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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers LIVE Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on April 7, 2021. It featured Carson Heady, Microsoft’s Top Social Seller.]
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CARSON’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “I think the only real difference between how I approach social selling and others is that not only do I focus on quality, quantity and consistency, but it’s a people and process game. Sales is relationships and probability. If I reach out to more people than anybody else and I do it with the right messaging, I have a higher probability of getting those meetings. And if I can’t get the CEO or the CFO meeting right out of the gate, I’ll swarm, I’ll reach out to every influencer in that relationship and eventually, I’ll get to the person that I want. And I use social selling to accomplish that.”
Fred Diamond: We have Carson Heady on today and he’s from Microsoft. I want to let you know that the IES Annual Award Event is going to be broadcast on June 3rd. With our Lifetime Achievement Award we’re going to be recognizing Toni Townes-Whitley. Carson, do you know Toni Townes? Have you worked for her before?
Carson Heady: I work for her in her organization, brilliant leader.
Fred Diamond: We’re very excited. We got a really cool show today, we got Carson Heady with Microsoft and we’re going to get deep into how you could utilize social selling in your sales practice to really take your sales game to the next point. Carson, it’s really interesting. We’ve had great LinkedIn coaches and consultants like our good friend, Brynne Tillman who’s known as The LinkedIn Whisperer. We’ve had her on a bunch of times and other people who help you get better at LinkedIn.
The reason we wanted to talk to you is because not only have you used LinkedIn, you’ve also grown your sales career to become the top social sales leader at Microsoft. It’s funny, we know a bunch of people at Microsoft because of the award event. Last week we actually had a woman named Christine Zmuda who’s been a long-time successful sales professional at Microsoft. There’s like 150,000 people at your company and when I mention your name to them, “Yeah, he’s the social selling guy.”
First of all, it’s great to have you here. You’re also a published author and we’re going to get real deep today on how you as sales professionals can do some of the things that Carson did to establish himself as the top social seller at Microsoft. First off, congratulations on the book, Birth of a Salesman. Let’s get started, how’d you become Microsoft’s #1 social seller?
Carson Heady: Fred, it’s always good to spend time with you. Thanks for letting me be on today. That’s a great question and there’s many parts. We’re going to talk a little bit about first you’ve got to sell yourself, social selling has a process. As you mentioned, there’s a lot of statistics and presentations that we all see about the value of social selling. But frankly, it forces us to evolve and adapt our way of selling.
When I started doing these things admittedly years ago, it was an anomaly. As a seller, when you don’t have results in something it doesn’t really mean much. It’s great to tell your boss, “I’ve got a meeting with this C-level person” but until you actually have the results to back it up, it didn’t mean a whole lot.
When my book was published a decade ago, my first book, I was told by my publisher to open social accounts like Twitter. I already had a LinkedIn, but to open some of these different social accounts. I knew very little about them, but I did spend time focused on a few things over the years. But the common theme is quality, quantity and consistency. I’ve adapted my approach many times over the years, but because of the book and because of some of the content that I was posting, I had amassed well over 300,000 followers.
The funny thing too that I also want to draw from this is I had a successful sales and leadership career at AT&T years ago. I reinvented myself completely at Microsoft. The thing about Microsoft, an amazing culture, you’re surrounded by brilliance and I was just hoping to contribute in a small way. I was brought in in a player/coach type of role in a brand-new role and started building events and lists, and different intel around the clients that we were supporting.
Long story short, our team was #1 in the world in that role out of over 100 for eight quarters in a row which got me into a corporate role. Because we had sold to a lot of the same people that I was covering. I had 237 accounts when I first became an account executive and started doing a lot of these social elements. As you mentioned, using LinkedIn, using different intel, research, email blasts, business journals. Anything I could get my hands on that would get me actionable intel and I would jump on it.
