Ep. 119 – How to Do Social Selling The Right Way w/ Brandon Lee

How to Do Social Selling The Right Way

Nobody likes to get “pitch slapped”, nor is anyone logging into their inbox or social media accounts to be hunted down by relentless salespeople who won’t take “no” for an answer. There is a better way that is not only less intrusive or pushy but also engaging and filled with valuable content. That’s where social selling comes in.

That’s why we brought on social selling expert Brandon Lee (FounderFist Bump) to talk about what social selling IS and ISN’T, and how it can be used to fill that trust gap between companies and sales. Brandon also highlights the pitfalls to avoid, what the “Circle of Trust” is, and why commenting as well as engaging is just as important as posting content on platforms like LinkedIn.

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Topics discussed in episode

  • Brandon explains why the trust factor is such a challenge in B2B. [2:54]
  • What social selling IS and ISN’T, and how it helps to fill the trust gap. [6:32]
  • Some common mistakes and misconceptions when it comes to social selling. [12:34]
  • How B2B buying behavior has changed and how social selling should adapt to these changes. [19:09]
  • Brandon elaborates on what a good social selling strategy should look like. [27:43]
  • Brandon provides an example of the value of posting personal content on LinkedIn. [37:05]
  • Actionable tips: What B2B marketers can do right now to improve their social selling approach. [43:02]

Companies and links mentioned



Brandon Lee, Christian Klepp

Christian Klepp  00:03

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for changemakers where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now your host, Christian Klepp.

Christian Klepp  00:44

Alright, folks, welcome everyone to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host, Christian Klepp. And today I’m joined by someone on a mission to help B2B companies to revolutionize the art of social selling. I’m a great fan of his… he knows it. I’ve been listening to his show. I’ve had the honor of being interviewed by him and now it’s, you know, now it’s his turn. So coming to us from Alpharetta, Georgia. Brandon Lee, welcome to the show, sir.

Brandon Lee  01:20

Thank you, Christian. I’ve been looking forward to this. We always have great conversations. So this will be fun.

Christian Klepp  01:25

Absolutely. Absolutely. Brandon. But you know, I’m a tad bit disappointed today because you do not have a cigar with you.

Brandon Lee  01:32

Yeah. You know, I don’t, I don’t do that in video. You know, that’s, that’s kind of shhhhh. But you know, yeah, I have a, I have a group of guys that I get together with once or twice a month. And I enjoy a cigar here and there.

Christian Klepp  01:51

Fantastic. Well, Brandon, it’s great to have you on the show. And I’m really looking forward to this conversation because man, not only is this a pertinent to B2B marketers, it’s also pertinent to sales. This is a term and correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been so like overused, or like loosely used and often misinterpreted. And I think one of the great things about today’s conversation is we’re gonna help clear the air and demystify all of these things around the social selling, right? Let’s do it. Let’s dive in. So, okay, so as I said, for this conversation, let’s focus on this topic of how to create trust, credibility, and drive revenue with social selling the right way. And I’m gonna say that again, the right way, because we’ve seen so many folks on different platforms, doing this the wrong way. But let’s kick off the conversation with this question. Why do you think that trust factor is such a challenge in B2B? And we had a conversation about this earlier before I hit record.

Brandon Lee  02:54

Oh, man, you know, it’s trust. But trust in sales is at an all-time low. And that means trust in marketing, trust in brand awareness, trust in everything is really at an all-time low. And you know, the data right now then, with asking buyers about their buying experience, 78% of buyers said they would prefer a salesperson-less buying process. Now, that is not a testament to anything other than the fact that trust in salespeople, the culture or perceived culture of salespeople is just in an all-time low. And I believe that both sides of the aisle, sales and marketing are responsible for it. Because we in the last call it 10 years, give or take. We have bombarded customers with messages, we have interrupted them, we have pursued them. We’ve gone in the name of personalization, we’ve gone in the name of buyer intent data, all of these different tools. But the bottom line is from the buyers perspective, they’re being hunted. They’re being pursued. It is relentless. And it’s just bothering people.

Christian Klepp  04:15

Absolutely, absolutely. Man, you brought up a couple of key words there. And I wanted to go back to them: interruption, right, because a lot of people have said this on LinkedIn. So I can’t claim to be the one that has come up with this originally, but anything that is not relevant to somebody else’s work, or helping them to achieve their goals is an interruption. Right. And the fact that sales and marketing people collectively and independently are responsible for this trust gap. That is so true. And I wanted to go back to that one about the 78%. So let me just repeat that what 78% of buyers prefer to have a salesperson-less experience.

