Are you looking to develop more social connections to obtain more sales? LinkedIn Whisperer and CEO of Social Sales Link, Brynne Tillman, shares tips and best practices combining traditional sales techniques along with the new digital world mentality to achieve more traction from target audiences. 

  • 0:12 – The LinkedIn fad
  • 2:51 – The rolodex of the future: LinkedIn
  • 7:22 – Position yourself as a resource not a resumé
  • 10:46 – Why we buy from people & not companies 
  • 14:44 – How to utilize a first & second degree connection
  • 15:37 – Always tailor your templates


**Search #SSLInsights on LinkedIn for more information**

Full Episode Transcription:

Derek: (00:00)
So Brynne it’s so awesome to see you. Thanks for joining us. So, first question we want to know is obviously we’ve known each other all for a long time. Tell us what you’re up to these days and how you got into that line of work and what motivates you about it.

Brynne: (00:12)
Well, you know, my line of work is simply helping people leverage LinkedIn to start more sales conversations. And I mean, I, I got here by accident, I think because I really started off originally as a sales producer did well in some of the companies that I was working for, including dun and Bradstreet, and ended up being brought in as a trainer and helped create curriculum over time became sales trainer started a company focused on sales training. And then I found LinkedIn and I realized that there’s so much power. And I I’ve been teaching LinkedIn for sales before LinkedIn knew they were a sales platform when they were only job seekers, and really started teach it from a networking perspective and from a business development perspective. And it’s been gosh, eight, eight years of doing, monetizing of this and really probably 10 plus years of using it for business development. So I sort of accidentally got here and I’m really happy. And I was told by everyone, it’s a fad, have some fun. You’ll be back into sales training soon, but you know, the fads running a really long time.

Derek: (01:35)
That’s amazing. 

Todd: (01:35)
So what I, and I’m also passionate and deeply knowledgeable about LinkedIn, but it’s funny when, when you say to a lot of people, like I love LinkedIn and that’s what I do. I teach people how to what is your actual statement? 

Brynne: (01:52)
I Leverage it to start more sales conversations. 

Todd: (01:54)
Okay. So perfect. But for some people they’re like, so you love a software program, but it just doesn’t, there’s no magic for them. So what is it about what you can get out of LinkedIn, what you can learn and what you can actually access with the tool? Like, why is that fascinating to you?

Brynne: (02:09)
So, I mean, I’ll start with the foundation or the core of why I love it. And then 50 million things come out of that. But the core really is you know, maybe I’ll tell a quick little story when I worked for Dun & Bradstreet. And I, you know, I was cold calling to get into appointments, like literally sat in a room and dialed and dialed and dialed, and then made it to the field where I really fell in love with sales. And I recall a situation where I was like sitting across from a client’s Rolodex. I don’t know if you guys remember what a Rolodex is. 

Derek: (02:41)
I do. 

Brynne: (02:42)
Every once in a while. Do you okay? Good

Todd: (02:45)
I used to play with it at my dad’s office at his law firm.

Brynne: (02:51)
Yeah, yeah. Right. Well, so yeah, so, so staring at this Rolodex thinking if could get my hands on this for 20 minutes, I could figure out who he knew that I wanted to meet, leverage that relationship to get introductions. And I wouldn’t have to do any more cold calling, which was my least favorite part of sales, but in 1992, yes, I just aged myself. It wasn’t like politically correct to say, Hey, Mr. Client, can I thumb through your address book. Right. But when, you know, a couple decades later when LinkedIn launched, I had this like aha moment of like, my prayers have been answered. Linkedin allows us to filter and search our connections, connections, and identify who in our network can we leverage to get introductions into our targeted audience? And the fact is, you know, I wanted to just flip through all the business cards of the Rolodex.

Brynne: (03:52)
Linkedin really allows us to use to use filters and key words to really hone in on that list. So where they may have 800 connections, I can find the 23 that they know that I might want it to meet. And there are a couple of ways to do that. And you can ask for introductions, you can get permission to name drop. There are quite a few different ways to do that. And you have your clients, your networking partners, you can do it by company and look at your entire Rolodex to see who knows. I mean, it’s phenomenal. So that’s the core of why I love it. Right? And then so many things come out of that, but that ability to search and filter your connections, connections is like, there’s nothing else on the planet that allows us to do that. 

Todd: (04:40)
There’s some, there’s some aspects of that for LinkedIn and for business that I wish were more available just in the, in the social side. Right? So a lot of what we want to get into here is about building a culture and understanding your team and supporting each other and playng. It’s Scrimmage, right? Scrimmage is about playing and working hard and learning through, through play right through. All right. So you want to play with people that share common interests, right? Or have wildly different interests that you can learn from. So like, what I think is fascinating about what you can get from LinkedIn is understanding not just where someone works or their industry, but like people put work into their profiles sometimes. So you can tell by the language they use, you can tell the, literally the reason you showed up in my outreach for this interview we’re doing right now is probably keeps me, we’re both passionate about some of the same things, clearly understanding people in business and relationships.

