Meridith Elliott Powell: Welcome to Sales Logic. The show where we dive into and lay out the strategies you need to well approach sales logically I’m Meredith Elliott Powell, and I am here with my cohost, Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter: Hey, good afternoon. Welcome. I’m Mark Hunter, the Sales Hunter, along with Meridith. It’s always great to do this show with you.
Well, I was going to say, we’ve got some hot, hot topics. And before we jump into the topic, we should tell people that sales logic podcasts they can go out to- they can leave us a question.
Cause again, we’re going to pull the question. We got a question right here today that we will shape the whole program around. Or you go out to social media and just post your question with #saleslogic. We’ll see it there, too. Today, we have a good question. And it’s going to lead into a great topic and then we’re going to do some really quick, whatever we want to call it at the end where we just throw stuff out real quick.
And we’re going to have this whole show done in about 20 minutes. Hey, before we jump into it, I want to give a big shout out to VanillaSoft. It’s great to have them as the title sponsor of Sales Logic podcast. It’s great. They’re going to do a lot of promotional work for us. We’re helping them out and it is a great wind cause I’ll tell you what, from a prospecting standpoint, there is no better tool than VanillaSoft. But hey, why don’t you share with us the question that came in this week. Go for it.
Meridith Elliott Powell: All right. So, so I just want to recap really quickly. What, what Mark just went over. There’s three segments to this show every single week. Number one, we start off with your questions. That’s right. Anything you want to ask, anything you want to put on the table. We’re going to jump in and answer that question.
Number two, we’re going to have a topic of the week and last but not least, you are going to leave with an action plan. Talk about return on investment. We’re going to do a lightning round of the exact things that you can put into place to really sell more logically and effectively. But, Mark, this question this week comes from one of our National Speakers Association friends who asked to remain anonymous.
So I will ensure that she does, but it’s such a good question and such a good topic. Is Sales Navigator worth the investment. What do you think, Mark?
Mark Hunter: Yes, I use Sales Navigator. How’s that? Okay. Let’s move on. Let’s move on with time. No, no. Here’s why I believe Sales Navigator’s worth the price and I don’t even know how much it costs.
It’s less than a thousand dollars. I use it. I have it. Here’s the whole thing. If you do anything in sales whatsoever. And this is a productivity tool and it can save you time. Why would you not use it? The ability to see a much broader breadth and depth of people out there is amazing. That’s what I use it for. There’s a lot of other tools, but I just use it to be able to dig a lot deeper into finding people I want to work with.
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah. So it runs, I think it’s about $79.99 a month, or something like that. So about 80 bucks, you can probably find a coupon code. I use it as well. I’m pretty diligent about it, but am going to say that it’s worth it if you’re going to use it, don’t the buy the tool, because it doesn’t work without you actively engaging in it. So you need to buy it then set aside the time on how to use it. I mean, some of the features that I really gravitated towards was number one is it allowed me to do a much more robust profile. And that’s important to me because, I do feel like people are looking at me and finding me on LinkedIn. And I bet that really it is the same for you. And then the quality of the searches is so much better. The information that I can get on people to actually kind of, as Mark said, save me time, but I’m really clear on my target market. And then when I go on there, I have far more ability to find out information about people.
And then the last thing I’m going to say is I love it cause it’s really mobile phone, the app works really well with it. On the days when I used to be on a plane or you know, sitting, waiting on a meeting or something, I can be updating and getting some of the latest information on my clients.
So if you’re not using it to prospect, I can’t imagine what you’re using that is better. But if you’re not actively prospecting, then we have another challenge. And I don’t want to see you buy a tool that you won’t use.
Mark Hunter: Well, that’s so true because you really have to look at it. It’s a gym membership.
Having a gym membership does not get you in shape. You have to use it. Now. Here’s what I tell people. There are some industries where people are just not on LinkedIn. So you do have to make sure that you’re selling into an industry or you’re working in an industry or industries that people are on LinkedIn. One of the best ways that I use it, like tomorrow, for instance, I have a call tomorrow with the VP of sales of a very perspective person who I’d like to do some work with. Before our call, I’m going to go into Navigator and run a whole profile on them. I’m going to find out all the other people and get a tremendous amount of intel, from right there. Chances are, there’s probably some other people who I know. That I’m already connected to. What is it going to do? It’s going to enhance the quality of my conversation. I use it from a prospecting standpoint, but I also use it for getting more informed. I use it, and love it.
