Episode 20: Nurturing Your Existing LinkedIn Connections
Listen as the Social Sales Link Team talks about “Nurturing your Existing Connections on LinkedIn”.
In this episode, you will learn how to take inventory by exporting connections, taking inventory by searching, and re-engaging with your first degree connections with video messages and content.
Bill McCormick 0:00
Hello! Welcome to another episode of Making Sales Social Live, today we are gonna do CPR. We’re going to talk about how to do CPR. No, we’re not first class first, cross-trained. Right. And in the MS, we used to call pushy-pushy, blowy-blowy, but we’re talking about breathing life back into your first degree connections, right? So somebody tell everyone what a CPR stands for.
Brynne Tillman 0:31
So conducting CPR in our connections is identifying our clients, our prospects, and our referral partners. That we’re already connected to, one of the biggest mistakes we make on LinkedIn is we connect and forget, right? And so we’re constantly going after net-new, net-new, new connections, right? But we’re ignoring all of these great connections that we’ve made over time. In fact, somewhere between 10 and 20% of the people we’re connected to, are people that we want to be having conversations with. So if you have 2000 connections, there’s somewhere between two and 400 people that you’re ignoring, that we want to start these conversations with them.
Bill McCormick 1:15
Brynne Tillman 1:16
There are a bunch of different ways to do this right to take inventory. That’s where we have to start, before we talk about what do we do, how do we take inventory. Bob talked about the first way, which is exploiting your connection.
Bob Woods 1:28
Yes. So there’s a way within LinkedIn to actually go in and tell LinkedIn that you want to download all of your connections. So there’s a little bit of a process that you go through with that. And when you complete that, in about 10 to 15 minutes, after you request it, you will get a spreadsheet that has all of your connections in them. So at that point, you can go through and really start getting into it and applying what we call CPR, which we’re going to describe in just a minute here, but applying CPR to each of those connections to see who is a client who is a prospect and who is a referral. And then you can start starting sales converse– or starting conversations rather, with those people.
Brynne Tillman 2:16
So it’s so simple to do just add a column to the left-hand side of, your download, and they’re organized from your most recent connection, you know, all the way down, and you’re getting first name, last name, title, and company, and the date that you connected to them, right? And so when we create this column on the left-hand side, and you go through and you mark them C, P, or R. And then once we’ve taken inventory, we can as Bob said, start conversations, Bill, talk about actually searching for our first degree connections, taking joy through search.
Bill McCormick 2:56
Yeah, this is great. And this is on the free version of LinkedIn, you don’t need to have a premium membership. But you can click on the search bar, double-tap it, and click on people, and then click on all filters. And from the right-hand side, I’ll slide over your 15 search fields in your free version of LinkedIn. And you can actually choose first-degree connections. So you’re only searching your first-degree connections, then slide all the way down. If you have to, if you’re limited to a geographical area, you can put that in if you only want to focus on a certain industry, you can put that in. But what you really want to be focused on is are what are the titles of your decision-makers that you’re trying to find. And put that in the title field, and then click Enter. And you’re going to come up with a list of people you’re already connected with. So this isn’t even low-hanging fruit, this is fruit on the ground that you triple, right, because you’ve already connected with them in some way. And let’s say you don’t know the person, but your first-degree connections. Who else are you connected with that might be able to make that introduction. But that’s a great way to identify. Okay, and then figure out is this a client, is this a referral partner, or is this a prospect.
Brynne Tillman 4:11
Our wonderful friend and client, Michelle Vinson, she actually exported her connections around April of 2020, when there was not very much business happening at all. And one of the things she found was an old client had moved to a new company. And she was able to reach out and very quickly closed, initially a $1.5 million account, which is now over $3 million simply by taking inventory of her existing connection.
Bill McCormick 4:41
And almost every corporate training that we’re on when we teach this, the next week, people come down or when we’re doing it with them live during the workshop time go; “Oh my God, that’s where that person is”. And then we hear back: “Oh, yeah, they got on the phone with me right away”. So this is like Mind Blow boom. When you do this, it’s like; “oh, my God”, and a lot of folks don’t even know that it’s–
Brynne Tillman 05:05
Bob Woods 05:06
Yeah, it’s like mining for new information. I mean, especially because with the connect and forget, you don’t know what these people have been doing in the months. And the years, I mean, they could have changed jobs twice, and you didn’t even know it. So there’s really a huge treasure trove of information by doing CPR that you can unearth, and I’m mixing metaphors, but you know what I’m talking about, that you can not really use to start new conversations with people that you already know, or who you’re already connected to.
Brynne Tillman 5:34
Yeah, and just to piggyback on that LinkedIn statistics tell us, there’s a 20% turnover year-over-year. So if you’ve been on LinkedIn for five years, there’s been almost 100% turnover by now. You know, unless they’re business owners, of course, but if you’re selling into corp, companies and corporate, there’s a huge turnover in your connection. So take advantage of that. One of the things that I heard both of you talk about a couple of times, is starting conversations. And so a lot of people get stuck. And we’ll talk about this in future trainings, for sure. But let’s just talk about what kind of conversations do we want to have with our existing clients? And I’m gonna start with the five things. Let’s talk about them. More business. Right?
Bill McCormick 6:24
Show us the money.
Bob Woods 6:25
Brynne Tillman 6:26
Right. Internal introductions, how do we use LinkedIn, for internal introductions? Who wants to take that?
