How To Close a 9-Figure Deal Using LinkedIn

by | Aug 5, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

This week’s episode is an incredible conversation I had with Carson Heady.

Carson is an 8-time award winning CEO, best-selling author, and social media master.

We talked about:

      • How to create real relationships over LinkedIn.
      • Selling without really “selling” and how you can also implement it.
      • How Microsoft can’t open every door.
      • How to invest in relationships through Podcasting.

Make sure you stay until the end to find out the one thing CEOs should be training salespeople on, what they often miss, and to learn the first step to social selling.

Enjoy!

Continued Learning: How to Use Social Selling to Generate Business

TAKING ACTION:

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TRANSCRIPT:

*this transcript was mostly generated by AI, please excuse any mistakes smile

Yeah, 

here we go. And then I’m gonna go live on Facebook as well. And I pronounce your last name. Hedi 

Heady actually. Thanks for asking. 

Good to ask. Okay. okay. Uh, welcome everybody. My name is Amanda Holmes, CEO of chet holmes international. And today I have Carson V Heady. I’m so thrilled to have you on because I really feel that you are the future of what every person that does sales should do.

You are a living embodiment of it. So for those of you that don’t know, Carson. Maybe you haven’t been on LinkedIn or maybe you haven’t been on Twitter because over the span of those two social media PLA platforms, he has over 300,000 followers. He has a bestselling author of the book birth of the salesman, but then also multiple books.

Um, you’ll have to go and check out his profile to find out more about all the different books. He has eight times CEO award winner. Mike. He works for. Oh, uh, he works for Microsoft, which I just find so fascinating. I wanna hear more about how this works because you and yourself, I mean, sales hall of fame, indu, you also have your own podcast.

So for everyone that doesn’t know Carson, so my interaction with you, well, I think we got connected over LinkedIn and we did an interview. And then you took that interview and you spliced it up into these little pieces of micro videos. Right. And, and what I saw, which I thought was so brilliant was I’d see how he would post that video.

Then he would summarize it all in the, in the, um, in, in the body text. And then as he would post it. A ton of your staff and other people that you work with within Microsoft, uh, would then also reply. And I would see, I mean, anywhere between 10 to 20 people commenting and then the thoughtfulness in all of your responses.

I mean, this just, I could see that this was a very well all machine and it’s obviously doing well for you in your sales aspect. So thank you so much for being on this call, cuz I just wanna dive deeper and dissect this. Machine that you have 

going on. Oh, I love it. Amanda. Thanks so much for having me great to see you again as always.

And, uh, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s funny to be described or even mentioned in like, uh, you know, Hey, this is where sales is going, or this is the future of sales. Cause I, I just consider myself a lifelong learner of selling. Um, I find it ironic because you know, I’ve been in sales for 20 plus years and my first half of my career, which was mostly at and T.

I was in telecommunications and advertising in more of a one call close type of an environment with the phone I was in, you know, a call center environments. And so it doesn’t look anything near like what I do now. In fact, I thought that was gonna be the apex of my career. And I was. Very fortunately wrong.

Um, I think it’s amazing how selling and, you know, social media has no geographical barriers now, you know, we can connect with anybody in the world at any time. Um, and it’s just, it’s all about how do we show up with value? How do we find the target audience? And even if you don’t necessarily connect right away with the influencer that you wanna reach, uh, you can turn your snowball into an avalanche.

By creating a ground swell in these organizations, connecting with influencers of influencers, and then you become very valuable to that organization because, you know, uh, just as much, if not more sometimes than they do about the pulse of their organization. So, um, super passionate about selling and, uh, you, you described it.

Absolutely. You know, it is, it’s a machine, it’s a demand generation machine. Yeah. Um, you know, just to it’s it’s and it’s all geared toward. How do I create and nurture relationships, but also how do I earn the right to be their trusted advisor? 

Ah, fascinating. Can we, so, so I think that every CEO needs to have needs to train their sales team to do similar things with their content.

Like what I see a view, right? Just like you’re saying. Uh, the engagement, how you comment from every single person and tag every single it’s so thoughtful that you, with every little step that you take on social, it’s just, you live and breathe who you are as a person. So I can only imagine when somebody’s actually looking for your services, you would be that top of mind option every.