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah. And I’ve got a new client we just started with and we’re building his prospect list. And one of the things that we do with, we’re working on a prospect list for the team and we use it because the filters are so good. Like I said, we got really, really clear on our target market, who it is exactly.
If we’re gonna make a sales call, cause it’s one of the most expensive things you do, we’re going to reach out and make a sales call. Then we want to make sure we’re aimed at the right targets. And the filters are just so much deeper on Sales Navigator, so we’re getting better results, which, Mark knows this better than anybody, the better you prospect, the faster you’re going to get the sales call and the faster you’re going to close the deal.
Mark Hunter: Without a doubt! Hey, with that, let’s jump into the topic because it’s a hot topic. This is going to be controversial. Cause I know you and I have discussed this more than a few times. The topic is social selling. Is it a fad or is it here to stay?
Meridith Elliott Powell: Well, I think it’s a great question. I think you have to define what social selling is. I really think something that’s different about selling today is, and we’re talking a little bit about this in the pre-show is you’ve got to build your reputation online.
You’ve got to be visible online. People have to know who you are, what you’re about, and what you stand for. Selling is going to be so much harder if you’re not doing that piece. But I don’t want people to feel like selling, creating the videos, making the posts, being visible that isn’t actually making the sale. That still happens in an old-fashioned way, even if it happens online. So, yes I think it is definitely here to stay. I think its impact is going to grow, but I believe it’s a blend with what, for lack of a better term – traditional selling.
Mark Hunter: Okay. I just found another reason to like you. I like you for which you just said in terms of social selling. Because I get wound up about social selling.
First of all, you nailed it. It’s not about posting and so forth, because you can’t take clicks and likes to the bank. I mean you can’t. I see too many people sit there and if they could just throw enough stuff out on social media, people will be, you know, at their door. It’s not going to happen. The other piece and I’m not going to say it, but I’ll probably get in trouble.
No, I’m not going to get in trouble. I’ll say it, social selling is neither social nor selling. Okay, drop the mic. What do I mean by that? I mean too many times- because how many times have you had somebody try to connect with you on LinkedIn or on Facebook, and we’ll use LinkedIn, cause we’re both B to B, and they immediately tried to connect and then they immediately start selling. And I go, “hold on”.
Did you forget the social part? Did you? Because we have to create social first. I’m not saying we can’t sell, but they are two separate activities. You have to earn the right. And like you said, it’s really your reputation that is so critical. Cause nobody’s going to talk to you without first googling, without first finding out what your LinkedIn profile says. Right?
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. I think there’s- I want our listeners to understand that there’s so much opportunity with social. I mean, you get to talk about how you feel your product or how the service helps clients or customers.
I mean, I was working with a customer last week and we’re working on some sales strategies for her team. And I said, “put together the top 10 questions that customers ask you. The top 10 things that they’re challenged with. And we’re going to shoot a series of videos on that.” Just little tips that I want them to put out, because if their customers are asking those questions, all their potential prospects and future customers are asking those same questions.
So I feel like social selling shortens the sales cycle, has a lot of potential, but you have to have the foundational pieces of sales up under there. You have to understand who your target is. You have to be speaking to your target, solving their problems. You have to be connected to the right people. And you’re right, you can’t push. Because you wouldn’t walk into a crowded room and just start selling people on a product or service, you’d build engagement first. I cringe every time I come across my LinkedIn profile, somebody says, “Thanks for connecting with me. Would you like to attend this webinar or be a part of this?” It just doesn’t feel right.
It doesn’t feel authentic, like we said at the start of this.
Mark Hunter: Isn’t it amazing how when they do that it’s so obvious they haven’t even looked at your profile. They have, obviously haven’t seen what you do because this is the whole thing that I say sales and sales – your reputation arrives before you do. You’ve got to build your reputation out on social media.
