Episode 59: Digital Sales Automation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
In this episode, the Social Sales Link team will talk about the pros and cons of digital sales automation. Learn more about the “when, why, and how” of using automation in your sales processes.
So tune in and discover why you should hyper-personalize your conversation and what to steer clear of to avoid your LinkedIn Profile from getting shut down.
Bill McCormick 00:00
Welcome everyone to another episode of Making Sales Social Live! Where today we’re gonna talk about one of my favorite topics to talk about, “Digital Sales Automation,” Key to Clint Eastwood music, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
Bob Woods 00:19
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 Bill McCormick, Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods every week. Making Sales Social Live!
Bill McCormick 00:38
So automation… On my headline, it says, authenticity over automation. So a lot of people think I’m totally anti-all automation, but I’m really not because there’s all different types of automation. And what I always say is, we’re for automation to present information. We’re against automation that tries to establish or build or develop relationships. And you know, so some of the good automation, you know, like an email client, we use that regularly, we have a newsletter that goes out to I don’t know, like 80,000 email addresses. Bob, Brynne, and I would be still here trying to send the first one if we were doing it all manually, right? Just couldn’t do that. So we have software that does that for us. But we’re not trying to build so much a relationship with people, we’re just conveying information. So that’s some of the good, another one Brynne, talk about magical Text Expander, one of my favorites.
Brynne Tillman 01:40
So I love this getmagical.com, it’s a chrome Text Expander. And if you reach out to us, we actually have a special link that can give you all of our templates in one place. But what it does is it’s a shortcode, right. So I have a welcome message that I send to people, when they ask me to connect, and I don’t know who they are, and if I accept them, I have a welcome message, I have a reply. If I’m not sure I want to accept them. It doesn’t make sense for me to rewrite that every single time it’s not efficient. But this free resource, getmagical.com is an incredible tool that can help your productivity time and, it really is amazing from just quickly retrieving any messages that you’ve saved. They are shortcodes so for example if my welcome message is an exclamation point W and it spits out my entire welcome message to someone. A lot of them are tailor. So although they are templated, a lot of them are tailored. Even simply with their own name, or in some of our templates, it has topic in all caps, right. So we would switch those out but it still saves us an enormous amount of time. If you have resources, links that you go back to over and over and over again, it’s great to save them and get magical. So I highly, highly recommend it. There are a lot of tools like it out there, this one is free And it’s absolutely phenomenal so I love that automation guys. Now not recognize I have to manually put in the code, or there’s a slash that gives you a menu of all of them, I have to manually do that every single time, there is no bot that’s opening up a profile, opening up a message and adding that and sending it because all of a sudden, first of all,and Bob’s gonna talk about LinkedIn rules and their user agreement in a minute. But not only is that breaking the rules that we’re gonna go through, but it’s also like it’s sort of starting our relationship off with a lie. You know that that’s the piece that I want to round out before. We have some chats coming in too before we go, Bob really studies the user agreement and knows it inside and out. So we’re gonna have him talk about that in just a minute. But here I read it. I read it a few times ( Bob: I read it. Nothing too complicated) But he actually read the one that we’re going to refer to today, which is exciting. But I digress. Coming back to you. You cannot start a relationship off with automation. It’s a lie. It ain’t no, it’s like being catfished if you’re dating, right, like it’s really wrong. And we look at LinkedIn as this relationship-building tool. And it’s critical that we respect it from that perspective, no fuss about email automation, I talked about get magical, which is template automation. There’s also Calendly, which is calendar automation, so there’s a ton of things that we use. But why do we never use actual “bot-like-automation” on LinkedIn? Bob Woods, it’s all yours.
Bob Woods 05:10
Yes, so number one, and this isn’t a User Agreement, this is just a phrase that I coined, and I totally dropped. And I have no idea why I dropped it because it speaks to what Brynne says basically. My phrase always was, if you start out as a bot, you’re a bot, to the people who you’re trying to reach out to. I mean, it’s just people know, immediately, when something comes, especially when something comes to them immediately after they reply, or after they accept the connection, or whatever, that they are talking to a bot, they’re not talking to a person. I mean, there’s just no way around it. It’s a lousy way to start a relationship. So in the LinkedIn user agreement, section 8.2.13. It specifically says, and that’s in the “Don’ts Section” So it says “Don’ts”, you will agree that you will not. You scroll down to the number 13 and it says, “Use bots or other automated methods to access the services meaning LinkedIn, add or download contacts, send or redirect messages.” So that doesn’t refer to like, magical, for example, which is essentially a Text Expander. That’s fine. But when you’re actually using bot, an automated mentality to start these relationships again and keep them going through pre-programmed messages that a third-party application is using. That’s wrong, it can get you shut down. We’ve been hearing all types of cases lately where it is getting people shut down. So that’s just absolutely bad to do, the only way that you can get out of it is to cancel your LinkedIn account. Because that’s it.
