Episode 11: 7 Mistakes Bankers Make on LinkedIn
7 Mistakes Bankers Make on LinkedIn
Join Jack Rants with Brynne, hosted by Jack Hubbard and Brynne Tillman as they delve into the world of LinkedIn for bankers. In this engaging discussion, Jack Hubbard and Brynne Tillman explore the common pitfalls that bankers encounter on LinkedIn and offer practical solutions for building meaningful connections. Discover how to transform your LinkedIn profile from a traditional resume into a valuable resource, engage with relevant industry content, and establish authentic relationships. Learn the art of leveraging your network to gain access to ideal clients and prospects, while avoiding the pitfalls of cold calling. Tune in to uncover actionable insights that will help you navigate the world of LinkedIn and connect with potential clients in a more impactful way.Click to Watch the Video
Jack Hubbard 00:01
I've had the privilege of being in and around banking for more than 50 years. Lots of changes during that time. We've gone from Ledger's to laptops, typewriters to technology. One thing, however, remains the same. Banking is a people business. And I'll be talking with those people that make banking great here on Jack Raths With Modern Bankers.
Welcome to Jack Rants With Brynne, brought to you by our friends at RelPro and Vertical IQ. I'm Jack Hubbard, managing partner of The Modern Banker. And every week at this time, my friend and partner Brynne Tillman, the CEO of The Modern Banker. Discuss all things LinkedIn for bankers, Hi Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:46
Hey, Jack, I'm so excited about this continuing program that we're going to be doing every week, and bringing value to our banker friends. So let's get started.
Jack Hubbard 00:59
Yeah, I'm really excited about it, too. This is our first program and we've picked a really good topic, I think, Brynne, “The Seven Mistakes Bankers Make On LinkedIn And How To Fix Them.” So you're right, let's get right to it with our first issue, something that you and I have a significant passion for and that's the profiles that are simply more resume like and less resource like talk about that look.
Brynne Tillman 01:28
Yeah, you know, that is a big mistake that bankers, specifically client facing bankers make. They talk about, you know, their production numbers, they talk about their successes in selling clients versus bringing value and resources. Here's the thing, I know that LinkedIn profiles, initially were built for the resume view. But when you are out there, connecting with potential customers, referral partners in the business world, the last thing they care about are your great negotiating skills. What they care about is how you can help them or their clients. So we need to convert our profile from a resume to a resource. And there are key places throughout our profile where we can do this.
The first one is the headline, Jack, we talk about this often, that headline is significant. So moving it from a commercial banker at ABC credit union, to who you help, how you help them, the results that you can bring, and even the products and services you represent, is going to attract them a little bit more. Once we've got that headline nailed, and they scroll down a little bit, we get to the about section. And often bankers have their about section. It's all about me, my passion, my vision, my and although people do care about you, they don't yet. This is the very first experience they're having on your profile. And this really needs to be about how you help them. This is the beginning of being a resource.
So when we start this section with, here's the challenge small businesses are facing in the Seattle area, right? Whatever you're, these are the struggles and the challenges they're facing in cash flow with inventory and logistics, whatever it is, right? And then give them some insights. And these are banker, agnostic insights. These are things that they should expect from their bank in order to leverage the money and the power that they get from having a good bank in order to fix those problems. But we're not saying “Hey, we do this.” What we're saying is, here's what you need from your banker, or here's what you need.
And so we're reframing what you do as a banker to what you should expect and it goes from I'm pitching or selling you to I’m educating and informing you. And that reframe creates a dynamic where people are absolutely thrilled to to work with you because they see you as a resource. Jack, we've talked about the corporate vision study where 74% of buyers choose the sales rep or company. I'd love to switch that out for bankers but it's a study. So, 74% of buyers choose the sales rep or company that was first to add value and insight.
It's not on rate, guys, I know we always, well, we're a little more, our rates are a little higher than the guy next door. That's not how they're choosing you. They're choosing you based on the value you can bring to the business. Add to that a little bit, Jack.
Jack Hubbard 05:24
Well, a couple of things. First of all, I've always said, as I've trained a lot of bankers over the past 50 years, there's nothing worse than a desperate salesperson. And when you're so desperate to put in your about section or in your headline, something to the effect of we need deposits, or we're selling deposits, or something along those lines, your product pitching, and you're commoditizing yourself, there are about 1.3 million commercial bankers out there. And one of the things that I always tell people is if you want to commoditize yourself, put your title in your headline.
