Keith Weightman, Garrett Graston, Dale Zwizinski
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Amar: Hey folks welcome to the social selling summit. As you know this is the place where you can get all of the leading experts in one place talking about a topic that is going to absolutely take over the sales world. It should be hitting your radar very soon if it already hasn't. We're talking about social selling brought to you by Hire Vue and I'm really particularly proud of this panel and this session. This panel and session is all about social success stories. The success panel is what I call this. This is the panel or successful social sellers reveal their secrets. Some teach their overall views. And really you'll be able to get into their psyche and their mind frame as to why they're using social selling as a part of their daily sales process. So let's move forward. I want you to start with this following piece of information. Right now the results you're getting in sales compared to where you want to be is only a gap that's in your mind. If you're able to cross that chasm, and penetrate, and get past your own fears, and get into the waters, and learn something new, and constantly challenge yourself you will be able to absolutely do well in your sales career. And I fundamentally believe, and I humbly submit to you, that if you use social selling as part of your daily sales process you will have massive success. And I believe my panel will agree.
So I want to read off a quote. Why are we here? Let's really get to the nitty-gritty of why we're here. There's a great book written by Gary Mack. It's called Mind Gem. And I want to read this quote to you. "For years breaking through the 4-minute mile was thought to be physically impossible. And then in 1954 Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. And over the next 2 years, 50 other runners broke the barrier. Why? Because they had an image. In Bannister they had a model for success."
So for everyone listening to this, for everyone attending this call, I want you to meet the panel because guess what? They are your model for success. And I'm going to introduce them to you just in a moment. But a quick little alert and note here, stay tuned, because at the end of the session were going to give you a chance to win free social selling training for you and your sales team. Again I want to make it worth your while to be here. So let's meet the panelists. I'm going to say something about them but then I want them to introduce themselves. First, we have Keith Weightman from Bullhorn Software. Bullhorn Software is the premier provider of recruiting software on the planet. We have Garrett Graston from a little old company called Brocade with 4000 employees. We have Dale Zwizinski, a personal friend. Dale used to be at a company called Revegy, very entrenched in the sales effectiveness state. He's now at a company called KiteDesk. And if you know this, or you may not know this, KiteDesk is actually a sponsor of this event as well. But Dale is going to speak today, not from a KiteDesk perspective, but really from a sales rep perspective. So Keith I turn it over to you. Feel free to introduce yourself.
Keith: Sure, thanks again for having me. Again, Keith Weightman, I'm an account executive for Bullhorn. And as Amar so eloquently shared, Bullhorn is a staffing recruiting specific applicant cracking and PRM solution. Been in the sales world for a little over 7 years and specifically using social for the last 3 years. That's really an integral part of what I do from a selling process. I'm glad to be here.
Amar: Awesome. Thanks Keith. Garrett over to you.
Garrett: All right thanks Amar. We really appreciate you guys having us here. Garrett Graston, I am an inside sales associate here at Brocade Communications. We are the data center and network provider of choice for multibillion-dollar corporations around the world, small customers as well. For me, I've been in the sales arena for a little over 5 or 6 years, I would say. But on the social journey for maybe about a year, a year and half. So really it's a new thing for me. But I had an epiphany and I'm going to continue to keep racking the social game.
Amar: Awesome. Thanks. I appreciate that. Mr. Zwizinski over to you.
Dale: Thanks Amar I appreciate it. Thanks for inviting me. My name is Dale Zwizinski. I am the sales director at KiteDesk all responsible for all things final. So during the conversation I took sales related training back in the middle of last year and really got in the social journey. And will not only give you a perspective from a sales person, but also from now, a director position. Why it's important and what I look for when I'm looking at new reps both inside and outside when it comes to social selling.
Amar: Wonderful. Okay so folks there you go. Those are the 3 main people on the panel today. And we are going to move forward. So let's get into the fun part of it. Why were all here, right? We're here to hear these 3 guys offer up their take, their opinion, their views, all on certain aspects of social. So before we kickstart, here's the very 1st question. Garrett let's start with you. Garrett what's your definition of social selling? And this is something I love to ask because it's always neat to see different opinions here. So what's your definition of social selling?
Garrett: Absolutely, yes, thanks Amar. For me social selling is something that is not necessarily brand-new, it's not really a new thing. But it's a way of using new technologies to essentially accomplish the same goals that salespeople have been doing for many many years. It's a mindset. It's an ideology shift. It's a way that you connect and find your future advocates within your networks to challenge their status quo for the mutual benefit of both parties. For me it's just using modern day technology, my social networks, my digital analytics, to really appeal and engage with today's modern buyer because we all know that that role has changed in the last 5 to 10 years. I could elaborate a little bit more. But in a nutshell, that's what it really does mean to me.
Amar: Garrett, let me ask you just a follow-up question. How have you seen the modern buyer change from an inside sales BDR perspective?
Garrett: Absolutely. The modern buyer has changed simply because they have access to information that they previously have never had in their entire careers before. With the advent of the Internet obviously, and different types of media outlets. Information overload is simply a problem that sometimes people do come across. So as a consumer though, think about it from your own perspective. When you're making a large purchase. Let's call it a car, or a house. Typically you're going to start your search process online and try to answer some of those questions ahead of time before you engage with a salesperson or a company for that matter. Your B2B buyers are no different. They start their search processes online. They look at reviews. They look at product comparisons. So essentially the modern-day buyer has changed simply because they have more information, they're connected socially, they're on mobile. All these factors lead to an increase in what they're able to accomplish when it comes to projects and dealing with procurement and sales teams for that matter.
Amar: Wonderful. Thanks for that answer. Let's kick it over to Keith. Keith, what's your take on social selling? Enlighten us please.
Keith: I would definitely agree with a lot of the things that Garrett had shared. Social selling to me, it's really an evolution of the selling and the buying process. To me it's not only just the future of selling, but really how we communicate with one another. Speaking of sales, the sales role specifically, I believe it's an avenue for sales professionals to really drive their own personal brand and be visible as a credible resource to their buyers. As Garrett stated, and we've all seen the studies, over 75% of the sales process is done online prior to even engaging a salesperson. So if you're not visible and really creating that personal brand online, you're missing out on opportunities to close visitors.
Amar: Yes, you're absolutely right Keith. I think you make a really really interesting point. The buyer is now able to do so much research online it's scary. But if you're able to effectively meet them on their new turf, you can at least increase the odds of them getting to know you and you inserting yourself into a sales cycle that you may not have known about before. So Dale, speaking of the sales cycle, talk to me about your definition of social selling and how you think it actually impacts what the sales cycle used to be. And what you think the modern sales cycle looks like.
Dale: That's a great question Amar. Keith is exactly right. It's a little bit about the personal branding. When I started the journey that's kind of what I was thinking about from a social selling perspective. And I think a lot of people relate social selling to sharing and pushing content out. But I think it starts way before that and it's really the listening. To me, there's a lot of listening that needs to happen, and defining who your buyers are. Social selling isn't just going to share a bunch of content. You need to really hone in on who you are selling to whether it's socially or not. And then once you understand that buyer persona then you can start targeting your content to the right position. So for me, the definition of social selling really starts at the listening stage. And then once you have that narrowed down, and you know who your buyers are, what they're going to want for you to share out, you can really tailor your content. And then make sure that the content that you're tailoring or sending out has value to them. At the end of the day it's all about value.
So personal branding and definitely listening through the channel, and then I believe that, actually you can reduce the sales cycle and the modern sales cycle by using social. I think by using the social channel your customers can see that you actually have some genuine interest in what their life is like and how they're actually trying to solve their own problems. If social is done properly you can actually reduce the sales cycle.
Amar: That's really powerful. Dale, the nugget I picked up from what you just said, and I don't know if people were keenly listening but, here's the main nugget I picked up. Which is that, social selling begins with listening. I think the listening aspect is so important, and social really allows you to listen a lot better than traditional forms of communication. If you look at the one thing that our managers always tell us, it's, get to know your buyer. Know everything about them. Know they're likes, know there dislikes, know their body language, everything. Well by following someone, and really honing in, and listening to your target buyers online using LinkedIn, Twitter, and a plethora of other tools, you can absolutely know your buyer. You can read their entire digital body language. I really appreciate everyone contributing to that question.
That was just a starter. Let's move to question number 2. Keith I'm going to start with you. Talk to me about when you started using social media as a part of your self practice. And if I heard you correctly, you started dabbling in it 3 years ago, and now you're just an aficionado at this stuff. Why did you start with social media? What drove that decision?
Keith: Sure. Obviously as a salesperson, I'm naturally competitive. I'm always looking for ways to up the game per se. For me I really see sales as one of the greatest professions that anybody can get into. For me it's how do I continue to get better as a salesperson? And it's a professional development. Obviously being in the technology world, and at the time when I started around late 2009, 2010, that's when LinkedIn was really beginning to gain a lot of steam. I started very slowly. I started in LinkedIn with the basics of trying to create that brand, sharing content with my target buyer. Then it wasn't until around 2012, the end of 2012, I came across a blog from Jamie and I was instantly hooked. Because I started learning about things such as time trade, and HootSuite, and all the different things that could be incorporated from the social selling standpoint. And from there it's now a part of my everyday process. I've been hooked since then. And obviously I owe a lot of what I've learned and some of the success that I've seen from the Sales For Life blog because that's where it really all started for me.
Amar: That's a great answer. And I just want to remind the audience that is a unsponsored answer. So Keith thanks for the props there. I appreciate that. Garrett I'll turn it over to you. So you started a year, year and a half ago, right?
Amar: Were you at Brocade at the time? When you started using social media?
Garrett: Absolutely, yes. For me at Brocade here, I've been here for a little over 2 years now. Brocade originally started this social selling journey at approximately a year ago. It was kind of a corporate driven initiative that we did put into place. We're still actively engaged with that. For me I took this to heart. Kind of my viewpoint is that my generation, the millennial's, they're calling them bad or good or have your own opinion about it. But the fact of the matter is, as us millennials move into more executive and decision-making roles within companies throughout the US and the world, the prominence of using and having a community of networks that I've built and really earned that permission to influence those networks, will absolutely be critical to my success in the future.
A quote that I love around this part is Jill Raleigh[SP] who says, "Your network is your net worth." For me that just resonated very profoundly. For me it was also that, but I feel like it was more of an epiphany. This is almost self-preservation. Anyone who's in sales and who's not adopting these types of techniques and methodologies, you're going to get replaced. It's only a matter of time. So selfishly it was more of a self-preservation thing but it actually got started as a corporate driven initiative from Brocade.
Amar: Wow, those are some fighting words there Garrett. You might get eliminated. You know what, jokes aside, let's be very real. And this is a note for the audience. Things evolve. Things are always evolving in the world of sales. And if were not evolving with them, what are we doing? We're losing a huge opportunity. I personally would agree with what Garrett said. Dale why don't you add to that.
Dale: Yes, it's really interesting because what Garrett said is exactly one of the reasons why I started looking at social selling as well. I mean at the end of the day it's all about revenue. We're bottom-line driven, we're salespeople. It started with not getting responses from calling, emailing, and just getting really frustrated with the whole prospecting, trying to find people, warm introduction type things. I was getting completely frustrated. I was doing some research on LinkedIn and Twitter and getting a little bit more traction by finding connections, having conversations with people. Then start researching it and did trading with the sales [?] team. Any other piece of that ended up being, I've always kind of had a voice, I think salespeople just naturally have a lot to say. We really like to talk a lot. And I've always wanted an outlet to have that conversation and say genuinely what's on my mind. I remember near the end of our training that we had a conversation, Amar, you and I. And you said, "Dale, you should start your own blog." And instantly that flipped something off on me to say, "Okay, not only can we drive revenue from this, but we can also drive a personal brand from it." And I'll tell you from my perspective if I'm now going to hire my sales staff, whether inside or outside, I'm going to be looking for that attribute on their resume. LinkedIn, their resume, it's going to be an important factor as they're going through the hiring process with me. That they have the ability to do it. And I'll tell you what, if I'm going to hire somebody, that'll be the 1st thing I look at. Is go to their LinkedIn profile and see have they posted stuff up on LinkedIn, are they tweeting, are they sharing content that's relevant and not just retweeting things to retweet it. To me there's a whole evolution happening. Actually can call it more of a revolution through this process.
Amar: That's a great answer. And Dale, you hit a lot of fine points. For the audience listening, Dale has started his blog. And I just want to talk about that for a quick 10, 15 seconds if I may. Dale started a blog and he's a ready been picked up by some of the biggest influencers in our sales industry. In fact, he was published by HubSpot, or has been published multiple times. He's done guest blogs on a lot of different websites. So listen, if you're trying to build a sales brand, if you're trying to build a personal brand, then I think the answers from Garrett, Keith, and Dale, hopefully give you the motivation necessary to realize that, if anything, you should start with social selling and social media because you need a brand. Buyers like to engage with people that are known as specialists, as thought leaders. And as hard as you're trying, audience, to convey the buyer of who you are. How can you do that over a 30 second cold call? How can you do that over a cold email? It's very difficult. So this is really not about shifting gears on effort, of course you're going to put in the effort. This is about shifting gears by 1 degree at a time on the communication medium that you're on. That's all this is.
Dale: Amar you touched on something really important there. I'm sorry I didn't mean to cut you off. As they listen to, and I get pitched a lot from BDRs as well, that 30 seconds doesn't really give you a complete picture of everything that you are, or what you believe in, or what you're trying to accomplished through your sales process. If I'm looking at a product and I get pitched by somebody, I'm probably in their LinkedIn profile within the 1st 2 minutes. And I'm trying to see really quickly at a glance, is this person going to align with what I'm trying to do? If I'm buying something from someone, it's all about alignment. It's not about a particular product. It's more about the product plus the alignment with the organization. It's a really important point that that 30 second cold call or that email that someone tries to look at, you don't get a complete picture of the person or the organization that you're trying to partner with.
Amar: Yes, and that's the biggest challenge. We're not able to convince buyers. Let's move to some tangible and tactical stories. And here's where I want all of you to tell the audience about some real stories where you've used social media and social selling to build opportunities in your pipeline, or to close deals, to advance a deal. Let's start with Keith.
Keith: Sure. I'm going to give 2 quick examples of personal experience and then 1 that I heard from a colleague just this week at our sales kickoff because I think it was just an awesome story. The 1st one, if you remember at the last interview that we did for Sales For Life, one of the things that I mentioned within LinkedIn I created my own industry-specific networking group. Then I invited my prospects and my customers. And obviously the purpose was to share relevant industry information from best practices but also to have another avenue to be visible to buyers and be looked at as that credible resource should they get into a buying cycle. Within the 1st few days of creating this group, I had a VP reach out and thank me for inviting him to the group which obviously began in a back-and-forth dialogue via LinkedIn. And then through 6 month or so process, obviously it turn into a face-to-face meeting, and ended up in a $20,000 opportunity that was closed. Again, all of this happened because the buyer came to me. And I was not, as we talked about, getting frustrated with traditional tactics of calling and emailing, which I obviously still do. It's integral to what I do. They came to me because they found me through this LinkedIn group.
Amar: That's a great ROI story Keith.
Keith: Yes, the next one is actually even better. And then hopefully it's something that people can use. Again it's practical stuff, it's easy to do. This one I used via LinkedIn save searches. And I actually learned this from another colleague that practices social selling and is also very successful. Basically I created a search within LinkedIn that they send me alerts every single week of people that have left companies that use my product. So what this enables me to do is then go in and leverage that relationship that this new company, assuming that they're in the same industry, because in my industry, usually if you're in staffing you stay in staffing for the rest of your career. So what I was able to do there, I got an alert that one of my contacts had left the customer went to a prospect of mine. So I was able to leverage that relationship to not only quote that deal to the new company, but also she was able to introduce me to a former employer that I was also able to close. And between those 2 deals that equated to about $110,000 in book revenue. And again, by leveraging my social network and allowing those alerts to come to me.
Amar: Keith, it's such an awesome story that you just shared. And folks I want you to internalize what Keith just said because he was the number 1 rep at Bullhorn for the entire continent of North America. What Keith has taught me about is that 1 degree shift. So if Keith had picked up the phone and tried to call these people, or email them, the chances of response would've been very very low. Let's just call it the way it is. Would they have? Sure, but there is a very very small percentage. So Keith just got smarter and used a different communications medium were buyers are little more responsive. So Keith I appreciate you sharing that story. That's really really powerful stuff. Let's go to you Dale. Any specific examples or success stories you'd like to share with us?
Dale: Yes, I think there's a couple of them. One of them is really sitting and listening to in groups. It's not one of my favorite things to do in the social space. But I was actually able to pick up a couple of deals in groups, and just really listening, and providing valuable content. One of them was down, and a client was asking something about sales process and methodology inside of a-, and driving it within Salesforce. I was able to just have a conversation and say, "You know, what are you looking to do? How are you looking to accomplish it?" And she reached back out to me and we got the deal done. But at the end of the day, if I didn't actually listen within that group, I would've never heard. It's not like that will ever will pop up on my radar from phone calls, or emails. It was just a simple question asked in the group. I said," What are you trying to accomplish?" And really just sat back and listened to what she was trying to do.
Amar: Dale it goes right back into what you were saying, right? Which was, sorry to interrupt, but it goes right back into what you were saying which is listening. It's so critical that you listen. Our buyers are leaving digital and social breadcrumbs all over the place and were not recognizing them as salespeople. So kudos. Any other example Dale? Because I cut you off. Sorry.
Dale: Really the other thing that I would say within the social space is, I think 1 thing that's getting lost in some of this is that your network is growing. And you need to make sure that you're connecting with the right people and not just connecting to connect. One of the things as I took the social selling journey is, I made a lot of really good connections and thought leadership. You know, Amar, you and Jamie, Jill Raleigh. I connected with Jill Raleigh and ended up writing a blog for it. We had a good back-and-forth conversation on LinkedIn. And she sent me a note saying, "Hey, can you write a blog on the difference between traditional selling, sales, selling, methodology, and training? And how it's changing in the digital world. You know, going on site and training versus doing something digitally and over the web." So I got to meet a lot of great people, Mike Kunkel, Anthony Amarino, all these people that I wouldn't have had an opportunity to connect with. It is not just about connecting with your prospects or other people, but there's a lot of thought leaders out there and a lot of them, all these people I mentioned, are more than willing to help you as a social seller become a better social seller. So that's one thing I noticed from the social selling arena, is that the people, and a lot of them are speaking at this conference. So all you have to do is reach out to them. And then they're more than willing to help you, and connect, and drive business for you. I would encourage the listeners of this to reach out to the people on this summit.
Amar: That's awesome. Thanks Dale. Hey Garrett how about you. I'd love to hear your stories from an inside sales perspective. It's one of my favorite arenas.
Garrett: Absolutely. I know the last time that we had a chat I did tell you this story, but for all the listeners on the call here today. I would absolutely agree with what Dale just said as well too. That's exactly why I'm here today quite frankly. The people in your social networks are more than willing to go above and beyond that extra step, that extra mile, to help you out with your journey. I only met Amar through Jill Raleigh as well. So that's really kind of how this whole thing is. And the more is, I've started to realize is that, people are genuinely trying to help you. And that really is the mindset of a social seller when you really think about it. So one of my favorite quotes, that Jill says is, "Give to give and not give to get." I think for me that really does resonate well because it really does sum up what social is about.
For me, my case was a little bit different than both Keith and Dale here, but for me it started out with some research in my CRM system. Basically I was just going through some accounts who maybe had bought from Brocade in the past few years and maybe had stopped buying. I had located this account, I'm not going to say the accounts name, but I located this account within my system and I noticed that they hadn't bought anything for a few years whereas the previous years past they bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gear from us. So started doing some research on LinkedIn. This is really where the custom search filters and the sales navigator really really did help me. I was able to slice and dice the data at this company using LinkedIn. I filtered by location, filtered by titles, and what we had discovered is that there was a contact there who is not within our CRM system. So I reached out to him. I kind of explained what was going on. I said, "Hey Joe, my name is Garrett. I'm actually the new sales rep here for Brocade. I noticed that you guys hadn't bought anything here from us in awhile whereas you guys used to be a pretty active customer. I'd love to chat and see if there's anything we can do to change that." So what I did, I looked up this contact here, I found him, engaged with him on LinkedIn.
And this is literally the most crazy thing that has ever happened to me before as a sales professional. Literally within, probably about 15 to 20 minutes after I had sent my invitation and my message on LinkedIn, actually get a phone call. And it's a number that I've never heard of before. And guess who it was? It was Joe. It was my contact at this company. He picked up the phone out of my message on LinkedIn and he looked at my profile. I saw the little notification that he was viewing my profile. Long story short, we got to talking and he explained to me what happened in the account with the previous Brocade sales rep. I kind of let him know I'm here to help, I'm here to change. Long story short, after that short engagement on social with LinkedIn, I received a phone call, we hashed it out, and within literally maybe 2 weeks after that we were able to close a deal for about $10,000. Not the massive amounts of money they have been purchasing but definitely a good step into the account and reigniting that contact there.
Amar: That's such an awesome story Garrett. Thanks so much for sharing that. So listen, I want everyone to, we're going to wind down at this point. I want everyone to really internalize what Garrett, Dale, and Keith have been saying. These are just examples. Your examples are going to very as well. I want you to start thinking about how you can use social media to get into your sales process. And if you need help there are a ton of free resources out there. Of course there's our website at Sales For Life. Of course there's lots of articles on Forbes, and Business to Community. There's a lot of great resources. Jill Raleigh publishes some of the best content around social out there. So there are some resources. I urge you to start using them and start figuring out tactically how to bring this into your daily sales routine. So guys, I really want to thank you for your time.
What I'm going to do at this point is, you know unfortunately we didn't have time to wind down, but let's start talking about the special prize that I mentioned earlier. Actually before that let's give everyone your contact information guys. So if you want to reach Keith, Garrett, or Dale these are their Twitter handles. Of course feel free to look them up on LinkedIn. I'm sure they would be happy to accept your connect request if you write a nice personalized message saying, "Hey, I saw you on the social selling summit and I want to add you to my network." Feel free to do that. Get to know these guys. See after being connected to them, what you're going to see is their digital body language. You're going to see what they're doing, what they're sharing, what they're writing, what groups they're participating in. Once you start to do that, I believe fundamentally that one of the best ways to become successful is to pattern yourself after successful people. And Keith, Garrett, and Dale are no exceptions to that. I want you to follow them, connect with them, and pattern yourself after them because these guys are going to help you make money, quite frankly. And let's be selfish, that's why we're all here, right? We're in sales, it's about the bottom line. So I want to thank all my esteemed panelists.
Now let's move on. Here's a special prize I talked about earlier. If you're listening to the session right now and you tweet me with the #socialsuccessfactor, then I'm going to pick up to 3 people, and you and your teams will get free social selling training from me personally. Okay? So this is a great offer. Tweet me right now, there's my Twitter handle @Amarsheth #socialsuccessfactor so I know that you found me from this session. And I'll be more than happy to talk to you then. So, what's the end goal? I want you to kickstart your social selling efforts. It's time to move forward. Now you've just heard a bunch of great stories. By the way guys, these are 3 people. These are 3 people. Here's the good news. The good news is that, there's good news and better news. Here's the good news. That there's over 50,000 people in the world that have been formally trained on social selling. Here's the better news. That there's only 50,000 people that have been formally trained on social selling.
So what this means for you is that, if you get in now, you will have a massive 1st mover advantage. And if you talk to Keith, and Garrett, and Dale they'll attest to this because they're kicking their competitors behind's. They're able to get into deals and open doors faster than ever before because because their competitors are just waiting on the phone. That's all they're doing. So that's a very key message and I hope you take that 1 nugget away from today. And obviously connect with me, I'm your friendly host, Amar Sheth. There's my Twitter handle, and my LinkedIn address, look me up. I'd be more than happy to connect with you.
So, I want to thank Dale, Keith, and Garrett once again. Thanks so much for your time. And hey, let's connect up and let's keep the conversations going. Thanks everyone, enjoy the rest of your summit. Have a great day.