Episode 182: Social Selling is Dead, Long Live Cold Calling
Is social selling dead? Like everything else under the sun, the new gets old, and the old becomes new. Cold Calling is in its redemption arc era, and we’re here to discuss with Gunnar Hood the reason why every salesperson should go back to Cold Calling.
Make sure to listen until the end because we’re revealing 8 shocking things about social selling that many have forgotten, and that’s why some people are starting to go back to Cold Calling.
Brynne Tillman 00:00
Hello, and welcome LinkedIn community! We are thrilled to have you here today, and I know we’re hearing a lot of you are shocked, and some even appalled about our topic today, which is Social Selling is Dead Long Live Cold Call.
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 lives. This is the recorded version of our weekly making sales social live show.
Brynne Tillman 00:41
I am so excited to do this with you today. Gunner Hood, how are you, my friend?
Gunnar Hood 00:45
I am fantastic and glad to be here with you. It’s a topic we hear a lot about from people we get a lot of questions about. So, I think it’s time we addressed it.
Brynne Tillman 00:56
Yeah. And you know what, I just think that we have a responsibility to be honest with the community, to let them know how important it is to understand this perspective. So, let’s get started. I’m going to throw out some ideas, and then I’d love to hear your thoughts around them.
Gunnar Hood 01:15
Brynne Tillman 01:16
So, traditional cold calling has a long history in many industries and is a popular vintage approach. While social selling has shown significant ROI in finding engaging, connecting, and even starting conversations at a high level of credibility, we really need to reconsider using it and focus much more on the smiles and dials. What are your thoughts?
Gunnar Hood 01:46
I mean, when you consider the fact that everybody has a phone with them all the time, we’ve never been more reachable than we are now. So why not use that medium in order to reach out to people?
Brynne Tillman 02:00
Myelin dial. So the second one I’m throwing out there is cold calling provides instant feedback on your pitch and approach, allowing you to make adjustments on the fly. You can learn what frustrates people or what gets them to just simply hang up, you know. And you can identify the lonely people that will actually have a conversation with you or even occasionally start a really great conversation with another salesperson who simply wants to sell you social selling. On the other hand, it often involves minutes or even hours to get folks to like or comment on your post or respond to direct messages, which can delay instant gratification.
That said, you may see a drop in response rates when you switch back to cold calling. But don’t worry. It’s a numbers game. Gunnar, your thoughts?
Gunnar Hood 02:59
How many times have you picked up the phone and then either been turned off by a cold call or had somebody really good on the phone that kept your attention and made you want to listen to what they had to say?
I mean, it’s not dead. There are people who can get very, very good at it. And when they do, it is partly a numbers game, but it’s also effectiveness, you know, opportunity as well.
Brynne Tillman 03:26
Yeah, I mean, hey, you know the smile and dial, if you do make 100 calls, maybe three or four people will answer, and maybe one of them will talk to you. But who knows? You can spend 8-10-12 hours making phone calls, and maybe you’ll see something, but because this is just a vintage approach to sales.
We should embrace it just like everything vintage. Vintage cars we embrace, Right? Even, you know, vintage furniture we embrace! We should be embracing vintage prospecting.
Gunnar Hood 04:03
That’s old. What’s new?
Brynne Tillman 04:04
Everything old is new again. I love it. All right. So this is really my favorite, hands down, why I truly believe everyone needs to stop social selling and start cold calling. Cold calling builds resilience, and it helps you develop a thick skin.
As you’ll inevitably face rejection time and time again, this resilience can be invaluable in all aspects of sales and business social selling, though less confrontational, may not offer the same opportunities for personal growth. So, right there, we should be cold calling.
Gunnar Hood 04:47
Exactly. I mean, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right?
Brynne Tillman 04:50
Yes. Thank you, Kelly Clarkson. Yeah, Right. So the more we get up in the fields, the more personal growth we’ll have. And believe me – cold calling will get you beat up. So personal growth is much faster than social selling.
Gunnar Hood 05:12
Oh, no question about it.
Brynne Tillman 05:13
So, the last reason social selling is dead, and we’re saying, “Long live a cold call,” is it’s a great way to build relationships with gatekeepers. This was one that, you know, when you told me this, it was brilliant.
