Episode 235: Are You Making These Mistakes on LinkedIn
Are you guilty of committing these mistakes on LinkedIn? Do you connect and immediately pitch your product or service, or perhaps connect and forget about your connections altogether? If so, it’s time to hit pause and tune in to our latest episode!
Join our experts at Social Sales Link as they delve into the most prevalent LinkedIn mistakes sales professionals make on the platform. In the world of B2B sales, LinkedIn remains an invaluable tool, yet many sales pros continue to stumble on this platform. In this episode, we dissect these frequent LinkedIn missteps to help you harness the platform’s full potential effectively while steering clear of these pitfalls.
While we highlight these LinkedIn mistakes, we’ll also provide alternative strategies to ensure you achieve the desired results in your LinkedIn activities as a sales professional. Don’t miss this episode!
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings and welcome everyone, Including our B2B Sales and Marketing pros out there to Making Sales Social Live coming to you from Social Sales Link Virtual Studios. I’m Bob Woods of Social Sales Link. I’m joined by a fellow social selling trainer consultant. And this is just her only official LinkedIn Sales insider Brynne Tillman, How are you doing, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 00:24
I’m good. But I love that new title.
Bob Woods 00:29
I’d be all over that and shouting that one from the rooftops in the hilltops. Absolutely.
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! This is the recorded version of our weekly Making Sales Social Live Show.
Brynne Tillman 01:00
Love it. So what are we talking about today?
Bob Woods 01:02
Yeah, so we are talking about mistakes. LinkedIn remains a pivotal tool in the B2B Sales space, but many sales pros still commit critical mistakes when using it. That’s why we’re going to take a closer look at some of the frequent missteps that are made on LinkedIn so you can navigate it and use it effectively to maximize its potential. And, of course, steer clear of these common mistakes.
So we’re just gonna get right into this sucker. Number one, we’re going to talk a little bit about connections, strategies and the bad connection strategies. And the one that I’m mainly thinking of, there’s actually two that I like to talk about, but the main one is, connect and then pitch. It still happens all the time on LinkedIn. And spoiler alert, it’s bad.
Brynne Tillman 02:02
Yeah, you know what I’d love to hear. So we are live, you can’t do this if you’re listening and replay. But if you are live with us, put a V in comments, we’ve got lots of people here live lots and lots, putting me in comments, if you’ve been a victim of connected pitch, you know, Bob, almost every day, if not a few times a day, I am absolutely a victim of connected pitch. Now, the interesting thing is some people are kind enough to pitch even before I connect, so then I can delete them before I even have to deal with it. Right? Like, it’s so blatant.
So what is connect and pitch? Connect and pitch, literally, is you connect with someone, and you start the conversation with you know, we’ve helped lots of businesses, you’ve got all these views coming in here. We, you know, we’ve helped all of the, you know, businesses like you do this and do that and get this result and get that result. That is spam. When you start a conversation, an unsolicited conversation with someone about selling them or telling them how you’ve sold other people. It is spam. So what are some alternatives? Bob, you want to start?
Bob Woods 03:25
Yeah, so I mean, essentially, just start building value in, in the mind of the person who you’ve just connected with. And that could be as simple as just potentially. And I do mean, potentially here potentially offering a piece of content that you have that you think might fit them, but don’t just include a link or don’t attach it directly ask permission, if they want to see this that way, you’re because even though you would have good intentions, at that point.
It would still be seen by the other person as spam. So definitely give them the opportunity to say yes, I would like to see it because at that point, it’s permission-based. And you don’t have to worry about getting that spammy, scummy kind of feeling that again, in that particular case, you weren’t intending but it still comes across like that.
Brynne Tillman 04:20
So yeah, I think it’s really smart to like, get into the other person’s shoes if I receive this at this point in the relationship and by the way, you know from Hello, you’ve begun a relationship whether it’s a good one or a bad one is a whole other story, right? That if but we’ve been you know, we’ve started this right. So get in their shoes and say “If it were reversed, how would I receive this?” But you said something interesting, right? Like it: The right time asked permission based if they want content. There are other ways we could do this. Right?
