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Driving Qualified Conversations on LinkedIn

July 25, 202257:26

Your digital presence is your ONLY presence in the world of virtual sales. That means leaning into social selling is paramount. Listen as Viveka von Rosen, Cofounder of Vengreso and best-selling author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day” and “101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn” teaches us about social selling, sales enablement, and how to enable quality, qualified conversations on LinkedIn.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

AW:

Hi, it’s April Williams. Thanks for joining me on the From Hello to Yes podcast. Today, we have the LinkedIn B2B marketing expert on the show. Yes, Viveka von Rosen is a LinkedIn learning author and speaker with over eight training courses on the platform. Viveka is the Cofounder and Chief Visibility Officer at Vengreso where their mission is to help sales professionals and business owners master modern sales by creating more qualified conversations using LinkedIn, Sales Nav, and Social Video. Who doesn’t want more of those? If you think LinkedIn is just for job searching and resumes, think again. Our conversation today will convince you of this platform’s power to transform your marketing and sales, and Viveka is the perfect guide. Enjoy my conversation with Viveka.

Viveka, thank you so much for joining us. How are you today?

VR:

Excellent. You know, this is a great way to start the week. I did my hair. I have a nice jacket on.

AW:

You look good. You look very good. So glad to have you here. I’ve been excited for weeks.

VR:

Yay.

AW:

Starting out today, one of the things we focus on From Hello to Yes is in this ever fast changing world of marketing and sales…

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

None of us, we say, is as smart as all of us together, and how do we join together and learn together and share information. And to that point, we want to be a place where the next generation of marketers and salespeople can come. So I want to start and ask you as you sit in the place of being a leader in the digital sales transformation, think back to when your career started and what would the Viveka of today say to that 20-something year old Viveka?

VR:

I’m like which career? The tack store, the market, the computer selling store? Yeah, I think the two pieces of advice I would give myself, and I know you only asked for one, but why not over deliver? The two pieces of advice I would give myself, number one, find something and stick to it. Once I found LinkedIn and stuck to it, it made a big difference. I know a lot of the people who kind of started out at the same time I did, they were attracted to the next shiny object and they’re no longer around in this space because they just diverted so many times. So it’s like, not that you have to pick a company and stick with that company, but if you decide to be in sales, if you decide to be in marketing, find your niche or niche, depending on if you’re in Canada or the US, and stick to it as much as possible, make yourself a subject matter expert and industry leading expert, make that part of your brand.

And then it doesn’t matter if you have to switch companies, if you decide to go off on your own and do your own thing, if you’ve got that name that you’ve developed around that niche that you’re… oh, yeah and make sure you’re interested in it. Don’t just pick something because it’s cool that you’re going to burn out on in a year or two. But I think picking your niche within an industry is really, really important. And the other thing I would say is get help. You know, I also sold cars for a living and even though I had just started in this dealership, myself and another salesperson, we hired someone to come in and do kind of the dredge work, which let us be out on the lot more. And I was brand new to selling and I had an assistant and everyone’s like, “Who’s this?” But it allowed us to get out on the lot more.

Oh, thank God I’m not doing that anymore. Thank God I’m not doing that anymore. That’s probably why I got into LinkedIn, no more cold calls for me. But that having help, and then of course, when I started my own business, LinkedIn to business before Vengreso, one of the first things I did was get an assistant and I probably should have done it even sooner. The month I got an assistant to help me, again it freed up so much time that I more than paid for her. I got the book first book offer from Wiley and I just think it’s because I was out there more and they’re like, “Oh, we need someone to write about LinkedIn. Oh, this chick’s everywhere.” And really, I think it’s because instead of like doing that blah at work, I was able to go out and do what I did best and I think that made a big difference. So whether you’re sales and marketing, those would be my two pieces of advice.

AW:

Love them. So practical and so wise. So I think you nailed it with both your answers. Let’s start today simply asking you to define social selling and what you mean by digital sales transformation.

VR:

Yeah. So social selling desk is just creating more qualified conversations using a digital presence. So using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Obviously we love LinkedIn and Sales Navigator and we love Social Video, but for us, it’s really about creating more quality qualified conversations wherever that is. And then as far as digital sales transformation, it’s really creating your brand. I mean, for me, I don’t know what the rest of the team would say, but for me it’s creating that brand online so that you attract those conversations. So it’s not rocket science.

AW:

And it’s good and they’re so clear, I love to start hearing your definition of what we’re about to talk about. And your mission is to help sales professionals and business owners master modern sales by creating more quality and qualified conversations using LinkedIn, Sales Nav and Social Video.

VR:

Yeah, you said it better than I did.

AW:

First tell us why are you so passionate about this?

VR:

You know, I think because, well, there’s a lot of different reasons. First of all, COVID. I mean, not that I want to exploit COVID, but it really happened at a good time for our company. We had created the company a couple years earlier, the dust had settled, we were ready for the next leap and then here comes COVID and what do we do? We teach virtual sales techniques to companies that suddenly had to be virtual. And I think as far as just being able to arm sales teams with the tools that they needed to be successful, it was a really important time for that. So I guess that’s part of my excitement around it. Plus, I just like it. I just like the idea that anyone anywhere, whether they’re in sales and marketing can do what I just said.

