EPISODE 547: World-Class Social Selling Engagement with Joe Apfelbaum

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This podcast was sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales, and featured an interview with social selling and LinkedIn expert Joe Apfelbaum. He’s the author of High Energy Networking.]

Find Joe on LinkedIn.

JOE’S TIP: “When people give LinkedIn tips on podcasts, they’re not giving you tips on the strategy behind it. They’re giving you tactics. Tactics don’t work if you’re missing the right strategy. Same thing with networking. Tactics don’t work if you don’t have the right foundation, the right strategy. When it comes to creating a strategy for LinkedIn, a mindset for LinkedIn, the first thing I want to know is what is your plan? Who are the people that you’re targeting? Then what is the promise that you need to deliver to those people so that they help you get to your plan?”


Fred Diamond: We’re going to be talking about LinkedIn and social selling. We have one of the true experts out there in the marketplace, Joe Apfelbaum. He’s the CEO and founder of AjaxUnion. It’s a digital marketing company based in Brooklyn, but he’s also the author of High Energy Secrets: How to lose 95 pounds and keep it off. Joe, I need to read that book. He’s also the author of his latest book, which is called High Energy Marketing.

Joe, you’re one of the most high energy guys that I know, hence High Energy Marketing. We’ve connected on LinkedIn, but were actually introduced a number of years ago by a mutual friend, the great Larry Fish, who when I started my podcast in 2017, he said, “Fred, you got to meet this guy, Joe. He’s just like you.” I got to say this. People think I’m high energy. You’re definitely double. I don’t know how you do it, but you do it and you make it happen. Today we’re going to be talking about LinkedIn. You’re one of the experts out there on how to get engagement. The audience listening today are sales professionals. First off, how you doing?

Joe Apfelbaum: I’m doing fantastic. I actually worked out with my trainer this morning, who I hired in Chicago, and he said, “Today, we’re going to do a special thing.” I said, “What are we going to do?” He says, “We’re going to test how far you can go with push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups.” Then he said, “Burpees.” Initially, he was pushing me to try to get to five minutes of burpees. Then I did five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. I started getting really dizzy once I was getting up to 25 minutes. He was like, “Oh my God, I’ve never seen somebody work so hard.” Because I worked so hard this morning, I have tons of energy, this is my seventh call of the day and I have five more. Then I have a networking event in the city where a hundred CEOs are getting together and we’re going to have this amazing social cocktail party. I’m energized. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to this episode.

Fred Diamond: We’re going to talk about LinkedIn, but we got to talk, first of all, about how you lost 95 pounds and how you’ve kept it off. What is the secret? Obviously, you had to change your eating habits, I guess. But what triggered? Because one thing we talk a lot about, Joe, on the Sales Game Changers Podcast is how in a moment’s time you could just change your direction and you could focus. You could deploy some different sales strategies and tips. That’s why people listen to the show, for an idea. In the heyday of the lockdown, Joe, we were getting 200 people every day. Now people say they listen to the show, they read the transcript, they want one thing they can put into play. I’m going to guess a lot of people here are listening for sales ideas, but they’re also probably wanting to lose some weight like me. Give us the secret.

Joe Apfelbaum: Well, the first thing you want to know is that success is 80% mindset and 20% skillset. A lot of it doesn’t have to do with so much of like, what habit, “What did I eat? What did I not eat?” Of course, that plays a big role into it, but it’s more of like, “How does my mind work? How does my automatic mind work?” In sales, most of the sales books that you’ll read about Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Brian Tracy, any of the experts, Jeffrey Gitomer, anybody that’s putting out books, they’re going to talk a lot about mindset. The reason they’re talking about mindset is because your beliefs about food, your beliefs about your body, your beliefs about what you’re capable of, your automatic thought patterns is what controls your actions. Your actions are not controlled by willpower. You think that willpower is strong, but willpower is not as strong as your mindset, as your automatic thoughts that happen automatically, because most of our day happens automatically.

