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Steve Nudelberg of On the Ball Ventures On How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

As part of our series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Nudelberg.

Steve Nudelberg is an author, expert sales trainer, business development expert, keynote speaker, and serial entrepreneur.

Starting out in the cellular phone industry in the 1980s provided the foundation for Steve’s future entrepreneurial success. After building and leading a winning national sales team for ABC Cellular, Steve found himself at a crossroads. In between jobs, he started receiving requests to match companies and personalities to sponsorship opportunities, primarily in the sports arena.

This gave birth to the idea of founding his own company On the Ball that offers the investment of time, talent, and teaching to help businesses grow. The primary focus of the company is on people, process, and priorities to improve pipeline development, modernize the sales process, help develop sales leadership, and build a culture that creates a memorable customer experience.

Today, the company’s exponential growth can be credited to an expertise in all things sales and a strategic commitment to helping individuals and organizations get 1% better every day.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

So, I was brought up in an entrepreneurial family and our dinner table was always a conversation about growth. Throughout my career, I’ve always been able to bet on myself because I believe that everyone is one introduction away from changing the trajectory of their life and business.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

As a career connector, I’m always looking for unique ways to connect with people and social media has created an incredible opportunity to create awareness. When I chose to invest my time and energy to learn all that LinkedIn has to offer which is roughly about 8 years ago, I met so many people that I would not have met in any other walk of life — the platform allowed us to connect. Probably one of the best ones was when an executive at Midas reached out to connect with me after seeing a photo of me and one of his colleagues, which led to them seeing all my content and getting a feel for who I am and as a result, it has turned into a long-standing relationship.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

My philosophy in business has always been to learn from my failures, so I agree that we learn from your mistakes. I’m not sure this one was so funny, but one that stands out to me is one that I wrote about my book Confessions of a Serial Salesman, and basically, it was a major deal that I thought was done as I was actually in Memphis sitting with the clients when I got a phone call that the property that we were going to do a naming rights deal for went in another direction. Instead of making it about me I made it about the clients which was a great lesson as they ultimately were hiring me to solve an awareness situation which I did with another resource.

Leadership often entails making difficult decisions or hard choices between two apparently good paths. Can you share a story with us about a hard decision or choice you had to make as a leader?

As our company was growing in the early stages I had to make the most difficult decision and that was to go from a small company that employed friends of mine to a growing company with people who were the right fit for our incredible growth.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Hands down it is LinkedIn. Most people do not view LinkedIn the way I do as I view it as the world’s biggest networking event that has 810 million people attend without geographical boundaries and the strategy that we apply is to meet like-minded people at scale which is very contrary to how other people use it which is the lazy approach to pitch and ditch.

Currently, I can meet CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs at scale; some CEOs that I coach I have never been in the same room with which, prior to the pandemic, would have been unheard of.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

Here are my LinkedIn Rules of Engagement:

  • Build an audience
  • The Daily’s
  • Feed the Feed
  • Read the Feed
  • Engage the Feed
  • Check your notifications
  • Do your research
  • Finding leads on LinkedIn
  • Through search
  • Through your network
  • Through the feed
  • Asking for recommendations

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would say that to create the biggest amount of change I would ask the sales community at large to quit cold pitching. There are better ways to communicate with people rather than interrupting their day trying to discuss things that are important to yourself and not them.

Also, identify strong partners and industries that you are passionate about to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit. Many years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Sean Flood and David Touwsma through a business interaction and today we work alongside one another as I again strive to lend my expertise to assist with the growth of EFO Ventures, an investment and incubation firm that backs founders and their innovative ideas not only with access to capital but also personal guidance and hands-on collaboration from the very first stages.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them

My network is vast, and I am fortunate to have access to many people but the opportunity to sit and have breakfast with Jocko Willink would be something. A place where I could really sink my teeth into his views on discipline and consistency as they align very well with mine.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.