Author: Sydnie Jackson


Jay Mitchell was celebrating his business’ one-year anniversary when the market news hit. It was 2008, and the economy faced a crisis of the likes not seen in decades. New businesses would likely suffer, Jay knew that. He had some concerns about the times ahead for his own business. Yet he also held on to a strong sense of hope.

Jay founded his business a year prior not to reap fortunes or bask in material rewards. Jay started Mereo LLC with the guiding light of Seek to Serve, Not to Sell®. This philosophy would prove Jay’s blessing and protection in the following 15 years he has supported clients.

This foundational way Jay led — and continues to lead — his business and his life has delivered sustainable, meaningful rewards. And Jay has since been dedicated to sharing the power of Seek to Serve™ with others.


In 1996, Jay Mitchell graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelors of Arts with Distinguished Honors in Communications from the Honors College. More than that, he left his alma mater with foundational values to put others first.

“Serving others was modeled for me time and again during my time at Baylor, and it was something I felt passionate about committing to any of my future endeavors,” Jay said. “Seek to Serve means putting the needs of others (the client in business) first. Really get to know them. This way, you will better understand how you can meet their needs and together you can solve any obstacles they face. This approach is truly a win-win situation.”

Jay started his career in sports broadcasting at KWTX Broadcasting Company as a producer and reporter. Through this industry, he was able to learn how to interview people by asking valuable questions and by listening — a key part to serving others. This brief stint prepared him to enter the B2B world two years later with a keen ability to uncover pains clients did not even recognize at the time.

In 1997, he broke into the B2B world at Optika, followed by stints at i2 Technologies and JD Edwards, where he began helping B2B leaders get back on track to dominating their industry in product marketing, sales enablement and marketing communications leadership roles. and assisting them in any way he could. Jay recognized and empathized with pains leaders faced daily, such as fractured messaging and misalignment between marketing and sales. He did all he could to help in his current position, but Jay was the kind of person determined to do more — to make a larger impact.

“As an employee, you can only help one person at a time.”

Following his role serving as Chief Marketing Officer and Partner-in-Charge of Marketing and Revenue at Tatum, where Jay employed leading practices and lessons learned from the technology arena in a pure professional services environment, Jay felt called to serve more people. Seek to Serve™ inspired him to make the jump to business ownership. He named his company Mereo, Latin for “to win through serving,” and the root for “merit.”

“Merit is a prize, and my prize is a buyer’s problem being solved.”

Jay had the foundation, a name and the drive for his business, so where did he take Seek to Serve, Not to Sell® from there?


A little over a month after founding Mereo, Jay landed his first client through a past co-worker and friend in his network at Microsoft. Instead of banking on that grand achievement, Jay did not rest. He focused on how he could improve his insights to serve his client and engage more.

So he went directly to the source. Jay called up countless B2B leaders and asked them, “What are the top challenges you struggling with now? What is a pain in your behind that you just ignore because you do not see a fix? If you could remove one roadblock to revenue performance, what would it be?”

Through networking, Jay noticed many of these B2B experts and leaders struggled to get their marketing, sales and product teams talking. This became Mereo’s core niche service. As he and the Mereo team began solving these pains for clients, they felt ready to expand their services even further. Because of these B2B leaders trusting Mereo enough to share more of their struggles, they were able to recognize and solve other obstacles in the industry — disjointed merger & acquisition assimilation, weak value propositions, the need for more intentional sales training, fractured go-to-market strategies, ineffective product launches, among a myriad of other pains. This is where Mereo evolved to be able to assist more B2B leaders.

Business continued smoothly. Then, the 2008 economic crisis arrived. Mereo was only a year old. This was a scary and uncertain time for everyone, especially new businesses. There were two points that made Jay and Mereo hope: the pivot of the economic downfall and Seek to Serve proving to work.

As the economy began to recover, Jay was more and more confident Mereo would not only survive but thrive. In addition, through the Seek to Serve philosophy, Mereo was able to stay afloat since the first year of the entrepreneurial endeavor had been invested in building real, lasting relationships with clients. While businesses were forced to cut funds, they still chose Mereo when they faced an obstacle. Through Seek to Serve, Jay and the Mereo team have spent years investing in relationships with clients by getting to know them on a deeper level and, in turn, are able to better assist their needs.

In the years since, Jay established a seasoned and talented group of Principals have been instrumental in serving B2B professionals. With this guiding light of Seek to Serve, Mereo has helped hundreds of clients. The company Jay founded and leads today has been recognized as a finalist and won numerous awards. Among these recognitions, most recently Mereo was presented a gold medal in the Top Sales Awards 2021 in the eBook Category.

Despite achieving success alongside clients and facing multitudes of market disruptions in the past 15 years, Jay’s mission continues to remain steadfast: He is committed to assisting as many B2B leaders as he possibly can. He strives to uphold the Seek to Serve philosophy through Mereo and continue to do so even when faced with challenges of their own. With Jay, there are no shortcuts. His goal is always to provide the best assistance he can while forming lasting relationships. Mereo has always been rooted in the Seek to Serve, Not to Sell philosophy, and this philosophy continues to strengthen as time goes on.


Mereo has assisted countless organizations and B2B leaders over the past 15 years by staying true to the Seek to Serve philosophy. This is a philosophy Jay has stood by his whole life, and it is a philosophy that can lead any leader or person to sustainable, meaningful success. Uncover what it means to Seek to Serve, Not to Sell with Mereo’s free eBook.


Buyer Retention vs. Acquisition: Should You Try to Achieve Both?

Without buyers, you do not have a business — which is why it is important to both engage more while maintaining the ones you have.

