Episode 7: Tips for Sales Professionals New to Social Selling with Phil Gerbyshak
90 percent of businesspeople include digital in their strategy. If you’re not, it’s time to ask yourself why. Today we speak to author, speaker, and sales expert, Phil Gerbyshak, who pulls no punches about the importance of incorporating digital selling strategies in your marketing plan. In today’s episode, he tells us about the work he does at his company, Digital Selling Strategies, the biggest shifts he has seen in the past decade, and his early experiences on the web. He goes on to describe the point of connection between technology, sales, and people, before diving into a series of powerful tips to sell online. He also shares some tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, why you need to be interested to be interesting, and what the word ‘social’ means in the term ‘social selling’. We dive into the importance of choosing value over volume and why, if you’re in a job where you are meeting none of the top ten industry needs, you should get a new job! Phil tells us why it is worth your time to stay ahead of the trend, why you should assume that all the research you do will be valuable, and the importance of knowing why you are contacting people, and letting them know too. Next, he talks to us about how specificity always trumps a general approach, and how being yourself enriches your work as a salesperson, as well as one thing you should avoid at all costs: the connect-and-pitch approach. We close our conversation with Phil’s three H’s: be helpful, be humble, and be human. We hope you join us for an action-packed glimpse into the world of online sales from an expert in the field.
Key Points From This Episode:
“90 percent of people that are business people are using something digital. If you’re not, as a sales person, what are you doing? Let’s get real. You’ve got to shift with that.” — @PhilGerb [0:04:16]
“Technology and sales, to me, have always made sense, because it’s not about tech or sales. It’s about the connection of the two. That’s where I live. That’s where I want to be.” — @PhilGerb [0:07:43]
“Pick your industry and then look for the trends. What are the trends? What are the top challenges of CMOs in healthcare? Do I address any of those? If I don’t, get a new job!” — @PhilGerb [0:24:58]
“If you have a high value product, it is worth your time to stay ahead of the trend.” — @PhilGerb [0:26:58]
“Specificity over general, all day long.” — @PhilGerb [0:33:43]
“The lack of real connection is the biggest foul-ball.” — @PhilGerb [0:43:11]
“People don’t post to the public on accident. People post to the public on purpose. They want recognition. We crave that, and most of the time, nobody’s doing anything with that. But don’t pitch – comment.” — @PhilGerb [0:43:48]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Speaker 0 00:00:01 Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You're not tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra.
Speaker 1 00:00:30 Welcome to episode seven of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing tips for sales professionals, new to social selling. I have an awesome guest for you guys. Still Gerber shack, no sales. He's a sales speaker sales executive sales expert, and a sales leader, mentor, a podcaster and a sales coach, kind of a Jack of all trades. Phil has written five books, more than 3000 articles and has been quoted in multiple publications, including three covers on speaker magazine, marketing media and money and social selling made easy people recognize Phil for his personal brand of connection in simplicity, deliver with a smile in some hard earned swagger. Phil is currently the chief revenue officer of digital selling strategies where he and his team work with clients so they can focus on what they do best.
Speaker 1 00:01:25 Phil, welcome to the show, man. How are ya? Hey Sam. I'm never better, man. It's great to be with you. You know what? We're doing a podcast in Orlando and I think we both live in Orlando. We should have done this in person Phil, next time. Episode two. Yeah, without a doubt. Hey, so I'm really excited to have you on the show today. You and I have known each other for a number of years indirectly. We kind of worked with some groups together. Obviously we're here in central Florida, but can you kind of give the audience a little bit of a lay of the land a little bit about you kind of what you've been doing? Sure. Well, digital selling strategies is the name of my company and it's also what I do. So I work with sales teams and small businesses and self-employed folks to really integrate digital into their overall selling strategy.
Speaker 1 00:02:09 It's really important, right? I mean, you'd be silly if you don't know the last year and a half, we've all turned into digital selling people, right? You have to use zoom, you gotta use the phone. You gotta use email. You gotta use LinkedIn. Right? Instagram, all this stuff that before is like, no, no, I'm going to get in my pickup truck and I'm going to drive around and see customers. So, you know, in a nutshell, that's what I do. It's all about sales and that digital piece of that. It's funny. You mentioned that because I always ask this question. And so it kind of leads into it is, Hey, I always like to ask what got you started in that. Cause that's obviously a different path, right? And then be thinking about how sales has changed and evolved. I remember 20 years ago getting started, they threw me a phone book and they said call through it, have fun.
Speaker 1 00:02:51 Like I was like, okay, I just start dialing and dialing. So let me ask the first part. What's been the biggest shift in sales, in your experience, you know, for the past five years, I don't know, 10 years, whatever you want to use as a timeframe, just what's been that shift for you, bill, what you've seen. Well, even the most traditional sales person who is mostly belly to belly, mostly eyeball to eyeball now has to really believe that it's heart to heart and that's digital. I mean, cause I get to see who you are, man. I see now is everybody know everybody's not right. Somebody is going to call in and say, you will. You know what? My, uh, diesel mechanic he's okay, fine. Right? I got you man. But most of us use some form of digital. Now we either respond to email. We might get a text message.
Speaker 1 00:03:36 We might use Instagram. Right? We might use zoom. We might use video card, whatever we do. Right. I think the biggest shift is understanding and believing that people actually are digital. I mean, no way while we're talking here, I just got a text from my dad. My dad is 74 years old. He grinds stumps for living in Northern Wisconsin. And my hometown of Crivitz my dad, my dad has a flip phone, but he sets appointments via text message. My 74 year old dad who goes to the bar to drop off business cards is now digital. I'm like, holy crap. That's the biggest shift because it has to be like, I don't care if you like it or not. 90% of people that are business. People are using something digitally. And if you're not as a sales person, what do you do it like, come on, man.