Build relationships with gatekeepers, the people who are paid to keep you from reaching the decision-maker, and make you feel productive, because you’ve had a phone call, right? So you make 100 calls. If you talk to five gatekeepers, we’re at a 5% success rate in our CRM.
So, that’s really important. We have to have as many conversations, even if it’s with the wrong people, and the gatekeepers answer – seriously. This will absolutely help your CRM stats.
Gunnar Hood 06:00
Oh, no question about it. If you’re if your boss is saying it’s about the number of connections that you make, that counts, doesn’t it?
Brynne Tillman 06:07
Absolutely. Hands down. Well, this was a great list of why social selling is dead. Long live the Cold Call? Well, guys, April Fool’s!
Gunnar Hood 06:21
Absolutely. For those of you who know me and Brynne, you probably were shocked by the title. And if you really believe it, let me tell you, I’ve got a bridge I can sell you.
Brynne Tillman 06:33
Yes. Oh, my God, Gunnar. That’s hysterical. So, let’s talk a little bit about why social selling may be better than cold calling in the long run.
Gunnar Hood 06:44
Yeah. So I think there’s, you know, people who know us know, there’s a lot of great reasons, but they are worth retelling from time to time for those who forget. So the first and foremost, one that really stands out is it’s scalable.
It lets you reach a much larger audience with a single piece of content. It works 24/7 In that case, too. And it makes it easier to scale your efforts compared to cold calling, which requires so much one on one interaction, it limits the number of prospects you can engage with, what do you think about that?
Brynne Tillman 07:16
The idea of scaling and attracting people that you didn’t even know, where there is like, an incredible thing, like, I am always blown away, I put out content, and then, you know, our little bubble will share and engage on that. And maybe I’ll send it to a few people asking them for their thoughts around that.
But what happens when they engage it now is showing to their network that they engaged on this content. And so the idea that you can get your message out at scale is a very powerful metric here, right? Something that can attract, teach and engage a lot more people in a lot smaller investment of time.
So yeah, I think that this is really important. The key though, I’m just gonna throw this out, is you have to nurture those people, just because they liked and commented and engaged doesn’t mean that you’ve earned the right to prospect. So start engaging, find out other content they’re sharing and slowly build that report.
This is not a sprint, right? In this piece of social selling, when it comes to sharing content, it’s a marathon, but you know, it pays off, Right? Like if there’s a short game and a long game, the long game, this is it, but engage with the right people. And when the time is right, the opportunities will surface. Sorry.
Gunnar Hood 08:51
So, let’s talk about another one. Yeah. You know, social selling is less intrusive than cold calling. And it allows your prospects to engage with the content. And here’s the important part on their terms and on their time. So it’s less interruptive and less annoying. Yeah.
Brynne Tillman 09:11
And, you know, a lot of folks that teach cold calling or that love cold calling will say, Well, yeah, you’re interrupting their day. But you know that. That’s good, right? If they pick up the phone, well, you know, I, we moved away, I believe from a positive interruption.
The idea that I can bring value in a moment when they’re focused on something else is really about my agenda, not theirs. It’s really not really about me bringing value. It’s about me, making sure I get them on a call and do my very best to get them to not hang up on me that whole production in and of itself, but when you’re sharing content, and you do well, now it’s valuable content.
So, on their terms, they consume it, they can engage with it. And you can start conversations that are around this topic that they cared about. And you know that they took the time to consume, as you say, right on their own terms. What’s number three?
Gunnar Hood 10:20
I love this one that you came up with. In fact, that might be my favorite one. And that is when you share valuable content and expertise and insights on social media, you can then establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, that helps build credibility and trust. I don’t know how you can possibly accomplish the same thing through cold calling, unless people know who you are. And that usually isn’t the case when you’re cold calling.
Brynne Tillman 10:49
I agree this is really, really important. When they’re unsocial, not only are they consuming your content, but they can click to your profile, they can learn a little bit more on their own terms, they can learn more on their own time when this topic is relevant to them. Yeah, don’t get that in a cold call even a voicemail.
Gunnar Hood 11:11
Yeah, it’s you’re constantly wondering, yeah,
Brynne Tillman 11:14
So, I love that. Number four.
Gunnar Hood 11:18
So, You know, we talk about making personal approaches to people. And, you know, making every interaction count, gathering valuable insights. And I like to call it informed outreach, because LinkedIn gives you that ability to know something about the person you’re trying to reach.
And that helps you even determine if you want to reach out to them in the first place. And so it’s, it’s a whole lot easier than the guessing game of, well, if they pick up the phone, then we have to go through this process and figure that out, I can determine that based on the information I already gathered before I reach out to them.
Brynne Tillman 11:56
You know, this is a vintage approach. Because we used to walk into the office and look around and see, you know, oh, they like to fish in the Outer Banks. And he has seven children. And he was in the boy scouts. Right?
You went to Rutgers University, Right? And you could look around the office in the room, and quickly create these rapport building kind of snippets in your head, things that you can talk about that are meaningful enough to your prospect to put on the walls, LinkedIn, or it’s the walls,
What if they’re putting it out there, it’s meaningful enough. Now, while you may not find their fishing trip on LinkedIn, you do see shared connections, people, they follow companies that they follow, content that they’ve engaged in, and what they say about themselves on their profile. So yeah, I couldn’t agree more on that one, vendor number five.
Gunnar Hood 12:57
So this one too, I think is very meaningful is a key difference. And that is, social selling really helps you in or encourages you to build long term relationships. It’s not an instantaneous thing. But it’s the opportunity to engage and re-engage over a period of time. Think of it like you’re going to real in person networking events, and you build those relationships over time. You can just do it in a more scalable way here.
Brynne Tillman 13:27
Yeah. And you know, it’s interesting, when you cold call someone, maybe leave a message, maybe they do answer and they talk to you for 10 seconds or 30 seconds. And then you hang up if you haven’t scheduled a sales call. If you haven’t, in 10 seconds or 30 seconds convinced them that you’re worth the time it’s over.
Yes, you can email them. Yes, you could. But you know, the cold call, they’re done. And by the way, if they’re annoyed, you burnt a bridge, not the one Gunnar gonna sell you, but you’ve burned a bridge, right? And so we definitely don’t yeah, we definitely don’t want to do that.
So, social selling on the other hand, you can nurture them over time. If they continue to see you pop up and bring value, you engage with them. And so over time in your build credibility, you build trust, and you build reports and you start to create those relationships. And you have that opportunity to nurture over time. Yeah, I love that six. What’s number six, my friend?
Gunnar Hood 14:45
So you know, when you think about social selling one of the greater benefits too is that it gives you wider audience visibility, and increases the chances that your content will be seen and shared by others that can lead to greater brand awareness.
In new opportunities, whether it’s personal or company brand awareness, they can both be impacted by that. I struggled to figure out how that can happen the same way with cold calling.
Brynne Tillman 15:11
I agree. It is definitely a big obstacle in cold calling and social selling certainly wins on that one. All right, what’s our next one? I even forgot what number we’re on.
Gunnar Hood 15:23
Brynne Tillman 15:24
Seven already? Yes.
Gunnar Hood 15:26
Yeah. So social selling opens the doors to referral opportunities. And you know, through LinkedIn, specifically, you can identify who your clients and networking partners know, and leverage those relationships to get warm introductions to your ideal buyer. It’s a much, much harder thing to do on cold calling, than on LinkedIn. But again, it’s going back to the informed knowledge, you know who they’re connected to. And you can ask for those invites.
Brynne Tillman 15:57
I mean, that’s the beauty. Right? That is absolutely the beauty of it. You can go I can go in and say Gunnar, you’re connected to these 12 people I’m looking to get in front of can I run these names by you and gunner looks at them because these four would be great for you. And I know them really, really well.
Now, I can either ask under to make an introduction or permission to drop his name. And so I reached out and I’ll say, Bob, Gunnar Hood and I were chatting the other day. Your name came up in conversation when they talked a little bit about what I’m doing. He thought it would make sense for us to connect. Right?
Okay, he connects per Gunnar Hood’s recommendation, let’s get on a call and we schedule it. So I am not anti-call, by the way. I am very pro-call. But I like to have them scheduled. We’ve got a couple of other things, Hi cat, Hi Brynne, Nice to see you again. I think you were in Philly for a Google event. Yes, I was. Oh, MLM peeps tend to cold call.
Many people cold call, and many people love it. We’ll do it. I don’t know if many people love it. But there are folks that are out there. Cold calling, there are people that teach cold calling, from my experience. First of all, I hate it. So, it’s not going to be a productive period. Because I don’t like doing it.
Anything you don’t like to do, you don’t have the right energy. So if I loved it, I may have a totally different career, but because my business grew from referrals, and then when I started using LinkedIn to identify who they knew, and I got referrals, all of a sudden, I thought I never have to cold call again.
And every conversation that I have off of LinkedIn, or email is scheduled. So, I have between four and five prospecting calls on average every day that are scheduled through LinkedIn engagement. And I would say I don’t want to say statistics, I make them up all the time, no new percentage of them take my call, but most of them happen.
I’m not you know, every once in a while, maybe twice a week. There’s a you know, a cancellation, but generally those scheduled hauls happen. So, let’s see who else was talking about their four or five, Wow, great hustle. It’s not a hustle. It’s fun. I put out content people engage, I look at who’s engaging, I actually will proactively reach out,
I have a poll, I’ll say, hey, Gunnar, I want to prospect gunner, gunner is top on my list. And I say, hey, Gunnar, I am reaching out to digital marketing experts to get their one click vote on a poll that I just put out. You know, I’m hoping that you are open to voting. And then I’m happy to share the results with you once the poll closes.
So, you can see how your peers or your colleagues, right in the industry are voting as well, whatever that looks like, so I’m now getting engagement. And then he votes. Maybe I asked the question, do you like cold? What is your favorite way to prospect, cold calling social selling email, and he clicks on social selling? Now I know his priority, and I know how to start a conversation with him. It’s really simple.
It’s really scalable and I am getting a message through every single time. It’s not that I’m not getting hung up on they will read the comment to their comments. They will read a response to a poll that they engaged on already. Right. And so you are creating this community of people that are enjoying your content that leads to your solution. Now you have to slow down your outreach to speed up the outcome.
You know, just because they liked your post doesn’t mean we have permission to pitch them. Right and we talked about that all the time, but it doesn’t feel like a hustle like hustle to me though the Gary Vee hustle, hustle for me is drawing negative energy if I have to keep going, keep going. But if it’s a game, and I’m having fun, and I’m enjoying it, I’m so much more productive. I went on and on Gunnar, what are your thoughts?
Gunnar Hood 20:20
Yeah, I agree with everything you shared. And you know, it is about enjoying it. Like you said, Some people really enjoy the thrill of cold calling, that’s great. You know, if it works for you, keep doing it. But you could also augment it with something like social selling, so that you could have multiple channels that could be working for you. Because cold calling only works when you’re doing it. Social Selling works while you’re sleeping, too.
Brynne Tillman 20:47
That is very true. I have woken up to lots of opportunities to start conversations a few times a week. So I love that. All right, our last one,
Gunnar Hood 20:57
Number eight, final one and that is that social selling enables you to reach specific demographics or industries, or even specific job titles, and you have some people who do cold calling and so yes, you can buy lists that do that. You can, but you are then reliant upon a company’s accuracy and building those lists. Whereas people who are active on LinkedIn, maintain their profiles. So, you know, it’s mostly accurate. So, I think it gives you a higher percentage success in reaching the right person using these tools on LinkedIn.
Brynne Tillman 21:31
I love this and bonus, let’s say you’re calling from your CRM, and you call and they’re like, Nope, he’s not here anymore. Take his title, look it up with the company name. And you can see who replaced him or her so you can know, you’ve got this self updating platform that when someone gets a new job, there’s also a second opportunity.
Where does your buyer go? Because, you know, they’re probably in the same industry with the same opportunity. So I love this and Gunnar, I have so much fun with you. I enjoy everything that we do around LinkedIn, Social Selling, and yeah, I’m just beyond thrilled. So any last thoughts around April Fool’s Day, and our little trick?
Gunnar Hood 22:25
Yeah. So you know, we’re delighted you’re all tuned in hopefully, we weren’t too misleading about that. And you got some value out of the conversation today.
Brynne Tillman 22:35
Yeah. Thanks, guys. thrilled to have you here and look out for our next live.
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