You can go online, you can create this digital presence, you can start to align yourself with other experts and subject matter experts. You can really position yourself and then you can start to attract and create these conversations. And I mean, from someone, oh my gosh, I just, I remember on Monday mornings, I was never this excited because I’d be sitting at the car dealership and they would plunk down this… I’m not kidding, this big chunk of paper with the rings on the side, remember, the spit out. That also tells you how long ago it was. And it was like this hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of phone numbers I had to call.

To be able to arm people with the techniques and strategies, the tools that they need to go out there to find the right prospects, to warm up the relationship with them before they ever reach out to them to get them to hello. Right? That’s our thing is we get to you to hello, so Sales Amp can take you from hello to close.

AW:

Yes.

VR:

It’s actually perfect.

AW:

So we’re going to talk a lot about LinkedIn as a whole, but spend a minute or so talking to us about Sales Navigator and Social Video.

VR:

Yeah. So Sales Navigator is one of LinkedIn’s premium tools. It’s the one that I recommend if you’re going to pay for LinkedIn, pay for Sales Nav. The other ones are, I don’t think they have enough bang for the buck, but Sales Nav’s like $20 more… my dog is wandering around back here. Sales Nav is like $20 more per month and it just gives you so many more features. So I think one of the things that’s really important for salespeople is being able to keep track of their prospects. And yes, you get to keep track of your prospects on CRMs of course, if you’re using a CRM, but on Sales Navigator, you get to see their activity. You get to keep track of them and see their activity and look for those opportunities to start those conversations.

You know, whether they are getting moved around within the company, maybe they have a new title, whether they’re sharing content on LinkedIn or even just liking content on LinkedIn, Sales Navigator really allows you through various methods to keep an eye on your prospects, on your buyers, so that you can start those conversations at a time that is relevant to them and to you. Plus, it does a lot of other stuff. It’s got very cool search fields, more so than LinkedIn. Although LinkedIn has some pretty decent search fields too if you know how to get to them. It allows you to save your prospects, create lists of prospects, share your prospects amongst other team members. Maybe you’ve got a business development rep and you are an account exec, right? So you can start to share the intel. So there’s a lot of cool features within Sales Navigator, which I think it’s a must have for us and our team. But again-

AW:

We use it too, but there are so many of our listeners who won’t understand the true value, so I knew that you would speak to it really well. So, nicely done. So, talk to us about Social Video.

VR:

Yeah. And then Social Video is another great differentiator and what’s cool is, on the mobile app on LinkedIn, you can shoot a video on your mobile app in your messaging and send a video to your connections on LinkedIn. So you don’t necessarily need a social video app. Now, we use several, but you don’t have to have one. On Social Video, especially where, “Yay, we don’t have to wear masks anymore.” “We got to wear masks anymore.” “Okay, we’re going to conferences.” “We’re not going to conferences anymore.” “Okay, we’re all going back into the office.” “We’re not going back into the office anymore.” Right?

So it’s like, who knows what the next couple years are going to bring, but right now, depending on where you live, you may still be stuck behind the webcam and so all people have of you is maybe a LinkedIn presence, right? You’re meeting with them or you’re an email and all they have is this name and maybe they’ll look you up on LinkedIn. It’s just very black and white, right? They might have gone to your website and they might see some company videos, but they don’t have that connection with you yet.

But with Social Video, whether you’re sending it in a message, you’re sending it in an email or you’re putting it out publicly on LinkedIn, Social Video gives you literally a voice. It literally gives your prospects a face and it helps build that KLT, that know, like, and trust, because people can see you, people can hear you, people can get a really good sense of who you are. And yes, this sometimes, and I’m going to put big quotations around backfires, because quite frankly, I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. Like some people are like, “Oh my God, she’s over the top,” or “she’s a woman,” or “she’s too old,” or “she’s too young,” or “she’s too whatever.” Right? That’s fine. They don’t want to work with me, I don’t want to work with them. Right?

AW:

Exactly.

VR:

Pre qualify, man. But people might see that Social Video I sent out and be like, “Oh cool, I feel like I know her already,” which helps build the KLT, the know, like, and trust. So when I go to actually do the follow-up call, do the closing call, it’s a lot more likely that they’re going to say yes. In fact, ironically right before this podcast, I got a message from someone that I had had done a video, did a Zoom with and then followed up with a video email, and that’s exactly what they said. You know, they’re like you dressed up for the meeting, your background was clean, you followed up with this really amazing video and we’ll be starting with you on January 1st.

AW:

Brilliant.

VR:

Yeah. Well, it just is, you know? Thank you for saying it’s brilliant, but it’s just video. It’s just video. But I know people have to get used to it too.

AW:

I think it’s amazing how often it’s the little things that really make a difference and now we’re in a world where many of us might have been able to make connections with folks because we could sit across from them.

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

And how do we actually translate that to a virtual world? So your advice is really spot on. And I think the next question I want to talk about is, in 2015, when I started Sales Amp, I was in the marketing world, but it became very obvious the gap between marketing and sales.

VR:

Yes.

AW:

And the opinions that were formed of what was the downside of each of those departments.

