Episode 19: Nurturing Your LinkedIn Connections
Nurturing Your LinkedIn Connections
In this episode, Jack and Brynne dive deep into the art of nurturing your professional connections on LinkedIn, drawing parallels to nurturing personal relationships and sharing practical tips for building trust-based conversations without being salesy. They discuss strategies for identifying and reaching out to connections you may have been neglecting and offer insights on how to use LinkedIn tools effectively. Discover how Sales Navigator can help you pinpoint ideal prospects, especially CFOs and other key decision-makers. Join them and get valuable strategies and concepts that can help you nurture meaningful connections and unlock new opportunities.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 Rants With Modern Bankers.
Happy Thursday, everybody. And as you can see, both Brynne and I are on the road and so this is a pre-recorded edition of Jack Rants with Brynne. Hi, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:40
Hey, Jack, how are you?
Jack Hubbard 00:01
Things are great. And we're going to talk about a great subject today, we're going to talk about nurturing your connection. So I have a special hat for that. When my wife and I had our 50th wedding anniversary, our son Adam and our daughter in law, Amber, gave each person in our family a hat with 50 on it. It also is very special for me, because not only have I been married, going on 51 years, but I've been in banking going on 51 years. So I always tell people, I'm in the 50,50 Club.
Now, why this hat today? Well, if you're going to be married, 50 years, 30 years, 20 years, one year, you're going to have to nurture that relationship. And it's the same in banking. If you want to really do some cross-solving, if you want more people to bring you more money and do more services with you, you're gonna have to nurture that relationship.
So today, we're going to talk about how to nurture relationships on LinkedIn. And I have an expert with me to kind of be able to talk through this in a very, very practical way. So Brynn let's start by talking about nurturing what is nurturing your relationships?
Brynne Tillman 01:56
Ah, this is so important. And you're right Jack. Just like you do in your real life relationships. We need to do this in our digital relationships, but also in our professional in person relationships. But bankers sometimes ask, “how do you nurture online?” Like, it's just such a foreign thought, you know, you can email but is that nurturing? Well, here's the thing. Number one, we have to identify what matters to them. Nurturing is in the heart of the beholder. What you do to them is not nurturing. What you do for them is, and so when we look at nurturing our connections, we've got to take the selling out of our heads right now, because that's not nurturing. That's for us.
We want to sell, we want a new client, we want a new customer, we want a new opportunity. When we're nurturing we're looking at what we can do to benefit them? So I think it's really important that we set that stage, because this is not, hey, let's find out all the people that we're connected to and pitch them because that's not nurturing. And that's why Jack and I use this word nurturing, because it's really important that you know, one of the things we say all the time is detached from what the prospect is worth to you, and attached to what you are worth to the prospect. Bring them value. So that's my thoughts on what nurturing is, I can't wait to talk about how to do it now.
Jack Hubbard 03:43
Well, me too. And I think you make some very, very great points. And I want to talk now about Who we are ignoring. So you have great examples about this. And I use my grandson's basketball cards as an example where he'll buy a pack of basketball cards, and he'll look at him. And if there's a couple of really good rookies, or people on his favorite team that he'll look at and say, oh, I want to set those to the side. The others, he might just put back in the drawer. From a sales perspective, you always talk about the stack of business cards in your drawer on your desk. And the higher the stack gets, the worse it gets for the first person at the very bottom of the stack. So we want to talk about who we are ignoring? Let's start there.
Brynne Tillman 04:33
Well, yeah, and I'm just gonna go back to your grandson's baseball cards for a minute, because he puts them in a pile and doesn't even remember who they are. So if one of those becomes a really good player, he doesn't even know that he's got that card in his stack. And so that's a wonderful kind of story to wrap your mind around all these other folks. Now you may have hundreds or 1000s of connections. And we cannot mentally keep track of everyone, it's just impossible. And when you connected with them, some of them you started that relationship with, but it's time to take a look back at all those cards with the rubber band in the corner of the desk and decide who is it that I want to start a conversation with?
On average, we're finding it's about 10%. So if you have 100 connections, there are 10 that you probably want to have a conversation with. Think about that, if you have 1000. There are 100, how long does it take you to get in front of 100 people that already recognize your name, I mean, it's absolutely essential that we take inventory. And we identify. So you know, I'm not gonna go into the weeds on this, but we had a client in staffing. And in the heart of, of COVID, it was April 2022. And she happened to do, it’s not banking. But hey, it's, you know, it's a wonderful example, she happened to do manufacturing, staffing.
