Full Transcript below. Here you can find the condensed show notes.
Intro: You’re listening to the sales success stories podcast. Where we deconstruct sales performers to provide insights and strategies to help you improve. To learn more visit us at top1sales.wpengine.com. Here’s your host, Scott Ingram.
Scott: Today, my guest is Mike Dudgeon who just recently made the transition to sales manager from his previous role as a senior global account executive at LinkedIn, where he was primarily responsible for the Microsoft relationship. So the way I see it, Mike was so successful in that role that that the result was a 26 billion dollar acquisition. Mike you might need to correct the record there a little bit, but welcome to the show.
Mike: Thanks Scott I appreciate it, I don’t know if I was even a percent responsible for it, but eh maybe had a [00:00:54] tracks so, just kidding. But thanks Scott, thanks for having me here.
Scott: Yeah absolutely, so rather than starting at the beginning with Mikes’ background and history, we’re going to start something a little bit different and start with, some bigger value right outta the gate. So I asked Mike to think about the top 3 things that set him apart and allowed him the, to the top. So Mike I don’t know which of those 3 you want to start with or if you want to outline them first, but what’s on your mind?
Mike: Yeah, I would say you know the top 3 for me, has always, in some plays to my strengths and obviously lead eh learning and leading teams now, uhm you know I think the first one is giving your, you know the top 3 are for me are giving to others, is number 1, to be paranoid, which comes from [00:01:40] had a great quote about paranoia and practicing more than others and 3 is be different. There’s three different ways that you can be different and I’ll go into this. Think the first one, you know I think is fundamental to sales especially in today with social selling and that fact that sales is definitely turned into much more of a consultative approach which is giving to others and I don’t see it just being giving to your clients but also giving to your leaders, in terms of giving up.
But also, where I work its very team based, so helping your peers, both that may be reporting to you but also those who are in cross functional teams as well. I think it all starts with you have to have empathy for those you work with and work around and that’s really listening to your challenges. You know everyone, you know the attention span that’s the greatest issue happening now; and I feel as if have a strong empathy you can listen to their problems and give give them a solution. Everyone will always give you their attention, if you have a solution. So that’s the way I believe you can best give to others is to listen to their problems and giving them a solution that they can easily sell up.
2 is being paranoid, there’s so many great quotes out there, but for me it’s always been the Larry [00:02:55] is you know when he was, when he’s going through, I think the, the early 80’s as he was challenging the Lakers, he had a, and I’ll paraphrase here, is; I quote that. ”I practice more than others, I can’t say I’ve met anyone whose practiced more than me.” And essentially what he was noting to be the fact that he just led such a paranoid life that he would out-practice everyone? And I think that’s the way I’ve always approached it, not that I’m up at midnight sometimes I am, being paranoid, but I wanna make sure that I’m out working everyone else. You know, I don’t look at outcomes necessary, I look at the process and the progress. Actually I don’t ever get really jealous of anyone who has actually achieved more than me, I think I get jealous sometimes when someone is outworking me.
And if anyone is being different, I think for sales folk, this is going to be huge, as you know the job market changes, we gonna have to be different when we cant just be sellers and \i think you see this where social selling has evolved. We’re taking on much more of a marketing approach we’ve had to develop our own identities and figure out how we’re different in the market place. And for me it’s always been curiosity, even growing up as a kid, I grew up on a farm, I loved just exploring the woods and kinda exploring all of our crops and I just loved just being out there and being on an adventure and that’s what I’ve just loved about sales. It gives you the ability to go down different paths and to be curious about different subjects and about people and about places that you can go.
You know what I said, you still gonna have fun, like you see some of the greatest sellers always have a smile on their face. They’re always eager to help, but they always have a great pride in themselves and you can just see it in their face, where they’re confident and having fun.
And the last one that kinda ties into both is taking risks. You know if you’re not taking the risk , you’re probably not having as much fun as you could be, at least, for me. And you’re not probably being as curious, you become complacent and you’re not putting yourself out there with your clients but also with educating yourself. You’re not going to be different. So for me, it’s always been about being curios, having fun and taking risks.
Scott: So going back to the giving piece, talk about that a little bit more, in terms of, is it, is it strategic giving? Right, is there intent behind it behind it, thinking if I, if I give over here then I expect that I can probably get over there? How do you think about that element?
Mike: Yeah I think, you know especially, like I’d been working with enterprise customers for quite some time and my previous client had, he looked at US alone there were, you know, primarily we would call on, marketings, marketing folks, communication folks but also, you know, people in PR and things like that and and being at linkedin is become a major hub for distribution within B2B so it’s not a shortage of people who wanna talk to you. What I was, was looking for, in terms of wanting to give to someone else was, someone who was willing to invest in me as well. Because there’d always be people who wanted to hear what Linkedin was up to, what we were doing and it’s just a pure informational session.
So alot of times, I would look at the individual to see, you know, did this person, could this person be a champion internally within their organization and did they want to partner with me or not; or is just fully just me helping them and it’s gonna be a one sided affair. And a lot of times we do find ourselves in these relationships and there’s nothing we can do to prevent ’em where it’s one sided where you’re giving and giving and giving. But for me it was always some who could give back and became just kind of a mutual relationship where I was helping them and they were giving back to me in some shape or form. So that’s, that’s how I would think about it, in terms of giving as you can’t give to everyone so you have to give to others who are willing to invest in you.
And that’s just not monetary either.
Scott: Yeah, so it, so it’s just a little bit of qualifying and I, I agree with that, I think some people are, and I think it’s, maybe it’s Adam Grant that’s written about this a little bit right there. Some people are wired as givers, some people are takers and giving to takers doesn’t really do much for you so you’ve gotta kinda qualify on that a little bit.
So switching over to the paranoia piece and it also dawns on me, didn’t Bill Gates also write a book called only the paranoid survive?
Mike: Yeah, I think it was, ehh, was it Andy Grove? from intel maybe? I think it was
Scott: Yeah, you see, I don’t know who the author was, somebody in the text phase once apon a time, wrote a book. So, and it’s funny that you bring up Larry Byrd ‘cos I was on the other side of that equation growing up with the Lakers in the 80’s and that’s almost cured me of basket ball cos it’s never been so good since. But where do you focus, like what’s the visualisation of who you’re paranoid about outworking you. Is it, is your peers wanting to be on the top? Is it competitors what’s on the other end of that paranoia for you?
