[Podcast] Networking is a Compound Effort: Social Selling to Increase Revenue for Your Talent Business

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69% of recently polled talent business leaders said they do not provide training or a checklist of profile best practices to their teams. And, 50% of buyers avoid sales professionals with incomplete profiles. So, if you’re not laying out the best practices and processes for social selling in your staffing or recruiting firm, your sales teams could be missing out on reaching the right audience, and leaving money on the table.

Kortney Harmon:

And what I mean by commenting on post, it’s a post, an article, a poll of someone that you’re trying to do business with that’s in your industry, and most specifically, could be on your touch plan. But you want to create some sort of thought provoking, engaging question, not something basic like great post, nice read, but more along the lines of how are you applying this article to your initiatives for next quarter? Has this insight changed your view of how you approach the industry or how are you applying this to your team’s delivery?

Hi, I’m Kortney Harmon, staffing and recruiting industry principal at Crelate. Over the past decade, I’ve trained thousands of frontline recruiters and I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners and executives to help their firms and agencies grow. This is the full desk experience where we will be talking about growth blockers across your people, processes and technologies. On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about what you need to know to increase your social selling game, the do’s and don’ts of your inbound strategy. So many firms get this wrong. Honestly, it can happen for a few reasons.

Number one, sometimes it’s lack of guidance or because social media is really a taboo topic when we talk about building a personal brand, it could be lack of process, it could be lack of training. And honestly, a lot of times it’s just so hard to measure the return because the social platforms sit outside of our ATS and CRM, and you really can’t tell if you’re truly gaining a return on your investment. So it’s about having a strategy within your social platform for your inbound approach, getting that information into your ATS and being able to use actionable workflows to prospect through that touch plan as we talked about last session, so two weeks ago.

We’re going to talk about your specific approach to your inbound sales strategy and what you can really do to improve your team’s success rate. But if you’re the operations leader or leader in general at your firm, you need to think about how to measure the effectiveness of this process that we’re going to talk about today. How are you going to level set your current team? Because it’s really about two things, level setting your current team, and then how are you going to build a template. This process is a template to hand it to every new member of your frontline team from today on. Honestly, if you’re blocked from doing that measurement or custom workflow setup, you have to know it’s going to be extremely tough to sustain any new changes that you try to put in place based on this session and most of the others that we talk about on this show.

So, social selling, it’s not a new concept for sales and recruiting teams, especially those in talent organizations like ours. For today’s purposes, we’re going to talk about sales in your talent business, but you can certainly use these strategies on the other side of the desk as well when recruiting and staffing. Inbound and outbound sales are two sides of the same coin. They’re connected, and frankly, it’s a two for one concept. Without either one of them, it’s going to be more difficult to gain leads and convert them into loyal clients. The inbound strategy is the opposite of outbound, but the real main difference is inbound and outbound sales. It really comes down to who initiates the communication. In inbound sales, a lead or a prospect is the initiator. They come across your content on social media platforms, visit your website, they want to get to know about your services and what you can do to benefit for them.

As for outbound, you as the sales associate or recruiter are the initiator. We talked about your outbound strategy two weeks ago on our podcast where we talked about your touch plan strategies. I think Katie was going to drop in our chats that link, and the title of that was really building trust and opening doors, the multi-channel touch plan strategy for your sales teams. If you haven’t listened to that, do so because that’s the other half of this conversation as you start to create content. So that’s great. Before we get started, I want to talk about those strategies. What strategies, when we talk about these strategies of inbound and outbound, I want to know what strategies your offices currently use. Do you use outbound strategies that we talked about two weeks ago? Do you use inbound strategies? Maybe you use both or maybe you use neither. So, Katie, I think she’s going to throw our first poll up here so you can really tell us where you stand today.

Are you an outbound strategy? Do you use inbound strategies? If you use both, that’s great because hopefully, you can give some insight as well. Or maybe you’re not sure. Honestly, you may be creating content, maybe doing something on your own, but it’s not a recommended practice. So would love to know from you. All right, we got a few answers here. We have some that just do the multichannel touch plan based on outbound strategy. We have some that use both and some that are not sure. We’re going to cover all of those today. If you use both, I’m looking forward to your information and your insights in the chat as well as we talk about this. Now that we talk about your inbound strategy today, this is really the way that you’re building your brands, whether it’s your company brand or your recommended approach to your employees building their own individual brands.