Brandon Lee  04:59

Yeah. And you would think it would be the other… I mean, it should be the other way. Yes. Huge if. If salespeople were doing what they were supposed to do, from a buyer’s perspective, be informed, be knowledgeable, help me think of things I haven’t thought of, help me see things that are coming at me that I may not be aware of, help me with solutions, all of those things that salespeople in my opinion used to do a lot better before the internet, it’s still what buyers want. But most sales people don’t do it, because they’re trying to move fast. I think a lot of it is culture problems within companies, they got these 30 days, 60 days, 90 days pressure. And what becomes the norm and the culture is quantity over quality. And that has just contributed to this big gap between what buyers really want and expect and what most sales organizations deliver.

Christian Klepp  06:03

Absolutely, absolutely. And on that note, that’s a great segue into a follow up question. In fact, two follow up questions. And you’re not gonna have any problem answering these. Let’s clear the air a little bit here, shall we? Social selling? In simple terms, please tell us what it is, and what isn’t. And number two, is, when we’re talking about the trust gap, how does social selling help them fill that gap?

Brandon Lee  06:32

Yeah, remind me all the questions there. Because there’s a lot, like we can take up all of our time just on that conversation. Look, I think in a, in a big broad term, social selling is about brand awareness. It’s, it’s a communication channel. It’s a networking tool. Gosh, remember when we used to call these things, social networks, not social media. It’s, it’s a networking tool. What it shouldn’t be, is a substitution for spam email. And that’s what most people have started using it for. There’s all these automation tools that are technically break the LinkedIn terms and services. However, there’s lots of companies out there that have it. And what that means, I mean, gosh, Christian, you and I, before we press record, we were chatting a little bit about this, what it means is that we get, they’ll put a bunch of people into a list, they’ll set up a sequence with it, and it’ll fire off. And most of the time, what people perceive social selling is send you a cold connection request, send a message and tell them how awesome I am and ask for a meeting. It’s a two-step process. What it should be, is engaging with people, sharing valuable content that does three things. It’s got to educate, it’s got to entertain, and it’s got to engage. And if it doesn’t, educate, entertain and engage, your audience isn’t going to care about it anyway. But we’ve got to be doing those two things, we have to share content, and we have to engage with our audience. And I know there’s a there’s a bunch of questions in there. But here’s really where I think it’s it’s so important for companies, and especially the C suite, who traditionally have just not had time for LinkedIn. Number one, I was just… we were recording our show. And we’re talking about employee advocacy and recruiting. And Macadam, who out of Belgium, who was our guest, was sharing that he had a workshop for eight people that were CXOs. And it was going to be on LinkedIn. And he said six of them said, Why am I worried about LinkedIn, I’m not looking for a job. So if you’re in a C suite, or your head of marketing, and you’re thinking that, hey, this LinkedIn thing is all about resumes or job searching. Look, LinkedIn is about recruiting. And now there’s a lot of companies out there right now that are struggling with recruiting and filling seats. If your CEO or someone on your C suite is not consistently on LinkedIn, creating content, sharing about the business, you know, interviewing employees, have your employees on your LinkedIn accounts, have an employee sharing each other’s posts, and demonstrating what your culture is of your company. And you’re going to be picking up the bottom of the barrel employees. LinkedIn, the social MSA, the social selling, the selling part is you’re selling your company to new employees. You’re selling your company to new customers, you’re selling your company to your existing employees for retention, you’re selling it to your existing customers for renewals, and deeper wallet share. All of this is about creating a culture of your business that people want to be around.

Christian Klepp  10:19

I mean, you know, what you brought up in the past couple of minutes, also speaks volumes to the issue of filling that trust gap. Right. Yeah. And also about, like, you know, you brought up recruiting, and that’s such a pertinent topic. I mean, I’m sure you guys are facing the same problem on your side of the fence. But um, they just announced in the news today that certain cities in Canada have to reduce the number of flights to the United States, because they just don’t have enough people. Right, to work at flights, to work at the airports. I mean, this is this is a problem that’s been going on for three years now, thanks to COVID. But, and that problem hasn’t gone away, and all that everything’s reopened.