So let’s say we engage with someone, and we look at the content they’ve engaged on. Now, not everyone is engaging. So this doesn’t work for everyone. But if you look and go, “Oh, my gosh, this person is engaging on Coleen Stanley content,” lots and lots of colleagues’ daily content, and I love colleagues’ daily content. So I engage. I like what they know and what they’ve liked. Now I can respond with “Hey, Bob, notice that we’re both big fans of colleagues, Stanley. You know, I’d love to connect. And if you’re open, I can share a podcast she was on. X, Y, and Z.” So now you connect. And we talk about that influencer, what we had in common.
We can’t, we need to be patient, right, we need to slow down our outreach to speed up our outcome. And we definitely need to be patient. But part of that is the small talk that matters to them. Not small talk, like tell me about your kids. And, you know, we’re that’s a relevant, but small talk that matters to them. And we know that through the influencers, they follow the comments, the content that they’re engaging with, it helps us to understand what matters to them. So now while we’re connecting, it’s around our show what we share in common, some people will use a group we have a group in common.
I don’t love that, because groups are not like where they need to be yet. Um, but finding real things in common. Even, you know, we both went to this school, I lived at McNulty Hall, where did you live? I don’t know, like little things that are very, very personal. I wouldn’t start with that. But that’s like, where did you go to the Providence campus or the Colorado campus? Right? Like, all of those, that was my school, Johnson and Wales just out there. And so, but at the end of the day, it’s really about engaging with them, not pitching them. And that was a long workaround. You said you had a number two, which I can guess but I’m gonna let you say.
Bob Woods 07:12
Yeah, no. So actually, I mean, this goes back to the connection strategies part. And that’s just plain old, just plain old cold calling, I mean, cold calling is like, connecting with a pitch in the connection, which, which we’ve alluded to already, as well as like, you know, in males and things like that. And I don’t want to get too much into males, because those do have a purpose. But yet, a lot of people just straight out, pitch in, in males.
And that’s why I don’t think that they’re very successful, because people want to build relationships. And what’s interesting is that, like LinkedIn, as a service is really getting dinged out there in public, I was at a totally non business kind of social event on Saturday, and when I said what I do. LinkedIn sales strategies and things like that, the only thing everybody talked about was getting pitched and getting all of these pitches and things like that on LinkedIn, people, this is really hurting.
And if we keep going down this path, LinkedIn is not going to be nearly as effective. That’s why people like us really need to get out there. And not only preach it, but use it effectively so that people do have a more positive opinion about LinkedIn, because otherwise it’s going to be this is why we can’t have nice things in this type of situation.
Brynne Tillman 08:35
Cold calling is good on LinkedIn. It is not it’s not good. So if I can, yeah, so I’m going to put that up here. I read it. So this is just joined. Cold calling is good, cold calling on LinkedIn as spam, period, end of story. We need to build rapport, we need to be valuable to them. We need in fact, if it’s so painful, that cold calling on LinkedIn has gotten to the point where people are leaving the site because they’re so tired of the cold call being cold on it is not effective.
It is not a numbers game. Cold calling on the phone is a different animal. I do not like it. So I do not teach it but there are people that do well. If you cold call on LinkedIn, you will get blocked and you will get shut down. People see your name, your face, your company, it kills your reputation. And it’s just a waste of time, even if you think it’s faster. When we slow down our outreach to build rapport, bring value we increase the vowel in the conversations.
Bob Woods 9:55
Yeah. So when you lead with a pitch, immediately, you’re putting someone either on the defensive, or they’re just going to, like, ignore you. And the thing is, that person could have been a really good prospect for you. But because of the approach that you took with them, you just shut them down completely. And they don’t want to have anything to do with you, even though they may very well have a huge need for whatever it is that you do if you start out the wrong way. None of that matters. And that’s why we hit on this stuff so much and so hard.
Brynne Tillman 10:29
What’s the next thing people are doing wrong?
Bob Woods 10:32
The polar opposite of what we just said, “Connect and forget.”
Brynne Tillman 10:34
That’s a big one.
Bob Woods 10:35
That’s a big one. So you connect with all these people. And notice how there was data there. That’s because nothing, you do nothing to forward the conversation in the right way. Of course, not pitching or whatever. In other words, but you connect with these people and you don’t follow up, you don’t follow up initially, don’t follow up within a month or two or six or whatever. And you have the potential for a good relationship, whether it’s going to be a customer base, whether it’s going to be networking-based, partner-based, or whatever. And you leave it hanging. And that is obviously not a good thing, either.