Now, it’s no secret that people relate to people, not companies. So it should come to no surprise that encouraging your individual team members to use their personal LinkedIn profiles to develop a cadence of connections, content, and interactions is only going to compound the reach of your organization. So we’re going to talk about that approach today, but feel free to apply it to your company brands if you need to. I know I’ve really seen firsthand that most organizations are leaving money on the table, unfortunately, by just failing to teach their teams what’s effective when it comes to social approach. Leaders often shy away from telling their employees how to run their social media, but in reality, you just have to say, here’s how to be successful in our industry as you’re training somebody, which you already do, but this is what it takes to amplify your strategy using social media.

The members of your team that want to be successful aren’t going to look away from this approach, they’re going to embrace it, and frankly, could add to its effectiveness. So the best thing that you can do for your new hires and team, which is what I did for a network of over 200 associates, you can take what you hear today and what you’ve seen in your industry, be successful and put it together for a basic checklist for your teams. Every new hire that came into the network that I was at, where I was head of the learning and development program, went through an introduction to a branding course to learn and understand what they could and should be doing to make them successful and their staffing and recruiting space. Now it’s different for every industry, so take that with a grain of salt, we’ll talk about that here in a minute.

But for best digestion of this topic of inbound strategy, I want to break it down into four different mini topics to tackle this effectively. So we’re going to go over the foundation, which is your profile. We’re going to talk about the audience in which that you’re speaking to, that’s your network. We’re going to talk about the interaction, which is your approach. How are you engaging with the network that you have currently? And then last, but not least, we’re going to talk about the messaging. That’s the content that you’re going to be putting out. That content in turn will turn into that outbound strategy because you’re going to have people that are reaching out and interested and that’s going to turn into a touch plan strategy, a sequencing campaign that you are going to continue to go through to game them as a prospect or a client.

So we’re going to talk briefly about each one, things you could be doing, things that people are getting wrong, and feel free to put the questions in the chat and we can cover anything else that you want to know in the AMA at the end of today’s session. So, first and foremost, let’s start with your foundation. Your foundation is your profile. Before you ever start putting out content to an audience, you should do maintenance on your profile. Your companies and individual employees profiles are that virtual storefront. People no longer are stopping to admire through the storefront windows, right? They’re scrolling past your company and your team’s post on social media on their downtime, whether it’s with their cup of coffee or tea in the mornings between meetings on lunch after the kids are put down or while they’re watching TV. So that brings me to poll number two. Look at you, Katie, you’re on it. Do you have a checklist or training to help the members of your team with their LinkedIn profiles?

So that’s, first and foremost, we’re talking about that foundation. Yes, you provide training on LinkedIn’s best practices. We give them a checklist, but no training. We don’t provide a checklist or training or you are not sure, give me your insights. Ooh, I had someone say yes, they provide training on LinkedIn. That’s awesome. Majority of the audience today doesn’t provide a checklist or train, and that’s okay. We’re going to walk through what you can use today to implement in your own office.

All right, I think we’re at capacity, everybody stopped answering. Majority is we do not train or provide a checklist. Completely fine. Now, as you are scrolling, if your network sees something eye-catching or something that they want to know more about, what are they going to do? They’re going to be clicking on your profile. So we’ll get to that content later, but I want you to know a few stats. Two, to be exact, 49% of buyers research sales professionals on LinkedIn, if they hear your name or see your name, or you leave a voicemail or you have an email, 49% of people are going to search you. So we want to make sure that foundation is set where we need it to be. 50% of buyers avoid sales professionals with incomplete sales profiles. No picture, no information, they’re not posting. So we want to make sure that we’re in the other 50%.

You know, that’s nearly half for both of those stats. Most of you as leaders and in the staffing and recruiting world, probably have dedicated time and really gotten your LinkedIn profiles at least 60% there, I’m guessing. But nearly every leader that I have worked with has stated that they needed to dedicate more time to their updates on their own profile. Heck, I started here, Katie and I started here in July. I already need to make updates for what I’ve been doing. It’s something you can’t set and forget. Make sure that you have something on your quarterly efforts to be able to update your information or at least assess what you’ve done differently to maybe share different features on your LinkedIn profile. We’ll talk more about that. But what about your employees? We talked about you. You’re the leaders of your organization. You’re technically driving the ball forward nonstop.

But what about your employees? Do you just hope that they’re going to follow suit and get their profiles up to par? Honestly, it doesn’t work like that. There are generational tendencies to think about when approaching social media. Now, I know not everyone falls into these so-called stereotypes of generations, but think about this for people that you’re hiring. So bear with me for a second. Whenever you think of baby boomers now, yeah, they’re still in our workforce, right? Only 35% of baby boomers use social media to discover brands or new brands. It’s honestly not their go-to. They could use some guidance, maybe best practices when selling because they might not see the value. So we need to think about that. Gen X does not like to broadcast their personal lives, and most tendencies, in fact, only 24% have actually shared on social media. This generation is more hesitant when approaching social media.