Well, and you know, what’s amazing, Amanda. I think a lot of people shy away from it because it might be uncomfortable or because they think it might be too time consuming. You’d be surprised to know. I mean, I probably spend maybe 10, 15 minutes a day, max on LinkedIn or LinkedIn associated activities. Um, a lot of it is, wow.

Maybe having checkpoints throughout the day or scheduling specific time just to go in and make sure that I’m, uh, reacting or responding or even. The way you can organize it in your email inbox and go in and check those messages one by one in, in one frame of time, it’s relatively easy to do. I can’t tell you as well, how valuable it is for me.

When I see as an employee, my leadership sharing some of the things that are top of mind for them, um, or. Top of mind for some of the other executives that they are meeting with, that resonates with me a great deal. And so I can’t tell you how valuable it is. I follow, um, a lot of CEOs on social media, uh, specifically LinkedIn or Twitter as you pointed out.

And, uh, it just, there’s nothing better to stay at the pulse of what matters. Plus on the flip side, as a CEO, the value that you can speak to. Virtually all of your employees in one shot very directly and, you know, make it, make it personable, live it up, liven it up. People resonate, uh, with the, it really resonates with people whenever they’re able to see their leaders as people, but also really able to see on, on their own time schedule, uh, something that, you know, spells out some of the priorities that their company has.

So it’s such a valuable vessel, uh, to speak in real time with your employees. 

So I’m curious also, uh, cuz I know you do this podcast and then that regularly comes out and then you take little pieces of it and you post it online. So do you, when you do these podcasts, do you target people that are your prospects.

Uh, you know, so the podcast is a fun story. I was actually, I was lamenting to a friend of mine about two years ago that I missed talking about leadership and sales, uh, kind of that water cooler talk. And then I realized there, there are no. Geographical barriers anymore. I can talk to anybody in the world at any time about leadership and sales and whatever I wanna talk about.

So I started doing that and recording it and using it to start conversations on social. And it was amazing. It just, it took off like wildfire. I resisted the term podcast for a long time because the word implies commitment and it wasn’t something that I wanted to. To a schedule or a rigor of, um, but then it just, it was one of those things from a branding perspective, I embraced it.

Um, and now I get outreach from people all over the world. Like, Hey, I’d love to be on your podcast or tell me more about your podcast. And so, um, I’ve embraced that, but you know, what I think is amazing, Amanda is. Very much like a differentiated stock portfolio. We pick different ways that we want to invest in relationships and none of them are necessarily all right or all wrong.

Like there is no silver bullet. Um, I like to look at a variety of different ways, whether it’s blogging or creating these videos or. Creating groups, creating LinkedIn groups. If you build a community around what you do, it’s the right answer. So your approach is gonna be personal to you. It’s gonna be based on where your audience is.

And so, um, I think just be intentional about going out and creating community with your audience. Um, but find ways to be provocative, start conversations, get them engaged, get them in the boat, add value. And, uh, it can really, it can. Go a long way to further your cause for me, a far exceeded expectations because I get to learn all over the place.

Now you asked about like target prospects as well. You know, what’s amazing is I’ve started to be able to interview customer executives that my team supports, uh, as a part of this. And that was an added element just in the last few months I started doing, uh, where I’ll interview customer executives and it’s amazing.

And it doesn’t even have to be about like, you know, obviously we’re a technology organization. We don’t necessarily talk.

Did I lose you?

Hmm. 

I don’t know if it’s just my side or if you okay. I did lose you. All right. Well, those that are on Facebook. Hello? Say, hello. Are there any questions you have for Carson? Because he is brilliant. Go ahead and check out what he does online. It’s fascinating. And I’m curious to find out more from him about where.

How the content aligns with what he’s doing in his sales process. It’s, uh, I would’ve thought that he spends all day, every day on LinkedIn, the way that he shows up there. So it’s shocking that he only spends 10 minutes there. Oh, Hey Luke. He’s saying it’s one of his favorite episodes so far. I love that.

Hmm. Wonder if I should pause,

let’s see here. 

If I’m hearing you or if I’m seeing you Luke, then that means that my Internet’s still okay. It’s just Carson, who we lost

only 15 minutes in

Luke. You’re pretty good at asking questions. Anything you wanna ask him?

Can you hear me? Okay. We’re just testing. testing the audio, I guess.

Okay. I might stop and, uh, reset this and see what we can do. So byebye for now say hello in the comments.

We’re still 

reliant. We’re still reliant on our, uh, you know, electricity and technology that, uh, yeah, I mean, it’s just started smoking and there, there goes the power. So I I’ve done a hundred of these as I’m sure you have, and that’s never happened to me before, so. 

That’s 

a that’s a first. Yeah. I mean, we’ve had te uh, connection issues.

I have had one of my staff that had a tornado come through. Oh. In the middle of a zoom. So they had to shut down the zoom and run down into their basement. So, uh, that did happen once 

now, did they? The interview from the basement now that would’ve been super cool. okay. 

All right. No

so yeah. Was scrambling to get back up. So here we are. We were on a, we were on a roll. I think what we were talking about was, uh, like customer executives that, um, you know, have been a part of the podcast and I was wrapping up that answer, but, um, I can jump back in.

Yeah. I wanna go back on Facebook. Let me just zooming.

Okay.

Okay. 

So, uh, yes. Um, we were talking about executives and now you’re getting, you’re being able to get in the door with current clients and just adding value by interviewing them. That’s what you’re saying. 

Yeah. And that was the piece like it was, it was just like trying to come up with unique ways to.

Customers even where they are, right? Like interviewing them as part of a podcast experience. It gives you a connection point without ever bringing up any type of selling aspect. Um, I think that’s super important because it forges real relationships. You know, now we know these folks and we’re more apt to work together, uh, because we’ve connected without the pretense or pressure of.

Hey, I’m trying to align solutions. Now don’t get me wrong. I mean, there’s lots of room for selling, but deals are a, uh, you know, a byproduct of relationships. And so I’m a big believer in that. And I think, you know, finding these different ways to, uh, show up with unique value or, you know, in my case, like I can turn my podcast into a vessel for them to, uh, to communicate directly with their audience.

Um, that’s very powerful. 

Yes. Yeah. That’s a crucial piece, right? Is that when you’re recording and then you send it out and they’re tagged and then they share it. So then you get more opportunity. Got it. Exactly. I love it. And then all of their contacts are commenting and then you’re thoughtfully, replying back to them.

Fascinating. 

You 

got it. 

But I am curious. So I’ve seen the, the podcasting more and having those, uh, people come in that aren’t, um, or just guests, uh, do you do any kind of posts around what you actually sell? Does that ever come up? Because from my following of you and I only, you know, peruse and Browse every once in a blue moon, I’ve never seen you actually talk about what 

you sell.

No, that’s funny. I. Think, and I’ve shared this before with folks. I think I have an identity crisis when it comes to my LinkedIn profile because I, I struggle with, with what I, I believe that I am as a voice in kind of the sales community, but like, I, I, I’m fully cognizant that most of my customers aren’t gonna necessarily care about that element.

Um, I do create a lot of events, um, you know, that are customer specific and there’s a lot of things that are very targeted. Uh, that are created leveraging LinkedIn as a platform. Um, you know, that, that engage customers, uh, around, you know, what Microsoft brings to the table, you know, technology or solutions, or, you know, could be stories, you know, ways that we are partnering with customers to transform, uh, you know, their digital transformation or could be, um, you know, what we’re doing around data and analytics or.

Visibility and resiliency and supply chain. There’s a lot of things that we’re doing, uh, but you may or may not see it just because it’s, it’s, we’re engaging in different ways. So I, I think that’s the beauty of the platform, right? Because you have that ability to engage, uh, specific people in specific ways.

Um, and so you may not see some of those elements, but they are there. 

Yeah. I mean, so you are still, um, so there’s this aspect of, um, getting engagement, starting a conversation, carrying out that conversation and then having conversations with their, um, uh, connections online. And then there’s the more targeted to your clientele and doing.

events which you really think that your clients don’t care that you have so many followers, they don’t look at that and say, oh, you know, this is somebody that I should respect, or that they’re an expert because they have that many followers. You think they don’t care about that? 

Well, maybe they, they probably don’t care as much about like sales leadership and you know, things of the nature.

If they’re, you know, in It, or they’re in, um, you know, some other realm of the business that isn’t directly sales related, but I try to be very intentional and also respectful with how I leverage the platform. Um, you know, it’s interesting, Amanda recently, you know, our team, uh, closed a nine figure deal. With a customer where that relationship began a few years back on LinkedIn.

Um, and we, we really created a ground swell out there with a couple hundred relationships, uh, that were created via LinkedIn or elsewise, you know, warm introductions after we had made those connections. But, um, it’s a, it’s a great story of how LinkedIn and the platform really augmented. The relationship because all of the things that we still do and how we invest in relationships and some of the, you know, face to face elements when we were able to do that over the last few years, um, how we BR bring resources, how we show up, um, how we really listened and, and uncovered needs, um, and how we managed milestones over the years, as, as priorities shifted for both our organizations.

Um, that was a phenomenal story, but it never would’ve existed without, uh, LinkedIn and some of the ways that we could create relationships. I think the challenge is finding ways to, um, establish a brand for yourself, uh, but also leverage the platform in a way that speaks to your audience. Whomever that might be, I just still happen to have multiple different audiences because I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to create, um, you know, a, you know, kind of a niche in the sales community.

Uh, but also, you know, being a thought leader when it comes to it and solution. 

sales 

And, um, 

so do you get support from Microsoft teaching you more about social selling or is it more that you’re showing them and then how is that, uh, trained amongst your 

team? 

Yeah, that’s an amazing question. So, um, it’s funny when I.

Started doing some of these things. I actually started doing them pre Microsoft. You know, I get a lot of people that say like, oh, well, you know, you’re, you’re a Microsoft. It’s probably pretty easy to, to get in the door and open the door. Um, and it isn’t always, cuz not everybody, you know, wants to, or is ready to talk to us or, or views us as the company that we’re transforming into.

Um, so that’s one component. But when I started doing some of this several years ago, I started that at a small consultant firm pre Microsoft because I needed to create C level relationships. And it just gave me a better probability of success. If I reach out to five, 10 executives, I may go 0 for the room.

But if I reach out to a hundred or 200, I’ll get meetings and I banked my entire career on that probability metric, I can control the quality of my messaging. I can control the quantity of outreach. And my consistency of execution over time of outreach and also nurturing the relationship. So for me, it started out just doing this as kind of a, I believe in this process.

And it was very foreign to a lot of folks, but, um, in the intervening years, uh, digital selling has become a lot more prominent. Um, there are a lot of resources out there I’m always learning. Um, but I’ve also been really fortunate because, you know, as I started to have success and by success, I mean, Several multimillion dollar deals that started on LinkedIn that wouldn’t have existed without LinkedIn.

And then recently getting kind of the holy grail of that with a nine figure deal. I’ve been asked to train, right? I’ve been asked to train. It was first, you know, train my team, then train regionally, then train nationally different teams, different business units. And like now, like a few weeks back, I was on late at.

Training a team in Singapore, I train in Italy and France. Um, and that’s the amazing thing about virtual. I can put my daughter to sleep and then come down and train an entire team in Singapore on how to do social selling. So, um, that’s been an amazing part. I get trained and I give training and I think we’re all always learning.

So that’s been a very rewarding experience. 

Wow. 

Well, I’m curious. So, uh, a majority of the clientele that I work with and that I talk to and that my organization trains are still very, very dependent on dialing for dollars. Yeah. That’s where they get majority of their bank for their buck. Right. I’m just dialing as many as I can until I get one and it’s, and it’s becoming harder and harder, uh, getting in front of that prospect.

So. As they’re making this transition to. And like half of a, like when I do a training on social selling, I usually have to give quite a lot of market data for them to believe that this is something that will be valuable for them. One of my favorite stats is that those that use social outsell, their peers by 78%.

That’s good. Uh, so, so if they were to make that transition. As you’ve made this transition, what would you say is one of the first things that’s just an easy baby step that they can take to be able to start doing more of their sales process of building relationships, uh, online, like through LinkedIn or Twitter, where, where would you say they should 

start?

Yeah. I, I love that, Amanda. I mean, you, you started at the right place because first comes the belief, right? You have to believe that this is a worthwhile way of going out and creating these relationships. You know, I, I applied this to a problem. My problem when I started doing it was, I didn’t know, these C level executives.

And then the same thing. When I started at Microsoft, you know, we kept being challenged with, Hey, we’re transforming as an organization. We need more line of business relationships. We don’t have them. So I heard that problem statement and I thought, well, you know, where’s my audience. Well, I know where they are.

There are, the preponderance are out on LinkedIn. Um, and, and again, I I’m coming from, you know, I’m coming from an environment where. Had no predisposition not to pick up the phone. I mean, I used to make hundreds of dials a day myself. Um, but I, I believe in this method because it’s easy to scale. Um, I mean, I’ve built a mechanism by which now I can touch thousands of customers per month.

Um, relatively easy with just a few clicks and, um, it’s taken time to build, but I believe in it because it creates and nurtures relationships and it finds ways to stay top of mind. Now, if you’re looking at where to start. Here’s where, you know, we just started a new fiscal year. So for me, this is really timely.

Um, I’m working with my team right now and I’m telling him, you know, think about what you want to achieve this year and what relationships are you going to need? In order to get that done, write ’em down, you know, write down the top 10 relationships you need. But here’s the other thing too, Amanda, that you gotta be fully cognizant of that it’s, it’s a numbers game.

It’s a probability game. Just like the same fundamentals of why we dial for dollars. It’s a numbers game. And you know, I used to have reps that they could make. Three 400 dials and not get a deal in a day in the advertising space. And then I had others that could make 10 calls in a day and sell a couple of times.

It’s all about the quality of that dial, what you’re bringing to the table. But again, I can control the quality of my outreach, which I constantly tweak over time. I take a very counterintuitive approach, infuse the objections that you often get with that first touchpoint. Into your outreach so that people are more apt to reply and respond.

But think about those relationships that you’re gonna need and know that if you reach out to those 10 people that you’d say you need the relationship with, you might go over the room. So who are their influencers? How can you create a groundswell? See, instead of reaching out to just those 10 I’ll reach out to a hundred people that are, that surround those roles.

You know, it could be people that work for them around them, uh, different types of influencer roles, because if I reach out to a hundred people. With a good message. Guess what? I’ll get a meeting, I’ll get multiple meetings. And then it’s once you created that, that’s how you take your snowball into an avalanche because you’ve created this groundswell, this momentum, and then you start to listen.

You start to hear some of the problems on the priorities. And so when you reach out to these executives, again, that you’ve got on your top 10 list. Hey, I’ve been talking to Joe, I’ve been talking to Mary. These are some of the things that I’m hearing and I I’d love to run them by you because I have some ideas.

Is this, you know, it sounds like this is something that you guys are grappling with. We’ve got some stories. Here’s something that we did. Here’s a use case of what we did with X, Y, Z company. Now it, now you’ve got an even better message. They’re not gonna reply necessarily to your first note. So, you know, that’s why you keep trying, but you keep making your message better.

So that’s what I would say is figure out the message. Um, be open to learn. Think about the, your, your top 10, like who do I need to, to know and meet this year, uh, to get my objectives and, uh, you know, just start getting off to the races. 

I love that. I love that. Any good tips on how to find them using LinkedIn?

Do you do a lot of tweaking on that? Can you give any. Quick takeaways 

there. Yeah. And I mean, look, I, first off, obviously I work for Microsoft, so I’m not like trying to make this a big LinkedIn commercial. I gotta make a disclaimer here. Uh, cause we own them. Right. So, uh, I’m not trying to, uh, not trying to make a commercial, but um, I, I go out to sales navigator, then I will go out and I’ll look very intentionally for.

These are the organizations or these are the titles, uh, that matter most. And, uh, you know, like I said, I, I try to cast a very wide net. Um, I will, you called it a kind of a demand generation machine earlier in the call. And that was very appropriate because. In essence, I find ways to, to scale the amount of communications, uh, but also to do it in a passive way where I’m not always just calling, trying to sell something.

It’s more, how do I build a community around this? Like, are you interested in doing a round table with your peers? Um, you know, we, we do a lot of talk about. Sales plays in the sales community. Right. But you’ve gotta breathe life and value into your play as opposed to just sending an email or making a phone call.

And I’m not saying we don’t send emails or do phone calls, but you build these other things in it. Like a podcast or like a, an experience or, you know, a specific like round table discussion that you invite somebody to participate in with their peers. And just because something strikes out doesn’t mean you stop, it might mean you tweak.

Um, you know, we do a lot of webinars and I’ve done webinars that had one person show up. I’ve also had some that have had hundreds and I just, you know, keep doing, keep learning, keep asking for feedback. And guidance and, uh, you know, you just keep rolling and I think that’s the key is look for those value added ways that you can meet customers, where they are armed with value and come to them with that offer of, you know, resources.

One of, some of the most common feedback I got when I started working here, um, was. The people didn’t have, especially in the line of business where we were reaching out and we didn’t have those relationships is that they didn’t, they didn’t know much about their investment with our company, if they had one.

And so bringing resources and telling them, Hey, you’re entitled to these things as part of the investment that you’re making, guess what? That was a quick door opener. And it was a great way to get in and show them what they had and offer free training and things that were a part of the agreement. And guess what, again, deals are a byproduct of relationships until you earn that right, to be a trusted advisor.

You’re not gonna get a deal or not a meaningful one anyway. Um, so I think that’s the key is just find those different ways that you can invest in the relationship, find the different mediums by which you can do outreach. And, you know, don’t just put all your eggs in the, I’m gonna send an email or I’m gonna make a cold call basket.

There’s a lot of ways to engage and get people in the boat with you. 

Yeah, I love that concept of, so if you have one influencer, right? There’s so many different decision makers. I think it was the event that you brought me to in Microsoft, where I was sitting next to that woman, that was a product design head of, I think it was within Microsoft.

And she said, there’s an average of 17 decision makers now for B2B sales. Oh my gosh. So then the concept. Of that then going back to when you’re messaging somebody and you’re saying, Hey, I’ve talked with Billy, I’ve talked with Sally, I’ve talked with Joe and we’re all saying these things. Can I talk to you about it?

Cause we have some ideas and we’ve already done this with somebody else. I love that concept. Cause those emails on LinkedIn are just so painful. 99% of the time. Well, they all sound the same. 

That’s the thing. They all sound the same. Like you’re not gonna get a different result. You gotta. There’s probably a thousand people reaching out to the same person you’re reaching out to.

And if you sound just like them, guess what? They’re gonna do the exact same thing to your email that they’re doing to those other 999, they’re gonna delete it. So you gotta stand out, you gotta do it different. You know, you can incorporate video into your outreach. Now, you know, we do newsletters every month and I’ve done like video intros to individual companies for, you know, customers that my team supports.

Um, it’s anything that you can do to stand out, do it different show up different. And not just show up, trying to Hawk your wares and list all these things that you think might be of interest to them. That’s not what it’s about. 

Right. I love that. And, um, so do you, so I’m curious about this. You’re saying 15 minutes a day.

That’s just shocking to me because the way that I perceive you online is that you are there like all day long. So the fact that you say 15 minutes, can you break this down for me a bit? Because I think there’s one, the amount of content that you’re producing online, and then also two engaging with your current customers or your prospects.

So how do you see. Is there any system that you follow doing those things? 

Yeah. I mean, the beauty is Amanda. Every day I go in with my daily non-negotiables right. So I usually try to execute on that. It could be a milestone with a customer or a partner or a vendor. Um, it could be, you know, something, a touch point with my team, you know, I try to spend as much time as I can.

One on one with my team or in the field with my team or the virtual field with my team. So those are my non-negotiables during kind of those off times. Um, you know, and a lot of my LinkedIn stuff will feed directly into my inbox, my outlook inbox. So I can go in and I can see it anytime. Like you’ve got X number of new messages.

And so I’ll literally just go down the list, I’ll click through and open up that in the browser. And then I check them as I get the opportunity. So a lot of these things are like five, 10, second, like one off. Somebody sends me a message. Do I need to do something? Is there an action required if there is do it, if there’s not move on exit out.

So, um, that’s why I’m not in the platform a ton. I do try to post meaningful things from time to time and, uh, you know, draw attention. Great attention of the things that you know, my team or I, or. You know, other partners that we have are doing. Um, and then just try to perpetuate the conversation for me.

That’s what it’s all about. If we can start valuable conversations out there, um, then, then we’re doing the platform justice. Uh, so you know, it’s not, I don’t have like dedicated time that I’m in there each day. Um, but I do like what I think is important for sellers and for sales organizations. And this is something Jeb blunt talks a lot about is, um, scheduling that sacred prospecting time, uh, could be 30 minutes a day, could be 30 minutes every other day.

Um, but it’s, you don’t just water your garden once and walk away. You gotta make sure that you’re continually doing this. That’s how you continue to create and nurture these, uh, relationships. And that’s how you keep your pipeline always full. So, um, I think it’s having dedicated time to. But that’s not always linked in to your point.

It, it could be. I write a blog that day and I get that distributed. And, um, you know, that gets some engagement or it could be, I do a video one day or, or whatever it is. So I think the key is find ways to differentiate your portfolio and, you know, definitely make LinkedIn a part of it cuz it’s, it’s a super important one.

Your audience is all there. 

Okay. I 

have another question for you. Um, I’m curious if, uh, it’s okay to ask you this. So, so what I found is online and obviously social proof is like gold today, right? I mean, Amazon has taught us that. The way that we buy is based on customer reviews. And what people say is now the first thing that you decide rather than like 10 years ago, when the customer couldn’t really say anything, they didn’t have a platform, they didn’t have a voice like they do today.

So then I see this in social posting, right. And then I’m also seeing these people that are hiring virtual a. To go in and comment for them or to get eight different, uh, virtual assistance to all comments. So then it looks more relevant. How do you do it within your organization? Cuz I see that cuz I was so fascinated when you would post these micro contents.

I saw all these people commenting and then I went and I researched who are these people? And I realized, oh, they’re all part of your organization. Do you have a system where people in your organization know. What time you’re posting. So then they go and post and make a comment. Or how does, how does that, may I ask?

I love that question. So a few years, I I’m a big believer in serendipity. So one of the best things that could have ever happened to me was I decided when I was, uh, years ago in need of work after, at and T and before my next gig, um, I, I wrote a book. Okay. And at the time, you know, I went out and I, I didn’t know much about a lot of these social platforms.

You know, LinkedIn was relatively new on the scene. I didn’t know squat about Twitter. Didn’t have a blog. And I went out and created a lot of these at the advice of my publisher. Right. And so, as I did that, you know, I started thinking about like, how do I best engage? I went out and I followed. The followers of people that I admired or respected or wanted to be like, like those aspirational, you know, mentors and things like that.

And so, um, over time, a lot of those people would follow me back. It it’s important to create good content, but I developed a lot of followers over those intervening years. And so what’s interesting, Amanda is when I came to Microsoft, uh, we had a platform that had a, um, there, it was. It was a platform that was social engagement.

It was posting to LinkedIn and Twitter and other platforms. But what happened is because I had so many followers when I went out on this platform and started posting through like curated content from this thing, I had more engagement than anybody else in the company. So like globally, people are like, Who is this guy?

He’s always number one by far in social engagement. And it just so happened. It was around the exact same time that I started closing deals that started on LinkedIn and being asked to tell that story. So I became known as the number one social seller in all of Microsoft, which is. Unbelievable to me, cuz I’m just a small town guy from the Midwest us.

So flash forward there, then they started opening it up where you could sign up and be a curator for this platform. And so I signed up for that and um, what’s interesting, Amanda, like when we did our show, Because our topics were so topical and of interest broadly. Um, I could take that content, put it out there on this platform so that it could get picked up anywhere.

So the that’s the beauty of it. There was no timing of it. It was just me being opportunistic to say, Hey, this is great content that you and I created. And I have a platform by which I can put this content. And if it resonates with somebody else in our company of 200,000 people, great, they can share it with their audience and they did.

And so that’s kind of how that happened and, um, you know, it’s amazing. I think sometimes I, I, I was on a show the other day and I, I, somebody asked me like things that I would tell my younger selves and like, number one was your network. Is your net. worth But the second is always say yes to opportunities, find opportunities, seize them.

And this is all that was, it was finding an opportunity that would give the ability to like, take great content that people like you create. And then how can I. Put that out more to the masses. I feel like I’m an evangelist of greatness. I try to find greatness in, in the world and like, how can I, uh, keep giving back, uh, to audience?

And so, you know, finding ways to do that and, and to, you know, pay it forward, like these things are, are very rewarding and that’s a prime example of how that happened. 

Wow. Fascinating. Okay. So you’re telling me that you did the hard work and that’s how you have all of those people commenting. It’s not a bot or a VA system that you hired.

No, I, you know what, I’m a big believer in authenticity and you know, what’s funny is I did, I, I utilize, I have utilized before, um, like some automation tools for some elements of LinkedIn, like mostly for like, if I have a job requisition that I wanna send to people in a certain market, like I’m looking to find candidates or, you know, um, Help people that are looking for a job, like whatever that the case may be.

I may use things for certain things like that. Um, but for every message that comes from me, like that’s legit, that’s me at the keyboard sending. So, and there’s a lot of them, there are a lot of them, but like I said, it’s, it’s almost like my email inbox. Like it comes to my email inbox. I click it. I go in, I reply.

Um, so it, it can be some work, but it’s, it’s important work. 

So can you all, can you share with me what you actually sell? 

cause I dunno. 

uh, yes. So I am a director in the, uh, healthcare side of Microsoft’s organization here in the us. So, uh, my team supports a. Handful of medical device and med tech organizations, and some of our partners that have created solutions on our platform, in the healthcare space.

And so my team owns the allop relationship with these organizations. So anything that they do from a Microsoft perspective, my team supports that. Uh, and then we have a, a very vast, robust, extended team. And, uh, robust partner ecosystem that supports them as well, but it really falls in my team’s purview to oversee the all relationships.

And that could be something as, uh, you know, as, um, common as windows to office 365, uh, to public cloud, you know, the Azure public cloud, um, and then solutions that, uh, you know, may transpire from a, uh, data architecture perspective. Things that we do with customers around data and analytics. Um, so, you know, when it comes to, what do we sell?

Um, I like to think of it more that we own the all of relationship with these customers and it’s our job to make sure that they’re getting the most value out of that relationship and their investment as humanly possible. Um, you know, it’s a, we’ve, we’ve made a lot of moves over the last several years, Amanda, as a company to transform into a platform organization, uh, we’ve made a lot of very shrewd acquisitions, such as, uh, you know, acquiring, um, uh, security.

Organizations and bolstering, you know, the security around our platform. Uh, so, you know, it’s really I’m. I view us as evangelists of the Microsoft story and brand. 

I love it. I, and I also say that for everybody that’s listening and that we’ll listen to this, I find it fascinating, uh, how you are. We teach this around this whole concept that you could be a tactician that’s just hammering for a sale and that’s all you care about.

Or you can be a strategist that looks to. Uh, accomplish so many different objectives, like being an expert in your field, being respected, being top of mind so that every time a client works with you, they think to refer you because you are that standing expert. So when we have a client that maybe sells, like you’re in tech sales, but yet you have such a.

In the industry around sales, around leadership, around, you know, social selling. I, I, I, I stress this to everybody that’s listening. That feels well, I sell plumbing. I don’t think I can go on LinkedIn and start talking about HVAC or water distributors or yes, you can. I, I fully believe in that. I think you’re a walking demonstration of that and, and the leverage.

Sales people will have amidst their entire career by doing similar things to what you’re doing, uh, is the future of, of, uh, a successful 

career. Well, thank goodness. That means that I have a good chance of being successful in the future in sales. Sales has been really good to me. Um, I do, I consider myself a student of selling and I think it’s interesting what you just said, Amanda, because I think a lot of people, um, you know, if you post something, that’s just about like, What you do or what you sell?

Sure. Not everybody’s gonna necessarily gravitate toward it. Um, you know, if I post something that’s Microsoft related, a lot of my likes are from people that are employees of Microsoft. Right. But if I go out and I find creative ways to engage, maybe forming a group, uh, you know, building a community around what I do, people that do care about that solution, there’s a lot of ways to do that, to go out and find your audience going out, looking for key words or.

You know, for people that are in already existing groups, there’s ways to engage meaningfully, but focus on the relationship first and foremost. And that’s what ends up handing out. I wouldn’t be anywhere, um, in my career currently without learning how to leverage tools like LinkedIn. But like you said, I don’t spend all day every day posting about my company on the platform.

I focus more on how do I develop a meaningful relationship and find out ways that I can deliver a win. To them. If I understand what looks like a win to them, and I figure out ways that I can invest my time and resources and that of my teams in order to deliver that win that’s what’s gonna be, get the big deals.

I love it. Carson has been such a pleasure. Thank you so much for hopping on I you’re the first not. But I ha you, you operate like you are a CEO. That’s why I had to have you here because it was so fascinating how you, how you operate your business. So thank you. Maybe 

someday, maybe someday with your tutelage, I’ll be a CEO, but for now, Microsoft is stuck with me.

So, and I, and I love it that way. I love it. Thanks for having me. 

Yes. Yes. It’s such a pleasure. Well, uh, I’m gonna.

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