Brynne Tillman 07:04
Yeah. Well, and you can’t even login to cancel it.
Bob Woods 07:07
Right. Yeah, exactly. If you’re busted,
Bill McCormick 07:11
And so read 8.2.2 also, because that’s when a lot of people are using Chrome extensions.
Bob Woods 07:17
Right! Yeah. So 8.2.2 says, you agree that you will not…wish we can reverb it to even, “not not not not not not not not” developed support or use software, devices, scripts, robots or any other means or processes, including crawlers by browser plugin, blah, blah, blah, just scrape the services or otherwise copy profiles and other data from LinkedIn. That one is huge. That one is such a catch all. I think that they did the bots, one specifically to address the whole bot phenomenon that LinkedIn is so unfortunately caught in now. But yeah, just you know, don’t do it. You’re not allowed to do it and we will likely get busted.
Bill McCormick 08:05
Brynne Tillman 11:12
Yeah, so I love that I want to just complete one thought around the developers and then I’m going to get back to that. The one-piece about the developers, they can get approved for access to LinkedIn’s API. So they will tell you they’re approved for API, that does not mean their technology has been approved. So I just kind of wanted, because you’re gonna talk to lots of companies, as Bill said, that is going to tell you that they’re approved. And I just want to reiterate, they can share a letter that says that they have the API access, that doesn’t mean that they’re approved from a compliance perspective as a user. Okay. So the question that you asked is, why should we slow down our outreach because it speeds up our outcome. When you send out 100 messages, first of all, LinkedIn will very probably shut you down even for 24 hours. It says that you have unusually high engagement or activity on LinkedIn, which is how LinkedIn is trying to come back. That makes me worried that the wrong people are getting shut down, but they are. So let’s just have to work with what we’ve got. So from that perspective, we have to slow it down. But if you send out a mass message to 100 people, whether it’s email, which we do, by the way, we send out a newsletter once a week to 80,000 people, and maybe 15,000 will open it, right. So there’s… maybe, probably less than that. So there are a ton of people that are not engaging. Now, we have built a reputation with a lot of these folks. So they’re not unsubscribing, they’re just not interested right now. That’s fine to get that mass message out and they know there’s no hiding it. They know this is a newsletter that went out to a lot of people, we’re not tricking them, right? If we send out on LinkedIn, one on one messages, and we are either automating that, or it’s just a blank template that’s going out, boom, boom, boom, like a cold call. They know it, they feel it. And if they don’t, when they respond, you’re gonna miss some of that because you’re in such a volume. There’s nothing more frustrating when someone reaches out to me. And I almost think it was personal. And then I respond, and they have this automated response that was totally detached from what I said. It’s frustrating. So you know, we need to slow down, why 10, five, three, whatever your number is, because you want to hyper personalize that let them know it’s about them. One of the ways you could do that is through a video message on mobile, you can’t fake that, right? There’s no way to fake that. But you know, we are so adamant that this is a relationship development tool, that this is about showing up as a resource, becoming a thought leader in your space in a way that you’re bringing value. So you can build rapport and trust and understanding that the sale will come when the time is right. Cold calling on LinkedIn, whether it’s automated, or just manually automated, right? It just doesn’t work.
Bob Woods 14:36
Yeah, absolutely. You can’t build trust with a bot. I mean, how many times do we go on a website and you know, it’s a bot and you’re trying to get through the customer service and you’re just you know, except for me, I don’t have much hair but you’re trying, but you’re pulling out your hair because the message just isn’t getting through. It’s the same type of thing. Why start a relationship on such a fake, fake Promise?
Brynne Tillman 15:01
Yeah. Dean has a question, which is how do you feel about the new creator mode newsletter on LinkedIn? So I find by the way, first of all creator mode, if you are creating content, there’s some really good stuff with creator mode. There’s some bad stuff like you go into follow and your connection button goes away. And it confuses people. There are a few not-so-great things, but I love newsletters if you’re using them in a way, again, that’s something that people know is mass, there’s no, we’re not trying to fool them. That’s the key. It’s about being authentic. We’re not trying to trick them into thinking that we’re individually reaching out when we’re not. That, to me, is the biggest deal. I like newsletters right now. We’re doing LinkedIn Live, which you get with creator mode. Obviously, we like that.
Bill McCormick 15:52
And you know, we go back to how I opened it, you know, when you’re wondering, “Jeez, should I use? How should I use automation?” I think you have to. In today’s day and age, there has to be a level of automation in your sales process, in your marketing process. But ask, Am I trying to build a relationship with this automation? Or am I just trying to convey information? And you know, as Brynne famously says, all the time, “You’d never send a robot to a networking event.” Right? You wouldn’t unless you sell robots, but then I think you’d want to be there too, to make sure the robot didn’t you know, like hit anybody or something or be the evil robot.
Brynne Tillman 16:32
Or call them the wrong name or miss-spell.
Bill McCormick 16:34
And that’s what happens with this automation. Things can go wrong about once a month, I get either an email or a connection request on LinkedIn wanting to sell me pest control services, because 25 years ago, 25 years ago, I was in the pest control industry, and it’s still on my LinkedIn profile and so I’ll kind of joke and kind of just reach out and just say, “Where did you get that information?” And it’s because their automation has to be tweaked. And it’s not quite right. So Dean says, “The idea that they signed up to follow you, as opposed to opting-in to get an inbox newsletter from you, asking for a friend.” So when someone follows you, I’m sorry. So when you create the newsletter, and you send that, they have to accept that invite, right? So I don’t know about you, I’m getting about 5 to 10 a day of people inviting me to follow their newsletter. And when you do, you’ll get a notification and an email every time they create a new newsletter. So I hope that that answers your question.
Brynne Tillman 17:41
There’s a difference when they follow you. So when they follow you, all that means is that your content might appear on their newsfeed.
Bill McCormick 17:48
Did you hear her say, “might?” And so here’s the thing, if you’re trying to develop and build a network of connections, you don’t want to have creator mode on, right, because it automatically changes your default button from connect to follow. And listen, the average LinkedIn user doesn’t understand the difference between follow and connect. And the average LinkedIn user doesn’t understand how to connect with you if your button is “Follow.” And so quickly how you do it, you go to the “More” button and click the drop-down, and you’ll see a “Connect” there, and you click “Connect,” and you always want to send a message telling them why you connected. So yeah. Creator Mode is a great idea and… (Brynne: I love this creator mode) and for you. You have a large amount of followers and a large amount of connections but for those that are trying to develop and build your network, it doesn’t make sense really to have it on.
Brynne Tillman 18:47
Unless you want to use LinkedIn live and newsletters and then it does. So it’s really about kind of, doing pros and cons. And if you do decide that you want “Creator Mode” because you want LinkedIn live and you didn’t have it otherwise, on that daily or every other day, go look at your followers and decide who might you want to connect with so you can reach out to them. Thanks so much for following me. I looked at your profile, and I’d love to add you as a connection. PS. May I ask how you found me?
Bill McCormick 19:17
Great! So parting words on automation. “The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly,” Bob
Bob Woods 19:22
Don’t do it unless it’s something that we told you specifically to do, basically, and it’s specifically with like, magical and Calendly and those types of tools, essentially because otherwise you’re starting off the relationship in quite possibly the most inauthentic way possible.
Bill McCormick 19:41
Yep, Brynne, final thoughts?
Brynne Tillman 19:43
And don’t start your relationship off with a lie. Do not use automation on LinkedIn. Use it smartly, though use automation, where automation and where it’s clear with your intent. That’s the goal. Don’t use it in a way that you’re trying to fake people out to think that you are actually taking the time to look at their profile and invest in a relationship when you’re not.
Bill McCormick 20:10
Yeah, and I totally agree, as I say authenticity over automation in everything that you do. Just think of it and think of it from the point of view of would I want to receive a message like this? But also would they want to receive a message like that? So, yeah, so the next item Thomas said, adding the creative mode will be LinkedIn audio like clubhouse, it’s something they’re, rolling out beta users.
Brynne Tillman 20:38
So Beth Granger is a friend of ours and she actually is one of the beta testers and I co-hosted a room with her. And there’s good, bad and ugly in that too, but once they get it right, it will be awesome.
Bill McCormick 20:53
Great. alright. Well, hey, listen, everyone. Thank you so much for attending another episode LIVE and for those watching on replay of Making Sales Social Live and we will see you next time. Have a great rest of your day! Bye bye.
Bob Woods 21:05
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