They might not know the best approach, the types of content to share how to engage. Gen X expects brand content to educate and excite, give them the how-to videos, the tutorials, the in-depth explanations that they need to envision your brand as the solution to their problem. Millennials, 75% of millennials say that social media enables them to interact with brands and companies. This group obviously is more engaged and entrenched in social, but may want help with when the best practices, you may want to help guide that or how often they should be posting to best represent your company or your industry. Now, Gen-Zs, the further I get down this list, the older it makes me feel. Gen-Zs, 64% of Gen Z consumers expect a more personalized experience on social media based on their previous interactions. 61% of Gen-Z customer or consumers want companies to know them better based on their social media activity.

And 52% of Gen-Z consumers expect companies to read and analyze their social media posts. Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of different ways to learn, to listen, to apply how you should approach social media, but also what to post on social media to get them engaged. So moral of the story here is take the mystery out of the equation. This isn’t rocket science, but it does require effort. I want you to realize that your employees may not have a clue where to start, or they may be posting about everything but the kitchen, well, I don’t want to say the kitchen sink. Maybe they’re posting about everything but the secrets they heard around the Thanksgiving table. So guidance is needed. What are you doing to help build their storefront and get their foundation set?

That storefront not only helps their desk, but in turn will help your organization’s gross margin. I’m going to go over just a few main things that I’ve worked through with new hires. When it came to their social profiles, I talked about that network of over 200. I did it with two different networks, but this is a good starting place for your potential checklist. So I’m going to give you like nine things to go through. Number one, make sure your profile is visible and easy to find. This goes without saying, I think it’s a pretty basic thing, but make sure your profile is public, but also many people don’t know this. You’re automatically given a URL on LinkedIn. You can actually personalize that URL so prospects can find you more easily. Add a little bonus, add your LinkedIn link to your email signature. So as you’re sending emails and follow-up conversations and that touch plan strategy, we talked last week, they can learn more about you in one click. Number two, upload an updated professional photo. Think of how you dress and act when you meet a client in real life.

Your profile photo should represent the way that you appear in face-to-face meetings. Don’t be like that online dating profile that you know Susie down the street encountered where someone posted a picture from 15 years ago, but it’s pulling off that look for today. Number three is update your banner image. The banner image is the image that’s the long one across the top. Oftentimes, this is the most overlooked piece to update. Create an image, use Canva. Canva’s my favorite, but it’s free. But I personally like to make sure my contact information and my logo of my organization is front and center. I like to make sure that my contact information is there. Again, we’re in a people business. We want to create less friction, less clicks if someone wants to email me, people need to get ahold of me, people need to call me, people need to email me. I want you to note, don’t think you’re going to get a bunch of spamming calls if you put your name and email up there. I’ve had my contact information on my banner for about seven to 10 years, and I get no random calls.

So don’t put any faith in that, that you’re going to get a bunch of stuff and random calls. Number four is to craft a compelling headline. The headline is by default, LinkedIn uses your job title for your headline, but be different. Showcase what you do, who you do it for, your value, what differentiates you as a glance. But be creative. If you’re not creative, look at other people’s profiles and what they’re using. Feel free to check mine out. And side note, you can use emojis if that’s your thing. Number five goes without saying your summary. Your summary is your 30 second pitch. Use this space to differentiate yourself from other sales professionals. What you do, how you do it with your clients, how to get in touch with you and what kind of success that you’ve actually helped others do. Other organizations, other customers, what have you helped them accomplish.

Don’t forget to add your contact information here as well. Yes, I know there’s the contact information button as well, but if there’s one, it’s one other place that’s only going to help your cause. Now, it does go without saying to add your work experience and details. Oftentimes I see people add their company, but not details of who they are and what they do. What your organization specializes in. Number seven, eight, and nine are above the grain. It’s kind of above and beyond. But number seven is ad feature post. I don’t know if anybody knows that you can do this, but featured post, I want you to think of that as your brag book. I don’t know how many of you here are maybe great recruiters certified or have an NPS score that you want to share, posts from your organization that really stand out about your culture.

