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S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

I saw a question on Reddit recently from a seller who wondered whether or not to create content on LinkedIn. The seller worried that writing about topics like quota, rejection, or prospecting might sound too salesy and might hurt his pipeline. 

The truth is that many sellers have fear around the concept of creating content because we worry about how the audience will accept our ideas. 

Middle school prom

Not only should we post our own content on LinkedIn; we should also engage with other people’s content. 

Unfortunately, many of us treat LinkedIn like a middle school prom. We stand around the edge of the room watching each other, too afraid to dance. We might speak to a friend or two, but we’re afraid to look stupid, so we don’t dance. Instead, we let everybody else enjoy themselves. 

We don’t want to look stupid on the dance floor, so perhaps we look stupid on the sidelines instead. We’re afraid of the critics who might make fun of our efforts

Many sellers treat LinkedIn like a middle school dance. We don’t participate because we’re afraid of looking silly. #SalesContent

True engagement

Engagement doesn’t involve moving around the room and saying hi to people at the dance. On LinkedIn, clicking “like” for a few posts doesn’t qualify as engagement. It won’t sustain relationships. It’s basically an indication of approval. 

Engagement requires you to bring other people into the conversation. If, for example, you’re in the water industry, and you see an article about the danger of water purification tablets, you can tag another colleague who wrote about the same topic. 

The author of the piece will take note of your efforts to bring someone else to his page, and your colleague will take note as well. 

Talk to people and work to create lasting relationships.

‘Salesy’ content

The question on Reddit came from a seller who worried that his prospects might tire of always seeing sales-related content. But consider your own news feed. Are you annoyed by the fact that you frequently see the same faces over and over again? Or do you simply choose to read things that are relevant and skip over the ones that are not? 

On the other hand, when one of those people shares something that helps you or connects you with someone else, that brand sticks in your mind. When you need help with something, you’ll remember the guys who showed up in your feed. 

When you post content and engage with other content, you stay top-of-mind with your audience. 

Audience

Make sure that you’re posting the right kind of content for your audience. Gear it toward your prospect. If you’re targeting salespeople, it’s ok to post sales content. But if you’re targeting decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies, don’t post about yourself. Post what the leaders in that industry want to know or read. 

Gear your content toward the people you want to attract. 

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that your content won’t sound perfect. Understand who you’re targeting and who you want to attract. 

LinkedIn impressions

To understand how value-rich LinkedIn is, listen to TSE 1085 on our podcast. In it, my friend Steven Hart shared some LinkedIn stats with us based on the 48 Eyeopening LinkedIn Statistics for 2019.

LinkedIn provides 36 billion impressions per month. That’s 468 billion impressions per year, or 9 billion impressions per week. Users see content 9 billion times per week. 

Now factor in that there are 500 million people on LinkedIn, and only a fraction of them are active there. Of those, only 3 million people share content weekly. So those 3 million people who share content weekly are getting 9 billion impressions. 

The rest of us are afraid to share content, so we’re sitting on the sidelines.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Grab attention

Grab your reader’s attention, but be intentional about the stuff that you share. Post things that your prospect wants to read. You can certainly share industry-related content from magazines, but your content doesn’t always have to tie back. 

Consider these options for content:

  • Answer frequently-asked-questions about your industry
  • Share content that your industry would want to know about.
  • Share videos you create from your smartphone in which you answer questions.
  • Post complementary content that is indirectly related to your industry.
  • Repurpose your company’s own blog content.

Seek to be helpful. 

Challenge

Also, consider asking your own audience questions about what they are doing and what they’d like to see. If you tag people in a post and ask them about the CRM they use, you’ll initiate engagement. As more people comment, it will gain more visibility. If someone from outside your own connections engages with it, reach out to that person and request a connection.

Your challenge for the upcoming week is to share one piece of content every day. 

  • Monday: share an industry-related piece that includes something interesting.
  • Tuesday: answer a frequently-asked-question.
  • Wednesday: answer a common question using video.
  • Thursday: post complementary information.
  • Friday: share something your company has created. 

At the end of the week, if you don’t have any impressions, keep posting. You’re going to connect with new people. Ask your teammates for ideas if you can’t think of anything to post.

“Create Content on LinkedIn” episode resources

If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register! 

You can also connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com or try our first module of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free. This episode has been made possible with the help of  TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance. We want you guys to go out each and every single day to find more ideal customers and do big things.

I hope you like and learned many things from this episode. If you did, please review us and give us a five-star rating on Apple podcast or in any platform you’re using - Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify.  You can also share this with your friends and colleagues. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1164.mp3
Category:LinkedIn -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

If you’re not already harnessing LinkedIn to develop a consistent stream of quality leads, you’re missing out on more referrals, possible testimonies, and a powerful prospecting tool. 

