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Sales Tip 606: Learn From Your Mistakes & Prepare – David Schwartz

“What I learned from all that was it’s okay to make mistakes, but you got to take something away.” – David Schwartz in today’s Tip 606

Do you learn from your mistakes?

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David Schwartz on Sales Success Stories Interview
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today I’ve got another short story that Dave Schwartz shared with me in the most recent interview on the Sales Success Stories podcast. There are some pretty solid nuggets in here. Give a listen:

David Schwartz: I have no issue with making mistakes, learning from those mistakes. And there’s a great story that maybe we have a chance to talk about back in my LinkedIn career. That really, I think that was the pivotal moment for me to learn how to be prepared in these jobs. Right? That’s kind of my most important mantra is to be prepared. So your boss never has a surprise.

Scott Ingram: Let’s go there. What is that story?

David Schwartz: Yeah, sure. So I think I told you. So I was on vacation in Hawaii and Bizzo got bought by LinkedIn and my second week on the job after getting back from that. My boss told me, “Hey, we’re trying to crack into 3m.” Which was one of my biggest in terms of brand, that was probably my biggest account. Now, in terms of LinkedIn spending, these folks spent $30,000 on LinkedIn. So think about that. A $30 billion company spending $30,000 on the biggest sort of content marketing platform out there, that blew people away. So I knew right away, I said, “You know what? This is a great target account.” And it was my second week or third week, we went up to 3:00 AM and I was supposed to present, kind of a why LinkedIn, right? Why content marketing on LinkedIn? And knowing that the vast majority of these people thought of LinkedIn only as a job board, right? Not a place to do advertising, not a place to get engagement with content, things like that.

So I frankly bombed that meeting. There were 30 people there, including the global head of social, the brand CMO. And I knew when I walked out of that room that I had completely and utterly missed the mark. And that feedback got back to my boss almost right away. I think we’ve landed in Chicago and already she had an email from the global head of social saying, “You know, Dave needs to work on his understanding of content marketing.” And frankly, it was great feedback because I didn’t know anything about content marketing. I knew how to sell advertising. And I didn’t really understand, what are the metrics that people look at for content marketing? What is content marketing from an advertising perspective? Why do companies care about content marketing?

And so that was probably the biggest wake-up call I had. And I’ll tell you what. I went back and I read every literally anything I could get my hands on about the importance of content marketing in the B2B world. And over the next six months, I went up to 3m probably six or seven times. I was invited probably after the 10th time. I was invited to speak in front of 150 global executives about the importance of social networks for content marketing.

So I had built up so much credibility in a very short amount of time. And at the end of that year, they ended up spending more than $300,000 on LinkedIn. And by the time I handed off that account at the end of that next year, they were up to a million dollars. And what I learned from all that was it’s okay to make mistakes, but you got to take something away. That was the biggest, I hate making mistakes. I hate being unprepared. And I can tell you, I’ve never been unprepared for a meeting since that day. I make sure that I know exactly what my talk track is going to be. I know how I’m going to pivot if I have to, but I’m not going to have somebody tell me you don’t know the product. You don’t understand our business. You’re not prepared. That won’t happen again.

Scott Ingram: You’ll find the rest of this interview in episode 102 of the Sales Success Stories podcast and you can get there by clicking over to

Give that a listen if you haven’t already and be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!

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Sales Tip 606: Learn From Your Mistakes & Prepare – David Schwartz


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