Now, one of the challenges I say about social media is it doesn’t mean you have to build it out on every platform. I mean, there are so many different platforms out there. Know where you play well and stay in that lane. I tell people, and I see this from salespeople… they sit there and they throw a little bit out on like 9, 10 different platforms.
Don’t. If all you have time for is LinkedIn, then let that be your master. Let that be where you spend your time. If your customers are on Facebook, then that’s where you spend your time. Don’t think you need to spend all kinds of time. I mean, I’m on several platforms, and I hate to say this, but I rarely look at them all, because I don’t have time.
I don’t, wow, I looked at 10,000 cat videos. Isn’t that great? It didn’t make any money. Okay. I’m sorry. I’ll calm down. I’m sorry.
Meridith Elliott Powell: You know, Mark one question though, when it comes to social selling and it comes to platforms that I think is, I don’t know about you, but some of my clients are running into is that where do you strike the balance?
I mean, some of the things that I do with social media is that I am looking to build my reputation and my brand, both personal and professional. In other words, I have platforms that I’m on that are more, you know, bent towards personal and I use that to build my brand and my image. But where is the balance with personal and professional, where is it going too far and how do you help a sales team, you know, do that. I mean, if I worked for your, sales team and I have an opinion about something that’s going on in our community and I posted it, how do we strike the balance of that? How do we allow people to be authentic? Which is so much that we’ve talked about today, at the same time striking the balance of not offending a certain population of our target market.
Mark Hunter: And you think we’re going to answer that question in about five minutes? Come on. You just opened up Pandora’s box there. Here’s what I do.
Meridith Elliott Powell: Well, it is an important question.
Mark Hunter: LinkedIn for me is 95%-98% business, that is business to business. And I don’t let my political or personal views or any of that sort of stuff come into play. Facebook, I’m a little more. I never go down the political path. I will not go down the political path. I don’t venture into a lot of different cases. I’m pretty cautious and reserved. If you follow me along, you get to know who I am. I put out some jokes, I put out a great meme the other day. It was a bear chasing a guy on a bicycle and it was meals on wheels.
Now I thought that was funny. I thought that was funny. So, I’m sorry. That was shiny object. Here’s the whole thing, I tend to say business, but Facebook is probably more, closer to maybe 50/50. I used to be probably 80/90 personal on Facebook and 10% business, but lately, my team has challenged me to go a little bit more over there.
So again, I don’t know what the right balance is. You just have to do what’s comfortable for you, but I’m never going to put something out there that is going to come back to bite me two or three years from now. Because, wow, isn’t it amazing how people get in trouble?
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah, I think that, one thing that I’m advising my clients to do is that, and I do this for myself, is what’s in alignment with your personal brand? How do you really thinking about, we don’t think enough about how much- I always say to people, if you were going to write down five words of how you would want people to describe you to somebody else and then just think about what you’re doing and what you’re posting in alignment with those five words. And if you stay true to that, I think that you’ll stay on a pretty good course. Because your brand may be, I mean, we certainly know people in the sales space whose brand is to, I don’t know, let’s be controversial to definitely challenge the status quo or in some cases even offend.
I think it’s just important to remind yourself before you post, who is it that you want to show up? And if you’re in alignment with that, then great. And for me, it’s not that. So, those posts, my posts need to be in alignment with my personal values.
Mark Hunter: See, what that means is picking your lane and staying in your lane.
The piece that I always tell people is to be cautious and check the emotion at the door. I know of one person, who I have tremendous respect for, has an unbelievable intellect and yet every now and then there’s this unbelievable emotion filled rant on Facebook. Unfortunately, I think less of that person as a result of that.
So I say keep the rants off because it doesn’t help at all; you’re not going to change anybody’s opinion. That’s okay. All you’re going to do is paint a brighter picture of you and at the end of the day, it’s going to suck a lot of emotion out of you. It’s going to suck a lot of your time. Let’s put it this way, undoubtedly, you more have important things, more important places to spend your time.