Again, it’s like your brag book. It’s your brief summary so people don’t have to scroll through your post to see what’s there. Feel free to go look at mine or others to see what they have up there. But that’s an easy recommended to show how you work versus just telling people how you work. Number eight is you can include skills and endorsements. I’m sure everyone here hasn’t endorsed somebody else for a skill. Now it’s up to you to put those skills in. You can actually have up to 50 skills. Choose what they are through a checklist, find them and add them. So I would recommend you do that within your organization, in your industry, and less, but not least. Number nine is ask for recommendations after a successful placement or when people are happy. This is just like referrals. Ask for a recommendation on that LinkedIn profile to give an example of how you work.

Now, honestly, your individual social profiles are your foundational building blocks for most anyone running a desk. Now, that could vary when you’re talking to talent within different industries. But if I can tell you anything, just do it. Do a lunch and learn. Do a learning workshop for those in your office now to get everyone on level playing field. Get their profiles up to date now, this is a great thing to do while you have some downtime before the end of the year, right? So that was number one. We talked about your foundation and your profile. Number two is your audience. Katie, are you ready for the next poll? Your audience is your network. So my question to you is, do you recommend your teams to connect with prospects and hiring authorities on LinkedIn? Maybe, yes, it’s a standard part of your process. It’s part of your touch plan whenever you reach out to somebody.l.

Maybe you don’t have a formal process, but recommend it. Now, just because you recommend it, that doesn’t mean they’re doing it. Maybe you don’t make that recommendation or maybe you’re not sure. Good news, I see a lot of yeses here. I love that. So we don’t have a formal process, but you recommend it. So that could go along with your checklist or your process whenever you have your campaign or your strategy to be able to connect with someone as you put them in a sequence. But a lot of people say, yeah, it’s part of your standard process. I love that. That is amazing, props to you guys. Now, now that you have that foundation set, we need to make sure that we’re speaking to the right audience. Most of the time, you and I and many other people on this call will have varying audiences, but we really need to make a conscious effort to ensure that our contact has the impact that we want when we start to create it.

If we’re in recruiting in the IT space, we want to make sure that we’re connecting with IT leaders 10 to 25 of A level talent that maybe are passive today, but it could change later. Honestly, those A level players, don’t look at your LinkedIn postings if you say, Hey, I’ve got a job opening. They’re not actively looking for their next opportunity. If they’re passive, they’re heads down, they’re working hard, and when they get their next job, it’s through a referral of their own network to make sure you’re connected with them. If you’re in sales, we need to make sure that we’re connected not only with our prospects, but we’re also connected with additional hiring authorities, CEOs, presidents, managers, directors in the space that we’re actively working. The same goes with clients. They aren’t actively searching who can help them with their business. But through those that are connected on your social platforms, you are helping other clients solve problems.

The impact you’re having on their businesses, you’re showing that and the thought leadership and consultative approach that we’re going to start pushing when we have content, it’s going to show that. Which will have them searching more for you and your businesses when you’re connected. Now, you shouldn’t just network when you need to make a sale, you need to make a placement or you need to find the next act of Canada in your market. Network is something that you have to do even when you don’t need to or want to. True connectors network daily. Networking is truly a compound effort. It’s like making a deposit in the bank each and every day. You won’t be able to cash out big unless you make that daily deposit, and that deposit will happen after you’ve accrued what you’ve needed to. And the timing is right to make your withdrawal.

If it’s not already a part of your process, which it looks like it is, I would encourage you to have your team start with 10 companies from your prospect list. Follow the companies so you’re seeing the news and information that they’re sharing, but also connect with a minimum of three to five decision-makers within each organization. Honestly, if there are multiple departments, make sure to add those as well. So, rule of thumb, when I was working with new franchise owners and building their network, we would have them add at least 25 names minimum to their database daily, minimum. I really take the same approach here. You should be connecting with a consistent number of people a day on your social platforms. Me personally, I like to say a minimum of 10 to 25. The caveat is your schedule. You can only send a hundred LinkedIn invites a week during that span.

So use your time wisely. Me personally, if I know Tuesday’s a podcast day, I’m not going to be able to connect with people as much as I do maybe Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, because it will give you a limit that you’ve reached that, beware, I don’t know if you’ve gotten it, I sure have. So during my time in coaching those new franchise associates, this connection process was a part of their daily wrap up and planning for their next day. Either those associates could connect with people in their industry and they could add them into their ATS and CRM based on their call list for the next day. Or it was a part of your touch plan strategy that we were adding additional prospects to and hiring authorities based on that network expansion. What I love about connecting prior to a call is I know my call list, hopefully you guys are planning for your call list the next day, at the end of the day before, great best practice, but you’re able to keep your name fresh in their brains and may help your success of return phone calls.

