The key to getting better is understanding where you are now - Talk Marketing 071 - Sam Rathling

The key to getting better is understanding where you are now – Talk Marketing 071 – Sam Rathling

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Digital Marketing, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Talk Marketing

Quick links to the good bits.

00:00 Introductions.

03:27 The benefit or personalising your profile and connection invitations.

05:38 Why should sales and marketing people invest in LinkedIn?

07:30 How are you qualified to talk to us about LinkedIn and Social Selling?

10:40 What is social selling?

12:28 Inbound and outbound using LinkedIn.

14:01 How do you evidence the success your approach is achieving?

17:01 Who do you work with, how do you add value to their lives?

20:33 What is the attitude within corporations to LinkedIn and Social Selling?

23:14 Why should people build and leverage their personal brand on LinkedIn?

24:45 How are attitudes towards LinkedIn and social selling evolving within enterprises evolving?

28:37 What effect has the Microsoft acquisition had on LinkedIn?

30:04 Should you spend money on LinkedIn premium?

31:18 Are LinkedIn Ads effective?

35:22 What does Sales Navigator cost and how does it work?

37:42 What is the benefit of engaging with prospects posts?

39:15 How to clean up your LinkedIn newsfeed and get the most relevant posts.

44:12 What is in Sales Navigator that we should be excited about?

45:52 What are the connection request limits on sales navigator?

47:09 Why should we care about Smart Links in LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

48:55 The insanity of the search function on LinkedIn.

51:18 Is Sales Navigator worth the subscription.

52:43 What is the key to marketing yourself effectively on LinkedIn?

55:41 Can we trick the LinkedIn algorithm?

57:01 How do you organise large sales teams to work effectively using LinkedIn?

1:00:55 What should people be posting on LinkedIn?

1:07:15 What is your recommendation for anyone who wants to get better at LinkedIn or social selling?

1:07:28 What is your social selling score?

1:09:29 Reading recommendations from The International League of Marvellous Marketeers.

1:11:02 Who are you going to throw under the bus?



Martin Henley  0:16  

Hello there, my name is Martin Henley. This is the effective marketing content extravaganza and if you’ve spent a second here, you will know that I’m on a mission to give you everything you need to be successful in your business, providing of course, that what you need to be successful in your business is to know more about sales and marketing and be motivated to put that knowledge into practice, which of course is what you need to be successful in your business. 


Martin Henley  0:42  

So what we do here is we do the marketing news every couple of weeks, I review the very worst and the very best of marketing content on the internet. Then what I do a lot of is I pull in anyone I can find with relevant sales and marketing experience that might support you to be successful in your business and that’s what’s going on today. Today is talk marketing.


Martin Henley  1:03  

Today’s guest has sales exposure, at least going back to 1998. I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you that 24 years. She has a wealth of what I call double sales experience from her seven years in recruitment. She has also been a director for the BNI and a fellow of the Professional Speaking Association. She is currently host of the The Social Selling with Sam podcast, and founder and CEO of the Social Selling with Sam business and CVO and social selling strategist with Pipeline 44. CVO interestingly stands for Chief  Visionary Officer. She is the author of Linked Inbound and the soon to be released Linked Outbound. And she is a hammer. Today’s guest is Sam Rathling. 


Martin Henley  2:01  

I struggle with that a little bit today, Sam, because it’s been a little while since I’ve recorded one of these. How are you doing?


Sam Rathling  2:07  

I am really good. Thanks. Thanks for having me on the show. 


Martin Henley  2:09  

You are very welcome. I’m interested and excited to have this conversation. It’s a good time to be a hammer.


Sam Rathling  2:16  

It is well kind of maybe not. In with my dad, my dad’s flying over from Portugal, and we’re going to watch them on Thursday night. So I’m super excited.


Martin Henley  2:27  

Fantastic. I think this is the best time for the hammers. For people who don’t know what the hammers are it’s a football club in East London, West Ham. They’re not historically very good, although, arguably, they did produce 30% of the England team that won the World Cup, but that was a little while ago, all the way back in 1966. So as far as I can remember, certainly since Harry Redknapp left, this is probably the best time, did Harry render Redknapp finish … where did you guys finish sixth or seventh? Seventh must have been?


Sam Rathling  3:01  

We did. We did all right last year. We’re not doing too well this season. We did all right and we did pretty well in Europe. So we’re happy with that.


Martin Henley  3:07  

Yeah, very happy. And I think you’ve done quite well, in the transfer window. I think you’ve got quite a few players that need to settle. Yes, yes. And you’ve kept is it Declan Rice?


Sam Rathling  3:18  

I believe so.


Martin Henley  3:19  

You believe so? Are you not as much of a hammer as you purport to be?


Sam Rathling  3:23  

I thought I was being interviewed about something else, not my football knowledge.

The benefit or personalising your profile and connection invitations.

Martin Henley  3:27  

We do this so that if people, in the rare instance, that people are also West Ham fans, they will have some kind of affinity with you and for the rest of the world, they’ll think you are a normal person.


Sam Rathling  3:41  

I have it on my profile because a lot of people when they reach out, they don’t personalise their invitation requests, but if anybody personalises their invitation requests and mentions anything of my kind of outside of work things on my profile, and I always connect with them. So it’s a good thing to have on your profile.


Martin Henley  3:57  

Because they’ve invested, haven’t they, a little bit more. I just accept everyone. You’re the expert maybe you’ll tell me I’m wrong to do that. Because that’s what we’re here talking about today really, we’re not talking about you being a hammer, about the fact that this is the best time in a long time to be a West Ham fan. 


Martin Henley  4:17  

We’re talking about your specialty subject, which is LinkedIn and Social Selling. I’m still impressed that you said that everyone only became a LinkedIn consultant because they read your book. I really think that’s a really good angle.


Martin Henley  4:40  

The thing is when I first started out teaching LinkedIn and there’s probably about the same time as you back in 2010. There were probably a handful of people that were talking about that subject and now like, you know, there’s probably 100,000 plus people, if you go looking for somebody to help you with something like LinkedIn that you could go to, and that’s not including generalist social media people. So it’s very saturated now, butI’ve been doing this a long time and I like to think that I’m always ahead of the game.


Martin Henley  5:09  

Okay, that’s cool. Because the thing is, I don’t think, still, and it says this in your profile, doesn’t it? Is that what it says this in the intro to your podcast, people who realise the opportunity of LinkedIn, but don’t quite know how to make it work. Rarely do I teach people LinkedIn now, but I start with that context type stuff like what actually is LinkedIn. It’s a, and I need to be careful about this. 

Why should sales and marketing people invest in LinkedIn?

Martin Henley  5:38  

I call this a preposterous, ridiculously and preposterously good thing, but people think ridiculous and preposterous can only be bad. It’s astounding how good a thing LinkedIn is.


Sam Rathling  5:50  

Oh, absolutely. I think it’s a phenomenal very underutilised tool, if people truly understood how to unlock it, they would not need anywhere else to go for business. It’s unbelievable what it can do for companies and for individual business owners, it’s mad how much people are leaving on the table. How much money people are leaving on the table by not unlocking its potential.


Martin Henley  5:50  

Yes. See, I tell people, it’s the largest, most dynamic, most accessible most up to date, database of business to business decision makers that has ever existed. Actually, you can start for nothing, you know, you don’t have to give Bill Gates any money at all to get involved. I think it’s a phenomenal thing. I think it’s ridiculously and preposterously good. 


Sam Rathling  6:37  

We agree on that point. So that’s a good start.


Martin Henley  6:40  

I don’t think we’re gonna disagree about much really, apart for anything apart from some stuff. So you know, the format, the format is there is only five questions. Question number one is, how are you qualified to talk to us about LinkedIn and social selling? Question number two is, who do you work with, how do you add value to their lives? I think this might be a bit different from conversations we’ve had about LinkedIn before, because you’ve gone in a slightly different direction with it. The third question is, what is your recommendation for anyone who wants to get better with LinkedIn and social selling? Fourth question really easy, what should people read? And the fifth question, who can you throw under the bus who might endure or maybe even enjoy to have a conversation like this with me? So those are the five questions. 