Speaker 1 00:04:26 Let's get real. You've got to shift with that. So that's been the biggest shift that I've seen in five to 10 years because before right, you could look smart, just bringing a notebook and a pen and not even ever reviewing your notes. And oh, tell me about your problems. No, do the research. Right? Most people, they expect you to understand what sort of problems they have. Right? What keeps you up at night is now the worst question, because you could have found that out by doing a little bit of digital research. That's awesome. I remember back when I very first started back in my truck leasing days, like I remember I was six, nine months in, before I even had an email address. Like they didn't even give me, like, I remember when a website was like, that's digital more like launching a website. Like that was it.
Speaker 1 00:05:11 Right. That was like, man, you're on the floor of innovation. You're launching a website. So you're right. Technology and what it's been able to do and amplify, I think that's a good catch. What got you excited about this? I mean, obviously you've been doing this a number of years, Phil, so there's some passion. Obviously I see it in your voice or hear it in your voice, but what got you down this path initially? Well, so initially I actually got started on the tech side. I was a cryptologic technician in the Navy thinking that the internet was fake. I mean, I had an email address, but believe this Sam, we could only email interoffice. That was all, we had no website, dos commands, all texts all the time. And I remember thinking, man, this is garbage. Like literally you dial up 9,600 baud connection. And I was like, man, this is crap, right?
Speaker 1 00:06:03 This is never going to work. I got out of the Navy four years later, still thought the internet was pretty fake. And somebody introduced the idea of HTML to me. I remember Dr. Joel Stein, HTML, goodies.com. I learned how to code my first website. And the first interaction was through the guest book. People would leave comments, right. Via a guest book. And it was pretty cool. And I was like, oh, this is an interesting way to connect. That was 96 97. Then I got a job selling DSL, selling DSL, like super high speed, which was like six times as fast as the old dial-up networking. And I was still like sales up. Yeah. Okay. But the Internet's still pretty fake. Right. And then holy crap, cable modems came and the internet exploded and this little company called Google came along and you could search for anything.
Speaker 1 00:06:54 Like it was crazy, right? Two buttons, either a search, here's a listing or I'm feeling lucky. I'm going to pick one of the top 10. And that changed the world for me. I was like, oh my gosh, I can see this. And then, you know, Plaxo came along and LinkedIn came along plateau. For those of you who don't remember was a scraper that went through all your emails, gathered, everybody's email address. And then Sam, you and I are connected on Plaxo. So every time you move companies, instead of having to send me a new business card, I would get an email that said, Sam Keppra has a new email address. Would you like to see it? I'd see it and accept it and update my contact list. My gosh, I wish that still existed. Right? I mean, that's still really good deck. So I'm like, oh, this makes sense to me.
Speaker 1 00:07:36 Okay. Selling DSL when it became a stockbroker, figured that out. Right. And really technology and sales for me have just always made sense because it's not about tech or sales. It's about the connection of the two. That's where I live. That's where I want to be. Right. That's why we're here today. The connection of technology that today it's video and audio and sales, what we do. Right. And that's the key. So that's what got me started. I, and that's what gets me excited every day. I mean like, what's next? How's this going to happen? But it comes back to the person. How can I connect with Sam? That's my goal. That's awesome, man. So on that note, because that's a good segue into why I wanted you on this show, because this is something you live and breathe and know like the back of your hand.
Speaker 1 00:08:21 But I even think you would be the very first one to say, it's always, it's always changing. It's always evolving. Right. Which is good sales professionals. You should always be changing. You should always be evolving. I always hated the term an expert because that means you. You've kind of learned that there's I truly believe there's no expert in maybe how I hope my neurosurgeon who's workout. They're an expert, but for anybody else, I think you should always be learning. And these are the types of things that that's the reason I love this conversation, which is going to be really around tips around social selling tips for sales professionals that are either new to social selling or trying to take their social selling to a new level, which I know is really top of mind for you. So let let's, let's dive into that. And I, I kind of want to approach this from a Hey five tips, 10 tips, things that you really see, feel that good sales professionals should be doing.
Speaker 1 00:09:13 Whether it's blocking and tackling or extremely high level, then we'll drill down into it. Fair enough. You want to kick it off for us bill? For sure. For sure. Right? So first you have to get dressed before you get busy. The number one thing you have to do. So what the heck does that mean? Get dressed before you get busy? It means whatever platform you're on. And you're trying to prospect, you have to look like a resource and not a resume. Too many salespeople have a LinkedIn profile or an Instagram profile or a Facebook profile or Tik TOK profile, or you name it. And they look either a like they're looking for a job or B they're so unprofessional. You think they should be looking for a job. Right? So one of the two, but get dressed. Right? So look like someone that if your customers invited you into their office, you would fit in.
Speaker 1 00:10:00 Now that doesn't mean you have to wear a suit or a dress or something strong. That looks like you're stuffy. No, that's not what I mean. But I do mean you should look like if you walked in the office, you'd be like, oh yeah, that's Sam. Oh yeah, I got that. Right. I totally see that this is the same guy everywhere. This is the same gal everywhere. So really important. Right? Get dressed before you get busy and write it through your customer's eyes. That means, don't say you're a quarter crushing sales professional. Who's won president's club 68 times in the last 10 days. None of that crap. Right? Cause they don't care. What they care about is them. So write it through your customer's eyes, be a resource for them really, really important and get dressed before you go to work. So on that note and just tell me, Sam, let, let let's pause because that's going to be later.
Speaker 1 00:10:47 But I think, and I'm, I'm, I'm leaning to LinkedIn. I know there's other channels. There's Twitter. There's, there's a lot of channels, like all these things, but I'm, I'm always, LinkedIn seems to be my go-to right. So when I think social selling and just in my personal professional, I tie that immediately to what does your profile say about you as an individual? Like I'm still baffled Phil, that there's still people in the professional world that have less than 200 connections that have no profile picture that have no banner, like they have know about them. Like top talks is like, is that tied into that? Is there a separate tip for you? Help me understand that a little bit. Phil let's think about your LinkedIn profile seven or eight things that you can customize, what your header, your header is free banner space. Again, let's rewind to, when I first started on the internet, banner ads were all we had.