I think the only real difference, Fred, between myself and maybe the approach of others is that not only do I focus on quality, quantity and consistency, but it’s a people and process game. Sales is relationships and probability. If I reach out to more people than anybody else and I do it with the right messaging, I have a higher probability of getting those meetings. And if I can’t get the CEO or the CFO meeting right out of the gate, I’ll swarm, I’ll reach out to every influencer in that relationship and eventually, I’ll get to the person that I want.
But it’s all about adding value and understanding that element. So how did I become the top social seller? By practicing what I believed to be the right mechanisms, by evolving approach based on results and sometimes lack thereof. And ultimately, by creating meaningful relationships. Social opens the door, but what you do with it once you’re in the door is what’s going to determine your success. That’s it. It’s fine to get a meeting, but if you don’t actually do something to stay top of mind after the fact, then you’re not going to be able to maintain those relationships.
Fred Diamond: I want to make it clear here. The bottom of the slide, you’re a Senior Account Executive for Microsoft in the Health and Life Sciences spaces. Once again, I just want to reiterate before we get deep into some of your ideas and your strategies, you are what I like to call a bag-carrying sales professional at Microsoft. You have a quota, you report to a team, you have accounts. You’re just not this social selling guy who’s the LinkedIn guy, you physically have a quota that you need to achieve.
And it says here, 7-times CEO Gold President’s Club. Just so people understand this, we’re not talking about theory. We’re talking today about how LinkedIn and social selling have helped you maintain the highest level as a bag-carrying, quota-carrying sales professional.
Carson Heady: And there is an element to my role this year that is carved out around social selling. And that was because of the results of spending time with other teams and helping to evangelize some of these efforts, helping them open doors that they didn’t have, winning awards around selling to other rooms of the house.
It’s been a journey, I’ve been here over 7 years and it has taken every bit of incorporating prior experience and skills into the roles that I was in. And then how could I amplify by just simply doing more? Increasing my probability. I worked for a consultant firm before I joined Microsoft. A lot of people with social selling thing, “Well, you have a great brand name behind you, so it’s probably pretty easy to get in the door.”
I actually cut my teeth at a consulting firm before I came to Microsoft reaching out completely cold. I got some very high-level meetings just through LinkedIn outreach. I brought that into Microsoft. And by leveraging it to again, enhance probability and form some of these relationships, when I worked at that firm I was told, “Find ways for social to stay top of mind.”
So it’s not just about opening the door, but also when you see that insight or intel about M&A activity or you see that they’ve made a C-level change. Anything and everything that you can act upon, it will get you in the door quicker, be proactive, act on those things and it will increase your probability of success.
Fred Diamond: We’ve got a picture here of the top portion of your LinkedIn profile. Before we get deep into why social selling, talk a little bit about your LinkedIn activities, for example. We have a question here that comes in from Mickey, and Mickey’s up in Northern New Jersey. Mickey wants to know how many hours a day you physically spend on LinkedIn.
The picture here, you see that green dot which means when I captured this, you were live. Of course, now we’re still in the work-from-home mode so most people are still working from home as compared to running around. Give a little perspective on how much time during the day LinkedIn is open as you’re going through your work process.
Carson Heady: That’s a great question, thank you for that. LinkedIn is open much of the day. I do try to carve out consistent, continuous time on a weekly basis where I go in. One of the tools that we have at our disposal is called LinkedIn Elevate where I can go in and I’m a curator, but I can also see other curated content that we can share out.
So I probably spend maybe 10, 15 minutes a day on that timing out posts for the rest of the day. Actually, being out on LinkedIn trying to engage, it depends because we are very busy in our role so it’s impossible to just sit there and react and respond. But I’d probably say I’m on LinkedIn for about 30 minutes a day looking for what’s actionable.
Because if you position your LinkedIn and your Sales Navigator in a way that it is a summary of your book of business, it’s very valuable time spent when you can see those types of activities. There’s been many times where I’ve seen there’s a new CIO at this organization and I reach out very quickly. I’m in their office before any of the competitors and we form a lasting relationship there.
