Pro tips for using LinkedIn to develop your sales pipeline

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David Marshall from SalesGRID interviewed Viveka Van Rosen, Co-Founder of ‘Vengreso‘. Viveka is an expert in helping customers get to the ‘Hello’

Watch the interview here or read an edited transcript

David

David

Okay. Welcome to today’s SalesGRID podcast today. I’ve got Viveka Von Rosen with us today from Vengreso. Viveka, tell us a little bit about your business and your interests in prospecting better.

Viveka

Viveka

Exactly, and selling more. Yeah, we’re Vengreso. We are basically a B2B sales team and sales training company with a focus on getting to ‘Hello’. You know, there are so many great sales training companies out there who take you from prospecting to closing, but we really wanted to teach sales teams how to get to that Hello, in particular using things like LinkedIn Sales navigator, social video, etc. And I’m the Co-Founder of Vengreso and I’m also their Chief trainer. So my official title is Chief Visibility Officer.

David

David

Awesome. I love it. And I guess getting to Hello, would be getting harder these days, do you think?

Viveka

Viveka

I think so. And it’s ironic, because, you know, with a pandemic with COVID, everyone was piling on LinkedIn, because that was our only place to network. In many cases, especially in the B2B world. 

Unfortunately, I think most people are doing it so badly, that it was giving LinkedIn maybe an even worse rap than it deserved, it went from being like a job seeker site in people’s minds to like, this spammy place. So our whole focus is how can we get you to use LinkedIn the right way, so people see the value in you and your company rather than another spammer.

Common Mistakes when using LinkedIn

David

David

So what do you think is the most common mistake that salespeople are making when using LinkedIn?

Viveka

Viveka

Yeah, you know that people are jumping on LinkedIn, and they’re going right for the close, you know, as we say in the US here, they’re trying to take you home without buying you a drink first!

They are making absolutely no effort to get to know who their buyer is. And they’re making no effort to focus their activity on their buyer. We all know, I hope that we shouldn’t be talking about our4r product and our service, when we’re trying to sell we really should be focused on our buyer, what’s their point of pain? What are they trying to solve? And our conversations in real life need to be about that, like, how can we help you not, here’s my stuff, and here’s all the widgets, and here’s all the gadgets. And yet they jump on LinkedIn, you know, they send an invitation to connect, and sometimes don’t even customise that. And then the next thing, you know, they’re trying to sell you something. And a lot of times, they’re automating this process. So they’re just giving themselves a bad name. 

What they should be doing is getting on LinkedIn, doing a thorough search, finding their prospects, taking the time to jump on to their profiles, learning something about them learning something about the company learning something about their needs. And then when they reach out addressing that, rather than just going for the pitch, because if they just go straight for that pitch, it’s going to be delete, delete, delete, people aren’t even going to look at your profile before deleting your invitation. And under that point, make sure that if you do get them at least as far as looking at your profile, it’s not all about you.

That’s another big mistake and it’s not your fault, you know, it’s not the sellers’ fault. They haven’t been taught any better. They’ve been taught basically to put their resume up on LinkedIn. But your whole LinkedIn profile needs to be more of a resource for your buyer. It needs to be a buyer-centric profile, again, focused on your buyer, your buyers needs your buyers points of pain, and then how you help to solve that but unfortunately, most people are like, you know 22 Plus Sales Professional President’s Club, you know, I have this experience and I do this and we do that and no one cares yet. You got it right. You got to earn the right to have conversations with your buyers.

David

David

So you’ve called out a couple of things there you “before trying to take the prospect home without buying them a drink”.

You need to first, research your prospect’s profile, do some research on them and their company before reaching out. 

Second, make sure your own profile is sort of more buyer-centric rather than all about just what you’ve done or your achievements.

What other high-value things should salespeople be doing when they’re prospecting on LinkedIn?

Viveka

Viveka

And actually, I should back up a little bit. The first thing that a seller needs is the right mindset, understanding you’re getting on LinkedIn in order to have conversations not to sell your stuff. Hopefully, you will end up selling your stuff. But it’s about creating those conversations that don’t go right for the sales pitch before even meeting somebody. 

Number two should be your brand. Because the last thing you want is, okay, you wrote a pretty decent invitation to connect, you reference the right things, then they go look at your profile, and it’s called question sales guy. And they’re totally turned off. So you actually want to make sure that your profile looks good, and is buyer-centric, and is more focused on them rather than yourself. Right? What’s in it for them? 

And then you should number three, find the right people. It’s about quality, not quantity. So you know, get rid of that automation and spray and pray. This is about finding your specific buyers or prospects researching them, we call it big fish on the wall, like what do you have in common that you can talk about so that four when you reach out, invite them to connect, they’re a lot more willing to accept that invitation. 

