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Celebrate the Wins: Episode 2: Steve Nudelberg, On the Ball Marketing, Speaker, Writer

We know that the past 20 years have changed how you sell. Some say it’s easier, some say it’s harder. Well, we want to celebrate and learn from your successes!

Join Brandon Lee as he celebrates sales wins with Steve Nudleberg of On The Ball Marketing.

This was originally posted on our Yip Yip corporate blog: Celebrate the Wins: Episode 2: Steve Nudleberg, On The Ball Marketing, Speaker, Writer

We know the past 20 years have dramatically changed how you sell. Some say it’s easier now. Others say it’s harder now. We just like to celebrate your successes. Come learn from others while helping us celebrate with those who have found great successes in sales.

Join Yip Yip CEO Brandon Lee, the guy who loves to celebrate sales wins, as he talks with Steve Nudleberg of On the Ball Marketing.

About Steve Nudleberg:

Steve Nudelberg is a serial salesman & entrepreneur. As a product of his entrepreneurial spirit, he developed On the Ball – a company that focuses exclusively on sales & business development. Inspiration for the company name was derived from the feedback Steve received from business associates, claiming that he was always ‘on the ball’.

Brandon Lee: Hello, everybody, it’s Brandon Lee, and welcome back to Celebrate the Wins, where we love to talk about sales, we love to talk about sales wins. I have my new friend, we go back like a month now, right, Steve?

Steve Nudelberg: All that way. All that way.

Brandon Lee: All that … A long time, a long time. But we do have a mutual friend that we both know well, that connected us sooner. But this is Steve Nudelberg with On the Ball Marketing, but you can find more information about him at nudelberg.com. Steve, welcome to Celebrate the Wins. How are you doing this afternoon?

Steve Nudelberg: Thank you so much. It’s exciting. I love the concept of celebrating wins. Salespeople should always celebrate the victories. We chose the profession where we deal with a lot of rejection so you got to embrace the wins, so congratulations. I love the concept.

Brandon Lee: Oh. So as everybody knows, we go through five questions in 15 minutes, so we’re going to crank through these. But we are celebrating wins, so question number one is, do you think sales today are harder or easier than 17 years ago, the year 2000, and why?

Steve Nudelberg: By far, it’s much, much, much easier. The tools that are available to us as salespeople and the transparency on the decision-maker side is so open that … I actually share a slide and some of my speeches where, can you imagine salespeople that did not have internet, did not have CRM, did not have cell phones, did not … I mean, just, you know, I talk about Waze. I can’t leave my house without looking at Waze. What a great gift to salespeople. Between the content and the transparency and the accessibility, I clearly think that the game has shifted in our favor.

Brandon Lee: Sure. Tell me a little bit about your book.

Steve Nudelberg: It’s really cool. I am a career sales guy. I’ve been fortunate, I’ve been successful in most of the things that I’ve ventured into. A couple years ago someone asked me to speak to their sales team. I did, they reacted really, really well, I started to put together content, thoughts of how I did what I did, and I came up with this concept that most successful teams and most successful athletes have a process. So I put my process in a book called Confessions of a Serial Salesman. It’s the first of what will be three books, and this book is 27 rules for influencers and leaders. The feedback that I’ve gotten from it so far has been absolutely off the charts. No matter what walk of life you have, if you want to get better, these rules will help you do that.

Brandon Lee: One of the things that … We like to give to our community, of course. One of the things I want to highlight is that you’ve been in sales, you’ve had successes, you spoke at an event, and through that you were encouraged to take your processes and put them into a book, and now look at you. Right?

Steve Nudelberg: Look at me.

Brandon Lee: Did you imagine three, four years ago that you’d have a book and all the doors that it’s opening for you?

Steve Nudelberg: I’m generally one of these ADD guys, so reading a book would be a challenge, let alone writing a book. I think my high teachers are just going to be flipping out that this is out there. But it really was much less difficult than I thought it would be, because I’m a storyteller at heart. I think great salespeople generally are conversationalists and great storytellers, so each of my rules has lots of backdrop stories about how they came about, who influenced me to do that, and, you know, as a solution of the game I pay attention every single day and I learn from people, and so this is just a compilation of that. It’s just kind of fun that I have something to leave a legacy in words. It’s really neat. Didn’t we send you a book? Did I send you a book already? I think I did.

Brandon Lee: Did you? I have not seen it. It could be-

Steve Nudelberg: Okay, I’ll make sure. I’ll make sure.

Brandon Lee: That’s all right. All right, so we’ll get that going. All right, so we’re going to get right back into Celebrating the Wins and we go to question two. Are you ready?

Steve Nudelberg: Yeah.

Brandon Lee: It is, what win do you want to celebrate today, and why is it something that you want to celebrate?

