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[EDITOR’S NOTE: Sales experts Brynne “The LinkedIn Whisperer” Tillman and Arnold “The Get Along Guy” Sanow will headline the Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) return to live events in November and December.]
Register for the November 5, 2021 IES Big Stage Program featuring Arnold here.
BRYNNE’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “Whether it’s in person or on social, the bottom line is prospects are human beings and we need to connect human to human. I have templated messages that I tailor. I have a process, but at every single step I’m paying attention to how is this landing with this person? Is this appropriate? I tailor everything I do. I don’t have copy-and-paste messages exactly. I make sure that every person feels special. When you tailor the message, when you tailor that outreach, it’s the eye contact that you have in person. It’s they took the time to learn about me, and I matter. They care about me. If you do nothing else on social or in person, authentically care about the person you’re engaging with.”
ARNOLD’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “There’s an old saying called moment of truth. Moment of truth means every time you have a meeting, a transaction, or an interaction with anyone, an impression is formed. This impression could be positive or negative, it can help or hinder, it can make or break a relationship. What we need to take a look at and start thinking about, how do I make every touch point or interaction I have with anyone more positive, memorable, and special? What do I need to do on a daily basis to do that? I write my calendar every morning, I say, okay, what am I going to do to make – I look at who I’m going to talk to – more positive, memorable, and special? Again, that would be my takeaway right now at this point.”
THE PODCAST BEGINS HERE
Fred Diamond: The reason we have the great Arnold Sanow and the even greater Brynne Tillman on today’s show, no slight to you there Arnold, but we’re starting live events again. The Institute for Excellence in Sales has been famous. We’ve done over a 100 live events over the last X number of years where we bring great sales authors and speakers to the Washington DC region.
Both Brynne and Arnold have been very kind to grace the IES Stage live. It’s been 19 months and we’re going to start doing live events again. Arnold is going to be the keynote speaker on November 5th in the Washington DC suburb of Falls Church. Brynne will be the speaker in December. The last time we did a live event was March 2020, we had over 200 sales professionals there. It was great, it was awesome.
Everyone watching today, if you’re in the DC region or if you’re not, you’re more than welcome to attend. Today, both Arnold and Brynne are going to be talking about their areas of expertise. But also, why should you be thinking about going back live? Brynne, how about you? You’ve done such an amazing job way beyond 18 months ago but over the last 18 months, really helping people optimize LinkedIn. Of course, you’re The LinkedIn Whisperer. Why should people start going back to live events? What do you think?
Brynne Tillman: The first thing is I’m not going to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. They have to do what makes them feel comfortable. I miss hugs, that’s why I’m going back. Social media and digital and Zoom meetings and webinars, they’re all amazing. They’ve done an amazing job, but it doesn’t replace the human touch. If you ask me, why do I want to go back? It’s for the people. It’s for the experience. I’m really excited.
There is a different dynamic, and we’ve done great virtually. I think a lot of my business will stay virtual from a sales perspective, training perspective. It saves companies enormous amount of money from flying all their sales reps out, bringing in keynotes, bringing out breakouts, when you can do it at a lot less investment, and you get to record it. You have it in perpetuity beyond just the event. I do think that a lot of companies will continue to do virtual, but at the end of this, we are a business, it’s a people business. If you’re comfortable being back in person, if you feel good because you’ve vaccinated, maybe you have your booster at that point, man, there’s nothing better than being with human beings that you really care about.
Fred Diamond: Brynne, I do want to follow up on one thing I probably should have mentioned at the top. Our events are going to be held at the Marriott in Fairview Park. It’s a beautiful business Marriott. They are so safety conscious, they follow all the rules that you’re required. Of course, we’re in Virginia. They are beyond safe obviously being Marriott. I got to give Marriott some props for that. We’re also going to follow requirements as well. We’re going to ask that people be vaccinated if they’re going to come, we’re going to be socially distant as we can be.
