You don’t really need bots or sophisticated marketing software to sell successfully in social media. Probably the most important but one of the commonly overlooked aspects of social selling is the relationship side of it. What skills do you need to develop in order to make successful connections that will ultimately bring value to your business? Joining Juliet Clark to talk about this is Ted Promodou, America’s leading LinkedIn coach and bestselling author of five books on social selling. They also talk about the fundamental disadvantages of marketing on Facebook as opposed to doing it on LinkedIn, as well as the need for us to change how we use social media during this time of uncertainty and upheaval.
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Relationship Building And Social Selling On LinkedIn With Ted Prodromou
I have another great guest and we’re going to talk about the importance of relationships. For a lot of you, you’re freaking out about, “I’m not selling anything. This could be a little weird.” We’re going to talk about that a little as well. Before we get started, I want to remind you to go over and follow us on YouTube, Super Brand Publishing. You can see all the videos. Don’t forget to go over and take our Promote Profit Publish Quiz at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com. Find out where your relationship-building skills are and whether you’re in a position to build an audience that knows you, likes you, and trust you before you start selling which we’re going to talk a little bit about that as well.
My guest is Ted Prodromou. He is America’s Leading LinkedIn Coach and he’s an award-winning bestselling author of five books including the Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business, both by Entrepreneur Press. He’s also a social selling expert and the Founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full-service social media marketing agency. His SMS team which is Search Marketing Simplified creates advanced LinkedIn and social media lead generation campaigns for small to medium-sized businesses with over $100 million in revenue generated for clients.
Ted, welcome to the show. I’m excited about this. Ted and I met on LinkedIn, of all places. Can you imagine as a LinkedIn expert that he would meet someone on LinkedIn?
It’s funny how that works.
What I loved about you as a social selling expert, I run into a lot of people on LinkedIn who want to tell me that they don’t like my LinkedIn approach or what I’m doing wrong. You were so cool. You assumed that it was working for me and don’t touch what’s working. I appreciated that immensely.
These people send you a message, “I love your LinkedIn profile but.”
I deleted someone who did that and she said something to me about scheduling an appointment. I gave her my calendar and then she lectured me on, “Don’t ever give anybody your calendar.” I deleted her and reported her. It’s the second person ever on LinkedIn because it was crazy. Anyway, away with the negative stuff. Social selling, explain what that means on social media.
That term drove me crazy for the longest time. What’s social selling? It’s getting to know people. Remember those days, we used to go to conferences, we’d speak at conferences and meet a lot of people. You’d exchange business cards and have a casual conversation about the weather. What’s your business about? We weren’t selling to each other. We’re getting to know each other. Social selling is I say, start conversations on LinkedIn like you’re having a conversation with that person at Starbucks over a cup of coffee.
I showed you my book before we started, Pitchslapped where I talk about that a lot because somehow, in all of this digital world, we jumped on social media and we started worrying about clicks. We started selling before we knew people. You would never walk up to somebody at a networking event and say, “My name is Juliet. By the way, this is what I sell. Would you like to buy it?” I would hope you would never do that.
It’s almost like you meet someone on LinkedIn, I send them the credit card form, “Here, fill this out so we can start working together.”
With social selling, what we’re doing is having those conversations just like we would have at a networking event. Getting to know you, what are you up to? This isn’t like a one-off.
It’s simple conversations. People struggle with that. I used to fix computers in the ‘80s, I would get a service call, I’d call the customer up, and they would be screaming at me like, “My computer is down, blah, blah, blah.” I would get there in person and they like, “Thank you for coming.” It’s like Jekyll and Hyde. People treat us that way online for some reason. It’s a bot out there, it’s not a person.
It’s almost as bad as telemarketers. Think about that. What do you do to telemarket? You hang up on them. You play jokes on them.