A lot of the social selling wins that I’ve had over the years have started just that way through LinkedIn. So definitely a valuable utilization of time. It’s hard sometimes to find a consistent presence out on LinkedIn but I try to do as much as I can.
Fred Diamond: Before we talk about why social selling, we have a question here that comes in from Jennifer. Jennifer wants to know, “Do you accept connection requests from everybody?” I’m just a little bit curious about that. Again, you have over 400,000 followers. Talk a little bit about your connection approach and then we’ll talk about why social selling, and why it’s been so valuable to your sales process.
Carson Heady: It’s a great question, Jennifer. There’s different schools of thought to a lot of the stuff. There’s also a lot of schools of thought to do you send InMail or do you send a connection request? I personally accept most LinkedIn requests. I’ll look at the profile, I’ll deem if it looks like a viable contact that I should pursue, but I will accept most, yes.
Fred Diamond: Let’s talk about why social selling. It’s very interesting, I didn’t realize this until five minutes ago that you made the conscious decision. You were at AT&T, then again some consulting and then you moved to Microsoft and you made this decision to invent yourself as this guy, you started the journey.
But as we were talking before, sometimes I’ll send a LinkedIn message to somebody that I have a relationship with and then three weeks later I get a response, “Oh, I just saw this.” What do you mean you saw this? LinkedIn should be a critical piece of your sales process not only to find prospects but to establish yourself and also for news. LinkedIn is the #1 source of news on the planet. Talk a little bit about social selling and how you use social selling.
Carson Heady: I spent time in the advertising game back in my AT&T days just thinking fundamentally about where’s my target audience. I challenge you to think about social selling not just from a selling aspect, but from a life and career perspective as well. You can meet a lot of really interesting people and form some value relationships with people via social mechanisms.
We’ve been in a pandemic for the last year, I’ve met some people that I have very regular dialogue with via LinkedIn that I’ve never met in person. I think it’s think about where your potential audience could be, where could that influencer in the organization that you’re trying to crack into lie? How could you get in front of them?
What’s great about social, Fred, is obviously I can go to these profiles, I can see what groups they belong to, what matters to them, what types of posts they make, I can engage with them. Frankly, I think a lot of people get it. I think a lot of people see the value in LinkedIn, the difference is that I turned it into overdrive. I accept fully the probability of getting these meetings.
So as opposed to reaching out to maybe one, five, ten people in an organization, I’ll reach out to 500 and I give myself the maximum opportunity of success. I have organizations that I’ve reached out to over 500 people in these organizations, and I have over 200 first-degree connections. And I probably talk to at least 100 of them on a very regular basis. So when you think about how you want to approach the business, it’s a relationships and a probability game so put that to work for you.
Fred Diamond: We talk about social media, your company CRM, you mentioned LinkedIn Elevate, new sources and other places as well. Just curiously, are you active on things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or anything like that? Or is it primarily LinkedIn and your internal Elevate that you spend most of your time on?
Carson Heady: As you know, Microsoft did purchase LinkedIn so I’m not going to make an actual endorsement of one product over another. But I will say that I do leverage LinkedIn quite frequently, that would be easy to witness. I’ve used Twitter quite frequently as well and frankly, from a followers perspective have many, many for followers from a Twitter standpoint. And I’ve met people all over the world from that vantage point. But as far as quality, career-related and business-related discussions, LinkedIn has been far and above the greatest source of intel and also of quality relationships.
Fred Diamond: You have an interesting stat here where you say social sellers are 51% more likely to achieve sales quota. Give us some of the stats. Again, these from OptinMonster, but give us a little more of the meat behind if people are still hesitant. Or not that people are really hesitant, they just don’t know. They’re still following maybe some traditional ways or beginning to get exposed.
