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LinkedIn Sales Connect 2015: Take Intelligent Risks, Says LinkedIn's SVP of Global Solutions

October 7, 2015

Today, at LinkedIn’s Sales Connect in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to hear from Mike Gamson (LinkedIn’s SVP of Global Solutions) as he shared his insights about taking intelligent risks. Below are some key takeaways:image1

Understand the upside to downside

When considering intelligent risks, it’s important to think about the upside as well as the downside. Gamson says the best way to look at is to determine the benefit of a risk vs. the risk of failure. At LinkedIn, an intelligent risk should return a 3:1 upside to downside ratio as a rule-of-thumb.

Consider the expected outcome

Even if the upside to downside ratio is favorable, he says you need to look at the likelihood of success. If the likelihood of success is low, even if the upside to downside ration is good, it is still an intelligent risk. In a recent article, Gamson gave the example of a lottery ticket to explain this point by stating “a lottery ticket has a great ratio of upside to downside, but you’re so unlikely to win that its expected value is very low.”

Manage your portfolio balance

Understanding how much or how little risk you are balancing in your portfolio is important to consider. Gamson says, if you’re doing too many risky endeavors at the same time, adding a new one may not be an intelligent risk.

Similarly, taking intelligent risks means expecting and learning from failure. Some intelligent risks won’t work out, but rather than shying away from these inevitable failures, teams should seek to understand how and why something didn’t work out to ensure that the next intelligent risk has a higher probability of success.

On the benefits of social selling

On the Sales Connect stage, Mike Derezin, Global Head of Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, related to Mike Gamson’s ideas and talked about how financial services professionals can use social selling to better relate and connect with their audiences. As a whole, social selling is still in the early phases of becoming an industry standard, and we are already seeing success across industries. There are an increasing number of examples where companies engaging early in social selling are better connecting with clients, and landing bigger deals more efficiently.

Social Selling Index (SSI)

The key is to taking intelligent risks is understanding a producer’s Social Selling Index (SSI), a platform now part of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The SSI helps you understand your social presence and your potential to use social to reach out and connect with people. Just like the phone and email, social is now an increasingly important way to communicate with customers and prospects.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 3.13.03 PM

The key elements of the Social Selling Index are:

  • Create a professional brand
  • Find the right people
  • Engage with insights
  • Build strong relationships

These steps highlight the importance of building a professional presence on LinekdIn and reaching out to the right people with the right message. This means understanding what your prospects and customers want to talk about, and then engaging them in that discussion on their terms.

The result is a strong, trusted relationship that is the absolute foundation for any key business relationship, especially in financial services where authenticity and trust are such key values to being successful.

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Ron Piovesan

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