B2B LinkedIn Prospecting Secrets (Winning New Business Without Spamming!)

Jake Jorgovan is a LinkedIn prospecting expert.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Jake shares the step-by-step process to find new and qualified customers on LinkedIn without spamming the heck out of random people.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Jake Jorgovan
LinkedIn Prospecting Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today's episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

LinkedIn, cold email, the phone, it's all just another channel. So whenever anyone looks and they try to think that LinkedIn is this silver bullet that's going to solve all their problems, I think they're getting unrealistic expectations. But what it is, is it is a channel and one that is extremely effective for B2B sales.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, Sales Nation. I'm Will Barron, host of The Salesman Podcast, the world's most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven't already, make sure to click subscribe, and with that, let's meet today's guest.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Hey. My name's Jake Jorgovan. I am a LinkedIn lead generation expert and the founder of Lead Cookie. Excited to share some tactics with you guys on today's show.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode with Jake, we're diving into how you can prospect for B2B deals over LinkedIn, the frameworks that you need to use, the initial outreach that you should do on there, the cadence, how many messages, whether you should follow it up with email, calls, how you can essentially keep your account safe and not get banned for spamming too much if that's what your game is, which hopefully it isn't, and a whole lot more. So let's jump into the conversation.

 

In a World Full of Spammers and Unpersonalized Messages, Should We Be Looking at LinkedIn for Better B2B prospecting? · [01:20] 

 

Will Barron:

We're going to dive into prospecting on LinkedIn. I want to align things up of the structure, perhaps any scripts, any tips we can give on that side of things. But to set things up, in a world of, because I get these, real terrible cold spammy emails that are just going out en masse at the moment, is LinkedIn perhaps where we should be looking to for a more sophisticated and more leverageable way to get in contact with people from a B2B prospecting standpoint?

 

“The way I look at it is that LinkedIn, cold email, the phone, it's all just another channel. So whenever anyone looks and they try to think that LinkedIn is this silver bullet that's going to solve all their problems, I think they're getting unrealistic expectations. But what it is, it’s a channel and one that is extremely effective for B2B sales.” – Jake Jorgovan · [01:45] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So the way I look at it is that LinkedIn, cold email, the phone, it's all just another channel. So whenever anyone looks and they try to think that LinkedIn is this silver bullet that's going to solve all their problems, I think they're getting unrealistic expectations. But what it is, is it is a channel and one that is extremely effective for B2B sales. So if you can't reach someone through email, and in the B2B world a lot of times Facebook's kind of inappropriate to go that, it's just more of a personal thing, so LinkedIn is definitely emerging as one of the top B2B channels for just anyone doing B2B sales.

 

The B2B Sales Cadence that Comes Before and After a LinkedIn Outreach · [02:21] 

 

Will Barron:

And before we get into LinkedIn specifically, do you have any prerequisites or any ideas or data on cadence of… Do you do a cold email then LinkedIn then call, or is it LinkedIn to get started with, just to set up the rest of the conversation about LinkedIn?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. I look at it as just different channels. You have some people where you can't get their email or you can't find an effective email for them or it bounces back, and in those cases, you're going to start with LinkedIn. In other cases, you might do email prospecting and hit those people first through email, and then the ones you can't get, go to LinkedIn. So I just look at it as there's not necessarily one way is better than the other. I just look at them all as different channels to try to activate at different sequences of the process. You also have people who just never check their LinkedIn and they might actually be responsive to emails.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

So there's definitely no perfect way or perfect routine to hit on one spot or the other. I just definitely think just using them as channels and attempting all angles until you can get through is just a really good place to go. If you are emailing with someone, if you don't have the Sales Navigator Chrome extension, literally, I just connect with every person that I'm emailing with, and it's just a simple thing, and that's going to also amplify your ability to further make that another touchpoint, have credibility, and also just re-market to those people with your LinkedIn content as well. 

 

Is the Period Around 2019 the Golden Age of B2B Prospecting Since There are Multiple Ways to Get in Touch with Potential Buyers? · [03:50] 

 

Will Barron:

Cool. Well, we'll come onto credibility later on in the show. And just a final one, Jake, before we get real practical of all of this, and you don't have to agree with this, but I've said it before on the show and I want to get your opinions on it. Is right now where we are, recording this, beginning of 2019… Is this potentially the golden age of B2B prospecting in that getting someone's phone number, email address, there's plenty of tools to get all of that data, there's people publicly pushing out their interests, what they're trying to achieve, if they're producing content, even better, on LinkedIn and other social media platforms? Is this the best time out of any time in human history to be able to connect with people?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

I would say so. I mean, if you think about it, years ago, if you were trying to go break into a big enterprise company, it was kind of a crapshoot. You just didn't know who to go after, and LinkedIn, it provides almost a company directory these days that anyone in the world can see. So not every person's active, not every person posts, it's this self-generated network, but the way I look at it… And when I started in sales years ago, it wasn't that simple, or you'd look up a company and you could tell that maybe one out of four, one out of five people actually had LinkedIn profiles and then most weren't even actually that active or up-to-date on them. So it definitely, I would say, has become a golden age, and it's just emerging, and I think it's going to get better and better.