So everyone was laid off, she wasn't making any money and she took inventory of her connections and recognized an old client had moved to a healthcare company. And all of those employees got jobs in the health care company in the middle of COVID. And she sent me a letter, an email that literally said, Thank you so much for paying a year of my daughter's college tuition with her commission that she made. So it was like a win win win win win. But she never would have known that her old client had moved to a new company.
So that's one of the things that we want to look at, you know, what clients have moved, what prospects may not have been a prospect before, maybe they were a banking intern in cash management with, you know, right out of college, but it's been five years. And they may have, I don't know, some influence. What if you have CPA partners, or estate attorneys that you may not have spent a lot of time or paying attention to at the moment but now, you know, you're improving your networking chops. And so these are people that you can go out with, and we start conversations. So we need to take inventory, because connecting and forget, is sometimes the most costly thing we can do.
Jack Hubbard 07:51
Absolutely. And so you've done a really good job of talking about who we're ignoring. But one of the things that a lot of people say about this program is it's not theoretical, it's practical, you do really talk about how to do this. So let's do the How now, let's take a little deeper dive, we know that ignoring these connections, whether it's 500, or 1000, or 50, is not a good idea. How do we go about finding?
Brynne Tillman 08:22
Oh, that's a great Jack. The first thing we want to do is export our connections. It's pretty simple to do. And if you're interested in how you could go ahead and join the actual how you can join themodernbanker.com/publiclibrary, asking the community and we'll send you all kinds of resources. So for the tactical side, but you can easily export your connections, you download them after 10 minutes of requesting into an Excel spreadsheet and you get first name, last name, there is a column for email, but it's mostly empty because people have to opt in to give you that there's their position, their company and the date you connect it.
And this is a powerful database of your connections. And it's really fun to look back and see who your first connection was to but we recommend you put a copy home in the left hand side and you take you categorize them. Now I have fun saying it's CPR. We're breathing life back into our clients, prospects and referral partners. So fun. But if you take inventory you'll notice about one out of 10 as you go down, fit one of those categories. The other thing you can do and it's in this is available in the free LinkedIn and linkedin.com is you can search your first degree connections by title by industry. I think there's nine filters that you can choose and use to drill your first degree connections down to your ICP, your ideal customer profile.
Jack Hubbard 10:07
Yeah, and that is such a critical thing. And to expand on that just a little further, when you export your connections, you will get it in a numbers file where numbers is where Excel or Excel, but what I have to do is I get it in numbers, and then I have to convert it over to Excel. But the neat thing about that is, let's say that you are having an economic forum, and you want to invite CFOs, all the CFOs that I'm connected to, you can go and you can sort by title, and you can get all the CFOs, or chief financial officers.
Now, to Brynne’s point, you don't get their email address very likely. However, LinkedIn has added something fairly new to this. And from what I understand, you can get the URL, they will include the URL of the first degree connection. So while you can't get the email, you can then click over into the URL if you want to. And you can do a personal invitation. And now you've got a list of people who would be very interested in education or attending an event or something along those lines. So exporting connections is really important. So one of the questions I would have, if I'm watching this brand is how often would you do that?
Brynne Tillman 11:33
And I'll answer that after I just want to throw in that if you are a subscriber to RelPro, you have access to most of those emails, even if they're not a first degree connection on LinkedIn. So that's a really fabulous way to fill in the blank to get those emails. So how often I do it is probably monthly, but I think quarterly is fine. If you export them once a quarter, now
you may have an opportunity where a boy, I went to a conference, I just connected with 50 new people in the last two days, that's a great time to export to follow up. So there's no real prescription for how often I put it on your calendar for quarterly. But if there's an opportunity where it makes sense, you can do it more.
Jack Hubbard 12:26
Indeed, and that certainly is going to be dependent on let's say that over a period of a month, you happen to be out at various events, and you were able to garner some pretty significant new connections a good number, you might want to go a little bit more often, I'll go back to the real pro example that you that you made because it's a good one. So let's say that I have my Excel spreadsheet, and I have you my my name, I can actually go into RelPro, copy the email into that Excel spreadsheet. And now I've got it for the future. But let's say that I wanted to invite somebody right away to an event, I could click on that email in RelPro, and it would take me over to Outlook or Gmail or whatever you use. So it's incredibly, incredibly convenient.