Not only does having a full funnel of buyers boost your business, it also is attractive to investors and partners. Yet engaging new buyers and retaining current buyers demands different efforts and investments. Often, businesses will focus heavily on one and disregard the other strategy. But what if there was a way to achieve a healthy balance of both kinds of growth? With the Mereo Seek to Serve™ philosophy, you can do that.


Buyer retention is vital to your organization’s revenue performance. Many successful organizations invest heavily in keeping buyers around — and for good reason. Businesses have a 60% to 70% chance of selling to a current buyer while only a 5% to 20% chance to sell to a new buyer. Plus, research has found that 65% of business for most organizations comes from existing / current buyers.

These benefits do not diminish the role buyer acquisition plays in feeding revenue, though. In a Zippia survey, researchers found that while 18% of businesses focused on keeping buyers, 44% had their eye toward connecting with new buyers — and 38% saw value in investing in both.

This mix is key: New buyers have the potential to become reoccurring buyers, setting your company up for sustainable revenue growth. Your leadership team must find the right balance — and focus on serving, not selling, your new and current buyers alike.


To find the best balance between acquisition and retention, analyze the buyer journey and consider how your organization can have touchpoints with your audiences throughout the whole lifecycle.

Today’s buyer journey too takes place heavily — if not entirely — online, where buyers do not tend to interact with your sales team early or often. How can you engage with new buyers in your digital spaces, while also serving current buyers? It is crucial to serve your current buyers with added value, such as thought leadership articles, industry news, and insights that meet at the intersection of their challenges and your solutions.

Organizations that lead with value can and will engage buyers, both new and current alike. According to HubSpot, 90% of satisfied customers are more likely to repurchase, and 93% are likely to stick with a company that shows excellent customer service.

At Mereo, we guide selling organizations with our Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™ approach. When your buyer-facing teams focus on seeking to serve, they increase the level of value buyers at all stages receive. This not only is attractive to prospective buyers on the fence — it also builds deep relationships that keep buyers around for the long run.

Learn how to successfully form these buyer relationships with Mereo’s Seek to Serve™ eBook.

Download the Seek to Serve™ eBook

SEEK TO SERVE SPOTLIGHT: How Castellan Redefined Resilience Management During Great Adversity

Business resilience and continuity have always been important for the survival of companies. The future brings risk and change, without a doubt. Then, as COVID-19 set off a trigger of unprecedented global disruptions, these services became even more vital for maintaining “business as usual.”

Yet program managers struggled to find the right resources and information to protect their companies. Their programs spread chaotically thin across different platforms and solutions. The solution industry remained disparate and disjointed — thus, so too did their programs, leaving risky gaps and dangerous uncertainties.

For Castellan, a business continuity and resilience software-as-a-service (SaaS) leader, their clients’ struggles meant facing a hard reality: Its current solutions were not fully meeting its target clients’ needs.

Rather than remain in the status quo with all other providers, Castellan’s leadership team had a vision to serve their clients better. They proactively uncovered the greatest business continuity and resilience fractures and then pressed forward to fill them with truly impactful solutions.

Castellan embodied Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™. They committed to expansive business transformation at a challenging time for Castellan itself — and also a disorienting time for all businesses. Here is how they did it for all-around success.

Seek Input from Those Who Matter the Most — Your Clients

By 2021, Castellan had been providing clients with business resilience and continuity services for years. They struggled to stand out among a fractured marketplace. On top of that, Castellan leadership became aware that clients were struggling with the same problems year after year, worsened by the current disruptions.

So, Annie Asrari, Castellan’s chief product officer, rang current clients. She did not ask them what they loved about Castellan solutions. Instead, she asked a tough question not many B2B selling organizations are brave enough to face: “What are you missing with our solution?”

Castellan leaders did not whip up a new service from internal meetings and guesswork. They did not pretend they knew what would be best for their clients. They went to the source — their clients — for input. They listened to what their clients’ age-old issues were, and also mined for new challenges that had been exasperated since 2020.

While almost anyone could guess companies needed business and resilience solutions more than ever before, Castellan leadership knew how to meet those needs with clear validation. With that vital input, the executive team was ready to lead a great transformation that would redefine the industry.

Forge Ahead Toward Your Vision — No Matter How Challenging

After acquiring and uniting three companies that had expertise across the business resilience and continuity space, Castellan needed to reorganize and align these core competencies into a new powerful solution.

Leadership transformed the company inside out. They rethought the old ways of how they did business to forge paths for new ways to serve clients. This meant moving people around. This meant developing out new competencies. And this even meant building out new structures and processes for sales, marketing and product teams.

After months of due diligence for successful solution development, the leadership team introduced the Business Continuity Operating System (BCOS). This solution launched as a comprehensive business resilience and continuity solution.

This powerful client- and value-focused vision continues to lead Castellan to build out new solutions to answer their clients’ current and changing needs — from third-party emergency notification connectors to a BCOS guidebook.

Focus on Long-Term Returns — Not the Short-Term Gets

At Mereo, our principals were fortunate enough to witness and support this transformation driven by a Seek to Serve spirit. Castellan rapidly realized success from this tough transformation and was even recognized as a Business Continuity Management Program (BCMP) Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.

Most of all, Castellan was meeting clients’ needs at a time that mattered the most. In turn, Castellan is realizing sustainable revenue performance and enhanced value for its investors and employees alike. Fast forward, and Castellan found their business acquired by Riskonnect — formally announced earlier this month. The investment in serving clients proved fruitful for Castellan because they went about their strategy with the right purpose, passion and sequencing.

Learn more about the outcomes of Castellan’s Seek to Serve, Not to Sell approach here.