 

The Practical Frameworks for Reaching Out to People on LinkedIn? · [05:58] 

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. And the reason I wanted to ask that, and, clearly, I feel the same about all of this, is that I want the audience and for myself to be excited about this. This is an empowering moment, right? This is something that we should be excited about and we should be eager to dive into, especially if all we're doing right now is perhaps cold-calling people from a list or emailing list from a bought list from some kind of organisation. This is potentially a differentiator, and in certain market places, this is a true differentiation versus the competition, who are just spam, spam, spam, spam. So with all that said, Jake, is there a structure? Is there a methodology to reaching out on LinkedIn to individuals?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Definitely is. So we've got a whole series of frameworks that we've come up with for, really, a handful of different situations. But the simplest framework… And I'll say, there's spectrums we can go toward with anything, so any of the approaches that I share today, you can go from, “Let's do this unpersonalized and do a high volume of these,” or you can take this and say, “Okay, let's personalise the intro of each one of these and still take the same approach.” Everything I'm going to share can be done on either a lower volume, highly personalised angle, or you could do something like 100 of these a day in a less personalised manner. 

 

“The first piece of doing any sort of LinkedIn outreach is once they accept that connection request, then you have this ability to send them more messages. So, if they don't accept it, the trail ends there and you can't message them anymore through LinkedIn and you've got to try other channels.” – Jake Jorgovan · [07:29] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

But some of the biggest frameworks that have worked really well is, one, basically, all of them start with a connection to just try and establish the context of why you want to connect. So that's the common trend across all of those, is to in a connection request give some sort of context. The reason you want to do this, you don't just want to send a blank connection request, is there's so many people using these automation tools on LinkedIn these days, and so you want to give some reason that's actually going to be effective or get them interested enough to actually connect with you and potentially have a conversation. Because the first piece of doing any sort of LinkedIn outreach is once they accept that connection request, then you have this ability to send them more messages. So it's kind of like if they don't accept it, the trail ends there and you can't message then anymore through LinkedIn and you've got to try other channels. That connection request and just trying to get that first acception, that's step number one in the process of actually sending outreach.

 

Can You Connect with Someone More Than Once Even After They Decline Your Initial LinkedIn Request? · [08:03] 

 

Will Barron:

Let's stop here for a second. Then we can go through the further steps because there's a few questions that I've never really thought about before. First off, can you connect with someone more than once, and if they say no to a connection request, can you send another one in the future?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

I don't believe so. As far as I know, it's… We've definitely withdrawn a connection request, and then you can resend it again. I think that's if it's unanswered. If they decline it, though, I don't believe it's going to let you send again. It's one of the things that, I'll admit, we've never been able to fully test. But if they don't accept it and it sits there, you can withdraw and then retry to send it again. But, really, if they're not accepting it, then you don't have any other ability through LinkedIn to hit them again unless you go toward the paid InMail route.

 

The One Thing That Might Bring an End to Spamming on LinkedIn · [08:47]

 

Will Barron:

Because I've never thought about this before, but this might be a prompt, a kick in the ass to get people to customise connection requests, because I get tonnes of them where you can typically tell that it's someone who listened to the show. But, a lot of times, it's people who will randomly try and connect with me, and I'm going, “Well, they're not really a salesperson or a sales leader. Why do they want to connect?” There's nothing there, so I just decline it. But I've never realised that, well, that's them screwed then because I'm likely never going to change my LinkedIn profile. I'm never going to stop one and start another one.

 

Will Barron:

I've got no budget to spend money on anything for people to sell me stuff, but if I did, if I was the CEO of a decent-sized organisation, CFO, whoever I was marketing towards or selling towards, you're done, right? It's not like email, where you can just send another email, send another one or prompt another email, “Here's some more value.” LinkedIn, well, it's a positive thing that it does that, I feel, but I've never really thought about it like that before, if you are spamming LinkedIn accounts, that might be you done after six months of spamming.