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

But what struck me was the more I asked this question, it was shocking the percentages, when you asked salespeople how much percent of their time was spent on non-selling activities, it was a wonder that they ever closed anything.

VR:

Yeah, exactly.

AW:

So, my question to you, knowing that the studies are showing how busy salespeople are, what would you say to a salesperson who is listening to us today that is thinking that he or she is just too busy to spend time embracing all that we’re about to talk about?

VR:

Yeah. Well, I mean, again, not rocket science. Work smarter, not harder. Yes, there is so much that a salesperson needs to do because now they need to do all their sales stuff, and they also now have to be marketers too in a way, especially when we start talking about doing things like sales enablement, social video, sharing content on LinkedIn, etcetera. And all I can say is we walk our talk. Our sales team goes through the exact same training that all of our clients do. In fact, I can’t remember how much it is, like a 17 or an 18 step outbound cadence and then I think we’ve got something similar, like a 12 or 15 step inbound cadence. So they have to do a lot, but there’s a couple ways that we help them out.

The marketing team, we are aligned. Our marketing team knows who our buyers are and they help us create those sales qualified leads. So that saves a lot of time for the salesperson. Our marketing team, isn’t out there just to create a brand. We did that earlier on. We are all about those, not just marketing qualified leads, but those sales qualified leads and creating funnels for our salespeople so we can give them those qualified leads. We have tweaked our CRM, our customer relationship management tool, which is HubSpot, into a machine. And it’s taken a while, but again, a lot of our processes are automated now so that someone sees a video, downloads something, that immediately goes into the system.

Our salespeople just have to double check and make sure everything’s there, but they’re not having to do all of the input. And like I said earlier, get help with the busy work. Get your salespeople help with the busy work so that they can focus on what they do best, which is selling and then arm them with the tools and the training that they need, like how to use video effectively, so that they can use these tools since they’re not going to as many trade shows, conferences, etcetera.

AW:

It’s really good and so timely. You’re right. And we had a client say to us that traditional sales at best is
paused.

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

And at worst is dead.

VR:

Right. Yeah.

AW:

And we’ve recently had a podcast guest say the only person who misses in-person sales meetings are salespeople.

VR:

It’s so true. It’s so true.

AW:

You know, in marketing we’re used to our world changing at the speed of light.

VR:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

AW:

This is a major shift for salespeople today who are really good at relational selling and how do you translate that into a digital platform? And I think what you’re saying is really spot on.

VR:

Yeah, my friend Julie, I think, yeah there it is, she wrote a book called Look Me in the Eye, which I definitely… Have you had Julie on?

AW:

We had her as a guest. Yes.

VR:

Yeah. I love it. Okay, so I don’t have to promote her. So yeah, I mean this book is key because that is how… You know, turn the webcam on, that is how we’re doing our relational selling now because… Yeah, I mean I don’t know. Every conference or event that I’ve been scheduled for has been canceled or has turned virtual. But the one thing I will tell you is we were so busy traveling all over the globe, spending days and days and days at conferences and trade shows, mostly eating chicken and putting our drinks on the company card at night, and hanging out with our friends. I mean, I would go to conferences and I would hang out with my other friends who were at conferences, my other speaker friends. So, are we so busy? Are we really that busy or are we doing busy work?

And so that’s the other thing is, without all that travel now, we do get days back, never mind hours, we get days back.

AW:

Absolutely. It’s such a good point. It really is, and I think learning how to do this is fascinating. I’m going to jump to one of your articles. There’s two articles we’re going to talk about today that I loved. One is LinkedIn Prospecting: Three Tips for Identifying the Right Buyers. And you speak about using the search feature.

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

And you use sharing valuable content, and then you speak to us about asking for referrals and introductions. So can you speak to each one of those for us? So, using the search feature to find prospects.

VR:

I’m so glad you read those back to me because I write so many articles I’m like, “I have no idea what I said.”

AW:

I’m going to help you.

VR:

I mean, just truthfully. So yeah, first of all, I already spoke about Sales Navigator and if you’ve got Sales Navigator, probably one of the reasons you have it is because it’s got great search feature, so I’m not going to spend too much time on that. You know, we could do another show all about Sales Nav.

I would say for our regular salespeople who are just using free LinkedIn, LinkedIn search is really good, but they have not made it… it’s funny because they’ve tried to make it easier for us and I think they’ve made it harder to find the advanced search features. So first of all, to get to LinkedIn’s advanced search, whether you’re typing in an individual’s name, whether you’re typing in a company name and trying to find out who works at that company, maybe you’re more account-based sales, account-based marketing, you’ve got to go and find that additional search feature. So, let’s just say that I was coming into LinkedIn search and I want to look up Brianna. I want to look up Brianna, who’s our show host today. So I go into LinkedIn search and I type in Brianna, but I don’t really know how to spell her last name so then I’m going to just put in she works with Sales Amp. So hopefully that brings her up, but if it doesn’t, then what I want to do is go… It’s going to bring up people, companies, posts, jobs, groups, schools, events, courses, services, all filters.