How are you qualified to talk to us about LinkedIn and Social Selling?

Martin Henley  7:30  

So let’s start with question number one, how are you qualified to talk to us about LinkedIn and social selling.


Sam Rathling  7:39  

So I was a very early adopter of LinkedIn, I had moved to the Netherlands in 2001 and I fell into the recruitment industry, it was not a decision I made, I couldn’t speak Dutch, and couldn’t work in sales and marketing because I had no Dutch and somebody found my CV randomly and said we think you’d be really good at recruitment. So I changed my career completely. I’d previously been working for the drinks company, Diageo, been in a corporate environment, and I fell into recruitment. LinkedIn didn’t exist until 2003 and I heard about LinkedIn at a networking event. Back then, when it first launched, obviously, LinkedIn was very recruitment heavy, it was all about people putting their CV and you know, using it for job seeking, etc. So my first introduction to LinkedIn was fairly early on. 


Sam Rathling  8:29  

I started using it to find candidates and to look for people for my clients. 2005, I moved again, I changed country and moved to Ireland. That was the year I decided to set up my own business. I did set up an a recruitment agency, but I literally knew nobody in Ireland apart from my husband at the time. I was like, if I’ve used LinkedIn to find great candidates, I wonder how I could use it to actually develop business. So I decided to start using my talent with LinkedIn to actually find customers, studied networking, both online and offline, and built my recruitment business from scratch, knowing nobody in a country where everything is done on who you know, pretty much using the LinkedIn platform. 


Sam Rathling  9:12  

A few years later, 2010, I was asked by somebody, how did you build your recruitment agency? Would you mind speaking on stage? It was a big conference of like 200 business owners in the room and never spoken on stage before ever. I was petrified because I had never given a keynote speech. I stood on stage in Yorkshire and delivered my top  tips on how I’d grown my business and a lot of the that came back to what I had done within the LinkedIn environment. I think back then I had maybe 2000 connections, which was huge back then. Nobody was using LinkedIn to generate business and that’s kind of where my journey started in terms of teaching LinkedIn. 


Sam Rathling  9:52  

Over the last 12 years I’ve developed a system, a social selling system, which has got eight different strategies which to date has generated over £138 million for the clients that have applied my methodologies. So I think that kind of qualifies me to talk about this subject. I’ve always been at the forefront in terms of LinkedIn social selling as being an authority in that space. When full time, it was always a side gig for me, whilst I was still in the recruitment industry, went full time in 2016 and that’s what I’ve been doing since then.


Martin Henley  10:29  

Okay, super cool. So it sounds to me like you’re qualified to talk to us. So well done, that’s hurdle one, completed, cleared. 

What is social selling?

Martin Henley  10:40  

Should people understand what social selling is? How do you define social selling?


Sam Rathling  10:51  

This is a question I get all the time. And I think it’s a very misunderstood kind of buzzword, it’s out there a lot, it gets overused and misunderstood a lot. So my definition of social selling is, it’s the art of selling without selling and it’s about building relationships, building relationships, creating brand awareness, and really getting yourself to a point where you’re getting visible with customers and prospects, so that when they’re, when they’re ready to buy, they think of you first. Let’s face it, everyone that you connect with today is not in the buying window for your product or service. In fact, most people that you create a connection with or you’re prospecting, and you invite to connect, 98% of them are not ready to buy right now today but they’re watching. 


Sam Rathling  11:42  

The whole point of social selling is that you’ve got to build that credibility, build that visibility, get yourself out on the news feed.


Sam Rathling  11:49  

You’re going to drive leads in two ways one is going to be inbound, where somebody comes to you because of the way that you’ve been showing up on the news feed. And the second way you’re going to create leads is through driving outbound conversations, and actually prospecting and proactively going out to your potential ideal client. So social selling for me is very much about staying top of mind, and nurturing your connections and building relationships in your network. So that’s really what it is for me.


Martin Henley  12:15  

Okay, so is it not really then social marketing? Yeah, that’s the question. 

Inbound and outbound using LinkedIn.

Sam Rathling  12:26  

The inbound element is probably more about social marketing, because that’s more content driven. The outbound element, is definitely more selling focused. In order to create conversations with potential prospects, and if you prospect on a consistent basis, which everybody should be doing, but most people don’t, is more, not the selling part but it’s it’s about creating those sales opportunities and building a sales pipeline. 


Sam Rathling  12:56  

If you’re not prospecting, you’re not putting people into your sales pipeline. So I think it could be considered social marketing, inbound and social selling outbound.


Martin Henley  13:05  

Yeah, I think I’ve only started thinking about this in the last 30 seconds. The way I think of it is, it’s like the marketing the salespeople do, is exactly like you say, either prospecting or we used to call it canvassing. I think because it’s different from marketing, because marketing is one too many, this is one to one, like, it’s one door at a time, one call at a time, one connection at a time. So I think of it more like that, like it’s the prospecting part. Unless you’re selling, I don’t know, fidgets spinners for like, $1 each no-one’s really just going to pick up the phone say, Yeah, I want to buy what you’re doing because of your activity on LinkedIn. Okay, that’s cool. So I think of it like that. 


Martin Henley  13:53  

Okay, good. Yeah. So I am happy to concede that you are eminently qualified to talk to us about this. 

How do you evidence the success your approach is achieving?

Martin Henley  14:01  

The other thing that you’ve done, which is a really good idea is you’ve tracked somehow the amount of money that this process has generated. So kudos for that as well. That’s a good idea.


Sam Rathling  14:13  

Thanks. Well, I’m on a bit of a mission to do a billion. That’s my big target, not for me personally, but to actually create a billion pounds in direct revenue from what I teach people. So whether that’s a sales team who are going out to market and getting big enterprise clients, or whether it’s somebody that just picked up my book and happens to get themselves some new business. 


Sam Rathling  14:34  

I’m sure there’s a lot more out there that I don’t know about because the ripple effect is huge. I normally hear about a contract when it’s the first time they land the contract but not if that contract then renews over the course of a number of years. There’s probably a lot more out there I don’t know about but I do encourage everybody that I work with to get in touch with me if they go on to secure some business. Obviously, I track it heavily in my corporate clients because that’s my return on investment for the clients that are working with us. There’s lots of small businesses out there, I get messages every day, five to ten messages a day of people who have either watched my training videos, or read my book, or have had some kind of impact from what I’m what I’m sharing. So that’s why I do what I do. 


Sam Rathling  15:15  



Martin Henley  15:16  

That’s, that’s really good. Because I think this is important, nobody knows what to say. I think really good marketing, or canvassing or prospecting or whatever it is, is just about delivering value and then communicating the value and evidencing the value that you’re delivering. It’s really good that you’ve done that. 


Martin Henley  15:37  

People only ever think about the first thing do you know I mean, they only ever think about that no one thinks about the ongoing value of having customers. 


Martin Henley  15:46  

It’s good that you spoke about your corporate customers, because that segues beautifully into question number two, which is I haven’t got it written down. 


Martin Henley  15:58  

I presented in Ireland once I did like a presentation in Ireland. And I like to think I was some it was two hours south of Dublin. I don’t know what it was beautiful. It was absolutely beautiful. It was about 40 quite red faced, fat faced, Irish people. I can say that because my family Irish. I tell people I come from a long line of fat faced Irish farmers because it’s true, and I think I’m quite funny, and they didn’t laugh once. I like and it was an hour and they didn’t laugh, not one of them laughed once and it wasn’t until much later when we were smashed in the bar that I said, Look, why didn’t you love my jokes? And I said to them, Why didn’t you laugh at my jokes? And they’re like, well, we’re not here for you. Do you mean we’re here for us? You know, like, it was funny, but we weren’t gonna give you the satisfaction like and all of them like decided this. So that was good. And I got more drunk than I’ve probably been many other times in my life that that night. So Ireland’s good fun.