 

Mike Jones owns and operates a local Sandler Training franchise where he works with sales leaders and salespeople in those cultures to develop nontraditional ways of prospecting and selling. He has the privilege of seeing best practices and working intimately with sales culture. He loves the experience of moving between industries and geographies to see what the consistent themes of success are. 

 

Utilizing LinkedIn

 

Sellers must take advantage of LinkedIn, but many people use it wrong. 

 

They often don’t understand LinkedIn’s power to get to the right person. It’s difficult to connect with the right person, but LinkedIn gives people the ability to determine who they need to be talking to. 

 

There is power in connections. If you aren’t using it to find the right people in the organizations you’re connecting with, you aren’t using it to its full capabilities. 

 

There’s two kinds of prospecting. 

 

  • Active prospecting, which includes developing daily behavioral metrics about how many conversations you want to have, how many appointments you want to have, and how many existing clients you should be reaching out to. Activity always precedes outcome. If I can dial in my activity and monitor it and compare it to a monthly revenue goal, that allows me to make strategic behavioral changes. Whatever outcome you’re seeking, you have a system perfectly designed to give you that outcome. If you want a better outcome, analyze what you’re doing from a behavioral standpoint in order to achieve that outcome. It’s a form of prospecting that provides real-time decisions, and it gets immediate results. 

 

  • Passive prospecting doesn’t provide immediate results. If, for example, you work 250 days a year and your prospecting system requires you to send out 10 emails, either directly to a prospect or a contact in LinkedIn, asking for an introduction. Over a year, that’s 2,500 prospecting attempts every year. In today’s business culture, it works and you’re missing an opportunity if you aren’t seizing it. 

 

Thinking about now

 

Sometimes, as sellers, we get so focused on the now that we forget to focus on the future. In the early days of my sales career, I was guilty of it, too. Every phone call you make doesn’t have to result in an immediate close. 

 

We may even make the mistake of prospecting to convince people, and that creates a lot of pressure. Instead, identify what kind of prospect is in front of you. 

 

There are four distinct mindsets that prospects have. 

 

  1. They have a need they know about. 
  2. They’re comfortable and they aren’t making any changes.
  3. They are willing to make changes in order to have a better return on investment.
  4. They’re arrogant. 

 

We can only help number one and number three. Numbers two and four will communicate with a salesperson differently. Instead of trying to convince, try to determine which of the four you’re dealing with. It will help you understand whether they’re open-minded about it. 

 

Prospect’s mindset

 

Don’t give up too early. When a salesperson reaches out to a prospect, they’re trying to change the prospect’s mindset and alter what they believe. 

 

Be consistently persistent. Develop a cadence that falls somewhere between “I’m bugging someone” and “I’m ineffective.” Prospecting takes time and sellers must stop looking at their monthly revenue as the barometer for success. We do it because we think that’s how the game needs to be played. 

 

Realize that your individual metrics and your revenue are important, but you don’t get a pass on your prospecting simply because you hit your revenue. Failure to prospect will impact you months from now. You must manage your calendar to make sure you can service the people you're selling as well as your future prospects. 

 

LinkedIn content

 

LinkedIn is a huge tool for marketing and it’s designed to help people think and share different ideas and insights.

 

You must give to get, and you must be a giver. Life is an open book test and we should be cheating off each other. #give

 

When we look to give back, we’ll get stuff in return. The more you give, the more the people who want your help will come to you. 

 

If you’re a giver and you’re prospecting, you’re giving so much great information. They’ll keep coming back to you. 

 

Introductions

 

Many salespeople don’t do enough to leverage their connections in order to get introductions, which is probably a better word than referral. Probably 20 percent of your clients will provide an introduction without being prompted to. They like to connect people. 

 

At the same time, there are probably the same number who don’t like doing it. The 60 percent in the middle will do it if someone asks them to. We just have to become proactive and make it part of our process.

 

The best time to ask for an introduction is when the prospect realizes that he got his value and he’s happy. If you’ve already found a process that works, don’t change it. But if you aren’t having success asking for introductions, wait until the buyer realizes what they have in value. 

 

It also probably depends on the type of product you’re selling. 

 

Team behaviors 

 

Figure out what behaviors your team should be doing and build some healthy accountability around those things. It’s easier to coach people who have individual belief systems and business acumen. Based upon metrics, you can give unique instruction to each person. 

 

Make sure to have a direct line to the decision maker in the company you are pursuing, and build it around a story. In other words, figure out a common connection to the person you’re trying to connect with and use that. That connection is much more likely to be successful than cold outreach will. 