The other thing I wanted to mention to you, you have a LinkedIn account that allows you to have 30,000 connections, and you've had 30,000 connections for years. And the challenge for you, of course, is that when you want to connect with somebody new, you have to almost go through your list and say, well, that one is not I'm not working with that person or whatever. And I did connect with them but the nice thing about uploading your connections is that you can go down through your connections really fast and you can say, oh my gosh, I didn't know that Mary Smith became the CFO of this particular company, I've been trying to get into that company.
Now you might say, Well, wait a second isn't that in the notifications? Well, they may all not appear there, Mary may not have updated her profile immediately. So you may not see it, or you may not have you may just not see your notifications. And therefore that list that you have exported, can be of great benefit to you. So let’s go on.
Brynne Tillman 14:23
Can I add to that real quick, because this is sort of a side note, but an important one. Those notifications, new jobs, promotions and birthdays have moved. So they're not in the normal notification any longer. So you will see it occasionally. But if you want to proactively go see that. It's in the Networking tab now so you'd have to go into LinkedIn. Click on the instead of clicking on the notifications, you click on the Networking tab and scroll down and you'll see some celebrations, I think they're trying to make the notifications more personal. Where job changes, birthdays, work anniversaries are not the same personal. And so there's, you're more likely to miss them now. So, yeah.
Jack Hubbard 15:21
That's true and a little off the subject, but excuse me a little off the subject. But when someone when you're when you either proactively go out, or you're notified, and you find it in your, your list of exported connections, and you say, Well, wait a second, Mary Smith is the new CFO of XYZ. Just know that Mary Smith, left another company, who now may have a new CFO, and that cut that new CFO may let you into that company. That's something you taught me a long time ago.
Brynne Tillman 15:55
Yeah, there's two opportunities with every job change.
Jack Hubbard 15:58
All right, we're going down this path. I love this. So we, who are we ignoring? We discussed That. We talked about, okay, we know we're ignoring some people, how do we find them? Now the next question is, what do I do about that? Well, what should I do when I get all my connection dots in a row?
Brynne Tillman 16:18
Well, first things one of your favorite Jack, which is send a video message, you can send a video message to every single one of your first degree connections, you can do it from mobile, and you just go into message, there's a little paperclip, it's take a video, and you're done. Like 1520 seconds, there is an over 90% response rate when you send a video message to someone that recognizes your name. That's a huge number. I mean, I don't think you'd get 90% someone talking to you in a networking meeting, versus let alone. And it's probably not true, but we want to take advantage.
Now, what do we say in that video message? Well, if you know them well, and one of the things I have learned from you, Jack, is everyone we get on a call with, you know, their kids, their vacations, their health status, like you know, these people, I You are the King of relationships and the end because of that they absolutely love you personally. And then if they need you, they hire Yes, right. They hire you. But they care about you because you care about them.
So we don't want to put on a video, just want to let you know we have the most aggressive rates in the industry. You'll lose them. That is not that, that's a bait and bait and switch. It's like oh, look, there's Brynn oh my gosh, she's pitching me done, right? Like it does the opposite of building rapport, trust based relationships. So what can you do so many things ? Do you have an event, maybe your CEO is talking on Zoom, maybe he's in a panel or she's she has a video that's on the company page, invite them to something like that.
Number two, share content. If you have a subscription to vertical IQ, you can find content in their industry, or you can find content in their industry of the people they serve. And you can send them content, hey, I came across this article, and I thought of you in a video and then linked up, I'm gonna link it below. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Right? Ask them to vote on a poll. If you're really looking for one on one conversations, start a project to create an ebook, talk to marketing, they may be able to help you with it if you come up with it, and make the ebook what the top 25 banking CFOs are talking about the trends for 2025 or where they see the trends in 2025.
And then you have five months, four months from the time we're recording, to talk with them, get them on a zoom or a team's call and record it. And then just grab quotes. Now you're having conversations with them. And then in December, you can publish and you don't even have to do the writing. Obviously, go through your bank compliance, send it to marketing, make sure you get the blessing of the entire organization before it goes out and maybe even get their blessing before you start the project. But this is such a phenomenal way to have real conversations with your prospects trust based conversations without being salesy. So there's so many ideas, just start the conversation. Don't go in for the close.