Sam Rathling  16:57  

Anyway, Ireland is a good place to do that,


Martin Henley  16:59  

I think a great place to do that. Okay, cool.

Who do you work with, how do you add value to their lives?

Martin Henley  17:01  

So question number two, who do you work with how do you add value to their lives.


Sam Rathling  17:08  

I have three different, or four different tiers of company types that work with. Tier one and two is kind of the smaller business SME, startup kind of smaller business, one to 10 employees. How do I serve them? I have a Social Selling Academy, which is a combination of group coaching, and an online platform and community. We have over 200 social selling superstars working with us in the academy at the moment, and that’s growing massively every single month. 


Sam Rathling  17:38  

Then tier three would be what I call scale up. These are companies that have usually had investment or some kind of backing and they are usually in a high growth phase, and they’ve usually recruited heavily in their sales function. Typically, with those clients, I’ll go in and do some deep dive Sales Navigator training, which is one of the paid versions of LinkedIn, and I’ll help their sales team to understand how to utilise social selling to actually build their sales pipeline. 


Sam Rathling  18:08  

The final one is tier four, which is our enterprise clients. I’ll work with large companies, typically over a two or three year period to help them really embed social selling, and enable social selling in their organisation. Usually working initially with their sales, division, Channel Sales and direct sales, I usually then spend quite a lot of time with their marketing division getting marketing and sales aligned, I spend time with their leadership team because leaders in companies don’t understand the power of personal brand and they need to also embrace social selling at their level, so from the boardroom, down. I also work with their HR and recruitment teams to enable them to use social selling, using my previous skills having been in the recruitment industry. There’s typically for departments that will touch in a  larger organisation, but it’s a transition taking them from doing hardly anything on social selling, to actually fully enabling everybody in the organisation to understand what it is and what their role is to play in that. A lot of people will see social selling as the role of the sales department, but actually every single person inside an organisation can have an impact on the visibility of that brand and the company they work for not just the sales department. So kind of different layers but my personal time spent is mostly within corporates and scale-ups.


Martin Henley  19:32  

Okay, cool. That’s an angle that we haven’t covered before talking to people about LinkedIn. What you’re talking about, small to medium sized businesses, scale ups, corporations and everyone in the organisation, certainly everyone who’s customer facing should be engaging with LinkedIn, especially seeing as it’s so time effective. I used to compare it, I started selling advertising space, and I’d call 150 people a day to speak to 30 people and with LinkedIn, if I invest 15 minutes a day, I could be reaching out to, I don’t know, 10 or 15 people, and then maybe half those people connect, and then do you know, I mean, it’s like over a month, it becomes considerable. It’s so good. 

What is the attitude within corporations to LinkedIn and Social Selling?

Martin Henley  20:33  

It’s insane that people don’t do it. I mean, it’s just insane, that it’s not part of everybody who’s customer facing’s job, you would imagine at the interview they’d be interested to know, what does your network look like, who’s in your network, all of this stuff that really should be valuable but it doesn’t seem as though it is.


Sam Rathling  20:54  

Not yet. I think there’s certain companies that are embracing it. There’s definitely a lot of there’s a lot more companies out there now engaging in it, because they do realise the importance of the social selling aspect on their business. I think a lot of it comes down to the leaders, I always say they usually in the leadership team, you’ve got either dinosaurs or doubters. The dinosaurs just don’t want to be involved in anything social media, they don’t see the point of it, they don’t understand why anybody in the sales or marketing team, or anyone in the company should be spending time on it. 


Sam Rathling  21:29  

Then you’ve got the doubters, who are the ones that kind of know, it probably is important, but they don’t have enough evidence or don’t believe that it’s actually going to turn into real business. Most of the time when clients come to me, they’re they’re a few 100,000 pounds invested in LinkedIn. Like they’ve spent money buying licences for Sales Navigator for their sales team, usually 100 plus Sales Navigator licences, and 18 months into having given these licences to all their sales team, and they’re wondering why they’re not getting a return on their investment. They magically think that just by giving these people a Sales Navigator licence, they’re going to instantly start producing leads and start producing business from LinkedIn. The reality is that they haven’t got the skills and they haven’t been trained effectively, to actually build their own personal brand inside the larger brand of the organisation. They don’t know how to prospect effectively, they’re sending out terrible messages, or none at all. They’re not producing any content, or even worse, they’re just resharing, the rubbish and the boring content that’s on the marketing page and the company page hoping and that’s going to win them sales. The reality is that none of that’s going to work for them. They come to me at the point when they’ve invested quite heavily, and they’re just not getting the return that they expected from their investments. So that’s usually where I come in, in the enterprise space anyway.


Martin Henley  22:50  

Cool. Excellent. So I don’t really know about Sales Navigator, so maybe you can give us a kind of an idea of what the value is. Where I’ve always done this. It hasn’t been where anyone’s invested anything in it. You know, I mean, it’s always been about, hey, ho, you thought this was a recruitment tool, but actually, it’s this amazing database. 

Why should people build and leverage their personal brand on LinkedIn?

Martin Henley  23:14  

The thing is, that’s what the requirement is, in my experience, the only way LinkedIn has ever worked, other than as a recruitment function is through the individual. So you really do need to develop your personal brand, within your brand. That’s the requirement. That’s what you need to do. This also astounds me that any investment you make, in your corporation, in your LinkedIn profile, is an investment in your future. What happens with LinkedIn networks, and connections is those people continue through their lives, through their careers, they typically become more senior, take on more budget, buy more stuff. If you’ve done this work, if your company has afforded you the opportunity to do this work and invested in you doing this work, then that’s an amazing opportunity. Whether they ask in an interview or not, people should be in an interview saying, I’ve done my own canvassing, prospecting, whatever you call it, social selling, through LinkedIn for the last 10 years. This is what my network looks like. This is what it generates me every month. It should be an interview closer. I should ask you a question really? 


Martin Henley  24:36  

You say not yet. You say not yet, but this came out in 2003. It will be 20 next year, won’t it?

How are attitudes towards LinkedIn and social selling evolving within enterprises evolving?

Sam Rathling  24:45  

If you think about what LinkedIn was in 2003, before the Microsoft acquisition, it wasn’t a platform for business to business. Some people were using it like that, but it was very much a recruitment heavy play like, it wasn’t what it is now. In the last six to eight years, it’s definitely come into its own. I think companies are really paying attention to the fact that if they’re not going to do this, they are going to get left behind and if they aren’t going to do it, their competition surely are. Now, it’s more important than ever, that companies are actually investing and looking at their social selling strategy and how LinkedIn fits into their overall marketing strategy. 


Sam Rathling  25:24  

Unfortunately, too many companies focus really heavily on their company page and their business page, thinking that’s going to generate them lots of business. The reality is that their individual employees will get 10 times the reach of any post that they put out on their company page. So let’s say you put a post out on their company page, and yet, and then they get their own sales team times 50 or a 100, whoever it is, to be posting, the amplification of their posts and the reach, the organic reach of their post is going to be so much greater than anything that their business page will ever produce. What’s the incentive for a salesperson to reshare something on the company page, because ultimately, if it’s something that’s going to take a prospect to their website, the salesperson is not going to make any commission from that. Whereas if they build their own personal brand, they’re going to drive their own inbound leads, they’re going to build their own visibility and credibility with prospects and it’s going to be individual one to one conversations that are going to happen with potential prospects. So I think it’s about them identifying who their target market is and who their ideal client is building their network with those people and then putting themselves out there in the newsfeed and owning their own personal brand. That, for me is what should be happening, but not enough people do. It’s gonna take some time. I think there’s definitely some companies out there that are progressive and are looking at this, but I don’t think you can say, you know, they should be doing it because LinkedIn has been around since 2003. I think B2B social selling as a concept has been around a lot less time than that and companies are only just starting to realise the power of it, in my opinion.