 

“If you are going to go highly personalised, finding something in their profile to mention or some media mention, that always goes a long way if you go highly personalised like that. Again, that's hard to do at scale. So giving that social proof or some industry-specific context is a really good way to personalise but still do that at a higher volume. By filtering by keywords or industries and then semi-customising like that is a good way to significantly increase your connection rate and still not have to personalise every single one.” – Jake Jorgovan · [09:54] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, it definitely is an area where you want to be intentional with that. Some of the angles that work well is, if you are going to go highly personalised, finding something in their profile to mention or some media mention. That always goes a long way if you go highly personalised like that. Again, that's hard to do at scale. A way, even if you want to go higher volume with that, is we've seen a lot of success with, say, we have a customer in software development, they want to reach out to other companies that are like them or like their customers, and so we'll do vertical-specific campaigns for them, where we'll say, “Oh, hey, HSBC or American Express are our biggest clients. Thought I'd reach out to connect.” So giving that social proof or some industry-specific context is a really good way to personalise but still do that at a higher volume. By filtering by keywords or industries and then semi-customising like that is a good way to significantly increase your connection rate and still not have to personalise every single one.

Is There a Limit to How Many LinkedIn Connections You Can Make in a Day? · [10:55] 

Will Barron:

Is there… Well, there must be, but I don't know it. Is there a limit on how many connections you can make a day, how many you should be doing? I'll follow up that with, is there anything else we should be doing to keeping our LinkedIn account in good standing?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So the biggest things is, one, anything I share with you today, I would highly recommend having LinkedIn Sales Navigator for this. It's going to let you do higher volume and also get way more targeted in your searches. If you haven't been majorly active on LinkedIn, you're going to want to ramp up to sending about 100 a day over time. Some people recommend higher. If you're going to be doing this day in and day out for a period of time, I recommend maxing at no more than 100 connections per day. I know some people that go up to 185, but I've never felt safe doing that with our customers, so we cap at 100 per day. We've never had any issues at that point. So those are the main things, I guess, to keep it, to ramp up over two weeks, cap out at 100 per day, and make sure you have LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Those things tend to keep all of our clients' accounts in good standing. We've had no issues as long as we follow those guidelines.

 

Data on Which Works Best: High Volume, Low Customisation Versus Low Volume, High Customisation · [12:10] 

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. And final thing on this phase of the process, and I'm putting you on the spot here. You may not have data on it. I don't know. I've asked this question a bunch of times. No one really has data on it. But when we talk about high volume, low customization versus low volume, high customization, is there a price point that it makes sense to shift from one to the other? Is it a case of they both perform the same with the same amount of effort but, essentially, you're getting more leads that are more qualified on one side and you're just playing the numbers game on the other? How does that work for the audience who perhaps don't want to experiment? Do you want to hypothesise the best way to go about it from the off-go?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So we actually have two tiers of our service. We have a light, where we just send two messages. Then we have a premium, where we are doing four messages. Then we're putting out a lower volume, higher personalization one. The way that I always look at this is, really, the size of your market. So we've got a customer coming on. They sell to insurance agents. There is no shortage of insurance agents in America, which is their market. So I say, “Hey, two message sequence, and let's just go volume. You don't need high personalization on this. You just need a good, compelling message that you can get in front of lots of people.” It's very much like the Aaron Ross predictable revenue model in that kind of sense.

 

“The smaller and more finite someone's market gets, that is where you want to start going higher on the personalization and you want to start actually putting more effort into that. The size of the market you have determines how personalised you should go with it.” – Jake Jorgovan · [14:17] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

The smaller and more finite someone's market gets, like if they're saying, “Hey, we only work with Fortune 500 financial companies,” if you're looking at that and you're looking at people and innovation at Fortune 500 financial companies, it's like, “Okay, we've got a universe of 500 people.” In that case, that is where you want to start going higher on the personalization and you want to start actually putting more effort into that. You want to really segment and try to actually maybe personalise each one you send out because, otherwise, if you go en masse, you could exhaust that in a week, and that way you wouldn't be making that great first impression. So that's the spectrum I look at, is really the size of the market you have determines how personalised you should go with it and also the size of the sale, which those tend to correlate with each other in most cases.

 

Deal Size and Personalisation in SaaS · [14:28] 

 

Will Barron:

Do you have any thoughts on the deal size? We can use a SaaS model perhaps of monthly reoccurring revenue. Is there any thoughts on monthly reoccurring revenue versus high volume, low customization?