Brandon Lee  11:03

Yeah, I think like social should be viewed as the tool that is differentiating you from the rest of your competition. I mean, we’re in 2023. And there’s a lot of companies that use it really, really well. But the reality is, most companies still don’t, they don’t have a comprehensive plan around using social media for communicating with the world. Again, that could be with the new employees, it could be with existing clients, it could be with new clients. But in 2023, if you’re not using this strategically, for all of those key areas of your business, you’re missing out on what’s probably the most cost effective, and most effective tool that you can use. And it just takes a little bit of thought, energy, focus, systems, just like any other area of your business, it’s no different. It just needs our attention. And I think the key there is getting the C suite out of thinking that LinkedIn is for resumes, and resumes only.

Christian Klepp  12:18

I’m really glad you brought those up. I mean, first of all, like not having a plan, and then you know, getting the C suite to change their mindset. Let’s jam on that a little bit more, if we can. And also, please add on some other mistakes and misconceptions that you see out there.

Brandon Lee  12:34

Yeah, you know, I think… thanks for that question. I think that, you know, a lot of times, I’ll talk to C suite that says, oh, yeah, our marketing teams all over social media. I used to go Oh, that’s great. And now I asked a lot more questions, because I don’t know what the heck that means. Right? They say, Oh, yeah, our marketing team has told us that we have a social media plan. And generally, it’s going to mean that social, they’re going into LinkedIn, maybe once a week, and they post something that is much more like a brochure than something that’s educating or entertaining or engaging their audience, it’s much more of a brochure, look, I’ve worn the CMO hat. I’ve worn the CRO hat, I’ve worn a CEO hat. I don’t mean this to knock marketers. I know your audience is very much marketers. But a lot of marketers still tend to think like a bullhorn. You’re going to go tell them about something. We’re gonna go tell them how wonderful we are about something. And here’s the hard reality right now. And this is for my company, your company, everyone else’s company. You may not want to hear it, but no one cares. They just don’t care. And there’s too much noise. They’re too much content. There’s too many phone calls. There’s too many emails, there’s too much work to do, because we haven’t recruited enough people to fill the seats for people to take the time to even care about that type of message. So we have to be much more intelligent about capturing people’s attention. And it really comes down to is it something that’s valuable to them? I know the terms buyer centric versus seller centric, just get used pretty flippantly these days. But if companies are not really taking an honest look at what do my buyers need to understand, and what do they need to believe in order to want our product and speak to them in those terms? Versus well look at all of our cool features. Look at all the cool things that we can do. Oh, let me show you all of our logos. Right? Of course, we don’t show all the logos we only show the real impressive ones right? Um, I remember this as an example. Yeah. Anthony and Reno, you know, famous author, speaker, all that phenomenal human being on top of that, he was a guest on our show. And he gave the example said, you know, you get 2 different organizations coming in to sell. In generally they come in and they do their pitch on the first day, and the second group comes in, they do their pitch on the second day. And then you go ask the people that were in the buying, you know, the buying team, hey, what was the difference? They’re gonna be like, well, the guy, the first guy was was taller. And I think the second guy had like a red logo. Right? Why is that? It’s because most people go in, and this is whether it’s a presentation, it’s your social media content, it’s your emails, whatever. It’s all about us. And we should all know by now that when we talk about ourselves, people just, they start thinking about their to do list, they start thinking about what they’re gonna have for dinner, they start thinking about a bunch of other things. And we’re trained. We smile. We shake our head, though we really don’t care.

Christian Klepp  16:18

Man, you really hit the nail on the head there… I love the post where… Oh, look, our CEO was interviewed. Right? Yes. Or we’re at this, we’re at this trade conference, or this or this trade show. Come and say hi.