Martin Henley  26:55  

Okay. I don’t disagree with that at all, but I’m just thinking they should have woken up to a bit earlier maybe you and I should have been a bit more effective in telling them. I’ve been telling people this since 2008 or 2009. There’s things I want to talk about, I want to talk about, I’ll tell you all the things I want to talk about when I write them down, I want to talk about Sales Navigator, because I don’t know what it’s about and I can’t imagine. I want to talk about Microsoft, you need to know, I think Microsoft are the Antichrist. So just bearing that in mind, and have they actually improved it or not. I want to talk about the appalling state of posting on LinkedIn. I mean, it’s just appalling. The level of posting. And then, so those are kinds of things that I want to talk about. So maybe tell us about your list. What’s that?


Sam Rathling  27:52  

Can I add one thing on to your list? Yes, yes, yes. Um, can we talk about the social selling index as well? Because that’s a good place to start with.


Martin Henley  28:00  

Yes, social selling index. Right. So now we need to prioritise these things. I think the Microsoft thing is going to be a really short conversation. I don’t think they’ve really improved it, they bought it in2016?


Sam Rathling  28:15  

There was 16. Yeah, $27.6 billion


Martin Henley  28:18  

Yes. They re skinned it. When was that? 2018. That was just after I produced my LinkedIn marketing course, for online purposes and I had to shoot the whole thing again. Have they really improved it? Has it changed because of Microsoft’s intervention?

What effect has the Microsoft acquisition had on LinkedIn?

Sam Rathling  28:35  

The thing is, I don’t think they’re operating under the guise of Microsoft, they’re still very much independent, their own independent organisation effectively. So I don’t think necessarily that Microsoft came along and went, you need to change this. I think LinkedIn were always on the trajectory that they were going on. I think it depends what perspective you’re looking at it from. So I don’t think it’s changed massively from a recruitment perspective over the years. I do think, though, for business to business, and for smaller businesses, in particular. I do think that they have changed it for the better. I think the fact that they are still one of the only social media platforms out there that still gives so much organic reach without you having to pay to play. All of the other platforms have gone paid to play. I think they may end up going there eventually but the organic reach is still, in my opinion, so much greater than all the other platforms. From that perspective, they could have at the point of acquisition, they could have gone down the route of pay to play and suddenly like, all the organic reach would have gone on everybody would have have to be paying to boost their content, etc. I think it’s coming, but it’s not here for a while. From that perspective, I think the amount of new products and features and rollouts that they introduced, I think that they’re still doing that. It’s something like five to 10 a month at the moment. They’re definitely making moves, and they’ve definitely made a lot of improvements. I certainly think it’s better than it was. How much Microsoft has had an impact on that I don’t know, to be honest.

Should you spend money on LinkedIn premium?

Martin Henley  30:04  

Okay, good. So there’s something else here that I’m interested in, which is … I say this to people. I don’t know about investing more, I’ve never invested in Sales Navigator, I’ve never had the need. What has always struck me, and this is what I’ve told people, is they give away the really, really good stuff. For example, you can spend, is it 50 quid a month on on premium? You can spend on that, but what’s the thing? Sorry, someone shouted at me. Okay. The thing about it is they give away the good stuff, there’s very little benefit to premium for me.


Sam Rathling  30:49  

Absolutely. I always say to people that there’s no point in buying premium. Yeah, either go free, or you go for an extra 29 or 25 quid, go Sales Navigator, because premium is useless in my opinion. Like, there’s absolutely no point in paying for it and either free or Sales Navigator, nothing in between. I agree with you. I think premium is terrible.


Martin Henley  31:10  

Okay, cool. Right. So that’s one issue I have with it. So okay, but we’re leading into Sales Navigator. 

Are LinkedIn Ads effective?

Martin Henley  31:18  

Advertising. I’ve advertised twice on LinkedIn, once in 2008, it’s my responsibility as a marketer, as a trainer to know if it works or otherwise. So then I told everyone, for however many years I was doing the training for five years don’t advertise it’s complete waste of money. Then I did it again, in 2019, just after I re recorded my LinkedIn course, obviously, I should market it there. They charged me 17 pounds per click. They claimed there was 17 clicks. I don’t know what that mass was, it was like nearly 300 pounds or something. Two of those clicks showed up on my Google Analytics, and neither of them were there for a second. Rather than it just being useless, it feels actually at that point to me like it’s fraud. I didn’t get the money back, which was annoying.


Sam Rathling  32:10  

I think I’ve yet to meet a company that successfully making LinkedIn ads work. Like if there’s somebody out there that’s making it work, like get in touch. At the moment, everything I do is very much organic focused. I’m not I don’t claim to be an ad specialist or focus on the ad side of things. I’m not a fan. They’re very overpriced and I don’t think they work particularly effectively. I think advertising on other platforms is far more effective. But if you’re doing organic correctly, and if you’re building your personal brand, and if you’re doing social selling the right way, then there should be absolutely no need for you to invest in in advertising on this good. LinkedIn. 


Martin Henley  32:49  



Martin Henley  32:51  

Yeah, it’s not worth it.


Martin Henley  32:52  

Good. Me either. 100%, I’d really don’t. 


Martin Henley  32:55  

This is also kind of part of a theme that develops is that you say they could go pay to play. They can’t, they’ve got no idea how to do it. Even like the most stupid rich person is going to get to a point where they will go look at their analytics and say, Oh, they say we had 17 clicks and we’ve actually had two and they were 17 quid each. This is my overarching feeling about LinkedIn, the corporation and and Microsoft Corporation is they’ve , I’ve got no idea how to monetized this thing. I think you’re right, they kind of get away with it because lots of people pay for premium. What do you get you get three InMails from is that what you get from premium? I don’t know.


Sam Rathling  33:40  

You see your profile views, you get a few inmails, things like that. But honestly, it’s not it’s not worth it. 


Sam Rathling  33:45  

They make most of their money is going to come from the recruiter aspects like a lot. They charge a lot to recruitment companies and HR, and recruiting teams like that. The licences for the recruiter packages are ridiculous. I used to run a recruitment agency, I know how much they were trying to charge me for per head to have a recruiter licence on it was just insane. So they’re gonna make most of the money from that 


Sam Rathling  34:06  

They’re gonna make money from ads as well, because large companies invest in ads on LinkedIn. And you will notice at the moment, I mean, we’re recording this in September 22, the newsfeed now is starting to get a lot more heavily populated with sponsored content. On the mobile feed about every, every other post is a sponsored post at the moment. So there’s definitely a shift in the algorithm and a shift in the moving much more to that and showing more ads to people. But I honestly genuinely don’t believe companies should be investing massive amounts in the paid sponsored ads on LinkedIn. It’s just not an effective use of money.


Martin Henley  34:42  

Okay, so the one person who claims to be really benefiting from LinkedIn advertising, not somebody I know, I don’t know if you know him, is Gary Vaynerchuk. I did a reaction to his 35 minutes of marketing strategy, where the only thing that he really recommended is that people spend $6000 a month on LinkedIn advertising. I can’t stand the guy. For $6,000 a month I’d rather employ a couple of people. I’m gonna get far more value from that. Okay, good. 


Martin Henley  35:13  

So okay, good. 


Martin Henley  35:16  

So this leads us in then to Sales Navigator. So what does Sales Navigator cost, It costs 75 quid does it?

What does Sales Navigator cost and how does it work?

Sam Rathling  35:22  

There’s now two versions of it. There’s a £79 a month version if you’re in UK money, which is called the core version of Sales Navigator. Then there’s an advanced version of it, which is £99 pounds a month. I personally am on the advanced version of it and there’s a few reasons for that, one of them being that Smart Links is only available to advanced users and smart links for me is the hidden gold in Sales Navigator. So we can dig into what those are in a second. Two levels that most people would just need the £79 a month version, literally for anyone that’s paying premium, it’s only an extra 29 quid a month to unlock this phenomenal sales tool, that if you’re serious about getting business from LinkedIn, you have to have, it’s just insane what it actually does. 


