Are you experiencing the phenomena of “LinkedIn Guilt”? Are you comfortable using social media but when it comes to LinkedIn, you just don’t get it?
If this resonates with you, then have a listen to this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales!
Darryl brings in LinkedIn Megastar Daniel Disney to help you get over the hurdle of using LinkedIn. Daniel, who has almost half a million connections of his own, tells us just how easy it is to use this tool to not only source fields of new prospects, but will also give you sage advice on how you can engage with them to create lasting, trusted relationships. If you are struggling with incorporating LinkedIn into your social media outreach, this episode will both put you at ease and give you the boost you need to succeed.
Not in the mood to listen? No problem, you can read the transcriptions below.
Host: Darryl Praill, VanillaSoft
Guest: Daniel Disney, The Daily Sales
Darryl Praill: Welcome everybody to another episode of Inside, Inside Sales. I am your host, Darryl Praill, good to see you again guys, how you doing? How you been keeping? It’s been a whole week since we last talked. I want you to know I miss you. I love this show. The only show on the podcast sphere. You like that one? The podcast sphere? The podcast sphere, that talks about pragmatic, tactical, real tangible items, takeaways, practical advice that you can apply as a sales development rep. We do not talk strategy or vision or execution or trends. We don’t talk any management speak in this show. We just talk. We just talk real. Today’s a fun show because it’s on a topic that not only should be important to you in your pursuits as a sales professional, but it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart just from a personal level as well.
Darryl Praill: And that is, we’re gonna talk LinkedIn. Now, many of you are using LinkedIn today, we know that. Some more than others. And I think right now, since I brought that up, probably half of you are going, ‘Ugh, he’s talking LinkedIn. Because you have that, you know, silent little guilt thing going on your head that, you know you could be doing it better. You know it’s a channel you’ve ignored and that’s okay. Today, we are not here to chastise you. We’re not here to do any of that. In fact, we’re here to encourage you. A big reason a lot of people don’t use LinkedIn, and you’re going to meet my guests here shortly, I’ve got a ringer, folks. Let me tell you. A big reason people don’t use LinkedIn is because frankly, it’s just foreign to them, right? It’s just they don’t see the value. They’re not comfortable with it. It’s not natural to them. And that’s cool. And you know, it’s not limited to any one demographic.
Darryl Praill: I’ll give you an example. I was talking to my son the other day and my sons 24 and he’s having a very successful career. He’s a broadcast journalism pro. He’s a co-host on a morning show in a major market for a major network and we’re talking social media. And here’s a kid who gets social media, he’s all over Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. He’s got his community, he’s got his followers. He engages every single day on the morning show, via social media. And he shared with me that he just doesn’t get LinkedIn. 24 years old. And I said, “I get it. You know, I get it.” And you know we’ve all been raised at LinkedIn. I’m sorry, that Facebook and Instagram and whatnot, that’s all about connecting with your friends, right? And your extended friends.
Darryl Praill: I said, “LinkedIn is not that. LinkedIn is, in fact, the very opposite. LinkedIn is about connecting with your peers, your colleagues, those individuals who are professionals in a certain industry, perhaps sharing a similar role, perhaps in a complementary role. Just like you. You don’t sit there and talk about the great Venti latte you had. Instead of you talking about the challenging call you just had, you ask for advice, you share your wisdom, you learn from one another. It is a support group for individuals in this industry as professional peers.”
Darryl Praill: When I kind of said that, he’s like, “So you mean I would connect with like a producer from a competing network?”
Darryl Praill: “Absolutely.”
Darryl Praill: He goes, “Why?”
Darryl Praill: I said, “Because they have the same challenges that you have.” And I said, “You would connect with a video editor, a scriptwriter, whatever it might be. A web reporter, they’re all on the same gig of broadcast just like you are. In the world sales, it’s the exact same way. And that’s the LinkedIn is. And that’s what makes it so powerful because the very people you want to talk to and connect with, your future customers, that’s where they live. They’re your colleagues.”
Darryl Praill: So I thought, “Let’s demystify LinkedIn. Let’s make it approachable and understandable. So account execs and sales reps can rocket and blow their quotas, out of the water.”