Brandon Lee  16:33

Yeah. Now, your CEO is on video consistently. Interviewing customers, talking about, you know, what’s, what’s coming in the future. Talking about anything like that. And then you share something about, oh, by the way, he’s going to be on the show, or oh, he’s on the floor at our booth at this conference. Well, now you got people paying attention, because they know him or her. Right? They’ve seen him. They’ve heard them that CEO has been pouring value into them. Now they’re going to pay attention to that stuff. But when you just do this, you know, random, random post stuff, and think, oh, everybody’s got to go share this. Because we’re at a conference now. Your audience doesn’t care, you haven’t taken care of your audience enough for them to pay attention. And therefore, you don’t get the likes. You don’t get the comments. You don’t get the shares. You don’t get diddly squat. That’s absolutely right. And then, and then get this and then people throw their hands in the air and they go, Oh, social selling doesn’t work. When it becomes a random act of posting, no strategy, not giving to your audience, no consistency. Well you’re right. Social media sucks. It just doesn’t work. It’s not a magic bullet. It’s not a magic wand. And I know with marketers, we have a plan, we have a strategy in 2023, you better take a look at it. Because posting to your corporate pages is views are way down. Because buyers don’t trust your brand messages. It just don’t. Because what are you going to say? something negative? Unless your brand content is pouring into them – Here’s tasks that you know, here’s techniques, here’s this, here’s that, here’s what’s coming. Here’s what you should know. Unless it’s that type of content. They don’t care.

Christian Klepp  18:34

Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m gonna move us on to the next question. And we can go pretty deep with this one, but just skim the surface a little bit if you will. Okay. Here comes the understatement of the year. The landscape has changed for B2B buyers. Yeah. So from your perspective and your experience, how has the world of B2B buyers changed? And here’s the follow up question. How can marketers help sales to adapt to these changes using social selling?

Brandon Lee  19:09

Yeah, so I like to call it the buyers have the circle of trust. Remember that movie, Meet the Fockers. And he’s like, circle of trust, right? The crazy dad. Buyers have their circle of trust. And we’re all on the outside until we’re invited into their circle of trust. And how we get invited is what is important and what we can control. So everybody think about your own social media network, your own digital efforts, your own phone like and what you do on your phone. Right? We can accept connection requests. We can unfollow any page we want. We all have very simple buttons. I mean, my iPhone on every email that comes in and it’s newsletter-y. I have a little button right at the top. I can just unsubscribe from there. Right? We have all this information that comes into us. And we have all these methods to keep it out. Unsubscribe, we have voicemail. We don’t have to answer calls. I even have a filter thing on my phone that tells me it’s a suspected spam or a telemarketer, like, never have to answer that. Right. So how it’s changed is, I think, in the early 90s, I’m gonna use numbers like 2010 and 2020. But roundabout areas, around 2010, we started really getting into email marketing, inbound marketing, landing pages, and giving away white papers for free. And buyers were like sweet, free information. What they didn’t know is that they were gonna get lambasted with messages for the next 60 days, because they downloaded a white paper. Like, when we download something, we’re in research mode, it doesn’t mean I raised my hand and said, Please bug the shit out of me for the next 60 days. Because I hit some MQL number that you think is important. I have a company I love their research. And I don’t know how many times I’ve downloaded something, and I will look at my phone. In fact, I’ve been tempted to do this live, I download something, and I look at my phone and wait. And within one minute, my phone rings. And I don’t even give them my phone number anymore.

Christian Klepp  21:32

Wow, that fast.

Brandon Lee  21:34

That fast. Now they’re big, big company, right? I don’t want to say their name, but they’re big company. But I’ll download it with just my email. And I can even use different emails. But they’ve got this massive database and within a minute my phone rings to see if I’m interested in talking about purchasing. And it’s a product I’m never going to purchase. It’s not on my radar. It’s not something I’m going to use but I love there. So 2010 ish we did we started doing this behavior and we marketers are tumbling is we put in all this automation, makes sure that we’re in front of them and staying yellow send this message out, then we throw the lead over to sales and they start pounding the phone and calling him. Because of all that buyers have said enough. And they unsubscribe and they unfollow and all those different things. So the only way that we’re going to capture their attention, if they’re not answering our calls, they’re not responding to our cold emails, they’re not following our business page. The only way that we can do it is to be invited into it. And the way that we do that is through valuable content for them. Consistent, valuable content for them. And I would even say Christian, what you do with your, with your show, with the best pieces of content that companies can be doing. Do episodic content. So you’re in front of them consistently. You’re constantly adding value, bring on different guests, create snippets of your content, use those that you can share in YouTube shorts, put it on Tik Tok. Put it on Instagram reels whatever, but the more they see you. And its value adding content, the more comfortable they are. And then what comes from that is when the calls do come in, or the emails do come in, they’re much more likely to answer it because they go, Oh, Christian, I know you or I know your company. I see your your CEO on all the time, right? We’ve got to stand out from the sea of sameness. And I’m going to add one more thing to this. And then I’ll stop. You told me to scratch the surface. Hopefully I’m doing a good job for you.