And as I look down in Brianna and Sales Amp, there’s like 42 Brianna’s and then a whole bunch of other information. And bless LinkedIn, they’re trying to give us useful, helpful information, but I need to find the right Brianna. So I’m going to click on the people search and then I’m going to click on all filters so that I can now search by… maybe I spelled her name wrong, so I can see who we have in common. That’s going to get me closer. And I did. I only put one N in there. That’s going to bring me closer to who I’m actually looking for. Or maybe I know she works in a particular city, right? So that’s going to bring me closer to what I’m looking for. Or maybe I know the title that she has.

So I can sort by things like levels of connection. And for people who have free LinkedIn, you’ve probably run up against this, especially if you’re using LinkedIn enough, two weeks into the month, LinkedIn’s like, “Yep, nope, you’re done. It looks like you’re using this for business.” “Well duh, I’m not using LinkedIn because I like deep diving on corporate articles. Woo hoo! Yeah, I’m using it for business.” So they start to limit your searches after a while, especially if you haven’t been on it for 15 years. If you’re newer to LinkedIn, seven years or less, a lot of these features are not grandfathered in for you. So LinkedIn’s like, “Yeah, nope, you got to pay for it now.”

So if you can do things like sort your search by first and second level connections, at least you know that you can either message them directly or get introduced by a friend. So right away I tell people, when you’re doing a search, go to people, go to all filters, and then search by first and second level connections. If you can’t find who you’re looking for, you can open it up to third plus, but first and second are really the only people you can easily communicate with anyway so let’s limit it so that your results are more qualified, hence quality and qualified conversations.

Another super cool tool in there, and they finally added it to Sales Navigator too ironically, it was only on free LinkedIn for the longest time, as I mentioned is the Connections of. So I know you, so I can put your name in there as long as we’re first level connections, which I need to send you an invitation. So you and I are now connected, so I can say, “Okay, well I know she’s connected to April,” so I’m going to type in April Williams and now I can see all of your connections should you have that turned on, and now I can ask for the introduction, which we’ll talk about in just a minute.

Or I can sort by location, or I can sort by company, or I can sort by companies I know maybe she worked at in the past, or maybe I know where she went to school, or I know she’s in marketing, so maybe I can sort by marketing, or I can sort by service categories, marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, sales, lead generation. Or I can sort by titles. So there’s a lot of different ways that I can use this advanced search feature within LinkedIn to get more qualified results, so A) that LinkedIn lets me keep searching, and B) that I find the right person.

AW:

That’s good. So continue talking to us about referrals and introductions.

VR:

Yeah. LinkedIn used to have an introduction tool, which was horrible because it just made no sense. If you weren’t used to the introduction tool and someone tried to use it, like say you tried to introduce me to Brianna and you just used that introduction tool, it would just like put her link there and I’d be like, “Okay.” So now instead what happens is… So we aren’t actually first level connections yet, so let me actually jump into your profile and we’ll see who we have in common. So I go to your profile, I’m like, “Okay, really want to be introduced to April.” So I can go into your profile and I can see that we have eight mutual connections. So I’m like, “Okay.” So let’s just pretend this is like we’re at a conference. Who do I know who knows you who’s willing to introduce me to you?

But I don’t stop at one person. So I look here and obviously Julie, who we just mentioned, we have. That’s who I’m going to ask first. We have Tom, Andrew Feldman, and then there’s a bunch of other people I don’t actually know, but I’m apparently connected with them. So I’m going to ask Julie or Tom or Andrew. So I’m actually going to ask all three of them. I’m going to say, “Julie, would you be willing to introduce me to April? Just a yes or a no, just let me know.” That’s my first message. “Hey Tom, would you be willing to introduce me to April? Yes or no? No worries if you can’t.” “Hey Andrew, would you be willing to introduce me to April? Yes or no?”

So Andrew replies, “No, I don’t really know her.” Tom says, “Sure, but I’m on vacation.” And Julie says, “Of course.” So I’ve asked three people, but I’m going to go with my best yes, which is Julie because I know we both know her. So now I’m going to say, “Hey Julie, thanks so much.” So that’s our first step is just finding some people you have in common and asking if they’re willing to do it.

But there’s a second step and the second step is going, “Okay Julie, thanks so much for being willing to introduce me to April. I want to make it as easy as possible for you so I actually wrote the introduction for you. Please feel free to use it as is or customize it to your own voice, or write your own, that’s fine.”

AW:

So good.

VR:

Right, and then that way they’re a lot more likely to do it and what you want said gets there. Because otherwise it would be… Well, Julie would know how to do this the right way, but let’s just pretend like Julie’s like, “Hey, meet my friend Viveka.” “Okay, for what?” But if I go, “Hey, April, Julie here, I really wanted you to meet my friend Viveka. She’s an expert on LinkedIn and I think she’d be really great for your podcast. Here’s a link to her latest book. You can download it for free. And she even sent me her calendar link to make things easy. Let me know if you want an introduction. Hugs, Julie.” And so I’m literally writing that for Julie, she’s sending it, and here’s the third key, I want to make sure that Julie CC’s me. So when she either sends it to you as an email, sends it to you as a private message on LinkedIn, she CC’s me, that way even though technically you haven’t said yes you want to meet me yet, I’m CC’d on the message so I can just follow up with you.