 

“The bigger the value is always the better. But I say $5000 is the limit or the bottom end, and at that point you're probably needing to go at a higher volume game to still make the economics and the time investment work.” – Jake Jorgovan · [15:28] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. The way I always look at it is I say that if you're going to do… I say about $5000 annual value, it's kind of the minimum of where you really want to sit if you're going to be doing these outbound tactics. If you're selling something and it's a lower price point than that, it becomes really hard to just make it profitable in any sort of outbound manner. Really, the best where these work is the customers who are closing 100K, 250K deals and they are able to come to us once and they say, “Hey, we [inaudible 00:15:23] even just two deals this year out of this,” and they're ecstatic because that's half a million dollars for them. So the bigger the value is always the better, but I say $5000 is the limit or the bottom end, and at that point you're probably needing to go at a higher volume game to still make the economics and the time investment work.

 

Will Barron:

Makes total sense. That is the best data and advice I've had on this from anyone, so I appreciate that, Jake.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

No problem.

 

Will Barron:

Part of what I'm asking here is from my own perspective. So we have a product called the SalesSchool. It's slowly evolving into, over the next six months to the next 12 months, just this software beast, which the audience don't see and the user don't see on the front end. But it's the first time I've ever managed a project like this, and it's gone from just video sales training to all kinds of stuff. The reason I ask all these questions somewhat selfishly as well for the audience is that we do… The content sells it to sales people, but I was always curious on deal size and market size of perhaps selling to CSOs or directors or VPs of sales. I wouldn't want to do this anyway, I guess, but it seems like there's no reason or opportunity to spam to those individuals. It should be relationship-building, and it should be, I guess, what we teach here on The Salesman Podcast. So that was really useful. That was great.

 

The Sales Sequence that Follows an Accepted LinkedIn Connection Request · [16:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So if step one is the connection, which I guess is almost like the email subject line, right, there's no point in writing an incredible email if we don't have a subject line where it gets people to open it, what comes next in the pipeline of cadence, messaging, and influencing to eventually perhaps get a phone call?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So once you get them connected, there is typically a handful of approaches we come up with, and I'll share these frameworks with you so you can put this with the show as well. One of the standard ones that we'll often do is ask a probing question. This works really well if you're talking with someone that is kind of in a market where they might be prone to talk. This probably isn't great if you're going to a C-suite person and they're not one to chit-chat, but for you, say, if you were reaching out to sales people and you're trying to understand their problems or their pain points, it might be valuable for you to ask them a question, get them chatting with you, and through that talking, you're able to then steer that conversation.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

One example, we had a software company that specialised in a certain programming language that was kind of up-and-coming, and so they reached out to these CTOs and they were like, “Hey, what are your thoughts on X, Y, Z language? Are you guys using it, or how has your experience been?” Man, the responses these technical people… Our team couldn't even understand them. We're just like, “I don't even know what these words are.” But it was great because it got these people talking. So that is a really low pressure, great way to just get a conversation started on LinkedIn.

 

How to Get Conversations Going on LinkedIn Without Pitching Your Product · [18:16] 

 

Will Barron:

And then just to clarify on this, this is a question to get conversation going, very literally that no ulterior motives, not trying to bait someone into getting to the topic of software development, programming, whatever it is that we sell. It is literally just to… If I'm interpreting this right, it's just to get conversation going.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

So it's not totally random. You're in the realm of your offer. One probing question I used to do was, “Hey, what are your primary lead generation channels at this moment?” So that would give me people, and they'd be saying, “Oh, word of mouth referrals,” or, “We got really great PPC going,” or, “Ah, we don't really have anything going.” it is in the realm of your offer because you eventually need to connect that to the offer through the conversation. So you're teeing up a conversation surrounding your realm of your offer. We had one, which was this marketing agency. They specialised in blockchain and was specialising, in fact, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. So we asked about all the trends with basically Facebook and Google banning blockchain and cryptocurrency keywords and stuff like that and got tonnes of conversations going around that. It's always in the realm of your offer, but you don't just want to say, “Hey, do you ever outsource software development?” You don't want to be so blatant that it comes off bad.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. Precisely. That's what I was trying to get at because, regularly, I get emails or LinkedIn messages about podcast promotion or, I don't know, something to do with podcasts and different products and services. Every time, it's someone's connected and then the first message is, “Do you want this?” I think to myself, “Well, if I wanted it, it's unlikely that you just caught me at the moment that I've had this incredible mental discovery that I need this product or service.” If it's top of mind, I've researched it. I've probably narrowed things down. There's a few people in mind. So maybe you come into the conversation at that point. But when people do start a conversation with me, maybe stroke my ego, whatever it is, make me feel good, and then it turns into a conversation about business and how they could potentially help me, it's a different ballgame, isn't it?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. And if someone reached out, a good person doing some sort of podcast survey outreach would be like, “Hey, love your show, I'm curious, how do you go about producing that,” or, “How do you handle the show notes? Are you doing that, or do you have someone else handling it,” or something like… They're just asking a question about your process and not just blatantly pitching you without having any idea if you're doing it yourself and it's painful or if you've already got a company in place kind of thing.