Here’s the thing, Brynne and Arnold, if people don’t want to go to live events, they don’t have to. We’re not going to physically force people. A lot of the members of the IES are large corporations and some have said, “Fred, we’re not ready to endorse our people.” But a lot of people have reached out and said, “Come on, when are you going to start doing those again? We’re ready.”
Arnold Sanow, I call you The Get-Along Guy, you’re a seven-time published author, you’re a relationships expert. Following up with what Brynne Tillman just said, relationships. Again, we’ve all done as well as we could virtually. Talk a little bit about the need to build relationships face-to-face and in-person.
Arnold Sanow: Well, I’m going with what Brynne just said too. I would say people are wired to want to connect. When we talk about the getting together and whether you’re an introvert or whether you’re an extrovert, or whether you’re like me an ambivert, I don’t know if that’s a word or a program, but somebody in between, we want to go out and meet people.
I was just out in Nevada last week doing a program in Fallon, Nevada for about 200 people, and they all came and it was a totally different experience just to be out there. As Brynne was saying, you can interact, you can get more information, it can be very interactive. You can do some things you cannot do, where you can see the faces of people and see the eyes. You can tell what people want and don’t want and it works out really good.
But the reason that when we talk about relationships, I always like to go into this. There’s three keys to building sales relationships. When somebody wants to use you or buy your services, or use your products, they’re looking at you and there’s three things. First of all, to develop those relationships, when I’m thinking of using Brynne or using anybody else out there, I’m thinking of three things. Do I trust you is one, and we’ll be talking about that when we need to. We’ll talk about, do you care about me? Because if you don’t care about me, I don’t really care about you. How we do that? What are these things? What does trust look like? What is care about?
The third thing is, are you competent? Do you know what you’re talking about? Do you know what you’re doing? Even though I said there’s three things, there’s also a fourth thing out there and I like to call that your likability IQ. I would say your personality is your greatest asset. One of the things we constantly got to work on there is that likability IQ, because everything being equal, people deal with what? They deal with people they like and they trust, we all know that, right? But everything being unequal, they still deal with people they like and they trust.
There’s plenty of examples I could give, I know we’re off short time here, but we need to look at those four key ingredients if we want people to use our services or buy our products, or work with us in that case or to keep employees for that matter. It’s so hard. People have their jobs and can go anywhere now to get work. It follows through in a lot of different areas that we’ll be talking about.
Fred Diamond: Brynne Tillman, so again LinkedIn. One thing you’ve done over the last 18 months, even before the pandemic, you were established as one of the top LinkedIn experts, social selling experts, I should say on the planet and you really used the last 18 months to even further your rank as one of the top if not the top LinkedIn social selling experts.
I have two follow up questions based on what Arnold just said. What are you going to talk about in December? Give us a little bit of a peek to what you’re going to be talking about. Then I’m just curious based on what Arnold just said about likability and trust. Talk a little bit about how you can make that happen even more so on LinkedIn or social selling in general.
Brynne Tillman: The first thing I would say to follow up on what Arnold was talking about is, you have to first detach from what that prospect is worth to you and attach to what you are worth to the prospect. You’ve got to show up as a resource, as someone that really cares, as someone that wants to bring value. There’s a mindset that if you’re going to go social sell that you’ve got to get into. That this is a 24/7 networking meeting.
This is not a list of leads for you to go cold call. These are human beings that happen to be in a virtual room versus a physical room and we want to treat them that way. We want to treat the person on the other side of the message the same way we would if they were on the other side of the table. We’ve got to get into the mindset that these are human beings, not leads. When we can get there, we can start to bring value. If we are so connected to our commission and not actually serving our leads, whether it’s LinkedIn or anywhere else, we can never truly succeed. That’s number one.
How do you get to know, like, and trust on LinkedIn? Typically the way we get to know people is we go to a networking meeting, we have a conversation, there’s chemistry, we continue it over coffee, and we get to know people a little slower in a good way so that you can absorb who the human being is and connect. On digital, for some reason, salespeople think it’s like, we got to speed it up and get it done and we’re going to build rapport in 30 seconds and connect and pitch, and they’re going to take my call and everything. It’s the same person.