AW:

That’s awesome.

VR:

One of our clients has like a hundred percent success rate. Our team has about a 70 to 80% success rate in at least getting to the next conversation, which is way better than cold emails and cold calling.

AW:

Absolutely. It’s so smart and I love even the fact that you go that extra mile and you write it for her, which makes it easy. Because so many times we get asked to do things and we have the best of intentions-

VR:

Best of intentions.

AW:

We want to do it, but it’s like, “I’ll write that later,” or “I’ll do that later,” and sometimes later never comes. So if someone just writes it, you copy/paste it, you drop it, you connect, done.

VR:

Done.

AW:

Done.

VR:

Exactly. You want to make it as easy as possible for the person doing you the favor.

AW:

Oh my gosh.

VR:

Which brings me… I have so many pet peeves, but one of my pet peeves is, “Hey Viveka, I noticed you’re connected to a lot of people who work at LinkedIn. Can you introduce me?” Who at LinkedIn? Yes, I’m connected to a lot of people at LinkedIn. Why? Who do you want me to introduce you to? Why do you want me to introduce you? Do I even know you? And it’s just… ugh.

AW:

Well, it’s a great old classic sales referral conversation I remember learning 20 years ago where someone said, “Don’t ever say to someone do you know anyone? Instead say we actually specialize in dry cleaners. Do you have a dry cleaner that we could speak to?” Everyone will be like, “Yes.”

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

It’s taking that old sales-

VR:

Maybe not anymore, but yeah, pre pandemic, definitely had some dry cleaners I could introduce you to.

AW:

Right, it might not be applicable today. But I mean, giving that specific is what you’re doing, which is so important and that’s going to-

VR:

Even better, you get on LinkedIn and say, “Hey, I notice that you’re connected to Joe Smith who’s the CEO of Burke Dry Cleaners, could you introduce me to him?”

AW:

Exactly.

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

Exactly. And I think that’s just us going the extra mile, as opposed to asking the person that we’re asking a favor of to go the extra mile for us. It seems so logical when you say it.

Speaker 3:

Are you done with leads getting lost in the funnel? So are we, but there’s so often a gap between attracting leads and closing deals, especially if you have a long sales cycle. So we found the solution. Combine marketing and sales into one department. Our content development, digital strategist, and prospecting experts working as an integrated extension of your team. So let’s work together to actually close the gap between hello and yes to position your sales team to focus on what they do best, closing more deals. Ready to learn more? Go to salesamp.com to start this conversation.

AW:

I’m going to piggyback on this conversation with your second article, which was 10 LinkedIn Tips for Booking More Sales Meetings. And I have all 10 tips in front of me. We’re going to take them one at a time.

VR:

Okay.

AW:

So the first you talk very simply, it’s to update your LinkedIn profile from a resume to a resource.

VR:

Yeah, yeah. Simple to say, harder to do. But a lot of us got on LinkedIn when it really was more of a job seeking tool, like 2005, 2006, 2007, or even more recently we think of LinkedIn as a resume on steroids, but it is so much more than that. And our marketers understand we need to speak to the buyer, but sometimes our salespeople are still thinking of LinkedIn as a resume. So to make your LinkedIn profile buyer focused, first of all, stop talking about yourself all the time, right? You want to focus on who are your buyers? What are their points of pain? How do you solve them? And as many of the different features on LinkedIn as you can use, answer those questions, right? From your background image and headline, who do you help? How do you help them?

Ours is prospect better, sell more. And then we go to the headline, which instead of CVO at Vengreso, which no one knows what a CVO is or what a Vengreso is, it says helping B2B sales teams create more quality and qualified conversations. Actually it’s a little different right now because I have a holiday message, but normally it’s helping B2B sales teams create more quality and qualified conversations. If you’re a B2C sales team or if you’re independent or if you are a dry cleaner, yeah you might not be interested in my profile. That’s okay. There’s other people who can help serve you and hopefully they make that clear on their profiles. I help B2B sales teams or B2B sales individuals. And so by focusing on the buyer and how we help them by creating more quality and qualified conversations, they’re more likely to scroll down.

And then they see all of these helpful resources that they can access that aren’t actually selling them anything yet. I’m just piling on as much helpful, useful stuff that my buyer, a B2B salesperson, can utilize. And then they’re more likely to go down to the about section, which has 2600 more characters talking about who I help and how I help them and now a little bit more about what we do. And then they might even go down a little bit further to the experience section, which is more about my company.

But I’m going to focus 100% on my buyer. If I have CVO of Vengreso, you’re like, “I don’t even know what that is, so see ya.” Or no background image, so there’s nothing attractive there. Or I go maybe down to the about or the experience section and it’s like “crushing sales guy with 25 plus years experience.” I’m like, “See you later salesperson.” But if I’m there and I’m a B2B salesperson and I need more quality and qualified leads, which most salespeople do, I’m going to keep reading. And so that’s why it’s so important to focus on your buyer.

AW:

It’s so mind blowing that we needed permission to stop using LinkedIn as a resume.

VR:

I know.