Mike: Yeah, for me, it’s competitors, it could be because Linkedins’ culture is very collaborative in nature and I know some sales teams, you know, could be much more competitive internally. For me internal competition is great, but I feel like it could be much more healthy if you can focus in on your competitors. So my focus has always been more external, but also more internal, maybe on myself. More so than team mates at Linkedin especially for, I’d a been here for almost 6 years now and it’s been own growth company, so we’re all kind of learning as we go. So it has to be a bit of collaboration for you helping the person beside you to make sure you’re learning, especially in the ad-tech and marking-tech side of things; where this thing’s changing almost by the month and you need to rely on others to help you out with information and continue to grown yourself.
Scott: Awesome, absolutely, and then when it comes to being different, so your third point, I think, the way I heard it may be the kind of suggestion for the listener is, kinda figuring out what your own strengths are and how you leverage that to be different and you’re suggesting that your strengths are kind of the work ethic that taking risks and being curious. Is hat how you think of that, is that how you would put that forward to other people or to your team.
Mike: Yeah, yeah, I think so, I think it comes down to being different is recognizing the strengths in yourself and in kinda giving yourself the excuse to be yourself. I feel like in sales people still try to hit the, you know, attain this certain persona which is almost like this extroverted type of person where they look and feel the same, I believe to differentiate yourself, there’s only one type of you and that person can be highly different so I think this is something that you learn over time. Some people learn when they’re 22 some learn when they’re 42 and so I think it’s just continue to ask yourself the questions in terms of what are your strengths, what feels natural? And for me it’s always been like, what’s most fun to me.
And it’s always been what’s been natural to me, it’s just curiosity and what I’ve learnt over time, which was, what we’d get into later maybe is just kinda fear, has always been kind of my weakness, but this in time it’s been the most fun for me when I’m taking, when I’m taking risk.
So those were the three things that help differentiate me, and I think, when walk into a client, I have always been great at empathy and wanting to help, and so, I think what I’ve laid on top of that is curiosity and fun and taking risks over time and I’ve learned about myself.
Scott: Nice, so quick question, we’ll come back to the fear thing later for sure. But you mentioned the extroversion thing. Where do you personally sit on, kind of the extrovert/introvert scale?
Mike: Yeah, so definitely more on the introvert, my in-laws think that I’m a crazy extrovert but for me my strengths very cerebral in my approach and I think over time, I’ve learnt that I am more introverted, I wouldn’t say that I am clearly over on way into the introverted path, but I’m definitely swing to the left a little bit of the, my friends in extroverted space.
Scott: Very interesting, so before we talk about the, kinda the background and really dig deep. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank my founding sponsor, Nudge and without them this show, literally wouldn’t be possible. Nudge is a modern sales platform that leverages relationships strength to help you find and keep your best customers. I’ve been using it myself since their beta and they continue to add more and more to their solutions. So if you value relationships the way I do, then you need Nudge. You can sign up for free at neednudge.com so pretty, pretty good alignment with having you as the guest here Mike, cos it does, it does kinda connect in the Linkedin, it connects the gmail, looks at how often you’re communicating with people and suggests things you might want to share. So very very fun platform for those listening, hope you’ll check it out. So Mike, let’s now let’s do kinda that history lessons, can you talk, a little bit about your roll and how you got to number 1.
Mike: Yes, in my current roll, I manage an enterprise sales team for a marketing solutions business at Linkedin, so working with 30 of our top enterprise tech clients here on the West Coast. Previous to this role, which I started here in January of 2016, for 4 years I was senior account executive at Linkedin working primarily with Microsoft. Although, when I first started, I started in Chicago working on the likes of Jim Beam which was, it was back in, gosh, 2010, when we were still going through a little bit of the kinda of economic crisis and I believe one of the first campaigns I ever sold was to job changes, which was people who were changing jobs because of the economic uncertainty, so it was unique and creative way to approach the campaign. But, now I’m working on the managing side and for me, what separates me, I guess is, I’m an over-planner at times and that may be a little bit of the introverted side of things, but i feel like with enterprise companies the ability to plan and make connections within these large companies can really separate you from others. And I feel, you know, most people will try to go and kill the big whale, so to speak, at these big enterprise companies. But really you have to catch a ton of little fish and that, the only way that you’re gonna do that is through planning.
2, I think empathy has always been a strength of mine and we’ll probably get into a little bit of my history at some point, but empathy, the ability to really, with others, to understand their problems. I’ve always been just a great listener, and again, that could just go back to me naturally being an introvert is something that I’ve always, really kinda been great at, but, not only the ability to listen but coming from previous, going to sales I worked on the ad-strategy side. So I always had this built in process to take information and turn it into ideas that were tied to results and so taking those problems and listening to people and turning those into ideas that are tied to the results that our customers need has probably helped differentiate me more than most. Because not too many folks have that built in process with themselves, to quickly take that information, have a process that turns it into an idea and result. And then once the results are there, I’m always good about communicating, like positive word of mouth within enterprise companies, is your best friend and so the ability to take any positive result that a customer has and communicate those within an enterprise company makes you scale much quicker then trying to get a one to one and meet with each customer.
Scott: And I wanna go back and make sure I heard, I think I mis-heard what you said earlier, did you say you worked with Jim Beam?
Mike: Yeah, yeah, I worked with Jim Beam, so when I first started in Linkedin we’ve gone to more category specific, so we went to like [00:14:57] financial services, but back in the day it was, in Chicago it was working with ad agencies and the clients in Mid-west and as we know packaged goods is a big, big industry in Chicago and so Jim Beam was one of the first advertisers I worked with as we were getting the ad business off the ground at Linkedin.
Scott: Very fun, one of my favourite beverages, so I had to ask.
Mike: Yeah, nice, so hopefully the, the ad campaign we had for them was to help people celebrate their new jobs as people were coming back into the workforce and hopefully and little Jim Beam helped them.
Scott: Got it, nice, nice. So you talked about the result side of things and we’ll come at that from a couple of different angles. But maybe talk about kinda your own personal results, can you quantify those for us and just put your success in context for us?
Mike: Yeah, you know in the first year especially as we were building the business, you know, we’ve always been high growth company, and that can come in here and say that we always, crush and [00:15:57] and we definitely got to a place that we were. We definitely started of slower than most because we were building something new and so it was understanding and having to really educate a market place. Not only what Linkedin was, but also social.
So we almost building a category in parallel in terms of working with Twitter and Facebook that people had never before purchased or understood really the key performance indicators that they gonna sell back to their clients, but also internally sometimes with ad-agencies. So I’d say i the first year, was by [00:16:33] but after that we built a process in terms of educating folks but also teaching them how to buy and how to advertise on Linkedin, things began to take off.
We saw over a 3 year period, consistently, at least, with on the business I was calling on, we were looking 200% growth plus year over year. You know a lot of that had to do with penetration within the organisation. Sure there’s definitely some tail-end working with social as well as became, you know, as we got further into the years. You know, social got some tail wind and took off and so there definitely was that at play. But in the advertising and marketing business, whilst you heading these KPI’s you don’t stick around long. And so you need to have a positive experience for the clients.