Speaker 1 00:11:36 Well, LinkedIn, all it gives you is a banner ad. Use it like cause most people don't. Right. So first thing, right? That's like, okay, I'm going to put my clothes on. All right. I've got a banner ad. Now your headshot, your headshot, just you headshot fairly new right in the last six, 12 months. And don't to leave it on just for connections, turn it on for public. Because LinkedIn, they flip this bit a couple years ago. And for some reason they screwed all of us and it made it so that our default picture setting, our default headshot setting was actually only the connections. Turn it on because otherwise when you're prospecting, people are like, who's this, they don't have a head shot. And I would bet most sales professionals, do we have a headshot? It turned off. They haven't turned off for just connections. So you and I were second degree.
Speaker 1 00:12:22 It's like, well, is this guy up? No stop. Okay. Not. And then third, right? So let's say number three, headlines. So this is our whole head header, head shot headline. What's your headline? Who do you help? How do you help them? And a little bit of personal stuff now, right now I'm testing something. My headline right now. And maybe not by the time we launched this, right, it's going to ask me about sales because I'm a sales guy, right? I love sales. I love to help with sales. I want to see, does that drive more than not? Now that being said, right? You could use ask me about software. Ask me about education. Ask me about plumbing. Ask me about welding, whatever. Right? Ask me about it. People are interested, right? There'll will be that. Cause those are the three things that people see with them.
Speaker 1 00:13:03 They send you a connection request. They see your header, they see your headshot and they see your headline. So then write, write your story, take the time, write your story. Tell me how'd you get started. Why do you care? And most importantly, why should a customer care? Why should a prospect care? What have you done? Right? What's what's a connective tissue between you and the work you've done in a customer and the work they need that connect those. Right? Tell your story from there. Of course, right then we've got our endorsements are our skills. Top three are all that matter. But here's what most salespeople do. Sales, Microsoft word or PowerPoint or thankfully not internet Explorer anymore. But that was a top one. And I'm not kidding for a very long time, because that was, was the default, right? That was the default. And they said, well, just get endorsements.
Speaker 1 00:13:53 Let's flip that over. What are your customers care about? If you're selling educational software, one of the top one should be education, right? If you're, if you're selling HPAC systems, your top skill should be HPAC. Cause I want to talk to an expert who happens to be in sales, not someone who's in sales who happens to dabble in HPAC. So we have to get that skill. Right? And then the last one that so many people hose up is the actual recommendations. Like who have you worked with? I loved working with that. You can write a recommendation for, so this is a great way to get back in touch with their old customers. I send them a connection request. Yeah. Have to be connected. Otherwise of course you can't possibly have worked with them. So I sent a connection request. Sam, I've loved working with you, man.
Speaker 1 00:14:42 I'd love to write you a recommendation, but I can't believe we're not connected on LinkedIn man. What's going on. And of course you're like, oh boy, this is fantastic. Of course. Oh wow. Phil wants to say something nice about me. So I do write, I write the recommendation and then you think, oh, LinkedIn pops up and says, well, would you like to write one for Phil? Well, of course, of course I do. What a nice guy. Oh yeah. Phil was great. I loved working with him. He was easy to work with. He knew a lot about the industry. Not he closed my deal in 37 days. Right. That's not a real recommendation. So, so we have those things and then right, that consult consolidates down in our whole outfit. Right. That's how we get dressed. That's the whole thing and tell the story. Every field that LinkedIn has take advantage of because it has opportunity every other platform, same way.
Speaker 1 00:15:31 Right. But LinkedIn, to your point, Sam, it is the number one, one number one platform. That's great insight. It's great. Uh, kind of boiling down the ocean there, Phil. Number two. Let's go on to number two. What's another tip for the, for the audience. Be interested before you get interesting. So what do I mean go out to people's profiles and go remark on something that they posted, something that you see or something that you're interested in. Ask some questions. Hey Sam, I see you posted this article about X, Y, or Z. Can we talk more about that? That seems interesting to me or I don't have their phone number. Hey, I leave a comment. Hey Sam, you posted this about, you know, your new podcast, man. Maybe I'm not real comfortable with podcasts. Where would I find that? Okay, cool. Or what's the name of it?
Speaker 1 00:16:15 Right? Maybe I just had the episode name and I don't see the title of the show, stuff like that. Right. So I'm going to ask some questions, be interested. I see, for instance, Hey, you're in Orlando where no Lando are you. I'm in Orlando too. Right? And now we've got a connection. Now we've got something in common, not about sales, right? But about something about them or, Hey, I see that, you know this person, I know this person too. We should talk about this. Now, if we're not connected, the third tip is I want you to think about this, the eyes, right? Look people in the eyes. So you're adding that profile first. Look for that in common. Where are they? Who do they know? What do they do? What have they done? We've got the in common, right? Then some insight, Hey, as a VP of sales, as a business owner, I, I know that, you know, I've talked to 78 people just like you this week and I've got some insight I can share with you.
Speaker 1 00:17:05 What are you interested in learning a little bit more ask for that or are they interested again, ask that question? You can send it on a connection request and then don't jump right into bed and try to close. Right? That's the thing. So many salespeople, they want to speed this process up. I call it the illusion of intimacy. Oh, we've been connected on LinkedIn for 10 minutes. So therefore you're willing to marry me. No man. Be interested. Don't fall for the illusion of intimacy just because you've been stocking them for years. Doesn't mean they've been listening to you for years. So take the time and get past that illusion of intimacy. Use those three eyes and you can win. So we have a good point there. And by all means, this is I found myself doing it. So this is not calling someone else out is I find myself connecting and I see a lot.