The whole key to this one is getting the people into your system, not losing sight of them, whether it’s a part of your prospecting list, your candidate list, don’t put them in and lose sight of it. Don’t forget to invest weekly to build your network. The more people in your industry that you’re connected to or connected with, the more of the right people you’ll see interactions with whenever we’re interacting, creating content and really being that consultative associate that we’re going to be providing value to. Number three is your interaction. It’s your approach to your engagement. So, Katie, I think I have a poll here too. Do you recommend your teams to interact or have a suggested number of activities on social platforms daily or weekly? So whenever they have their network, maybe you have a general guideline, but no process, maybe you don’t give a recommended approach.

Maybe, honestly, this is one of those taboo subjects because maybe we don’t want them working outside of our ATS because we can’t measure it, we can’t see the return in it. So I see that in a lot of offices. So I see more of we don’t give a recommendation or a guideline. Some people aren’t sure, but some people do give general guidelines, but no process. So now this is where we’re starting to build engagement. So now that your profile is ready to be viewed and you’re building the right audience for your messaging, you have to start engaging. One of the easiest pieces of advice that I have heard and used for many years in my coaching, which is from Joe Mullins, Buffy, that’s going to probably sound exactly alike, but he made the task of engaging much more manageable. This really comes down to consistency.

So I do recommend dedicating time blocks 15 to 30 minutes each day to engage properly. It’ll take less time the more frequent you do this, it’ll become like a fine oiled machine. However, I would set a timer, I don’t know about you, I need to set a timer to get this task done. But his recommendation is to do 10 four two strategy and I love it. It’s easy, it’s simple, and it’s manageable. So let’s start with the 10 and four. Those are daily tasks. What does that mean? When you need to engage by liking 10 posts, not just 10 posts of anybody, but 10 posts of the audience that you need to engage with, your prospects, your clients, the talent that you’re actively recruiting, honestly, it’s the easy part. 10 likes is all, I don’t know about you, but I could like things all day long and scroll.

The second part is where people have to get out of their comfort zone a bit. It’s not hard, but it’s where many people start to miss the mark. The four is commenting. You need to comment on four post daily. And what I mean by commenting on post, it’s a post, an article, a poll of someone that you’re trying to do business with that’s in your industry, and most specifically could be on your touch plan. But you want to create some sort of thought provoking, engaging question. Not something basic like great post, nice read, but more along the lines of how are you applying this article to your initiatives for next quarter? Has this insight changed your view of how you approach the industry? Or how are you applying this to your team’s delivery? This is direct and to the audience that you’re speaking with. But if they don’t know who you were prior to this comment, they do now.

It’s a direct in because speaking their language and asking the questions that directly apply to the business and incorporating industry lingo will ensure that person stops and looks at your profile directly. They will understand if you can help their business or could be the door-opener that you need for that touch plan strategy or inbound approach that makes them stop and take notice. So only four comments a day. I’m not asking for anything crazy, remember, I said it’s manageable. Sales representatives who jump in with reactions and comments and views and shares and messages and respond in a timely manner, saw a whopping 9.5 increase in their annual revenue. Who doesn’t want an increase by nearly 10%? So we’ve covered 10 and four, we need to cover two, but we’re going to cover that in our last section. So that leads us to number four. It’s our messaging, it’s your content.

We talked about that storefront window for your profile, right? When we talk content, it’s more about displaying what you’re putting in your front windows to get people to stop, right? Walking past, does that store have the kind of clothes that I want to look at or the types of tools that I want to see? Did you know that 90% of B2B buyers will engage with sellers known as thought leaders in your industry? But how does someone know that you’re a thought leader? They need to know your stance, your opinion, your take on something, and we can do that all through content. All right, Katie, I think this is my last post. Bear with me and I’m long-winded today. So do you recommend your teams posting any content?

This is where it gets a little, again, time-consuming, away from your desk outside of your ATS. But do you currently have any recommendations for your team’s posting content? No, we don’t give recommendations. We have general guidelines, but no written process. You give recommendations in your written process, or you’re not sure. I’m seeing a 50/50 split right now. No, we don’t make recommendations or we give guidelines, but no written process. That’s fair. I’ll give you a minute to finish responding while I continue. Content is honestly the most intimidating for people. Honestly, it was the hardest for me when I started as well. But I’m here to make this shift a bit easier for you. So that 1042 strategy has you liking 10 posts a day, commenting four times, but the two is weekly. You should be posting content twice a week, but before you panic, let’s talk about this. The easiest piece of content for your teams to share is something from your company page.

