The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Social Selling & Building Relationships Online


It’s much harder to connect with someone and read someone virtually (though part of that is because we are just lazy at it). Yet virtual communication and engagement for brands is more important today than ever before.

In this episode, we interview Robin Bartlett, Commercial Director at The Social Element, about building trust in a virtual environment using social channels.

Listen as we discuss:

- The very first step is responding to customers

- Being genuine and providing value — especially when no sale is on the horizon

- The importance of referrals in meeting people online

- Robin’s team-wide strategy for building an online presence

- What’s changed lately in online communication strategies

Check out these resources we mentioned:

- The Naked Salesman by Trent Leyshan

- Rachel Boothroyd Training & Coaching

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement

in your favorite podcast player.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runs account based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Head to outreach Doo on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello all, welcome to the sales engagement podcast. You have your cohost, Caitlyn Kelly here, senior manager of sales development at outreach, a MIA, as well as cofounder of SDRs anonymous, which is a community for everyone involved in sales development to connect, network and share best practices. Super excited for today. We are going to be diving into the evolution of social media, especially within the last eighteen months, in the impact this has been able to have on business strategies, as well as hearing a little bit from Robin Bartlett on how he's been able to enable his team to build trust in a virtual environment. Robin, I'm going to if you're a coast order you to introduce yourself as a yeah, promocial director. Where the Social Aliment? Thanks, Cavin. Yeah, so on the firsture director the the social element, and the social element is a social specialist agency. Essentially we help big brands typically, so it's kind of fort in five hundred type brands and globally, mostly in the kind of North American and European markets, help manage their social channels. We do one type of social the different areas, but we're probably most famous for our community management, community development, community community building essentially. So and all the strategy that goes into that. So yeah, that's that's me and US really okay, it's fantastic. I love that you highlighted a little bit there on the community. I think now more than ever, companies are trying to find a way to create that community, especially, you know, if it is hybrid or if it is virtual. How do you create that relationship with your customers or within your prospects as well as your team internally. Absolutely so. I think on social and long brands miss this trick, miss the trick of community. They use social as a broadcast channel, which works, you know, as any media channel does work. However, was social. You have the opportunity so much more if you can only reach people and get the awareness, but actually connect with them and get engagement, then the value of your campaigns goes through the roof and the schools for, you know, brand affinity, things like that. It's more of a long term strategy...

...and positive effect for the brand. So, yeah, we help brands in that area. And the second part of the question about how that that helps in sales. Socialist part of the sales sign from now yeah, you have to reach people, you have to be present, you have to represent yourself as a company on social values, you know, everything that you stand for and the sort of what the work that you do of course as well. So social is also part of our sales syfe and part of the way that we get in front of people and connect with people in the first instance. Yeah, I have to follow up questions for you on that one. With people that are kind of looking, you know, you'd mentioned people kind of use social as a broadcast mechanism and kind of don't really look at it as a way to engage. If companies were looking to really like drive that engagement rather than just broadcasting, what would be one tip that they could start with to start to drive that engagement? Would you say? Well, it's quite complex. The thing is with engagement is that it is an investment. You know, you need people to be King of channel. It takes time from someone who is a social media, you know professional. So you need community managers, whether it be in house or with an agency support model, but are going on to pages and finding opportunities to engage, and I mean the very first step is responding to your customers. You'd be surprised how many brand channels there are out there with customers saying hi, I really like your brand or you know, or how do I get this product or whatever, and they go on answers. There's, you know, the the equivalent of going into a shop on the High Street, asking a question of a cashier and then make more you essentially. So you know, first step is to is to do that hygiene really and make sure that your customers are talked to and in the right, correct tone of voice. That represents the brands and your values. Then there's other levels as a good seeker. But but that's definitely the first yeah, I think that is. That's the key thing is you. So definitely go through the hygiene levels, make sure you're actually responding to the engagement that's already there in front of you and then let it grow over time. It's not something that is going to happen over day. So it's got a kind of build on top of it. Would you say? Yeah, I think. You know, I think consumers have a certain amount of the Phillisy for brands. There's always going to be fans of your brands, but you don't keep them if you don't respond to them as a simple as that, you know, and give them some value in that response as well. You know, brands can entertain. It's not just customer service. You know they can. They can be a bit of brand between brands and so sure that you know all sorts really you can come up with strategies that mean you have conversations and communities with your affiliates and into your partners in the wider sort of market space. So there's there's so much you can do and and I think when you manage to achieve that as a brand, real in engagement that has values for you. Conceive that you build fans for a long amount...