Darryl Praill: So, whether you’re a LinkedIn ninja or just starting out, we’ve got you covered today. With that long winded intro, I want you to meet, if you haven’t met them already, the one, the only Daniel Disney. Social selling Mecca himself. I could not bring you a more powerful, impressive, accomplished, followed LinkedIn expert than this man right here, Daniel, how are you today?
Daniel Disney: I am really, really well, Darryl. That was a wonderful introduction. Thank you very much, for your very kind words.
Darryl Praill: If you don’t know Daniel guys, I mean just go to LinkedIn and search Daniel with an ‘E’, if I recall, Disney. All right. At last count, Daniel and his social properties, et cetera, have in excess of 400,000 followers and I believe you’re on track, or your stated goal is to get to half a million followers this year. Am I correct, Daniel?
Daniel Disney: That’s 100% correct, Darryl and I am very focused and on track so far to achieve that.
Darryl Praill: So, I thought if someone could get 400,000 followers and you know, nail down another 100,000 before the year’s out, he might know a thing or two. So, again, this is just about demystifying.
Darryl Praill: Now, Daniel, we talked a little bit about this and I know you kind of said there’s three areas that we should talk about today. You said, “Profile, search, and engage.”
Darryl Praill: So, let’s just go to profile first. What is it that, and to demystify it, to make this very simple and approachable and understandable, talk to us about the profile and why that’s important.
Daniel Disney: Yeah, of course. Every salesperson who’s listening to this podcast episode, we all take care of our physical selves. So whether we’re in the office, whether out face-to-face with customers, you know, we make sure we look sharp, we look smart, we look professional and presentable. What we now have that not many of us realize is a digital presence. And our LinkedIn profile very much is that digital presence. Now, we may look great physically, we may have the wonderful suits on the wonderful dress, whatever it may be. But if our LinkedIn profile isn’t as good as it could be for a lot of you, your prospects, their very first impression of you may be your LinkedIn profile. That might be the first thing they see when they search for you, when they’re looking for your product or your industry. So for me, profile is the first place I think anyone in sales should start with in just making sure it’s the best possible, professional representation of themselves.What we now have that not many of us realize is a digital presence. And our #LinkedIn profile is that digital presence. It could be your prospects first impression of you. @thedandisney @TheDailySales #LinkedInTips #Prospecting Click To Tweet
Darryl Praill: So maybe a good analogy there, to your point. It’s like dating. Right? Do people even use that word anymore? Dating? But I think it’s like dating, right? If I’m going to go, I’m single. By the way, honey, I still love you at 30 years of marriage. But if I was single, the first thing I would do is I would probably look at my own personal appearance. And how am I perceived by the people I want to present myself to. Do I smell good? Do I look good? Do I dress good? You know, basically, can I go and strut so that, I can catch their eye. Because if I look disheveled, if I am not of good hygiene, chances of me finding a mate are pretty low. So, on LinkedIn. It’s not a dating app, it’s a business networking app. But the premise is the same. You want to package yourself up to make an impression. Is that a fair analogy?
Daniel Disney: That’s a great analogy, actually. What I like about it is, that you kind of look again back to the past of where dating would happen, where you would make sure you are physically smart. Whereas now, and I can’t say I have masses of experience in this, but dating is done digitally. People have these profiles on these dating sites and that will be the first thing they do when they want to find someone from the opposite sex. Then they make their profile as attractive as possible. And yes, LinkedIn is not about dating, but it’s the professional equivalent that you want your profile to be appealing to your prospects and customers when they look at it, they think, “Yep. Here is someone credible, someone who looks like someone I could buy from.”
Darryl Praill: And it’s not just the photo.The photo is only one aspect and the photo doesn’t have to be, you know, high, high end. We’ve all got reasonable smartphones and we can all frame a picture and we can do that wonderful little funkiness that the camera’s let us do these days where the background is blurred and we’ll look stylish. So, there’s no excuse for not having a reasonable photo. If you still have a photo taken 14 years ago at your brother-in-law’s wedding, that’s wrong. Get rid of that, okay?
Darryl Praill: But it’s as they say, it’s not just the photo. A lot of it is the words, it’s the writeup, it’s the description. It’s who you are and what’s your ability? It’s your essence. So, talk to me about that, Daniel. How do we package ourselves up optimally that way?
