out of outbound efforts and turn to trusted advisors in their network for guidance. 

  • Intros: The holy grail of nearbound sales and most valuable, although sophisticated to execute, even more riskier to screw up:


    To execute well you need to:


  • Come prepared

  • Be ready to help

  • Care about what they care about

  • Have a strong value hypothesis

  • Make it easy for your partners


3. The 3x5 Sales Strategy

  • Finally, the 3x5 Sales Strategy resonated strongly, requiring Strategic Partners to own joint responsibility between sales and partnerships to drive sales impact.

  • The book gives credit to Bobby Napiltonia who led the scaling of global partner strategy at Salesforce.

In closing, while Belfort’s legacy in sales is a testament to the power of persuasion and ambition, the journey toward redemption and sustainable success underscores the critical shift to nearbound principles.


My favorite quote from the Nearbound book is a reminder that there is a future where everyone wins:


“May trust be your greatest asset and influence your greatest source of power.”


Chapter 8: Social Selling 2.0 (Part 1)



I’m splitting my review of Chapter 8 of Jared Fuller’s Nearbound book into two separate posts.


Why? Because this content is just too good to dilute.


I did a double check on the terms ’OG’ and ’Original Gangster’ from Dictionary.com*—just to ensure this chapter was aligned with the sentiment of ‘utmost respect’.


This chapter covers two OG’s with Jill Rowley for being ’incredibly exceptional’, ’authentic’, and as an undoubted expert while casting back to ’Old School’, the chapter references Harrington Emerson’s seminal work from 1912 on ’The Twelve Principles for Efficiency’, referencing a better approach to social strategy and community building.


Jill Rowley and Harrington Emerson are indeed the two Original Gangsters.


Two very different eras (100 years apart), however, it all comes together in Chapter 8: Social Selling 2.0. 


Here are my key takeaways:


1. ’Show Me You Know Me’ & ‘Prove You Care’

Profile your ideal customers. Then create tailored messaging to surround them with value.


2. Building or Ruining Reputations

Quoting Warren Buffet, I think today everyone should remind themselves that "it takes 20 years to build a reputation, but only 5 mins to ruin it"—take note of LinkedIn inbox spammers.


3. The Twelve Principles of Efficiency

Nearbound references excerpts of Principle (1) Clearly Defined Ideas, (4) Discipline, (8-11) Standardization, and (12) Efficiency Rewards, these are as relevant to B2B SaaS today as they were in the early 20th-century industrial engineering. 


Want to read the full 456-page book for free? Check out this link at the Internet archive site.


4. Social Selling 101

Is about using social networks like LinkedIn to forge genuine connections with buyers, influencers, and decision-makers.


5. Social Selling 5 Fundamental Pillars (with excerpts)


  • Personal Credibility: The late Barbara Giamanco stated authentic social interaction is "The New Handshake" - so simple, but so compelling.

  • Always be Connecting: Jill’s mantra here is "Know Thy Buyer" Understand their world, challenges & goals - "aim to become famous in your niche". While Seth Godin says "Everyone can become famous to 1,000 people".

  • Content is Currency: Everyone on your team can become a content creator, but remember content isn’t just King, it’s the currency of engagement.

  • Social Listening: Instead of just doing cold outreach, that has a forced familiarity, learn to listen for signals of reciprocated interest.

  • Measurement: Social Sellers track two types of metrics, vanity and value.


Credit: Dictionary.com ref: OG.


*’OG, short for “Original Gangster” or “Original Gangsta,” is a slang term for someone who’s incredibly exceptional, authentic, or “old-school.” OG was originally used in gang culture, but it is now used as a general term to praise someone who is an expert at something.’


Chapter 8: Social Selling 2.0 (Part 2)



What do Pyramids and G.O.A.T.’s have in common? Simple: Nearbound


The Nearbound Social Playbook from Jared Fuller’s new book has this and more.


As someone who is a fully paid-up member of the conspiracy club around the Pyramids in Egypt, Aliens, and a confessed X-Files geek, I’m easily distracted by this stuff.


I mean consider that...