Scott: Cool, and going back to your comments about the idea, your ability to take an idea and turn that into results. Can you walk us through at a high level what is that? How can somebody else take your approach there?
Mike: Yeah, in my key theme is, I don’t wanna over simplify this but, you know, |I try to keep things simple. So for me is, every business has a process and so, I always sell myself as almost as independent business within a greater company. But, you know, first starts with understanding that there’s gonna be business drivers and there’s gonna be business hurdles for clients that they’re dealing with. They’re gonna take advantage of their drivers and they wanna lower their barriers as much to pop as possible, so they can over come ’em.
So knowing that, there can be active in the market place in terms of listening from clients, but also the internet is such a, such a great trove of information that you can pretty much walk into a client and understand their problems to be able to least drive some insights both with what’s happening on the internet, what’s happening with their business by talking to them, but also Linkedin is a tremendous resource in terms of understanding insights about their business as well.
From there I take those insights and for us, least within the marketing business, there is also audience insights, so for example, for Microsoft, what is the business decision maker up to. On Linkedin what type of content maybe are they consuming and be able to generate ideas so where they can maybe distribute to certain audiences on Linkedin. What type of content they should be connecting with, them with. Is the next process or the next step in the process. And third is what type of results should they expect.
And so setting expectations of what those results could be and should be so that they could also take, what I’ve created for them, is essentially a business case that they can take up to their boss. And say “hey, this great idea that I think Linkedin can help us with one of our barriers or help us with one of our drivers, that I think we should look into.”
So what I’ve always looked at the business case, is some as refrigerator material. Either they putting on the refrigerator a result that’s gonna help them with one of their OKR’s for the year or an idea that’s a big shiny idea that gets them recognition but also helps them with their overall business result.
So the first one’s insights so where can I get insights from either the customer from the internet or for me it’s always been Linkedin and our own product.
2 is ideas which a lot of it comes from the whiteboard, working with my team and third is what type of results should we expect, or should they respect, or should we be striving to get for them and then making it nicely packaged into almost a business case that they can take forth to their leadership.
Scott: Aah that’s great stuff, thanks for sharing that. So Mike what’s your origin story? How did you get into sales?
Mike: Yeah, so I started off on the media strategy side, working at DDB, which is a large agency, still is a large agency in Chicago, working on the McDonald’s business, had 2 tours of duties there, helped launched Monopoly, if you’ve ever played the game, helped with 101 Dalmatians, if you’ve ever boughten the lunchbox there. But I also worked on Dell Computers when they were starting to get into the early days of using marketing for revenue generation.
And so for both customers I saw for the first time how marketing can impact revenue and so, we were actually measured and we could tell based upon our media buying habits, how much store traffic we would be generating for McDonalds and for Dell, we could actually see how much revenue we driving for them based upon their media spend. What was their return on investment, in terms of revenue almost by media channel as well.
So those were my first days in terms of working to get revenue for a company, but also I loved the creativity ‘cos you really had to use your mind to figure out how was I gonna use all these media properties to generate ideas with them that can result in a nett positive [00:21:18] for them. After awhile I moved onto a few new accounts that were less revenue focused and I took a sabbatical where, kinda where I was talking about before is one of my greatest strengths is empathy. I also enjoy learning about the human body so went into sabbatical where I studied physical therapy and volunteered for 7 months because I thought I wanted to help people a bit more, but also recognised, doing that, that maybe I didn’t have as much empathy for folks as I thought, not in a bad way. But it does take a lot, I gotta give a lot of credit to nurses and doctors and physical therapist out there because it does take a lot out of you to help people in the way that they do. But I recognise that I missed the creativity and the ownership I’d had in terms of being responsible for, I wouldn’t say revenue recognition didn’t drive me, maybe it’s the creativity and the ideas to help build businesses is what I missed. And so I knew I eventually wanted to get into sales, to kinda own my own kind of outcome.
And so I went back on the agency side working on business development and worked at a small agency driving new accounts into the agency and then I got a great break. Went over to News Week to work with the best mentor I had in sales, Bill Young-Byrd. Young-Byrd who was probably gonna be retiring here soon. He took me aboard and I had a tremendous year with him before I went over to the Wall Street Journal to work in the digital network, which then lead me over to Linkedin.
So that’s kinda the long overview of it, but I, it was twisting and winding and I’d say, through each kinda transition, there was something I took that’s kinda lead me to where I am now. I think from the agencies side it was a set process in terms of how to take information and turn them into ideas and to get them to results. The physical therapy thing there was part of scratching an itch I had in terms of empathy and wanted to help others. And then the business development side was, I think for me, more than anything was just to help me get into sales and then from there I just had tremendous mentors helping me from my first day at News Week to my first day at Wall Street Journal then coming here aboard at Linkedin.
Scott: Aagh great story. So if you were started that process over today, would you have done or thought about anything differently, from a career perspective.
Mike: Yeah, I would have gotten into sales earlier. I think it’s the introverted side of me, I think 2 things were at play, I think fear has always been a challenge, for me, and I think it comes a little bit from the introverted side. And I always had this theory or belief that you had to be this huge extrovert to be into sales. Which, i think it can give folks an advantage for sure without doubt being extroverted but you know introverts now are definitely at play. You see a lot more folks coming in from the consulting side of things. Participating in sales, and I think if I were to just taken the risk sooner and gotten into sales, you know, I’ve enjoyed it so much and I think what I’ve learned before getting into sales, I think, has definitely helped me, but I really wish I would have made the jump a lot sooner.
Scott: Talk about the mentor piece a little bit more, it sounds like that started because you found, maybe, a really great leader that you were working for. Has it been primarily that, and just making sure that you were working under good folks? How do think about mentors in general?
Mike: Yeah, I think, you know, that’s where, you know I think we’ve all heard the classic, you know, quote of. “Always work for a great leader, don’t work for a great company” something to that effect. But there’s been times in my career where I’ve chosen a company, over the leader right there’s a big shiny brand that I went for versus the leader and I would say that, that, that was a mistake that I’ll never do again. But the mentor[00:25:18] you know for me at the time because I was a bit more introverted than most, Bill Young-Byrd helped me a ton because he’s definitely over on the extroverted side and probably brought it out of me a lot more than I realised. But also was extremely kind and compassionate in the development of me.