Christian Klepp  23:46

You are. you are. (laugh)

Brandon Lee  23:49

The sea of sameness is what we’re fighting against. Every company looks alike right now. We pound the phones, we pound the emails, we want their attention, we want their attention. The way that we are different is by doing things that other companies are not. And so much of that value is inside of social media. And I love to use the term digitally dominant, I call it digital dominance as a strategy. How can we digitally dominate the news feed for your industry, it’s got to start at the top. The CEOs got to get involved or someone at the C suites got to champion it and be become a personal brand builder in order to become a a Brand Builder. But when someone at the top starts demonstrating it, and then we have plans in how we’re going to train and coach and lead and provide content and everything for the rest of the team. You get enough people doing that. You will digitally dominate the news feed and you will dominate your competition.

Christian Klepp  24:55

Man those are some really great takeaways and thanks so much for sharing that and…

Brandon Lee  25:00

Oh, of course.

Christian Klepp  25:01

Yeah, you know, your little anecdote made me think about like, an experience I had 2018 or 2019. It could have been from that same big company you’re talking about who shall not be named. But um, anyways, I was. I was looking up something on Google, as you do. And I saw their ebook, and I downloaded it. And I’m like, well, there’s 10 fields I have to fill out. Okay. I wanted the content bad enough that I that I obliged, and I did that. And I, I entered my phone number. And it wasn’t one minute, but it was about it was about 10. And the guy calls up and says, Hey, is this Christian. And I’m so and so from this company. Christian, I am literally 15 minutes away from where you are right now. Like my office at the time. I can literally, like, go down there. And we can have coffee, and we can talk about how you can use this solution. And I’m like, what, what just happened? Like… (laugh)

Brandon Lee  26:03

You didn’t realize you were dating? Did you?

Christian Klepp  26:05

Yeah. I’m like, Who are you? What’s going on? Oh, you download that ebook. I’m like, Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to buy. Yeah. All right. And that went back and forth for about five minutes. And I’m like, Listen, man, like, I don’t think that this is going to be a very useful phone call for you. Because I’m not interested. Alright. Yeah. And that completely, like, turned me off to this company. Right. I went back to unsubscribe and all that right. So…

Brandon Lee  26:32

Yeah. So you’d asked earlier is, why is trust down so much. And it’s because of behavior like that. There’s, there’s not a respect for our own process. Right. And I get it, there’s this tough challenge on sales and marketing these days. And I don’t want to dismiss that. But on the sales side, we’ve used a lot of technology to really overstep, in my opinion, and we’ve lost the trust of buyers. So that their go-to reaction is stay away. Because we’ve proven in the last decade, that we’re not trusted to behave well. If, if we are invited in in any way, shape, or form.

Christian Klepp  27:18

Absolutely. All right. So for this next question, I call this one the Lego approach, you know, just break it down into its parts. So okay, break it down for us, Brandon. In the B2B context, what should a good social selling strategy look like?

Brandon Lee  27:36

Oh, gosh, that’s such a huge question.

Christian Klepp  27:39

All right. I’m just, I’m just throwing all these big questions at you today.

Brandon Lee  27:43

Yeah. Look, let me let me break it down this way. I think there’s there’s two key activities that individuals need to view. One of them everybody knows. And I’ll say it never goes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know, we need to publish content. But even more importantly, we need to have a commenting strategy and system. Now, why is that the case, when we publish content. 99% of us have no desire to be an influencer. However, it’d be nice to be influential to about 100 to 200 people. But when we publish content, we have no control over who sees it. The algorithm determines that. Maybe the hashtags we put in have something to do with it. And a lot of people have gone down this route of joining pods where you get the same people that comment and you comment on theirs, and try to fabricate that and do all those things. But we can’t control really, who’s going to see our content. But when we comment, and this is a strategy that anybody can do, I highly recommend testing it. And you’ll be blown just right how well it works. I go in in the morning, and I comment on my targeted prospects activities first. First thing I do, and why do I do this, because I can control my activity, I can go to their post, I can go to their go to their post activity, and I can go to their reactions. And if I comment on any of those things, the algorithm sees us being connected. I am in a sense, hacking, influencing whatever word you want to use, I’m influencing the algorithm because of my actions that I can control. Now once the algorithm sees us connected, and then later an hour later, something then I publish content. Number one, my target audience is gotten a notification that says oh look Brandon commented on a post that you commented on, I’ve influenced the algorithm. And now I’ve published my content, which gives it a higher likelihood that my posts will show up in their newsfeed. My commenting activity also makes a higher likelihood that they’re gonna click and go see who I am. And what do we do when we go to people’s profiles to see who they are? We read a little bit about him, but we also look and see what if they published. So those are at that really high level, publishing and commenting. And really, for me, if I could only do one in a day, I couldn’t do both, I would do commenting over publishing.