We’ve seen LinkedIn users of course increase over the last 12 months as people are getting more engaged and they’re beginning to discover things. But to be frank with you, you’re one of the first guys who carries a quota who has used the mechanism to achieve great results.
Carson Heady: I’m going to use an analogy here, Fred. I’ve spent most of my career in leadership and when you sit down, you have a coaching session. You agree on a plan of action, it sounds great in the meeting. Then you go out, get your teeth kicked in a few times and you go back to comfortable ways of mediocrity or failing. And that happens a lot.
I think we all understand that these things can work. I pulled these stats because I think they’re important, we have to sell ourselves on the process first. I’ve got to believe that this process works and I believed it. I took a leap of faith because again, before I had results from social selling, there were no results. I wasn’t able to show a track record of success that led me to the deductions that I was making.
I think these stats are important to digest a bit because frankly if you use these consistently, you will be successful. But I think that’s where all of us, myself included, have to apply some additional discipline and work. I have to be more consistent, I have to schedule intentional time to go in and do some of these social activities. Because we always have to be prospecting, we always have to be planting seeds for future relationships. We always have to stay at the pulse of what’s going on in these organizations.
That’s why when you’re following these organizations on Sales Navigator, following them is one thing. That’s great, you followed these folks but what are you doing when you see that they are in a merger/acquisition situation? What are you doing when you see that a new CEO or new CFO joined that organization?
I think there’s one element to you’re using the tools aesthetically, and then there’s quite another when you’re optimizing your probability of success by controlling all of the variables. You’re leveraging the tools, you’re leveraging them consistently and you’re making regular investments and deposits into your social selling machine.
Fred Diamond: Carson, we do webinars every single day, as a lot of the people listening to today’s Sales Game Changers podcast or watching the webinar know. One of the big words that has come up over the last year time and time again is extreme value. Sales has always been about value creation, but now you even need to do it more so because people are challenged with the results of the pandemic. Talk for a second or two, might be a little bit off the topic, about how you use social selling to provide the extreme value to customers.
You just mentioned a good point. You’re using Sales Navigator, you found out that there’s a merger and acquisition in the industry that you target maybe with your accounts. If you’re in sales, you should know that’s a trigger for something. Talk a little bit about the extreme value. Again, you’re with Microsoft, the most successful tech company in the history of the planet, but you still have to sell. You offer a lot of solutions, a lot of products. Talk about extreme value and maybe how that ties into social selling.
Carson Heady: Fred, that’s a phenomenal question. I want to hark back to something that I just said too. Where does that extreme value fit into the machine that you form? Hopefully, if you have a takeaway here today, I don’t just sit on LinkedIn and try to create relationships. There’s a variety of other things. I put on webinars with partners and with technical specialists inside our company and broadcast those.
I build lists so that we are marketing those things and it’s not always just me calling and trying to sell something. It’s offering that free technical demo that might help them vet this solution. It doesn’t require me making a phone call. I send newsletters to these lists and that is cultivated from different information that I’m getting from marketing, from different partners, different sources.
When you’re talking about extreme value, that is the strength that you have. The strength isn’t necessarily going to be me per se, the strength is going to be how can I open the door so that I can bring in all the resources, the value and frankly, the brilliant people that I’m surrounded by into the mix?
Where social selling has helped me, Fred, is because I’ve been able to open the door, nearly any door I want. And then I bring in all the smart people with me. And then from there, we stay top-of-mind by ensuring that the relationship continues to engage. We could pull a lot more marketing statistics. We all know that typically it takes anywhere from five to eight times that somebody sees something, sees a brand, sees a logo before it really resonates.
I go back to what I said before about staying top-of-mind. A lot of the social posts that are made or the newsletters that are sent, that’s a time where my name popped up or Microsoft popped up. And I’ve had many times, Fred, where I’ve not had a response from a client on an initiative for weeks, but I’ve sent a newsletter and they responded.