Daniel Disney: Yeah, no, of course. Sure. I loved what you said at the beginning of this about demystifying LinkedIn. So, just on the whole photo thing, let’s break it down as simple as possible. Most of us have powerful smartphones. All you want to do is find a nice plain background and get one of your colleagues to take a nice headshot when you’re dressed smart. It’s that simple. There you go. Boom. You’ve got pretty much a perfect profile photo.
Daniel Disney: But yeah, the rest of your profile, the two sort of key areas I would recommend focusing on is your background. And this often gets overlooked by sales reps and account execs. It’s the sort of space behind your profile photo. And ultimately, the way I view it, it’s your own personal billboard. It’s the first thing that people are going to see is your background and your photo. And in that background you should have an image that’s got your company logo in and ideally in a short as word as possible, something that tells them what you do. So, the first thing they’re going to see, they should hopefully know pretty much what it is you’re offering.Your #LinkedIn background should have an image that's got your company logo and in short words, something that tells them what you do. ~ @thedandisney @TheDailySales #LinkedInTips Click To Tweet
Daniel Disney: Then, the next, second most important section is your summary. And again, the LinkedIn profile is very much laid out like a CV and a lot of people will use it to get a job. It’s a great tool for getting a job, but when you are hoping to leverage it as a salesperson, you want it to be customer-focused. So, it’s not about all of your great achievements as a salesperson. It’s about how are you helping people, what are you offering, how are you helping them? Who have you helped, why are you helping? All those things. You want, again, a customer to read that summary and really pack it out and put as much information as you can, but you want them to read it, know what you do and be interested if they’re in the right buying position to reach out.
Darryl Praill: So, a lot of people get hung up on what to write and they kind of have writer’s block. We’re not going to be able to solve that for you today. But a couple of things we can share with you is that Daniel and I are just about to release a paper that goes through item, by item, by item in your profile, what you need to do to cover. So, that’ll help. Look for that on the VanillaSoft website and with Daniel and we’ll announce that shortly. But by the time this podcast hits the air it’s probably already out there.
Darryl Praill: The other thing you can do folks, I mean you have a couple of options. You can reach out to LinkedIn experts like Daniel and others. I was on a Webinar not too long ago with a Mario Martinez Jr., I’m here today with Daniel. So, these are people and their organizations who can help you with your profile.
Darryl Praill: The other thing you can do this and do what I did many, many years ago was, I just went to Amazon I spent less than $10. I bought an ebook and it kind of walked me through what to say, what to do, how to keyword stuff. And for me that was the easiest. So, you can either do it yourself, DIY or you can farm it out and let the experts do it. But either way, you’re making an investment. It’s either an investment of money, it’s an investment of time. But what the ultimate investment is, is an investment in you. Your profile is your calling card.
Darryl Praill: And the first thing people do when you engage with them on VanillaSoft… I’m sorry, I didn’t mean VanillaSoft. I mean, when you engage with them on LinkedIn, like you would if you’re going to VanillaSoft, is they check out the profile. So, you want to package yourself up to look good.
Darryl Praill: We’re going to take a break shortly because when we come back, we’re going to talk about and cover up search and Engage and both have a lot of interesting contents. Don’t go anywhere, we’ll be right back.
Darryl Praill: Okay, so let’s talk about search, Daniel. So what’s really powerful, I mean so far it almost sounds like we’re doing this to make yourself all gussied up to be found. But the reality is, the reason you do this is that when you go looking for prospects and you reach out to them using LinkedIn, they’re going to assess who you are before they respond. Are you worthy of response? Will I accept this and this personal invitation to connect. Will I write reply to your in-mail or your direct message, whatever it might be. So, that’s why you do the profile, but now you’re getting out there and you’re going to use that search function to go find prospects. This is where you go, “Oh my gosh, LinkedIn, where have you been all my life?”
Darryl Praill: How do we utilize the search? What are some tips and tricks? Again, demystify it for me. So, just make it really simple. Make it ‘Darryl simple.’
Daniel Disney: I will do my best to make it ‘Darryl simple.’