Todd: (05:44)
But I spoke with someone a few days ago on the phone who you actually know. And I was saying, tell me your story. Right. So when I found him, I look for uncommon commonalities, right. I see a story. And he said, well, I worked in Hollywood and film for a long time. I was like, Jake, that is it. And that’s why you showed up because I worked in film in Hollywood and visual effects for awhile. Yeah. So when you find these little common traits that you can share and spark conversation it starts a relationship. And then you can learn about all the uncommon traits that you don’t know about. 

Derek: (06:17)
Totally agree. I was going to say Brynne, LinkedIn’s evolving a lot, lately to include more about your personal side, right? The personal side of, of, of life of business. How do you, what’s your feeling on that? I mean, it’s, you know,

Brynne: (06:30)
So I’m, I I’m mixed and I’m going to come back. I’ll answer that in just a minute. Cause the one thing I wanted to mention to Todd to your point is when I started in sales and I’d walk into a client’s office, I would look around the room and see, you know, Oh, he, he skis, it looks like he goes to Utah. Like, what are the things, Oh, he’s got twins. I have twins. Right? Whatever that looks like. Right. And so that’s what LinkedIn allows us to do. Like it gives us that you have their office, right. To help us build that rapport instead of just jumping into sales pitch. Right. Which is what we do often in not a great way. And it kills deals pitching too early. So to your question bringing the personal into it, we definitely need a our personality into it.

Brynne: (07:28)
And we should in some way, bring in kind of our interests, but generally speaking, our buyers don’t care about us as much as we’d like to think right now, having, you know, if you, you know, if you played tennis for Villanova, make sure it’s there. Cause that’s something that, you know, will bring in rapport. But what I really, my philosophy, at least through LinkedIn is about teaching and guiding and providing insights and value. And so where most people lead with their solution, here’s how to buy from us. Here’s what our clients love. This is what, you know, how to hire us, all that fun stuff. I often say, stop telling them how you can help them and simply help them. And then you’ll attract them to you. So for me, the primary purpose of the profile is to be a resource, right? To switch it, to move it I’ve been saying for 15 years, a long, not that long, but whatever, you know, seven, eight years, you’ve got to move your profile from a resume to a resource.

Brynne: (08:37)
Yeah. Right. If you are resume, no one cares. Especially if you’re in business development. And if you’re looking for a job that might be a whole other conversation, but if you are selling a product or a service or yourself, you’ve got to be a resource. People need to see you as a thought leader and a subject matter expert. And I really think that that, and you know, when you go into a networking meeting and someone talks 80% of the time, it’s all about them. They think you’re awesome. You know, you want to make sure you’re making it all about them. You don’t have to talk about you. You have to talk about how, you know, solving their problems, getting them curious, getting them thinking a little differently than they did before they got here. And that’s really in my eyes the way to position your LinkedIn profile.

Derek: (09:25)
Got it. That’s great. Thank you. I just learned something right there. I think I’m going to apply this as we leave the session.

Brynne: (09:32)

Derek: (09:33)
But I would love to hear your, your answers to my other question too, is as far as that, how has becoming more personal, right? Like that side of LinkedIn, that’s evolved especially with the incorporation of the video now and those types of things.

Brynne: (09:45)
Oh, that, so it becomes more personal professionally is great. Right? Like it’s not about, here’s the video of the vacation with my friends unless, I’m giving you a business tip at the same time. Right? So here’s, here’s the good news, the bad news around that. There are some people that are doing a phenomenal job of that. I’m just going to give out Sherry Levitan does an incredible job of wherever she is. If she’s, you know, whether it’s her storage unit or she’s water skiing on some Lake in Utah, whatever it is, right? Like, but it always comes back to a business tip. And so you fall in love with her and you know what she’s doing and she brings great value. So I, every time I see a video from her, I’m connecting with her more deeply and I’m learning from her. So if you can balance the two, it’s a huge win, huge win video definitely connects you.

Brynne: (10:48)
And we buy from people. We don’t buy from companies, right. We buy from people. So if we can connect with the individual and see them personally, as the thought leader and subject matter expert, as the person that’s, you know, helping me get to a better solution, you are, and you’re making those relationships and connections. It’s huge. The mistake is when you blur the story of why people should, you know, so when it becomes all personal and not leading to your solution, if you are not. So I said, you know, most people lead with their solution. You want to lead to your solution. So 95% of what you’re doing on LinkedIn should lead them closer and closer to your solution. Right. And so if you were not, and you’re talking about some great quote from Albert Einstein, but you sell telephone systems, you’re diluting your brand and people don’t, they’re not thinking of you and your brand together. And so they don’t know how to work with you or why they may love you. But so that, that’s sort of my,

Derek: (12:04)
Yeah. So, so on that topic of learning with LinkedIn specifically, I’m kind of interested and curious of this question for employees of just of just companies. Like not. So a lot of, you know, a lot of things that we see on LinkedIn are from from influencers and people who are selling these concepts and influence and advocating for this platform, which we all agree. There’s a big value. How do you see it being used in that way for just a BDR or an account executive for just any regular company, right. In terms of their they’re one of a hundred reps, how can they use LinkedIn to differentiate within the construct or the, the rules if you will, of their company? Because there are some limitations around personal branding vs. company branding, and how do you balance that?