Christian Klepp  30:43

Great advice there. And I want to go back to that because man, it it’s worth repeating. Because I think so many people A) don’t understand how this works. And B) they because they don’t understand how it works. They completely ignore it, the commenting and engaging and how important that is. So, I mean, what why do you think people don’t do it as much? Or they just do it the lazy way, like love it. Thanks for sharing something that’s completely like, like a nothing burger. But yeah, a little bit of description.

Brandon Lee  31:15

Yeah, you know, I still think and even though, you know, let’s say social media has been around for 15 years, give or take, right a little bit longer call, probably close to 20. Now, right? We still carry the imposter syndrome. We’re really worried, am I going to say something stupid? Am I going to be judged for it? It feels with social media, like it’s permanent. Even though social media has a short, short memory. Think about who is who was number one in the news two weeks ago, or three weeks ago, because of some flop that they did. Might not even remember now, like, we really do have short terms. But I think the other thing is commenting and strategically commenting, it takes work. There’s not, I mean, not to say shameless plug. But the reason I built fist bump is there wasn’t an easy way to strategically go comment on a sequence or in a system, the same people over and over and over. I use bookmarks and I use spreadsheets and things like that. But it takes work. And unfortunately, we live in a culture right now where people prefer the easy button. And, you know, if you have a choice of being efficient or being effective, I’d rather be effective. Right? I’d rather be prospecting 25 people and have a 60% close rate, then to be prospecting 200 people and have a 2% close rate. That’s, it takes effort. It takes work. I think the other thing when it comes to commenting, and here’s another thing that people don’t like to do is educate yourself. Read, I mean, 30 minutes a day, read something, listen to something from your industry. Because when you do, and you’re looking at other people’s posts, you’re now filled with all this ammunition of what to say and what to share and how to do it. So it takes work, read, educate yourself, have something valuable to say, say it, learn a little bit of the strategies on you know, tagging people and using hashtags, whatever. But here’s the thing that I found. I can work. Like, I can sit here in my home office, every day of the week. I don’t, I get tired of being alone. But I can sit here every day. I’ve got conversations with people all over the world. I’m on zooms. And it’s all from people I’ve met in the comments. I’ve got three calls this week, with people that I didn’t know a week ago. But I went in and commented strategically, capture their attention. And either they reached out to me or I followed up strategically and reached out for them and said, Man we’re commenting on the same post. We’re not yet connected. I’d love to be connected and would you like to get on a call and get to know each other? When you don’t sound like a pitch slap, you don’t sound like a you know if I can say this on your show a douchebag salesperson that’s trying to capture attention all the time.

Christian Klepp  34:29

I will give you permission to say that. (laugh)

Brandon Lee  34:33

People want to talk to you. And then it also makes our workday so much fun. It’s networking, not selling. It’s networking. It’s meeting people, sharing. It’s helping them and they help you. It’s a lot of fun. But you got to show up the right way because the way that you show up is going to determine the way they respond to you. And if you show up like this, they’re just going to put up their circle of trust, they’re going to keep you out, they’re going to ignore you, ghost you, all of those things. And you show up as a human being, and engage, publish, publish a little bit about who you are, as a human being, don’t hide behind your title. That’s when people want to start engaging with you. And it becomes a lot more fun and comes a lot more profitable.

Christian Klepp  35:28

Absolutely, absolutely. You reminded me of this one connection I made on LinkedIn. Must have been two years ago now. And I didn’t know at the time that she was a B2B marketer. She’s based in Switzerland. We connected because we both answered the same LinkedIn poll, and the poll was about how many languages you speak. Right? And she looked at mine, and she saw that I also speak, you know, besides German, and I’m learning French, and I and I learned Mandarin, but I speak Filipino as well. Right? And she, but this person does. Okay, so the person connected with me, well, she, you know, she’s…. her husband’s Russian, but she actually grew up in Indonesia. So we have that Southeast Asian connection. That’s how we connected. All right. We connected on LinkedIn, we jumped on a couple of zoom calls. And our you know, now we’re good friends. Yeah. But it’s going back to your point about like, you know, showing up the right way being well, not just strategic, but being thoughtful and intentional, right?