We’ve got to slow down the outreach to speed up the outcome. We’ve got to have more meaningful conversations. We have to stop the connect-and-pitch. We’ve got to do a little more social listening, find out what do they care about? What are they engaging on? What’s happening in their industry? What’s happening in their customers’ industry?
We have to show up, instead of sharing what we want to share, sharing what they want to consume, really create. That’s how we get to trust. That’s how we get to the likability index. You really took the time to learn about me, you didn’t send me a templated message that feels like it’s a disconnect. You really tailored that message to me and you took the time to find out what matters to me and share that. That’s the baseline.
Fred Diamond: That’s very powerful. Arnold, as follow up to what Brynne Tillman just said, again, it’ll be 19 months before our audience will be in the same room with everybody else. Most haven’t had a whole lot of interaction. The Institute for Excellence in sales, a lot of our members and sponsors are large companies with larger B2B organizations. I’m just curious on your thoughts about, what might people have forgotten about over the time that we’ve been in pandemic and what are some things that they’re going to have to quickly remember?
I know Brynne made a good point before that, this is going to be new and not everyone’s comfortable. The Delta variant sprung up and hopefully we’re on the back end of that especially by the time we get to your program in November and definitely by the time we get to Brynne’s. But what do you think people have forgotten about that they’re going to have to quickly remember to really begin to build those strong relationships as we move back?
Arnold Sanow: That would take an hour here but I’ll tell you in this short time what I feel. Those everyday interactions are so important. How do we make every interaction positive and memorable and special? Everything from how you walk in the door, and as Brynne said too, it’s not just like where you’re talking to somebody and trying. I go to people, go to networking things. Well, I said hello to somebody, can you have my card, can you do this? It’s building a relationship, it’s building a connection that is important.
When we talk about building that connection too, a lot of this goes back into just your body language. I mean, just coming in again. We’re so used to doing our body language on this virtual tube now. I always like to give people little acronyms when you walk away from these meetings. For example, how to soften your image. How to smile more, be open more. Before we were laying focus on people, I always say that the greatest thing of respect is to keep your eyes on the person.
You ever gone to a meeting, for example and everybody’s looking at everybody else but them? Give your total session to that person you’re talking to on there. The eye contact is important. Nodding to show you’re paying attention. All these things fit in. I think we forget to do some of that stuff because we’re in this virtual world and we’re so used to it. We’ve gotten it down of how to look in the camera and how to do this but we don’t have those people in front of us.
Then also understand where they’re coming from too. Be open to understand. Understand others first, and you need to actually do that aspect of it. I think it’s a lot of the body language, it’s the tone, it’s just good human relations that people need to remember. Again, it’s a little different than the Zoom thing. I know I’m looking into the camera now but you’re going to be having to look at the person at this point, which is going to be a little different. Those are few little tips right there. We’ll go over more of those when we meet. More depth on what those actually mean.
Fred Diamond: Absolutely. The IES are returning to live programs. We’re going to have Arnold Sanow, the get along guy. He’s going to be taking the stage on Friday, November 5th, in Falls Church, Virginia at the Marriott Fairview Park. Then Brynne Tillman is going to be coming down from Philly down to the DC area on December 3rd. The IES programs, typically we start with breakfast and networking from 7-8 and then we have two hours of content from some of the top sales speakers, thought leaders, authors on the planet. Brynne Tillman, LinkedIn, what are people doing wrong on LinkedIn? I know you mentioned connect-and-pitch. We hate that.
Brynne Tillman: There are five things they’re doing wrong.
Fred Diamond: Five things, boom. Let’s go through it.
