Episode 67: LinkedIn and Centers of Influence
Join Brynne and Bob as they talk about searching for centers of influence on LinkedIn whom you can form collaborative relationships with and using them to expand your network and build sales connections.
Tune in to discover how you can identify networking partners, thought leaders and allies that you could potentially establish mutual referrals with.
Bob Woods 00:00
Hey everyone, and welcome to Making Sales Social Live! I’m Bob Woods and along with Brynne Tillman. Brynne, how are you doing today?
Brynne Tillman 00:08
I’m good Bob excited to be here with you, the home office. So, anyone that’s watching visually, not just on the podcast, it’s my new home office, this is not a background, it’s a real place.
Bob Woods 00:21
It looks really, really nice. And hopefully, we got some people who can see that and we’re just we’re gonna go pile on here with LinkedIn and centers of influence.
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!
Bob Woods 00:53
Most of the time, we’re just talking about prospecting, prospecting, prospecting. And obviously, that’s important but there’s a lot more that we as salespeople and sales professionals, and marketing and everything else that we can do with LinkedIn, that doesn’t necessarily have to do directly with sales. And one of those is finding those centers of influence, and then utilizing them in a cooperative way. So we’re helping them as much as they’re helping us. And that’s ideally what you want to do with it so that you know the proverbial all ships rise in a tide. And that’s what we’re always about as well. So the first way we’re going to talk about is Finding Networking Partners. So these are more than likely people you already have in your network. And hopefully, you know them or at least recognize their names and let’s talk about the process of exactly how to do that, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 01:52
Yeah, no, I love this. So you know we have a lot of networking partners and centers of influence that are in our network that we’ve been ignoring, right. And I think the first thing we have to do is to figure out who else is our client buying from, that is not a competitor. So that’s the first thing we want to do. So if you’re a financial advisor, it might be a CPA and so if you’ve identified who these great referral partners are, people that are selling into your prospect, we need to identify them. So there are two ways that we recommend you identifying, who’s already in your network. And then I’m going to talk about one of my favorite ways, which is how to add new ones to your network at a high level of credibility. So the first one is, who are we connected to that we’re ignoring? So, export your connections. You have the ability to export your connections into an excel spreadsheet and then you can search by title. So in an Excel spreadsheet, you can search all CPAs, or even organize and filter all CPAs and they’ll all come up at the top. And so you can then take inventory. The other way is to do a search on LinkedIn by, if you click on the search bar, hit enter, all filters, in title, their CPA, and you could do 1st-degree connections. So you could identify those CPAs. That’s how we find those centers of influence that are already in our network. The other one, which I think is really important, because a lot of people say you know, “I just don’t have that many in my network.” So go to your clients and say, “Hey, Mr. Client, I’m, you know, looking to meet really credible CPAs in the area. You know, there are opportunities for me to refer CPAs into other folks as I’m out and about and I’m wondering, do you like your CPA?” They go, “I love her. She’s amazing. I love my CPA.” “That’s great. Would you be open to me reaching out introducing myself, and we can start to build rapport?” Now why I love this, Bob is because what happens is number one, that CPA is going to take your call you share a client, there is no way they’re going to ghost you because that’s gonna come back to them, number one. Number two, you can feel good referring them because they already came in at this really high level of credibility from your clients, if you refer them to someone else. You say my client works with her, and she loves her. Great. Yeah. And number three, they’re comfortable referring you for the same reason. (Bob: Exactly!) That’s right. What do you say if they go, “You know what, I’m really not a big fan of my CPA.”
Bob Woods 04:42
Then, you know, hopefully, you’ll have a couple of those other general categories in front of you that you can go through so again, with like a financial professional CPA would be a good one. Another potential one would be let’s say, for example, a realtor or a real estate agent, that’s, that’s another one. And then you can just keep going down that list, I wouldn’t make it any more than like three or five, because you don’t want to make it sound like you’re pumping someone for information. But, you know, hopefully, within one of those categories, you will find someone who your client can recommend at that point plus, the other reason why I really like this actually steps away just a little bit from the original intended purpose. It gives you another potential touchpoint with the client. And also it tells the client that you as a salesperson person think that you are that they are important to you and that you trust their opinions on things as well.
Brynne Tillman 05:44
So that’s interesting. That’s an interesting way. So I love that. I have a different approach when Sean says to me, and I like that when I’m not a big fan of my CPA. At that point, I will actually say, “Oh, you know, I’m sorry to hear that, you know, I happen to be connected to a few other CPAs that my other clients have referred. I am really happy to introduce you if you’re open.” And so now you have an opportunity to bring value to the other CPAs that you’ve been networking with.
Bob Woods 06:16
You can work all that together too absolutely so yes. (Brynne: Fabulous! I love it.) Two people with two opinions that more often than not are very complementary to one
Brynne Tillman 06:25
Absolutely. Love that. Just extra value. So I love it. I love it. So our friend, Kellen says, “Hi, Brynne.”Hi Kalen! Kalen does, she has a company called “Cards That Wow” and she does our thank you cards, and they were amazing. Just thought gonna give her a little shout-out on our little podcast here,(Bob: Speaking of) So what’s the second one there, Bob?
Bob Woods 06:51
Second one has to do around with thought leaders.
Brynne Tillman 06:54
Ah, so you know, building relationships with thought leaders on LinkedIn, I think is critical. One of the things you can do. First of all, you have to figure out who are the thought leaders in your industry that are attracting your ideal buyers, one of the things we can do is we can end up, you know, engaging with influencers, but they’re not necessarily influencing the people that we want to engage. So that’s a big deal, right? So one thing I would recommend is to go look, go listen to podcasts, we use listennotes.com to find podcasts on certain topics, and then go find them on LinkedIn, because they’re probably there, right? So there’s probably an opportunity to engage with them there. Look at bloggers or people that have just great content out there and there’s a couple of things. So engaging with the influencer is a big deal. I’m going to tell you a quick little story that got me in “SocialMediaToday”. I hope I said the right one. They were engaging and they had a poll and I answered the poll, and it was around LinkedIn and who’s viewed your profile. And in comments, I responded with our templates, what we say if someone views our profile, what, you know, what we say in response, so I put it in a comment. I got picked up by “Social Media Today.” They quoted me in Social Media Today and I ended up getting over 100 connection requests with people based on that. So they as a company, we’re like, they’re that influencer. So you can do that. You can find brands and if you engage appropriately, you can find publications. You know, there’s a lot of company pages and brands that are engaging, that are influencers, just like people, right, so you can start to engage and get some value there. But don’t stop there. You can engage with the commenters. Bob, we often talk about this right? As you know, it’s like the influencer is the keynote. And all our people that are commenting are the people in the audience, right? So when you’re sitting in the audience waiting for Brene Brown to come out on stage, you’re like, “Oh, what else have you listened to? Did you read that book? Did you hear on this podcast?” Well, we can do that to start conversations with commenters on influencer. So Bob Woods has something out there and I want to engage with Bob and I might say, Hey, you know, someone else comments in that. I like their comment, I reach out and connect and say, you know, “Hey, Dave, I see that we’re both fans of Bob woods. By chance have you heard the podcast he was on, on X, Y, and Z? I’d be happy to send a link” And we started a conversation around the influencer and It’s a great way for us to network and build connections there.
Bob Woods 10:05
Exactly and if you’re wondering, another good way, especially on LinkedIn to find influencers is to search hashtags. So hopefully the hashtags, the influencer, or influencers will be using the hashtags that you’re interested in. And you know, if nothing else, when you search that hashtag if the right ones are within that hashtag, hopefully, the people that you would want to speak to are either following or just searching for that hashtag as well. And that’s just a good way to potentially shorten that search. Now, all of that, of course, depends on if they use the right hashtags if they use hashtags and stuff like that. But that’s a potentially good way, to get in front of not only those influencers, but the people who are reading them as well. So almost think of a hashtag, like the title of a speech at one of those conferences that Brynne talked about. That hashtag is like the title that should be bringing the people in that you want to add that you want.
Brynne Tillman 11:06
Great, great, great tip. Is that it Do we have another one?
Bob Woods 11:09
We have “Finding Allies” as number three (Brynne: We could’ve covered that.) We kinda combined that with number one, but you know, there are general networking partners that can maybe point you to things. Finding allies if you’ve ever been in a BNI type of situation. It’s similar to that. Now, obviously, it’s not just one group of people like BNI, specifically, who are just dealing with each other. But you can take that overall mindset into finding allies that you could potentially refer business back and forth with one another as well.
Brynne Tillman 11:46
You know, I love that we have quite a few. So we have some sales trainers that we refer all the time. We have some website builders, we have content developers. So we have those that and we do refer business back and forth all the time. So I absolutely love that. Wow, I see that we are coming up on time here Bob.
Bob Woods 12:08
I know that’s just amazing. So I think we’re going to go ahead and wrap it up. Thank you everyone for joining us whether you joined us live on via video and audio on LinkedIn Live or if you’re listening to us via the podcast. If you are catching this on podcast, be sure to subscribe so that you can not only see our stuff in the past, but stuff that’s coming up in the future, and if your platform has one of those follow things go ahead and click on that so that you’re alerted to it. So with that Brynne, always great to speak with you and download your knowledge as well.
Brynne Tillman 12:49
Oh, I love it. And guys when you’re out and about don’t forget to make your sales social. Bye, everybody.
Bob Woods 12:55
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