Speaker 1 00:17:56 I see a lot to your point that as soon as I connect with someone, I get an immediate, Hey, can we meet for 15 minutes? Like I don't even know who they are. I really don't even know what they do to be quite candid with you. And sometimes it's so irrelevant to me. Like we sell healthcare leads. I'm like, well, I don't have anything to do with health care. Like, I don't know why, why are you asking me for 15 minutes? So w when did that shift? Was that because LinkedIn opened the flood gate? Like what, what, what, I don't remember that earlier on in LinkedIn connection, boom meeting, was there a shift fill that I missed? What's the thought process behind that? Was that just training that went awry, who kind of kicked that off if you will. Well, I think what's happened is the training on the phones transferred to LinkedIn.
Speaker 1 00:18:40 So the training on the phones is hit me with your USP. First, make an ask second and ask, ask, ask, because the worst they can say is no, I really think that's what's happened. And what we failed to recognize is the medium in this case is the message. So let's talk about social selling, right? Social let's have a conversation. Let's be social first. I mean, at a cocktail party, the first thing I do when I walk in is throw a hundred business cards up in the air and say, I got money. Who wants, um, oh no, I don't do that. In fact, that's quite the opposite of what you do in person. We've got to focus on the social piece first. How do we be social? How do we create, uh, a little bit of curiosity? How do we, how do we get that? Right?
Speaker 1 00:19:21 Don't just drop a meeting link, especially if it's not relevant. I mean, I see way too many sales professionals and maybe they're not, maybe they're sales on professionals. I don't know, but they don't, they don't have any value for me first. So that leads me to my, kind of my next point about this and where it should ship is value over volume. Don't send a thousand connection requests. In fact, LinkedIn, tighten it up. Now you get 150 connection requests a week. Now 150 used to be a thousand, used to be a thousand, 15% now of that. And I'll tell you, man, I'm in, I love to learn. I'm a quiet guy online in Facebook groups and I'm learning. I see these guys are complaining because now they're law, big numbers no longer works. I can no longer send a thousand connections to get one Sam who might say yes to a meeting.
Speaker 1 00:20:16 Now I only get 150. So now if I, if I'm adding value and I can say specifically, you know, Sam, as a business owner, some of the challenges include this, this and this are any of these challenges that you have. If they are, let's have a chat, if they're not right don't and, and that's really important that we add value before we add volume, because if I'm not adding value, right? If at first, if I go volume over, over overvalue, a thousand connections doesn't work anymore. Like LinkedIn killed that. So now it's value. First, if I add value to you through a comment through asking an insightful question through, you know, I've talked to 78 other business owners this week. Now it's assumptive to think that I have value, but I would believe that I do, right? If you bought you probably not talk to any most business owners, most salespeople, they don't talk to other people like themselves.
Speaker 1 00:21:09 They talk to customers. Well, if I've talked to other people like you, well now I, I I've got some value for you because I have talked to people like you, and I can tell you what their challenges are. And if these are your challenges, do I can talk about how we overcame them. And I would lead you to my product, not lead with my product, right? With my solution. I can say, Hey, by the way. So here's some ways to think about this and I can tell you, I usually get asked. So is that something you do? And sometimes it's not because I just want to add value. I'm not always just talking about me. I mean, sometimes I genuinely am curious. I thought there's a fit. And then you say, well, I've solved. The fact, my team is already super digital. Um, but you know, what else are challenges?
Speaker 1 00:21:48 Well, this is where a good sales rep is educated, good sales rep on social, right? If they're social selling, they're educated, they read the wall street and they probably read some industry publications and maybe they read the economist and they read maybe BBC news, not just CNN and Fox news, the soda pop, if you will, of the news sources, but really go deeper. Right? So industry publications, wall street journal, what's going on on a bigger level that we can look at what's going on in the economist, right? That's impacting this because if you want to sell upstream and you want to sell to a business owner, and you can say, you know what? Recent monetary policy says that there's going to be a tightening of this. We might see some deflation and perhaps, you know, now is a good time to refinance. Oh, that's interesting.
Speaker 1 00:22:37 I hadn't considered that. I've been so busy running my business. I didn't even think about that now. That might not be the solution that I sell, but I'm like, oh, cool. I got to write that down. Oh, well, why what's the, why did you call, like, what's the purpose? Why did you go? Oh, well that wasn't it. But I did want to add some value to you. So I was just wondering, right. Have you thought about some different ways you could make more money, that you could be more efficient, then you could run your factory more effectively, right? In manufacturing that you could outsource some of that stuff. Oh, I hadn't considered that. Okay, cool. Well, let's talk now right now talk because I've added value first on a bigger scale. And now I can really think about how do I zero in and make that relevant for you.
Speaker 1 00:23:18 Well, that's great, man. Hey, so I've got a couple of thoughts on that. A, um, something I've seen and I think it goes closely to what you've mentioned. And then I have a follow-up question to what we've been discussing here. So first and foremost, I think you're right. I mean, I think you're right, that we tried to apply things universally in sales, it's all activity activity activity. So it's volume, volume, volume, right? I got to make a hundred calls. I gotta make a a hundred emails and then I gotta to make a hundred LinkedIn requests. So it's all base, right? And not all roads lead to the same end point, if you will. And so changing the mindset that it's value over volume specifically, and that might be specific. And Phil correct me if I'm wrong, that you know it on that. I think everything, you should be value over volume, but the sales mentality has always been dial for dollars.