AW:

We’re all doing it. So if there’s one key, I mean one key takeaway, that is how to really use LinkedIn and your LinkedIn is a perfect example because I’m like, I never thought to do that. That’s brilliant. So definitely people should go out and look at your LinkedIn. The second tip you say is how to make your LinkedIn stand out.

VR:

And again, it’s similar things. That background image can really pop and that’s where your marketing team can come in. And you’ll notice I’ve got a holiday kind of a generic, but our logo’s on there, holiday theme right now. And I’ll go back to our prospect better, sales more in the new year. I literally got a reminder to myself that I have to go change my LinkedIn profile back to normal in the new year. But you’ve got so much marketing opportunity. There’s also two new features that are really cool. One’s the name pronunciation, which trust me, I need. But rather than just saying Viveka at Vengreso, which everyone massacres both my name and our company name.

We get Vengreeso and Vengrosso all the time. And by Viveka and Vivka and Vireka and Vivica, and Biblica, and you just name it. So mine normally is, “Hey Viveka von Rosen with Vengreso here, helping B2B salespeople create more quality and qualified conversations. Right now it’s a holiday message, but I still at least… And oh my gosh, for those of you salespeople out there with weird names like mine, it is such a gift to your buyer and it’s such a gift to your vendors to tell them how to say your name correctly because no one wants to mess up someone’s name.

AW:

Or vice versa, you’re calling on a prospect-

VR:

Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

AW:

And wondering how the heck they would pronounce their name and you get to actually have a chance at saying it correctly, which is good.

VR:

What if you went by Aprillay. I would call you April, but really you’re known as Aprillay.

AW:

No one would be calling me. Your third tip for us is engage with new LinkedIn connections.

VR:

Yeah. It is. Whether they’re inviting you or you’re inviting them, you always want to follow up. And I think a huge mistake that people make is number one, they buy those automation tools, which A) goes against LinkedIn’s end user agreement and if LinkedIn thinks you’re automating, they are going to shut you down. But B) they usually get it wrong where you’re buying an automation service or someone’s like, lead gen for you and then they do it wrong. One of my favorites was, “Dear Sir, I noticed that you are in the industrial cleaning supplies industry. If you want more great leads like this, let’s connect.” I’m like, not a sir. How did they get industrial cleaning supplies? Not only am I not going to connect, I’m going to report you as spam.

AW:

Yes.

VR:

And unfortunately that happens a lot. So it’s quality, not quantity. And yes, I understand why people want to automate, because it’s easy, but it can really hurt your engagement on LinkedIn. So to actually answer your question, when you get a new lead, whether you invited them or they invited you, you want to follow up with a message that’s focused on them, what their points of pain are, and how you help solve them. And you don’t want it to be a sales pitch. We always say buy me a drink first. Well, okay I always say that. Don’t think you’re going to take me home when we don’t even know each other. You got to warm that relationship up. And so we have what we call our PVC methodology.

You want to always personalize the message, so call them by name. You want to add value. Hopefully even working with your marketing team and you’ve got the right content to share with them, which is not a sales pitch. And then the call to action, which shouldn’t be if it’s a cold lead that you just connected with, which shouldn’t be let’s book a meeting. They don’t know you well enough. Maybe the CTA should be read this article, check out these testimonials, download this white paper and let me know if you have any questions. And then if you haven’t heard from them in a couple days, you can follow up with a second message, PVC, and maybe this one’s your video message or your voice message because you can do both on LinkedIn using mobile, right?

So now you leave a voice message saying, Hey, I haven’t heard from you, but I did think of this other article you might find interesting. I’m going to add it underneath this voicemail, or if you’re doing a video, you can do the same thing. I’m going to add it underneath this video, make sure to click on it and if you’ve got any questions, I also added my calendar links, and I highly recommend people use calendar links of some sort, so you can book some time with me. But get to know them first and share helpful, valuable information that’s not a sales pitch before actually asking for the meeting. Now, if they reached out to you and said, “Hey, we want to know more about Sales Amp,” by all means, share the information and give them your calendar link. No we’re going to make you wait for it.

AW:

Worth waiting for. Such a controversial topic that I’d love your opinion on. Some believe they connect with anyone and everyone who wants to connect with them and others believe they only connect with people they actually know.

VR:

I’m in the middle. I’m in the middle of that. I used to be what’s known as a LION, a LinkedIn open networker. Most people who are LION, I shouldn’t say that… The problem with being a LinkedIn open networker is it’s perceived as being a spammer. And quite frankly, you do have limits of how many people you’re connected to. So, I’m literally at my limit. I have to go in and delete 40 or 50 people a day so I can invite 40 or 50 or I can accept the 40 or 50 different invitations a week. So, I’m constantly deleting people, which takes time. I had my assistant do it for a while, but then she deleted my husband by accident. I’m like, “Okay, I guess I have to do this.

You know, the thing is, my rule of thumb is let’s connect with people you can do business with. Either they’re a good qualified contact for you, they’re a good prospect for you, or they’re potentially a good vendor for you, or they’re potentially a good referral partner for you. So someone that you can do business with. There are great people out there that I would love to go for drinks with. I’m never going to do business with you so we probably shouldn’t be connected on LinkedIn. Because I don’t care about your content and you don’t care about mine because we’re not going to do business together.