The second thing I say is if you really want to come out of touch yourself, put the name of your bankers credit union and headline, we need to use that real estate brand better. And one final thought before you jump back into other areas of the profile. I've seen so many bankers that don't have an about section at all. So what happens is they end up going right down to their experience, which talks more about products and how long they've been in banking, etc. There's no buffer there to talk about how people help.
Brynne Tillman 06:33
Yeah, I mean, that's a really interesting observation. And that about section is great real estate. And so it's a huge opportunity to show up as that resource. And by the way, side note, even if you're like, “Hey, I'm not using LinkedIn a lot right now.” you're still getting vetted, they're still googling you and they're still showing up at your profile. So this is how your prospective clients, customers are seeing you and referral partners are seeing you because they are vetting you, and they're Googling you and inevitably, in the top three is going to be your LinkedIn profile. So really important. I'm going to quickly go through two more areas, although we could spend the whole day on profile, we have some more.
The featured section, this is the scroll stopper, this is the visual. So when someone is scrolling, you can connect to posts that you've put out there to blog posts or videos that are on the bank website, content, content, content, content, when they scroll down, we call this scroll stopper because that's what it does. And so make sure you've got and we recommend at least three great pieces of content, and mix it up. If you've got video, if you've got other things now you'll see if you check back in about an hour if you're live. And then if you're hearing this recording, who knows what's there. But this will then get connected to my featured until next week's. So this is actually going to be the primary place on your profile that's dynamic, most everything is generally static. You set it and forget it. But the featured section, this is relevant, and important.
And then the last thing, I'm gonna head back up to the top, which is your banner, this is an opportunity here for you. If you have an event at a branch, you can, you know, put the event date and time and the branch address and join us for cocktail hour, whatever that might be. Maybe you're going to a trade show, or a conference or mention it there. So I did this about three years ago, right before the pandemic actually. And I had put on as I was just testing it, and I had put on that I was going to a conference in Texas and that I was going to be there. I didn't have a booth. I wasn't even speaking. I was going and I ended up meeting with three people that I wouldn't have met because they saw I was going there right in my banner. So just keep in mind that these are opportunities for us to really connect with people, not just show off our resume.
Jack Hubbard 09:42
Absolutely. And speaking of connecting our friend, Ken Bostwick is on and saying “It’s so great to see you both” and it's great to see you Ken. And I'm so glad that we see Ken there because the next mistake is “Connect and Forget,” and that's something that Ken Bostwick doesn't do. He's always connecting, and then reconnecting.
Brynne Tillman 10:07
Yeah. So, Jack, we have talked about this numerous times, not just in our training, but even in our like discussion about how we best leverage our current connections. The first thing we have to do is take inventory. We have to know who we're connected with. The average banker has over 2000 connections now. 2000 connections. There is no way that they're following up with each of these appropriately. I mean, this is definitely an opportunity. So we recommend you either search your first degree connections, or export your connections, and take inventory, take a look at who you have been ignoring.
We are not saying go through every one and reach out. It's about 10%. So if you have 2000 connections, there are 200 people in your network that you're ignoring that you'd love to be having a conversation with. So it's really important that we invest in our energy. First and foremost, when we're using LinkedIn for social selling, that the energy goes into taking inventory and identifying current or past clients, potential prospects, and referral partners, how many CPAs are you connected to? How many state attorneys? Even if it's three or four, these are your perfect referral partners, we should be re-engaging.
Jack Hubbard 11:38
Absolutely! And the next two have to do with content. And it's so good that Kathy Berman is here, Kathy is my boss, actually one of my bosses at The School of Banking. She's wonderful. And Kathy and I work together on the Graduate School of Banking, Sales and Marketing School, which is coming up in the fall. But content is so important Brynne and one of the things that I think bankers make a mistake about is sharing content only bankers or they care about. Talk about that.
