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by Paul Watts
Sales Reinvented

Leverage Your Connections with Your Social Selling Strategy [Per Brynne Tillman]


Brynne Tillman believes that digital selling is vitally important today more than ever. She believes that things will never go back to the way they were before—especially with prospecting in the first conversation. Going to conferences, knocking on doors, and going to trade shows will come back. But Brynne believes many companies will still do all of the top-of-the-funnel activities digitally. With the sales world bent on digital strategies, what does Brynne embrace to be the most effective? Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to find out!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:27] The difference between digital and social selling
  • [2:15] Why is digital selling important? How can you improve?
  • [5:03] Brynne’s social selling strategy
  • [9:30] The attributes of a great digital seller
  • [11:45] Tools, techniques, and strategies
  • [13:43] Top 3 social selling dos and don’ts

It’s time to add value + insight

Because people are searching digitally, you have to make sure that you are creating a first impression that’s strong enough that they’ll keep digging into your solution to their problem. According to Corporate Visions, “74% of buyers choose the sales rep who is first to add value and insight.” The only way to do this is to show up digitally. You need to be the vendor that’s the first to add value and insight.

Brynne’s social selling strategy

You’ve got to position your professional brand as a thought leader and subject matter expert. Brynne’s strategy is focused on selling on LinkedIn. Your profile needs to shift from a resume to a resource. People are choosing the sales rep that provides value and insight—so make your profile a resource.

Secondly, you want to engage in social listening. What does Byrnne mean by that? Make sure that you know what your buyers care about. You can read through their profile, look at their client recommendations, read the content that they share, and even check out the hashtags that they use.

You also need the right content strategy. You have to create good content and engage on that content. All three of these must resonate and create curiosity in your buyer. It needs to teach them something new that gets them to think differently about how they’re doing things today. Brynne emphasizes that “A salesperson’s #1 competitor is the status quo.” If you want to have conversations around your solution, you must be compelling. They must see that what they’re doing isn’t optimal.

You also have to nurture your existing connections. Brynne likes to call it conducting “CPR” on current connections. It’s identifying clients, prospects, and referral partners. You can do this by searching first-degree connections on LinkedIn. Who are the people you should be talking to that you’ve been ignoring? Brynne had a client that did this exercise and found an old client and within weeks closed a $1.5 million deal. Her commission paid for her daughter’s college education.

You also need to do warm market prospecting. There’s an epidemic of cold-calling on LinkedIn (i.e. “connect and pitch” and “bait and switch”). When you’ve identified prospects, you want to search your connections to identify who they know that you want to meet. You can leverage those relationships to get warm referrals to start new conversations.

What are the attributes of a great digital seller? What are her favorite tools to use? Listen to hear Brynne’s thoughts!

Top 3 social selling dos and don’ts

There are a few things that Brynne emphasizes you must do—and a few things you should NOT do. What are they?

  • Do NOT connect and pitch. Start real conversations as if you were in a room together. Tailor your messages to be personal. Slow down your outreach to speed up your outcome.
  • Don’t connect and forget. Everyone is guilty of this. People connect and never start conversations.
  • Don’t post and ghost. People put out content and don’t engage with likes and comments. It takes time to build a fanbase.
  • Send a personal note with every invitation. A lot of people don’t agree with this but Brynne believes there are three reasons to do this. Taking the time to personalize the message doesn’t feel automated. You can see and remember why you connected in the first place. Lastly, it’s polite.
  • Search your connection’s connections to find who they know and leverage your relationships to get introductions.
  • Capture your genius. No one reads 2,000-word blog posts anymore. People are interested in videos and quotes.

How to leverage your connection’s connections

Eight years ago, Brynne recognized that a client was connected to one of her top prospects, Rob Curley of TD Bank. Brynne had been trying to connect with him for over a year without a response. So she went to her client and asked how they knew each other. They were in a group for parents of children with diabetes. Brynne asked if he could make an introduction. Within twenty minutes, she was given an address for a 10 am meeting the next Monday morning. Brynne would have canceled a trip to Disney World for that meeting.

She showed up and walked in and he said, “Okay, go.” She asked why she got the meeting. He said he would do anything for his buddy. So she said, “If I can show you how your commercial lenders can get in the door the same way…” He looked at his calendar, picked a date three weeks out, and said “By the way, how much?” It was the fastest Sale Brynne ever made. He’s still her client eight years later. It shows how powerful LinkedIn is as a sales tool.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Brynne Tillman

Connect With Paul Watts


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Episode 262

by Paul Watts