Episode 30: Slow Down Your LinkedIn Outreach to Speed Up Your Sales Outcome
Listen as the Social Sales Link team talks about why it’s important to slow down your outreach so you can speed up your desired outcome.
Join our hosts as they discuss how you can achieve this by building relationships with your prospects and bringing them value instead of pitching way too soon.
Bill McCormick 0:01
Welcome to another episode of Making Sales Social Live, where today we’re going to talk about slowing down your outreach to speed up your outcome.
Brynne Tillman 0:11
And this is something that I think we honed for a good few weeks, right? We really tried to come up with that quick saying that brings it all together. And so slowing down your outreach, to speed up, your outcome really comes from the heart of social selling, which is it’s about building relationships being a value bringing resources, the sales will come when the time is right,
(BIll) exactly. The bottom line is, as sales people, we’ve got this agenda, right, which is to talk with more leads to have more sales conversations with those, of course is the goal. But we tend to pitch way too soon, we tend to connect and pitch as a bait and switch, right, we talk about that all the time. But we tend to have our own agenda. And we approach it from a perspective of I can’t wait to tell you all the great things I can do for you, versus actually bringing value. So let’s kind of talk about what that means from a social selling perspective.
Bill McCormick 1:27
Well, I think first and foremost, we have to realize that there’s no easy button, there’s no shortcut. And that’s what people are looking for, they’re looking for this plug-and-play option, where they can send out massive amounts of outreach on social and then people will come back and their inbox will be filled, whether it’s on LinkedIn, or their email inbox, or their phone will ring off the hook. And all these people will want what they have. And when that doesn’t happen, then they try to make it happen themselves. They try to know I’m just gonna then reach out to Bob, even though I don’t know him. And can that work? Yes, maybe once in a while. But really, the truth is, as we say, if we slow it down, rather than sending out something to 1000s of people, if we make our target smaller, right, the movie, The Patriot, he tells his sons, remember this, “aim small, miss small”, if you’re in for a really small spot on a target, and you miss by a couple of inches, you’re still within a good range of what you hit. And so when we make our target smaller, when we’re looking at less people to have a conversation with, we end up not alienating so many people. I think that’s one of my big takeaways in slowing down. So that we reach more people is that, you know, when we do mass outreach to 1000s of people, we end up alienating hundreds of people. And so if we reach out to 10 people, we really don’t end up alienating anyone if we do it in the right way. Because we’re going slow. We’re taking our time, we’re not pitching right away. We’re doing discovery with them as we grow the relationship. And so we know the time is right to say, hey, “Bob, let’s get on a call and talk about that”. Or “hey, Bob, I’ve got a link to a great article that addresses your prospecting issues”. Let me know if you want it and I’ll send it to you. At no point does Bob feel pressure, Bob, I’m giving Bob an out. And so that’s one of the tactics in slowing down to speed up.
Bob Woods 3:28
Exactly, and the one thing that happens, I think that when you do that speed up thing is a negative from what everything that Bill just said, plus it makes you look desperate, it makes you look like, from what a good friend of ours Larry Levine calls: “Commission Breath”. And when you do it like that everybody who receives this communication knows that you’re looking for one thing and one thing only, the sale. And that’s it, and as social sellers, we can’t do that, we teach that all the time. It’s really about slowing down the outreach to speed up the outcome.
Brynne Tillman 4:05
Yeah, you know, I love what you guys are saying. So let’s talk about this tactically, we connect with someone new. And we know I want a sales conversation there, an ideal lead, or an ideal prospect. So I want to say; “Hey, let’s jump on a call, so I can tell you about my products and services”. But we haven’t earned the right to get that conversation, right? And so the sum of slowing it down is taking the time to earn the right to get that conversation, right. So how do we do that? I’m going to just give an example. Bill shares this great piece of content, that around an amazing topic and he’s got all these people that are engaging on this, right? So I may say, Hey, there are three or four people engaging on Bill’s share that I want to have a conversation with. But I’m not going to connect and pitch. So how do I start a conversation in a way that’s meaningful to them? Well, from social listening, misis at its easiest level. I know they like Bill’s stuff. So now maybe, I’ll start a conversation around that topic. And when I reach out to them, I say, “Hey, I see we both like Bill McCormick stuff. Did you hear him on the sales reinvented podcast, it was amazing. He had this insight and that insight, if you’re interested, let me know I’ll send you a link”. But not about me, about a topic clearly they care about, because they’re engaging already on Bill’s stuff. We just interviewed, it was absolutely amazing, Bob Berg, right. And he–you know, he’s the co-author of the “Go Giver”, and the “Endless Referrals”, and “Just Absolutely Magic”. And he talked about, really good sales people move from being me-centric, to other-centric, and that is what we have to do. In order to slow it down. If we come in as me-centric, we’re going in for the kill, right? We’re going in way too quickly and we don’t earn the right.