Steve Nudelberg: The way the question was asked to me, you know, is a win about social selling or social media? And I have many of them. I have them on a daily basis. But I thought I’d date back seven years ago to show you the commitment of how long this has really been available. The reason why people haven’t adopted it yet, I don’t know, but seven years ago somebody that I worked with in a previous lifetime found me on Facebook. The last time I saw her was when she was leaving on maternity leave and I saw her at her son’s bris in Tampa. 23 years later, she found me on Facebook, contacted me and said, “I cannot believe the successful company that you’ve built. My son …” and I was going, “Your son? Oh my God, I remember.” “… he just graduated with his MBA, and he’s about to take a job at Northwestern Mutual. Will you just talk to him?” He came in to visit with me. He never left, and seven years later, he is now the president of our company.

Brandon Lee: Oh, man

Steve Nudelberg: That is a monster win of somebody who our universes had separated. And it’s one of the big takeaways from social media, that it’s social. It’s supposed to be fun, it brings people together, reconnects tribes. There’s always wins. The wins don’t always look like financial wins.

Brandon Lee: Right.

Steve Nudelberg: But when you embrace them, which I did … You know, I tell that story to people, the hair on their heads rises. They go, “Oh my God, that’s incredible.” That’s the power of social media.

Brandon Lee: That is fantastic. One of the things that we talk a lot about is preparing for serendipity, meaning you never know when something’s going to happen. You never know who you’re going to sit next to on a plane, you never know who you’re going to meet somewhere. But if your foundation isn’t set to see who you are and what you do and the value that you offer, they may not know it. Is that fair [crosstalk 00:06:23]

Steve Nudelberg: That’s exactly accurate. Exactly accurate. That kind of interaction doesn’t happen unless you open yourself up to allowing it to happen. If I don’t like you, the conversation’s over. We met a month ago. In the first conversation, we bonded. Now all of a sudden there’s opportunity that can happen between us, because we have something in common, we like each other. That is the way the world is programmed now, which is significantly different than salespeople from long ago, when it was very transactional and the IBM or whatever was on the door mattered more. Social media allows you a look inside, number one, and number two, probably equally as important, is that, believe this or not, salespeople lie. Oh my God. And this is where you can prove your credibility. I can tell you anything I want about myself. You instantly can verify that against my social media channels and see what other people are saying, so that idea of me telling you a story that’s not true is gone.

Brandon Lee: Right. Very cool. Well, in the spirit of five questions in 15 minutes, we’re going to get on to question three. I’m so excited for these answers, because there’s things I’m hoping you say, right? But W-I-N, right? What did you do well that led to your celebration of this win?

Steve Nudelberg: As I said, I’m a student of the game. I looked at this social media as a platform, as a broadcast platform, and understanding, having done marketing and advertising in the past, knowing the power of TV, radio, and billboards, this was a medium that I was able to use, and all I had to do was learn it. There was no fee to do it, other than my time, which obviously is an investment. But the ability to tell my story and have many people see it with the click of a button was astounding to me, and so I’m really glad that my gut told me to invest the time and energy to learn it and do it. Even though it keeps changing, I’m learning and doing on a regular basis, and it’s great.

Brandon Lee: Here’s what I heard, and if I missed anything, or correct me if I’m wrong, you saw the power of Facebook as a social media platform, and you said seven years, so this is in 2010, right?

Steve Nudelberg: Correct.

Brandon Lee: You saw the power of it by comparing it to TV and billboards, so you took something from the past, you saw the power of that, and you applied it to this thing called Facebook, and you started using it based on TV, media, billboards, and put your strategic plan in place to talk about you, tell your story, be in front of people. Whether they were friends or business colleagues, it didn’t matter. You were using it to tell your story.

Steve Nudelberg: Dead on. I mean, understanding broadcast, and then this tool that was given to us to broadcast what we want to say and who we want to say it to, I found it fascinating and still do.

Brandon Lee: That’s great. In the spirit of celebrating wins and what you did well, as we say in here, we exhaust what did well. Keep going. What else did you do well in that?

Steve Nudelberg: I prepared what I do in a way that people can understand. I think especially in sales, people tend to go to the category that they’re in. “I’m in insurance,” “I’m a mortgage broker.” Well, that’s not what you do. That happens to be the category. So I created the actual conversation about how we do it differently, why us, all of those questions that separated me, so the content was engaging. People saw something that was, “Wow, that’s different. I’d like to have a conversation with that.” One of the things we train people on is, figure out when someone asks you what you do how to answer that.

It’s critical in social media, because that’s the basis of what content you’re delivering. If you’re talking to me and it’s all about being an insurance broker, well, you know, that’s … You know, talk to me about how you affect my life. What are you going to do to change, make my life better? That’s what all the social media has done and the apps have done, so I think as salespeople we are committed to do that. The ones that do it, who tell their story better, are the ones that are getting attraction. Just like, and I tell them, you have certain TV shows you like to watch. You’ll have certain channels you like to go on. You like certain people that you’ll be attracted to because they’re offering you a better content that you can digest and run with.