Always think about the value that you can put out there. Find ways to stay top-of-mind, but understand what those superpowers are. I knew long ago what my superpower was is I could create relationships. There’s a lot of things that I can’t do, I know I’m not a prototypical IT seller but that’s okay. I came to Microsoft knowing well.
I liken it to Michael Jordan when he was on the Washington Wizards. He was the sixth man often. And I came in just hoping to contribute, but I realized what I could create was these relationships and a conduit to these clients with consistent, quality touches and then bring the firepower of Microsoft along with me. It’s been a magical combination.
Fred Diamond: People are asking here, “What should I be doing to become the Carson Heady of my company?” Carson, let’s get deep into some specifics. What are your suggestions on how sales professionals can succeed? It would be great if they could reach your level, but if they could just get better, how can we continuously improve to become better sales professionals?
Carson Heady: I would say aim higher than me, first off. I’ve been very fortunate, I’m just a small-town guy from the Midwest US. I was very fortunate to come to this organization and really blessed to work for phenomenal leadership. What worked for me was seizing opportunities and I knew that this would work.
Again, you’ve got to sell yourself on the process first. I put the process in place, a people-centric process and I executed. I was also able to evolve and adapt. Things change, customers change and not everything you do works. Not every message that you send out gets a response so maybe you try something else. Over time, you’ve got to continue to analyze and improve your process.
There were two really big game changers for me, Fred. The first one was actually using these tools to create relationships that close deals. It was probably about five years ago, there was a small organization, a startup organization that I found that was testing some of our products. I could see that through some reports.
I reached out and instead of reaching out to just a couple of people at that organization, I reached out to 30 people in that organization. 11 accepted my LinkedIn request, one responded to my follow-up and said, “You need to call this person.” I called them and I honestly went in with the pretense that it might be a relatively small deal. To date, that has probably equated about $10 million for Microsoft.
One deal does not a career make also, so while there were a lot of eyes on that deal, I had to continue to execute the process. There were 12 such deals my first year that were very similar in nature where they would not have existed without social selling mechanisms.
Now, the thing that I did too is I was trying to sign a lot of new business. In my second year it really came together. I had very strong growth my first year but the second year is where it really started to come together. Because I started utilizing these full force in some of the accounts that I already owned, in addition to still having some of the new business that I had signed the year prior.
By the third year, two big things happened for me. One, I hit almost 200% a goal because this process continued to feed itself. The second part was there was a new tool, relatively new. I remember being at a sales kick-off in January in Fargo and it was very snowy. A seller showed me this tool, LinkedIn Elevate, and there’s a lot of tools like this but it enabled me to go out and share curated content.
As I mentioned, my publisher told me 10 years ago to start this Twitter feed, it was very serendipitous. Because of all the posts and content creation that I had been doing for a decade, I had over 300,000 followers. So when I started using this tool, I was immediately #1. Over time, it’s been around three years, some people have passed me certain weeks but I am #1 in the history of that tool.
It got a lot of attention, people reached out to me from all over the world and people started to know me as “Mr. Social Seller” and I had to embrace that. It was an anomaly at first, but I had to embrace it over time. It has been an amazing ride, but those two things were critical for me having results in my business. And also having the ability to be recognized for social engagement as the top social seller in a company of 160,000 people.
Fred Diamond: We have a question that’s coming in from Jessie. Jessie says, “Thank you, Carson, for the great insights. Whenever I post something, I get no interaction whatsoever.” Again, you have a couple 100,000 followers, I do a post every morning, it gets a couple thousand views but I have a process. Do you have a process on that side of LinkedIn to present yourself? It’s great that you’re presented as Microsoft’s top social seller, but we met each other three years ago via LinkedIn and here we are talking today. There’s other ways for people to follow you.
What is your advice to someone like Jessie who says, “Basically I post and I get zero engagement”? What are your thoughts on that before we move onto more action steps people can take?