Bill McCormick 6:09
And I think it’s important to say you know, you’ve said it, when we’re first connecting, we find someone like oh, this is it, this is my ICP or my IVP, whatever, whatever you want to call it, your ideal client, your ideal prospect, slowing it down doesn’t mean you just hit that connect button right away, we need to do some do some research and some due diligence. And you know what, you may find out that they’re not congruent with you, that maybe while it looks like it’s a good deal, it may not be a good deal. And I love it. You know, Patrick commented in the chat, he said patience, patience, patience. And that’s true. But here’s one of the big problems for selling. I’ve been there, salesperson and your pipeline is like drying up. And so because I don’t have a lot of prospects in my pipeline, I get desperate to Bob’s point before. And so we just start hammering this out. Also, if you’re a sales leader, or sales manager, you know, what kind of pressure you’re putting on your people? Or, you know, what are their KPIs, or their KPIs or key performance activities that they have to do each day? And where does this fall into their? How much are you pressuring them, that they’re reaching out indiscriminately to people by slowing down, it’s we’re talking about having better quality conversations. And that’s really where it starts. We’re not talking about having a sales call, as Brynne said, we’ve got to earn the right to get there. And the way that we earn the right is just by having a conversation. So many salespeople, individual small business owners, entrepreneurs, they don’t know how to have a conversation that doesn’t say, for Brynne, we help companies just like you, they just don’t know how to do it, because they’ve been taught their whole lives or their whole careers, to lead with their solution, rather than leading to their solution. I think that’s a big key is leading to your solution to get the more raised hands and get somebody to say, Hey, you know what, I want to know more. And then that’s a whole different conversation. But let’s talk about some ways that we can lead to our solution rather than leading with our solution.
Brynne Tillman 8:21
Yeah, I mean, I’ve got a bajillion that go through my head. Right. But I think what you said is so absolutely critical, and salespeople have been taught to lead with, to lead with: “Let me tell you how I can help you”. And I think the key to lead to is shifting your mind and shifting your, your behaviors from the, here’s how I can help you, to actually helping you. Right. And I think that’s the shift. We know you had said, Bill, you know, so many people start with, I help companies just like yours, instead of telling them that actually start by helping them by letting them test drive a little bit.
Bill McCormick 9:06
Because when you say I help companies just like yours, so if you’re saying that to me, I’m thinking, “Oh, so I’m just another number. I think of the Bob Seger song I feel like a number”, then you’re just another prospect in the pipeline, you’re just another name in their CRM, you’re just another dollar amount on your goal for the for the month, by actually just helping them you’re actually going to differentiate yourself from everyone else out there that’s starting and launching into their pitch and telling everyone “you know what, were the top five in this and we have the best-rated customer service and not”, that’s great, but you know what, that’s what everybody says, everybody says that. And so if everybody says it, it actually makes it mean nothing. It can be totally true. It can be absolutely 100% true, but If everyone says it, it automatically lessons that, whatever that is you’re talking, whether it’s features and benefits of your product, or it’s your great customer service line, or it’s the fact that you have operator based customer service in the United States that answer the phone 24 hours a day, and seven days a week, that does, those are all great things. But if everybody’s doing it, and if everybody’s saying it, it just doesn’t mean as much. And so the first thing is by leading to your solution, you’re going to differentiate yourself and separate yourself from people because they’re, they’re going to get on eventually having a conversation with you and say, “Wow, Brynne Tillman didn’t try to sell me anything. Sell me any training. In fact, I got off the phone with her. And I knew all these things I could do on LinkedIn, to make my profile better. She showed me how to do it. And she didn’t ask anything”.
Brynne Tillman 10:55
Well, so I want to be clear, though, we do ask in every stage, we asked permission to take it to the next stage. So I don’t want–I don’t ever hang up the phone without some kind of ask. But I’ve earned the right. So really, I just want to make it very clear that in that conversation, I learned something new about them, I learned about them, I help them I bring value, and then I bridge it, if there’s an op-if I can help them, right? So if I’ve identified that I can help them solve their problem. There’s a bridge right? So I’ve earned the right to ask permission to share how I’ve been able to help people with a similar situation that is tailored to exactly what I just heard, not a blanket statement that we help people like you. But we help people with the challenge you just told me that you have even though I gave you some things that you can go do now, if you’re interested, I’d love to share with you how we’ve been able to help people with this challenge, solve that challenge. And it goes from this one to mass to one-to-one, where I listened, I heard what they said, I you know, really brought extreme value to the conversation that’s leading to my solution. But I never get off without asking permission to share how I can help them if in fact I can.
Bill McCormick 12:35
Just to redeem myself a little bit, what I am really, where I was going was, when that happens., and that happens seamlessly. The person on the other side of the phone doesn’t feel like they were on a sales call. They come away going, “Wow, I got so much more out of that. And yeah, we’re going to talk next week about more steps”. But I want to talk more, you know about more steps because we need this because we want it and it doesn’t feel like you don’t feel achy, you know, sometimes you get off a zoom call with a salesperson, you’re like, “Oh my god, it was 10 minutes, and it felt like 45 and I feel like I need to go take a shower”. You know, that’s kind of what I was going for and we put the comment up there Orly, our friend Orly said offering someone a solution to a real problem without expecting a sale is how you show up.