So you know, I think this whole commitment to being out there and sharing. Originally, why would somebody want to know that I was traveling to Chicago was foreign to me. But now, I land in Chicago … and here’s another huge win. I mean, I land in Chicago. I had never been in Chicago. A girl I hadn’t seen in 22 years pings me back and says, “Oh my God, this is my town,” ba-ba-ba-ba. She turns out to be a childhood friend of Dan Gilbert, who owns the Cavaliers. In a week, I’m in Dan Gilbert’s office discussing stuff. You know, so it’s like, how does that happen? It doesn’t happen in any other universe but in social media.

Brandon Lee: Yeah, and so here’s what … I talk about this a lot too. And Steve, thank you for telling that story, because as you said earlier a lot of executives or salespeople or enterprise, whatever, they go, “Eh, you know, Facebook.” Checking in somewhere, being available, somebody pings you and goes, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been there.” And it’s somebody from your past, it’s someone from childhood, high school, college, you met at a networking event 10 years ago but haven’t talked to in a long time face-to-face. That gives the opportunity to connect. And the consistent drip of your content is constantly telling them who you are and what you do so all of a sudden it’s, “I have a general idea of what Steve does and now I see him, he’s in Chicago. Let me ping him and talk to him,” and a week later you’re in the office of the owner of the Cavaliers and business happens. That is beautiful.

Steve Nudelberg: It’s fabulous because the way I think we were all brought up in sales was that we had a lot of know-how. You needed to know your product, you needed to know your business. Well, now it’s not know-how, it’s know-who.

Brandon Lee: Okay, so we talked about what you did well. I want to move into improving. Is there anything in that process of that win that you look back on and go, “I could’ve done this better”?

Steve Nudelberg: Yeah, so I’m always critiquing myself on everything I do, so the short answer to that is absolutely, yes. Specifically, I don’t really know. I answer it that way because social media is really like the Wild West. There’s one person that’s saying, “This methodology works,” and someone else says another methodology works. I think people need to find what works for them and be comfortable with it and then grow with it. So I’m not sure if I could answer what I would do better, except I know that I want to be better, and today, looking at it, I would’ve tried to do more video then.

But I’ll tell you this, Gary Vaynerchuk, who we all know and I admire, I think he’s done an amazing job, his last comment on the state of it is, he says, “Don’t worry about creating. Just document.” That, I think, has made it a lot easier for people. It was a wonderful way to put it. Everybody can document their life. Where you are, what you do, what your wins are, what your losses are, [inaudible 00:14:26] vulnerable you are. I think my content’s gotten more real than back then. Back then, it was just sort of throwing stuff up and seeing what would stick.

Brandon Lee: One of the things you said, because again, we’re talking about improving, it was you would’ve used video more. In other words, you didn’t see the future as clear then, and now you’re looking at it going, looking back going like, “Gosh, I would’ve saw how closely this was to TV, I would’ve done more video.” Is that fair, kind of?

Steve Nudelberg: Yeah, yeah. That analogy got me in the space, but I took it at the most simple, basic level, which was just posting content. Then content turned into pictures, pictures turned into video. Now, in all fairness, the technology changed as well. It’s a lot easier to produce.

Brandon Lee: Okay. Here we are. We’re back to the last one, which is next. [crosstalk 00:15:22] based on what you did well and your insight on where you would want to improve, specifically, what are you going to do next time? Moving forward, based on things that you’ve learned, what’s one thing you want to implement moving forward?

Steve Nudelberg: Having a consistent content strategy as opposed to just, you know, top of mind, throwing it out there, top of mind, throwing it out there. The book was the start of that, and then that will convert to ebook and audiobook. I think just keeping in mind that the internet itself is this vacuum of information. People are just sucking it up as fast as you can put it out there. That’s what you need to be focused on, is quality information without fear of somebody paying for it. It’s still a paradigm shift that I think most of the people I speak to have a difficult time getting their arms around, is that it’s like, “Wow, you know, I’m just giving that away? That’s my thing.” It’s these 27 rules that I’m giving out. Or even now, when I speak to people and they ask me for the presentation, I say, “Sure, I’ll send it.” I wouldn’t have done that even three years ago.

Brandon Lee: Anything else you want to say, other than plug your book, plug your book.

Steve Nudelberg: Plug my book. It’s Confessions of a Serial Salesman. It’s available at nudelberg.com/author. I always leave every conversation with, stay on the ball.

Brandon Lee: I’m not going to say anything else, then. Stay on the ball. This is Steve Nudelberg. It’s Brandon Lee for Celebrate the Wins, and yip-yip. Thanks for joining us. I hope you have a fantastic day, and we’ll see you next time.

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