This week’s CWK guest is the highly decorated Jake Dunlap. He was the first VP of Sales at Glassdoor but has taken the industry by storm as CEO of his own company, Skaled Consulting. This highly sought after thought leader, quoted by Forbes and Huffington Post, dropped knowledge on everything from getting ahead in sales to overcoming rejection in our conversation. He has set his sights on “creating the future of sales” and is helping us do the same!
I am always interested in learning why my guests chose their respective industries. Jake’s especially because, personally, I would run from a career in sales! He shared that he recognized his natural aptitude for sales while working a telemarketing job in college. Also, that instead of feeling like he was “intruding”, he was always convinced what he was selling would actually help others.
Jake hit the nail on the head for me when describing the feeling of intrusion while trying to make a sale. His keys to gaining confidence and getting ahead in the industry include:
Becoming an expert on your industry and your buyers.
“Your job is to add value,” he emphasizes. If you’re not adding value, you may be wasting your customer’s time.
In order to add value, you must know your audience. Jake’s secret sauce to finding and marketing effectively is building a “buyer persona”- aka visualizing the ideal customer’s typical characteristics. For example, ‘a woman 25-35 years old in a career transition’ or ‘a married man over 50 years old in the southeast.’
“People get in trouble when marketing to the masses because they make things so vanilla as opposed to targeting ads to your micro niches,” he says.
Last year Jake garnered over 11 MILLION views with organic content! He’s clearly a pro at leveraging social media to market and grow his business.
He shared two easy places to pull inspiration for content.
Share thoughts on already created content, not just the link.
Interview yourself about a trend in your industry, then answer the questions in a post.
The more focused your content is the better response it will have.
Jake is a perfect example of how the compounding interest of posting regularly betters your chances at being comfortable with it, gaining an engaged audience, and, eventually, getting the sales you desire. When you share on brand, informative posts people will identify you with your industry and come to you first.
“LinkedIn is now my number one referral source,” says Jake, “Consistency brings results. If I thought there was a better or faster way to do it, I would tell you.”
I am always curious to know who the experts bring in for help and why. At Jake’s company they glean from the wisdom of a business strategist who provides a framework to help solidify their vision, create a plan, and accomplish goals. Secondly, a leadership coach who provides group and individual attention to all employees.
“I’ve been leveraging different coaches for 2-3 years because as CEO I can’t be everything to everybody,” Jake shares, “When you’re trying to grow, making the investment [of hiring a coach] can seem like a lot of money but it is very helpful.”
Poor time management can get the best of us but Jake’s ‘80/15/5 rule’ is sure to help.
With goal planning in mind, 80% should be focused on present goals, 15% on midterm goals, and 5% on long term goals.
“As an entrepreneur you feel like it all has to be done now but that means you’ll never get out of the whirlwind of work. You have to create the mental space to figure out what you need to do today to make the months ahead successful,” Jake explains.
What have you started using or doing lately that you love?
Taking time off during the week and letting people figure out stuff without me.
What’s the best gift you’ve given yourself in the last year?
I took a full week and didn’t check my email for 6 days
What’s the next thing you’re hoping to learn?
How to play the guitar.
What are your favorite accounts to follow on social media?
Gary Vee and ‘what this song was sampled on’ Tik Toks.
Homework: Post two text only industry insights on LinkedIn and tag Kim and I when you do.
Dave Crenshaw author, LinkedIn Learning instructor and keynote speaker who was diagnosed with “off-the-charts” ADHD is joining us to talk about focus, time management and reclaiming your vacations. He’s the expert on balancing having fun and working hard. If you have questions about time blocking, to-do lists or using your calendar properly this is the one for you.