And the other reason to keep your network a little… says the person with 30,000 connections, humble brag, the reason to keep your network more quality and qualified, i.e. Much smaller than mine, is because when you share content on LinkedIn, if you have a more quality network, they’re more likely to see that content, engage with that content, and then LinkedIn’s going to go, “Oh, okay, people like his or her content, let’s make it more visible to more people.” Whereas if you’ve got a whole bunch of connections that are completely irrelevant to you, your content’s going to be irrelevant to them. They’re not ever going to engage with it and then LinkedIn’s like, “She’s got 30,000 connections, but only two people ever like her stuff. We’re not going to show it to many people.” Because unfortunately LinkedIn does not show your content to everyone you’re connected to.

AW:

So good. So all good things to understand, sort of the behind the scenes.

VR:

Yeah.

AW:

You talk about one of your tips is using LinkedIn to prospect.

VR:

Yeah. Yeah. And again, everything we just said, right? So you’ve got to use LinkedIn’s advanced search, the filter, the all filter search to find those right prospects. You’ve got to thoroughly investigate their profiles. We have something called a three by three. You know, you spend three minutes, three minutes on their profile, finding three relevant things so that when you reach out to them and invite them to connect, you can drop those three relevant things so people know you spent time and you’re not calling a woman, dear sir, or a man, ma’am, right?

And now we’ve got him/her, they/them, she/whatever, she/her by your name so you can’t make that mistake either, or you hopefully won’t make that mistake either. But the point being, spend a little time, get to know each one of your prospects and then when you reach out, like I said, mention that thing that you have in common and identify them as someone that you can help or they can help you. Always, always, always customize that invitation to connect. Because if I were to look at my LinkedIn right now, let’s just see, just for funsies, and I were to go into my network. I have 94 invitations to connect.

AW:

I think one of them is me.

VR:

I will go and accept that one. I will definitely accept that one. Yes, there it is. And you did it right. “Hi Viveka, I’m looking forward to having you on the podcast.” Okay, let’s accept that one. But underneath you are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine invitations without messages, which I’m just going to say, “Thank you for the invitation. I’m at 30,000 connections. Here’s some cool free stuff. Feel free to write back to me, but I can’t connect with you.” Because I’m at my limit.

And then I’ve got a whole bunch of people who say, “Hey, I want to sell you this.” “Hey, I want to sell you this.” “Hey, I noticed that you’re in this group.” “Hey, I see you like Russell Branson.” I don’t know. Maybe I do. I don’t know. That’s not enough of a reason for me to connect with you anymore, especially since I’m at my limit. So you’ve got to make yourself worthy and you got to earn the right for someone to actually connect with you. So, that’s a big part of prospecting. Once you are connected, you have to continue to feed people with content so that you stay top of mind with them and continue to position yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert.

AW:

Really good. And bringing us back to the question we talked about how busy salespeople were, the last tip in the list on this article was schedule time for LinkedIn activities.

VR:

Yes.

AW:

And you’ve gone to talk about how little time you really need to start making some progress and how to prioritize it. Just speak to that for us for a minute.

VR:

Yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s funny. The first book that I did for Wiley was called LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day. And I’m like, “Can we change the title? Like back in 2011, no one had an hour a day for LinkedIn.” They’re like, “No, that’s the name of the series. There’s Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day, Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day, Email Marketing: An Hour a Day. No, it’s an hour a day.” I’m like, “Ah, crap. Okay. Thank you for letting me write this book.”

But yeah, I think a lot of salespeople go, “I don’t have an hour a day for LinkedIn.” And maybe you don’t need an hour a day to start. Once you’ve got your LinkedIn profile up and it looks good and it’s buyer focused, maybe all you do is check to see who’s invited you to connect, maybe spend a little time going and doing that prospecting, using that advanced search and seeing if there’s anyone new that you need to reach out to. We have a tool called fly message, it is not automation, but it’s a text expander. By the way, it’s free. So it’s flymsg.io. We even have scripts in there for you. So you get those all for free. But it’s an auto text expander. So, maybe you spend a few minutes responding to those invitations with scripts you’ve already written. So you just type in a few words, but they’re all individualized to the prospect.

And then there’s lots of great tools out there that will help you find good quality content to share with your network and so you can find on forums, using tools, or in your own LinkedIn timeline, or I don’t know, look at your own blog at your own company and see what marketing content they’ve created, and maybe just share one article a day, but you don’t just share the link and then that is the big differentiator. If you just share the link, no one’s going to click on it because no one, like, “I don’t know. What is it? I don’t care.” You know, if you’re lucky, the link has a picture attached to it, but a lot of marketing teams don’t even do that, right?

So you’ve got 3000 characters, used to be 1299, you’ve got 3000 characters. You don’t have to use them all, but you want to address your buyer. You know, “Hey sales leaders, is your team struggling with prospecting and finding quality and qualified prospects right now?” And I might put a hashtag in front of quality and qualified and prospects because that helps things get found. “In this article, I list 10 things that will help you create more quality and qualified conversations.” And I might even list all of those 10 things and then if people want more details, they can click through to the article. But the longer they spend reading those up to 3000 characters and the more they respond to it, they like it, give it a thumbs up or even respond to me in comment, the more likely LinkedIn is to disseminate that to a bigger audience.

So for marketing teams, a lot of times what I’ll say is like make it easy for your salespeople. LinkedIn itself has a new employee amplification tool, employee advocacy tool that is built right into the company pages. We can talk about that on another time. Set that up for your salespeople, or if you’re not using that, like send out an email, “Hey, sales team, here’s an article we want you to share. Here’s what we want you to put in the discussion part of the article.”

AW:

Making it easy for them.

VR:

Yes.

AW:

Making it easy for them to do that and share that. And what I love, Viveka, you also said two things that really struck me in that last tip. In your article, you said have your salespeople prioritize the time as if it were a client with no distractions.

VR:

Right. Right.

AW:

And I think that thing we’ll get to at some point.

VR:

You put it in your calendar just like the gym.

AW:

Yeah.

VR:

Right. If you do not block off the time for the gym, guess what, you’re probably not going, until it becomes a habit and you start to see your abs and your quads again.

AW:

Absolutely.

VR:

But until you see your abs and your quads, it’s not going to become a habit. But if you put it in your calendar and you make sure you do it and you book that time off, distraction free, you’re going to do the activity.

AW:

And you close by saying 10 minutes a day will start to see results. We’re going to make that a challenge for everyone and I’m going to move us to our final question. Our From Hello to Yes final question is what has you stumped today? And who, what, and where are you going for answers?

VR:

Oh, that’s great. So many things have me stumped today. So for the average salesperson, including myself, there’s so much excellent sales tech, sales stack stuff out there, right? There’s so many great tools, which ones do we use? We know we need to use video, which video do we use? We know we need to use employee amplification tool, which tool do we use? There’s just so much great stuff out there. And this is where having your network is really, really handy. This is going to sound really ironic coming from me. A lot of times I’ll go to Facebook. I will ask my network. A lot of times I’ll go to LinkedIn. There is a great tool on LinkedIn. So we do have to do another session because we didn’t even talk about polls today, but LinkedIn has a polling and you’ll see, especially Mario, our CEO, you’ll see Mario using polls all the time.

You know, what video tool do you prefer? One Mob, Hippo, BomBom, or something else? What CRM do you prefer? HubSpot, Nimble, Salesforce or something else? Ask your network, get feedback. If you’re part of a mastermind group, ask your friends. If you’re in a bigger company, find out who in your company knows that stuff. And one of the things that we do and we really recommend our clients do, once you’ve got that marketing or that sales stack, make sure to put it into your CRM, and when you close a deal or you get a new prospect or wherever they are in the pipeline, make sure that you say how you got that lead or how you qualified that lead or how you took the lead to the next part of your pipeline.

I’m just totally spacing right now. But you want to make sure that all of those tools that you’re invested in are being used because a lot of people have Sales Navigator and they have Gong and they have sales.io and they have blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and companies are spending millions and millions and millions of dollars on technologies that their sales team isn’t even using. So make sure that you have all of those technologies in your CRM system and make sure that your salespeople, I know one more thing for the salesperson, but make sure that your salesperson says how they qualified that lead or how they took that lead to the next step and what technologies they used so that you’re not paying for technologies that you don’t need. I went way off on my answer.

AW:

I think that even going back to your network of people and crowdsourcing your information is so critical. Viveka, thank you so much. I know that we’ll have you back. There’s about 57 other topics I want to talk with you about. But where can our listeners follow you, find you and make sure you talk about this great book, 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn.

VR:

Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. So first of all, if you Google me, either my name V-I-V-E-K-A, or if you can’t remember that just Google LinkedIn expert. My LinkedIn profile is probably the first, second or third thing that’s going to show up under the paid ads. So on my LinkedIn profile, everything’s there, right? You can book some time with me if you go into my contact info. My calendar’s right there. You can book time with me. If you’ve got questions, my emails there, probably my phone number is there. The book is there. If you look in the featured section, you can get actually a free download PDF version of the book. Obviously our website is there. You’re going to want to check out the website. We have tons, tons of free information that you can use to take your sales training to the next level, or sales to the next level.

AW:

So good. On behalf of From Hello to Yes, Viveka, thank you again for joining us today.

VR:

Oh, it’s been my pleasure. What a great way to start the week.

AW:

Okay. I have a list of tweaks I’ll be making to my LinkedIn profile today. Viveka brought to light so many features on this platform that we might be overlooking. Who knew taking the time to include the pronunciation of my name and sending videos through messages could turn a follower into a sales qualified lead. So if you’ve wondered how to engage new connections on LinkedIn that will make the biggest impact and lead to sales qualified conversations, you’re welcome.

All of the resources mentioned today can be found in our show notes on the salesamp.com website on the podcast page, along with other episodes. You must follow Viveka on LinkedIn and see this expert at work every day. And you can also check out her website vengreso.com. That’s V-E-N-G-R-E-S-O.com to continue learning and growing from the best in the industry. So, that’s a wrap. Remember in this fast paced world of marketing and sales, we are better together. Thank you for joining us today on the From Hello to Yes podcast. Hope you’ll join us again soon. Until next time, have a good one.

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