Speaker 1 00:24:06 All these type of innuendos, if you will. So I think it's a good catch. Second piece to that is you mentioned value over volume. Hey, I saw this in the economist. I saw this like trying to tie this back, help me understand focus, because here's what I've run into in trying to build value. I go to a CMOs profile. What you think they would be on top of it? They don't post anything. Like there's no content. I go to their company, LinkedIn. There's no nothing. Like I go to the last 10 K and they're not even public. They're like, where do I, like, where do you go from there? How do you create value? If they're not giving you anything? The company's not giving you anything. Help me understand that a little bit more. Sure. So it's industry insight at that point, it might not be personal insight.
Speaker 1 00:24:52 So, so to your point, right? So their COO of what, a manufacturing company, a software company, a healthcare company, right? Pick your industry and then look for the trends. What are the trends? What are the top challenges of CMOs and healthcare? Okay, well, do I address any of those? If I don't get a new job, I mean, come on, right? I'm not, I'm not being funny, but I'm serious, right? If I'm working for a company that I don't address any of the top 10 challenges, well, either, and my market, my marketing team SOPs, and I gotta find a way to make that better or B I really don't. So that's where I'd go, right? I'd go industry. And again, I've talked to, if I'm prospecting for a hundred CMOs this week, and they're probably the same industry, I would bet that one of them told me something that I can say that I can say, you know what, Sam, this week I've called a hundred CMOs.
Speaker 1 00:25:41 And the number one problem that I heard is this. And I can phone call LinkedIn message, email, video, pick your channel. I've heard this is this something you're struggling with as well. Now, sometimes you still get crickets, right? You still get crickets, but keep trying, right. 10, 12, 15 times, because there's so much noise. There is so much volume. And it does get back to the whole volume thing, because here's why that's out of control. A chief sales officer hears it takes a a hundred calls to get 10 meetings. It takes 10 meetings to set a thousand calls. It takes a hundred. Then you get a hundred meetings or you set a hundred connects. You set 31 meetings and you've got five calls. Well, here's the problem. That number is increasing. So now I'm going to make 2000 calls. Now I can make 3000 calls and I'm gonna make 5,000 calls.
Speaker 1 00:26:31 And nobody on the sales team can possibly keep up unless they automate. And they don't do any of the stuff that I'm talking about, right? They don't add any value. They make 5,000 dials and nobody's answering the phone, but then they never go back and touch. They make 5001st attempt. And I'm not telling you to spend an hour researching for a $37 sale. I am telling you that if you have a high value product, it is worth your time to stay ahead of the trend and to understand what's really important to those people. So again, right, this is where it kind of is a math problem. If I'm selling a thousand dollar product, how much time should I spend studying to make that thousand dollars connect? And I would argue right, a little more than if I'm selling a hundred dollars product and even more than if I'm selling a 10, $10 product, but not as much as if I'm selling a $10,000 product.
Speaker 1 00:27:24 Right? So how much time? I don't know. Right? I can't give you an actual number because I haven't read the industry publications that you do, but I can tell you, you, you can study this week, right? Prepare to be successful. Who are you targeting this week and what are their pains and what are my points, right? Draw that out, make my list, right. Make my list. Here's a hundred people I'm going to pour value into. I'm going to spend an hour researching all of their persona, all the CMOs of healthcare companies. I'm going to spend that hour. And then I'm going to drop my list and I'm going to dial, dial, dial, dial, dial, try to add value, okay. To that dial 20 tomorrow, I'm going to dial 20 in a minute, email 20, I'm going to LinkedIn 20. Right. And I'm going to add it up.
Speaker 1 00:28:05 And eventually I'm going to add value to somebody who's actually going to pick up the phone and I'm gonna be like, oh, I got you sweet. Here's what I got. Right. That's how I would do it. So Phil, one thing I want to kind of loop back to, I think that's all I liked that, Hey, if they're not giving you much, then get industry specific, you know, CMO title and industry, kind of those two things, right? CMO of retail, what are the challenges CMOs have in retail? I liked that piece. That's a great piece of feedback. I want to want to delve tail into what you said, because I think we set ourself up for this, this dilemma with salespeople a bit. And I don't put anything on anyone specifically, but this whole mentality of cold calling is dead. Social selling is like, we've almost bred this.
Speaker 1 00:28:48 Well, if social selling is it, then I got to do the volume on social selling. So now I got to do 4,000 LinkedIn requests. Like we've almost inundated people that shift from cold calling to social selling, but how do I get the volume? I got to do a lot more LinkedIn connections. Like, because that mindset is still there volume. Right. But now I can't do it cold call. Cause that doesn't work. Supposedly let me do it all on social selling. So have we kind of set false expectations just as an industry? Like, well of course we have, right? Cause we said touches, oh, so what? What's a touchdown. Well, I called you and then I emailed you and then LinkedIn connected you. And then I followed you on Instagram. No stop one guy. This is Sam. What can I know about Sam's challenges that I can help with so that I can actually add value to Sam?
Speaker 1 00:29:36 I mean, that's the thing, right? So of course we have, but we have, yeah. If you're a sales professional and you're hearing this, I want you to think about this. Add the value by researching Sam enough, by researching Phil enough that you can actually say something worth hearing and assume that I'm going to pick up. And so are the next 99 CMOs that you're calling assume that the research that you do is going to be valuable. Now it may not be, it may not be, but I'll tell you what if you just use the whole, here's the unique selling proposition that my leader gave me because it was developed in 1987, over a cabal in Afghanistan. Well, that's a problem. Don't do that instead. Right? Shift the thinking to I'm going to make a hundred quality touches this week. They might not all connect, but I'm going to make a hundred valuable touches.
Speaker 1 00:30:31 And I'm going to use a bunch of different methods. I'm going to use video. I'm going to use audio. I might leave a LinkedIn right voicemail. That's one of the cool things, right? If we're connected on LinkedIn, I can leave you a voicemail. I can leave you a regular voicemail. I could comment on your stuff. I could tag you in a post. I could send you a postcard, right? So there's lots of ways that I can add value to you. Stop measuring more and more and more, more, more, and start thinking value, value, value, value. Great back. I used to have a mentor way back in the day. He used to always tell me, you know, when we were doing roleplays or whatever, cut it in half and double the value, like make it more concise, but make it more valuable. That was always his go-to was cutting her half double the value cutting in half double.