If you get up in the morning and you’re drinking coffee instead of drinking water, you’re actually using a drug to help you compensate. A 5% drop in hydration is a 30% drop in energy. If you want to get motivated, you got to get hydrated. I have a cup of water in front of me, and I have electrolytes inside it, and I have lemon inside it, and I add a little cayenne pepper to increase my metabolism. There are things that you can do, of course, to lose weight, but in order for you to keep it off, you have to reprogram yourself, get your mind, your thermostat into reprogramming mode, and reprogram your habits. That’s what I write inside the book.

The beginning, there’s the two minds. There’s the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, the automatic mind. If you can get yourself to start making the right choices, the right choices around food, the right choices around movement, the right choices around hydration, the right choices around lowering your stress levels. I talk about stress levels because stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which actually keeps us fat. It holds onto fat. If you’re not breathing and if you’re smoking, a lot of sales people, they’re stressed out. They’re in stress mode because when you’re hunting, when you’re looking for prospects, when you’re out there, you’re stressed out. You have to be stressed out. But stress is okay if it’s acute stress.

If it’s stress that happens all the time, if you’re constantly stressed out, then it’s actually going to have a pain. It’s going to have something that’s really going to deteriorate your body, you’re going to end up gaining weight, you’re going to end up feeling fatigue, and you’re going to end up getting burnt out. Understanding how to stress your body acutely through exercise, through drinking lots of water, through making sure that you’re giving your body the right nutrients and changing your habits and your mindset, that’s really going to help you out. I want you to really inspect your mindset if you’re listening to this.

Fred Diamond: Let’s talk about the mindset of LinkedIn. You teach people how to use LinkedIn as part of what you do. You talk about how you want to get everybody producing content. I see you every day on LinkedIn. We’re buddies as it relates to producing content. Talk about the mindset of LinkedIn. That’s a question I’ve never asked before. We’ve talked about LinkedIn many times. I’ve had a good mutual friend of ours from an organization we’re both involved with called JVMM named Brynne Tillman, who’s been a frequent guest on the Sales Game Changers Podcast. She’s the LinkedIn Whisperer. Talk about the mindset of LinkedIn. Where do you want people to get with that?

Joe Apfelbaum: When people give LinkedIn tips on podcasts, they’re not giving you tips on the strategy behind it. They’re giving you tactics. Tactics don’t work if you’re missing the right strategy. Same thing with losing weight. Same thing with networking. Tactics don’t work if you don’t have the right foundation, the right strategy. When it comes to creating a strategy for LinkedIn, a mindset for LinkedIn, the first thing I want to know is what is your plan? Who are the people that you’re targeting? Then what is the promise that you need to deliver to those people so that they help you get to your plan? I wrote a book called High Energy Networking, and in High Energy Networking, I talk about your mindset for being a networker.

A lot of people have the mindset of being a prospector on LinkedIn. If you’re using Sales Navigator, it’s okay to do prospecting. But if using the organic version of LinkedIn, you have to learn the art of networking. The secret to living is giving. If you’re not a giver and you’re sitting there literally trying to sell people things that they don’t want, for people that are not even qualified, what are you doing? You’re just showing up and throwing up. I say, instead of showing up and throwing up, show up and follow up. Follow up intentionally, use the greeting, feeding, and meeting method. But first, take a step back and understand what is your business plan, your marketing plan, and your LinkedIn plan. Once you have that, then understand who is your target market that you need to be connected to, and who is your target center of influence? Who are the people that are in the position to refer business to you? Once you have that, then understand what is the messaging that you need to create in everything that you do in your stories, in your profile, in your content, in everything that you do in order for you to be able to achieve success? If you don’t have your foundation set up correctly, you’re going to fail, even if you’re consistent. Getting that mindset in place is key.