Sam Rathling  36:12  

Sales Navigator is a completely different area of LinkedIn. When you log into, Sales Navigator is a completely different place. It has its own newsfeed with no algorithm so you’re not just shown in the newsfeed on Sales Navigator like whatever LinkedIn wants to show you there is zero algorithm there. You only see the posts from the people who you are saving out as potential companies you want to work for, and the people that you want to prospect. Let’s say you’ve spent some time building a list, because you can’t build a list in the free version, you can build a list of all of the top companies, you want to target, all of the job titles and the people that you want to target and those companies and those lists sit there and the home feed of Sales Navigator only shows you all of the posts that have been created by those people. So let’s say you have a top 100 hit list of companies you wanted to work with, you put all of them into a list and every post that happens, from any of the people or the companies that you saved just shows up all the time in that newsfeed. You can be really intentional with your engagement on the Sales Navigator newsfeed because you could be commenting and engaging with posts that have actually been created by people you want to do business with. If you hope that they’re going to show up on the newsfeed of normal, it’s not going to happen unless you’ve set their profile to be notified about their content. So the first thing is there’s no algorithm there and you see every post that you want to see you get notified about lots of different things. So that’s one thing that I really like about Sales Navigator. 

What is the benefit of engaging with prospects posts?

Sam Rathling  37:42  

A lot of people don’t realise the power of engagement, engaging on the post of somebody who is not yet your customer, but you want them to be, because you can get really visible with potential prospects just by putting quite insightful, meaningful comments underneath their posts and supporting their posts that they’re putting out there. So intentional engagement is a very missed activity that people don’t do enough of like they comment on their mates posts and they comment and support people that are in their network that they know. If you were to actually intentionally maybe four or five posts a day, go and intentionally engage on the posts of people that you want to do business with your suddenly going to get a lot of visibility with those people. When you eventually go to prospect them, they’re more likely to accept your connection request and start a conversation with you. So just doing that little bit of work beforehand in the newsfeed on Sales Navigator can help to increase your acceptance rates from prospects and increase the chance that they are actually going to want a conversation with you. So that’s one piece of it.


Martin Henley  38:39  

Okay. Can I just say that is really valuable. What I’m doing is, I’m not doing it yet, but I’m going to start marketing us,  everyone who’s been on the podcast as The International League of Marvellous Marketeers. So when I’ve interviewed you, I want to support you, because I’ve spoken to you for an hour and a bit, I know that you’re good. This is part of my issue, people don’t get marketing. They don’t know they should invest in marketing and when they do, they go out in the world, and they get ripped off very often. That’s the thing. 


Martin Henley  38:57  

What I do is now I search for people, and I like their posts, and I share their posts but the algorithm hasn’t woken up to the fact that I’m not interested in any of this “I did a sponsored walk at the weekend rubbish.” I’m interested in the people that I’m interested in but you’re saying to do that I need I need Sales Navigator?

How to clean up your LinkedIn newsfeed and get the most relevant posts.

Sam Rathling  39:33  

There are two ways you can do that. So for you, I would go to the people that you’ve interviewed on the podcast and go to their LinkedIn profile and now there’s a new feature which is called a notification bell which sits in the top right hand corner of their profile just underneath the banner. You hit the notification bell and every time they post something, you’ll be notified about their posts. So that’s how you do it in the free version. You could go to my LinkedIn profile and just start underneath my header image, you’ll see a little bell on the right hand side hit the bell, and you’ll get notified of my content. So one of the things I do when I post now is I say in my call to action in my comments, hit the bell on my profile to see more posts like this. Most people don’t know the bell exists. You can hit the bell of somebody you’re connected with, and you can hit the bell of someone you’re not connected with. If there was someone say that you wanted to have on the podcast that  maybe didn’t have a connection with, but you wanted to  be supporting their content ahead of when you asked them to appear on the show, you could hit the notification bell and make sure that you’re getting visible with them, for example, between now and when you actually approach them to be on the show, for example The free way to do it is the notification bell, the surefire way of seeing it is all the time is the Sales Navigator. You don’t have to have Sales Navigator, but that’s one of the ways that I would use Sales Navigator every day, I log in, I see, all the posts of Chief Revenue Officers, Chief Sales Officers, Chief Marketing Officers, all the people I’m prospecting in larger companies, and I’d make sure that I’m engaging with anything that they’ve recently posted.


Martin Henley  41:14  

Any one on social media, anyone who is active on social media really wants people to engage with it. Anyone who’s active on social media, whatever the plan is.


Sam Rathling  41:29  

Even if they are high up on a board, and a board level role, or something like that, the fact that anybody is actually liking, commenting, engaging with their stuff that they’re going to take notice, you know, especially if there’s only a handful of people have done that, you’re gonna get on that person’s radar. I had a client recently, we talked about this a lot with our community and one of my clients, she’s a co mentor. And she hadn’t been doing this at all. And she went out to, she started using her Sales Navigator feed. And she commented with quite an insightful comment on the post of somebody running quite a large organisation in the UK, I can’t mention who it is because obviously it’s confidential, she has actually landed the business. She put an insightful comment and that led to a one to one conversation in the inbox because he was curious about her insight on the post, that led to a call, and then that led to her landing the business. If she hadn’t have intentionally engaged on that post, she would never have had that conversation. So I think people miss a trick by not doing that and not supporting the posts of people they either have already as customers or want to have as customers


Martin Henley  42:32  

100% I’d agree with that. 100%. And the other thing is, if Sales Navigator does that, that is valuable, because that’s something. I’m looking at LinkedIn, and I look at my notifications, it’s like, why are they sending me this junk? It’s not people I know. It’s not people I’ve engaged with, it literally is junk. Somebody who knows somebody said something, it’s like, why do I care? You know, literally, okay, I


Sam Rathling  42:57  

Definitely, if you’re fed up with what’s in your news feed in environment, I think the Sales Navigator newsfeed is is a good a good place.


Martin Henley  43:05  

I don’t know if I am ready to give Bill Gates 80 quid a month.


Sam Rathling  43:09  

I’ve got a referral code for two months free, you can try it out.


Martin Henley  43:13  

But then at the end of the two months, they just take all of the money for the year and it’s a considerable amount of money. That’s annoying.


Sam Rathling  43:20  

I always say to people, if you’re gonna take the trial, always, they always have it automatically set to annual. So when you sign up for the you need to switch it to monthly and then they only charge per month, but they have been known to like, take the whole amount.


Martin Henley  43:31  

I did this last November. I don’t know why. I know why cause I did a training. So I wanted to show people. November, whenever that was November, the 10th, November the 11th. So December 12, I get an email. Thank you LinkedIn of just taking 600 quid. It’s like, maybe I was wanting to spend that 600 quid on my Christmas. Anyway, I fought with them, and they gave it back. So that’s my top recommendation for days. Fight with them. They’ll give it back. But they’re like, oh, as a gesture of goodwill. It’s like, well, no, because I haven’t had any of the benefit because this is day one of 365 days. But you can take a day at 360/5. Anyway, that’s fine. Okay, cool. 

What is in Sales Navigator that we should be excited about?

Martin Henley  44:12  

What else is in Sales Navigator that we should be excited about


Sam Rathling  44:16  

So when you’re searching for people, especially if you’re in a sales function, or you’re a business owner, and you’re looking to find people that could be potential customers, there’s about 36 search filters within Sales Navigator. On the free version of LinkedIn, you just have like a few filters at the top when you’re searching for job titles or people you can search for company, industry, locations and basic things. Inside Sales Navigator, you can really kind of delve really deep into the types of people that you want. For time efficiency, you can then save those people into lists. So a monthly habit when I’m working with a sales team, for example, as I teach them to list build once a month, if they’re gonna approach 20 people a day, which is the max you can approach, the limitation is now 100 a week in terms of invites. If they’re doing 20 approaches a day, they need to build a list of around 300 to 400 people to get those numbers. I normally spend in my team, they spend a couple of hours a month, basically using the search filters and then finding all the people that they want to prospect that month. That couple of hours is then every single day, then you haven’t got to go in and run a search every single time you just go into Sales Navigator, push out your first messages to the to the batch of people that you’ve got there and jump out again. It can be can be literally 10 or 15 minutes a day activity just to get 20 invitations out. If your message is highly personalised and good, you should see about 50% of those people accepting the invitation request, and then it’s about what you do next, which is the follow up messaging, etc.

