Episode 128: 5 Templates to Optimize Your LinkedIn Sales Outreach
Our resident hosts Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods share five sales templates that you can use to improve your sales outreach on LinkedIn. They also walk you through the strategies behind the templates and discuss why it’s important to distance yourself from the traditional “sell, sell, sell” mentality to have an effective sales campaign.
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings to one and all and welcome to Making Sales Social Live. I’m Bob Woods and I’m here with my co host LinkedIn whisperer, Brynne Tillman, Brynne Tillman just in case you couldn’t hear that.
Brynne Tillman 00:14
Hello, the LinkedIn Sherpa Bob woods, I’m excited for you to guide us today.
Bob Woods 00:19
Wait, oh, yeah, that’s a good one. Good one, because I am playing the part of guide today, which is excellent. Especially considering our topic because we’re talking about sales templates. And most everyone out there loves sales templates. And why not? They give us a guide of sorts, wink wink, nudge nudge to help you get to your destination.
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live, as we share LinkedIn and social selling training, strategies, and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods, every week. Making Sales Social Live.
Bob Woods 01:02
So today, we’re sharing not just templates, rather, to optimize your LinkedIn Sales outreach, but we’re going to share the strategies behind them too. So you know, you can think about them a little bit. And obviously, when it comes to templates, we always urge customization and putting them in your own voice. It’s the exact same thing here too, don’t take the stuff word for word, put it in your voice, because it needs to be in your voice.
So you can likely come up with all kinds of ways to find and engage prospects on LinkedIn. What Brynne and I are going to be talking about today are the five that Brynne and I teach a lot, but it’s worth it because they are great. And although we build this as sales outreach, it’s really about detaching yourself from the traditional sales mentality, you know, “sell, sell, sell” and all that stuff, and attaching instead, your brain to the engagement and conversation. So what are your thoughts behind that Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 01:55
Yeah. So I think that’s brilliant, I think that we really need to, as you started saying, to detach from what that prospect means to us, and attach to what we mean to them. So in our outreach in our engagement, it is so important that it’s about them or what they care about, not about what we want to pitch to them.
So that mindset is absolutely critical. I think the other really important mindset is it’s engaging one on one. So we’re talking about these templates, and like you said, customize it to your voice, but also personalize it to each of those people that you’re reaching out. So it needs to feel personal. And the templates that we’re doing today are not really personal. So they are a guide, rather than an exact template.
Bob Woods 02:56
Exactly. So So I do think the other thing to think about when you’re doing the customization and when you’re doing the personalization is you know, imagine yourself, like you’re at a conference or networking event or something like that. It’s just about treating each person as you would in real life.
Now, that being said, I know that I’ve come up on these people every once in a while at these types of things. And you have too, to where they will immediately go into a spiel like immediately like, “here’s my card I do this, this and this, I’d love to be able to help you out.” How do you feel about that person, when you’re approached like that in real life? It’s the same type of thing. It’s just on LinkedIn now. So don’t be that person, I think is probably the best way to say it.
Brynne Tillman 03:41
I love all of this. This is so fun. We also need a purpose and a reason that we’re reaching out. Your reason is you want to prospect them. That is not a good context in their perspective, right. No one wants to be prospected, right. So we have to make sure as we start this outreach, and we have these conversations that there’s a good context behind it. (Bob:Yep. Absolutely) Should I start with number one?
Bob Woods 04:07
Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go ahead with number one. This one I like because it’s a really hot area in my opinion, because not a lot of people are doing, it’s using influencer content, right. Is that what we have decided that we’re going to…
Brynne Tillman 04:20
It is influencer content, yes.
Bob Woods 04:23
Influencer content, so not a lot of people are doing this. I’m just starting to see it bubble up a little bit from other sales, training types but this is really a really, really good thing to do.
Brynne Tillman 04:34
Well, first of all, kinda bonus here is you can actually search followers of an influencer. Once you do that, I mean, you can leverage content but what we’re talking about here I just want to let everyone know they can do that. But what we’re talking about here is if you come across, unintentionally or not an influencer’s post that’s engaging your target audience and you engage with those commenters and the people that are liking it, typically, you know, if you want it to create a connection with them, you’re going to send an invitation to connect.