And then five, you want to feed them? So to answer your question, you also want to make sure that you’re sharing relevant content with them. Because unfortunately, not every buyer needs you or doesn’t realise they need you. The second you reach out but eventually, if you keep feeding them with the right content for where they are in their buyers’ journey, eventually that light bulb will go on. And they’ll be like, oh, yeah, or maybe they’re not the right fit for you. But their buddy down the hall or across the street is. And so when they say, 

Oh, I’m really looking for because you’ve been feeding them with content, they’re like, oh, you should totally talk to Vengreso. Or you should totally talk to SalesGRID. They’ve got great content here. Let me hook you up with my guy, let me hook you up with my gal.

But you got to keep feeding them with helpful relevant content for where they are in the buyers’ journey, which I know SalesGRID could help with that. And then you know, and then you got to keep at it, the last thing you need to do is make sure that you’ve got a regular cadence that you’re doing a little bit every day to kind of keep that machine fed.

David

David

Yeah, I was gonna ask you, I mean, it sounds like a bit of hard work potentially. Like you really got to nurture these people that you’re targeting in LinkedIn. So it sounds like it takes a lot of time and effort to do this properly.

Viveka

Viveka

You know, it’s kind of funny. My first book was called LinkedIn marketing an hour a day. And that was because it was a series that Wiley was doing, and I thought, oh my god, that’s the worst name ever, because who has an hour a day? And to be realistic after you work on your profile, which is a little bit time-consuming. As you start to do your engagement on LinkedIn, maybe it’s only 10 or 15 minutes a day, twice a day, right?

Maybe it’s checking your inbox, seeing what’s there doing some searches, or customising your searches if you’re using sales nav, and, you know, looking at your feed and seeing who’s there that you can engage with. And maybe it’s sharing a post, which you customise a little bit so it speaks to your audience. All of that might take 10 or 15 minutes, twice a day. Now, the more inbound activity you get, the more you know, the more prospects you have in your inbox. Yeah, it might take up to an hour a day. 

But I would say to get started, don’t freak out about that. So that’s part one. Part two is how long does getting through that stack of cold calls take you? How long does packing, travelling, going to and meeting with people at trade shows and conferences take you right? So you’re trading your time a little bit for me, I would much rather spend time researching a few qualified prospects that maybe I just find myself or serve to me through my marketing team and enriching that those contacts via LinkedIn I’d rather spend time doing that. Then cold calling, but that’s just me. So it really is. Where are you going to spend your time for the most? Where’s the what’s the ROI right of your time or your or your monetary investment?

How to ask for that appointment when using LinkedIn

David

David

I guess, as I’ve done this myself, there’s perhaps an impatience with the potential ROI on the activity. Now going back right to the beginning where you said, you know, people are trying to take people home without buying them a drink. I mean, in your mind, what do you recommend in terms of nurturing these prospects on LinkedIn. I mean, at what point do you try and ask for an appointment? Or how long? What’s the cadence there?

Viveka

Viveka

Yeah, you know, we’ve got, different cadences depending on how warm or cold the lead is. So sometimes, you know, if it’s someone you’ve already met, awesome, maybe send them, one article that’s of relevance to them, point out where they should start reading, and then follow up with a Hey, and if you have any questions, here’s my calendar link. Right. So that’s pretty warm. If it’s completely cold, we’ve actually got the seven-step, prospecting cadence that you can walk through. 

And rather than go through it all, because we’ve got several different cold, inbound, outbound, warm, cold cadences, there’s actually a prospecting guide that we can share with people. So we’ll make sure that they get that and you literally can just print it out if you want to. 

But it really depends on how cold they are, but just do unto others. Right? How do you want to be treated? If you’ve never met someone before? Do you want them pounding on you to buy their stuff? Are you going to respect someone more who at least calls you, you know, by your name? Not Dear Sir, when you’re actually a Ma’am who understands your business doesn’t try to sell you LinkedIn profile writing services, in our case, and you know, have actually looked at your profile, maybe references something that that you’ve written or shared. 

And you can tell they’ve actually spent a minute on you, I’m a lot more likely to respond to that, than something that I can tell is just an automated message on LinkedIn. So we do have the steps covered in this free prospecting guide. You don’t even have to give us your email address. But you know, just the short answer is treat others how you would want to be treated on LinkedIn.

Is there a place for Automation?

David

David

Yeah, that’s a good one, always put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Just finally, is there a place for automation? Do you think Viveka or is that just a goddamn no no!