Brynne Tillman: Connect-and-pitch is a bait-and-switch. Absolutely do not connect with someone and say you want to network and then sell them. Number two, connect-and-forget. That’s another thing we’re doing wrong. We collect business cards, stick rubber bands around them and put them in the corner of our desk. We’re doing that with our connections. About 10%, sometimes as large as 20% of our existing connections are people we would be dying to have conversations with. We’ve got to take inventory, identify who have we been ignoring, and start normal conversations as if they were in the room with us. “Hey, how have you been? It’s been a long time” kind of thing. Lots of ways to do that.
The next thing they’re doing wrong is random acts of social. If you’re in sales, you need a process. Whatever you’re doing, you need a workflow. Two things, you need to know your workflow like the back of your hand, and you need to be able to adjust that workflow at the snap of a finger. You have to have a process and be nimble enough to exit that process and follow a lead opportunity or conversation. The random acts of social is painful.
Number four, their profile is a resume instead of a resource. Nobody cares about your negotiation skills, your prospects certainly don’t. They don’t care about how many times you won President’s Club. All they care about is, can you solve a problem for me? Your profile needs to be a resource. It needs to create curiosity, it needs to resonate with them, it needs to teach them something new that gets them thinking a little differently than they did before, and it needs to create a compelling moment. We need to convert our lurkers into engagers.
Until these folks raise their hand in some way, could be liking a piece of content, it could be accepting your connection request, but until there’s a compelling moment, we don’t know who they are. We can’t start a conversation until we do.
Number five, we share content we want to share, not content they want to consume. We are so self-absorbed in all the things we want to tell them, and most of them are not at the right buying time that are saying, “Hey, I need this solution.” We have to lead to the solution, not with it. When we lead with our solution, it’s coming across as a pitch.
When we lead to our solution, we’re providing value and insights that get them thinking differently and create compelling moments with the content. Instead of I want to tell you, it’s I want to help you. Ultimately, your content should not be telling them how you can help them, but actually helping them. Let them test drive you. That content should be of value if they never talk to you ever in your life, the content that they took time to consume should have brought value into their world.
Fred Diamond: Those are great answers. The five things from Brynne. Arnold, I have a similar question for you in the relationship world. A lot of times when you meet people at a networking event or at some type of conference, you think you have this short amount of time to tell them everything you possibly can tell them about you in the hope that they’re going to see some value there.
I’ve been in so many events where people come up to me and they go, do you need a CRM transcription service? You look like you could use… I’m like, “Well, no, but I’ll be probably seeing you at some point in the future, so you don’t need to tell me everything right now.” What is your advice, Arnold, for what Brynne just said in the human world, in the non-LinkedIn world and non-social selling world, to fight the urge to show up and throw up? To fight the urge just to make it about you.
One thing we like to say is on a sales call, unless it’s maybe a demo, but in a sales call, if the customer does 95% of the talking, it’s a great sales call. Give us some of your thoughts on taking Brynne’s advice for the digital world, the virtual world, and how could you apply that to human interaction so that you do make the customer more important than you?
Arnold Sanow: To play on what Brynne is saying here a little bit, here’s the key to popularity. Be interested, not just interesting, which basically goes into that thing about it’s finding out about them. I always like to call this curiosity conversations and you were perfectly right. I go into so many events, people try to sell you something, they give you their card. You don’t say anything they like, they run away type of stuff. You never know who knows somebody else either too.
I always say, don’t burn your bridges. I always look at, there’s everybody you meet, and I say, “Hey, look, if nothing happens, I just made a new friend.” That’s it. I think too many people are just trying to get somebody to buy their product or service, they go crazy. It’s having those conversations, it’s asking about them. It’s going back to what Brynne was saying too and I think she stated it better than I can say. The point was like, it’s about their challenges, their concerns, their needs, it’s not what you want to sell.
But I would say two things I would stick with on this one, be interested, not just interesting. Also, those curiosity conversations where you ask about them, you ask about their concerns, and you got to do this genuinely, too, because you can tell when somebody is fake about this, and they come across so fakie. That genuine interest really makes a difference. Again, if you don’t care about me, I don’t care about you. It needs to stick into those guidelines. I will just make those couple points right there.