 

Don’t wing it. Use your KPIs and other metrics to get prepared. Good sellers won’t sabotage their efforts or be lazy. They’ll want to do something that will help them earn more money. 

 

Finally, get your life “why-dialed in.” Figure out why you get out of bed in the morning, because that’s your source of power. If you don’t have your life “why-dialed in,” you’ll go through the motions and it will be mundane and boring. 

 

Evaluate your patterns and habits. Are you getting the habits and outcome that you’re looking for? Sales is a purposeful, predictable event. If you’re serious about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you can track and measure your output and change it. 

 

“Harnessing LinkedIn” episode resources

You can find Mike on LinkedIn or you can connect with Sandler Training by The Ruby Group. Visit Sandler Training to connect with someone in your own area. 

 

If you haven't connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I'm sharing there.

 

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

 

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

 

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

 

Take advantage of a 30-day free trial, including a free book of your choice, at audible.com/tse.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. When you share your experiences with the show, others will read the reviews and give us a listen.

 

I truly appreciate you and appreciate your reviews and your subscription, and your willingness to tell your friends and anyone you know that's in sales about the podcast.


Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1125.mp3
Category:LinkedIn -- posted at: 8:10am EDT

There’s a huge prospecting opportunity right under your nose, and it’s a LinkedIn gold rush that can help you generate more leads and connect with more people.

Even if you have been on LinkedIn since 2016 like I have, it’s possible that you aren’t even scratching the surface of what it’s capable of doing. LinkedIn isn’t paying me to say any of this. I’m telling you because I know how much you can do with LinkedIn and I want you to do big things.

STATISTICS

My friend Stephen Hart, host of the Trailblazers.FM podcast, shared some statistics with me that made my eyeballs pop. When he appeared on The Sales Evangelist, he shared with us the importance of creating content that connects with your audience. He also emphasized the need to incorporate social selling into your existing efforts.

LinkedIn is designed to be more than a host for your resume. It’s created to be a community where people interact.

CONTENT

The article 48 Eye-Opening LinkedIn Statistics for B2B Marketers in 2019 reports that there are 9 billion content impressions in the LinkedIn feed every week. Every single week, the content on LinkedIn is seen 9 billion times, which leads to about 36 billion impressions per month and 468 billion per year.

If you consistently take advantage of LinkedIn by producing content, you can take advantage of these statistics. You can even repurpose things you’ve previously created into LinkedIn content.

The article also reports that only 3 million people share content weekly. There are 500 million total LinkedIn users, and maybe half of those are active. Only 3 million of them share content weekly. That’s about 1 percent of the monthly users sharing content.

Three million users are getting 9 billion impressions per week on LinkedIn.

Try finding that kind of ratio on Instagram or Facebook.

PUBLISHING

As you contemplate what to create, think about this. LinkedIn doesn’t want you to publish an article that has a link going back to your website. Like any social platform, LinkedIn wants your eyeballs to stay on the platform so you’ll see more ads and they’ll get more money from advertisers.

Post your stuff natively on LinkedIn. Publish a LinkedIn article, and make sure to include a picture. Then share it.

Long-form content gets more shares on LinkedIn. Dennis Brown mentioned this when he was on the podcast based upon research that showed that 1,900-word articles get the most shares. Aim to publish between 1,900 and 2,100 words in order to get more traction.

CONSISTENCY

 

If you’re thinking that you can’t write 1,900 words, I understand. Neither can I.

Instead, dictate your thoughts and hire a virtual assistant or someone from Fiverr to do the work for you. Or, use Temi to transcribe your audio into a written transcript that you can tweak and publish.

Don’t include links away from LinkedIn. Instead, trust that your website appears on your profile and as you appear in their feed, you’ll become the subject-matter expert.

VIDEO

LinkedIn also has video capability now and I did my first LinkedIn Live last week with my friend Kyle who is involved in the Beta testing. Because it’s new, the engagement was amazing.

Many people will talk themselves out of using this tool because they don’t like the way they look on camera or they believe they won’t know what to say. But someone else in that 3 million will take advantage of it and they’ll see results.

Start. Right. Now.

You can record video directly to LinkedIn using the camera in the app. Our friend Tiffany Southerland who recently appeared on the podcast shared that she creates video content every week without doing any fancy editing using LinkedIn.

Nine billion impressions and 3 million people. It’s a gold rush.

“LINKEDIN GOLD RUSH” EPISODE RESOURCES

Check out the article 48 Eye-Opening LinkedIn Statistics for B2B Marketers in 2019.