Daniel Disney: I mean, you’re right. This is where LinkedIn really comes alive. What you’ve mentioned is something, and you and I have talked about this a few times over recent weeks, Darryl. What’s the sort of difference between inbound social and an outbound social or ‘Inbound LinkedIn,’ ‘Outbound, LinkedIn.’ There was lots of stuff as you say, that will generate interest coming to you. But this is the whole search piece. If you’re out there, you’re a hungry salesperson, which hopefully everyone listening to this will be a hungry sales rep or account executive. Then search is where you can go out and find your prospects and with 600 million members worldwide growing massively, chances are for most people, for most industries, your prospects are there. There are tons of different ways you can utilize search, LinkedIn’s built in loads of great filters, loads of great search methods. I’ll give you a few of some of my personal favorites.🔍 Search is where you can go out and find your prospects & with 600 million members worldwide, chances are for most people, for most industries, your prospects are there. ~ @thedandisney @TheDailySales #LinkedInTips Click To Tweet
Daniel Disney: One of the ones that I think a lot of salespeople don’t utilize is the content section. So again, keeping this nice and simple. You go into LinkedIn, you login, there’s a search bar at the top. You type in whatever it is you’re selling, whatever industry you may be in. Let’s say you’re selling software or you’re looking to sell to software representatives. You’d just type in software, click search. When the search shows up, you’ll have some sections at the top. One of those says ‘Content’. You click on that and what it will do is filter down all content relevant to software. And you have three opportunities in each of those findings.
Daniel Disney: First, the publisher of the content could potentially be a prospect. You’ve got someone there talking about software. That’s potentially what you’re selling.
Daniel Disney: You’ve then got the people that are clicking ‘Like’ on that post. Could be five, could be 10, could be 50, it could be 500. You can see all of those people and there you have people interested again, in that subject.
Daniel Disney: And the very last bit is that the people that write comments. Again, you can see that potentially people that are interested. So, you will have tons and tons of scrolling down before you ever get to the end of it. Of all the latest content people talking about what you sell. So, that would be my first sort of a tip on that one.
Daniel Disney: Just another quick one, Darryl. When it comes to search. Again, you’ve got loads of great filters and again, sort of demystifying it, trying to make it simple. You could type in software, you’ll probably get millions of search results. Use the filters. Filter in through location, you can filter through to position title. You’ve got a title box. You can literally look for a specific type of decision maker. It could be IT Director, IT manager, filter those strings down. It will narrow it nicely and hopefully should deliver you a really nice list of prospects.
Darryl Praill: Now when you tell that to people, what’s their reaction? I mean, are they almost shocked at how easy it is? Or, then they start to go, “Well, why wasn’t I doing this before?” Somebody who’s really uncertain about LinkedIn, how do they react?
Daniel Disney: Again, spot on Darryl. They tend to be in a lot of shock. And you know, I’ve been training this for a while now and it amazes me how many people just simply don’t know. There were all these search methods. A lot of people in the industry, are just used to buying data or they’ve been given a slab of data that’s been bought from some distributor, 100,000, 10,000 names and phone numbers. Most of them are out of date. The fact that pretty much all of those people and more, they’re on LinkedIn profiles, most of them are active. Again, it’s kind of a mind-blowing thing. That’s the thing. You’re a hungry salesperson, look, your prospects are there, you just need to go find them.
Darryl Praill: So … Let’s be clear in this, because we haven’t talked about LinkedIn sales navigator, there’s a whole separate product you can also upgrade to. This is just using the free version of LinkedIn, correct?
Daniel Disney: 100% correct. Everything. There was so much you can do on the free account. Darryl, you know a lot about what I’ve achieved on LinkedIn. Pretty much everything I’ve achieved on LinkedIn was done on the free version. Navigator comes in where you really max out and it helps you take the next level, but there is so much you can do on the free account. But there are some restrictions, so being again, completely demystifying here, you can only search so much. It’s a lot. I used to use it pretty much every month, but it would be towards the end of the month. So, there are some limits, but again, it does take a lot to reach them.
Darryl Praill: Alright. So now let’s segway over to the whole engaged part because I think this is why a lot of people got freaked out. Is they just don’t see themselves as having the time, having the content, having the insights, having the experience, having the skills or the desire or the inclination to engage. They’re just happy lurking.
Daniel Disney: ‘Lurking’ is probably my favorite word, Darryl.
Darryl Praill: Stalking for many is another way of putting it, for sure. So, how do you respond to that? How can you engage when you have these, either real or these perceived blocks that are preventing you from engaging? And why should you engage? Is it worth the investment of time and energy?