 

Why the End Goal of Conversing on LinkedIn is to Get the Prospect on the Phone with You · [21:01] 

 

Will Barron:

So how do we then transition from the conversation, or do we? How do we go from some… Let me ask you a bad question. Is the end goal of all this to sell a product or to get a phone call?

 

“When you're doing outbound, you have such a low level of trust. Your LinkedIn profile builds a bit of trust, this conversation will build a bit of trust, but very different than referrals or inbound or leads you get through networking. These people have no reason to trust you. So each message you exchange with them builds a bit of trust, getting them on the phone builds a bit of trust. The end goal with LinkedIn that I always look at is to get a booking widget in there, and then get them on a call.” – Jake Jorgovan · [21:31] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

So the end goal of all this really is to get them on the phone. You're not going to sell on LinkedIn, and that's something we always have to remind our customers. Our early customers would write these essays back to people, and we're like, “No, just get a calendar link in there and get them on the phone.” If someone has only done a lot of inbound sales or stuff, when you're doing outbound, you have such a low level of trust. Your LinkedIn profile builds a bit of trust, this conversation will build a bit of trust, but very different than referrals or inbound or leads you get through networking. These people have no reason to trust you. So each message you exchange with them builds a bit of trust, getting them on the phone builds a bit of trust.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

The end goal with LinkedIn that I always look at is to get a booking widget in there, something like Calendly, and then get them on a call. That's really the step you eventually want to move them toward, is to converse, identify a pain or wait until they show interest, and then be like, “Hey, let's hop on a call to talk more.” That's the goal of where you're trying to get this to in the LinkedIn conversation.

 

How to Tell if a Prospect is Not Your Ideal Client · [22:20]

 

Will Barron:

Before we get into how we make that transition, to frame up timeframes of this kind of thing, Jake, how long will you leave it? How many messages will you go before you go, “Okay, this individual isn't for us?”

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So, again, that definitely depends on, again, the high volume, low personalization piece. Like I said, if we're targeting insurance agents, we're going to send a connection request, we're going to send one message. If we don't hear back, we probably won't go more unless they're really, really hungry for it. But, honestly, they're better off probably just putting that offer in front of more people and someone who it really resonates with right out of the gate. Personalised approach, so higher value, I'd definitely say you want to send at least four messages through LinkedIn. You could do more if you're going on the personalization route, but if you're doing it en masse, I don't recommend going more than four or, again, you get a little bit unsafe if you're sending the same messages over and over to volumes of people. But our service, we regularly do a four-step drip sequence at a pretty high volume, and that tends to work pretty well.

 

“If they raise their hand and they have interest at some point, stay on them because the thing about outbound and doing this kind of stuff is you may not hit people at the right buying cycle. So they may be like, “Oh, yeah, I'm interested in your services,” but they're thinking for that project that's not coming up till Q4. If someone raises their hand, they show their interest, I'm just going to keep trying to get in front of them, probably at a high frequency at the start and then literally on a monthly or a minimum quarterly cadence of trying to get in front of them again.” – Jake Jorgovan · [23:42] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

But what I do tell our customers is if they're not responding at all, they haven't said anything, four messages, once someone raises their hand and shows interest, I'm just like, “You just stay on them.” If they raise their hand and they have interest at some point, stay on them because the thing about outbound and doing this kind of stuff is you may not hit people at the right buying cycle. So they may be like, “Oh, yeah, I'm interested in your services,” but they're thinking for that project that's not coming up till Q4. If someone raises their hand, they show their interest, I'm just going to keep trying to get in front of them, probably at a high frequency at the start and then literally on a monthly or a minimum quarterly cadence of trying to get in front of them again.

 

Tips on How to Track Your Prospecting Efforts Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator · [24:20] 

 

Will Barron:

And how do you track all of this? So let's assume everyone should have Sales Navigator. LinkedIn sponsor the show for other products, and they haven't sponsored this podcast for Sales Navigator, so I'll send them this clip as something that essentially everyone listening to the show should have it as a free plug for the service because it is good. Assuming everyone has Sales Navigator, how do we manage our contacts, our cadence? How do we keep on top of all of this, especially… Say that perhaps we're not doing 100 messages a day new outbound, but say we're doing ten to 15 a day of customised ones. How do we stay on top of all of this because it soon builds up, right?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. If LinkedIn listens to the show, I will ask them to please make a better CRM inbox. They've got this great recruiter tool to organise candidates, but the sales side of things, I'll admit, it's not strong. Another angle that I've seen people take is using the tags feature within LinkedIn. So that is a very powerful thing where you can say, “Interested prospect,” and you can put a tag on someone's profile, and that way you can then go and sort those and see lists of those over time. But for how powerful Sales Navigator is for what it does, it's great for searching and finding people, but they don't have great tools built to nurture people over time at this moment. Some of the things they do have is you can save people as a prospect. You have your normal LinkedIn feed, and then you have your Sales Navigator LinkedIn feed, and that's going to literally just give you updates from the people you save as prospects. So that's a very cool feature to comment and try to nurture people over time and comment on what they're sharing and everything.