Yes, and you earn the right. So there’s social proof and a lot of this, right? So it’s one-on-one. Proof, it’s social proof. So how do we you add value across the board, so leading to your solution can be one on one, but it can also be one to many, we can share content on our news feed, we can share content in a group, we can share content to a larger audience, to attract specific people to convert lurkers to engagers. And when we can do that, we get that’s like the first step to converting to a conversation, right? And that’s to-leading-to, right, it’s like a little path. So maybe they engage the first time and then what do we do now if you liked this now we take it into the inbox: “Oh, you know, if you liked this, I have additional insights. I’d love to share your own acts, let me know if you’re interested. I’m happy to share it”. And that’s a conversation, it’s back and forth. So we listen to the customers problems first, then we provide them with value using our service. It sells itself there is some real validity to this and I actually think there’s a piece in between. Before we share value of using our service, we actually share value. We learn their-what are their challenges, and when we’re sharing one too many. It’s you know, challenges that we know many people that we serve have, but if we-you can actually give them value whether or not they decide to work with us. more of them decide to work with us, right? And that’s where I believe slowing down our outreach, to speed up the outcome really makes sense. I can’t tell you how many people say I don’t understand. I have so much value to bring, but they won’t get on a call with me. You haven’t earned the right yet, you probably lead too quickly with your solution.
Bill McCormick 15:29
I think you bring up a good point, I want to go back to the study we did about a year ago, because you said you didn’t just, you didn’t talk about just sending them content, right? Because that’s what we used to do. We, you know, follow up with a welcome message, say, “Hey, not sure if you’re exploring LinkedIn or social selling training. But if you are, here’s a great list of resources. Here’s a great link to some of our resources”. And another social sales trainer said you’re pitching.
Brynne Tillman 15:52
Yeah, let’s call him out. Andy Foot said you’re spamming.
Bill McCormick 15:57
He challenged us. You’re spamming. We’re like, No, we’re not. Of course, we got offended right away, not offended, but we got like–
Brynne Tillman 16:03
We’re not offended, right.
Bill McCormick 16:07
We’re like, we’re gonna prove him wrong. Right? Oh, so we send 100 messages like that. That said, you know, here’s the link right there. And 19 people open them up. 90% response rate is not really bad. (Brynne) Right. You know, it’s like, (Brynne) we’re right. Yeah, people click in it, (Bill) but then we change this like, “Hey, Brynne, thanks for connecting with me here on LinkedIn. If you’re not sure if you’re exploring social selling, or LinkedIn sit sales strategies. But if you are, please let me know. I’d love to send you a link to some resources and get me”. Let me see if I can get it right here. So 68 out of 109 69 out of 100 said yes. Send me the link. Yeah, 58 of those clicks, opened it, clicked through and looked at it. (Brynne) Crazy. Just like four times or something like that. I know, I’m not good at math. That’s why I do this, but so right. That’s the way to slow it down. You’re putting in an extra step. But you’re giving them, I’m giving Bob an opt out. So Bob can look at that and say no, I don’t really care about that and go on with his day. Here’s the thing. I didn’t offend Bob. I didn’t just send them something they didn’t want. I thought of him. Right. I was being thoughtful. And so later on, maybe Bob goes back and he has the need. Wait, I remember that bill McCormick guy. Hey, Bill. Now I’d like to see it. (Brynne) And it happens all the time. (Bill) Exactly. You know, most of our yeses, are yeses over a long period of time or a longer period of time, or they’re just yeses. Yes, we’re ready. Let’s go. But it’s never I don’t ever really considered a No. Because eventually, they come around and go, yeah, you know what, we’re ready. We’re ready for that now. And that’s what the slowing down can do. And speeding up. Because you’re putting in an extra step, you’re putting in a little bit of extra effort, and care and concern for the other person. But it’s giving them the option and people love to have options.
Brynne Tillman 18:08
I feel like they have control of their inbox, we haven’t spammed them, and there’s FOMO. If you send the link, they have the link, they don’t have to click through, they have it if they ever want it. But there’s fear of missing out. If they don’t have the link, they better ask for it.
Bill McCormick 18:25
And that’s and that’s so huge, so huge.
Brynne Tillman 18:28
I think this was a wonderful episode, for many reasons. But I think the biggest takeaway that we want everyone to get really is, it’s not about what you want to get out of the interaction. It’s what you want to give in the interaction that will attract your buyers to you.
Bill McCormick 18:52
Fantastic. Well, hey, thanks for watching and listening to another episode of Making Sales Social Live, and we will see you next time. Bye-Bye, everyone.