Jack Hubbard 20:02
Yeah. And that's right. There are multiple ways. So I'll just give you a couple of examples. First of all, I'm pretty big into groups. I do like being involved in groups. And there is a phenomenal group called the CFO network. I believe that's what it's called. And there are about 450,000, CFOs, and others in that group. So one of the things people might say on this program as well, Brynn, that sounds really good. There know, a lot of places to find content, and we don't have a vertical IQ, which is unfortunate. They should, but they don't. So what about where do I find stuff for CFOs? The CFO network is unbelievable. They have a lot of great research and articles that you can go click on, and you could fill it out. So that's really simple. I'll tell you another thing. We know of a bank, Britain i, because we work with them.
On a coaching call recently, one of the bankers said, you know, I went through and I learned about nurturing your network. And so I went out and I messaged somebody that I hadn't talked to in a long time. And I provided an article, et cetera, et cetera, did exactly what we suggested. And on a Sunday night, the gentleman emailed the banker, and said, You know, I've had enough with XYZ bank, I'm really, really interested in changing banks, let's have a conversation and the banker is moving that forward. So just by going out there and providing value, you know, I always talk about two things that are going on in business all the time, Nima and Pim, money in motion and people in motion. The challenge is you don't know as a banker, what's going on when it's going on? So nurturing those connections by sending out something of value can be of great consequence? Well, we we've talked about, all the way down to…
Brynne Tillman 22:05
You said something that got me really excited. You can go into Sales Navigator, which is a premium account, and you can search CFOs in that group that are in your geographic location that changed jobs in the last 90 days. And so you can drill down, so just want to throw out the power Sales Navigator, a lot of our banking customers are starting to really dive deep, they're buying licenses, and they're seeing impact. So I just wanted to share if you don't have Sales Navigator, also too bad. Because everyone, you know, I mean, I'm a believer in Sales Navigator, RelPro, Vertical IQ, you're covered. That's my thought. But I just want to throw that in because those groups, you can really hone in on exactly the persona inside of those groups. Okay. Now, back to you, Jack.
Jack Hubbard 23:04
Welch, you brought up a great topic and something that's a passion of mine. If the bank provides a tool like Sales Navigator, it's not inexpensive. It's incumbent upon you as a banker to use that because the bank gets a report every month of usage and says, Well, nobody's using this tool, let's just drop it. And that's unfortunate, because maybe there are one or two really good power users that are using it. And that's unfortunate. So getting a tool is really important. But how as a culture, can we nurture that tool, sales managers during your team meetings, shine a light on it.
We have a Sales Navigator, I know all of you have it. Let's talk about one thing you did last week on Sales Navigator, in your one on ones in your coaching, and it's all about the culture, the leader and the baker taking responsibility and accountability to use those particular tools. Well, this has been fun. And I do want to talk about one more thing though, because this all would be for not because it's we're just not, you know, trying to make friends here. We'd love to do business and help people that we can. So how do we have how we start those trust based conversations without being salesy? After we start nurturing our connections? What do we Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 24:33
Well, I'm gonna say that it depends on the conversations that you have. It depends on you know, so we start these conversations around getting a quote for the ebook or a poll or sending this piece of content. Maybe you share a post and you ask them for their perspective. The next thing and I hate to say that it depends, but it depends. You want to nurture a few times, you want to, you know them to feel like you're hot, you're in a conversation. Because you are, it's not about feeling. You want to invite them if you happen to be going to local events, if your bank is sponsoring the event and you have free tickets to bring people, invite them. Right? If you again, if you have even zoom events, and then say, Hey, I'd love to have you as my guest, would you be willing to jump on a quick call and give me your thoughts afterwards? So the bottom line is we need to get into a normal conversation, it will progress just like if you meet them in person, if you call them on the phone, it's going to progress. You know, you can ask them, Hey, what are your initiatives next year? How are things going?
You know, curious… How do you feel about you know, you could? How do you feel about what's going on in the industry? How do you feel? Where do you see the future going? Are you expanding? Do you think you're going to be hiring, you could get into a little bit of discovery, to understand, as long as you don't pounce on, oh, you're hiring, you're going to need no more office space, we can help you with that. Just and this is where Jack? You know, I think you bring magic, right? How do you have this conversation? For me? It's starting that conversation in a natural way. So I'm going to throw it back to you. What would you do?