Brynne Tillman 12:12
Oh, my gosh, Jack, we were working with a banker, who, you know, we just just started a little bit of work with them. And they got very, very excited and they started sharing lots of content. And he came back to us and he's like, “I'm getting lots of engagement.” This is amazing. And then we were like, “That’s great! Let's start conversations with these folks.” And we started to look at who was liking, who was commenting, who was reposting. And they were all bankers. Why because he was sharing content that he cared about. And so his peers in the world care about.
So we really need to do a little bit of social research and social listening, absolutely vital in my mind, so that when we are sharing content, it's content that they want to consume, not necessarily content that I want to share. And this is where I think Vertical IQ comes in as an incredible opportunity. Guys listening, Vertical IQ curates industry specific content and trends. So when a banker is going after, let's say, a plastics manufacturing company, they could go in not just educate themselves on what's going on in the industry, but have content to offer their prospects, whether you're sharing it on your homepage or sharing it in an individual message that ultimately will engage them around the content, they care about.
One little bonus, find out who your prospect is selling to so if your plastics manufacturing is selling to ABC Milk Company, find some information that's happening in the dairy industry because they care about that, too. They want to know what's going on with their customers. So it is absolutely vital that we break out of our banker box and start sharing content that our prospects want to consume.
Jack Hubbard 14:21
Yeah, absolutely. And your point about Vertical IQ is so spot on. And here's Susan Bell, jumping on our first program, which is great. It's great to see Susan. So this whole content thing is so absolutely vital and I love what you said about thinking about other industries. I'll give you an example. This morning, I posted something that doesn't have to do with us, but it has to do with my friend Chris Nichols who posts great things every single week, and today's was about 10 Things Around The Branch. I've had amazing engagement on that and that's so powerful because people are getting benefit out of that. And your point about when we get on LinkedIn and when we connect with people, education, information and value is so vital.
But here's the other problem that we have. I've talked about engagement, which means you engaged, I reengaged with you. You're having a program with Stan Robinson on on Sales Navigator in June. I engaged, he engaged back that's going to continue that into people's news feeds, Brynne. The problem was some bankers are Mistake number four, post and ghost.
Are you a commercial or business banker looking to build relationships with small and midsize companies? RelPro is a business development and relationship management solution being used by bankers to find new prospects, learn more about them, and keep tabs on them as well as your existing customers. Want to learn more? Go to relpro.com to schedule a demo today.
Brynne Tillman 15:56
Oh, Jack, this is one of the bigger mistakes people make. I'll work with a banker and they're like “I posted something last week and I only got 100 views and one like.” Well, it's a myth, if you post it, they will come, you have to invite them. And there's lots of ways to do this. So for example, if we take I'm gonna go back to plastic manufacturing, and it's just such a random industry. But hey, so let's say that's an industry that we're really going after, we can post the content around plastics manufacturing, and then reach out to all of our connections that we've identified in plastics manufacturing, that we want to engage, send it to them, there’s a little paper airplane that you can send it to them, and you can actually blind copy 50 people, and it's pretty easy to do.
And I can send the same thing “I just recently found this great article on plastics manufacturing. And, you know, as a professional in the industry, it would be a great honor if you share your perspective and comments.” And so we are now starting a conversation about asking them for their expertise. We come in at such a high level of credibility when we ask them for their thoughts and perspective. You know, it's the old saying, you know, if you're at a networking meeting, and you talk 20% of the time, and they took 80% of the time, they'd say that you're a great conversationalist. It's the same thing here, when we are asking them for their insights more than us sharing our insights, they love us. And it's just such a great way to start a relationship.
Jack Hubbard 17:42
That's so true. And the next one is so interesting as well. And I want to bring in our friends at RelPro for this one. Cold calling on LinkedIn is a real problem. And it's getting worse and worse. And what's really neat about RelPro is if I'm trying to connect with someone, I can look at RelPro and I can see their personal awards, if the company has had some kind of accomplishment, if they've opened a new product line, if they had a groundbreaking or a ribbon cutting, all those things are right there on RelPro. But, Brynne, this whole cold calling on LinkedIn is getting worse.