Speaker 1 00:31:16 And I think somewhere along the way, we've lost sight of that. So I agree with you number four, from a tip standpoint. So number four is make sure that you know, why you're connecting with people seems really obvious, right? We talked about this before, but make sure that, you know, and then I would add to that, make sure that they know why you're connecting. Like say something because if it isn't obvious, well, a fix your profile, right? Get back to getting dressed before you get busy. But B let them know, Hey, this is how I think I can add value to your life. This is how I think I can add value to your business. This is where I think, you know, and value is humor sometimes, right? That might be a, might be a funny, emoji might be a funny gift. It might be something funny, right?
Speaker 1 00:31:57 It might be, might be, oh my gosh, Hey, I see you went to school with my ex-wife. That's really funny. Right? I mean, that's kind of interesting. Maybe that's, you know, whatever it is, that's still, that's still valued, but say that right. I see. You're connected to my ex wife. That's interesting. Tell him why. Right. So I think she's connected to some great people. I think she's really nice. Or boys, you know, don't say anything disparaging, but do right. So do tell me why and be specific, right? Here's the, here's the big mess. A lot of salespeople, Hey Sam, since we have 117 connections in common, I think we should connect. If you saw my inbox from LinkedIn, I would say 82% of them are, Hey, we're in the same group. Or we have multiple connections in common mutual connections, at least 85%. Of course.
Speaker 1 00:32:43 Right? Of course they are because somebody said they took part of the message that I just shared. And then they use that. Oh, in common, great boom doom, no stop. Be specific about why be specific. So instead of, I see we have 117 connections kind of, Hey, I see that we're connected with Melissa and Melissa is someone I used to work with years ago. How do you know Melissa? I'd love to connect or, Hey, I see you used to be part of AI, ISP. I'm part of AI, ISP. Why did you leave? Right? What did you gain from it? I'm going to be specific, not just a group to your point. If somebody said, you know what, I'm part of the, the social sellers mastermind on LinkedIn and I've gotten great value from them in the seven people that I connected with before you we've, you know, we've had great conversations and I'd love to have one with you.
Speaker 1 00:33:38 Oh, well, that's okay. As opposed to I'm part of a group, right? So specificity over general all day long, you know, it's funny, you mentioned that because I actually, I know I have done this. So, uh, this is not a, this is me living and learning and learning just as much from this podcast probably is probably just as much as the listeners, you know, but I am actually, it's always a welcome surprise when I see something like do it, right? So I ran a LinkedIn profile up a poll. I don't know, three months ago, two months ago around, should you call cell phones or should you not? When you're cold calling, right? Is that too? Like, what's the thought? And I got all the feedback, great feedback beside the point. Really only one sales person. And I get blistered by a ton of salespeople trying to sell their stuff to a VP of sales and you name it.
Speaker 1 00:34:26 I tried to get sold it. She's the only one that's Hey, listen. And say, I saw your LinkedIn poll around. Should you call cell phones out of respect? I'm not good. I actually voted no, that was just in the heat of the moment. She said out of respect, I'm not going to call your cell phone smiley face, but I would love to get your thoughts on this because in today's climate, it really seems to be the best avenue I've seen to get a lead. Like you, Sam, do you have a few minutes to connect and just discuss it now? That was me. That was really like, well, thought out, Hey, I saw your poll. Hey, I saw you voted. No, she actually went in. So I voted no. And she called that out and then said, Hey, I'd love to understand that a little bit more.
Speaker 1 00:35:04 I connected with her. I had a 15 minute conversation. It wasn't a fit for what I was doing, but that, that, that wasn't intimate. Like that was not a long, like that was so that's. But why is that? So why does that not happen? More feel like, I just don't understand, like that should happen more if you're doing it right? Correct. Yeah. I, I would think so too. And I would say right, every time that you're going to someone's profile and you see that they voted in a poll, Hey Sam, I see you said, no, you don't like peanut butter and jelly. You prefer she's an ex. Okay. Holy crap, man. I mean, come on. This isn't that hard. But I think the reason it does, and again, is because sales leaders put so much emphasis on volume instead of value that they don't like, they almost, they almost prevent their salespeople's personalities from shining through.
Speaker 1 00:35:58 So here's the thing. Right? So here here's the thing though. Let let's scale what you just did. What I would say is make a list of all the people that voted no in that list, that's a VP of sales and then call them up or send them an invitation. Just like you did that says, Hey Sam, Hey Steve. Right? Reconnect. Hey Tina, I see you voted. No. And I'd love to hear about why you voted. No. What are your thoughts? Because I don't know a better way. Could you help me? Right. And here's, here's the interesting thing. Most people want to be helpful. They do. I mean, I I'll tell you what right now that I'm self-employed I don't get it as much, but when I was VP of sales training, I would get younger salespeople. Not necessarily age, but I mean, younger than their sales career, that would say, Hey, can I ask you a few questions about being a VP of sales, VP of sales training, right?
Speaker 1 00:36:52 Like here's some questions I have. And I would typically say yes, even though I knew they're going to sound, even though, because my heart is I'm going to help most leaders, they want to help. They want to help. So that's a great, another tip. Sam is be helpful. Be humble and be honest. Right? Figuring out your three. H's so humble. I don't know everything. Sam. I think that cell phones are a great way to get ahold of people. I don't know what else to do. So I'm humble. Can you, can you help me? Right? Can you help me? So that's helpful. Hey Sam, I see you voted. No. Are you interested in a way that might help you disguise your cell phone number so that you don't get hammered by so many people? Oh, helpful. Okay. And then human right. Ask the co like, dude, I don't know what to do here.