Carson Heady: Jessie, that’s a fantastic question. First off, not every post I make gets a big splash either, it’s a learning experience. I actually had somebody give me some tough criticism a few months back. I was getting lazy and I was posting a lot of third-party articles and they got very little engagement. So I had to challenge myself to go back to what the right move was, which was put the social into social.
Post about things that your audience is going to gravitate toward, be conversational, ask questions, post personal content. Believe it or not, I’m an introvert. I’ve just embraced what I know I have to do to be successful and it’s been wonderful because I’ve met so many amazing people. But I will jump on and make video posts very often, and then I’ll turn them into vlogs and I’ve turned those vlogs into LinkedIn Elevate posts. And then they get shared all over the world.
It’s one of those things where it’s a process like anything else, but you’ve got to really think about your audience. The type of engagement that you’re making, I share also into a lot of LinkedIn groups and I get some good engagement there. I do hashtags which I didn’t know squat, my teenager knew more about hashtags than I did. But I started to try to toy with hashtags and just hash tagging different topics that I wanted to be aligned with, that my articles and content should be aligned with.
Finding different ways to not only have your content put out there, but engaging audiences, asking questions, being conversational, leveraging hashtags, being personal, use video. Those types of things have helped me tremendously. Now, to Fred’s point, not every post is a hit but a lot of them get thousands of views.
Fred Diamond: That’s a great point too, using social selling, we all hear about a viral tweet or a viral post and it really doesn’t work that way. Maybe you get a viral tweet or a viral LinkedIn post. I had a LinkedIn post that got over 100,000 views a week or two ago, but mainly it’s about the consistency.
I love what you just said which is what’s your plan? What are you hoping to achieve? Anybody who’s listening today who’s a sales professional, they’re hoping to grow their sales. But one thing that we talk a lot about is the fact that you want to be seen as an expert by your customers so that you’re providing them the value.
How do you become valuable in your customer’s world? How do you be seen as someone who they can take advice from and somebody that they want to spend time with? The big challenge that we always face in sales is that we’re trying to keep moving things forward. Not every engagement is going to be a transaction or the $10 million deal that you referred to before. Everything is a win, getting a meeting scheduled, getting a referral to someone else in the organization.
I loved what you said before that you LinkedIn to a couple hundred people at your targets because it’s not just the Director of IT or the CIO or whomever. There’s program people, etc. Before we talk about your slide here for action steps, nice little comment here from Tom who says, “You’re always great to interact with and this has been such valuable information.” Give us some of your action tips, things people must do right now to start their journey to getting better at social selling, to help them get better as sales professionals.
Carson Heady: Fred, I think it’s key to think about the relationships that are going to benefit you. I challenge you to apply that to your passions and to your personal life as well. What I mean by that is I wrote a book, obviously I haven’t sold enough to retire. Microsoft is still stuck with me for the time being, but the point is that I’ve leveraged these tools in order to create a lot of meaningful relationships.
The thing that I think sets me apart is first off, I’ve tried to illustrate today that I believe in this philosophy and that I just execute it, try to do it with a higher rate of control of quality, quantity and consistency than anyone else. The other thing that I want to resonate here is that while these things open the door, be very cognizant that you’ve got to gravitate towards the warm leads.
Somebody responds, you pounce on that. I will cease and desist all of my prospecting in that moment when I get that response because I need to make sure that I prioritize that higher propensity lead. So be respectful and responsive. I’ve had many people tell me over the years that they’ve done business with me or with my organization not because we were cheaper. In fact, often we were not. It was because we were responsive, we brought the right people in, we got the right resources, brought the right value, we control the controllables.
And we responded to everything even if we didn’t have a response, we gave updates regularly, we were communicative. Communication fixes all that ails you. Social is one element of this, there’s a lot of different tools to leverage so think about those types of tools. Where’s your audience? I’m looking at different types of outreach for selling a book than I am for engaging people from a Microsoft perspective.