...of time. So yeah, there's a real business benefit to it all. Okay, you mentioned that your team. While we get social as part part of the sales cycle, now as you verys kind of navigate through acquiring more customers, and so when your route team is kind of laveragine these different avenues special as in social saling. And there's been a lot of talk about consultative like how are they kind of building that trust within new customers? I think it's quite individual, honestly, because the way to use social correctly is to be genuine. So I mean, you know, when we come to I mean so. So I work for Social Media Agen see my clients and marketing directors, CMOS and other executives in big companies and it's quite hard to connect with the fistils of people. It's even harder if you're doing some sort of sales line. Thankfully, it's almost impossible. So you know it. Ultimately you just need to be genuine. You need to be connecting with people and think about how, what value can you give to them? If you can give present people with real value. Again, as you know, it's going back to the way to do engagement. Then they may sit and see your sort of message or, you know, your chat through the tens or twenty fir see other things that come to their inbox that day. So yeah, I don't particularly believe in cold outreach and less lie. I believe in conversations. So, you know, on Linkedin building the network, talking to people, getting introductions to other people and building a network that way and always offering value. So if you didn't really have any things unable to say, don't do it because you'll actually push people away instead of bringing in. Yeah, I think you see that often. It's kind of that spray and pray approach where you know, and a lot of people want to do that. They want to send out one message to everyone because then they can get it. You know, it's like throwing the fish net out there and then see what you can bring in. But if you were to kind of have more of a sniper or approach or a targeted approach, then you would be able to kind of have that personization skill and then be able to build that trust up for an as your kind of adding value? Yeah, exactly. It's a value approach me. That's that's what I would call it. I don't yeah, I think it can work. The whole volume approach of sending loads of emails out so or, you know, in mails on Linkedin. It can work if you have a very simple product and it's a purely transactional deal, like you know, I can save you twenty percent by switching to me and you get the same products or my product is slightly better that. That might work. But when it comes to a strategic solution or can you know something that requires consultation, you need to gain that person's trust and you can only do that by presentative value in the first place. Yeah, I think a little pertonization research goes along. plaise up friend. Yeah, yeah, because otherwise you don't get timing right either. Right. So, you know,...