Speaker 1 00:37:39 I'm looking for your help. We feel, I mean, even all, all great feedback, but even saying, Hey, if you don't want me to hit you by cell phone, what channel do you actually prefer? I reach out to you, Sam, is this the best channel? Like, that's a fair, that's an a to B connection. Like you don't like the cell phone. I don't want, I don't want to upset you. I don't want to burn the bridge. How would you prefer? I actually reach out to you if I have actually something that might be a venture. Like even if it was that not generic, but somewhat like I would actually respond to that. Like, Hey, this is the best way of doing it. Hit me up. If I'm interested, I'll ping you back. If not, no harm, no foul. So I like what you're saying there. Um, Phil, another tip that I think that is, I like that.
Speaker 1 00:38:17 Be honest, be humble, be human. I think those things are lost because everything you've said on so far is I bucket that into being genuine, being curious. Right. And that's not always scalable. Being genuine about everything is not because, but that's what we're talking. That disconnect between volume and really what it should be value versus volume. Because genuine at scale, I don't think if you Google that, I think even Google would blow up saying, I don't think that's possible, but let's see it. Do you agree with that? Like does it, is it, is it a sense of being genuinely curious? That's how you should be approaching social selling or am I off base? You're you're right on. I would say if we, if we wrap all of social, selling up, being genuine, being authentic, right. Being yourself, the goal is to be yourself as much as possible.
Speaker 1 00:39:10 Because most people, you have a choice here. I like to think of Pascal's wager, do you know? Pascal's wager Sam, have you heard this? Right? So we draw it, we draw it, uh, you know, four squares we could be, you know, and it's about God, but you're going to use about sales. Right? You can be a schmuck and lie and not, and not be yourself. In which case they're not going to like you, but you'll never know because you lie. Okay. And you weren't yourself. Right. Then you can be yourself and they reject you. That's going to happen sometimes. Right. And that's fine. That's cool. Right. Cause people, they didn't really reject me. They rejected my offer. Then we've got the third bucket lower. Right. Is they accepted me, but I was full of crap. I wasn't myself. Okay. So if I'm not myself, well, sooner than I have to continue to perpetrate this lie.
Speaker 1 00:39:55 And that's horrible too. I don't want to live in a lie. So the ultimate up into the right. And really, if you really think about it, probably 25%, maybe 30% of people in the world, they're really going to click with you. They're really going to buy what you have. They're really going to jive with you, like really, really here. And that's I get to be myself and I'm totally honest, right? That is the ultimate. Now is that harder to do? Of course it is because we're so busy that we don't practice. We don't, we don't ever get the time in the saddle to really be ourselves. But I'll tell you start being yourself. Now, if you're looking for a place to start on social selling, let's start being yourself right now. Like write your profile profiles though, it's you right. If you like to play guitar, tell me that.
Speaker 1 00:40:35 Write it out there. Right? If you like the, who put it out there, right? I love pinball. I'm a pinball wizard. Pinball is my favorite thing. Often I put pinball wizard in my profile. If you're a, if you're selling to me and you recognize that I put pinball was in there and you can either say, Hey, did you play the silver ball? Or do you love the who? Either of which I know that you took the time to pay attention. That's a connect. Right? So, and I put it out there. Some people I will tell you, Sam, I've had someone who actually send me a connection request that said, I'd be interested in doing business with you, but I can't stand your orange glasses. Now today's are red. But many days I wear orange glasses. I don't like during classes. And I respond to it.
Speaker 1 00:41:16 Thanks very much that says more about you than it does about me. If you'd like to do business, I'm going to wear my orange glasses and you can be you. And that's fine. And guess what? He closed. I worked with him. I coached him for nine months on how to be a better social seller. It's fascinating how these things work because I was myself and I didn't apologize. And back down and say, oh, you're right. You're right. Orange glass or lame. I shouldn't wear them. No, that's who I am. Right. So I do think it scales. But I do also think to your point, it takes practice persistency and an understanding that most people aren't your people, but that doesn't mean you should stop trying to help them in without a doubt. Hey, so I got a couple, I got, I got one thing for you to fill on that.
Speaker 1 00:41:59 And I, I wanna, I know there's probably a few more tips, but I actually want to say, I'd like to maybe pivot a little bit. Cause we've given what five, five pretty sound I like for you to give me your thoughts because you've been doing this so long. You've seen things so much, like what is the biggest, and maybe we've touched on it a little bit, but maybe we have maybe something different that pops to your mind. Like what is the biggest foul ball? Like, don't do this. Like don't ever do. Like, this is the big whammy. Don't do this. Just if you're new, if you've been doing it, stop anything that kind of jumps to the top of your mind connected pitch. It's the absolute worst. My friend, Ron Tite calls it a pitch slap, right? So it's on intro on the connection request.
Speaker 1 00:42:51 Hey Sam, I work with these people. Grab time on my calendar. Like jamming all the wrong things together that have nothing to do with you, nothing to do with your business, everything to do with me, putting that all together in your connection message and then being ticked off and following up and finding other ways to send the exact same message. So the lack of real connection is the biggest fall ball. So instead, right, let's flip it over. Let's talk about how we overcome that because I think it's important. I just don't want to leave it hanging there. The best way to do that is to do your research, to find out who is this person? What do they value? What are some challenges they might or might not have? What are some things they might or might not be interested in? Who are some people they might have in common?
Speaker 1 00:43:38 Is there any path into this person's heart into this person's heart, right? What do they care about? I'm not talking to heart. Like you got to marry this person. I'm talking heart. Like what do they give a crap about? If there's a path in, then use that as a path in and how try to have a conversation, right? I would tell you value over volume wins all day long. And these platforms are going to make it more important that you add value. Because if you've only got 150 shots a week and your quarter is 150 connects a day, but you real quarter is $150,000 a month. Are you going to spend those shots on people that are likely never going to buy from you? Because you entered the conversation as a schmuck? Or are you going to slow down, do some research, understand who they are, have a great profile, be a real valuable person to them.