Fred Diamond: I’m on LinkedIn throughout the day, of course. I get a lot of people who do reach out to me and they connect. The next thing they send is, “Hey, we think we can help you with your automated payroll processing. I’d love to talk to you for 15 minutes. Here’s my Calendly link.” But there’s also a lot of people, Joe, who listen to the Sales Game Changers Podcast who don’t do the wrong things. They don’t do the bait and connect type of a thing, or the connect and pitch, which is obviously a mistake. But they use LinkedIn to build their brand. They use LinkedIn to make solid connections. Let’s talk about what those people can be doing.

Let’s say I’m a software sales rep for a mid to large company. Let’s say my customers are CIOs or directors of IT. It’s not a one-call sale. It’s an enterprise-ish type of a deal. What might be some of your strategies for those people?

Joe Apfelbaum: Well, the first thing is if you know exactly who you’re targeting, and you know what their problems are, and you know exactly what’s bothering them and what’s keeping them up at night, then crafting the right stories will help you be able to get in their mind, get in front of their face. Features tell, stories sell. We all know that. What are your personal stories? What are the personal stories and the experiences that you have that you can share through your posts, through your content? Most people are not posting. There’s 830 million members on LinkedIn. 40% are logging in every day and there’s less than a million posts going up each day on LinkedIn. That means if you’re a sales professional right now, and you’re not posting, and you’re not using the six major types of posts on LinkedIn, then you’re missing out.

Here’s another thing that you can do, is that if those sales leaders are engaging and using Sales Navigator strategically, you can tell which one of your prospects are actually engaging. They give you those alerts if you know how to use it. We actually have a bootcamp coming up for Sales Navigator. One of the things that we’re going to educate is how to use alerts properly on Sales Navigator to tell you who’s changing jobs, who’s posting, who’s doing things that allow you to create triggers, to be able to properly engage with them. I can’t tell you how many times a sales rep reaches out to me and I ask them the following question, “Have you seen any of my content?” They tell me, “No, but would you like to get on the phone?” I said, “If you don’t bother to look at my content and see who I am and what I’m about, I’m going to throw a Zig Ziglar quote at you, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ You obviously don’t care about me. Why do you not care about me?” The person’s like, “Of course I care about you.” I said, “If you care about me, spend an hour and watch my workshop.” Then they watch the workshop, and you know what they say to me? “Joe, how can I sign up to your course and coaching program? [Laughs] Because I really need to learn a strategy that works.”

Fred Diamond: I like what you just said there. I’ll get pitched too, and people will say, “I think you’d be a great prospect for my payroll processing system.” I’m like, “You obviously haven’t been on my LinkedIn profile. I post every day. That’s the wrong question to start off with.” We have a question here that comes in from Rachel. Rachel says, “Can Joe talk about the six major posts and which ones are most applicable for sales?” You had just mentioned that there’s six types of posts people do on LinkedIn. What is the best one for sales professionals? Just follow it up too with what might be a rhythm that you recommend for – again, I’m talking about the enterprise sales professional, someone who’s selling software, someone who’s selling technology, maybe it’s a six, nine-month sales process.

Joe Apfelbaum: I can’t go through all six right now because it’ll probably take me an hour to break it down. Inside our program, we walk people through it. Feel free to go to joelinkedin.com. I put a lot of information out there and you can find I have hundreds of articles and posts, and you can definitely reach out to me and I can give you more information on it. But I’m going to talk about one specific type of post right now and give you something actionable that you can do right now.

Most people don’t know this, but one of the most popular types of posts to post on LinkedIn is a survey post. Now there’s many different ways to post a survey on LinkedIn. You could just ask a question. You can give people multiple choice options. You can use their poll feature that actually ranks really well in the algorithm right now. The reason I like this so much for outbound sales reps or for enterprise salespeople is because when I publish a survey on LinkedIn, people get a dopamine hit when they interact with my survey. Human beings are out for dopamine hits. This is why social media’s so popular. We all want to get that dopamine hit. When we share our opinion, we feel important. Martha Washington married George Washington, she courted him. You know how she courted him? She asked him for advice. That’s what she’d do. I think it was Pitbull that said, “If you ask for money, you get advice. But if you ask for advice, you get paid twice.” That’s what he says. I tell people, ask your network for advice. Ask them to help you decide on what you should talk about. What are your problems?

