How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Social Selling with Brynne Tillman

When is the appropriate time to make a sales pitch on LinkedIn?  What is an ask-offer ratio?  What is the predecessor to know, like and trust?  In this episode, Chris and Ryan talk with Brynne Tillman about the value of social currency and how to maximize your LinkedIn social selling.

Brynne Tillman is a recovering sales trainer. She’s transforming the way professionals grow their business by leveraging LinkedIn to convert content and connections to conversations. 

Here are some podcast episode highlights:

How do I get client referrals without cold calling

Brynne Tillman: So LinkedIn in 2013 became this incredible aha moment when it solved my biggest problem – how do I connect with people without cold calling? How do I find them? And here’s the thing I loved, as all of us do, client referrals. Right? Who doesn’t love client referrals? But here’s the problem with it in the real world.  

If I go, hey, Chris, who do you know that could use my services the same way you have? What do you do? I don’t know. I don’t know who I know. LinkedIn gives us the ability to filter and search our connections’, connections. So I could say, hey, Chris, you know, 24 people that I’m looking to get in front of. Can I run these names by you? And of the 24, you know 6. Of these 6 can I use your name when I reach out? 

That solved my problem. How do I get client referrals without cold calling? And now as I’ve morphed, how do we get client referrals without cold calling and making my clients do work.

So now I have six that Chris says. Absolutely. And you can you know, these are great people for you. Can I mention when I reach out to Ryan, can I mention that we had this conversation that you’re my client and you thought we should talk. Absolutely. Ryan, Chris and I were chatting the other day. Your name came up in our conversation and he thought I should reach out and introduce myself. I’ve been working with Chris for the last couple of years, doing this, this and this. And I know he thinks in an hour where I think I could probably offer some insights on a quick call even if we don’t work together. It’ll be well worth your time. If you’re interested, let me know. I can send you a link to my calendar. 

How do you teach users on LinkedIn to avoid the connect and pitch (aka Pitch Slap)?

Brynne Tillman: [00:06:31] So first, we have to look at the philosophy. Right. So the first piece I’ll talk about is we need to earn the right to get a conversation. We cannot connect and pitch and assume that anyone has any interest in talking to us. We’ve brought no value to the table whatsoever and you are just noise and annoying. I find it incredible that people are still doing this, but I also get phone calls every day.

‘Please do not hang up. This is an important…’ Like, I’m hanging up. That’s an invitation. Right? That’s happening on LinkedIn. ‘We help businesses just like you’. That’s an invitation to disconnect, right? Like so.

So we have to look at the…Did this work five years ago? Maybe a little better, but it’s definitely not working now when everyone on the planet has turned to LinkedIn for sales, particularly in this post-quarantine environment. Right. 

So you have to come from did I earn the right for this person to want to take my call? If the answer is no, don’t ask. 

“When you create that content, or curate that content, or go to engage other pieces of content with your own insight, you have to master the Ask-Offer ratio. “

You Must Earn the Right to Have the Conversation with a Prospective Customer

Brynne Tillman: [00:07:44] the first thing is we have to know what matters to them, not what matters to me. What matters to you? It’s not what I want you to know. It’s what you want to learn, absorb, consume. Right? 

So I have to truly understand what matters to my prospect. And if I do not know their challenge, I am never going to earn the right to have the conversation. So you’ve got to do that. 

I know we’re doing a lot of what do you have to do first, but it’s the only way it works. Next, when you create that content, or curate that content, or go to engage other pieces of content with your own insight, you have to master the Ask-Offer ratio. 

The Ask-Offer ratio is I’m asking you for 38-seconds to read my stuff. At the end of that 38-seconds, you were going to walk away with one of three feelings. It was a bait and switch. What a waste of my time. And a lot of that is I ask you to read an article, and the topic is better than the content. Right? Lots of bait and switch. 

But what’s even more prevalent is the neutral. Neutral does not earn you the right to have a conversation. If I just invested 36-seconds to read something and at the end of that it was barely worth my 36-seconds. It didn’t hurt your reputation, but there’s nothing compelling for me to want to have a conversation. 

That was a waste of your content, of your time, of your whatever you put out there. We need to be compelling at least 80% of the time. We need someone to want to take action. What does take action mean? It could be as little as I reacted with a Like, it could be I commented, it could be a thank you for sending me that. 

Or in some cases I may reach out with, 

“Hey, Thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I noticed you’re a CEO. We have a webinar coming up on this and this. If you’re interested, let me know. I’ll send you a link.” 

I didn’t send the link. I asked them permission to send the link and their reaction might be,

 ‘Oh, thanks. I’d love that.’ 

You’re going to get way more opt-ins when you ask permission then when you push. 