Jack Hubbard 26:38
I like two words here, communication hooks. This is where great salespeople, innate salespeople know that it's time to ask for the appointment. You know, it's like, I'm on a date. This has been 51 years, but I'm on a date. And we're having dinner. And it's going well, at some point, I might say, you know, we're having a really good time. I'm curious. And now maybe we go forward with that conversation. That's innate. I mean, if it went really, really bad, and your date went to the bathroom four times with his or her cell phone, probably not a good time to ask. But that's where if it's not the first time, it's not before I send content, it's not before I add value, but along that continuum, when I kind of get the sense of Okay, it's time to ask. And by the way, the potential buyer is expecting this, you know, 85% of business owners built their business because they're good at sales. That's a statistic I learned from the great Tony Paronella. So the bottom line is, at some point, they're expecting you to ask and when you don't, and there's an opportunity, they may move on to somebody else. So I think Brynne it's kind of innate.
Brynne Tillman 28:09
Yeah, it's a little bit of a dance. Right. And it's a little bit, I think, what I would throw with a yes and on that is don't if you don't have it innately initially don't pitch something that does not align with something they told you. Like, it's got to be Hey, I heard you say this. I'm curious, have you explored this as a solution? And that, you know, I think that's a really good way to ask if you don't have that intuition yet. And some new bankers don't. You know, they haven't done it long enough. So I think, you know, it's got to be tied to a discovery question and an answer that you could have an insight or solution for, I think. And that's my gut. Jack, your thoughts?
Jack Hubbard 29:01
Yeah, I agree. I agree. 100%. And that's where you get when you get who I think LinkedIn has started to get a bad mojo around this pitch mentality. It's, do you want to connect and then oh, by the way, and it's just as good now that's not what we're talking about here. Today, we're talking about nurturing your connections, but no different. If you have 1000 connections, and you look down and your very first connection was in 2017. And you haven't talked to them in a while, you're not going to go out and pitch them. You wouldn't do that in a networking event. You wouldn't do that in a sales call situation.
So don't do it on LinkedIn. It's absolutely no different. Well, this was fun today. I really enjoyed this. This Brynne and I would just say one more thing before you comment and we'll talk about next week. cross selling I think is a horrible term. And I've always kind of felt that when we started our business a long time ago, in 2000, Bob St. Meyer and I, we talked about cross-solving. And that's what you're really trying to do here. When you're nurturing your connections you're reaching out to you're finding them, you are connecting back with them. And you're trying to figure out, Is there a way that I can help you? If there is, and you've got some good opportunities across-solving is where you’re at here.
Brynne Tillman 30:30
Yeah, and if I could just one more piggyback on that, because I do think that's brilliant. And, you know, so much of this. I've learned from you over the years. But something you said many years ago that has stuck with me so much, Jack, is if you have the right solution for them, and you don't offer it, you're doing them a disservice. And that stuck with me so deeply, like you have an obligation to offer a solution if you have one. So yeah, so I thank you for that advice.
Jack Hubbard 31:05
Yeah, you bet. And as a banker, you actually have a fiduciary responsibility. So it really does go to the charter that your bank designed your credit union, put together many, many, many years ago. Well, well, thank you, Brynne. I always appreciate your expertise.
Brynne Tillman 31:24
Thanks, Jack. I always appreciate your time. I have so much fun on these. It's just that this is sometimes my favorite time of the week. So I appreciate it. And everyone else I guess next week, we're talking about leveraging our warm market. So how do we identify the folks that can help us get into other folks?
Jack Hubbard 31:46
There you go. Perfect. Well, great to see you. Thursdays always. It's Jack Krantz, with Brynn great to see everybody. Thanks for joining us. Hi, guys. Thanks for joining us for Jack rants with brim brought to you by our good friends at vertical IQ and REL Pro. We're live on LinkedIn every Thursday at noon Eastern time helping bankers turn connections into conversations. Don't miss an episode, visit the modern banker.com/t MB podcast. Leave us a review if you would. You can also listen to this program and the new jack rants with modern bankers on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and I Heart Radio. We're on YouTube as well. [email protected] slash at the modern banker. Finally, don't forget, make today and every day. A great client day