What are the connection request limits on sales navigator?

Martin Henley  45:53  

Is the limitation the same in Sales Navigator as it is in the free version.


Martin Henley  45:58  

Yeah, which really did annoy me because we’re paying for Sales Navigator to use it as a sales tool but they put the same restrictions on Sales Nav as they have for free users. In my opinion, they should have made the restrictions on free and I think they would have got a lot more people jumping across to Sales Nav. I genuinely think they missed a trick there. Everybody was outraged when they couldn’t prospect unlimited numbers. So they should have gone if you go over to Sales Navigator, you’ll get x more, double more or whatever it is. I know they did it to kill automation and kill the bots and everything else but I was really annoyed. A lot of my clients were really annoyed that they have paid for Sales Navigator, and they’re still on the same restrictions as free users. So I think they missed a big opportunity there.


Martin Henley  46:43  

Okay, so let’s put that on the long list of big opportunities that they’ve missed. Okay, cool. 


Martin Henley  46:51  

So lists. So there’s like a CRM function you’re saying, so you can build your list?


Sam Rathling  46:56  

Yeah, you are building a list of people that you want to target, it does link to CRM systems. If someone is using dynamics, or they’re using Salesforce, whatever, there is a CRM integration there. 

Why should we care about Smart Links in LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Sam Rathling  47:09  

The other thing I love about Sales Navigator is Smart Links. You can only get those on the advanced version of LinkedIn but essentially, you’re setting up a link so that when someone clicks on it, you know, who’s looked at it, and how long they’ve looked at it for. Let’s say you had some information, some marketing material or some information about your business and it was sitting on your LinkedIn profile, on the featured section, maybe used in some content. A lot of the problem with content is you can’t actually see who was actually looked at that post. Lots of people on LinkedIn are the lurkers, they’re in the shadows. They don’t like and comment. In fact, a lot of your best clients are going to come from the people that are just watching you, but don’t ever like and comment. A Smart Link, when it’s embedded into content allows you to see who’s clicking on it, and how long they click on it on it for which creates leads. And most people don’t know how to create leads from their content, because they don’t know who’s watched it, who’s seen it, who’s viewed it, etc. So I can send somebody to a Smart Link, they can click on the Smart Link and LinkedIn will tell me, let’s say there were five things in my Smart Link, a video, a book, a call link, a PDF that they can download, and some other stuff they can read. LinkedIn will tell me in the Smart Link, what they’ve clicked on, and how long they’ve spent on it. Anyone that spent more than 30 seconds on any of the items in my Smart Link they are getting a direct message for me, because I know what they’ve looked at and what they’re interested in. That for me is the gold that is in Sales Navigator.


Martin Henley  48:39  

Yes, yes. Yes. That’s amazing. That is amazing. Because then you reach out to those people, you don’t say, I know what you looked at and I know what you’re interested in, you just reach out to those people in the normal way and they are interested in you.

The insanity of the search function on LinkedIn.

Martin Henley  48:55  

I just want to go back to the last thing about this list of like this reaching out to people or No, no, no, no, this searching  when I started work, like if I wanted to know who did what in my prospects company, the only option available to me was to phone up and fight with the receptionist. That was it. Fighting obviously was no good whatsoever, you have to make friends with the receptionist, it was the receptionist. The receptionist was the key, the gatekeeper. Now in a training, I’m sure you do it, I sell, okay, who sells business to business? And they say I do and I say okay, where and who are you selling to? It’s like HR directors in the UK. 30 seconds later, there’s your 56,000 prospects. Now you get the opportunity to be a bit fussy and say, Okay, well, I can’t sell to 56,000 people. So do I really, really want to sell to you know, that function, the fact that function is free is insane. Historically, you would spend your career trying to work out who those people were and the fact that you can do that in less than 30 seconds, and it’s free. And okay, so having more search fields is good for when you get really fussy. The fact that that’s free is just insane, is just.


Sam Rathling  50:25  

There’s definitely advantages (to Sales Navigator). So for example, we’re working with a client at the moment, who really wants to know the technology, already wants to know what technology are these clients already working with? So in Sales Navigator, for example, you can say show me all the companies that are this type of business, and this type of industry, who happen to use, for example, Shopify, or they happen to use Salesforce. So you can actually as a tech company, you can target companies that are already listed as using certain other technologies, for example, so that it goes really, really deep dive in terms of like how detailed you can get in there. Because the fact that they’re using a particular software allows him to know already and go in with a particular angle, but you wouldn’t know that unless you had Sales Navigator, for example.


Martin Henley  51:10  

Okay, so how do they know that?

Is Sales Navigator worth the subscription.

Martin Henley  51:18  

It’s sounding like it might be worth 80 quid, I’m not actually selling anything, I just want people to watch my videos now. I’m not actually selling anything. So I’d struggled to give Bill Gates nine hundred and sixty quid a year.


Sam Rathling  51:30  

There’ll be people listening to this that do believe that LinkedIn is a good place for them to be, that are looking for new customers, that are looking for leads, and I personally believe that like the investment for eighty quid a month is so worth it. To actually, number one, save time. Number two, get more targeted focus. And number three, be able to actually engage with the right types of people and then see who’s who’s actually reading your content through Smart Link.


Martin Henley  51:58  

Yeah, 100%.


Sam Rathling  51:59  

I don’t work for LinkedIn, I’m not here to pitch Sales Navigator but if you are going to invest in it get trained in how to use it, because it can, it can be really confusing when you first go in. Don’t just buy it and then expect everything’s gonna happen, like other things around it have got to work. So your profile has got to be set up correctly, you need to know who you’re targeting, you know, there’s loads of other things that impact the success you can have on LinkedIn. But Sales Navigator will certainly make your job a lot easier but don’t do it unless you’re going to get trained.


Martin Henley  52:28  

Do you know anyone who might be able to provide that kind of training?


Sam Rathling  52:31  

Maybe there’s probably a few people. My next book is very heavy Sales Navigator focussed. Linked Outbound, has got six chapters dedicated to Sales Navigator, so yeah,


Martin Henley  52:41  

Here’s the thing. 

What is the key to marketing yourself effectively on LinkedIn?

Martin Henley  52:43  

When I do the training it’s 10% how to use LinkedIn, 90%, how to be  an effective canvasser or prospector. How do you position yourself? Who are you targeting? What is the messaging, that stuff. Actually, LinkedIn is so good, that bit is super easy. That’s not the bid they need. You can teach somebody how to do that in an hour, teaching them how to market themselves takes, I think, much longer.


Sam Rathling  53:21  

Yeah, for sure. We’ve nailed it down to eight different prospecting campaigns. There are certain campaign types that are working better than others at the moment right now. 


Sam Rathling  53:31  

You can use LinkedIn to fill events. So if you’re running webinars, or you’re running online workshops, you can use a prospecting campaign designed specifically to get your ideal prospects to an event and then convert them off the back of that event. That’s one type of prospecting campaign.


Sam Rathling  53:45  

Another one that’s working really well as what we call a give campaign where you’re giving something of massive, highly perceived value away, to then engage a prospect and then from there, you can then you know, move them further down the sales funnel. 


Sam Rathling  53:57  

So there’s lots of ways to use it. You can use it to build your email list. There’s so many ways that you can prospect. The bit that people are missing, though, is that they’re prospecting, they’re posting, they’re engaging, but they’re not getting results because they’re not actually using it as a way to get people off the platform. In our academy, for example, most of that comes from events. We have a prospecting campaign designed using events. We use LinkedIn events to fill the events, and then we collect email addresses. The traffic comes from LinkedIn but 70% of the people that show up for the events actually come off the back of the email campaign. Most people are not connecting the dots between all of their marketing, they’re seeing LinkedIn as one place to do business and it’s not. They’ve got to actually take people off the platform and get them into the rest of their marketing function and that’s the bit that people are missing. They’re doing what they think they should be doing. Because everybody’s saying, Well, you’ve got to produce content, you’ve got to prospect and you need to like and comment, and you need to engage and show up, but they’re missing the key elements of the entire process from end to end. That’s the bit that makes the biggest difference and that’s the bit that people miss.