Daniel Disney: Oh no, of course. So again, just think about it and some of us, hopefully, will be able to relate to this, but when someone clicks, ‘Like’ on something you’ve posted or something you’ve created or written, or comments on it, it’s an amazing feeling. It feels great. And you can do that for your prospects. When your prospects post something, share something, write something and you’re liking it and commenting on it and giving them praise, that’s going to make them feel great and it’s going to make them feel very positive about you.When your prospects post something, share something, write something & you like, comment, & give them praise, that's going to make them feel great and it's going to make them feel very positive about you. ☺ ~ @thedandisney… Click To Tweet
Daniel Disney: So as a salesperson, you want to build these great relationships, you want to build rapport and earn trust and through engagement, through engaging in their content, through sharing valuable content, you are laying such great and solid sales foundation so that it becomes far easier and a whole lot better when you then start to progress those conversations and identify needs, et cetera.
Daniel Disney: Just to quickly jump on the whole time thing, again, to demystify it, you really don’t have to spend a lot of time at all. You could spend five to 15 minutes in the morning and just engage on a few of your prospect’s posts. Share a quick post yourself, do the same at lunch, do the same towards the end of the day, and if you can do that consistently, it’s like going to the gym once a day. You will very soon start to see results. It’s not about sitting behind LinkedIn for hours on end. No one has the time to do that. It’s about doing the right things at the right time.
Darryl Praill: So … how do we engage? Can I just engage by posting up random thoughts, what I had for breakfast? Can I engage? Do I have to write a blog post? Do I have to write content? How do I engage?
Daniel Disney: Similar to the profile, you want to make it customer-focused. When it comes to creating content, engaging content, just make sure it’s a value to your prospects and your customers. So, look for the latest articles that are out there and there’ll be tons of news channels relevant to your industries. Subscribe to them, get those latest articles. Could be tech, could be software, could be pharmaceuticals, there is tons of content out there. Share it on LinkedIn and add a couple of thoughts.
Daniel Disney: So when you, again, when you go on these articles, there’ll be the LinkedIn icon or if not, there’ll be the share icon or you can just copy and paste the web address. Pop it into a post and just write a few thoughts. “Loved this article about the current trends in pharmaceuticals. Few of my favorite points were point two, point seven, and point 10. This is what I think, really excited to see the changes. What are your thoughts?”
Daniel Disney: Out goes this great post that’s hopefully of interest to your prospects. You’ve added your thoughts or you’re gaining credibility. You’re building trust within your prospects, and if you’re doing that on a regular basis, you start to form a very good personal brand.
Darryl Praill: I often have people come to me and say, “I just don’t know what to write about. I have no idea. Okay, I’m drawing a blank Darryl.”
Darryl Praill: And I’m like, “It’s so easy.”
Darryl Praill: “Oh, it’s easy for you. You say that, I can’t do it.”
Darryl Praill: And I’m like, “Oh, let me help you. Let me walk you through this.” I said, “What was the hardest part of your day today?”
Darryl Praill: “I couldn’t get motivated to dial all the dials I need to dial.”
Darryl Praill: “Great, that’s a post.”
Darryl Praill: And they’ll look at you like, “Huh?”
Darryl Praill: “If that’s a problem for you, that’s a problem for somebody else, right?”
Darryl Praill: “Did you make your quota last month?”
Darryl Praill: “Uh, no.”
Darryl Praill: “You didn’t? That’s okay, no judgment. You didn’t make it, okay. How’d that make you feel?”
Darryl Praill: “Disappointed.”
Darryl Praill: “Great, what’d you do about it?”
Darryl Praill: “Oh, I did this.”
Darryl Praill: “Great. That’s a post.”
Darryl Praill: “Oh.”
Darryl Praill: “Did your boss ever come in and say ‘Let’s talk about your phone calls and I’ve been listening to some recordings.”
Darryl Praill: “Oh yeah, that’s a post.”
Darryl Praill: “Did you ever get a customer who actually just blows you off and eventually you pursue them relentlessly and you have a connection and you close a deal?”
Darryl Praill: “Yeah!”
Darryl Praill: “That’s a post.”