Not always sharing a job posting. That is a common misconception. However, if it’s not applicable to your audience, they’re not going to be interested. They’re not going to be engaged. So be cognizant of that. Remember your audience. What are they going to want to see? If you’re in sales, they’re going to want to see trends, articles about the industry, insights, statistics that will establish you as a thought leader. Does that mean you need to write the content? No. Does that mean you need to write articles and blogs and create videos like I do each Monday for motivational Monday? No. But you need to be consistent. LinkedIn algorithms depend on your consistency to show more of your network what you’re saying. So let’s think about content for a minute and how you can post. Anyone a music fan here? Oftentimes when you hear music, you hear it one of three ways. The original artist, the cover band, the DJ.

I want you to think content of in this way as well. The original artist is all you, darling. It’s your thoughts, your insights, your words, your creation. It’s the most time-consuming, but oftentimes can pull the biggest engagement and influence depending on your topic. The cover band is someone else’s words, but you’re taking a take on it, changing it to your voice. This usually as a result of maybe finding something you found insightful or it’s something you are passionate about or agree with and truly hits home for you, but you repurpose that content for your context, like finding an article you like and then creating a video on it, maybe a modified version. It takes less time than the original artist, but you can still can have a kid’s significant impact on your audience. Now there’s the DJ. When you think of the DJ, this is where most of us live on social platforms. I know I do.

We take content that we see, we share it with our copy and our thoughts associated with the repost of the image, the article or the video. This is frankly the easiest and best place to start when you’re trying to accomplish to post a week as you get comfortable. Now, note to self, when sharing content, you see something that maybe resonates with you. Be sure to add your thoughts. Ask an engaging question about the post. Use a hashtag or the ad sign and tag the original artist with the content. You can also tag people in the comments of the article, tag them and mention them that made you think of them based on the conversation you just recently had. Tagging and hash-tagging is the best way to expand your audience that you just may not have yet. It’s all about starting conversation and building relationships. Now, if you’re here for a company brand, it’s about having that great story of how your company is impacting the world or how you’re labeling yourself as an employer of choice.

What are the items that your team is helping build or design? What are they helping sell with the people that you’re working with? It’s about showcasing a strong culture too. I’m not talking about saying, hey, we have ping pong tables and napping pods in an amazing kitchen. But to show that you genuinely care about one another, the whole team member that becomes successful when you’re coming to work at your organization. So in wrapping up before AMA, yes, inbound approach to selling does work if you implement a strategy and take the time to build your online relationships with your prospects and customer and talent. This means engaging with their content, providing meaningful insights. That’s not a sales pitch. Sharing content that’s relevant to their pain points and so much more. I am super passionate about this topic. It’s not just talk.

You can go to my personal profile alone and see that, but this approach will only continue to be more relevant in the upcoming year. I don’t know about you, but I have seen many articles and trend lists that this is going to be a focus. I hope if you haven’t, that you’re working with your teams to use the logistics of their social strategy, not only for sales, but recruiting as well, if that’s applicable. All right, Katie, I went a few minutes longer. I’m getting rasper by the minute. Did we get any questions in our AMA?


We did get some questions.

Kortney Harmon:

Awesome. I love questions.


Yes, yes. John had a question too, but John I will let you tell me if you want to come on stage or not. In the meantime, I will ask. So the first question comes in anonymously, and I think it links back to our podcast from two weeks ago. Do you have any good messaging for cold LinkedIn connection invites?

Kortney Harmon:

Yes. You can go back and listen to last week. We actually have a downloadable ebook. I don’t know if Katie is quick enough to be able to put that in here now, but it is in the podcast notes from the show notes from the last episode. But my personal favorite, I’m going to tell you what I do, and this is what I do actively today. When I reach out to connect with somebody, I just say that I’m actively in your industry. I’m connecting with fellow staffing and recruiting leaders, and I would love to network and connect for future purposes. I’m not selling, I’m not using anything. I am literally just connecting with like-minded people. I will be honest with you, I have very seldom had someone say no or reject my request. I have had people, however, say, oh, you’re with an ATS, I’m not really looking for that.

However, when I stop and I explain that I have nothing to do with our sales team, I am merely providing content, I would love to be able just for you to see the stuff that we’re putting out for our industry leaders really gives back in the form of content. I’m giving my sales pitch, but it’s essentially they apologize, they’re like, I’m so sorry, I thought you were connecting based on trying to sell me something. So make sure you don’t have a hard sell when you’re connecting. It is literally about building a relationship, building a connection. So use that social platform as your connection piece without a sale and check out our ebook because there are a lot of different scripts that you can use from that point using it forward.