I think he, you know, it was pure luck, frankly, getting such a good mentor. I would like to say I was conscious at the time in selecting him, but he selected me and, you know, I think it was having compassion and understanding of my unique skills and I think, he just did a great job of bring them outta me in such a short time. And I wish, I wish I woulda been more selective or conscious of that decision especially even after that. I don’t think I realised at the time how great I had it, but I would have, that’s one thing I guess I’d recommend to people, just be conscious of especially through the interview process and when you’re looking at leaderships it matters so much. You know the results thing is definitely there, but making sure that you have a good leader that has a process but also has compassion to learn about you and understand you strengths and know how to put those strengths to use.
Scott: How can you flush that out? I mean is your interviewing for a roll and you’re trying to figure out, is this right person to be working for given it, that level of importance. What are you looking for, what’s the best way to kinda figure that out?
Mike: Yeah, I think there’s a little bit of knowing what you connect with right? You know I’ve always seen it, even with [00:27:04] I have now, you know I’ve, for me it’s always a partnership, right? Like there’s definitely a manager subordinate, I guess element there, but it’s also, is the person willing to partner?
So I am always looking for someone who has the same type of things I’m trying, I want to achieve so that could be revenue, that could be growth through education, relationships, whatever that may be. But also some one who has opposites, where I may be I lack. Where for Bill for example it was, you know he was a little bit extroverted and I was introverted. Serendipously I bumped into him, I look for those types of things where, where’s the strength that they have that I don’t have. You know for example, my director now is tremendous with operations, like plug in all the back in things to make something go. I’m not that great at it, right. So that helps me learn from him, how to do those types of things.
Third is, I think just, you gotta get along, like is it gonna be. is this that seem like the person that you could go a have a drink with or have a dinner with on a frequent basis. And so I think a lot of that just comes from, like in terms of finding that out is, you know with Linkedin you could definitely tell who they’re connected to and as you move through your career you’d be able to have more connections they just ask people like what’s this persons’ style, what is their approach? But definitely even now is just asking them up front through even before I made the interview, I was like “hey what’s your style, what’re you looking for, like, what are you trying to get to? It’s just like a good sales call right.
And there’s been clients that I have turned down because it just didn’t feel like a good fit, so it wasn’t going to be a good experience for them and it wasn’t going to be a good experience for me. Kinda take the same approach in terms of when looking at new leadership you know, do I feel like this is gonna be a good relationship or not.
Scott: Yeah, great, great thoughts. I mean I think it’s always important to think about the interview process, I mean it is a sales process at the end of the day. But I’ve always thought you have to qualify crazy, crazy hard, because it’s the only time that you only have one unit to sell.
Mike: I can only sell me once in those scenarios.
Scott: There’s not a bunch of them I can, move on to the next one. So I think it’s probably more important for the sales professional to be doing the qualifying even more than the hiring company because even on a team you’re one of x-number.
Mike: Yeah, and I would say too, even for the leader, even going through the interview process now that I’ve been doing this for what, 9 months now. Is I make sure to the person, I’m like, “do you have enough information for me to make a decision on us. And me, because I don’t want anybody have regrets, right. That would be the worst thing possible and so I actually take more time to say, like, look we’ve got an extra 15 minutes here let’s just get down to it, this is what we’re looking for. This is the type of, this is how I work, what are you, what do you want outta this job and can we give that to you or not? To essentially qualify as just a good opportunity for you and is it a good opportunity for us.
Scott: Yeah important stuff. So, Mike from an accomplishment perspective, what are you most proud of, whether at Linkedin or maybe some place else?
Mike: Yeah, I would say, you know, it’s a, maybe it’s recency theory, but for me it’s, you know the ability to. You know I’m having such a great time here in San Francisco and I think the accomplishment is just being here and being able to compete with some of the best talent in the world and being able to support the small but growing family, here in the city. For me, it’s tremendous, based upon where I came from in terms of growing up in a farm, I think my dad still this day probably thinks I’m coming back some point to participate on the farm. But I would say |I am today, maybe a little bit of a cop-out answer but the fact that i’m in San Francisco competing with some of the best and able to help support a family here is a tremendous accomplishment, to me. But if you looking for something specific
Scott, I can try again.
Scott: Let’s try again, I meant that’s, that was a little too fluffy Mike, common,
Mike: Too fluffy, ok, I would say 2 years ago I was the global A E of the year for Linkedin, I would say that was a big accomplishment for myself just given, you know, I was based outta Chicago, had a non-endemic book, you know, worked with the Jim Beams, the McDonalds of the world which on exactly consumer products lining up to, to use Linkedin for advertising needs, because we were much more business to business. To be able to work through that and to attain a large client like Microsoft and to become one of the best A E’s at Linkedin globally was a huge accomplishment for me both in pride and see that, you know, my work and kinda my theories in terms of sales had paid off but also for my wife at the time, still today, is my wife, was super proud just to see, she knew how hard I was walking at, at getting there in terms of definitely alot of trial and error.
The first few years at Linkedin to develop a certain process the clients respected and liked and to see that come full circle and to see high results and also be recognised for being the global AE of the year was a huge accomplishment.
Scott: Now, that’s what I’m talking about, so you’re clearly, a little overly humble Mike, but I appreciate your sharing that. So on the flip side and maybe I, you’ve eluded to it a couple a times, maybe it was that first year at Linkedin, or maybe it was another time, and what’s the biggest challenge you had to face or maybe even places, at that time when you struggled the most. What was going on?
Mike: Yeah, I think, I kinda alluded to this is, you know being a bit more introverted it’s always been the fear of putting yourself out there. But I’ve been able to make that a fun thing for me just because curiosity has always driven me. You know, I’ve churned it into something that is more fun. So I’ve done fear challenges where I’ll do like 5, 7 day commitments to over coming certain fears. Sounds very Tim Faracy, but, for those of you listening, his name is not Faracy. But, you know, I’ll try to do challenges where I overcome fear and that’s helping me, kickout a little bit of my introvertedness and put myself out there where there’s a consistent pattern where it’s, things aren’t as fearful. I think it goes back to, I remember my parents really wanted to do karate as a kid, and I remember my parents had bought me this cool karate, you know, what do you call it, this karate folks, I hear Tae Kwando folks I apologise for the training, but it was a karate outfit that my parents had got me and I remember that they took me the first day of karate and they asked me to break a board and I think I was like 5 years old and I pretty much left there crying and my dad said “you’ll go right back in there and you’ll give it a try”
And so I’ve always, that was like one of the most fearful moments of my life and still, kind of, as you can tell, resonates with me. So I’ve took the same approach of it, there’s something that is truly fearful for me, I tend to go more towards the fear now.
And so, one of the challenges actually for me has always been, I always just didn’t like getting on the stage and so i did a 3 day challenge where it may seem minor to people but there was large industry event that I presented at followed by improve course the next day. And this may seem easy to others but not to me, karaoke on the 3rd day. This is my most recent fear challenge because I knew I had these things, I had a presentation, to be presented to industry folks so I tacked on a few more things that were made of fear in terms of myself getting in front of a stage. Some people say they don’t see the fear, but it really does take a lot out of me sometimes to put myself out there like that.
Scott: That’s awesome, so if I heard that right, it’s really you’ve been introspective right, really understanding what that fear is and then it sounds like really just crafting challenges and having ways to run towards the fire and get through it right?
Mike: Yeah, yeah, you know for again it’s, you know I put a little bit more process into it, it’s definitely like awareness like I, I spend a ton a time, probably more so and this maybe, again, the introverted part of just time to understand my. You know, how am I doing mentally physically , spiritually, you know all that stuff and just have awareness of it and then I create a small and very simple plan, but then I give myself certain kind of consequences, like positive consequences. So if I do this challenges, I’ll give myself, self something at the end. That at least is some sort of reward system. But I also give consequences in terms of just like telling my wife I’m doing this so there’s no way that I can back out of doing it and so there’s the consequences for socially saying “hey Mike did you do this or not” Not in a weird way. But in a very [00:36:49] ”ah you didn’t do that, ah I thought you said you gonna that” type of way where not wanting to let her down.
So yeah I would say there’s understand there’s fear there which is awareness making a small but simple plan and then just giving you some self, some sort of accountability and also consequence, I usually make it a positive consequence which is usually a starbucks or small technology purchase, of some sort.
Scott: Nice, you answered my next question which was, you know what are the positive consequences. So what was the most recent small technology purchase.
Mike: The most I, well i just, i did the pre-order on the new iPhone 7, which was the most recent. But the recent most small, eh, we did get the apple T.V. and I’ll probably be having to, I’m afraid to get an X-box haven’t been much of gamer but I’m afraid if I get an X-box it maybe turn me into one. But with the Microsoft acquisition pending I am interested in what they can provide from the entertainment standpoint for the family.
Scott: Very interesting, I was gonna say you totally screwed up the evergreeness of the show calling out the iPhone 7 launch, but I’m [00:38:04] Yeah and I can not do, I can not start gaming, I am so competitive and it’s like ok well I’d like to conquer this and it will consume my life so, I mean, that sort of it’s almost my drug, like I, it’s like crack you know you just
Scott: It’s like crack you know you just, you don’t, don’t do the first hit ‘cos it just leads to bad things
Mike: Yeah exactly, so I don’t know if we’ll be purchasing one, but we’ll see, yeah, I would say the, I’m eager to see the iPhone7 lots of, I’ve got a young family so lots of lots of pictures so they sold me on camera.
Scott: Nice, were you, you mentioned Time Farace and I’m a big Tim Farace fan so that’s kinda of a perfect transition into this feels like the Tim Farce inspired portion of the show. i’m curios if, do you have a specific morning routine. Maybe that’s harder now that you’ve got quite young children.
Mike: Yeah, there is the pre-kids routine, which is amazing. Then there’s the post kids which is, I’m working through it. But yeah for me, I just know I’m a morning person and so I’m usually up somewhere between 4 and 5. Just, we have a young one right now, so depending on sleep, like my wife has been just great at helping me, you know, sleep. My wife stays home and takes care of the kids. She takes one for the team and typically up but we live in a small apartment as I mentioned [00:39:34] built before the 1900’s which is [00:39:37] for earthquakes but you can still hear through the walls so there’s still a little bit of waking up. But now I wake up between, pre, i was definitely up between 4 and 5. I love road cycling, so for me it was getting out the door and getting on my bike before 6 was a big thing. But I also like to crank on some of, either my big ideas or email before I leave the door. There’s a bit of accomplishment, I like to feel before i get into anything else. You know if I’m not doing email, or working on something big I like to go over my plan again and I also feel that it sounds as if it’s crazy, but for me, it’s that’s who i’m best, is in the morning.
And so I like to crank on the hard stuff I’d like to think about because, come 4 or 5 I’m like crashing and so I know I have to get up and do it or I’m just not gonna be as effective during the day and then I’m gonna have that 5-7-8 guilt that I didn’t get enough done.
And so then I try to, you know typically in the past I would love, going out and going cycling or now I do a lot more running just because it doesn’t take as much time and so I’d typically do a 30/45 minute run every other day now. I use to run marathons in the past, but those days are gone. Then I come back, I work a little bit more, more like review email just because a lot of New York emails are coming in at the time. I’ll spend time with the kids between 7 and 8 and I live 2 miles from work now in San Francisco so I use that time to walk listen to podcast or audio books and so it’s really an enriching time for me. My wife makes fun of me, she says ” can’t believe you call that an enriching time”, I’m like “well I like to walk, I get to meet myself, we save money and I get to do a bit of learning” And so. Yeah that’s typically my morning and then I’m in, have a sense of accomplishment [00:41:29] then I’m going into 9 o’clock and then I’m off and going.
Scott: That’s awesome, sounds very, very similar to my schedule and I was thinking, you know one of these times when I’m out your way in San Francisco I’ll have to, have to maybe do the paradise loop together, it’s one of my favourite rides.
Mike: Yeah, nice yeah definitely
Scott: So are there other, we talked about the morning a little bit, are there other habits or routines that are essential to your success throughout the day?
Mike: Yes, usually in the morning, [00:41:56] I’ve learnt from rather, but also just trial and error, I don’t like to go directly into meetings, again, I know I’m a morning person and my energy spikes in the morning and I’m trying to work between 9 and 1 on projects and then i leave the back half for any sort of meetings that usually helps me and then on the way home later do calls again listen to podcasts but also my way in I’d try to know out calls if anyone wants to chat between 8 and 9 I do walk and talk.
That’s typically how I structure, even moving into the new roll. I really try to block out time for building stuff you know i totally believe that there’s a manager schedule and there’s a creator schedule and I definitely see the AE’s as the creaor and I still try to maintain a little bit of creator schedule, creator schedule to hopefully build staff and we’re still in the business of building things because we work in advertising and marketing. I mean the building process or building ideas to help our clients or help our AE’s..
So I try to block out as much time to build things. This is just being in meetings just because I’m a manager now.
Scott: Right, right so what does, what does your information diet look like? It sounds like you’ve got the podcast going on. What’s going in your ears? What are you reading? What are you watching?
Mike: Yeah, so podcast wise, I’ll do everything from self improvement, I think, listening to things like Tim Ferriss, to Michael Hyatt, art of charm which sounds like a podcast that is like for pickup artists. They’ve actually started that way, but it’s really just understanding humans psychology. I do some Zig Zigler, type stuff, but I also, so people don’t think I’m too crazy on the business side, I listen to a lot of [00:43:51] podcast and also Dan Carlo or Carlisle, Hardcore History if there’s any fans out there. I’m a huge fan of that. But my top one is probably Tim Ferriss, I think he just does a great job. Just interviews but also just interesting and different shaded information also, my favorite is James [00:44:09] if, for those who are listen, listeners. But also spend a ton a time on audio books as well, I’ll switch back and forth between that and podcast. And there’s a, I’ll do a heavy like month or two on podcast and then I’ll do a heavy month or two on books.
And other than that, like I spend a lot a time in newsletters, I feel like that’s my best way to keep up to date on customers but also on what’s happening in the industry and then I’ll do a lot of Google alerts, in terms of like information I have to know so. At the time it was any information I needed to know about Linkedin that Google was crawling but also on Microsoft and so I”m getting everyday as many updates as possible about our customers and so I really just try to keep myself ahead of even my customers in terms of knowledge about their company but also knowledge about their industry as well. That will make me more informed when meeting with them.
But I’m not all business I do a ton of not a ton but we spend about an hour a day probably with tv my wife and I in terms of just like way to relax you know. Like every one probably, we watch Game of Thrones, we watch a lot of different comedies and something to keep light at the end of the day.; But my wife is trying to, trying to get me to reading now instead of watching tv so we’ll see how that transition goes.
Scott: Often helps with sleep.
Mike: Yeah, exactly
Scott: So, those newsletters, we’re both in the marketing technology space. What are, some top 2 or 3 that really stand out, where you consistently get good info from.
Mike: Yeah well the, the usual one is, for the marketing business is like, whatever happens on adage is typically where the market goes in terms of our buyers but I use smartbrief, brief as well, I read [00:46:03] from I A B. i also do things like, i’m gonna mispronounce his last name, but Rameet Sidi which does a lot on copyrighting. So I’m always just interested in the art of copyrighting especially in the digital age i do Ben Thompsom, which is a subscription newsletter which I highly recommend for, it’s called [00:46:29] it’s like I’m saying like the George Bush, [00:46:35] I can’t even say it now. Which is, it’s just a phenomenal read which covers the techspace probably the best, I would say, newsletter out there.
And then Jason Hershawn’s newsletter which is great, which is, trying to think of it here, I don’t know why I’ve lost it. But it’s, oh, Media redefined. Media redeath, which I highly recommend for anyone whose in the media business it’s a nice recap in terms of the media as a whole just not digital but also tv. print, radio you name it. he does a great job covering. I think he was the former CEO of myspace and now just does a phenomenal job with this newsletter.
Scott: Are there any tools or apps that you can’t live without?
Mike: Yes for me, live without, so, Linkedin, obviously, number one in terms of
Scott: Good one
Mike: We also have a separate app called elevate which is really focussed on employee engagement and so what it does is curates content within the app so that employees can share that across the social platforms. So if you think about a company like Microsoft which has 100 000 employees and the amount of connections that they have within their network even if 20% of those share you get tremendous reach but you also get the ability for them to build their own personal brands which plays really well with social selling.
But beyond the Linkedin promo instagram has been a huge favorite for me socially with kids but also just, I love some of the marketing and advertising that’s happening on there. But those of you that I, sadly, one or two that I consume content from. Well content in the sense of either entertainment or professionally, the other ones I use are spotify. That’s when I’m zoned in, but I use a ton of travel apps like tripadvor, yelp, fourquare just because part of the job, again. I love being curious and so when I’m traveling for this job, gives me the ability to check out new things in new cities, new restaurants and things like that.
American Airlines is my preferred airlines and so, the american app and then Starwood is huge for me too in terms of where can I go, where can I visit those types of things.
And then again, alot of the apple apps so as we were talking about with podcast, I use the podcast app. I use video editing. Picture editing all within[00:49:14] native apps that are on there as well.
Yeah i would say that those are my go-to obviously the kindle is a big fan favorite of mine because of reading then audible as well for listening to the books. Oh last one pocket, which has been a huge savior of mine in terms of finding articles because i have so many newsletters, I’ll open an article and then I wanna continue to read it and so I’ll, I’ll slide it into pocket and I’ll come back to it later. That’s been a big one for me, And this will be a big fan favorite for you, strava which is one I left for competition both in cycling but also in running as well. Tracking, tracking myself.
Scott: Awesome, we’ll have to follow each other I’m not in the shape that
Mike: I’m with you
Scott: I need to be right now but it’s getting to be fall so it’s not a 110 in Austin and it’s a good time to be going out and doing that. So from a, you mentioned travel, the travel apps. Does, how do you structure your schedule differently when you’re on the road or how do you think about work.
Mike: Yeah so I try to do it with, you know, the way I structure my week I try to put clients on Tuesdays and Wednesdays little bit now with the management roll I have control with that a little bit more. But Tuesdays and Wednesday usually i have the most amount of energy. You know Friday I’m struggling, but because there are enterprise accounts we have to travel quite a bit but structure for Tuesday, Wednesday, you know I try to do first flight out and then the first flight coming back. What I’ve learnt in the the years is that getting that last flight out which may seem good for the family typically results in a delayed flight and you getting home at 2 or 3 in the morning and exhausted and not good for work or for family. And so the ability to get a good nights rest and conserve energy because when you travel you can just wear yourself down pretty quick and so I won’t do more than two nights either. That’s just more of a commitment to my family I think I learnt that from Mike Gamson whose our VP of sales here globally for Linkedin that the commitment to the family is you know, gone for two nights now there are gonna be some outliers where I’ll be gone for a little bit more but for my wife, just for her to know that I’ll only be gone two nights out of the week is good for her and so it becomes predictable and something as a family we can manager around and then. I try to jam pack the schedule as much as possible because both from a cost stand point for the company, you know. Don’t want to waste their dollars to I believe, when you travel and see clients, I see em as just like huge leverage for momentum and you don’t want to waste your opportunities, especially when you’re calling within these enterprise companies where you have a lot of different contacts that you can meet with.
There’s really no excuse for you not to have schedule. And then if I’m you know, preparation is huge and obviously, making sure there’s an agenda laid out and making sure that there’s quick follow up. Like I have a rule for myself 24hrs then, you know I ask the, my own AE’s to follow up within 24 hours because you know if you don’t you’re gonna lose that momentum because there’s so many different competitors calling in there and there’s so many agendas floating around and you know, there’s so much attention that you’re battling for and if you lose, kinda again that recency theory with your clients and then it ‘s gonna be gone.
And then at night, like again, I believe that people like to work with likable people and so getting clients out and hopefully entertaining them or doing something with them outside of work. I believe, pays off, so I try to have something scheduled, post 5 with clients as much as possible, if not, I see as a great opportunity to bond and connect with the team as well, so we try do some, something fun outside of work. When we’re travelling and exploring a new city.
Scott: Ah some great, great nuggets in there I’m glad I asked. So Mike do you subscribe to a particular sales philosophy?
Mike: Yeah, so you mean like, sales challenger or those types of things?
Scott: Yeah exactly
Mike: Yeah, I would say, you know maybe it’s a hybrid of reading all these of books. And they all get kind of mished and mashed together. You come up with a hybrid that maybe connects with you the most but I would say challenger is one of them. I do believe you know clients because there’s so much information coming at them these days both with sellers calling in there, the managers demands, the leaderships demands and if they have folk reporting to them their demands. In addition you know they’re consuming, I mean we just went through a list of information I consume, they’re trying to do the same to keep up with their industry and at the end of the day, like they just want a point of view right. Like they want a point of view that’s easy to execute on and that will have some sort of result that is in the business’ favour and I feel like that’s about as simple as you get and so I feel like it falls in challenger camp alittle bit where you, as an account executive there’s so much access to information now is like you should be able to walk into your client, pretty much on the first meeting now and understand their business needs and if you don’t fully understand them, at least share with them hey this is what i believe your needs are and give them an opportunity to share back with you even it’s incorrect, at least you’ve done due diligence that you should have a pretty good idea of what you gonna create for them and share with them and bill and tell them their point of view and to have the next conversation be more focussed on how do we execute on that point of view.
And that’s I guess my philosophy is like, just have a point of view. I feel like a lot of times we’re just allowing the information to come to us and our clients to come with us so.[00:55:25] beyond the offence type of person and that you have enough information at your disposal, what people lack is just a solid point of view these days. And so you can differentiate yourself by going in with that point of view and quickly moving it to next steps.
Scott: Nice, nice, it’s like asking a waiting at a restaurant what’s good and they tell you everything is good. That kills me
Mike: Yeah exactly, but still like, people this day it’s, it’s hard to come in with kinda of a differentiated point of view, it takes a lot of time, and a lot of time to think depending i guess on what type of product you’re selling. That’s why we’re all can higher paid professionals is, is the ability to understand someone’s challengers and their own challengers and they come up with ideas that hopefully overcome them. And not all are going to do it but at least you provide a point of view that’s a lot more valuable than just coming in and talking about your product.
Scott: yeah, right on. Is there something you believe that the average rep would think is crazy.
Mike: I have never shared with my team what time I get up. I think that they would think that that’s crazy but I, you know I guess, you know it’s funny i was, one of the things that thought about sharing was in terms of a challenge is that that focus on achiev1ment versus fulfilment balance that you have in you life and so you know there is even as a manager, like I fully respect everyone’s time and wanting be equally balanced in terms of value they put into both parts of their life, in terms of fulfillment maybe with friends maybe with extra curricular activities whatever it may be versus achievement at work professionally but for me it’s you do have to be a bit unorthodox you know it can’t just be a 9 – 5 thing if you want to have success is something that just you almost always have to be on and so that includes getting up early and understanding that hey this is when i have my best ideas so that I can get that knocked out so that I can go be physically fit to have enough energy to do the day but I’ll also spend time with my family but also spend time with my family in the morning so that I’ll also feel good through the day that gets me through the next part of my stages which is the next two hours of spending time with my family but then finishing up the day, you know with maybe some more email. [00:57:55] thought my life would be like that like structured, no, without a doubt. But I feel like process gets you to progress which gets you to success right.
So you have to be disciplined but also know that, like it’s not going to be a pretty kind of 9-5 process and that sometime you’re gonna have to wake up at 4 and you’re gonna have to work a few hours on Saturday and Sunday to get you there and so yeah i guess you can think I’m crazy by (a) working such early hours but also working on Saturday and Sunday but it’s not like I’m crazy working on Saturday and Sunday it’s just a few hours before anyone’s up to knock of few things out. So that I have the sound strategy going into the next week.
Scott: Yeah, and what motivates all of that, I mean we talked about your paranoia. is that what this, I mean what’s underlying all of that.
Mike: Yeah I think it’s competition you know without a doubt, it’s you know this is within a day it’s like we’re not carrying anything or anyone so it’s a bit selfish in that we’re all essentially all vying to compete but also take care of ourselves and our families as well. I think it’s competition, I just really like to compete and for me it’s fun and since I really just enjoy doing it and I don’t always [00:59:21] quote on the pain of discipline is less than the pain of disappointment . You know, I’d rather succeed and not have that pain of disappointment so.
Scott: Nice, nice, well it’s interesting you mentioned kinda of that discipline piece a couple a times there. Did you hear the episode Tim Ferriss did with Jocko Willink?
Mike: Yeah that’s the last book I listened to on audio.
Scott: Nice, nice, I read that i didn’t listen to it, but man that was and for those who haven’t heard that you can save yourself an hour and a half. Although it’s probably one of the best Tim Farace episodes I’ve listened to Jocho is, he is like the most decorated navy seal commander, was running some of the craziest stuff in Iraq an d Fuja and all that. He has a line about discipline equals freedom and this whole idea that if you have a lt of structure you don’t have to think about those things and it frees up your mind to be creative and really have that flexibility and freedom so I think that aligns really really well with a lot of what you’ve been talking about.
Mike: Yeah, yeah I agree I think the book is extreme ownership yep yeah it’s a good audio listen.
Scott: And he gets up at 4.30 in the morning like the 3 of us crazy nut jobs.
Mike: Yeah i don’t admit it freely especially to new people whom i meet or to my team. Cos I don’t want them to expect that they have to get up at 4 i think that we realise that we’re most effective at that time so, that’s ok.
Scott: Exactly exactly, so that’s probably not the advise you would give, what advise would you give to somebody that’s maybe starting out their career in sales today?
Mike: Yeah I would say understand yourself without a doubt, definitely look within yourself to see what your strengths are but to that point I would say be yourself like don’t think that you have to be a certain sales persona there’s not enough people to take advantage of how they’re different to be, it’s usually different, differentiated the market place. When being number 2 and 3 is just you know going back to what you’re talking about in terms of being disciplined is build your process make it unique to you and then execute on that process. Like some of the hardest work is in developing your process and this being disciplined to it. For me it’s developing the process, like executing on it. To me it isn’t as hard but just developing that process that I feel confident in to get results but also I feel comfortable within as well. And so those will be the three things I would recommend to anyone getting into sales.
Scott: Nice, does that change at all for, I [01:02:01] a different set of advise for someone that’s more mid career so maybe they’re doing pretty well but really trying to get to the top or maybe they’ve hit a rough patch right. What advise do you have for somebody that’s been in this game for a little while.