One of the business coaches in our program said, “Joe, could you show me an example of a poll that will help me be able to get clients as a business coach?” You know what I said? I said, “Watch this.” I put up a poll and I wrote the following. “Do you guys use business coaches or do you not believe in coaches? Let me know what you think.” In the poll I wrote, I have a coach, I need a coach, I don’t believe in coaches, or I’d rather smoke a roach, or whatever I wrote there. I published it on LinkedIn. 5,000 people saw it, 100 people voted, and out of those 100 people, 20% said they need a coach. I said, “Dude, you can actually see who voted I need a coach. That’s 20 prospects from five minutes of work.”

Fred Diamond: How often should people be posting? Again, I want to go back to that audience we talked about before, the enterprise software professional, enterprise IT, the complex sale type of a professional. Do you recommend they post every hour, once a day? There’s the whole Gary V, which we don’t really talk about too much, of every hour, whatever, type of a thing. What is your general recommendation?

Joe Apfelbaum: My general recommendation for posting, Fred, is make sure that you’re consistent and you’re doing things that are in line with the algorithm. I would rather you post once a month every single month for the next five years than get an attack and start posting every hour for five days, because that’s not going to help you. Consistency is the best way to get clients as a sales professional. Now, if you’re like me, and if you’re in my course, in my coaching program, I’m going to coach you to create something called a content calendar, which means you have a calendar of content. Depending on how much content you want to create, you want to do it daily. You want to do it 20 times a month. You want to do it weekly. You want to do it 52 times a year. You want to be able to have different types of posts on different days. Maybe one day you’ll have an image post. Maybe one day you’ll have a video post. Maybe one day you’ll do a LinkedIn live. Maybe one day you’ll do a LinkedIn newsletter.

You got to mix it up because different things work with different people. Some people are more auditory. Some people are more visual. Some people like to read. If you mix it up, you’re going to get the plethora of people that will consume your content in the way that people consume content. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social media platforms, because it allows you to see who looked at your profile, what their first name is, their last name is, their company name, where they work, how long they worked there, when they went to school, when they graduated from school. Do you know that when you look at somebody’s date of when they graduated, you now know their age? Now you know their age. From their first name, typically you know their gender.

There’s a lot of information that you can get from LinkedIn. My favorite thing that I love to get is our mutual connections. Most people don’t understand how to leverage mutual connections because 91% of salespeople never asked for a referral, according to HubSpot’s statistics. But 11% of people are willing to give a referral if asked. Why are you not asking? Ask and you shall receive, I know that’s a Christian thing, but ask and you shall receive.

Fred Diamond: Another question comes in from Stefan. Stefan says, “Should I be posting personal things on LinkedIn?” There’s been a big trend, Joe, recently for people to be posting things about their kids or posting things about their pets. Obviously, that used to be the domain 100% of the Facebooks of the world. What is your recommendation? One thing that we’ve been talking about the last couple of years as we’ve been in the pandemic mode is authenticity, vulnerability, things along those lines. Again, especially for sales professionals who want to form those deeper relationships, what is your recommendation generally for something like that?

Joe Apfelbaum: If you want someone to trust you, they have to get to know you. People do business with other people that they know, like, and trust. The more that you’re like someone, the more they’re going to want to do business with you. I recently wrote that I’m a single father of five on Father’s Day. 30,000 people saw that. Many people have reached out to me personally and said, “Hey, I want to do business with you because I feel like you resonate with me. I’m also a single father of five.” When you start sharing things that are personal, people are more likely to connect with you, trust you, and want to do business with you. That’s just a standard way to be able to connect with people from a sales perspective, that’s called rapport building. But you have to be very careful not to share things that are private, or not to share things that are inappropriate for a business setting.