Brynne Tillman 11:26
Yeah, so to me, this is like you show up at that conference, trade show networking meeting, and you just collect business cards, and then you go back home, and you put a big rubber band around them and stick them in the corner of your desk. Yep. It does not help our business. Now, here’s the thing. We’re all guilty of this connected forget, we are. Yeah, what can we do? Well, there are two activities that I highly recommend. The first one is to export your connections. You can do that on the free LinkedIn, it’s in your settings.
If you have any questions around it, stick something in chat saying how do I export and Bob and I’ll come back and we’ll put a link to where you can actually go to export your connections, you’ll get them in an Excel spreadsheet there by date, so you can go back and see it was the very first connection you ever had, which is kind of fun. And who’s your newest, and then you do get and it’s enhanced now. So if you haven’t done this in a while, I recommend that you get first name, last name, title company, maybe an email, there’s a column for it, but they have to opt in for it.
But you do get their LinkedIn URL. So right from the spreadsheet, this is new, right from the spreadsheet, you can click on that and get to their profile. So if you’re not sure how you know them or where they are, it’s great. So I highly recommend that you export your connections. The other thing is even in the free LinkedIn, you can search for first-degree connections. So if you sell to CEOs, you can look at your first-degree CEOs, if you sell to CEOs, in financial services, you can filter, see your first-degree CEOs in financial services.
And you can quickly get a list of people that you can re-engage with now, I’m gonna go back to a lot of what you said, Bob, which is like we cannot connect and pitch we can’t reconnect in pitch, right? We can’t go back to these folks that we’re already connected to, and pitch. So what can we do to engage them? Do you want to start or should they keep going?
Bob Woods 13:33
Why don’t you go ahead and keep going?
Brynne Tillman 13:35
Okay, so the first thing I highly recommend is to put out a poll, specifically for CEOs and financial services, right. And you can reach out to each of them. And then at the bottom of the poll at the bottom of all your content that you personally post, there’s a little paper airplane that you can click on and send it to the inbox of these folks. And you can send up to 50 people blind copies at a time that says, as a CEO and financial services, I would truly appreciate your one-click vote. Once the poll closes, I’d be happy to share the insights I gleaned from you and your peers.
You could send that to 50 people at a time. They can come in, right there and by the way, it’s blind copied, once you send it to send separately, you will have 50 messages in your inbox because they all went separately. It’s fabulous. So you can re-engage with them. If they haven’t responded or whatever it is one on one. LinkedIn did an excellent job with us. So that’s the first thing. The second thing that I would recommend. And this is a little bit more of a Commit. Well, no, I’ll make it three. The second is to put out a post and just ask for their comments, their insights, their thoughts on the code on the post, very similar. And the other is something that we are highly recommending whether it’s your first degree or beyond.
Create an ebook, reach out to them to your high-level prospects, the people that you really want to build rapport and relationships with, and interview them. We do this for our podcasts, we are doing this for ebooks now. But ultimately we want to engage them based on what matters to them, which by the way, is them. That’s what matters to them. If they’re not actively searching for our products or services, our job is to detach from what the prospect is worth to us, and attach to what we are worth to the prospect. And sometimes that starts with amplifying their voice. The sale will come when the time is right.
Bob Woods 15:43
Absolutely, absolutely. So now let’s take up a number three on our hit list here is they would say “Link to your LinkedIn profile, But it’s a resume and not a resource.” So this is really important, especially, especially when you’re first trying to catch someone’s attention. Because no matter how they see it, first, they’re there, they’re going to see your banner, they’re going to see your photo, they’re also going to see your headline. So you got to have a banner, a banner, that’s a good banner, and not just that gray blob thing that’s there.
Because you don’t have a banner there, you have to have a photo that looks like you that looks like you recently as well. And number three, and this is the most important, you have to have a headline that tells who you are, how you help them, and the results that you bring. And how you do that. Essentially, if you have an account executive at Acme Widgets Corp, they are not going to know who you are and how you help.
And because you have account executive and just your you know, sales sounding title, that in and of itself is actually going to be a turnoff, because they’re gonna go “Oh, no, this is a salesperson who is who was reaching out to me, I don’t want to have anything to do with this.” So you really need to tune all of that stuff with what we call above the fold, which we did an episode on last week. But this is really important. So that it speaks to the people who you are trying to attract.
