How #SocialSelling Got Me Front Row Seats at #SalesMachine for Gary Vaynerchuk

Guest post from Max Laughlin, Business Development at A Sales Guy, Inc @asalesguy @asalesguymax

If you missed #SalesMachine this year you missed out. Or maybe not, according to Hilary Bird

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Gary Vee owning the Sales Machine stage

The speakers were phenomenal, with big names like Arianna Huffington, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek or Gary Vaynerchuk; who left their audiences inspired and entertained.

Beyond the speakers, the Sales Hacker team, along with Salesforce & The Creation Agency put on quite a show, in person and socially. The #SalesMachine hashtag for instance was trending on the conference’s first day with over 3 million Twitter impressions!

The conference provided a constant live stream where folks at home could stay up-to-date on the speakers and live demos. I knew as an attendee I needed to get the most out of the event by doing my homework. This consisted of putting together a prospect list from sponsors and speakers, downloading the Sales Machine App, and connecting and engaging with as many other attendee’s as possible.

Let’s rewind for a second. I attended the conference with Keenan, who’s my CEO at A Sales Guy, Inc. and who was also one of the speakers on Day 2 on #SocialSelling. Working with a Top Sales Performer as noted on multiple entities such as Forbes and Top Sales World comes with a litany of learning and growth opportunities.

So, what was one of the first lessons I was given at A Sales Guy, Inc? The significance of building your own personal brand. This seemed counterintuitive to my young, green, sales mind. Why would my company, and particularly, my CEO want me to focus on building my brand? This seemed like something that I would be scolded for when I first started.  

An easy explanation for why this lesson is so important is with another name drop. The #socialsellingnova himself, Jack Kosakowski. Jack was previously a Regional Sales Manager for less than three years before he took on his new and impressive role as Global Head of B2B Social Sales Execution at, Creation Agency.

How did he achieve this impressive career leap in such a short time span? Jack explains it here on our most recent #TaughtLeaders show, #TaughtLeaders Lesson 8: #NotTaughtTribe #Success Stories, Feat. Jack Kosakowski.

The short of it, is that Jack essentially taught himself how to use social media, advocacy & networking to build his social reach (one might refer to this as their “audience”) to create new opportunities that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.

Time to hit rewind again. I get a call from Keenan one night after work in March ‘15. He starts the call with this, “Wake UP and check your Twitter”. I found this:

keenan-tweet-sales-machine-1

keenan-sales-machine-tweet-2

Boom. Just like that I was going to get 1-1 training here at the office from Keenan and socially from Jack Kosakowski.  

Now fast forward a little over a year and I’ve grown my Twitter presence from 120 (the time of those tweets to presently 2.2k. Some might not say crazy growth but it’s been consistent through content production, sharing other’s’ insights and engagement.

Through learning and building my personal brand I was able to engage with sales leaders like Jill Rowley, Trish Bertuzzi, Mark Hunter and Jack Kosakowski socially and when I had the opportunity to meet them in person at Sales Machine I had already built some social rapport.

Now for the moral of the story. The last day of #SalesMachine is coming to a close and one of my most awaited speakers, Gary Vaynerchuk was just moments away from presenting. My fear was that I would be caught in the back row behind the acres of chairs which lined the room as I was just finishing up a face-to-face meeting prior to Gary’s speech.

Just as I thought it was time to call it a day and take a seat in the back, I see Jack, who invites me up to the front VIP/Media row. I was blown away; because of consistent social engagement and brand building, I was invited to the front row for this glorious opportunity.

#SocialSelling (when done right) isn’t about closing a deal, but connecting and engaging with a highly targeted audience – which together help each other improve and accelerate their careers.

Thanks #SalesMachine, Max Altschuler, Tim Clarke and everyone else involved for making the conference an unforgettable experience.

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