We returned this week to Columbia Business School where Mike Romoff, Head of Global Agency and Channel Sales offered his Top 3 LinkedIn Sales Lessons. Before we jump in, a little more about Mike. Prior to leading the Global Agency and Channel Sales Team, he has had a 19-year career in which he has held key General Management, Operations, and Business Development positions at companies such as NBC, IDG, 360i and The Industry Standard Magazine (back in the day). Prior to his current role, Mike led the Global Sales and Advertising Operations teams at LinkedIn, responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of its advertising business. Mike holds a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from Columbia Business School as well as a 200 hour yoga instructor certification.
1. It Doesn’t Always Feel Like a Non-Zero-Sum Game. Even though Mike has had many great mentors in sales who explained that the pie is larger than the parts and it’s not a zero-sum game, he admits that sometimes it still felt like a zero-sum game. He urges himself and others to not see this zero-sum game, and that sometimes sales “losses” can instead be lessons that were really not zero-sum in nature.
2. We’re On The Same Side: The Opposite Side Is Not Getting The Deal Done. Mike always views the buyer as the same side of the table as him, and advises them to look at it this way. He wants it to be a productive, collaborative approach where both sides are happy, and the deal actually gets done. The buyer will feel better if it’s collaborative, and relationships are long-term so you will have better future outcomes if the relationship is strong from the onset.
3. Reframe The Deal Rather Than Push The Business Case. “There’s advocacy in inquiry.” Mike explains that often times, the business side of a deal will push a plan based on what makes sense for numbers, but sometimes, the client has requests that can put the whole deal to a stand-still. If you actually push yourself to hear out the client, often these requests are non-material to the actual deal, and reframing the deal allows you to advocate for them and ultimately win the business. Instead of going into the room with a plan in hand, ask the client for priorities up-front, and offer an ear for even the smallest requests.
Given LinkedIn has over 500 million users, 250 million of which are active monthly users, Mike’s role as Global Agency and Channel Sales and his insights on closing the deal collaboratively are very important considerations for any company looking to scale.
If you liked “The Top 3 Yext Sales Lessons From The Company’s President” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog. Special thanks to Robbie Linck for his help with this post.