Brynne Tillman: [00:13:16] It’s important that you’re sharing content, even if it’s other people’s content that leads to a conversation about your solution eventually. Don’t just share random stuff. You know, make sure that it’s in the realm of what you do. 

Brynne Tillman: [00:13:59] My first call is not a sales call. Rarely, let’s say rarely, is my first call a sales call. Most of the time, my first call is an insight’s call. 

So, “Ryan, I’m so glad you got value from that. I have additional information. If this is something you’re exploring, I’d love to share X, Y and Z with you. If you’re interested, let me know and I can send over a link for a 15-minute call.” 

I’m not sending you my link until you say ‘I want it’. You can’t have my link until you say ‘I want it’. Right? Because otherwise, you’re like (not) ‘another one’. How would you feel if now we’ve had a little conversation and I’m like, if you’re interested, let me know. That gets you more interested. Right. It gets you going:

‘Hmmm, maybe I will talk to them. Maybe I will attend that webinar. Maybe I will…” 

Whatever, right? Like you get them to the edge of ‘Oh, that’s interesting’ and then pull back. 

It’s like dating. 

Go Beyond LinkedIn for Pre-Call Planning

Brynne Tillman: [00:40:10] Part of what you can do with LinkedIn, by the way, is pre-call planning. Look at pre-call planning beyond your LinkedIn profile. Check out their Instagram where they go on vacation. 

There’s so many things that you can do in a pre-call planning that gets you to connect with people on a deeper level. And they appreciate that. 

‘Hey, I know you’re in Hawaii last year. It’s on my bucket list. I’ve always want to go there. I’ve never been there.’ 

I mean, I know how to connect, but just simply that it’s on my bucket list is a great way to, you know, to start a conversation. So it ended up and I did. That was Singapore. Singapore is on my bucket list. 

At the end of this he’s like ‘when you come out, call me’, we only had one call. I don’t know where it’s going, I don’t know if he’s going to be my client. I don’t know anything. 

But even in his follow up email. It’s like when you decide to come out here, let me know. I’ll show you around, like we connected. 

We have to connect more. 

Using LinkedIn to Develop Buyer Personas and Deeper Understanding

Ryan Smith: [00:43:38] LinkedIn is a great way to really understand what that buyer persona is. You know, what their interests are. Like you said, what articles are they sharing? If you’re seeing them share the same types of articles a lot, there’s probably a reason for that. That’s what they’re interested in or that’s what they need, something along those lines. 

Brynne Tillman: [00:43:58] I’ve written content specifically for one client based on what they were sharing. So I can say I see you were sharing this. We had something very similar I thought might be interesting. I literally wrote it with them in mind. 

Ryan Smith: [00:44:09] When you write to something with somebody in-mind, do you find out…And I equate this to sometimes you think, oh, you know, you always say there’s no such thing as a stupid question or a dumb question. Then you ask that question and then you end up finding out three or four people in that room had the same question, but they were afraid to ask. And when you write for that one person, you end up finding out more people were engaging with that content. Yeah, I was to learn more about them. 

Brynne Tillman: [00:44:35] Yes. Sometimes it ends up to be my best piece that gets traction everywhere. And that client never really knows. I wrote it for them. 

Brynne Tillman: [00:46:00] When I talk to a client, I’m like, OK, so what’s been going on for the last few months? What got you to reach out or prospect? Right. What got you to reach out? What isn’t working. Right. That’s all part of the discovery. 

You need to take that and create content. So now what is the content you create? 

“Five Things to do When Your Team’s Pipeline has Stalled”. Right? Now your content has to be where they are in the point before they need you. What’s happening? 

So in marketing, what’s going on? Maybe you guys do e-mail campaigns. Mm hmm. OK. So it might be (for example) “Five Things to do When Your Email Open Start to Decline”. 

What’s 1 Takeaway from Linkedin Social Selling?

“Make sure that whatever you’re asking someone to do: to read your profile, to listen to a podcast, to watch a video, to read a blog post, that at the end of that experience it’s compelling. 

They say (to themselves) this was well worth my time.”

Brynne Tillman: [00:49:25] The Ask-Offer ratio. Make sure that whatever you’re asking someone to do: to read your profile, to listen to a podcast, to watch a video, to read a blog post, that at the end of that experience it’s compelling. 

They say (to themselves) this was well worth my time. I invested this amount of time, whether it’s 30 seconds or 30 minutes or three hours. Right. I invested time in this and it was really worth it. It was absolutely the best use of my time. 

That’s how you get to more conversations. That’s how you get people to raise their hand and say, hey, you’re worth a call. So master the Ask-Offer ratio.

Connect with Brynne Tillman on LinkedIn or at Social Sales Link.

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