Brynne: (12:47)
Okay. So the first thing I’m going to say is don’t break your company rules as I go out there. Like, if you have constraints, I don’t want anyone to come back to me. Then I got fired. Cause I did what you said on LinkedIn. Right? Like, so make sure anything you do is approved now i’ll share some of the things. Cause I know the last thing, but there are a lot of things like an inside sales person can do, right? So let’s, let’s talk about some of the statistics that are famous, that we know there are 6.8 decision makers on the average enterprise sales says the customer challenger customer, right? Phoebe Gardner, right. Probably the most used stat out there, 6.8. So as an inside sales rep, you may have a pretty decent database. You may use ZoomInfo, you know, which is decent, right. It’s a great tool, but that’s information not connection.

Brynne: (13:47)
Right? So you may use those LinkedIn, we’ll do a few things. Number one, it gives you in mind experience the most up to date information on on the org chart. Right? Cause they’re all if someone gets a new job, the first thing they do is update their level. Right? Zoom info might take them six months before that gets updated. Not saying, I think ZoomInfo is great. Not saying anything, but there are, you know, everything has its own kind of expertise. And so LinkedIn has that number two very quickly. You can see what you can’t see on anything else, your social proximity to all of those people. Right? So I know my 6.8 here are the, all of the titles of the people that will be involved. All of the stakeholders that will be involved in the sales process. I go into the company, I look them up, I get 15 names that match that criteria.

Brynne: (14:44)
And now the next thing I do is look at my social proximity. Do I have a first degree connection in this company? If I do, even if it’s the wrong person inside that company, I’m having a conversation because they can make an internal introduction to the right partners, person, number one, number two, is there a second degree connection to the right person? And can I leverage that relationship to get a warm introduction? So I noticed that Todd is connected to Derek and I want to meet Derek. And I say, you know Todd, I notice you’re connected to Derek at Scrimmage. I’ve been trying to get into his company for a while. And I know he’s the CEO. How well do you know him? You know, a little bit about what I do. Would you be open to making an introduction, right? And so, and you can do this in many different ways, but inside sales reps can do a little of that.

Brynne: (15:37)
Now, if they have a call volume, they have to hit, they have to be a little careful around that. But if they have some templates that they can tailor each time, a little bit, it can make it flow, tailor your templates, not the same template for every single person, but you know, kind of get get that going. The other thing is pre call planning. I got an appointment with someone I’m going to get on the call. We were talking about this earlier. I say, you know, two things in two minutes, right? Spend two minutes on a profile and pick two things you can mention. It could be anything from their location. If you can’t find anything else, Oh, you live in Portland, Oregon, I’m dying to go there. It’s high on my bucket list is at least something right. That I recognize, even if it’s, I’ve never been, you know, so you’ve got to find like some connection to things in two minutes, same college. Maybe you both follow the same influencer, whatever that might be. Find that commonality to start the conversation in a much more natural way versus jumping right into, like, let me tell you all the things I can do for you. Right. Don’t don’t pitch too early. Yeah. Sorry. On and on.

Derek: (16:53)
No, that’s perfect. I thank you so much for the details. I think the audience will get a lot of value and understanding how to, how to use that specifically within their organization. So it’s always a pleasure talking with you, Brynne. You have anything? 

Todd: (17:04)
Yeah, this is great. No, I’m just feverishly scribbling notes because I want to make sure we keep these in the put these in the show notes. As we wrap up your Brynne, how can people get access to you? Is there online trainings or your website? Where can they get more.

Brynne: (17:18)
Yes. All of that. 

Todd: (17:21)
I would imagine they can reach you, but

Brynne: (17:23)
Yeah, I am still the only Brynne Tillman on LinkedIn, which is great. So you can find me there, social sales And on LinkedIn, if you put in hashtag SSL insights, all of our content will pop up. 

Derek: (17:39)

Todd: (17:40)
And there’s a tip within within that sentence for people. So make your own hashtags so people can find your stuff easily.

Brynne: (17:47)
Exactly. Everyone should have one. 

Derek: (17:51)
Awesome. Well, Brynne, thanks so much for your time and your experience and wisdom as always. We really value it and value you and I’m wishing you all the best as always. Thank you. 

Brynne: (17:59)
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me guys. 

Todd: (18:03)

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