PODCAST 159: How to Have a Satisfying Career with Tiffany Heimpel

On this episode of the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk to Tiffany Heimpel of LinkedIn on how to have a fulfilling career and life.

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If you missed episode 158, check it out here: The Power of Focus and Specialization with Matt Melymuka

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. The journey from costume design to sales [7:28]
  2. The human condition behind marketing [11:00]
  3. Founding a personal finance blog [14:15]
  4. Tiffany’s perspective on the U.S. market [16:42]
  5. Advice for people facing an unclear career path [17:53]
  6. Leading like a mother at work and a CEO at home [22:49]
  7. Sam’s Corner [30:26]

Show Introduction [00:12]

Sam Jacobs: Today on the show we’ve got Tiffany Heimpel, the Head of Enterprise for LinkedIn Canada. Tiffany majored in costume design with a minor in World War II history at Indiana University. Now she’s a saleswoman, a marketing leader, and an influencer. Tiffany talks about that journey and her perspective on how to lead a satisfying career and life.

Before we go to the interview, I’d be remiss not to tell you about Unleashed 2021.

May 11th through 13th, we’re focusing on how to win altogether in the new sales era. You’ll learn new go-to-market strategies and get deeper funnel insights and actionable takeaways for your entire organization from revenue leaders at high-growth startups and Fortune 500 companies. Our very special guests are none other than Guy Raz, podcaster and author of How I Built This, and Carey Lohrenz, the first female fighter pilot in the US Navy. Save your seat for this high-energy online event at Unleash.Outreach.io.

We also have a second sponsor — Proposify. You wouldn’t send leads through your marketing site without tracking and analytics, right? So why are you still in the dark about what happens in your sales process after your reps send a proposal? Discover Proposify, the proposal software that gives you control and insight into the most important stage of your sales process, the close. And speaking of the close, Proposify proposals close at double the industry-standard rate. Sign up for a free trial or book a demo at Proposify.com/SalesHacker.

Now, let’s listen to my conversation with Tiffany Heimpel.

The journey from costume design to sales [7:28]

Sam Jacobs: So you graduated from Indiana with a degree in costume design. But how did that lead to your first stint at NBC Universal and a background in media?

Tiffany Heimpel: I graduated when I was 19. Like most people, I didn’t know what to do, so I did that whole traveling thing. Then I realized I needed to get a job, so I did what you did back in the day. I looked at Monster. There was a job in product placement, which is placing products in film and television. That’s where you have brands under your purview and you’re responsible for obviously their goals and objectives. So I started doing that. It was awesome because it was still in film and television, but it was on the business side.

From there I wanted to grow, so I asked around and met someone who’s a senior partner at Ogilvy and Mather. I interviewed and I really liked them. My journey has been a lot of amazing mentors. One of them left Ogilvy and Mather and she said to me, “You should go to a place where you can do your own creative thing and you can do more independent work.”

I went to another advertising agency and then ultimately a sales job came up at Universal. I saw it on Monster.com and thought, “There’s no way I’m going to get that. I have no history in sales. I have no experience. I’ve only been in marketing. But my whole family’s in sales. So at least I got that going for me.”

The human condition behind marketing [11:00]

Tiffany Heimpel: At that point, I also realized how much I missed marketing. The human condition behind marketing — why we buy what we buy, why people are influenced by certain things. I’ve always found that fascinating.

What’s even better is when you can actually have that conversation with sellers, because they’re one and the same.

Why do we buy things as consumers? Why do we buy things as the other person on the end of a sale? I think that’s fascinating. So I ended up staying there for seven years. At that time, I started a blog. I became an influencer before influencers were really the things they are today.

All of a sudden I was writing all of this content and I was appearing on all these TV shows and I was doing all of this. Then I had kids and I realized I didn’t want that anymore.

Founding a personal finance blog [14:15]

Sam Jacobs: What was the blog about?

Tiffany Heimpel: It used to be about personal finance, how to live on a budget in the city. So I sunsetted a while ago, but I met some amazing people at that time.

That was when I really got introduced to the startup community and Toronto entrepreneurs. I thought it was really exciting. And it did inspire me to try my own thing, but with a safety net. So the blog was one thing, that was fine, but then when IZEA approached me to open the Canadian office, it was the perfect opportunity. It was my own company, but in the umbrella of a larger company.