Darryl Praill: “How’d you do it? What lessons did you learn? You know, what would you do differently?” And all of a sudden you see them, looking. I’m like, “Everything around you is a post because everything you’re going through is what your peers are going through. It’s all there if you just open your eyes.”
Darryl Praill: That’s the biggest thing, you know? It’s like a diary. “Dear diary. Today I missed my quota. And this is what I’m going to do from it. And I would love some reassurances from my colleagues or some tips and tricks and let’s all learn together.” You know? That’s really what it is.
Darryl Praill: Now video has gotten huge, but I know a lot of people are doing, do not consider themselves video stars. Video scares the bejeezus out of them. A. Do I have to do video? B. If I do do video, what should I do? Because again, I don’t know what to talk about. So, over to you.
Daniel Disney: Yeah. So, no you don’t have to do video, is the is honest answer to it. I think there’s a lot of stuff going around suggesting that everyone needs to do video. Don’t get me wrong, you certainly need to start looking into it and practicing it. You will need to embrace it. Video’s going to be a much bigger part of our world as the years go on. But right now, there is very little difference between a video post on LinkedIn and a blog or just an update or even just a picture. So it’s nothing that’s signing that it is significantly better. So you don’t have to. But I would massively encourage you to start playing around.
Daniel Disney: Look, I’m a salesperson. I spent my life selling. So, when it came to writing content or doing videos, it scared the hell out of me, you know? It was weird and uncomfortable and it took me a long time to learn it. But as you said, now I see content all around me. Now I’m very comfortable in the camera.
Daniel Disney: So, if you are going to do video, again, keep it to one to three minutes. Try and get captions, subtitles if you can. A lot of people are watching this in the office and they can’t listen to it, but they want to read what you’re saying and like with anything, make it a value to your customers. Tell them stories, open the doors into your world. But again, it’s not about just going in and complaining that you didn’t hit target. It’s about talking about the lessons you learned and how you’re overcoming that challenge. You want to make it something that’s going to be a value, whether it’s entertaining, motivating, inspiring, educational, whatever it may be. Make it a value and yeah, you’ve got three minutes, jump in front of the camera. There is nothing more powerful than being able to essentially look your customers in the eye. When they watch that video, they’re going to see you. They’re going to see that energy, that passion. And again, in sales, that’s what sells.
Darryl Praill: So, finally there’s engaging online in your post and then there is ‘engaging’, if you will, when you reach out for a LinkedIn connection. We’re not gonna spend a lot of time on this. The only value and advice I would give you something that I’ve, again going back to the conversation I had with Mario recently, he has a magic, little formula when he sends an invite to somebody. He has what he calls PVC. Which is the whole point of you personalizing the invite, it’s not generic. And cause you’re inviting them to engage with you, to connect with you. You add value in it, you know, so you’re adding advice or helping them. You’re connecting on something that’s mattered. That matters to them. You’ve done a little research and finally you have a call to action. And that call to action may simply be, “Here’s a paper. Download it. Watch it and enjoy it. If you have questions, let me know.”
Darryl Praill: You’re not necessarily asking for 15 minutes on a calendar and not asking for money, you’re not asking for a transaction. That will come with time. So, you can engage directly or you can engage with content. Video is up to you. But if you do do it, talk to the camera, you know? And keep it short and sweet. Subtitle, that’s critical. Exactly as Daniel says.
Darryl Praill: Daniel, if my crew here wants to learn more about you, where to find you and how they can take advantage of your skills, what do they do?
Daniel Disney: Find me on LinkedIn. I’m at my connection limit, but please do if you really would like to see the content and I try and share as much insight into social selling and sales. Just follow my profile and I’m pretty much posting on a daily basis and check out The Daily Sales. Again, it’s a mixture of entertainment as well as education, as well.
Darryl Praill: Alright, so the Daily Sales, check it out, folks. If you haven’t, Google it, if you don’t know where it’s at. Google ‘Daniel Disney’, you’ll find it that way.
Darryl Praill: In the meantime, that’s Daniel Disney. He is all about demystifying LinkedIn for account execs. Thank you for your time today, sir. I had a lot of fun with you. I look forward to continuing to connect online on LinkedIn with Daniel and my entire network as should you! Guys, go make it happen. Until the next episode, my name is Darryl Praill. I’ll talk to you soon. Take care. Bye-Bye.