...if you don't know who you're talking to and you know where they're are and getting it right, basically again, you just going to push them away. So personalization, you need to know them. Refer is the best way by far. I rarely approach people without a refer now, you know, because, especially at sea level. Yeah, they don't really listen to colder creatures. You know, it doesn't matter what you say. What they listen to is trust. So if they know someone else who knows you and knows that you're trustworthy person who can do a good job for it, and and and it's good timing and they need that thing, then then that's when you get a bit of an inn so it's really timing in solution and talking like a genuine person, I think. Yeah, I think a lot of people would love to get here to your your level sat as herds. All of it is going to be a referral at one point, right. That's a dream. Yeah, I mean there's a mix, isn't it? There's also, you know, the good old marketing channels that bring ease in people who are just searching for the solutions you provide. But you know, I think the conversion rates on anything other than a refer is much, much lower, so you have to do a lot more of it. So you know, there's there's an equation and then balanced to find. Basically, the more refers you get the less you can do everything else, which is great. Yeah, no, definitely. So, you know, a lot of these leadership styles and kind of methodologies that you're talking about here. Definitely are starting from the top down at the social element. How has kind of this consultative approach and selling really impacted the way your team? Sayself, have sold to your team loverage referrals as much as you do, or who'd you say? The overall impact has been? So it goes above me actually. So we're lucky in that we're an independent agency that's almost twenty years old and still led by the founder. and See though, tomorrow Littleton and and she's in. She's an incredibly well network person my self and it has has spent time building up trustworthy relationships and and, I guess, a reputation. So so, you know, I actually get referrals through her network and and also through the rest of the executive of the social element to so, but at every level we're all very much empowered and encouraged to go to events, to meet people, to build our own networks and bring these refer but we ultimately a good referral strategy could come from anyone at the agency, you know, and someone who's only been in the industry for two years. But they were a different agency and work the different client who liked them. You know, a year ago. So if you really want to maximize the referrals, you need to incentive, incentivised and activate the whole work force to bring you refers. But it's certainly easier if you see you've been in the industry for twenty years. Yeah, definitely. Have you seen someone come in too or you know someone who isn't... that cxl level? Have you seen somebody coming and activate that referral game and just really smash out of the Park essentially? Yeah, absolutely. I remember one within the last four months or so that came from an exact level person and who wasn't in sales, but they just have an idea and they need someone and had been basically having a good chat with someone catch you know, catching up from there. You know there, over there, their old uni days, and that was enough, you know, because I think, I think the other thing that in power is a good refer is investment in the workforce. If they believe in your work and that what you do is good, but much more willing to put their personal contact on the line. It when it's when you don't really have enough happiness in the organization in your workforce, the refers don't happen from all levels. Right. So it's really so it's, you know, the agency and Order Organization needs to invest in its people and then that on the locks hell of a powerful that workers and pass it. Yeah, you'd mentioned there is like this is just turned off with a colleague catching up with someone. So I think kind of like keeping from there is it's taking natural curiosity and what other people are doing and just being kind of open minded. It kind of see where could this be a potential? Here? Could there? And it was just natural conversation that flowed into us. You. Yeah, absolutely. I mean you know, there's there's need to it's not only sales people that can basically bring the league. Ultimately it's someone who understands the business in someone knows someone who has that repliment and as long as I think it's the job of the sales function and commercial director, with the CEO to make it really clear that anyone who can bring the refer and will be rewarded us as well. So so, yeah, just making sure that happens, but more opportunity. All right. So I'm going to kind of switch avenues here. We've talked a lot about no Leberty and social media. And Willing that trusted up right using your relationships with fallen the opportunities for the company. As you kind of think about some other risks that could be associated with building the trust stop find how are you helping your team kind of mitigate those risks, especially in a virtual environment, when we're no longer able to really meet facetoface and read soulful cues in person? Yeah, so I think there's a real challenge. There is much harder to read someone and connect with someone virtually. I think everyone's also getting a bit lazier. That's it, honestly. So you see people sort of lead back on the you know, looking at another screen. I do this sometimes as well, not on not on CON Cales, but you know, basically not engaging or not giving them full attention. So there was really simple things that we were mind ourselves team of of you know, you know, eyes the camera, actually using your hands and talking like you are in the room and someone...

...else is in the room with you. It's amazing how a bit of movement can get attention as well on bring people back. Also, you know, I think you you need to keep your words shorter, that you can't walk along about stuff that you've got to get to the point quickly, because people don't actually have the same patience for a long, one hour meeting as they these to everything all the conversation is willing kind of shorter and more to the point. And then the biggest thing for us is disc training. So you might be familiar with disc. There other names of the same thing as basically Myers Briggs psychological so we invest with a consulting trainer and amazing training for Rachel Booth Roads, which I'd rather recommend to anyone listening to this, to train our team in a regular basis on disc personality profiles. So what our team learns is how to understand the personality type of the person they're selling to so they can essentially adjust their communications start to sup them. So it's definitely not about shooking people, but it's about having empathy and conscious communication styles. If you're talking to someone who likes detail but you're just giving the summary, they're going to not really buy it essentially all. Conversely, if we're talking to someone who only think quickly and want to get you to the point, I but you were talking, you know you're talking through a three page case study you're going to lose them within a minute. So to we use that DIS training a lot and try to remind people that has about in camera. Essentially. I think that's huge. Like this, I honestly I have not heard that enough, that we're seals, professional lecortying the disc training, especially the fact that you guys are doing ongoing training and bringing people into help enable your website. That's fantastic. I know so we we've been constantly training this for three years, because just doing one training session doesn't work. People will fall into their own disc profile. I have a particular type and is I find it very easy to sell to a particular type because it suits me. But if I want to be able to sell and communicate effectively with anyone and all of the prospects, then I really need to think about my disc training. But that needs refreshing at least quarterly and ideally monthly. So yeah, I would recommend that to any organization. Yeah, I think. I think that little bit of understanding who the person is on the other end goes like miles just because we're able to speak to them in the language that they're going to actually interpret it. Not everyone works the same way. Or learns the same way. So how can you really get off on their right phot in that kind of relationship? Absolutely, I mean, Kate, and I can tell that you like a bit of a chat right, you like a little, but it's all talk at beginning. You cool and you know that that should the person talking to you should understand that and and you know, give it scratch that age, basically, but other people want you to get straight to... And get on with it, you know. So, yeah, could address slightly rasimazine. So you know, as we continue to see like social media and really game momentum and other companies really leveraging this as an avenue. How in it's also be like as an avenue for a lead. Gentlele how have you really if companies are looking to integrate this, how would they go about this? Have you seen this really evolve over time? So there's a few thing. I mean I kind of think most of it's I'm linked in for be to be and the SERF pocess that we operate and I would say it's a real mix. I mean I think you've could choose your stars the agency. So people who naturally good at networking, that have a network, that have something to say, an expert for leadership piece, you know, that kind of thing, and then the marketing and PR teams can really work to support them because they if they're good the previews, that don't have time to think of articles to publish and things like that. So, you know, PR marketing team comes up with different topics and then works with an individual to to offer something that then gets posted, and it's important that they post it from their own personal accounts, but clearly tagging the should element or the organization, not just the organization, publishing and with them as the author, because again, it's about building a personal networks. So I think that's the Specuy we've taken. That is work pretty well. Yeah, that's a great shout on that one. And having them, I'm just like, I'm like thinking back to like different areas that I've seen this as well, and I think that is so true. Is having them build it on their own brand. That ties back to the company. That way, is not this the company doing all the PUSTRING, their flooding? Them kind of build it. Definitely, and Linkedin will coming. Linkedin themselves will come and give you some training for free and house to use linked to yeah, and all of your work fors as well. So you know, like they take advantage of that. We can do with updating appropriate exactly. So, rob and you know, I think thank you so much for training a bunch of inside today and how your feels able to build trust and really get to know the customers, are prospects on the other line through this virtual environment. Lastly, if you had to recommend one book that's really had an impact on your career or your professional development, would be about one book that you would like to share. I think it's called the the naked sales and then something like that. I'll check in and update you after this. But but basically has worth naked in it and it's just about how to be genuine and what you do and not to be selling, to be communicating. It's a really quick and easy book to read. It's quite and taining in parts, but the naked truth anyways. That make it all right, fantastic. Well, we all have to definitely look that at and if any of our listeners wanted to connect with you, you know really talk about the disc profile, how you guys are...

...really on understanding your prestomers on the other end of wor would be the best place for them to reach out about disc profile. Highly Recommend Rachel brief voids. Yeah, she's an amazing trainer. Yeah, just go and chat to her. She's got all the resources. Can consider that craving session. Or they were looking to learn about social media, the soljalmit. How have you guys been able to leverage these avenues? Yeah, obviously, I'm very, very more about booting connections and helping people. I mean that as really it doesn't matter if it doesn't always lead to sales. That's that's that's what booting a network is. So yeah, if an't whatever wants, we reach out. Please do a fantastic well, thank you so much and remember the first of your daying. Thank you to this was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreach. That I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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