Bill McCormick 6:31
Yeah, so what you want to do is first you want to always make sure you’re socially surrounding your connections and your main contacts and a company like Brenda said, 20% turnover, you never know, if you’re one decision-makers, the only person you’re connected on LinkedIn and they leave, then you’re out of luck, right? So you want to make sure you’re connecting with other people within that company. So we not only want to go horizontal, we don’t only want to go wide in an organization, we want to go deep, and up also. So we want to make sure we’re connecting with that person’s boss, we want to make sure we’re connecting to other people on the team, we want to make sure we’re connected to that person’s subordinates because if they lead, they make it that person may get promoted. But then we also want introductions to other departments. Maybe you work mainly with marketing, ask for an introduction to people in HR, that’s a real secret of mine. I always connect with people in HR, because they have the pulse on the organization, when it comes to personnel. They know who it is, who’s going where, and what’s happening. So you always want more introductions, you want more to know more people, 6.8 decision-makers, in most B2B buying decisions, so you want to make sure you’re connected to those 6.8 people.
Brynne Tillman 8:53
So number three is an external introduction. So let’s just say we’ve got one real major champion inside of this client. Bob, how would we get external introductions from them using LinkedIn?
Bob Woods 8:02
External introductions would be going through their networks and seeing who that they know, in other companies who may be in a similar position, or heck, it could be any position that just depends on what comes in their results when you search for that. So at that point, you could be in contact with that person and say; “Hey, I noticed that you know, X, Y, and Z at ABC companies, I’m going to be talking to them in the next couple of weeks”. And then at this point, you could do one or two things, A: “Would you mind introducing me to them?”, or B: “Would you mind if I dropped your name during a conversation with them?”. So that makes the upcoming conversation you’re going to have with the people outside of this person’s organization much more warmer, and they’ll be much more receptive to having that conversation with you.
Brynne Tillman 8:53
Absolutely, and when we look at when Bill talked about the search, one of the 15 filters is connections of, so you’re already a first-degree connection, all you have to do is type in their name and choose it, and then that list will come up for you. So the first one was more business, the second one was internal extra introductions, third was external introductions. We also want recommendations and case studies, right? So on LinkedIn, if your client says, “Hey, you did a great job, start to build those recommendations”, and you’ll use those in lots of different ways to build your credibility. And the fifth one is vendor introductions. And this is, I think, something that’s totally under leveraged. But you know, who is your client working with? That is a non-competitor to you that you could probably build a relationship and then make warm introductions with the same processes as you searching a client’s connections. You can search a referral partner connection. So that’s how we look at clients when we identify prospects. That’s pretty easy, we kind of know what we want to do with prospects. But we want to start conversations, make sure you’re not starting that with a pitch, but what some warm things that you could do with the prospect to start a conversation.
Bill McCormick 10:13
So what you want to do is teach them, you want to bring education and you want to bring value, what we talked about is using vendor-agnostic insights. So that simply just means that it’s not, they’re not insights that are coming from your company, we don’t go and say: “Here at social sales, like, we believe bah, bah, bah, bah, bah”, now we’re bringing studies such as you know, corporate according to corporate visions, 74% of buyers go with the sales rep, who is the first to add value in insight, you know, did you know, that those kind of stats, those kind of educational things, you know, we say; “Stop telling people, how you help them and just simply help them”. That’s a big thing when you’re dealing with prospects, because what we want to make sure is, when we’re using content, you’re right, there’s the five things that we want it to resonate with our ideal buyers, that when they’re reading, they’re going; “okay, yeah, this is for me”, we want to create that pug tilt moment, right, we want to create that curiosity layer, ‘oh’, and then we want to teach them something new that gets them thinking differently about their problem that ends up getting this; “Hey, you know what I want to know more”. So those are the things we can do to spark conversations with prospects.
Brynne Tillman 11:27
And my very good friend, Donna, I love Donna send them insights that are relevant content to them. That’s a really good point, because sometimes as salespeople, we have this agenda, right? And we want to send them content that we care about, but it might not be content that they care about. So that’s really important. And it goes back to like some of our other trainings on social listening and–right? Really identifying what matters to them. So I think that’s absolutely huge. Right? So our number five is vendor introduction. So I know I skipped ahead. I do that often. Right? Our first one was more business, internal introductions, external introductions, recommendations, and case studies, and vendor introduction. So to pull that all together, those are the five things we want from our clients. Oh, we did that. And then prospects we wanted to prospect. Yeah, you know, I haven’t really the–
Bill McCormick 12:20
Here’s the question, how are we starting conversations with referral partners?
Brynne Tillman 12:25
Oh, good question. Yeah, full circle. Maybe I should take some notes with me for somebody. I love it. Alright. So we went through client we went through how do we engage our prospects, and then referral partners, the starting conversations with referral partners is pretty simple, especially if we’ve been given their name from our clients, right? When our clients give us their name, and we reach out, they’re almost always going to have the conversation with us because we share a client in common. But if you take inventory and you identify that there are referral partners or potential referral partners on your list, that you don’t necessarily have a client in common, starting a conversation with them about a couple of things. Number one, it could be industry trends, if you’re selling into the same industry, they could really care about that, that could matter to them. It could be actually saying; “Hey, I’m building a network of referral partners. I’d love to have a conversation and explore if we can help each other out”. They’re in a business development roles. Well, we’ll probably have that conversation. So now that we’re back on track, you know, the bottom line in all this and as we start to wrap this up, right, is that we’ve gotten an enormous amount of connections. If you’ve been on LinkedIn for a few years or more, that we’re ignoring we and we really need to take inventory, identify those, those clients, those prospects and those referral partners, and just start more sales conversations.
Bill McCormick 13:56
So thanks for watching everyone and listening. And don’t forget to join us for our next episode of Making Sales Social Live. We’ll see you next time.