And then if you catch last week’s one, we talked much more about that as well as just the entire profile in general, but your gender, your profile has to be a resource, it has to be something that when people land on it, they learn about you and how you can help them not just about you how you help them, the products that you have that help them in terms that they could go, “Oh, my God, this person is actually an expert, maybe I should accept their connection requests, maybe I should reach out to them,” that type of thing.
Brynne Tillman 17:46
So I would love to add to that, because I think that’s great. A really good social selling profile profile for someone who’s in a business development role. Does this need the similar elements to social selling content? Because it is your landing page. So we need to make sure you mentioned this resonance. So we are headline, who do you help? How do you help them with the results that you bring? Easy, right? I look at this, this is who they help. But now initially, we need to earn the right to have the conversation.
So if we just talk about how we’re going to help how we’re going to help, let’s shift the mindset a little bit and start with instead of telling them how we’re going to help them actually help them simply bring them value, whether it’s in your featured section, or in your about section where you’re actually bringing insights. And I’m going to quickly go through the five elements that create a good social selling piece, whether it’s profile or content. And I may be jumping ahead on content, but I think it’s a good bridge.
The number one thing we have to do is resonate with the buyer, who we work with, so that they go, “Oh, they work with me.” If they don’t see that right away, they’re gone. They jump number two, we have to create curiosity. This is where they’re going to lean in and go, “Ooh, that’s interesting.” If we don’t create curiosity, they jump. Number three, we have to teach them something new. If we have a resume that just talks about all the things we’ve done for other people, but there’s nothing innovative in that there’s nothing exciting about that.
There’s nothing that they didn’t know before. They’re going to jump. Number four, what you just taught them needs to get them thinking differently about their current solution. They need to shift from the “Ooh, that’s interesting, too.” “Oh, I wonder how that would work in my company.” “I wonder how that would work with my team.” Right? And that’s when you get number five, which is you need to create a compelling moment. This means you need a call to action in your profile. If you’re exploring if you are challenged, here’s how you can book a call with me or here’s my phone number.
Here’s the next step. I have you on the edge of your seat, because I resonated, created curiosity, taught you something new, that got you thinking differently about your current situation. And now I need to tell you what to do next, which is, “Let’s chat.” So those five elements are critical to profile, the call to action, in content might be slightly different, it might be a call to action to engage my call to action earlier is if you were a victim of connected pitch, put a V and shaft right that was a call to action, I know who you are, you’ve shown up right? Create, but in profile, you’ve got to make sure that they know what to do next, once they’re on their edge of the seat excited. Okay, I’m done with my little rant.
Bob Woods 20:59
No worries, no worries at all. So the next one is going to be something that Brynne touched down on, we’re not probably not going to get into really specifics on this one. But in general, random acts of social media so you’re not on all the time, you’re maybe commenting every once in a while, or maybe you’re publishing content every once in a while you’re not a presence on LinkedIn. And if you are, you’re doing things very randomly without any kind of plan there.
So having a plan is essential, because of a couple of different things. One, it’s just for your exposure out there, which is always good. And you definitely want exposure on LinkedIn. Also, especially when it comes to posting and commenting. It also influences the LinkedIn algorithm. If you engage more, if you have more content that you’re publishing, not, you’re not publishing too much, so don’t go overboard and go the other way.
But you know, once a day is fine, a lot of people can’t do that a couple times a week would be fine, then just have some kind of plan in place for when you do this and make sure that you stick to it. Because LinkedIn is going to like it, and they’re going to promote your stuff more within the algorithm because of what you’re doing and your actions there.
Brynne Tillman 22:19
Yeah, you know, it’s an interesting read. So we actually got a comment on this to why jazz is our friend, socials, one of the hardest ruts to get out of it. So by the way, I don’t have this up here now, but I’m gonna put it up there is an ebook that we have called A Day in the Life of a social seller, it’s socialsaleslink.com/day, I’m gonna put it up, but it’s socialsaleslink.com/day. And it’s like kind of all the things that you can do in a day slash week to get out of that rut. But, you know, putting a time aside with exactly what to do really matters.
And you can’t boil the ocean, right? So we need to decide where we are going to spend our time now. Foundationally everyone needs step one, get your profile where it needs to be if you need help reaching out to Bob. But you need to get your profile positioned to be that subject matter expert, because that profile’s job is to help you convert from a lurker to an engagement or help you to convert to conversations really important. But then you have to decide: do I want to go down the content?
Do I have lots of clients and deep relationships? And I want to start down the referral path? Am I looking to get myself out there as a thought leader and build a following path? Am I looking, there’s so many different paths to go down? Do I want to leverage an influencer and their network to start conversations? So figuring out which path I’m gonna take will make you happy, because they all convert.
So find the one that’s fun that you enjoy doing, and create, like a little campaign for yourself. And if you don’t know how to do that, I’m gonna throw out all these links today. Once a month, we open up our coaching to the world. So go to socialsaleslink.com/events and we are happy to help you. It’s free once a month. But we’re happy to help you kind of craft that, That gameplan.
Bob Woods 24:47
Yeah, and by the way, our next VR guest session and this is just going to be for the live people because for the podcast people this will already be past but Thursday the 19th is our next so this Thursday is our next VR guests.
Brynne Tillman 25:00
Okay, and by the way, we have one a month. So socialsaleslink.com/events, whenever you’re listening, there’s another one coming.
Bob Woods 25:10
So that’s another one coming.
Brynne Tillman 25:13
So take people behind the scenes, give them the insights they can’t get from Googling and tell them how your expertise can help. seems so simple until you have to.
Bob Woods 25:25
Brynne Tillman 25:26
Serialize the content.
Bob Woods 25:27
So out among the posts, yeah.
Brynne Tillman 25:28
Yeah, so we have an amazing system. But what I would say is start capturing your genius on Zoom, and use your transcript, a little bit of Chat GPT, a little bit of Canva. And it’s amazing how far a five-minute rant on social, can create an enormous amount of content for you.
Bob Woods 25:52
And also along those lines, listen to yourself. And this, you know, whether you’re taking and turning around zoom recording, or you’re just recording yourself on your phone, or whatever. Listen to your conversations that you have with clients and don’t use the actual audio and things like that. But a lot of times you’ll say things and you’ll be like, “Oh, that would make a really good post,” and then you forget about it, capture it, and then use those posts too.
Brynne Tillman 26:20
You know, it’s interesting, when I’m walking my dog, or I’m out and about, even sometimes when I’m driving, I have a voice to text on my little notepad that, by the way, syncs to my computer. So if I have an idea or something, I just voice it. And then every time “I’m like, Hey, I’m looking for content, I’ll go back and look at some of the things that I talked about.”
Bob Woods 26:49
Nice, very nice, very nice. So we have one more, we’re going to crank through this one really, really quick. And that’s a big mistake a lot of people use, you have a connection base, you have first degree connections. If you’re not using those connections for referrals, what are you doing on LinkedIn?
Brynne Tillman 27:11
So connect? Yeah, so that’s another connected forget issue. Right?
Bob Woods 27:14
Yes, yeah, definitely. But yeah.
Brynne Tillman 27:18
Yeah. So how do we revive those relationships, we kind of talked a little bit about it with, you know, putting out posts and putting out. But we definitely want to nurture and some of the people we want to nurture may not necessarily be people that we want to have conversations with. So there are other ways that we can nurture them. And sometimes they’re just valuable people in my network, the Chamber of Commerce or someone that may have given you a, you know, lead years ago, or someone you just haven’t talked to in a while.
The best thing you could do is, go on your mobile, “Click on their profile,” “Click message,” and send them a personal video that just says you’ve been thinking about them came up, wondered how they’re doing in that personal video to someone that you connected with a long time ago, that you’ve been ignoring.
It’s a great way to just nurture them and give good vibes. Exactly, exactly. You know, just to piggyback on what you said, you know, in my network, if you go down to the mind Network tab, there’s celebrations now, and you can hop in there and see who has birthdays, who’s been promoted. These are other opportunities to nurture your connections.
Bob Woods 28:45
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Especially because there’s only first-degree connections that go into that. So yeah, that’s great, it’s a great way to do that. So we’re gonna wrap up on that one. Thank you again for joining us on Making Sales Social Live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, or x, formerly known as Twitter right now, we do this every week, so keep an eye out for our live sessions.
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Brynne Tillman 29:31
Bob Woods 29:32
Thanks everyone. Bye bye.
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