Meet Sandy Gerber - Creator of the Decision Drivers™ Communications Training Method
Gerber is an entrepreneur, marketing consultant, certified corporate trainer, author and creator of the Decision Drivers
On a mission to help people improve their personal and professional lives through better communication, Sandy Gerber developed Decision Drivers™ by combining 25 years of experience in marketing, communications, and business strategy with over a decade of research into the psychology of emotional appeal, motivational behaviour, body language, and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
Influenced by our life experiences and environment, our primary Decision Driver™ can be detected as early as age 6, though the weighting of the four drivers can shift over the course of our lives as our circumstances change. Decision Drivers™ help us to better understand ourselves and each other, and through that understanding learn how to communicate to connect.
TM are the Four Emotional Needs that Inform the Decisions you Make, the Actions you Take, and the Way you Communicate.
All of Sandy’s Courses, Communication Trainings And Keynote Speaking Engagements Follow a Simple Three-Step Method:
- Identify your Decision Driver™
- Learn how to recognize and engage the Decision Driver™ of others
- Use “needs language” to motivate others to listen or act
Collectively, they can be used for:
- Management training programs
- Leadership development training (including for public speaking skills)
- Relationship sales strategy (including for B2B sales, basic and advanced sales motivation techniques)
- Sales management training (including for those leading field teams or company reps)
- External and internal communications training
- Corporate culture training
- Content marketing training
- Motivational talks on life, and career inspiration (for women in business, corporate events, non-profits, after-dinner hosting, stage panels, etc.)
And much more!
Why Should the Decision Drivers™ Communication Method Matter to You?
Ever notice how something that is compelling for you is not necessarily compelling for the person next to you? Ever notice how that same thing, cast in a different light, can suddenly appeal to you both? This is the power of Decision Drivers™. It’s not manipulation, it’s the ability to communicate in a way that other people can actually hear and understand.
There are plenty of complex personality assessments on the market that offer in-depth behavioural analyses. Unfortunately, the results are difficult to process and even harder to action. The Decision Drivers™ communication methodology instead distills this information into an easy, memorable, and practical framework—and then tells you precisely how to apply it at home and at work.
By understanding the Decision Drivers™ and learning how to detect them in yourself and in others, you can more easily see another’s point of view, understand the nature of conflict, make respectful compromises, move with greater empathy and compassion, and adjust your messaging in order to connect with people and be influential.
The Early Years
One child in a family of six, Sandy had to fight for airtime. Around the dinner table, louder, faster voices won out, but it didn’t take Sandy long to realize that being heard wasn’t the same as being understood. Her early fascination with words and people’s reaction to them continued into her teen years.
At boarding school, she observed that the way you introduce yourself can lead to either respect or ridicule and learned that by preparing for important conversations in advance she could affect a better outcome. At 14 she read her first book on non-verbal communication and later felt the impact of negative body language firsthand when the vice-principal, eyes cast down and shoulders slouched in disinterest, told Sandy that her grandfather was dying.
The Discovery Years
Sandy moved to New Brunswick to study at Mount Allison University but found the pace of learning too slow. Returning to Toronto, she landed a job at a stock brokerage where she discovered that her interest wasn’t in stocks but in crafting sales collateral and marketing materials. Assembling a portfolio, she enrolled in the Toronto Academy of Design and Technology’s computer graphics and web design.
Straight out of the Academy of Design Sandy was offered a job with Molson Canada working on the famous IAM campaign. There she learned marketing best practices and how to speak to people’s emotions. By activating the national pride of Canadians and their need for recognition, Sandy and her colleagues were able to ignite the first 5,000-strong online community of loyal beer enthusiasts (a veritable legion in the dial-up days!) who became ambassadors for the brand.
The Management Years
Sandy realized that appealing to people’s emotions was also important in corporate communications. In her late 20s, she became the Director of Operations at Grey Interactive. With 24 people reporting to her, she was responsible for everything from marketing and project management to performance reviews and later a restructuring that demanded she deliver news of a massive layoff. Sandy needed to walk the line between professionalism and empathy, but no one had taught her how to do that.