Martin Henley  55:06  

Yeah, but nobody comes from email because everyone knows that email marketing hasn’t worked in the last 15 years, everyone knows that. Everyone knows that like Facebook killed email, and then Twitter killed email, and then LinkedIn direct messages killed the email. Everyone knows that email is properly dead. Of course it is. It makes a lot of sense. Yes. Yes, go ahead. I can see big positives and negatives that you’ve kind of alluded to already, of doing this within a corporation. 

Can we trick the LinkedIn algorithm?

Martin Henley  55:41  

So the big positive is that there might be 100 of you on the sales team and you can kind of organically, not quite organically, but you can create what they call post parties, are you familiar with this idea. Or if you get so much engagement in the first hour or two, then you’ll get so much more reach LinkedIn will think it’s .. Is that true? You are shaking your head and nodding at the same time.


Sam Rathling  56:05  

Yeah, I’m not a big fan of like pods, or post parties or whatever. There’s all sorts of names for them, engagement pods and things like that, it’s just people generally trying to trick the algorithm. LinkedIn has cottoned on to that, as they always do, when people are trying to game the system. So what used to work doesn’t, Pods and things like that doesn’t work as effectively. The algorithms shifting all the time. I just get people to focus on posting a quality piece of content, that’s actually going to engage their target market. Regardless of what time of day, it goes up, or regardless of anything, if it’s a decent post, it’s going to perform well, you don’t need 100 people jumping on that post to game the algorithm to make it happen. Although it can be helpful to have, you know, some colleagues and things posting, I don’t recommend that that’s the the way that people do it. I recommend actually creating a piece of content that people actually want to engage with and using techniques to actually encourage that engagement on the on the newsfeed.

How do you organise large sales teams to work effectively using LinkedIn?

Martin Henley  57:01  

Okay, super cool. So that might be a benefit if you’re a huge sales team, you can kind of support each other. The challenge is, how do you stop everyone piling into the same contacts every day? Because I have had that where I’ve had like three invitations from the same company on the same day. I don’t care. I really don’t care, I’ll accept anyone who wants to invite me. They did get a message saying this is the third invite I’ve had from your company today, do you? I mean, get get your shit together. So how do you manage that?


Sam Rathling  57:41  

I think we mostly when we work with a sales team, they’ve got 100 people, usually it’s either a European wide team, or whatever. They’re usually quite geographically split, most of the teams that I work with. They’re either focused on a particular vertical or industry or they’re focused on a particular geographic area. Most of the time, they’re not all going to be prospecting exactly the same company, with exactly the same job title. When I am teaching a large team to prospect we usually have some time beforehand with the sales leadership team to ensure that doesn’t happen, because there will be no point. Most of them have got their key account list. If they’re selling enterprise, or B2B, a lot of them are on very long sales cycles, you know, 6, 12, 18, 24 months even. If they’re going after for a large enterprise account, there’s usually somewhere between seven and 20 players that they actually need to prospect in that organisation, they’re not going to get the sale just from speaking to one person. So when it’s when we’re talking about going after a key account or a large business, they usually have to connect with everything from the boardroom, right the way down to the technical users as well. So it’s kind of a bit more of a strategic play when they’re targeting large, large accounts. But obviously, it makes sense for them to decide, like, who’s going to prospect where, and you can split that geographically or by industry or whatever, but I never recommend kind of everybody going off to everyone because it wouldn’t make any sense. It’s not efficient. Yeah.


Martin Henley  59:04  

So you have to think about territories and those kinds of things. But in a sensible organisation, they will have done that already.


Sam Rathling  59:10  

A lot of companies I work with would be you know, they might have like people in 23 countries and then individual teams then decide in each location, like who’s gonna go after what on they break it down by industry or job type.


Martin Henley  59:23  

Yeah, cool. Okay, we are really knocking this stuff out. 


Martin Henley  59:28  

So if we’re talking about posting, it’s appalling the quality of posting that goes on LinkedIn. People have actually spoken to me about this and they say that they put together what they call engagement posts. They will start talking about their wedding day, or the day their daughter got married or something deeply personal or when I don’t know something dark like when they were diagnosed with cancer or when they lost somebody. So there’s that kind of level of posting going on there. Do you remember? What was her name? Catherine Tate was it. One of her sketches was where she would go into the office on a Monday morning and the colleague would be boasting about how much good they did for society over the weekend, so there’s that level of posting going on, I did this fundraiser, I did this or, or you should give money to this charity. The way it presents to me, like you’re a BNI person, you were a BNI person, there was a level of person in the BNI. When I was there, when I started my business, a long time ago. There was a level of person there, and everyone knew that they weren’t really up to much like this was 2005 or 2006, it might be the life coaches before life coaches really knew what they were supposed to be doing. There’d be that level of person who didn’t do very much. 

What should people be posting on LinkedIn?

Martin Henley  1:00:55  

The way LinkedIn kind of presents to me now is, it’s all those people with way too much time on their hands, who are doing all of the posting, because I’m not even joking 98% of what I read falls into one of those two categories, or another category, which is just as annoying and trite and trivial, and not businesslike. So it presents to me, like I’m looking at, they call it a grown up Facebook, or they call it a Facebook for professionals. It feels to me like it’s gone too much that way. You would say, I’m not investing to get Sales Navigator and just make sure I’m only getting delivered the stuff that I really want to get delivered.


Sam Rathling  1:01:35  

I wouldn’t necessarily say that, there’s definitely the human element or the emotion led stories are definitely getting more traction from an algorithm perspective. It’s definitely not just about business posts anymore. I look back at all of the posts that I’ve done over the years, and the ones that generally get the most interaction tend to be the ones where there’s some kind of story element, or where there’s some kind of personal angle in there.


Sam Rathling  1:02:04  

I think it is important for somebody, if they’re building a personal brand and building their business to show all facets of themselves not everything but  I alwaysb when I do a personal posts, I try and bring some kind of business angle in there. So I think it’s okay to do personal posts as long as you’re bringing in something, a lesson or bringing in something that’s going to be valuable to people. I always try as much as possible to add as much value as possible to my posts, I always try to give, like givers gain in BNI. It’s all about giving and adding value as much as possible. The posts that go viral are the ones which flood the news feed are the ones that typically have got some kind of big, traumatic thing, etc. 


Sam Rathling  1:02:46  

Well, I am going to start engaging with your posts because you are now part of the International League of Marvellous Marketeers. So you’re on the list, if I can find you, if I can convince the algorithm that I am interested enough in you.


Martin Henley  1:05:03  

There’s only two of us and one of them’s a guy. 


Martin Henley  1:05:14  

No, there’s another one because I’ve been looking for your pictures today because …


Sam Rathling  1:05:19  

There’s a guy in America who’s the CEO of a tech company, and he still won’t connect with me. My namesake won’t connect with me, I’ve tried a couple of times.


Martin Henley  1:05:26  

I did that on Facebook. I think everyone did that on Facebook in 2009. With all the other Martin Henley’s. Are you getting this at the moment? I keep getting messages from Google saying are you the author of and one of them was like, are you the author of lowest Lower Intestine Blockages?  It was appalling? Yeah, so there’s a Martin Henley, also, who’s a barrister.


Sam Rathling  1:05:51  

There’s not many Sam Rathlings around


Martin Henley  1:05:53  

No, you’re blessed. Okay, good. What did I want to say? 