Viveka

Viveka

You know, it depends on what you mean by automation. So pure automation, where someone is like plugging in a group that they’re a member of on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn is just like blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s a recipe for disaster.

First of all, LinkedIn is 100%, against automation. If they find out, you’re fully automating your engagement, they will suspend your account, it will absolutely happen, even if you’re not. We just hired a bunch of new SDRs. And so we’ve got this prospecting cadence that we walk our talk, so we make our sellers do the same thing.

And we had one guy, he was just like, 24/7, he was so enthusiastic. But he was so enthusiastic that LinkedIn actually thought he was automating his engagement, because he was like, literally on LinkedIn, 12 hours a day. And so they restricted his account, we had to be like, no, no, he’s really doing this. And so you have to be a little bit careful. But yeah, if you automate LinkedIn will know and they’ll restrict your account. 

Now, there are tools that you can use out there. I don’t want to say automation. Like we even have software, it’s called Fly message. Feel free to check it out. Right, it’s free. It’s a auto text expander on steroids, essentially. And so, you know, if you’ve got scripts, like if you are always, my rule of thumb is like, if you end up writing the same thing more than three times, use an auto Text Expander. Right. 

And so you can create as many different types of scripts that you want, using, you don’t have to use ours, but ours is the best, and it’s free, of course, but you can create as many scripts as you want. And then just with a couple of keystrokes, it populates. That’s not really automation, because I’m still going into my inbox. I’m still looking at every invitation or every message. I’m still thinking about, okay, who is this person? And what type of content do they do they need from me?

In order to take it to the next Step in the buyer’s journey. And then I have to think about, okay, what have I already created for them? Oh, yeah, you know, maybe this article would be of use to them. And then I have to go in and go to the to do and then the message around that particular article will populate. 

So that’s not really automation. But it does save me a little time, I don’t have to write everything out every single time. So there are time-saving tools out there. Things like Calendly, appointment setting tools, those are great tools to use, I wouldn’t call it automation, but there’s a time-saving tool. So things like that, sure, all day long, anything that’s gonna save you time.

But anything that’s fully automated, those lead generation companies, those ‘done for you’ lead generation companies out there, you know, be very careful with those because they get their $1000 $1500 $6000 per month from you and your account gets shut down. They don’t really care, right? They got their money. So you got to be really, really, really careful with those lead generation automated vendors out there. Now I’ll step down from my soapbox.

David

David

That’s something that’s good for people to hear. And I think obviously there are tricks to just make yourself more effective, more efficient. 

Viveka

Viveka

Right.

David

David

But effectiveness is fundamentally an operation of how much you’re willing to invest in the platform. Working with people. Yeah, I think it’s good, salient advice. Well, I think that’s been fantastic, Viveka, I’m actually gonna go back and revisit some stuff I am doing here. But thanks for that. Anything else you want to offer in the final parting word of advice for the audience on how to get more ‘Hellos’?

Viveka

Viveka

Well, one thing I didn’t mention, and you know, it’s something that we’re using a lot more, and it seems to be getting a lot more or higher or better response rate is using video. And what’s cool about LinkedIn, especially the mobile device, you can shoot a video and send it to someone as long as you’re connected to them in a private message.

So be thinking about how you can use video and emails be thinking about how you can use video and private messaging in order to stand out from the crowd. Because there are, I mean, if I go to my inbox right now, I have hundreds of new messages and hundreds of invitations to connect sitting there, most of them I’m just going to delete because they’re probably just trying to sell me something while everyone’s trying to sell you something. 

But the folks who do videos which are few and far between or you can also leave voicemails that I’m actually going to pay attention to I’ll probably still delete it, but at least I’ll pay attention to and listen to it. And if your message is good enough, I will pass it on. I’ll either absorb it or pass it on to someone in my company who will take action on it. But if you don’t do it, you’re gonna get deleted like everybody else out there probably. Yeah, Cancel culture, after all.

David

David

Cancel culture in sales! Well, that’s great stuff. Viveka, thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us. I think filling the funnel is obviously crucial for most B2B sales people and there are some really great tips there on how to use LinkedIn better. And yeah, thanks again and obviously go to Vengreso.com for all the info. What was the name of that software again?

Viveka

Viveka

Oh, fly message Yeah, you’ll see fly message there go to Flymsg.io. Yeah. So fly message. Well, I’ll send you that I think I didn’t send you that link and type it fly message and then the prospecting guide those two things can really help you go to the next level and they’re absolutely free.

David

David

Awesome. Thanks again. And yes, happy prospecting.

Viveka

Viveka

Awesome. Thanks. You too.

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