There are certain things I wouldn’t talk about, like religion and politics, during a networking event, or a business conference. If you’re not going to talk about it during a networking event or a business conference, don’t talk about it on LinkedIn. Don’t share a picture of your pizza and say, “Hey, I’m eating this for lunch. What are you eating for lunch?” That’s for Instagram. That’s for TikTok. That’s for Facebook. That’s for Snapchat. On LinkedIn, you want to try to tie things back into business. You want to try to tie things back into personal development. You want to try to tie things back into inspiration. If something’s inspiring, I worked out with my trainer this morning, he beat the crap out of me and he helped me out. I talked about the value of having a coach and the value of hiring a coach in your business. I showed a picture of me sweating and 1,000 people saw that and you know what? I wouldn’t have posted just a picture of me saying, “Hey, I worked out. What did you work out?” But I talked about how he pushed me, and how I went past my comfort zone, and how I use blood, sweat, and tears to grow my business.

Any other entrepreneur or a sales professional that reads that will be like, “This is a real guy. He’s showing his authentic self here. He’s sharing a personal story about his personal trainer and how he struggled and how he came through.” That’s what people want. People want your stories. They want to get to know you. They don’t care about your content. They don’t care about your tips. Of course, I’m going to be sharing tons of tips. But the main thing people want to know is, who is Joe Apfelbaum? Who is Fred Diamond? Who is this salesperson that wants to sell me something? Because like Zig Ziglar said, people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. If you want to be interesting, you got to be interested.

Fred Diamond: How long should I be expecting to invest in LinkedIn? It’s a little bit of a different question. My question is more like, what should I expect? A lot of times you’ll see these people who connect with you. They expect some type of transaction right away, which is ridiculous. I don’t know if anyone’s ever bought anything that way, because it still happens. I still get probably at least two to three requests per day from somebody who reaches out. I’ll go to their LinkedIn, and if it looks valid, I’ll probably accept. Then I get the click in connect, the pitch type of a thing, and I realize it’s totally invalid. I guess my question is, how much investment should people be expected to make to really get some value? What should it be? 50% of my time? Should it be a huge part of my time, with the goal being to get to whatever the goal might be?

Joe Apfelbaum: There’s a difference between networking and prospecting. When you’re talking about return on investment, a lot of people ask me, “Joe, what should I expect as an ROI from networking, and what percentage of my time should be used in networking?” It all depends on how you get business. If you’re getting all your business from relationships and no business from cold calling, you want to spend more time building relationships and less time cold calling because that’s not how you get clients in your industry. But if in your industry you’re in the cash advanced business and no one is going to use a cash advance from a relationship and it’s you calling restaurants, then focus 80%, 90% of your time on doing prospecting and cold calling and less of your time on relationship building. It all depends on your industry, your plan, also what your personality is and how you like getting business. Everything works.

A funnel works, a pipeline works, everything works. It depends on where focus goes, energy flows. The more you put into it, the more typically you’ll get out of it, especially if you’re using a strategy and you’re sharpening the saw. That’s the general answer. But the more specific answer is you first have to set a goal. If you don’t set a goal, if you’re trying to get as much as possible, you’re not going to get anything. If you know that you want to have five conversations a day, and this is the difference between process goals and product goals. We teach all of our students, you got to set a product goal, you got to set a result, and you also got to set a process goal.

When I speak to sales reps, and I say, “How many calls are you getting on every day?” and they don’t know, shame on you for not knowing. I’m sorry for shaming people, but you have to measure. If you want to manage something, you got to measure it. The number one rule in sales is measure. Measure, measure, measure, because numbers don’t lie. If you want to make 10 sales and you’re only getting on three calls, then you’re wondering why you’re not closing 10 deals, what are you doing? I say, for me, I want to get on five calls every single day. That’s 20 calls a week, 80 a month, 1,000 a year. I want to close at least 10, 15 deals as a result of that. It’s very reasonable for me to achieve that if I spend my time on LinkedIn. My goal is to spend 15 minutes a day every single day on LinkedIn. From those 15 minutes a day with consistency throughout the year, I can expect to close a million dollars in new business.

We had a client that signed up to our program. Within seven days, we gave her the right list, the right niche, with the right messaging, and she closed a $40,000 deal in seven days. Seven days from getting the list, implementing what we taught her to do, she closed the deal. Now she has another one in the pipeline that she’s going to close. Her mind is blown. Like, “How do you do this?” Because if you’re talking to the right people with the right message, you’re going to get conversations. Conversations is what leads to conversions. Instead of asking, “What is my ROI going to be?” Say, “How many conversations can I typically produce by spending 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn?” The answer is typically between three and five conversations every single day with qualified people that are either in the position to do business with you or refer business to you. Now, if you’re going to connect and pitch, it’s not going to work, because pitches get stitches, and you want riches. Riches are in the niches.

Fred Diamond: [Chuckles] that kind of itches, the way you were saying that there. You’ve given us so much great content here in a very short amount of time. I’ll give you a little bit of a story of how it works for me. It goes back to the thing you said a number of times, which is how can you keep being a giver? I comment on everything. Again, at the Institute for Excellence in Sales, our customers, we call them members or sponsors, are typically mid-size to large companies with sales teams. Whenever I see anybody from any of my member companies post anything, and most of the posts, Joe, I think had 0.0 engagement.

Joe Apfelbaum: You’re the only one liking. You’re literally in a ghost town. You’re the only one that showed up to the party.

Fred Diamond: The only one that showed to the party, and either they post at the wrong time or whatever it might be. I don’t care. I’ll like it and then I’ll give some kind of comment. At least five words. “This looks like a great webinar.” Or, “Congratulations to your team on this announcement.” Or, “Wow. I didn’t realize you guys were doing so well in that market,” whatever it might be. The reason I’m telling you this is, one of my members reached out to me, it was time to renew. They annually renew. Actually it was a she, the VP of marketing said, “We’re going to renew because we love your programs at the Institute, et cetera. But we noticed that you always comment on our stuff.” She said, “We see you all the time and I want to let you know that it hasn’t gone unnoticed.” I didn’t do it to get them to renew. You know what I’m saying? Yeah, that’s part of my sales process, my marketing process is the engagement, but it wasn’t like, “Okay, I interacted 42 times over six months.”

Joe Apfelbaum: You don’t have to measure it. You don’t have to measure everything. That’s why it’s called key performance indicators, because there’s only certain indicators that you actually check on. You don’t have to check on every single number in your car. Look at the gas meter, look at how fast you’re going, and make sure your car doesn’t overheat, and you’re good, and maybe the radio. Those are the things that you look at in your car. Same thing with sales. I do the opposite approach. When people comment on my stuff, often what I’ll do is I’ll pick up the phone and call them. I had somebody like one of my pieces of content. That happened to be a piece of content that in the first hour only got seven likes. I’m okay with that. I don’t need to go viral. I always tell people, “I don’t want to be famous. I want the right 1,000 people to see me 1,000 times a year. That’s good enough for me.”

This woman is a coach. I picked up the phone. I called her. She happened to have amazing energy. She picked up the phone. She’s like, “Oh my God. Joe, I can’t believe you’re calling me. What did I do to deserve this honor?” I said, “You liked my post.” She’s like, “You call everyone that likes your post?” I said, “No, the universe compelled me to call you. I looked at your profile. I love what you do. I want to know how you’re getting clients.” She’s like, “I actually need help getting clients. Can you help me?” I said, “Yes,” and she ended up becoming a client because I picked up the damn phone and called her after she liked my content.

Recognize people. If you don’t want to pick up the phone, at least message or email them and thank them for communicating. Thank them for engaging. The opposite works well as well. Not only engage on your prospects, but also engage with the people that are engaged with your content, and they’re going to be more likely to engage with you in the future as well.

Fred Diamond: Do you know Alex Goldfayn? Do you ever come across him?

Joe Apfelbaum: No.

Fred Diamond: He’s fantastic. I’ve had him on the podcast twice. He’s written about a half a dozen books. His most recent book I believe was called Pick Up the Phone. His whole premise is that picking up the phone should be the first action in the nurture, if you will, as compared to email, text, whatever it might be. It’s pick up the phone, but it’s not cold calling or prospecting. It’s me picking up the phone to call you as compared to a text or an email. Joe, I just wanted to acknowledge you for who you are.

Again, I was introduced to you by our good mutual friend, the great Larry Fish. You’ve shown up so many times and helping so many people understand how to use the platforms, the LinkedIn platforms. We’re also Facebook friends, and it’s also fun to connect via that and see what’s going on with you, and your kids, and your workouts, and all those things you have going on. But just want to acknowledge you for how many lives you’ve touched with your energy, and with your books, and with some of the things we’re talking about today. With just commenting on people’s posts and giving them some quick advice, “Hey, you should do this. It’s going to help you.” Of course, all the workshops that your company brings to the market. Joe, we like to end every Sales Game Changers Podcast with an action step. You’ve already given us 15, 20 brilliant ideas. Give us one specific action step people should do right now to take their sales career to the next level.

Joe Apfelbaum: One of the companies who hired us, they have 54 business development reps, and we’re coaching them every single month through the process of using LinkedIn. Within the first two months, they already closed enough money to pay for training for the whole year. One of the things that I told them to do, that I want everybody else to do, as the number one thing is, once you figure out your target market, let’s say you know what your target market is. Let’s say your target market is general partners of real estate companies. That’s basically what it was for them. Try to see how many of them exist on LinkedIn. Do a search. Use the filters. Try to see, “How many of these people at my target market in my geographic area exist on LinkedIn?” Then check how many are you currently connected to?

They said, “There are no general partners on LinkedIn.” We literally went through and I showed them there are 1,800 general partners in the geographic area of that sales rep that told me that they’re not on LinkedIn. I said, “There’s 1,800. Are you connected to any of them?” He’s like, “How do I check?” I showed him, he looked, he said he was connected to zero. Then I said, “Okay. Switch to second degree.” You guys know what a second degree connection is? There’s a first degree, the people that are connected to you directly. Second degree is the people that are connected to your connected. Then there was 145 of them he said. So I said, “You have 145 people in your target market that are there waiting for you to connect with them to be able to help them save money.” He’s like, “Joe, show me if this works. Show me.”

I literally did it. I picked up the phone. I used an app that lays over LinkedIn. I called the person. It went to the guy’s voicemail. This is 54 people watching me, the CEO’s there. I leave the guy a voicemail, I say, “Hey, listen, I’m going to send you a connection request right now. You don’t have to reply to this voicemail, but I just want to let you know that I appreciate you and I want to get in touch with you. Just respond to the request and let’s get in touch because X, Y, and Z,” I gave him a reason.

The guy calls me back within three minutes and we’re in middle of the coaching session, and I’m like, “Should I pick up?” The CEO’s like, “Pick up the phone. It’s a general partner. We need to talk to him.” I pick up the phone. We had a one-minute conversation. I explained to him the value proposition and the guy said, “You guys are disrupting the market. I need to talk to somebody. I can’t do it now. Let’s talk next week.” I had their top sales rep talk to him next week, close the deal. It was a six-figure deal. His mind was blown. He’s like, “This really, really works.”

Now, did I maybe get lucky? When you do the hard work, you get lucky. But if you’re not even going to do the basics, if you’re not going to look up your target market, if you’re not going to check if you’re connected to them, if you’re not going to call them or send them a connection request, I guarantee you’re not going to get business. But if you try it, you might be like my clients that actually learn how to do it and get business consistently. That’s the one tip I want to give you today.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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