Speaker 1 00:44:40 So that even if it's not you, maybe they come back because people change jobs. Sam I've you ever changed jobs right? All the time. So maybe not now, maybe timing is bad now, which I can't control, but I'll tell you what, if I get a new position, maybe the timing is better. And I remember, cause I can tell you that happens to me all the time. Hey, I really liked, I really liked you. But then I went to a new organization like the last organization. We didn't have any money, but now this new organization, my first hundred days, I'm going to, I'm going to invest in the, in what you sell. Oh wow. That's great right now. Now we're going to start fast. So now I overcome all that just by being a good connection. Kind of boil that down. Big things stop doing is pitching, right?
Speaker 1 00:45:20 Connect. Like think you said pitch lap. I want to make sure I say that correctly. Slap really provide value. And I want to tie that back to Phil because I gave you a use case, you know, the person doesn't post anything, the company doesn't post anything. And you said, listen, and get industry specific, their titles CMO, where are they facing the retail sector? Right? And so this is the methodology I follow and fill, add or say, Hey, you're off base. I go to the user first and I say, what are they posting about? That's my go-to initially, are they posting? Should I like, can I comment? Can I piggyback off of whatever, not commenting some spam and whatever, just, Hey, that's a great post. I thought the same thing, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Or liking it. If they're not posting, I go to the company, what are they posting about?
Speaker 1 00:46:06 What are they sharing? What are they liking? What are they involved in? Right? Maybe they just did a habitat for humanity. And I'm involved in habitat for humanity, whatever. And then the third go-to is if those things kind of fail for lack of better terminology, I go to the industry. What's the last 10. K what are the alerts on the company or in the industry that I can share? Are those good? I'm just, I'm a very, I'm a very tactical like boom, boom, boom, boom. That didn't work good to this, to go to this. Is that a good if, so for someone that's out there is like, where do I find this? Is that a good methodology to follow film? I missing anything. Is it just completely off base? No, you're you're right in the money. So personal first, always personal first. Whenever I can.
Speaker 1 00:46:46 It's personal first of course then it's company. Absolutely. Right. What else do they value? And so remember though, don't just stay on LinkedIn, go to Facebook, go to Instagram, see what else they're doing. Like, this is where social selling is not just LinkedIn. So we'd go to these other platforms, right? We look for anything, go to their blog, go to anything. Now, if they're dead and we're selling tech, we might be dead too. So don't spend too much time, but do a little bit of research. Right? And then yes, absolutely. Right. CMO of a retail company. What are the challenges there what's going on in that space that we can help with what's happening, right? Is, is the CMO role shrinking or expanding in these companies? Right? I can tell you, one of the trends is some CMOs and sales officer and melding and no chief revenue officer.
Speaker 1 00:47:31 Oh, if I know that, right? Hey, is this something your company is thinking about? Because a lot of marketers, aren't salespeople, a lot of salespeople aren't marketers. Okay. This is an opportunity. So absolutely Sam, I would say the last thing is always go and look at their other profiles on public. Their public facing profiles. Always, always, always do that because even if they post it publicly, chances are, they want it remarked on people. Don't post the public on accident. People post the public on purpose. They want recognition. We crave that. And most of the time nobody's doing anything with that, but don't pitch comment. Hey Sam, I see you just ran a 5k. Congratulations, man. How'd you how'd you train for that. And then don't lead right into a sales pitch, but do have a little bit of conversation to understand, is this somebody that I can talk to?
Speaker 1 00:48:25 Or is this someone that all I can do is work with, right. But that's great. Hey Phil. I know we're wrapping up. So final thoughts, feedback, tips, question. I mean just general thoughts for the audience. Sure. Well, I just want to reiterate the three H's that I covered before, because this can help no matter where you are. Right? So first it's be helpful. You always want to be helpful. Whenever I can add value whenever I can help. That's really important. Second tip is to be humble. I don't know everything. I don't pretend to know everything really. I don't want to know everything, but I am curious. And I'm going to ask questions about the things that I don't know. And then the third piece is being human. Just be human. Right? So have some empathy for folks. Don't just come at them from a business perspective, come at them from a human human perspective.
Speaker 1 00:49:13 Try to make a connection with another human. You're going to be a lot more successful with social selling. If then if all you do is pitch slap. Yup. That's great, man. Uh, how, how does the audience reach you connect with you? What's the best way of getting ahold of you around what you do from a digital selling standpoint? What's the best mechanism, Phil? Sure. Well, just go to LinkedIn. Find Gerber shack. G E R B Y S H a K. There's probably four or five on there. I'm the one that has more than a thousand connections, right? I'm I'm the, I'm the active one there, but, uh yeah, just send me a connection. Tell me you saw me on, on the sale samurai show and I'd love to talk to you. Awesome. And we'll provide links to Phil's information on the show notes to make it easy on the listeners as well. Phil, absolute pleasure having with you. Thanks again for your time, man. My pleasure Sam. Thank you.
Speaker 0 00:50:01 Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your house, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales samurai.io and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content.
Phil Gerbyshak knows sales. He’s a sales speaker, a sales executive, a sales expert, a sales leader mentor, a sales podcaster, and a sales coach. Phil has written 5 books, more than 3000 articles, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Daily Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Investor's Business Daily, Inc. and many other publications, including earning 3 covers: Speaker Magazine, Marketing Media and Money, and Social Selling Made Easy. People recognize Phil for his personal brand of connection and simplicity, delivered with a smile and some hard-earned swagger. Phil is currently the chief revenue officer at Digital Selling Strategies where he and his team work with the self-employed and small businesses to sell more, so they can focus on what they do best.