John, did you want to come on or do you just want me to ask the question?

Kortney Harmon:

He wants to come on.


It would be incomplete without you.

Kortney Harmon:

It absolutely would be.


John come on up.

Kortney Harmon:

I’ve missed you John. It’s been two weeks. How are you?


Oh, tired. I’m glad I’m not one of the ones who was sick in our team. One of our wonderful people had a daughter who got married and one of the attendees brought COVID and many people got sick. So I was actually glad that I was not invited or able to travel for that wedding.

Kortney Harmon:

Never been so thankful not to be included. I love that.


Exactly, exactly. I love it. No COVID here. So the question I ask is way up here. When you talked about earlier, you taught or at least provided a course, where was it in my notes?

Kortney Harmon:

A network of over 200 at my last podcast.


Network of over 200 associates. And is that an off-the-shelf course that you found and provided? Is that one you created and distributed digitally? What’s the way to really make that consistently available and appropriate to the team?

Kortney Harmon:

I love that. So I’m going to give you a few ideas and a few things that I know other offices have used. So number one, there are a lot of things out there. So you could essentially, if you have your onboarding book, you can actually have that a part of your onboarding process. So that would be something with the first week that they do hear the things that you need to do. Here’s a checklist.


[inaudible 00:37:43], or whatever.

Kortney Harmon:

Yeah, there’s plenty of things that are already out there that are canned that you could probably pull off the shelf and use and apply. Now, what I would tell you in that caveat is I would suggest you… So you’re hopefully going to be able to do this as a level set with your team in a workshop based on today. But what I would do is have a mentor assigned to that new hire. So this is what we’ve done, this is what we’ve accomplished whenever we did our workshop. Try to make it interactive. Because a lot of times new hires, especially coming into this, they’re a little hesitant. First off, maybe they’ve never been in this industry, second off, maybe they’ve never recruited before. So they don’t know what good looks like for them. So yeah, they’re going to have a profile or a course to learn off of.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be successful in our industry because just like you know, manufacturing’s going to be different from IT. What do I need to do differently in our industry compared to what this person on this video is telling me? So would oftentimes, I did a lot of this training, but we would oftentimes schedule them with a mentor in their office and they would give them real life, this has worked for me, this has created conversation for me. So it’s literally a peer-to-peer. So they’re learning off of active successful people in your own office. So I would suggest that, go ahead.


And have you taken yourself an introduction to branding course that helped inspire you how to develop these? ‘Cause I mean, branding is something we’re always trying to grab at and understand and get other resources. And actually, can I plug a book too by somebody else?

Kortney Harmon:

Plug a book. I’m game. I’ll look at him. He’s going to go pull it off the shelf.


I don’t see it on my shelf. I can’t spot it that quickly. But there’s a book by a guy named Ron Tight.

Kortney Harmon:

Ron Tight? And what is it about? Is it branding?


It’s branding, it’s marketing, it’s LinkedIn and he is hysterical. I’ve seen him too. Yeah, Ron tight. Did I pitch it before? I mean, I love it. We actually use some of his stuff in our training on how people should craft their LinkedIn messages.

Kortney Harmon:

I love that.


Or sometimes how people shouldn’t craft their LinkedIn messaging. And a term that he uses a lot that I love is people are getting pitch-slapped all the time. And so you want to avoid the pitch-slap.

Kortney Harmon:

I love that. That is so funny. And I love that I’ve not read that book, Katie, maybe you have based on your active response. So I don’t have anything that I’ve done. I just know based on what I’ve had success with, what I’ve seen others have success with, I’m a subject to learner. I am a lifelong learner and I want to learn. So I will probably check out this book as well, but you’re right, that is the biggest problem that I see people doing. They want to use LinkedIn as part of their selling process, but they’re going to sell from them word go. People don’t want to hear that. I can tell you how many emails that I get a day that they’re like, oh my gosh, I want to sell you this after I connect with you. I’m not going to do that, but I am going to make sure that person gets into my system.

I am going to make sure that they’re a part of my next touch plan strategy. I am going to make sure that I don’t lose sight of them. Because again, we talked to so many people, it happens more often than we remember about them. But I will say that don’t sell. I had someone when coaching, they ended up at getting like 50 people for a manufacturing organization, but it was the idea that they connected on cars. So this gentleman was literally looking through his profile and said, oh my gosh, I saw that you posted about this. I know nothing about cars like this Ford, whatever. I love that car. And they started connecting. That led to an office visit that led to the conversation and 50 manufacturing people at job openings at that organization. So you never know what you’re going to connect on, but don’t pitch.