Brynne Tillman 18:24
It is but I will tell you if you're reaching out cold because you saw they won an award or they did something great in the community, where it's not cold calling about you but congratulating them on the incredible successes that they're having. You can start a rapport with someone. You can start the beginnings of a relationship with someone that's not about selling the bank services. And that's a very different approach. And I know as bankers often like, we're like, “Hey, I've got a nut, I've got a number I know what I have to achieve.” So we get stuck on thinking what is this prospect worth to us. But the goal at this point, and RelPro helps us do this, as well as Vertical IQ is we need to show up as a resource, we need to be a value to them, so that we can earn the right to have a conversation about the bank.
You would not go into a conference, walk up to someone and blindly say, “Here's my business card. We help small businesses get lines of credit in some Treasury services.” You wouldn't do that. So why are we doing it on LinkedIn? Right? We need to start small talk around what matters to them. And that's around content or like Jack said in RelPro around what they're going through. If someone reached out to me and said, “Congratulations on your sales training award.” I don't know who they are, where they came from, but I like them. Thank you for taking the time. do that. So really that this is how you build rapport without being salesy.
Jack Hubbard 20:07
And you know, Brynne, I never, I never really believe that until I put it into practice. And I think that's the other thing that we have to talk about on these programs is you want to make sure that you're doing something as a result of this. So it was, it was the middle of February and I know a banker that became president of a bank in Iowa. And they announced his name and a press release and things like that on Sales Navigator. So I saw it. And I referred it over to him and I congratulated him, etc, within less than an hour. On a Saturday, in the middle of winter in Iowa, what do you do? And he said, “Hey, Jack, congratulations. Thanks for congratulating me. Great to talk to you. Haven't talked to you in a while. Let's connect.” So now I have the opportunity to reach out to that banker versus just picking up the phone even though he knows me.
I think the other thing too Bryne is you look at Mike from Cincinnati. Mike's coming to check in from Cincinnati, Ohio. Great to see you, Mike. And thanks so much for sweeping the Cubs last week, three games in a row. But my point with Mike is, if I were to reach out with my cold calling, the likelihood of him talking to me or even having time to do that is zero. But if I know he's at Cincinnati, and I can see his LinkedIn profile, and we have some level of commonality, now I can reach out to him, connect with him and start a dialogue.
You know, the top of the funnel is so critical, Brynne, it's not about making a sale on the first call. In fact, what I always tell people when they make a discovery call is that there's a high likelihood you won't make a sale on that first call but it's also potential that you could lose the sale on the first call. So you have to be really, really careful about that. Which leads me to my next problem. And mistake, which is exactly what I just discussed, connect and pitch.
Brynne Tillman 22:10
Oh, you know, I'm curious, those that are live, put in in your chat. If you've been a victim of “connect and pitch” put a little “V” in the chat. I'm curious how many people on this call right now have been a victim of this. I know I'm almost every single day. I'm getting this now. And the bottom line is they haven't earned the right just because someone accepts your connection request doesn't give you the right to pitch them.
So I want you to think about… So connect and pitch is a bait and switch by the way. This is really scary and I am using that. It's really a scary problem because it is ultimately doing the exact opposite of what you want to do. You want to build trust, and credibility and when you pitch too soon, you lose trust, and credibility. So what do we want to do? We want to have a discussion around what matters to them. So why do we want to connect? Maybe we identify, they shared some content, and we engage in their content and I connect around, “Hey, I'd love to connect and continue to follow your content. May I ask you what other content and topics are you interested in?”
And then when they tell you go find something, go to YouTube or Vertical IQ or somewhere, right? Go find the content that they said they're interested in. And they're like, you're like, “Oh, by the way, I recently came across a video, let's say in YouTube around XY and Z.” Be careful if you have not listened to it. Just say “It's in my cue to listen to it. I haven't listened to it yet but based on the fact that you like this content, I thought I'd share it with you.” Not your stuff, right? This is another place where Vertical IQ is great, right? You go in, you know, what else do you talk about? And go find in the industry? Or what industries are you interested in? Go find content that will be helpful to them?
So you're not talking about the bank at all. I want you to picture yourself in an in person meeting. And how much back and forth Do you have before you talk about yourself? And my trick even in person, Jack, I may have learned this from you. I don't ever say what I do until they ask. Talk a little bit about that because I definitely learned that from you.