 

The Impact of Microsoft Acquiring LinkedIn · [26:40]

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. It seems like with the purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft and Microsoft working on their own CRM systems that eventually at some point it'll all coincide and collide into this incredible product. Clearly, we're not there yet because I have problems tracking what the heck I'm doing on LinkedIn and I'm doing one message a day, if that, kind of thing.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. It's got to happen at some point. They'll make a better CRM version of it. But right now it's good for the sales side but it's really hard on the nurture side to keep organised in LinkedIn alone. So we use this really simple tool called Airtable, which is basically a spreadsheet. I've seen other people literally just copying over the profiles to a Google Doc and organising that. I use Pipedrive for my main CRM. Just as long as you have some system, but I wish I had a great solution for that. But it's currently not built in, so everyone I know is hodgepodging it in some way.

 

Tracking and Nurturing Activities on Your LinkedIn Content · [27:25] 

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. Genuinely, if anyone… Because a load of entrepreneurs and individuals of that ilk listen to the show as well as the B2B sales professionals. That is a product, if you get it right, Microsoft will buy it in 12 months from now if you just do the job for them. But going off-topic, because I could probably talk about it all day, Jake, with you, but on about the nurture side of things, you brought something important here, and this is something that LinkedIn does far better than just doing this over email or cold calling or whatever it is, dropping by people's offices. How do we integrate nurture through content that people are liking, sharing, and commented on? Does that fit into your model here of we send two or three LinkedIn messages, then on our LinkedIn Navigator homepage we see that that individual has just posted something? Do we then include cadence in commenting on things like that, or do you feel like that part didn't have as much as impact as what we think it does and what we've been told it does as social selling takes over the globe?

 

“The first thing I'll say is getting active on your own content on LinkedIn, especially if you're using it for these tools, it is massive.” – Jake Jorgovan · [28:08] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So, definitely, the first thing I'll say is getting active on your own content on LinkedIn, especially if you're using it for these tools, it is massive. I learned this firsthand because… So for the first year of running Lead Cookie, I was just so focused on getting really good at the outbound game, I wasn't actually posting much content on LinkedIn. Over the past four months, I was like, “All right. Let's start to look at the other side. I'm doing really good at the outbound. Let's start to do content.” So I started posting daily content on LinkedIn. It has been insane for a number of ways. One, I started to see tonnes of referrals literally coming from people I don't even know that would just see my stuff. I started seeing leads on our website, literally coming from people that were just saying, “Hey, I follow your LinkedIn updates.” I even started to see leads from college acquaintances and people in way old business ventures and everything coming through as leads.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Then, also, the other really interesting thing and where I really saw the value was I saw people I'd had sales calls with who didn't buy comment on my stuff and then come back to me and buy. That was like, “Okay, this is”… This trifecta of referrals, new leads, and nurturing leads that weren't ready to buy at the current time, seeing all those together has made me realise how important content is to the game of this of nurturing those over time. We've seen that for our customers who are really active in posting on LinkedIn. Definitely, they get more out of this. They appear more as thought leaders, so their outbound also performs better because people check out your profile before they talk to you. So I can't say enough on the content piece. That's literally become a part of our service now that's just been making a huge difference.

 

The Cadence for Posting Content on LinkedIn · [30:04]

 

Will Barron:

And what is the cadence on this? Is it every day? Is it once a week? Obviously, LinkedIn's algorithm is changing all the time, so there's no real good answer to this by the time someone listens to this show in 12 months from now, Jake. But if you had to give someone a general rule, what is the cadence of content to post to not necessarily give you thought leadership of a whole industry but to make you appear as a real person as opposed to some spammy individual that may not be even a real account?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So I'd say maximum post once per day because I would think otherwise… I've seen people that post multiple times per day, and they may be getting more stuff out there, but when, actually, I look at their stats compared to the stats that I get, even though they have more followings, they're getting less impressions and less clicks because LinkedIn's algorithm's only going to prioritise one of those for most people if you post multiple in a day. Any time I post multiple in a day, typically, one of those gets more engagement than the other, and it's just because it's like they're not going to put two of your posts back to back in someone's feed. So once per day maximum, and then I'd say minimum you want to do… Minimum, people should be aiming for two per week.

 

“The biggest thing that I think most people don't realise is just use the stuff you already have. If you've got blog posts, if you've got content or you've got case studies even, just sharing the stories and the stuff you have is the most important thing. Don't just blatantly sales pitch, but just delivering some value and just putting stuff out there keeps you top of mind, that's the most important part.” – Jake Jorgovan · [31:18] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

The biggest thing that I think most people don't realise is just use the stuff you already have. If you've got blog posts, if you've got content or you've got case studies even, just sharing the stories and the stuff you have… It never ceases to amaze me how many of our customers have never posted anything on LinkedIn, and then we go interview them and they have this just archive of content or case studies or portfolio work and behind the scenes photos. I'm just like, “Okay. Well, we've got enough content for two years here, and you've never once posted any of this to your LinkedIn.” So just getting something out there is the most important thing. Don't just blatantly sales pitch, but just delivering some value and just putting stuff out there keeps you top of mind, and that's the most important part. The stuff I put out, I'm never pitching our services, yet it's consistently generating leads.

 

The Probing Questions Approach in Sales · [32:43] 

 

Will Barron:

And for everyone who's listening who works for any decent-sized enterprise or larger organisation, just go to the marketing department. That's literally what they're there for, to give you stuff to post. This might evolve over time. It might become more and more customised for you if there's an image or if they help you do some filming for videos or whatever it is, but that is literally what they're there… You're making your life easier by using your profile rather than using some stagnant corporate profile that nobody cares about. Is there anything on this front then… And we'll wrap up with this, Jake. Is there anything that… I feel that we've covered all bases here. Is there anything counterintuitive that we should be doing? Is there anything that we perhaps shouldn't be doing which is harming our results? Is there anything that you want to add to wrap up the show?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So I'll really quickly dive… I mentioned the probing question approach, so that's one out of seven approaches, and I'll share this with you as well. But some of the other ones, we'll offer a free resource or a really compelling case study. For certain companies that have a portfolio, like software development or design firms or agencies, we'll often, “Would you like to see our portfolio of work?” Or people that are in startups and new businesses or launching new products, we'll do market research and say, “Hey, would you mind providing feedback on this new thing we're building?” That one works really, really well, too.

 

“Typically, the direct pitch works only really well when you're targeting C-suite people and you have a great value proposition. But in most other cases, we have always been able to outperform a direct pitch with any of these other value-added, conversation-starting, casual approaches. This has always performed better than just going out and pitching people, which is what almost everyone else does.” – Jake Jorgovan · [34:06] 

 

Jake Jorgovan:

I share all those at a high level, but the one takeaway that I'll share is that the direct pitch is consistently the lowest performing script that we use, and we pretty much… In 95% of cases, we will not use it. We use it occasionally when customers insist on using it, and we've hardly ever seen it perform great. Typically, the direct pitch works only really well when you're targeting C-suite people and you have a great value proposition. But in most other cases, we have always been able to outperform a direct pitch with any of these other value-added, conversation-starting, casual approaches, has always performed better than just going out and pitching people, which is what almost everyone else does.

 

Jake’s Thoughts on Whether LinkedIn Should Primarily Be Used for Prospecting · [34:33] 

 

Will Barron:

And final thing to follow up on this. Is LinkedIn… And this is probably a conversation for another time depending on your answer, Jake. But is LinkedIn purely for prospecting, or can it be used by account managers and people who want to nurture accounts and grow them over time? Is it just the front-end of the sales process, or should we be considering it as a tool to use throughout the sales process and beyond?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

I will say I'm probably not the best person to answer that. I am definitely more of the hunter type, so I can't say that I use it as much on the farming or account management. That's just never the role that I've been in as much. So I'll have to respectfully decline [inaudible 00:35:19] the expert answer on that, and I know it more from the hunting aspect.

 

Will Barron:

Well, I'll put it in perspective then. So if we're doing what we discussed in this episode of doing that initial outreach, we've got cadence, we're doing the research, we're reaching out to the correct people with an appropriate message and get a conversation going, we are posting two pieces of educational content a week, we're not pitching in the post, well, if someone does a deal with you and they're seeing that content after the fact and they're still able to engage with you and, rather than picking up a phone or going through perhaps customer services to get an answer solved, they just ping you an email over LinkedIn or a message over LinkedIn, which is going to be far quicker than going through the traditional routes of telephone trees and all this kind of stuff to get if you're in an account management role, like where I was, where I would both hunt and farm my accounts in medical device sales…

 

Will Barron:

LinkedIn wasn't really a player back when I was doing it, but I feel like that would be a real powerful resource, and you're already all doing it if you take this approach. So I think, for account management, it just fits in super nicely. I wouldn't think you'd have to do too much different. I think you'd just have tremendous effects from it as well, so-

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. One thing I'll-

 

Will Barron:

And I appreciate the candid answer there. It's refreshing to get someone to say, “I'm not sure.”