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1085.mp3
Category:LinkedIn -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales EvangelistSmart sellers can make social media work for them by building a personal brand, giving value, connecting with others, and growing their business.

Andy Storch is a consultant and coach who is always learning new things about sales and who loves the freedom that selling provides. Though he says he still has a lot to learn, he has an advantage over many others because he's always trying new things.

Because he has the confidence to experiment and discover what works and what doesn't, he has a leg up on a lot of other people.

Personal branding

Whether you're selling services or products, there are very few things that absolutely distinguish your offerings from other people's. In fact, customers can always find an alternative.

In B2B especially, they are buying you. They want to do business with you.

Relationships are so important for sellers which is why it's more important than ever to develop a personal brand. You must let people know who you are and create authority.

To that end, Andy uses social media to let people know who he is, to create authority, to share knowledge, and to build authority.

Attracting people

As sellers, we initially think we want to get on a call with everybody, but there are a lot of people we just won't gel with. Social media attracts people who want to work with us and deflects others.

In an era where everyone is creating content of some kind, we have to put our own content out there in order to build our authority.

Given the amount of content that already exists, it's tempting to wonder why yours matters. Even if you're regurgitating information you learned from someone else, put your own spin on it.

For some, it's blogging. Others use podcasting or YouTube. It depends on your style and where your clients are.

Andy points to podcaster Chris Ducker and his business Youpreneur. In his book Rise of the Youpreneur, Chris says that if you build a personal brand, it's the last brand business you'll ever need to build because you can take it with you and evolve it into any kind of business.

Five years from now, you may do completely different work, but if you've built a brand and a following, people will go with you.

Building a brand

Your personal brand is what you're known for. Having your own website and your own colors is the advanced part of it.

Are you known for being knowledgeable, trustworthy, and someone that people want to learn from? Andy posts on social media with the goal of helping his friends discover the things that have previously worked for him.

They tell him that he inspires them, and he has created a personal brand as someone who is an achiever, who helps and inspires other people.

You want to be known as someone knowledgeable and trustworthy at the end of the day.

People who need it

Think of your content as giving information to a friend. You are putting it out there for those people who need it and want it at that time, not for people who don't.

Don't worry about the judgment from people that your content isn't for. Most people are rooting for you. Even if the content isn't for them, they'll just scroll on by.

Action steps

Andy's primary business is B2B so he spends most of his time on LinkedIn. When he moved to this business 18 months ago he committed to posting every weekday. Over time he has gained some traction there, though it's a tough platform to engage on. Until you have a really good following of people, it's tough to get likes and comments.

Start by finding an engagement group where people are in a group together commenting on each other's stuff. Be careful with this, though, because if you join multiple groups it can be tough to keep up.

If you find one, it will help you build your following and gain exposure. It doesn't directly turn into sales, but it keeps him top of mind for people.

You don't know who's on there and who's seeing your content. Don't put content out just for the sake of doing so, but find ways to be valuable to the people who follow you.

Don't assume you'll start generating sales right away. You're serving people, you're building a brand, and long-term it will work out for you.

Logistics

The best practice is to schedule content, but Andy calls himself a live-in-the-moment kind of guy who decides each day what to post. He alternates between providing content that targets his ideal clients and general content that would be helpful for larger numbers of people.

His target clients are less than 10 percent of his overall network, so sometimes he wants to speak directly to them, but sometimes he wants to engage a larger group.

Share experiences

Think back to your own experiences and knowledge. Can you turn those into posts or stories that you can tell Would you rather write or speak?

You've got to put it out there are hit publish. You won't get much response in the beginning but you've got to keep doing it.

When you have a fear of judgment or criticism, it grows as you let it fester. The more you take action, just like with cold calling, you build more experience so it becomes less scary.

Podcasting

Andy has two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat. He uses the latter to land meetings with target clients who otherwise wouldn't meet with him, and it's working beautifully.

Everyone loves to tell their own story and they love attention. Many people don't know how to do that because they aren't going to start their own podcasts. Andy gives them a way to share their stories and experiences.

The same people who failed to accept sales meetings with Andy suddenly accepted the offer to appear on his podcast. He's working to develop personal relationships with these people.

These people didn't see a compelling reason to interact with him before they discovered his platform.

The added benefit is that he's growing his authority and building relationships.

Serve don't sell

Resist the temptation to include lots of calls-to-action and links. Provide value. They want to know that you're trustworthy and that you have interesting things to say.

[Tweet "People don't pay for information anymore. They pay for execution, so give information away. Serve, don't sell. #ServeCustomers"]

"Building a Personal Brand" episode resources

You can connect with Andy at his website, www.andystorch.com, and on LinkedIn. You can also check out his two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

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