Unfortunately, most of my LinkedIn expert competitors, that’s what they teach. They have automated software. They say, “Send this invitation. Start the sales pitch in the invitation.” Some people will buy and then follow up with a message every day for two weeks. It’s not like, “How are you doing? What’s your name?”Don’t just connect to pitch. Connect to start a conversation and build a relationship. Click To Tweet
I know you remember this because you’ve been around this as long as I have. It’s almost like when we started the drip campaigns, click on an ad then there’s this series of seven drips. I’m going to pretend that we’re having a relationship while you’re not opening those emails. At the end, I’m going to ask you to buy something. It’s like that.
I paid a lot of money for my very first internet marketing class and the guy taught us how to build an email list. You fill out the form, give them an eBook at that time, and then he said, “Send them 5 to 10 emails a day with affiliate offers until they buy or die.” That die means unsubscribed from your list. Of course, I tried that. I didn’t know any better years ago.
How did that work for you? Did people die or do they buy?
I don’t think I ever made a sale.
Even that whole thing with the clicks and the ads and all that, that’s almost dead as well now because people want a real relationship with the person that they’re going to buy especially since we have higher ticket items now than we used to. Speak to that a little bit. Why is that relationship important before we go in for the kill?
If you’re selling a product on Amazon, it’s an easy thing. I need deodorant so I’m going to look up deodorant and buy it. It’s an instant buy. You don’t have to nurture them. We’re selling $10,000 or $20,000 coaching packages. You’ve got to know, like, and trust that person before you’re going to hand over your credit card.
The other difference there that coaches don’t get the distinction a lot of times when they’re selling those programs is one, it’s tangible, I can hold it in my hand. If I don’t like the deodorant, I can send it back. The other is an intellectual concept. You have to be able to explain to them and build that trust. Are you the person? There are a lot of people out there that have paid for a lot of programs that don’t work too. You’ve got a big hurdle to get over.
That doesn’t happen with 2 or 3 LinkedIn messages or emails. They’ve got to see your face online. I’m avoiding Facebook like the plague these days because it’s so toxic but I get a lot of business from there. I have to spend some time there.
Tracy Hazzard and I ended our show at the end of June 2020 for that very same reason because I don’t want to play. I remember the last election. It’s 10 times worse, maybe 100 times worse. I don’t want to play there as much. I get a ton from there as well.
If we posted this episode on Facebook, we would get a political debate within ten minutes.
You’re from the Bay Area and I’m in Utah so I bet we would be on either side of that is my guess. That is the toxicity there. There’s no in-between these days. There’s no tolerance for any outside the box thinking.
There are some marketers that say like Dan Kennedy. He’s infamous for that. Tell them who you are, tell them what you stand for, those people will come to you, and the other people will go away like Fox News or CNN, what side do you want? Pick one or the other.
That’s funny you said that because I would say that most of my clients are of the opposite persuasion of me. We have some great conversations, not debates, they’re more, “Why do you think that?” They’re real conversations that I wish more people would have. That needs to happen out there. If you were to approach someone on LinkedIn, I want to talk about the full spectrum here. Your ultimate goal would be a conversation but your secondary goal would be, get them into your email list. What would you think? How would you go about doing those things in a way that would be productive?
First, I back up a little bit because if you referred business to me, I would look that person up on Google. That’d be the first thing I do, usually.
Everybody googles people. I worked a lot with financial advisors and they say they get a lot of business from LinkedIn. They get referrals, people will google their name, their LinkedIn profile comes up, they view their LinkedIn profile, and then they reach out to them.
I do that. This is another thing too. I like a personal introduction for the referral. If you know, your personal introduction goes a long way.
Especially when you’re talking about your life savings. I want to talk to someone that knows this person.
Somebody said, “Why don’t you go talk to,” and they gave me a name. I looked that name up on LinkedIn and there were fourteen of them. It’s like, “Why don’t you make an introduction so I would know which one of these fourteen people are.”
They’re going to go to your LinkedIn profile because your LinkedIn profile shows up at the top of a couple of search results on Google. You have to have that good first impression there. When they’re scanning on their phone, which most people do now, they can see how you can help them. Financial advisors have a lot of restrictions on their profile but coaches, you have a very specific niche a lot of times. Who do you work with? They’ll work with women over 50 who are looking for a new career or whatever. They scan your LinkedIn profile and they’re looking for those keywords. They’re going to make, “I need to reach out to her because she can help me.”