Think about where your audience is, be there, use the tools that are going to get you there. Create relationships, try to do it at a high frequency, but the last thing is be consistent. Make sure that you actually have a consistent approach, because prospecting is not something you just do in the first quarter. It’s something you’re doing constantly because if your pipeline dries up and you have nothing to put back in its place, then you’re leaving yourself high and dry.
You want to constantly be making deposits into that prospecting funnel and creating new conversations and relationships. Over time, if you effectively bring your resources to bear with all these wonderful new people that you’re meeting, you give yourself the best probability of success. I don’t ever have to worry about my results, I’ve never had to worry about my results. I’ve obsessed over people and process and that has taken care of me for an entire career.
Fred Diamond: We have a question here that comes in from Neil, and Neil is down in Florida. Neil would like to know, “What prompted you to write your book? Was that a good decision?” Congratulations again on the book, why don’t you tell us about that for a second or two? Was that a good decision to have written the book?
Carson Heady: It’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. It didn’t necessarily feel like that at the time, it was a labor of love. I don’t enjoy writing books per se, but it’s been one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I got laid off several years ago and I had some time and I wrote a book. My resume was noticed because of that book, that was the main thing that made me stand out.
I had some strong leadership experience, but I was noticed for a role, went into that role and from there, I can draw a direct line to how I got here. It’s been an amazing journey because I actually met people at that job that pulled me to my next. And then ultimately met the person at that job that pulled me into Microsoft. It wasn’t a straight line, but the book put that in motion. It’s also opened up a global audience.
Don’t get me wrong, again, I know these things are challenging, I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years who’ve said, “I want to write a book, I want to do this and that.” Just do it, just put it out there and start putting the plan in place to execute on your passion. It’s been one of then best things that have ever happened to me from a career perspective and a life perspective.
Fred Diamond: Carson, I want to thank you for all the great insights you’ve provided. I want to acknowledge you for – how many people does Microsoft have? 150,000?
Carson Heady: 163 I think at last count, yeah.
Fred Diamond: [Laughs] again, you’ve touched so many people at Microsoft and with your writings. I want to applaud you for the impact that you’ve had on the tens of thousands of people to help them take their sales career to the next level by being more effective at social selling. We have time for our final action step. Why don’t you give us your final action step? What should sales professionals do today to take their sales career to the next level?
Carson Heady: Fred, I want to start by saying thank you. This was an amazing discussion, something that I’m very passionate about. I’m very fortunate because I was able to reinvent myself. And have a second career at a company like this with an amazing culture, phenomenal people and leadership that has supported me every step of the way and has always put me in a situation to win.
The action step is sit down today, think about the relationships that you’re lacking. This could be career perspective, this could be from a selling perspective. Think about the relationships you’re lacking and make a plan to get their attention. Like I said, it isn’t always that I get that CEO, CFO, CIO or any of these C-levels right out of the gate. In fact, it’s very often that I don’t. But where I’ve increased my probability at success is my plan might not just include reaching out to them, it might include reaching out to 20 other people that might be surrounding them.
One of my most strategic wins in my career, I was getting completely shut out in multiple levels of the C-suite. But I didn’t stop, I found people in my organization that were connected with people on their board, managed to get to the board. Managed to get a meeting with the CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO and several others, and many of the folks that were boxing me out up to that point. We won the deal eventually, it came down to ensuring that we had all of the right resources in then boat.
Sometimes it’s just the perfect cocktail of making sure that you’re leveraging the right tools, the right people, the right resources, the right message in order to enhance your probability of success. Think about that today, think about the relationships you’re missing. Put a plan in place to get them and best of luck.
Fred Diamond: We’ve got some comments coming here. We’ve got Neil who said, “Great job, Carson.” Tony says, “Thank you so much.” Tod says, “This has been fantastic.” Carson Heady, one more time, thank you so much for the great insights.
Carson Heady: Thank you, Fred.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo