#mystartupstory is that success for me is in the 2nd time around. In 2009 I met a dynamic, bright, high energy sales trainer who asked, “Wanna to be my partner…?” and I said “sure, what not”. And although I would never change a thing, I realized I was jumping into her dream not mine. Not that I didn’t have fun and was even excited about a lot of what we were doing, but my passion was laser focused and I couldn’t see anything past my passion. That’s when I realized I had to break off and do only what I believed in…Social Selling, and so my company Social Sales Link was born.
15 months later, an Amazon best selling book, numorous Fortune 1000 clients and income I had never seen before made me realize that it took 3 distinct elements to make up the formula for #mystartupstory to be a successful one.
- Passion – You have to believe in what you do at your core. The passion has to be so deep that you eat, drink and think it all of the time. The way it impacts your clients elates you, the planning of the journey is like a vacation and work/life balance is impossible because it is all one. #mystartupstory – I love everything social selling, not just learning new features but turning them into sales opportunities. I can’t read enough, I love sharing best practices with other experts and writing my findings in my weekly blog is the highlight of my weekend!
- Skill – No matter how much I love playing tennis, I will never make it to the US Open (without buying a ticket!) You have to be one of the best at what you do, and know it. The ability to add value to every client in ways that no one else can is what will solidify your competitive advantage and give you an entrepreneurial edge. #mystartupstory – I knew I was on to something. When I landed the ARAMARK account 3 years ago – I was hired to teach LinkedIn to highly successful sales professionals responsible for high dollar amount complex sales. I was handed the book The Challenger Sale and told to “Read the book and convert the study into a LinkedIn Curriculum”. I dove right in, read it from cover to cover and then bought it on audio and listened to it in my car for weeks on end. At each new insight, I would develop ways to use social (LInkedIn, Twitter, Press Releases and Google) to gain a competitive advantage; learn about industry and competition; influencers and shared connections. I honed my skills, and worked at becoming one of the best in the world at what I do…Social Selling. And although the journey is on going and the goal line keeps moving, it is always my focus to strive to be recognized as a forward thinking thought leader and subject matter expert in the eyes of my colleagues, clients and network.
- A Market – No matter how good you are at your passion, if no one wants to buy it…it is your hobby not your business. #mystartupstory – For years I taught my LinkedIn training for free. Local chambers would bring me in, I’d be invited to give complimentary speaking engagements and panel opportunities would come my way. I began to use it as a loss leader. Then I developed a 1/2 day class that I charged for, and people showed up…and paid. I listened to the feedback from my network and my clients and kept improving the class until it offered a clear ROI – and that is when I saw the magic. I had a secret sauce that helped people grow their pipeline, reduce their sales cycle and close more business without ever having to cold call again…and people paid to learn how.
I launched Social Sales Link in September 2013 and in just 15 months my partner Sally Jo Lamont and I have been hired by companies including Sungard, Bloomberg BNA, FranklinCovey, John Hancock, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and dozens more…and it is just the beginning.
What’s next in #mystartupstory? Watch for our eLearning program launching March 2015…the secret will be out and available to the world!