Instead of the boring, “I’m a certified coach,” and they have all their certifications after it. It’s got to be all about the reader. How are you going to help me? You all invite them to connect. First, you’ve got to customize the invitation. Tell them why you want to connect. If people reading this want to connect me on LinkedIn, say you read me on this blog. Otherwise, I won’t accept your invitation anymore because I’ve got too many people in my network. There’s too much noise.
That’s a good point that you said personalize it because I roll my eyes. I’ve noticed, there is this same message that keeps coming over and over. I wonder who they’re working with because that is not a customized message. What do you do to personalize it? You said to reach out because of this show. Are there other ways? Let’s say, I didn’t see you on a show. I googled or I searched in LinkedIn for financial advisors and your name came up.
Sixty percent of people on LinkedIn login once a month or less. It’s more now since the lockdown because everybody is looking for jobs but you search for content that you like to follow. If you’re a leadership coach, you search for the #Leadership and there’s content posted there with #Leadership so you can see who’s actively involved in those conversations. Have some conversations in the news feed and then invite them to say, “I love what you’re saying in #Leadership conversations. Let’s connect.”
I love that because you pointed out two things. How important content is number one. Number two, LinkedIn is not like Facebook where people jump on several times a day when they have. They jump on a couple of times a week because it’s less of a social and more of a business site.
LinkedIn is doing a good job of getting more content out there that you want to come back every day so you can keep up with your industry. I say login 5 or 10 minutes a day. Even if you log in, LinkedIn algorithm gets triggered and you get more activity than on your profile. It’s a little secret about the algorithm.
There’s a little hot tip for you guys right there. Let’s say, once I’ve got you into that conversation, how do I get you from there into the list? You can’t add people to your list because you’ve had a conversation. That will be the quickest way to alienate someone and it violates FTC regulations. How do you go from that conversation and get them into your list?
One of the things is I have to give my assistant full credit for this. I sent a little welcome message after we connect and say, “Thanks for connecting.” She added, “Just for fun, tell me something interesting about you I wouldn’t know from your LinkedIn profile.” About 20% of people reply to that message and tell me something totally off the wall. “I played hockey with Wayne Gretzky in high school,” or something off the wall. One guy said, “I have five children from five different women.” I’m like, “Whoa.” The LinkedIn auto prompt, they have those little words and the thing they said, “That’s not good.” That was the LinkedIn auto prompt.
LinkedIn is not judgy at all. Are they?We used to be taught to bring people to their pain and show them how life can be like if they work with you. Now is not the time to do that. Click To Tweet
I shared that with him. He laughed. He says, “I adopted kids.” It was fun.
I love that he’s able to laugh and say that and then go back and explain it because you know where our minds are. It’s like, “Keep it in your pants.”
I’d like to have fun on LinkedIn because everyone else is so boring.
What is the value of getting them into your list? You and I talked a little bit about beforehand, if you don’t get them in the list and there’s an algorithm change, you could be in big trouble.
Myspace networks back in the day. What happens if your whole business was based on Myspace?
I have a story about that. One of my very good friends had over 300 hits a month on her magazine and she didn’t make them opt-in. She lost her sponsors in her business on Myspace. What if she had had them all in her email list and said, “Here’s the link. We’re over on Facebook now.” She would have been one of the early adopters of Facebook with a huge audience. What a missed opportunity.
What would Facebook be in five years? Things are so toxic now. People are still they addicted though. They keep logging in every day. It’s not a pleasant experience. If your business is based on a Facebook group, get them onto your email list too because you own the email list. You don’t own that community on Facebook, Google Hangouts, or Google+, remember that.
I do. I have a story telling Pitchslapped about Google+. I had a big group over there, the first year out of my business. That’s when we developed the quiz and I found out that my big group that was very engaged, active, and wasn’t buying from me was a bunch of starving artists. That’s why it’s so important. If you do have that group to get them into your list and find out who’s opening, who’s not opening, and as much as you can about them.