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah, I agree. And I think that social selling is for your opportunity to really use how your products and services can benefit your target market. And the more that you can do to use the platforms to do that, the faster you’re going to get through the door, the better conversations you’re going to have, the faster you’re going to close the deal and the more referrals you’re going to get.
Mark Hunter: Yeah and take your time on the selling piece. It’s social first. My whole goal, and I love this definition, my objective is to create an online connection that I can turn into an offline conversation. Because when I do that, then I’ve created a deep relationship. And that’s what to me social media is all about.
Meridith Elliott Powell: I think it’s important for us to remember that finding a product or service is not a problem for customers today. They can find that stuff anywhere. We do it with a click of our fingers running across the keyboard. What they’re looking for is somebody that they trust. Somebody they believe in and somebody who could proactively add value to that relationship. So, back to Mark’s point, it is the social first.
Mark Hunter: Social first. And Hey with that, we should probably jump into the lightning round. So what are some quick things, but before we jump into the lightning round, we should remind people, saleslogicpodcast.com. Jump out there to leave us a question. We love answering them.
We love hearing comments. And of course, we love it when you leave a review out there on iTunes, whatever you’re subscribed to. You tell friends, but okay, enough about a commercial. Let’s do the lightening round. What are some quick hit tips that people can do right now to help elevate social selling social media?
Meridith Elliott Powell: Number one is knowing the platform. You cannot possibly spread yourself across all the social media platforms you are. You have to understand where your customer is and spend at least 80% of your time on that platform.
Mark Hunter: That’s a great tip. I’m going to say, build your profile. And the best way to build out your profile is look at five other people that you respect. What are they doing on their product? What are they doing on their profile? What they do is what you should do. Copy. It works.
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah, I think we way underestimate how important profile is. Number three, I’m going to say, learn to leverage video, images and videos.
Those things are really what get a lot of play those days. Also enhance your brand to ensure that you look like you’re somebody who is a trailblazer rather than a trail follower.
Mark Hunter: I’m going to add, be a leader. Be a leader when you share something. I love sharing news commentary. In other words, there was this morning, there was an article I saw on cnbc.com. I put the link out and I added a couple of comments to it. It’s a way for people to understand that you have a level of expertise and a level of intelligence, and you’re sharing more than just about yourself.
Meridith Elliott Powell: Yeah, I would also add that, really use your social media platform to position yourself as a thought leader.
And the way that I tell my clients to do that is really, again, make a list of the top 10 questions that your customers are asking and then do videos. Do blogs, do those things up there and position yourself as a resource out there.
Mark Hunter: I’m going to throw out another one and that’s, control your time. Set a time limit.
Maybe it’s 15 minutes a day, or 10 minutes a day. Do not allow it to run away from you because otherwise you’ll wind up going out to Facebook, go out to LinkedIn and three hours later, you’re still there. You set a timer. It’s five minutes. It’s 10 minutes and that’s it and you’re gone!
Meridith Elliott Powell: I would add that leverage your opportunity to partner with people.
So in your posts, call out somebody else. I’m working on a post right now on accountability, and I’m going to highlight our friend, Sam Silverstein, because he is an accountability expert. But the more that you can partner with people and form those relationships, you’re certainly shining the light on somebody else, but you’re getting more views with their audience and things like that.
Mark Hunter: Right. And the last one I’ll share, and that is open yourself up to connections. People tend to be too limited. I pretty much connect to anybody who is going to connect with me unless I really see that- okay, this just doesn’t line up with me. Because really what am I trying to do? I’m trying to be social. I’m trying to connect and I’m not going to hesitate. I’m not going to step away from that. Hey, with that, we need to start wrapping up this show. I’m going to say right now, thank you for listening to Sales Logic this week.
If you like what you, hear, subscribe, rate, and review the show on your favorite podcast app. If something we’ve said has earned you a single dollar, consider telling a friend about our show. It’s how we grow to help you grow. I’m Mark Hunter.
Meridith Elliott Powell: And I’m Meridith Elliott Powell.
Mark Hunter: Remember when you sell with confidence and integrity,
Meridith Elliott Powell: uncertainty suddenly becomes your competitive advantage
Mark Hunter: and the sale becomes logical.
Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.