Christian Klepp  36:33

One of my favorite is that I’m in business class again. Right? Like…

Brandon Lee  36:33

Yes. Can I share about a post… this is wishes post that I did that opened my eyes to the value of more personal type content. Now I want to I want to say this isn’t Facebook type content. I’m not saying take a picture of your plate and show where you’re at for dinner. And you know, don’t do… you know, here’s my new car. Oh, I’m so blessed. I got a new car. Like, none of that.

Brandon Lee  37:05

You know, but, so it was a Saturday morning, I was up. It was not early, early, but it was kind of early, and I was working on my laptop. And I heard a motorcycle come up our driveway, I have kind of a long driveway, not like a mile or anything, but we’ve got a long driveway and I’m thinking, who’s, who’s coming… who’s on a motorcycle, it’s coming up to our house, especially on a Saturday morning. There’s you know, we have five kids. And I kind of went through this mental game of going oldest daughter and she know anybody… second oldest, you know, I’m kind of going through the list and I’m walking over and I get to the front. And we have a glass front door. And I look out and I start laughing to myself, because it’s our 10 year old neighbor on his little dirt bike. And I opened the door and he opens up his old mask on he’s got his helmet, he pulls up his mask and he goes: Hi Mr. Lee, can Zoe come out and play? Zoe was eight at the time. And I’m dying. I’m laughing because I had this whole story going up. I’m thinking it’s like is Maddy and Kate or Abby or Beckham have friend, you know, I’m going through all the all the… No 10 year old Devon, our next door neighbor, Zoe’s buddy. And I snap a picture. And I go and I post it on LinkedIn. And I’m laughing going, Oh, my gosh, you know, I can’t believe what happened… And here’s how thing… for me it took off. I mean, it was like 65,000 views, like almost 400 comments. I don’t know how many likes. But one person that commented on it was a second connection. I had never met her before in my life. She was a CMO of a bank. And she commented, oh my gosh, if that happened with us, my husband would have died. Well, I comment back. You know, I’m a dad of four daughters. And you know, and she comments and I comment and then I send her a connection request, she accepts it. I send her a message, she sends one back, we chit chat. I’m now friends with the CMO of this bank of a regional bank, big regional bank, right?

Christian Klepp  39:17

Hey, that’s a win. So.

Brandon Lee  39:20

How long would have or could have or even been possible if I was cold calling her I was sending her cold emails like that to get her attention? Zero. right. Now I’ll share another quick story because I like emphasizing this for people when it comes to commenting and publishing. We get to demonstrate our humanity. We get to demonstrate who we are as a human being, not hide behind our title. And before anybody thinks, oh, it’s LinkedIn. It’s not personal. Bull. Business is personal. It’s always been personal. So this is why we take people to dinner. That’s why we take them to lunch, we go to coffee, we show up their office with the box of doughnuts, whatever it is. Most of the time that we have conversations with people, the vast majority of that conversation starts, ends or is dominated by human conversation. How’s your family? What do you do this weekend? Oh, you went hiking? That’s great. Where did you go? My family and I like hiking, we’re always looking for ways to connect with people. LinkedIn is a way that you can connect with people, you give them a little bit of a glimpse into who you are as a human being at scale. So I have a client of ours. That was a cyclist. And he nervous do I do this? I don’t know. I’ve never done this before. Always hid behind his title. Hidden behind the book, I’ve written. All of our accolades… finally started doing a little bit more. He had a picture of him on his top of a mountain holding up his bike over his head. He’s a cyclist, and he’s telling the story about how he overcome overcame a serious injury to be able to do this ride that had been on his bucket list. It was loaded with comments, flooded with congratulations. One of his ideal customers who he had been trying to get their attention for years and never responded commented. Why? he’s a cyclist too. Bonded over cycling, easy conversation to get from there and go down the path of the sales opportunity. I said both those stories for this. You asked about what social selling is. You asked about what social selling isn’t? You asked why we lost trust. It’s because we tend to hide behind our titles, act like everything’s perfect. And send out messages to demand their attention. And it’s not the way humans behave. Take the way you behave in real life at a networking event, and duplicate or mimic that inside of LinkedIn.