I don’t add them to my list. As you said, I get on ten newsletters a week, at least, that connect with you on LinkedIn and all of a sudden, I’m getting your newsletter. What I do after I ask them that question about, “Tell me something interesting.” I say, “If you want to learn something interesting about me, visit my LinkedIn friends page.” I have a link to my website. I have a page called LinkedIn Friends. It has a one-hour webinar. They can watch for free about LinkedIn in 2020 and what to do. I have to update that now that 2020 has totally changed.
I give them a free one hour, here’s me on a webinar teaching LinkedIn. I have these little stories about me, my career, the dot-com crash, all the different things that happened to me. On the sidebar, they can buy my book, and then I have a little pop-up. They can join 60,000 business professionals get LinkedIn breaking news. People opt-in like crazy. I’m not even getting an eBook, a video, or anything. It’s like, “Join 60,000 other business professionals.” That’s how I get people on my email.
That is not only great. I’ve already got the visual for your new 2020 video where you start out with, “This is what your LinkedIn plan looked like,” explosions, and people dying.
Do you know what I’m doing, I got to record a new webinar. I realized it could be out of date.
You’ve got to put in those disaster plans in there so they recognize themselves in there, it’s like, “I had a plan.”
Should I wear a mask in the video or not?
Probably not. I would imagine it’s garbled.
I could sort out my users who wears the mask and who doesn’t.
We could have it hanging from your ear. There are many ideas here. It is important to get those people into your list because you could lose your audience. One of our past clients had a great group over on Facebook. One algorithm change and she lost visibility of them. It was a business page. Remember when they switched business pages, you had all this great engagement, and you guys were talking like old-timers here because that was 2012, 2013. Ancient history and then he decided that groups were the new churches. They don’t like groups either. What else can you tell us about social media in 2020 that will help us now that it’s changed and you have a video to record? Give us a preview.
I was reading an interesting article, Harvard Business Review. I don’t know if you read that but they interviewed all these CEOs who said, “How are you dealing with this crisis? What are you doing with your teams?” One of the CEO said, “Now is not the time to be managing. Now is the time for you to be a leader.” All your messaging should be from that. When we get all those messages, “Are you struggling?” You don’t want to drag people further down. We’re all struggling in some way. They used to teach us in marketing, “Bring them into their pain and then show them how life can be like when they work with you.” That’s not the time to be doing that now. Don’t reach out to complete strangers and say, “How are you feeling? Do you need any help? Do you want to talk?” You’ve got your friends, that’s one thing. Don’t do that to some strangers and say, “I’m here to listen.”
“I’m here to listen. I’ve got a supply of Xanax if you need it, I will share.”
“I have a good training program. You can sign up while we talk.”
“We’ll get over your depression and I will help you feel empowered in this down and lonely time.”
It’s got to be barely sensitive what’s going on. We’ve never been through anything this. Nobody knows what’s going to happen.
I remember in the early days, I talked to someone who took one of our quizzes. He was telling me about, “I have two hours a day that I’m not on the freeway. I don’t know what to do with myself.” I hope he got his act together. I said, “What are you doing to fill that time?” He said, “Drinking.” I was like, “Let’s hope that doesn’t last.” That’s not the time to say maybe you need a training program either. This is great stuff. Where can we find you besides your video?
The easy way to find me at YourLinkedInCoach.com.
We already told you about his book. If you’re not quite sure about him, run over and grab one of his books. Ted, thank you. This was enjoyable. You have a lot of knowledge about social media and we’re happy to have you.
Thanks for having me. This has been fun.
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- What You Think of Me is None of My Business
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- Speaking of Influence
About Ted Prodromou
Ted Prodromou, America’s Leading LinkedIn Coach, is the award-winning, best-selling author of 5 books including Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business (Entrepreneur Press). Ted is a social selling expert and the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service social media marketing agency. The SMS team creates advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation campaigns for small to medium-sized businesses with over $100 million in revenue generated for their clients.
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