Fred Diamond: One thing we learned pretty quickly during the pandemic when we were starting to do the IES Sales Game Changers webcasts and podcasts was transactions weren’t happening a lot unless you were in a particular industry. We kept saying, you know what? What’s the big lesson here? If you’re a sales professional, you got to be a professional. Maybe the transactions aren’t happening, but you should be building relationships. You should be identifying, getting more educated on your customers marketplace. You should become a resource like Brynne said before and learn how to be an expert.
I tell people, if you didn’t become an expert expert on LinkedIn, if you didn’t get a PhD in LinkedIn over the last 18 months, you blew it, man. You had the golden crisp opportunity. It’s the best sales tool in the history of the world sales, let alone digital, if you will, LinkedIn. If you didn’t become great at it, man, you blew it.
Once again, the IES, Institute for Excellence in Sales, we’re going back to live events. We’re going to continue doing webinars every day, we’ve had so much fun, and we’ve gotten such tremendous response from sales professionals around the globe. But if you’re in the DC region, we’re going to start doing our patented Big Stage programs. We have November 5th, we have the great Arnold Sanow on building relationships. He’s the get along guy. Then in December, Brynne Tillman, the LinkedIn Whisperer is going to be talking about how you can optimize LinkedIn.
Hey, I just want to acknowledge you both before I ask you for your final action step. You both have impacted at the IES thousands of our members through your work with us on the digital and on our big stage. People ask me all the time about the two of you, and not just in the IES but around the globe. Brynne, you have such an amazing footprint, helping sales professionals using LinkedIn all over the globe. You and Bill and other people that you work with in various channels, we’ve had the opportunity to work together.
Arnold, I know that you travel around the world on the stage, and you’re getting back there as well. We’re taking you from Oakton to Falls Church on a five-mile drive. But I know you’ve been to Nevada and you’ve been to Ohio and you’re starting to get back out there to impact audiences like you have for the last couple of decades. I want to acknowledge you both for just the value that you’ve brought to sales organizations, not just at the IES but around the globe for your entire career.
Give us your final action step. You’ve given us so many great ideas. Arnold, why don’t you go first? Something specific people should do right now after listening to today’s podcast, or watching today’s webcast, something they should do to take their sales career to the next level.
Arnold Sanow: I would say just what we were talking about before. There’s an old saying called moment of truth. Moment of truth means every time you have a meeting, a transaction, or an interaction with anyone, an impression is formed. This impression could be positive or negative, it can help or hinder, it can make or break a relationship.
What we need to take a look at and start thinking about, how do I make every touch point or interaction I have with anyone more positive, memorable, and special? What do I need to do on a daily basis to do that? I write my calendar every morning, I say, okay, what am I going to do to make – I look at who I’m going to talk to – more positive, memorable, and special? Again, that would be my takeaway right now at this point.
Fred Diamond: Very good. Brynne Tillman, the LinkedIn whisperer, give us an action step right now.
Brynne Tillman: What Arnold said is perfect whether it’s in person or on social, the bottom line is these are human beings and we need to connect human to human. I have templated messages that I tailor. I have a process, but at every single step I’m paying attention to how is this landing with this person? Is this appropriate? I tailor everything I do. I don’t have copy-and-paste messages exactly. I make sure that every person feels special. When you tailor the message, when you tailor that outreach, it’s the eye contact that you have in person. It’s they took the time to learn about me, and I matter. They care about me. If you do nothing else on social or in person, authentically care about the person you’re engaging with.
Arnold Sanow: That’s a good point.
Fred Diamond: Once again, the IES, we’re returning to live programs. Arnold Sanow is going to take the stage November 5th at the Marriott Fairview Park in Falls Church and Brynne Tillman will be coming down on December 3rd. Brynne and Arnold, thank you so much. Look forward to seeing you both live again, as will hundreds of our members, some of the top sales professionals in the DC area. To everyone else, thank you so much for listening to today’s Sales Game Changers webcast.
Arnold Sanow: Thank you
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo