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May 13

Colleen McKenna on How Companies Increase Sales

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Colleen is the Principal at Intero Advisory. Her job is to shake up the digital status quo. Her company helps clients connect the dots, and leverage LinkedIn to further their reach, increase their influence and engage with their current and potential customers/clients.

Colleen and her team have been training, coaching, writing profiles, developing strategic plans, writing content, managing advertising campaigns, and sourcing talent for companies of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their job is to make you awesomer.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Your profile should be written for your audience, not for your ego
  • Don't be shy to delete connections that are no longer your ideal clients
  • Don't pitch too early

Contact Colleen:

#LinkedIn #salestraining #salesenablement #nolimitsselling

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello, everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:35
Today I'd like to invite Colleen McKenna, the principal at Intero Advisory. Colleen, welcome to the show.

Colleen McKenna 0:41
Great to be here with you. I'm excited to engage in some good conversation with you.

Umar Hameed 0:46
Brilliant. I think the last time we did a podcast, a [garbled] was eight years ago, longer.

Colleen McKenna 0:52
It's probably eight years ago. I've been in business since January of 2011. And I think it was probably pretty early on in the days of our business. So yes, it's probably seven or eight years.

Umar Hameed 1:04
Brilliant. So one of the areas that you are an expert at is using LinkedIn as a business tool and Sales Navigator as a business tool to help the organization increase sales.

Colleen McKenna 1:15
Correct. So we really have focused on LinkedIn exclusively since the very beginning, I've come out of the B2B space, my background is sales so LinkedIn was unnatural for me. And I really felt like LinkedIn wasn't the most glamorous of platforms, but it could deliver really some of the most, the greatest value. Today, what we're doing is recruiting, business development, branding. And we're really working with companies to make sure that they understand how they can really actually leverage LinkedIn to drive sales and find the talent they need. Everybody talks to us about finding talent and how hard it is. And yet many people are still relying on the old ways of finding talent, which really needs to be rethought and reworked in companies.

Umar Hameed 2:07
LinkedIn has a potential of being really effective if you know what you're doing. And I get a lot of InMails and connections that aren't done with elegance.

Colleen McKenna 2:17
Yes.

Umar Hameed 2:17
So walk me through a campaign, if you will, working with a company, and to help their sales people get more leads at the top of the funnel. What does that look like? What does that campaign look like?

Colleen McKenna 2:29
Well, first, it starts with somebody's profile. And so we've moved from doing just one profile for you know, the CEO to doing the entire leadership team and doing the whole sales team, because we want these sales people to not have online resumes for profiles, but we want to build them so that they are sales and marketing tools for them. And when we think about that, those profiles should be written to their ideal audience.

Umar Hameed 2:57
Brilliant.

Colleen McKenna 2:57
So right, when you think about a salesperson who's looking for a job, they need to really tout all their accomplishments and highlights and how strong of a salesperson they are.

Umar Hameed 3:08
[Garbled] back will work for food.

Colleen McKenna 3:10
Right? Exactly right. And but when they join the company, they really need to change the voice of that profile. Because if I'm a potential prospect, and I see how great a salesperson they are, and they made president's club and exceeded quota, I may feel as a prospect that I'm going to get sold.

Colleen McKenna 3:29
Right.

Colleen McKenna 3:30
And so we don't want that. How are they going to create value? What's the value proposition? What products...

Umar Hameed 3:35
Hold there for a second, because that's brilliant, isn't it? Because most people, salespeople, especially they earned this award. And they think this would be a great way of showcasing themselves, but it's not really about you. It's about the audience, what emotion you invoke in them in order for them to take action?

Colleen McKenna 3:54
Completely. And I love how you put that it's about what they're going to do how they feel. Right. So I have a client who says your LinkedIn profile is your digital handshake. And what I will often say, especially to sales people, would you say that in person? Is that how you would introduce yourself?

Umar Hameed 4:12
So I would change that? I think it's a brilliant way your customer said that. But I think it's a maybe it's the way you hug your customer?

Colleen McKenna 4:21
Yeah, right. I like that.

Umar Hameed 4:23
Emotions move, right?

Colleen McKenna 4:24
Absolutely.

Umar Hameed 4:24
So brilliant. So you help people get the right profile? What's the next step? If they got the profile right? How do they build a network and how did they get leads?

Colleen McKenna 4:36
Right. So the very next step is downloading their network. Who are you currently connected to, because people call us all the time

Umar Hameed 4:44
By the way, that's Sophie in the background.

Colleen McKenna 4:46
I know I saw Sophie, that's great. Sophie's, feel free to join us so far. And, you know, people will call and say, "Hey, I need some new leads," and I'm like, "No problem. We can do some searches, however who are you currently connected to?"

Umar Hameed 5:02
Right.

Colleen McKenna 5:03
And what's interesting is that I have found that sales people where I've seen reluctance from salespeople in using LinkedIn, when you ask a couple of questions, because it doesn't really make sense to me why they're not leveraging LinkedIn, it's because they may have moved industries. So I was working with somebody who was a healthcare recruiter.

Umar Hameed 5:23
Right.

Colleen McKenna 5:23
And now he worked for an IT company. And finally, he said to me in a one on one, you know, what my network does it really make sense for what I do now? Like, okay, well, let's clean out your network, then write, clean it out, restart it.

Umar Hameed 5:39
What does that mean clean out? Do you disconnect from people are starting new profile?

Colleen McKenna 5:44
I would definitely not start a new profile. Because we're one person, one personal brand, people get confused, they don't know which one to pick, and half the time they pick wrong. So it's cleaning out it's downloading your network, it is saying that, you know, there are lots of people in this network that I you, that I connected with, because I was a recruiter and healthcare. And now I'm a business development person in IT, these people no longer really maybe make sense for me to be connected to, or I never knew them anyway, right? Or there's no potential business opportunity. And I don't say to decimate your network, because LinkedIn pays particular attention to the value and the relevance of your network. So the more people you're connected to, the more people you have exposure to, however, cleaning it up, just like you would a regular email database, right? Or...

Umar Hameed 6:35
Right.

Colleen McKenna 6:35
...you want to make sure it's clean and fresh. So then start reconnecting with people who are relevant to what you're [garbled].

Umar Hameed 6:42
So let's say you're no longer interested in Colleen as a connection,

Colleen McKenna 6:46
Correct.

Umar Hameed 6:46
[Garbled]. So I would go to your connection and say, disconnect,

Colleen McKenna 6:52
You would go to my profile, where it says more, you click on more. And then it'll say remove, and you can remove me as the connection as a first level connection. I am not notified. The only way I would know is if I went to your profile, and saw next to my name a second, and not first. But if I don't know you, I wouldn't even know to do that, right?

Umar Hameed 7:15
Yes. And by the way, if you do delete Colleen, from your profile, LinkedIn will shut down your account. So now that we've got the database cleaned up, and we've got the right audience for us, then what?

Colleen McKenna 7:31
Then I suggest you start increasing your visibility on LinkedIn, by curating or creating content that you share, and that you start to engage.

Umar Hameed 7:41
It's relevant to your audience.

Colleen McKenna 7:41
It's relevant to your audience. We're not looking to create noise, because there's a whole lot of noise out there. But what would bring value to your network? And that could be any number of things from any number of publishers or your own website, your own company's website, industry information, what do you want to be known for, because remember, in your profile, we're trying to make you look like a subject matter expert in whatever you're working on today. So creating content, or at least curating other people's content, and then creating some searches, very specific searches in LinkedIn that help you identify your best client or customer and start reaching out to those second level connections that fit that criteria within LinkedIn.

Umar Hameed 8:33
So it seems like gone are the days where LinkedIn was really if you don't know this person don't connect. It seems like it's loosened up a bit that I can reach out to somebody that might be a good business contact for me to do I read that, right?

Colleen McKenna 8:44
Yes. And but I would say, what's interesting is that more people are, are more careful with their networks now than ever. Because there are hackers, because there are people who have fake profiles. And, and so I find, especially on the C-level, you know, the leadership teams, they really want to know, the people they're connecting to. So I think it depends on the strategy, sales, people should be a little bit more lenient with who they're connecting with, right? Because it may not be that person. But it could be somebody that that person knows, right could be a prospect. Recruiters totally different strategy. It is just another database for them. So they might have 10, 20, 30,000 people in their network.

Umar Hameed 9:28
Let's see something else. We've got John in Baltimore, he is a VP at a company. I have an acquaintance with him. I don't really know him that well, but enough to say hello,

Colleen McKenna 9:39
Right.

Umar Hameed 9:40
What's the most courteous way if he knows somebody that I want to get introduced to? Is there any thoughts on how to make that request? Like if it was you and I we have more of a relationship and I say, hey, Pauline, how are you? I need an introduction. Could you do one, give our listeners examples of someone that you know how you would ask and someone that's just coming Have a an acquaintance? How would you ask differently?

Colleen McKenna 10:03
I would definitely ask differently. And I might actually not even ask at all. Initially, I might, instead reach out to that person who's an acquaintance and say, you know, I really like to know the people in my network. And while we're connected, we really haven't had an opportunity to talk.

Umar Hameed 10:21
By the way, we look like an arch villain with a cat.

Colleen McKenna 10:26
You look like you're having fun over there. And, and I would probably have a conversation with that person first. And it actually just happened to me last night, I went to an event, a networking event in Baltimore, and saw somebody who I've been connected to for years, and we've never had the occasion to meet. Somebody said, Oh, my gosh, you haven't met him yet. I said, not in person, although I see all of his stuff on LinkedIn. And sometimes sometimes try to engage with him on LinkedIn. And we had a great conversation, spend about 10 minutes talking, he sent me a message this morning, we're going to go grab some lunch together, and a couple weeks.

Umar Hameed 11:03
Nice.

Colleen McKenna 11:04
And so from there now, I think that will pivot the conversation so that I can be helpful to him, and he could be helpful to me, you know, so I think it depends on the person and how comfortable they are being a good connector as well.

Umar Hameed 11:19
So just to kind of reiterate, because I want to make sure people get this point, if it's someone you know that you've got a strong relationship. on LinkedIn, it's easy to do the answer. But it won't be wider, just call but if someone just you know, not so intimately a call and reconnect at the human level first. And once you've got that relationship started, then move over to do that.

Colleen McKenna 11:41
I think so i think that that's a better way, I think it feels better for the other person. And my guess is by doing it, that way, you'll actually end up with better introductions, because they'll know how to introduce you. And maybe even one or two more.

Umar Hameed 11:56
Brilliant. And I think it just goes back to just plain old good manners.

Colleen McKenna 11:59
Absolutely. I say it over and over again. Would you say that in public? If the answer's no, don't say it on LinkedIn, right? or slow down? A lot of people are pitching way too early, way, way too early. Would you say that in person? No, then you've gone too far. Because most CEOs will say to me, what makes me crazy about LinkedIn is as soon as I connect with the salesperson, they want to set up a meeting.

Umar Hameed 12:27
Right.

Colleen McKenna 12:28
So we've got to pull it back, I'm gonna pull it back a little bit.

Umar Hameed 12:32
We've helped a company get the right profiles, we've cleaned up their database, we've shown them how to go out and reach out and build their network, start creating content that's relevant to your audience, what's next?

Colleen McKenna 12:44
Follow up. So very often, it might be 8 to 12 touches just as it is in a traditional sales cycle, to actually get on somebody's radar. So staying in touch, being a good social citizen, I think is also important. And what I mean by that is, how are you going to help somebody else?

Umar Hameed 13:02
Absolutely.

Colleen McKenna 13:03
Right. write a recommendation for a client, maybe reach out, look inside your network and think about people that you know, and how you can connect them.

Umar Hameed 13:14
Alan Weiss, I'm not sure if he's still alive and kicking, he said he keeps a whiteboard near his computer. And he's got the name calling McKenna saying, I want to make sure I get her a connection. You may not have one in mind. But he wants a relationship with you. And it's just top of mind for him. And he's like, ah, I know who to connect her with.

Colleen McKenna 13:32
Mm hmm. I think that's brilliant, right? And I think we need to be more active-proactive in that regard. When you when you introduce to people to one another, I think 99% of the time, the first thing they'll talk about is you.

Umar Hameed 13:46
Yes.

Colleen McKenna 13:47
And that's not a bad thing, right? Once again, creating that emotion and paying it forward and creating a little karma, some good, good vibes.

Umar Hameed 13:57
Brilliant. Any other advice for we switch topics to Sales Navigator.

Colleen McKenna 14:01
So I also think that what's really important is not only to build that profile, so it's a good marketing profile. But it's also really important to talk about your culture and become a mini recruiter, if you will. So think about putting on your profile, Hey, you know what, we're looking for great talent in our company. We're a great company. And you know, in talking about the culture a little bit, because if you're somebody that your company's trying to find another person like you and other salesperson, you probably are connected to some of those sales people. So share those job descriptions, and those open posts and, you know, positions into your network.

Umar Hameed 14:43
Brilliant. And just want to commend you. I was watching something on YouTube. It's a very popular show and they had a guest on that say international figure. And it's all about we're all connected and giving and you can do whatever you want. And every third phrase out of his mouth was, You know, that's my book, and I don't want to give away too much. And it was just like, well, what you're saying and what you're preaching are two different things. And what I get from you is anything I can do to help you? I will. And that's a place of generosity. And I appreciate that.

Colleen McKenna 15:14
Well, thank you, I appreciate it. I think we all have to come work from this place of abundance, right, and generosity and...

Umar Hameed 15:20
Absolutely. At the end of the today, I'm never gonna be as good as LinkedIn as you so...

Colleen McKenna 15:23
Well, and everybody's got their thing. And there's enough business for all of us actually.

Umar Hameed 15:29
Absolutely.

Colleen McKenna 15:29
There's no doubt about that.

Umar Hameed 15:31
So let's flip over to Sales Navigator, which is disappointing in one sense, only, a lot of the functionality was free at one point on LinkedIn, testing it and now all of a sudden is $80. a month or more, right. Other than that, it's a pretty awesome tool.

Colleen McKenna 15:47
It is a very awesome tool. And much like you, yes, it used to all be in linkedin.com. And, and today, we really don't even recommend premium. LinkedIn.

Umar Hameed 15:58
Right.

Colleen McKenna 15:58
We recommend if you were premium downgrade, and then choose Sales Navigator. And by the way, it is not an upgrade premium. So if your premium and you add Sales Navigator, you could be paying for two products so be careful.

Umar Hameed 16:11
And I think I am right now so I should..

Colleen McKenna 16:13
Yeah, you want you want to fix that. However, what I will say is that Sales Navigator is a great product for people who are very serious about using LinkedIn, intentionally for business development and sales. However, it needs a process. People we talk to people every day, our team, and most people, I would say 80% of people will say, Yes, I use Sales Navigator, I did not see the value in it. And I get that. And then our question is, did you have a process for it? Hmm, not really, the whole key to Sales Navigator is having a workflow for it. And that workflow will keep you organized, and keep everything moving. So that you you're you know what the next step is at all times.

Umar Hameed 17:08
So just going to lock down that point. Life is all about process. Even if you're an artist, there's a process to it. And a lot of people shy away from that. If you don't have a process, you don't know what's broken,

Colleen McKenna 17:24
Right.

Umar Hameed 17:24
And if it isn't working, they can go to an SEO expert and say, Well, I'm doing navigator is not working. What's your processing? Oh, you're missing this step. So yes, brilliant, have a process. And what does that process look like?

Colleen McKenna 17:37
So the process is pretty basic. Actually, I you know, I hate to say that our secret sauce is pretty basic but it really is. It's sourcing the right people. And being very specific with all the filters using as many of them as you possibly can. Having your messaging ready with a sequence of messages that will go through LinkedIn Sales Navigator, saving the people tagging the people, then what we do is we try to get our clients connected to those people,

Umar Hameed 18:10
Right.

Colleen McKenna 18:10
So we don't use InMail the same way most people talk about InMail, because a lot of people don't know how to accept an InMail. And then you don't get it back right, you get a credit back if somebody accepts it. So it's going through the process with very specific messages that hopefully and our you know, and our job is to make sure that it creates the emotion we're hoping to create, with a call to action, to go back to a website to download something to go to RSVP to an event. But we're once again, we're creating it from a place where there's information and education without selling. And then once we do three or four sequences of messages through LinkedIn will say you know what, pick up the phone now, or send them a regular email. Because not everybody's going to respond through LinkedIn. But our team last year source 60,000 profiles for clients nice through navigator. So it's knowing trying to look for those indicators that will suggest that person's actually using LinkedIn, because then you'll have a better rate of people accepting and responding.

Umar Hameed 19:23
Brilliant. Any tips on if you post an article, are there any best practices to get more horsepower out of it?

Colleen McKenna 19:32
Well, you know, I love great content. And we write a lot of content and I post a fair amount of content. I would say make sure that you introduce the content with your thought on that content, right? So just don't put the content out there. But sort of

Umar Hameed 19:50
This is what it means.

Colleen McKenna 19:50
process it. Yeah, this means this is why you should pay attention, right? However, I will say that in addition to all the great content Show yourself with people. If you're a trainer, show yourself training, right? If you're out at a networking event or at a trade show or a conference, show engagement, show yourself with other people because people love people. And no matter how great the content is, people, you'll get more views, where there's people involved.

Umar Hameed 20:23
Brilliant. So Colleen, before we part company, I know you have a membership site to help people kind of learn at their own pace, tell us about that.

Colleen McKenna 20:31
Right. So over the last couple of years, we really spent a lot of time thinking about how people learn. And you know, we go in, and we do workshops, and training and webinars, and it's just way too much on LinkedIn. It's too nuanced. So we built a membership site that would allow people individuals to learn LinkedIn, on their at their own pace, or use it as reinforcement for whatever training we've already done. And then we have so that's one version. And then we have an executive version for companies so that they can actually bring it in house, have a trainer, and internal marketing or HR person, learn it, and then share it with the team.

Umar Hameed 21:09
Brilliant train the trainer.

Colleen McKenna 21:11
Train the trainer, and it's everything we talked about all day long.

Umar Hameed 21:15
Colleen, I appreciate you and the level of professionalism you bring to the craft of LinkedIn.

Colleen McKenna 21:21
Well, thank you. I appreciate it's always great to talk with you.

Umar Hameed 21:29
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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