Jack Hubbard 24:51
Yeah. And when they ask, customize your answer based on a problem that they might be having. So I’ll give you an example of that. I was working with a banker. And she said, “Well, how do you customize your personal capability statement versus an elevator speech?” And she said, Well, when I go to a car dealer show, the car dealer says, What do you do? And she'll say, I help car dealers decide whether they should put a quick lube operation into their store or not. Now, that is exactly what the car dealer needs to be thinking about not Well, I'm a relationship manager, and I sing my song and I do my kindergarten stuff that you know, you're exactly right about that for sure. Let's do the last one, Brynne, not leveraging your network to gain access to your ideal clients.
Brynne Tillman 25:50
Well, this is the solution to the cold call, period, end of story. Identify who you want to get in front of. And through LinkedIn search with the second degree filter, we can see who we know, that knows who we want to get in front of right? This is leveraging our social proximity. So I identify “Hey, Susan Bell knows Jack Hubbard, and I love to get in front of Jack Hubbard.” So I reached out to Susan and I say, “Hey, Susan, how do you know Jack?” She’s like, “We're old friends. He's a great guy.” Well, here's why I'd like to reach out to him. I'd love to have a conversation around X, Y, and Z. Do you think it makes sense? Do you think you'd get value from that? The goal is for her to say yes. And then I can either ask her for an introduction, or can I mention that we had this channel? Tell Jack, you said hello and that you thought it made sense for me to reach out?
And Susan says, “Sure, of course.” So I’m like, “Jack, Susan Bell and I were chatting the other day on LinkedIn and your name came up in conversation. When I told her a little bit about what I do. She thought it made sense for me to reach out.” I forgot to say that Susan said hello. She thought it made sense for me to reach out to introduce myself.
I'm going to assume the call because Susan said. So please let me know your preferred way of scheduling. If it happens to be the calendar link, here's mine, I'm looking forward to meeting you. 50% of them convert to a conversation. 50. Now, of course, it takes a little bit more time. It just does, right. However, the return when we slow down our outreach, it speeds up our outcome. Right, we're more purposeful. We're more relationship and rapport driven. And it makes all the difference in the world.
Jack Hubbard 27:47
And think of what Brynne just said, 50% convert to a conversation. I've seen a statistic, if you have a referral from a center of influence, and you pick up the phone and you say, “Susan Bell, your CPA suggested I give you a call.” You're 82% likely to get an appointment. So why wouldn't you use your network? And when we say words like leverage or use, it doesn't mean bad. I'm not going to go around Susan's back, I'm not going to say something that puts some words in her mouth. But I am going to try to see if she knows people that I might be able to get into see, we also have to remember this Brynne as we as we kind of wrap this up I know is we got to make sure that we're doing something for Susan too, I want to make sure that there's some level of reciprocity and one of the things that maybe Susan all she wants would be a message back to her and say, “Hey, Susan, just wanted to let you know that I connected with Jack Hubbard, and he and I are going to have a talk. Thanks again for doing that.” That little thing gets Suzan bound to say you know what, that was a real professional thing to do. I wonder if I know more people.
Brynne Tillman 29:05
I love that. I think that's awesome.
Jack Hubbard 29:11
We appreciate that. Brynne, this has been really fun. The half hour went by really really fast. And I gotta tell you, you're listening out there. If there is a topic on LinkedIn that you want to discuss or have us discuss, please message Brynne or I, connect with us and let us know. And we're very, very happy to talk about this on Thursdays at 12 o'clock Eastern time. Thanks Brynne this was fun.
Brynne Tillman 29:40
This is a lot of fun. So guys, stick around for the outro
Made by bankers for bankers. Vertical IQ is your trusted source for reliable, convenient and focused industry intelligence, helping your team save time, boost sales and gain a competitive edge. Learn more at verticaliq.com
Bob Woods 30:00
We are thrilled that you have joined us for Jack Rants With Brynne. We are here live on LinkedIn every Thursday at noon Eastern time. We'd like to thank our amazing sponsors RelPro and Vertical IQ, two vital platforms that all modern bankers should be leveraging to start more trust based conversations without being salesy. If you found value in today's program, please subscribe, review, like, comment and share with your peers. And lastly, be sure to sign up for a free public library at themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary. Again, that's themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary. Here's to your continued great success.