Mike: Yeah, I would say, been in a while, I think the hard part that’s probably happening at the time is you’re not differentiating yourself within the organization so starting to look at are you selling up, you know depending on where you wanna go with your career assuming that maybe they wanna go into being the top seller or to be in to management I think is recognizing that internal selling is much as you don’t wanna do it you have to do it in terms of getting recognition and that goes back to when I was talking about helping a client get their core KPI but also making sure that it’s marketed within that organization, do the same for yourself and do it within whatever you’re comfortable with. Like I was never a big show like extroverted but I did it within a way that i knew that I was getting recognized for my efforts. And 2 is you gotta do things that go above and beyond your core selling ask from the company and so that’s working on other projects that may not be related to clients’ but things hopefully that you’re interested then I would say take on side projects that help the company, help your peers but also help your manager as well.
Will help you get recognized as someone who thinks possibly like a manager, or thinks like a senior seller so that you’ll get that recognition hopefully down the line.
Scott: Nice, that’s a pretty good full circle back to your opening statements around just kind of giving and making contribution good stuff. So Mike as I go through these conversations i’m curious on your perspective. What would you wanna know more about top sellers in other organizations?
Mike: Yeah I think you know for me is I like to understand other peoples’ just process, how do they approach you know some of the questions you asked today are perfect in terms of what is their process throughout the day, the week. What type of information are they taking in or they’re consuming what are they doing with that information? Would be key, Cos I think you’re always trying to understanding like other peoples play books you know it’s always comes back to I guess sports analogy for us.
Scott: right right always
Mike: But yeah it’s a you know playbooks for me is, what is the software you’re running on essentially, not within the computer but as a human that makes you a top seller and I feel like a lot of that has to do with the information in the playbook that you execute on so that for me would be tops.
Scott: Cool and who’s the most successful sales person you know personally.
Mike: I would say our VP of sales Mike he’s you know there’s few people you know for me i have to work, I gotta work my process i can’t go into a meeting and completely change someone mind or wow them in the first meeting. For me I live off listening coming back with solid idea and working the process of follow up, follow up, and Mike is the type of person that can walk into a room and impress and walk out most likely with a deal in hand. He’s just, one of the first days I met him was like this guy is like some sort of jedi. So I would say, yeah Mike is the most successful at that.
Scott: Nice and any thoughts around, you mentioned follow up, you said it twice in a row so that tells me something. What do you do, is there anything unique you do in your follow up to continue to keep that momentum you talked about earlier?
Mike: Yeah I just, your agenda and I know it seems like a pain in the ass at the time you’re doing it, when you’re just trying to get out of meetings, secure your excited your emails blowing up. You gotta get back to people. Create the agenda of the outcome that you want at the beginning to get an agreed upon with your client so that you’ve already pretty much have already written your follow up for them cos you should of already done the job of understanding the clients’ business what your solution’s gonna be and hopefully you’ve already done the calculations to figure out what time of results that you can give them.
So your agenda should be set to that. Your follow up should essentially just be almost pre-written based upon the feedback you get in the meeting there’s gonna be some tweeks to it and so typically it’s almost pretty written for me before I even come out the meeting before I even go to the meeting. You know alot of its gonna be some tweeks. Maybe I need to re-pull some numbers [01:07:07] based upon maybe they’ve thrown a loop at me in terms of a different objective that I’ve hadn’t considered. It shouldn’t take me more than 24hrs to rephrase it and so that’s typically how I follow up as how I have it pre-written before I even go into the meeting.
Scott: And our accounts are always solely focussed on our agenda I mean, I’ve that’s typically the only thing they really have to worry about they don’t have much other stuff coming out at them. But in those rare circumstances where you know maybe there’s some other things going on and things don’t happen right away. What’s your follow up to the follow up approach.
Mike: follow up to the follow up approach? Usually I’ll, hopefully you’ve got us all at relationship with them that you don’t feel as if you’re pestering. You know I usually will use the (a) I know we agreed to this in the agenda, we agreed to this in the meeting. I know this is important to you, it’s important to me. Let me know when is a good time to reconnect on this. How does it look on Thursday at 1 o’clock. To be a bit more descriptive and so I always try to make it around like this is important to you it’s important to me, a bit of emotion in it, so that the follow up doesn’t come across as annoying. But also knowing that you believe, hopefully, that their best result is in your mind. You’re trying to get them to something that helps them with the major problem that is going to relieve a lot of stress for them so that when you follow up, it shouldn’t be annoying.
But if I hadn’t heard back from them about 3 or 4 times, it’s “hey hey let me know if this has not become a top priority for you, and that if we need to reset, let me know”. Because sometimes it may not be and you they just have the fear of letting you down, so you just need to get to a yes or a no as soon as possible, so you not spinning your wheels.
Scott: Yep, Yep good stuff, cool. So lets just see if we can’t tie a big pretty bow on this and boil it all down. You talked about creating your own, kinda, fear challenges. If you were to create or suggest a challenge that’s maybe 5 days or 7 days or whatever period of time for the listener, what would that be? What would you challenge them to do?
Mike: Yeah, so I would challenge them to be the best version of themselves. You know I think, first just start with understanding yourself, you know what motivates you? What are your strengths, what are your weaknesses. I know there’s a great book out there “Strength Finder”, by Jim Roth, I believe, have you read that one?
Scott: Years ago, but yes
Mike: Years ago, yeah. You know that’s a good place to start. Just understanding yourself (2) is understanding, like, what is your process, how do you go about developing your ideas for your customers? How do you go about developing your insights for them. But also, kinda what we talked about before is, understanding when you work the best. Are you at your best in the morning, is it the evening? Are you a night owl? Do you need like complete peace and quiet to work?
And then (3) like know how you’re going to deliver your recommendations, your proposals to your clients in what shape or form. For me it’s always, I do my best when I’m in person with clients some people may do better over the phone. You know, know where you do your best work in terms of delivery. And so that would be my challenge, just figure out from yourself internally, how do you best go about doing the roll of sales and knowing yourself. Knowing the way that you’re optimised and what you truly have fun at. And [01:11:13] and when looking back over it, you know, you know the thing for me has always been. Am I hitting my marks internally in terms of revenue? But also, am I having fun and for coming across as fulfilled.
And for me it’s always been the curiosity of the job, but, for, you know what’s been coming on for me has been the ability to take more and more risk and so I know I’m having fun. And I know when I’m doing that I’m highly differentiated more valuable to my customers.
Scott: Awesome, awesome, what a great place to leave this with, I think that’s a great challenge and something to really think through and give some thought to. It has helped you be very successful. So Mike i just wanna thank you for really giving to us today. You’ve been extremely open and shared some incredible nuggets and I really appreciate you.
Mike: Thanks Scott
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