  • Pyramids location at 29.9792N is exactly the same as the speed of light 299,792 km/sec.

  • When dividing the two base lengths or 230.8 meters by its height of 146.6 you get to Pi (3.14159) and PI wasn’t discovered until 2000 years later.

  • The belt of Orion is the exact mirror image of the Giza pyramid layout, Stars Alintak, Alnilam, and Mintaks.


… I’m at it again, so let’s focus on something closer to what’s going to help you crush 2024 & beyond.


Pyramids inside Chapter 8 Social Selling 2.0—let’s dive in:


1. The Power of Social Proof


Dr. Robert Cialdini codified the core tenets of social proof decades ago, but brands still discover this lever as if uncovering the ’lost scrolls of an ancient age’. 


2. Nearbound Community Content Pyramid

Built around 3 types of activities to tie together content and community to create social network effects: 


  • Pillar Content: Your longer form content like podcasts, articles. From which other content can be derived. (Purpose: Draw and Maintain Attention).

  • Window Content—Think Like a Media Co: Turn great pillar content into micro (window) content, create your best social snippets. The Flashy "aha’s" and when done with Partners, ensure it makes your Partners look like the hero - Gary Vaynerchuk also calls this the content pyramid (Purpose: Make People want to peek Inside). 

  • Events: To ignite perpetual growth in the Nearbound Era, do not ignore events, and never do them alone. Consider that ’the event’ is ’the product’. Bryan Brown shares real value about events, with: 



"You need to know what you are trying to accomplish"


Mark Kilens notes, 


 "Humans have always been about getting together into tribes. No one wants to go off and be alone, and the right events fulfill our innate human need for connection."


—he also states


 "The best partnerships are rooted in a shared belief system and vision of the future."


The G.O.A.T of Pyramid Content


Harry Mack the freestyle guy! His most genius is the foundation and event content (tours), pillar content (YouTube), and window / micro content (TikTok / YouTube Shorts)—Harry is not just the G.O.A.T of freestyle, he is the G.O.A.T of pyramid content.


So, just consider all of this mind-blowing, right? And if that doesn’t get you excited, buy this book this weekend.




You can always consider that the biggest rock in the pyramid weighs approximately 70 tons. Its dimensions are 093-124-155 inches. The same numbers are in scrambled order and still fit the Pythagorean theorem exactly.


Your choice, You’re welcome! 


Chapter 9: Tying Success with the Servicing Bowtie



Do you own or Rent?


It is a question that reappears throughout our lives, from our homes, and vacation properties, to our cars or even our wedding gowns/suits!


There’s no end of scenarios, and options around ownership vs users.


Every year at the Academy Awards/Oscars, the red carpet is full of jewelry worn by the stars that they don’t own. For example, this year’s Best Actress Winner Emma Stone was sporting a 30-carat Yellow Sapphire and diamond necklace courtesy of Louis Vuitton.


Have you considered this same association for your relationship with customers?


One of the stand-out statements from Jared Fuller’s Nearbound book & Chapter 9 ’Tying Success With The Servicing Bowtie’ was this section relating to how to better service customers.


It states: 


"To put it plainly; In the Nearbound Era, you do not ’own’ the customer or their dollars, instead, think of yourself as renting space in the customer’s world".


In isolation this may not ring true, however, this becomes more relevant considering that the average enterprise in 2024 used more than 473 SaaS applications, and mid-markets and SMBs run at 335 and 253 respectively. 


In this arrangement, you are not the landlord, the customer is.


My other top takeaways are:


1. Table Stakes

The need to go beyond understanding your own software is essential, you need to understand the customer’s world, the ones they inhabit, and the stakes are raised with the customers’ problems.


2. Customer Success Is Tied to ‘Who’

’Who’, they use, trust, help them, and ’who’ else is involved in solving their challenges.


3. Talent Challenges...No Problems

Often top talent is out of the reach financially of many organizations, even if you can’t hire top talent, you can still bring them into the mix as ’your partners’. Delivering services that help the customer to their promised land, especially if you are unable to take them to that destination yourself.