I got to set up Canadian payroll, hiring, go-to-market strategy, ultimately be a country manager and run my own office, but I didn’t necessarily have to be responsible for absolutely everything. So it was like the best of both worlds for me.

I ran that company for four years. I got to bring together influencer marketing, selling, being a marketer, and being a client. We grew it.

I think it’s amazing what you can do and all the hats you can wear. Then I realized I’d kind of hit the ceiling on myself. I started looking at some larger company opportunities, and that’s when LinkedIn presented itself. I have been here ever since.

Tiffany’s perspective on the U.S. market [16:42]

Sam Jacobs: The US equities market is on fire. Some people are worried about “asset inflation.” What’s your perspective on the economy these days? Are you still fully invested? Have you moved your money around in any way?

Tiffany Heimpel: Most people (hopefully) have a retirement fund. For me, that’s the one that just kind of sits and I invest in blue chip, dividend grossing, long-term. I don’t really play with it.

But then I have my other fund and that’s the one I play in. I didn’t catch GameStop, but I caught a few others. For me, those are fun, right? I’ve made some great bets, and I have made some terrible bets.

I’m never going to play with that retirement money, but this money I get to play with.

Advice for people facing an unclear career path [17:53]

Sam Jacobs: You’ve charted your own path in such an interesting and entrepreneurial way. What advice do you have for people that are just getting out of undergrad or just getting out of university, in terms of how to navigate their career?

Tiffany Heimpel: In the beginning, we get so worried about getting the right job that we don’t take any action. Maybe we don’t interview. We don’t apply because we don’t have the kind of expertise or we don’t have the skills.

Just go for everything and take whatever falls in your lap. You’re going to learn as much about what you don’t like as what you do like. My path was non-linear, but it was all trial and error, and it’s still trial and error.

My other advice is, just ask. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t ask. I feel like life is just A/B testing.

Leading like a mother at work and a CEO at home [22:49]

Sam Jacobs: You’ve mentioned that mothers make great managers and sellers. Tell us about that journey for you.

Tiffany Heimpel: I didn’t necessarily grow up with that traditional model. I just wanted to be a big CEO. I didn’t really understand that the two could co-exist. When I met my husband (he’s wonderful) and we had kids, I remember thinking, “How the heck am I going to do this?”

Have you read that book, Surrounded by Idiots?

Sam Jacobs: I haven’t. But I’m sure we all feel like that sometimes.

Tiffany Heimpel: It’s a great book about personality types and how each responds to things and acts on things and wants to be communicated to et cetera. I’m highly red, which is very much decisive, quick to action, et cetera. So the idea of managing people who weren’t like me, I just didn’t think that would be easy.

But then coincidentally, when you have children, they’re not like you either. You start to have these little humans whom you can’t prescribe and you can’t exactly tell what to do, and you have to coach, coerce, and negotiate.

My son was about four when I had this aha-moment. All of these courses I was taking on leadership and management and communication, this is the stuff we’re doing all the time.

Sam’s Corner [30:26]

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, it’s Sam Jacobs. This is Sam’s corner. Loved that conversation with Tiffany Heimpel. One of the lessons that emerged is really this: jump at the opportunities that are presented to you. Besides just taking opportunities, ask for the opportunities.

First, you have to know what your needs are personally. A lot of people don’t even know what they want. So first you have to answer that for yourself and then you can ask for it. Tiffany demonstrates that, and it’s an inspiring story.

The final piece of it is, mothers make great managers and sellers. You are positioned better than anybody because you have incredible responsibility, incredible leadership as a mother.

Don’t miss episode #160!

I want to thank our sponsors, we have two, remember. The first is Proposify, the proposal software giving you control and insight into the most important stage of your sales process. Check them out at Proposify.com/SalesHacker. We also want to thank Outreach.

If you haven’t registered for Unleash, it’s a week from today. And so it’s May 11th through 13th and it’s going to be incredible. Guy Raz is going to be there. Carey Lohrenz is going to be there. So Unleash.Outreach.io for more information, and hopefully to get your free ticket.

And if you’re not a part of the Sales Hacker community yet, you’re totally missing out. Any sales professional can join as a member to ask questions, get immediate answers, and share experiences with like-minded B2B sales professionals. Jump in and start a conversation with more than 10,000 sales professionals at SalesHacker.com.

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