3 Sales Success Tips from LinkedIn’s Top Account Executive
Mike Dudgeon won’t take full credit for LinkedIn’s recent sale to Microsoft, but he probably played a significant part in the acquisition. As the Senior Global Account Executive for Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn, he was responsible for managing the relationship with Microsoft. Scott Ingram, host of Sales Success Stories podcast spoke with Mike about his transition into a Sales Manager position at LinkedIn and the evolution of the modern sales professional.
In his chat with host, Scott Ingram, Mike gave three tips sales professionals can use to achieve success in today’s ever-changing sales world.
Sales Success Tip 1 – Give to Others
As Mike explained, selling is becoming more consultative than ever before. Sales pros are part marketers as well, using everything available to be successful. In the era of social selling, the idea of giving has risen to the top.
Most sales pros already give to their clients and prospects, but how about to their leaders and peers too? When you give to your colleagues in other departments, Mike says, you have more opportunity to develop solutions for people because you’re expanding your sphere of knowledge. The more knowledge you have, the more you’re able to give away, and the more attention you’ll get from others; both clients and colleagues.
When it comes to giving however, it’s not good to hoard everything, nor is it good to just give it all the way all the time. Mike practices “strategic giving” in order to reap the sales rewards. He looks at it like a conversation between two parties: he gives, but the recipient has to be willing to give to him to (or “invest” in him, as he says.) Sales pros who are practiced at “strategic giving” will usually consider the other party their partner in the relationship. It’s a give-and-take that benefits both, not just one side.
Sales Success Tip 2 – Be Paranoid
No, it doesn’t mean you need to be up at all hours of the night with your tinfoil hat waiting for the alien invasion, but it does mean you need to pay attention to what’s going on around you.
One of Mike’s favorite quotes was from retired NBA star Larry Bird. In it, Bird famously said, “I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody – somewhere – was practicing more than me.”
Mike likes this quote and the idea of outworking others in his professional life. He said he’s never jealous of anyone’s success, but rather, their work ethic and journey instead. Mike always wants to outwork everyone else. Sure, there are financial and professional benefits to that hard work, but for Mike it’s all about the journey to get there. The process is more important to him than the outcome. He needs to believe that there are others out there working harder and in different ways than him in order to push himself to greater success.
Sales Success Tip 3 – Be Different
This is a huge differentiating factor for sales pros. In their efforts to be different, sales pros have evolved what it means to be a sales pro and the techniques needed to achieve success. Social selling is a perfect example of this. By using social media and marketing tactics to get closer to their prospects and clients and really discover what they’re looking for, social sales pros have been able to achieve higher success than ever before.
Mike advises sales pros to adapt to the changing nature of the sales market and discover what makes you different from everyone else out there. He gave three tips on how you can do that:
- Be curious. When you’re interested to hear what other people have to say and discover what makes them or your market tick, you’ll see a big change in your sales relationships. Learn as much as you can and then share it with your community, both with colleagues, peers, AND clients.
- Have fun. We’re not talking about non-professional fun here, but the kind you can have at work. Like adding your personality to your email messages, or discovering a tidbit of information about your prospect’s or colleague’s favorite TV show. This shows that you’re confident in yourself, your knowledge, and sales abilities that you can bring this type of fun into the equation. Other people around you will notice and react in kind, bringing a new level of success to your sales job.
- Take risk. Curious people tend to take more risks because they’re interested to find out the outcome. We already talked about how curiosity can help you be a more successful sales pro, well, risk does as well. In the podcast Mike talks about ignoring risks can make you complacent and stagnant in your sales career. “You need to put yourself out there with your clients,” Mike advises.
That’s Not All Mike Had to Say
Mike challenges all sales pros out there to become the best version of yourself in order to create the foundation for great sales (and professional) success. For more nuggets of wisdom from Mike, listen to the Sales Success Stories podcast here: http://top1.fm/podcast/episode-1-1-linkedin-account-executive-mike-dudgeon/