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. The one thing I'll share that I think is useful is whenever you're trying to, I guess, land and expand with an account, when I've done more enterprise sales, you know those sales calls where you got your contact and then he brings in three new people and you're like, “I don't know who these people are?” You can go research them, and you may not even get their emails or be on the email thread, which would make it kind of un-kosher for you to go email those contacts, but some of those might be decision-makers or new departments that you want to get into. That's where LinkedIn is a great spot to jot down all their names, look them up after the call, add them, and now you've got a line of communication that's a lot more kosher to have that conversation and everything through.

 

Jake’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [37:50]

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. What we need, and if it doesn't exist now, I'm sure it will in the not too distant future, is some kind of dialling software that does voice recognition that pings this stuff up in real time when someone joins on a phone call. Because I've been tripped up before of thinking I'm dealing with one individual and it's a conference call that's really awkward because I have no idea who anyone in there is, and, obviously, a bit of prep before on my part would've solved the problem, but, yeah, that's a… We're just creating products and services throughout this episode, Jake. There's 15 businesses that have come from this one. But with that, mate, I've got one final question I ask everyone that comes on the show, and that is if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self and give him one piece of advice about how to essentially improve his sales skills and his ability to win business that has nothing to do with LinkedIn, what would it be?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

I think the biggest thing I would say is just to learn every single day and just make it a habit of studying every day. In some aspect, I am studying sales, marketing, psychology, persuasion in some aspect every single day for even just 10 minutes. That is a habit that I have put in place now for well over a year and a half. At first, I used to just do it ad hoc, and that has made a massive difference in so many different ways. So the act of literally daily learning and the stuff that I even put on my LinkedIn content, I literally do this process… I learned this from a programme I'm in called Wake Up Warriors. It's daily discover and declare, which is I just learn something and then I write it and I post it on my LinkedIn, what I learned, and that's where my daily LinkedIn content comes from, which actually nurtures that, and that's how I just learn and level up as a salesperson and a marketer every single day.

 

Will Barron:

And how do you do your learning, and how did you implement it as a habit?

 

Jake Jorgovan:

So it's literally first thing in the morning. What I've found is I do very well with video training. So, literally, while I just wake up, I roll out of bed, I make my coffee, and I just sit down, and I turn on typically about 15 minutes of video training and drink my coffee. That's how I start each of my mornings. Then, literally, by the end of the 15 minutes, I drank at least one cup of coffee. My brain's somewhat working, and then I write a teach-back of what I just learned. So that's literally the process, and just making it the first thing in the morning, it makes it pretty easy to always get done.

 

Parting Thoughts · [40:16] 

 

Will Barron:

Seamless. We talk about on the show a lot the difference between someone who has business acumen, someone who has industry knowledge. 10, 15 minutes a day for 12 months in a specific vertical is all you need to really stand out against the competition. And tying it into having a coffee, I love coffee, I enjoy it, so I always try tie my habits or new habits into drinking a coffee or preparing a coffee. That enables me to stay focused and get it done. So I appreciate that, Jake. That is really valuable for the audience. And with that, for anyone who wants to… Well, there's going to be two groups of people. There's going to be one group going, “I'm going to implement all of this right now,” and there's going to be a bunch of sales managers going, “I would love to implement this right now, but I don't have time.” Tell us a little bit about Lead Cookie and, for those individuals that don't have the time to implement this but want the benefits of it, how you can help them.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Yeah. So, basically, our business, Lead Cookie, we are done for you LinkedIn lead generation services. So we've got a service of basically handling the outbound, doing all of that for you, and, basically, we hand you warm conversations on LinkedIn. We also have a service where we basically do daily or just a few times a week content for your LinkedIn feed to nurture your existing customers and past connections and everything as well. So those are the two primary services that we offer, and we really… When people go try to do this themselves and they get overwhelmed and they don't have time, that's when they come to us. But I got a tonne of content on there as well on the website on just how to do all this stuff on your own. I teach it all, give it all away, and if you need help doing it, that's where we come in.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Well, I'll link to the website. I'll link to your LinkedIn profile as well, if anyone wants to connect and use osmosis to suck in how you're doing things and the cadence of things and the content, and that'll be useful for the audience as well. And with that, Jake, I want to thank you for your time, as always, and for joining us on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Jake Jorgovan:

Thanks for having me on here.

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