So how do you do that in a way that’s in context? So if you’ve engaged with their comment, if they’ve reacted, you can’t “like“ they’re like, but you can like their comment but if they liked it, you can reach out, “Bob, I see, we’re both fans of influencer. Have you heard her podcast on X, Y, and Z? Let me know if you’d like the link.” right and I can connect with you around a context where I’m giving a gift of influencer content that we both have interest in.
Bob Woods 05:47
right? And when it comes to things like this, we’re offering a gift but don’t necessarily offer it right away. So in other words, don’t put the link in at first, always ask permission, because it looks kind of spammy and it looks a little salesy, even though that’s not your intention. If you do it like that. Remember, it’s about how the other person thinks of the exchange of the conversation.
Brynne Tillman 06:09
Yeah! Oh, my God, perception is so much here. You are so right. We often call it permission based sales, right? We’re asking permission. So in this case, let me know if you’d like the link is even in like, it’s still it’s permission based. Let’s connect and let me know if you’d like the link. This also starts conversation, right? Like when you ask that question, they can’t get the link unless they say “yes, sure, thanks,” right. So now we’ve got a two way conversation, not just one way. So that’s great, number two,
Bob Woods 06:43
Numero dos, people who engage with your content, there are a lot of things involved here but one of the big things just has to do with posting and ghosting and not doing that. So you know, very few people follow up with the people who are commenting, even though you’re putting so much time into that, but you’ve got other things to do. I imagined that very, very few people post and ghost on purpose. I can’t imagine someone wanting to do that. But for the people on the commenting on these posts, when they don’t get any kind of reply or even just a like from the publisher of that post. It seems a bit rude. Although, again, you’re not trying to be rude. We all know that but yet, it does seem rude. So what are some of the recommendations that we have in these types of situations?
Brynne Tillman 07:30
So one of the things is to prepare before you post with a second piece of supporting content. So if you have a topic, and you’re talking about X, Y, and Z, so maybe you’re you’re sharing a post from an influencer, find another post from that influencer, maybe it’s an original piece, and you’ve got a checklist to back that up, but part of it is being prepared to engage, right? So it’s not just “Hey, I want to post and get engagement, I want to post get engagement and start conversations with these folks.” So one of the ways that we can do that is “Bob, I appreciate you engaging on my X,Y,Z post, right, whatever that topic is, I have additional insights on ABC, let me know if you’d like the link.”
Now, this is a connection request if they’re not connected yet, or a direct message if they are already. But what happens is they’ve already acknowledged that they liked this content. So chances are very high that with that permission based mindset that they’re gonna say, “Yeah, sure, send it.” And now we’ve got a conversation started.
Bob Woods 08:41
Absolutely. Excellent. So for our next point, we’re going to flip that on its head, engaging on their posts, your prospects, posts. So people share content, obviously, because they want engagement. So if you react or comment, and if you do it the right way, which is to support what they’re doing, and maybe add a little bit of spin on your own, they immediately like you. So there are ways to stay on top of your prospects’ posts. One of them is to just visit their profile, scroll down to their activity section and engage authentically within their posts.
Now another one is to ring their bell and now that a neat award song is in my brain. Most LinkedIn (Yeah, exactly.) Most LinkedIn users don’t even know that this ring the bell feature exists, but it’s a hidden gem. So let’s talk about the little more about ringing one’s bell virtually, of course, ringing one’s Bell.
Brynne Tillman 09:37
Yeah, I mean, it’s simple to do. If you’re already connected to them, the bell is there. You can ring it. If you’re not connected to them, you have to follow them and then the bell will appear. And then when you get that notification of content, you’re going to click through, you’re going to comment, react to it comment and by the way, if they have a lot of likes, consider using the insights lightbulb or the celebrate cloud, because you’re gonna stand out even more than just another, like, comment on that and then send that connection request or message to “I really enjoyed your posts, the posts that you shared an XYZ” and they already know you engaged on it. So it’s authentic. “By chance, is the topic ABC also of interest to you?” And if they respond, “Yes” you can then at that point, say, “Hey, I’ve got a checklist on this, would you like me to send that over?” but it’s just a permission base. This is a one extra step but, and make sure XYZ and ABC are aligned, like you don’t want, like XYZ to be on marketing and then ABC is on telephone systems. So make sure right, that feels authentic. Like because you liked this, you’ll probably like this.
Bob Woods 10:55
It’s a little bit like thinking like an algorithm when it brings up other things suggested in your previous activity. It’s kinda like that, except obviously, it’s actually you, and you’re doing it genuinely, authentically but it’s like that general type of thought process that you want to have something that’s definitely related to what the original conversation was all about.
Engaging with your existing connections, whom you have been inadvertently because again, we don’t do this stuff on purpose but you’ve been ignoring, or have just fallen off the radar, or you know, like that type of thing. So we often have members either export their connections, or search their 1st-degree connections in LinkedIn, to identify who they should be reaching, reaching out to, and then reaching out to them.
Personally, I think that polls and personalized video messages, which some people think they’re scary, but they’re really not, are great ways to engage. So what are the templates we might send these folks to start conversations, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 11:58
I love that. So taking inventory and engaging with your existing connections starts with either exporting your connections or doing a search or filter of your 1st-degree connections, which is available in the free LinkedIn. But we have to identify who is it that we want to vote on that poll, or that we want to send a video message or combine the two, there’s a few ways that we can do this, right. But you know, from a poll, there’s a little Send button, it looks like a paper airplane at the bottom of all posts, but the poll, and you can send that to your 1st-degree connections into their inbox, and they can vote there.
This is the one time I typically don’t do permission based. I send the poll, we’re asking for a vote, it seems to work well, and people don’t necessarily feel spammed, they see it’s a poll. So you know, they know immediately. So, you know, as the CMO, you know, “Bob as a CMO, I’d love your one click vote on a poll that I recently posted. Once it closes, I can share the insights I gleaned or, and so we’ve left this open that I’m going to reach out to him once the poll closes to talk to him about how his peers voted, how the other CMOS voted on this.
And this gives an opening later on. If he votes. If he doesn’t vote, we can come back and say, I had mentioned a poll on X, Y, and Z. We had 72 CMOS vote on that. If you are interested in some of those insights, let me know, I’m happy to share them with you and you’re going to move it toward conversation now. Is it in text? Or is it on video, what we have found consistently, is when you send a personal video on the mobile app, you get about a 90% response rate. So you can do a combination of video and poll or a simple video checking in to see how they are but still, you want some kind of context.
Bob Woods 14:10
Yeah, context is good and automatically, because still, so few people use video, in messaging on LinkedIn, you’re automatically going to stand out. And even though you’re not communicating one to one, it’s like you’re communicating one to one because they see your face, they see your eyes. They know that it’s genuine, you should have a much more likely much better outcome than just with a text post or a text message. In this case, I should say yes.
Brynne Tillman 14:38
100% agree. And number five,
Bob Woods 14:41
Number five. So permission to name drop. It’s probably the fastest way to a conversation. So this actually happens in two steps. First, you’re going to send a message to your connection asking about the prospect that you want to get in touch with and then the next one is obviously to the actual prospect with a connection request. So let’s take a look at both of those.
Brynne Tillman 15:08
Yeah. So let’s say I want to get in touch with Bob and I see that Stephen is connected to Bob. So I’m going to reach out to Stephen and I don’t have this written out but this is my connection. I can text him, I can call him, I can Facebook message him, however, you know, or send a message in LinkedIn, something as simple as “Steven, I see, you’re connected to Bob Woods on LinkedIn, can I ask you how well do you know him? I’m going to be reaching out to him next week.”