Christian Klepp  42:15

Fantastic, fantastic. Those are great stories, man. Thanks for sharing that.

Brandon Lee  42:19

Of course.

Christian Klepp  42:20

In the interest of time, I’m going to slowly start wrapping this up. But I’ll throw two more questions your way before I let you go. Okay.

Brandon Lee  42:28

Okay. You got it.

Christian Klepp  42:31

Thank you. Thank you. This show is also very much about actionable tips. Okay. So let’s appreciate and you’ve talked about it now in the last, you know, couple of minutes, and so forth. But um, Let’s appreciate that you can’t do all of this and, you know, in a day, and it’s not an app that you can download, and he’s got like all these instant results. But if somebody were listening to the show, who’s a B2B marketer, who’s thinking about doing social selling, what are like three to five things that they can do right now?

Brandon Lee  43:02

Yes. Number one, ask sales what content would be best for their customers? Number two, go ask your buyers. What are they concerned about? I would ask the question with buyers and say, if you could tell us what content to create for the next six months? What type of content would you like us to provide you? Something along those lines, because they’re going to tell you what they need. And if you give them what they need, you’ve become a trusted adviser, because you demonstrate it by giving trusted advice. So I’d ask sales because they know and here’s the other thing is marketers and we just have to be realistic with ourselves. Marketers, we tend to speak at people. Right? From the old days of we were the ones that created brochures, we created banners, we create graphics for the for the conference, we create flyers, direct mail, all that said, we’re used to talking at people, salespeople are used to talking with people. They’re trained to listen and respond. And our content should be the same. We should be listening and responding to give them what they need and what they want. And no time is there. So I’m stopping there. If you want more. I keep going.

Christian Klepp  44:27

Absolutely. No, I think these are good. These are great to start with. I mean, like first of all asking sales like what content they need, while not that they need, that their customers would need, that their customers would find useful. Also talking to the buyers. That’s a great piece of advice

Brandon Lee  44:45

In extending that asking salespeople hey, if we created content for you to share, what content that would be, what would that be that makes you look good to your buyers? Yes. Right because that’s it all these employee advocacy programs. I mean, I think they have great intentions. But most of the marketers I talked to will say, Oh, yeah, but they just won’t share it. No, it’s not that they won’t. They don’t want to. And it’s because the content doesn’t serve them or their customers very well. So ask them those questions.

Christian Klepp  45:19

Exactly. Exactly. And by doing that, that’s going back to your point early on in the conversation, right? It’s building that trust, right? giving them what they need, right.

Brandon Lee  45:30

Bottom line of this is if your goal is to become a trusted adviser, or perceived as a trusted adviser, then you need to focus on what is the advice that I can give that’s trustworthy. You have to demonstrate being a trusted adviser by giving trusted advice. And if you’re not doing that, you’re never going to get trusted advisor status. It’s going to prevent the leads coming in, it’s going to hurt sales people from getting their leads, you’re going to create that fraction even more between sales and marketing, because if sales doesn’t look at you as benefiting them, then they’re going to ignore you and everything you ask them to do.

Christian Klepp  46:08

Absolutely, absolutely. Man, Brandon, if we were doing this in person, I would fist bump you. No pun intended. But we could go on and on and on about all of this. But thank you so much for coming on the show. I appreciate your expertise and experience with the listeners. So please, quick introduction yourself and help folks out there can get in touch with you. Oh,

Brandon Lee  46:33

Absolutely. I appreciate that. Brandon Lee on LinkedIn. BrandonLeedigital is my handle. You can also find me on the socialselling2.0, which is our live show and podcast. We recently hit number one on Apple for shows on social selling which is huge, but it’s also the social selling 2.0 was also our consulting brand, where everything from we have a done for you program where we take the C suite we take a CEO and build out a plan for them to become a thought leader and build a company culture. It helps them with recruiting and client retention and all that stuff. But social selling 2.0 and then my two technology companies on the employee advocacy side is funnel amplified. And on the social selling execution platform is fist bump. Thank you for letting me tell a little bit about myself. And thanks for having me as a as a guest. I always love our conversations, Christian.

Christian Klepp  47:39

Likewise, likewise, my pleasure and I’ll be sure to drop all those links in the notes and you know, thanks again for coming on the show Brandon, and take care stay safe and talk to you soon.

Brandon Lee  47:49

Thank you, Christian.

Christian Klepp  47:51

Alright, bye for now.


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