To prepare, she took courses through the Harvard School of Business and pursued self-directed studies of team communications, team management, meeting etiquette and flow, performance management, operations best practices, efficiency reporting, production management and more. In a later marketing role with B.C. Lottery Corp, Sandy leveraged her marketing and communications strategy skills to win retailers’ support and launch Canada’s first e-gaming platform, “PlayNow.”
The Transition Years
By her mid-30s, Sandy was married with two young children and decided to leave the corporate world in order to spend more time with her children. Launching NEXT Marketing Agency from a bedroom office, she wrote her “Momlogy” (a list of motherhood goals) and began to redesign her life and career to suit her family objectives. In just a few years, providing marketing strategy and implementation to some of Canada’s most loved brands, Sandy remarkably grew her business out of the bedroom and into a downtown award-winning agency. Being a mompreneur shone a new light on Sandy’s relationship. She decided to end the marriage and raise the children as a single mom.
The dual demands of needing to communicate with her ex on parental matters and of needing to grow her business to support her children, left Sandy feeling challenged and emotionally spent. Convinced that better communication was key, she began to study the psychology of motivational behaviour. She consulted with therapists, studied neurolinguistics, and read everything from Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and Nobel Prize-Winning Psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgement to the Magic Power of Emotional Appeal by Roy Garn. As she deepened her knowledge, her understanding of Decision Drivers™ began to form.
The Growth Years
Applying Decision Drivers™ yielded results. Family communication became less stressful for Sandy, and her keen ability to zero in on a client’s Decision Driver™ saw her win almost every pitch. NEXT became one of British Columbia’s fastest growing companies. By her 40s, Sandy needed more challenge and she accepted an offer from one of her clients, Wesgroup Equipment, to come in-house and execute the strategic marketing plan she’d developed for them at NEXT.
After a thorough assessment of the company’s marketing and communications, Sandy revitalized the brand aligning the business strategy to the new markeitng strategy, created a strategic communication and customer service standards training program and trained every employee, personally. It was her first foray into creating a customer experience communications training program, and she loved it. The impact was immediately visible, and employees often told Sandy that her training had helped them in their personal communications at home. Sandy could relate. She and her partner Kris were using Decision Drivers™ daily to create a love and trust that neither had previously thought possible.
The Teaching Years
Sandy decided that helping people to communicate more effectively and make meaningful connections with their customers and personal relationships was the work of her future. Donning her entrepreneur hat once again, Sandy launched NEXT Impact Press, authored BRAND CHATTER™: 5 Simple Steps to Stand Out and Grow Sales (a popular tool for entrepreneurs) and became certified as a Corporate Trainer and Neuro-Linguistic Programming for Sales Practitioner.
Distilling over 25 years of communications and marketing experience, skills training and self-study into four simple and actionable principles, she developed the Decision Driver™ communications technique and pioneered the Influential Communications Mastery School. Today, Sandy is a “CMO on the go”, offering marketing strategy consulting, one-on-one coaching, leadership and sales training in Influential Communication and she is a popular speaker for businesses, events, and organizations.
Working with Sandy Gerber is Working with the community.
Each year Sandy selects several charities to support and donates to those charities. Past charities include local and international organizations including Me to We, Bridges to Community, Zajac Ranch for Children, Weekend to End Breast Cancer and The Lupus Foundation. Passionate about supporting businesses and entrepreneurs, Sandy has volunteered and offered time as a mentor at the Board of Trade Leaders of Tomorrow Program, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Chambers of Commerce.
She also provides 20 scholarships per year that enable business owners and entrepreneurs to take part in her Influential Communications Mastery with Coaching online course for FREE. If you would like to apply, send Sandy an email telling her what your business does and why you need support in crafting your marketing and messaging strategy.