Martin Henley  1:05:57  

I’m just kind of old fashioned. Do you know what I think? If it’s business, now, I am a relationship seller. So when I’ve been involved in selling, I have build relationships, you know, and I do want to talk to them about their football team, their whatever do you know, I mean, their kids, their holidays, they’re all that stuff I’m interested in. But I’m old fashioned. I think if you’re broadcasting, then you should, and this is the issue is that people don’t know how to talk. I think people don’t know how to deliver value. I don’t think they know how to talk about the value they deliver. I don’t think they know how to make their customers the heroes of their stories. I think it’s pretty lowball if you’re talking about I don’t know any less. You’re not going to address my issues today. So let’s not even pretend that you are. 


Martin Henley  1:06:44  

Okay, good. So we’re already up to question three, how does it feel? How does it feel? Blimey,


Sam Rathling  1:06:51  

we’ve gone through a lot, haven’t we? We’ve gone through


Martin Henley  1:06:53  

a whole load. And the thing is, typically people will have answered this question. But if you can answer it in a really kind of succinct way that might go really well on Tiktok, or Instagram reels or something like that. So if you can answer it within a minute or two minutes, that’d be really good.

What is your recommendation for anyone who wants to get better at LinkedIn or social selling?

Martin Henley  1:07:08  

So the question is, what is your recommendation for anyone who wants to get better at LinkedIn or social selling? 


Martin Henley  1:07:15  

Ah, we haven’t spoken about the social selling index either.


Sam Rathling  1:07:20  

Do you want to talk about that? Because I think that’s a really big part. But maybe that could be the answer to this question.


Martin Henley  1:07:26  

Okay, good. Let’s see how we go.

What is your social selling score?

Sam Rathling  1:07:28  

The key thing when it comes to getting better is understanding where you’re at right now. Luckily, for everybody listening, there is a measurement that allows you to understand how good you are at this thing called social selling, it’s a thing called the Social Selling Index. You can go check out your score, it’s a score out of 100 points and LinkedIn ranks you on four different categories, each of them equally weighted. One of them is around building your professional brand. One of them is around finding the right people and building your network. The next is about how you engage with the news feed. The final one is about building trusted relationships. Ultimately, social selling comes down to those four things, personal brand, building out your network with the right people, building trust, and relationships and engagement. Those four areas can be measured on the LinkedIn Social Selling Index, which you can Now you’re gonna go running off to find out what your score is but the magic happens at 75. Plus, if you have a Social Selling and net score at less than 75, you have some work to do but at least you have a measurement and a way to understand how you can improve and it updates very regularly. So you can check your Social Selling Score today and check it in a week from now, a month from now, and see how you’re tracking so that you can improve and make improvements on the areas that you should be doing in order to get better at LinkedIn and social selling.


Sam Rathling  1:07:40  

That’s your recommendation for people who want to get better at LinkedIn and social selling?


Sam Rathling  1:08:57  

It’s one of the recommendations. It’s not the only thing but it is one of the things I think that people need to understand, where am I today? And where do I want to get to? 


Sam Rathling  1:09:07  

Because everybody’s on LinkedIn for a different reason. You’re there for different reasons to somebody else that might be in a business development role, for example. If you want to build your personal brand and prove your following, that will be a totally different recommendation than somebody wants to actually get more sales and get more customers. So it’s a really hard question to answer in a minute, because it’s about doing all of the different thing.

Reading recommendations from The International League of Marvellous Marketeers.

Martin Henley  1:09:29  

Yes, but thankfully, we have spent the last hour and 17 minutes talking about all of the opportunity. So it’s good. We are good. Okay, cool.


Martin Henley  1:09:37  

So question number four, then really easy, what should people read?


Sam Rathling  1:09:42  

So there’s a couple of recommendations I have. The first one would be They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan, which is really focused in on understanding how to create content that really speaks to the people that you’re targeting. So They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. 


Sam Rathling  1:10:00  

There’s another great book called Content DNA by John Espirion, who is a fellow, he’s a technical copywriter, but also focuses a lot, he’s quite a geek when it comes to all things LinkedIn. He would be another person I’d recommend for the show as well for you, and also your next question.


Sam Rathling  1:10:16  

Obviously, I’m gonna say this one aren’t I.


Martin Henley  1:10:19  

Yes. Linked Inbound.


Sam Rathling  1:10:23  

That is really what you need to do, in order to get business from LinkedIn and social selling is understand all of the different aspects that make up the strategies for you to actually get business because everybody has a different objective for being there. So it’s quite a hard thing to answer but Linked Inbound, and then Linked Outbound. I’m literally writing the last few chapters this week and that will be out hopefully, by Monday. I’m gonna go with end of October, early November. So that will be my next one.


Martin Henley  1:10:54  

Excellent. Cool. I will look out for those. Super cool. Excellent. Well, that just brings us to the last question then.

Who are you going to throw under the bus?

Martin Henley  1:11:02  

And the last question is, Who are you going to throw under the bus? You need to throw at least two people under the bus,


Sam Rathling  1:11:08  

At least two people. So I’m going to throw under the bus, David Walsh, who is a YouTube strategist. He’s brilliant and you’ll have a good conversation, he is an Irishman so you have that in common? David Walsh, definitely. 


Sam Rathling  1:11:22  

I would also recommend Chris Taylor. I work alongside Chris Taylor in Pipeline 44 but we have very different focus. He’s much more about content, content marketing and he’s much more digital marketing focused on small business versus me being more corporate focused. Ge’d be another good guest for you to have. 


Sam Rathling  1:11:40  

And I would also recommend John esperion. Who is the author of content DNA?


Martin Henley  1:11:46  

How do I spell Expirian,


Sam Rathling  1:11:49  

ou’re going to ask me now what new ESP? I can never remember if it’s an I or an E. Hang on, let me just double check.


Martin Henley  1:11:57  

The author of Content DNA


Sam Rathling  1:11:59  

Content DNA, yeah, he is ESP i r i a n he is a relentless LinkedIn nerd. He’s also very good when it comes to people getting their message right, and their copy and things like that. So he’s a technical copywriter, who also talks quite a lot about LinkedIn, but a lot about content and how to get your message out there.


Martin Henley  1:12:21  

Fantastic. You’re an absolute star. The way it works best is if people put together like a little LinkedIn message introduction, yes. That’s the way it really works well, if you could do that, for me, that would be absolutely phenomenal. Do you want the good news? We got to the end. Oh, yeah. We didn’t argue about very much and we spoke about everything I wanted to.


Sam Rathling  1:12:48  

I think we were actually on the same page on a lot of things to be fair.


Martin Henley  1:12:52  

Yeah and to be fair, I just want people really to be motivated. I’m just really happy when I find really good people who are really generous and just tell people exactly how it is. It astounds me how easy actually, all this stuff is, you know, it’s not, by the time you’re actually doing it, and engaging with it, it’s not the chore and it’s not the hardship that people think it is. People need to do it if they’re going to be successful in their businesses, you know, businesses a process of having customers profitably. And then you have to be able to do sales and marketing to do that. That’s kind of the mission that I’m on. That is the mission that I’m on. I have thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you so much for your time.


Sam Rathling  1:13:37  

Thank you for having me. If you have questions or anything at all, like feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, happy to help and just mention the show when you connect so that I know where you found me.


Martin Henley  1:13:47  

Okay, super cool and if you want us to put any links in, anything like that, just get those to me and I will do that for you absolutely no problem. Okay, so what we’ll do is we’ll say goodbye for the purposes of anyone who might still be listening to us, and then we’ll stop recording and then we’ll say goodbye like normal human beings. Is that cool? 


Martin Henley  1:14:06  

That’s cool. This has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much, Sam.


Sam Rathling  1:14:11  

Thanks for watching. Take care. Bye. Bye.


Martin Henley  1:14:13  


Martin Henley

Martin Henley

Martin has built a reputation for having a no nonsense approach to sales and marketing and for motivating audiences with his wit, energy, enthusiasm and his own brand of audience participation.

Martin’s original content is based on his very current experience of running effective marketing initiatives for his customers and the feedback from Effective Marketing’s successful and popular marketing workshops.



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