4. Technology & Services Mix

The trick is to provide customers with the right service partners to activate ’The Recurring Revenue Bowtie’ focusing on two major motions—Volume and Impact—Credit to Winning by Design.


5. The Power of Agency Partners

The chapter around the backstory of Justin Gray and how he implemented over 3000 Marketo installations as a partner with Adobe Marketo is a testament and a textbook example of shared customer servicing that gets results.


So however you tie your bowtie, first tie it with service, and welcome the opportunity to share the space with partners, and be grateful to be renting the extremely valuable real estate space inside your customers’ domain.


Chapter 10: From Bowtie to Flywheel



The gold is on Pirate Island, so say all of us, and so says Max Traylor.


But, what is Pirate Island? Max defines it as:


“It is where you need to have been yourself before you can take others, especially your partners”.


Customer success retention gold is in Chapter 9 of Jared Fuller’s Nearbound book, the opening sentence sets the tone, Brian Balfour the former VP of Growth HubSpot states:


"If your retention is poor, nothing else matters."


So, why do so many boards & CFOs rely on simple indicators in the P&L like COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) used to establish the total cost of developing, and maintaining software for the customer, where customer success salaries are usually accounted?


When your renewal comes up, the outcome should be a foregone conclusion, not an anxiety trip for sales.


The candor of Asher Mathew on understanding the unit economics of business, he states:


"CFOs don’t care about any type of partner influence. They speak through a P&L statement, on a P&L statement, there’s no category for partner influence."


So, what if your professional services are fulfilled by partners?


Meaning no fixed cost, higher gross margins, better cost structure, and capital efficiency. That’s the language of a CFO and you need to learn to speak it. Here’s some more social proof to strengthen the argument internally: 


  • According to Canalys, companies with strong partner programs enjoy a 15% higher renewal rate & 20% increase in upsell revenue.

  • According to Forrester, partnered vendors have 10% higher CLV & almost 14% less churn, they also found that customers who work with partners are 57% more likely to to renew their contracts.


What are the Wins?

  • Sales Win: Because renewals are automated

  • Product Teams Win: With customer feedback fueling new feature ideas & integration opps.

  • Sales & Marketing Wins: Case Studies are created from successful stories elevating the partner and customer.

  • Partners Win: With expanded business opportunities driven by your recommendations.


Here’s a multi-trillion $ bowtie flywheel example:


Take Satya Nadella CEO at Microsoft. His speech at the 2023 annual event talked about Microsoft’s creation of a $6.5 trillion ecosystem as a result of their 100% partner-attach approach. 


The kicker here is $5T of that $6.5T will be created by partners working on top of their software. That’s ecosystem value not just Microsoft value.


Building your Ideal IPP: IPP (Ideal Partner Profile), the Power of ’Who’ for Nearbound Customer Success.


The term ’Who’ is not theoretical, it’s people you can identify and put on a list. If you are unable to identify and put ’W’s on the board, with the people and partners your customers already trust, then you don’t deserve the job


It’s time to mark the X of customer and partner value on the map and chart your company/industry course to Pirate Island, remember that is where the gold is!


A final thought 

In this journey through the Nearbound book, we’ve explored the transformative power of nearbound principles in modern sales strategies. 


From understanding the fundamentals of selling to embracing collaborative partnerships and social selling, each chapter has provided invaluable insights and practical tips. 


As we continue to leverage the wisdom shared in the Nearbound book, let’s embrace the opportunity to redefine success and forge meaningful connections that propel us toward our goals. 


By prioritizing trust, collaboration, and customer-centricity, businesses can not only thrive but also build sustainable ecosystems of growth and innovation. 


What are your takeaways from the book? Would love to hear from you.


See you soon, and don’t miss Jared Fuller on the Force and Friction podcast about the Nearbound book (coming soon). 


Mike Midgley 17 min

A Deep Dive Into the Nearbound Book, With Mike Midgley, Part 2

Explore insightful chapters from Jared Fuller’s 'Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy' book, focusing on customer success, social selling, and strategic partnerships.

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