So if he responds, “oh, he’s a great guy. I know him. So well.” Depending on my relationship with Steven, I can either say, here’s why I want to reach out. Do you think it makes sense if I have a good relationship with him? If I have a shallow relationship with him, you know the English language can be very difficult, very shallow relationship with him. I can just simply say, when I reach out to Bob, should I tell him you said hello. And he says, Sure, I go, “Bob, Stephen, and I were chatting on LinkedIn and your name came up, he said hello,” and recommended we connect, or whatever that might look like. Or he says, Hello. So be authentic, whatever that communication was back and forth. Make sure you don’t say anything that you don’t have permission to say. But even the fact that we’re saying he says hello, completely opens up credibility, attack, trust in that connection requests. And so you’re likely to start a conversation with someone because you have that friend in common.
Bob Woods 16:40
And also just be sure that you’re actually doing this too. I mean, just don’t say well, you know, I think if we had this conversation, you know, he would say this, so just go ahead and send it because you’re actually ruining your reputation with two people, with two people. So let’s just say that the person you didn’t reach out to ended up talking with the prospect and the prospect says, hey, hey, I heard that you talked with Stephen about me, and they’re gonna go I really didn’t talk to them about that. You’ve shot down two relationships at that point. So be… you know, be authentic, be genuine.
Brynne Tillman 17:17
All right, so I’m gonna bring these in. That was great. let’s see who we have, Evie. Hello. I’m glad you think that’s awesome. We think you’re awesome. Jeff you should Jeff Young brilliant, brilliant man. You should always lead with your own voice Bob and Brynne you are, you to our great LinkedIn mavens, dare I say that killer bees. Oh my god. I love that.
Bob Woods 17:45
We are stealing that and putting it on a t shirt with our names
Brynne Tillman 17:47
I love it. I love it. I love it.
Bob Woods 17:51
Numero dos. Yeah, that was, thank you, Evie. Gunner always, always, always coming in with the absolute golden comments. It’s all about being sincere, and authentic could not agree more. Bruce, Hey Bruce longtime now talk to he discovered this episode because of notification.
Notifications when it comes to lives are definitely getting better. I’m noticing more and more of those on LinkedIn too. So so so go to LinkedIn on that. Evie says nice little tip. I’m not sure which because that one got stacked. I’m not sure but thank you for that. Jeff Young, coming in with another great one, existing connections, follow up with these folks can be a goldmine of opportunities could not agree more. A net doing a little networking with Jeff during those. I’ve loved that. That’s fantastic. Neil has a good question.
Brynne Tillman 18:43
Okay. Any other exceptions besides polls in which you don’t ask permission to send?
Bob Woods 18:48
I’d say probably… I can’t think of any.
Brynne Tillman 18:51
That’s my… Well, the video message we’re sending but links. I think that’s the only one that I recommend. If I think of another one, I will Yeah.
Bob Woods 19:01
Especially, especially if you’re linking to an external source. If it’s like a post, depending on the post, I can maybe see certain cases. Yeah, yeah, I agree with
Brynne Tillman 19:15
I agree with you. I think if you can share anything native inside of LinkedIn. So when they open it up, they can see that it’s not a spam link, or it looks like it’s inside LinkedIn. I think they’ll be more comfortable with that. That’s a great question, Neil. And I think that was a very good question, like that one a lot. And then keep in touch with existing connections is always a great thing. So that’s it, we agree!
Bob Woods 19:41
Brynne Tillman 19:44
Bob, I always love this with you. I had so much fun.
Bob Woods 19:49
look forward to this every week. So thank you again, everyone for joining us and Making Sales Social live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter right now we, just as I said, we do this every week. So keep an eye out for our live sessions and hopefully the notifications continue to come through with those too. If you’re already listening to us on our podcast and you haven’t subscribed yet, subscribe or follow, we’d appreciate it so that you can view our previous shows and be alerted to when new ones dropped.
If you’re here the first time and just wondering what the heck this podcast is all about, go to socialsaleslink.com/podcast We do two shows weekly, we do this one and we also have our Making Sales Social interview series where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business and many more areas. So thanks again for joining us, everyone. We appreciate it. And when you’re out and about be sure to make your sales…
Brynne Tillman 20:46
Social, bye guys
Bob Woods 20:49
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