I’m actually nervous for attending a CEO only dinner tonight. And it’s a bunch of people in the room, only four vendors, and I’m trying to tell the person I’m bringing along with me, don’t sell. It’s better if they don’t even know what we do, don’t sell. Listen, build relationships.

Kortney Harmon:

Yep. Build relationships and listen. I love that, John. Thank you for the insights on the book too. So, Katie actually already put the Amazon link in the chat if anybody’s interested. So thank you very much, John. I love your insights.


Thanks, John.

Kortney Harmon:

Any other questions, Katie?


So Kort, actually, we had like four or five requests in the chat for us to turn this into an ebook. So we do actually have something in the works. Obviously, it’ll drop when the podcast drops next Thursday. So for the four or five of you who requested that information, I’ll be sure to send it out to those who attended today’s live session. And then it’ll also be linked in the show podcast notes when the episode drops next Thursday also. That was a fairly light question day today, but that’s all I’ve got from the audience. So I’m going to hop off stage and let you wrap up.

Kortney Harmon:

I love that. And there’s another person that would love the ebook, so that’s great. I can’t wait. Those are exciting things and easy things that you can apply with your team frequently. Again, use that as a workshop to level set your teams today and use it for all new coming people into your organization going forward. Now in closing, remember developing your inbound strategy to social selling is just as important as the touch plan strategy that we talked about two weeks ago. Remember, same side of the coin? Yeah, that wasn’t very smooth. But with proper foundational work and consistency to the right audience, it’s going to establish you as a thought leader. It’s going to bring your prospects, your clients, for looking for more insights from you in the industry. Leaders, I will say this till I’m blue in the face, it starts with you, those who have a holistic view of your business.

If you don’t have a strategy, a process, and measurement that you can take a step back and see how businesses are changing in the age of today and the generations to come, we know that we need to make a change. So make this a habit. Have your teams time block each and every day. Use your foundations from today to build a list, look for an ebook. Start adding people to your network daily. So, right, we’re going to start with our profile. Let’s make it small and manageable. Have your teams work on their profiles today. The next few weeks, start adding people to your network daily. Start the 10 and four in the month of January. So liking and commenting, and then don’t start content until February. Let’s work on baby steps. So start small, keep it tangible and measurable to make sure that you can measure the success of your efforts and that your teams are putting in and ensure the data is getting into your systems.

Make sure that your teams are entering the lead source of the location from the prospects where they’re coming from. Is there efforts from LinkedIn? With recruiting, are you finding candidates from TikTok? That’s a thing these days, believe it or not, that these platforms are changing our industries as we speak today. Don’t be behind the curve. Make sure the data’s in your system. Your teams deserve to know what good looks like. And your strategy starts now with your social platforms. It only accelerates their success and increase your cash in as an organization. Now, we only have one live event left for the rest of 2022. Can you believe that? That’s weird to say. I would love for you to join us on December 13th when our own Sarah Gawson is going to join me and we’re going to talk about redeployment for your organizations. I cannot wait for this topic.

It’s going to be a great unlock for teams. So there’ll be an AMA at the end. Be sure to join us. But I also want to let you in on a little secret, Katie, I hope I’m allowed to say this, but I want you to be on the lookout for a new series that we’re launching. It’s called Industry Spotlight, where we’re going to be talking with top leaders and influencers who are shaping the talent industry. In this series, we’re going to be shining lights on popular trends, the latest news, stories that really laid the groundwork for their success. And those will start dropping on the 15th of December and once a month from that point forward.

So if you found value in the episode or any other live events, please tell one person and personally invite them to our next live session or even share our podcast with them. It would really mean so much to me. I’m Kortney Harmon with Crelate. Thanks for joining the full desk experience. Please feel free to submit any questions for next session to [email protected] or ask us live next session. If you enjoyed our show, be sure to subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen and sign up to attend future events that happen every other Tuesday at 3:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Pacific.

Show notes

In this episode, you’ll learn:
  • Inbound vs Outbound sales strategies for talent businesses
  • Social Selling Basics for Talent Sales Teams
  • The Foundation: The Profile of a Talent Sales Associates
  • The Audience: Your Network
  • The Interaction: The Approach of a Talent Sales Professional
  • The Message: Content from Staffing and Recruiting Account Executives
To download the Social Selling eBook referenced in the show, please click here.
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