Episode 8 Social Prospecting with Pete Herbst
In today’s episode, Gary is talking with Pete Herbst, founder of The PSP System.
Key Topics Discussed:
- Social Prospecting (2:07)
- Conversational outreach approach (7:16)
- The Tools/Techniques we use (8:36)
- Do we got some LinkedIn issues? (10:32)
- Are we also growing the Network at the same time? (12:03)
- Recommendation (14:00)
- “You don’t just stick to LinkedIn, you go beyond LinkedIn”, Conversational approach to Email(15:52)
- Benchmarks (17:45)
- How to get the right people to call (20:18)
- What else should people know about this system (22:50)
- The PSP System (24:29)
Resources mentioned on the show:
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00:00:06 Gary Ruplinger
All right, welcome everybody to another show of Pipelineology. This is your host Gary Ruplinger an today I am pleased to be joined by Pete Herbst, founder of the PSP System Pete. Welcome to the show.
00:00:20 Pete Herbst
Thank you so much Gary, thanks for have me. How is it guys? Just to make sure this Leo’s.
00:00:25 Gary Ruplinger
Well, my pleasure I am. I’m excited for this episode because today we’re gonna be talking about social prospecting. But before we jump into all that Pete, can you just give us a little bit kind of your story? Your background? How you got here.
00:00:40 Pete Herbst
OK, so I’ve been involved in sales for about well over 20 years and you know every sales team needs leads to work on, so you’ve got either your salespeople jump onto cold calls called prospecting, which is every salesperson’s nightmare jumping on the call and getting onto a phone call with somebody. That’s probably not too impressed about you finding them to be fair and during just before covered the lockdowns and everything hit, you know our plastic exercise down Turkey, so I was forced to read look at how things are going to develop.
00:01:23 Pete Herbst
We have migrated. There’re no walk-ins you can’t phone, you can’t sit in the course into or at your place of work and phone. Somebody or agent appointment and get them to come to you. To our sales meeting, so we had to change that whole setup. So, through a lot of trial and error we came up with. At a pipeline that is Omni channel, it focuses on the cold email after each plus LinkedIn outreach. So, it takes what your sales team or your presales team would have done, and it puts it into a pipeline that delivers fantastic results.
00:02:04 Gary Ruplinger
Very cool, so social prospecting, so I think you just kind of explain that social prospecting. Essentially, we’re looking at a system that uses LinkedIn and email outreach to get peoples to raise their hands and say hey I’m interested.
00:02:21 Pete Herbst
Yeah, so basically how this whole, how, how, how it happens is you actually we use an avatar. We create an avatar along with whoever we are doing this for and that is basically the perfect customer persona who they wanted to go to, who they want to do business with. So, what we do then is it we conduct a search on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn’s got some awesome tools like sales. Never get it and their recruitment option that they got, and you can really refine your search and really talk with people you’re looking for and you build the list, and you enter them into your pipeline. Now what makes this particular version of social prospecting so effective is that we base it on one very important. Cornerstone and that is, people sell to people, not businesses. Sell to businesses. So, the entire motivation is to have a conversation with the people that you’re contacting. So, you want to build a relationship with him.
00:03:25 Pete Herbst
They might not want to buy now, but they probably will buy in the future or at least refer you. It’s all about getting that relationship going about building the conversation and get it going. So social prospecting in this? Version or in this form is not just simply about selling your product to somebody, but it’s about expanding your network. Expanding brand awareness and giving yourself known. Getting yourself out there. Posting relevant industry driven content. Really engaging with your audience. Compared to, sorry to say this, but you’ll get guys from. Say I like China India and they’ll blast like 500,000 miles and it’s just the class pamphlet. It’s not gonna get delivered to where it’s supposed to be. You’re gonna get it in your spam folder. So, what’s? The point of sending the Mail, yet I mean.
00:04:25 Gary Ruplinger
No, that’s a good point. When I when I talk to people about email, I tell him your first challenge with that is you have to overcome the Nigerian Prince you know for actually. Yeah, you know that that’s where you start. If you show up in their inbox and they don’t know you, the first thought is these guys are Nigerian Prince. He’s going. He’s going to try and send me his fortune.
00:04:45 Pete Herbst
That’s it for sure. Assign a dotted line and you get your inheritance from where the relatively did that you had. It’s tightly like that, and the thing is, if you if you’re targeting, let’s say you’ve got high end product and you’re targeting high level employees, you need to get into the inbox. OK. Just to deliver the deliverability aspect of that. If you got any. Language usage or message headers that appear spammy. Forget it, you get if you get into the server first of all, OK, you’re going to get put into the promotional tab until your Nigerian Prince folder. You know what I mean? So, you’ve got it listed. The conversation you gotta grab attention, but not in a, not, not, not the sales way. So, one of the key things that we look at. We use a like a measuring stick where does the message look like you just came across this Plex profile or this person’s email address and you sat on the bus on the way home and you type them a quick email? You told him a quick message to get into a conversation with him.
That’s the key behind it. Sorry bout 5 polishing it to the point where you can see well, this is a script. This is something that’s been planned out. You know, like. It’s the numbers that we get if we’ve tried it.
00:06:12 Pete Herbst
We’ve used extensive cooperation and some of our messages and we got told not so nicely and nicely to please go away. You know, filter off into the sunset. When we use a conversational engagement that it looks like this, it was just I wouldn’t say slap shot put together. But it’s like Gary messaging me on the way home. You get any guys, right? Because people are sick of being salty. People want to have a chat to somebody they wanna talk, so that’s the angle that we that we use on the on in social prospecting it works.
00:06:48 Gary Ruplinger
So, if I’m understanding right so far you start, you start kind of building your avatar on LinkedIn. You start finding those people and then you kind of take a quality over quantity approach where you’re not looking for a million people to blast your message out to and then and then. Kind of you’re going with conversational. Approach to the messaging so you’d actually doing outreach to the people you connect with is that am I following so far?
00:07:16 Pete Herbst
Yes, that’s correct. So, we get into. We approach it from a conversational outreach, and it’s not a one message or two message sequence. It’s actually a formation sequence. So, you filter in to 2500 prospects into your pipeline, which runs for six weeks and those 2000 out of those 2500 prospects. You are sending 25,000 messages.
00:07:43 Pete Herbst
OK, and it’s timed in such a way that it looks like it’s you’re not spamming the person, but you’re not also out of sight out of mind. You know it’s not. You know what I mean? So, it in this is the engagement and what you’ve seen is that. I’d say run about 60% of our engagement comes between the 3rd and the 4th message. And people want then again, OK, Fantastic, you know, tell me about, we want them up. You’ve got them onto the correct thought pattern if you will and then you end the conversation. Then you get on a call. Simple as that.
00:08:22 Gary Ruplinger
So now do you guys do use kind of software to manage this? Is this all kind of being done by hand or is it? Do you kind of when you’re when you’re doing it for a client, do you teach them how to do it themselves? Or what does that kind of look like?
00:08:37 Pete Herbst
It’s basically done for you service, so what we do is we incorporate various tools that we’ve optimized and used over the over the price while we continually looking back and analyzing our daughter. Looking at the at optimizing the pipeline so the tools we use might necessarily be the same in six months’ time. cause we’re looking to get the maximum effect out of it and to automate it as much as possible. But at the end of the day when it comes to conversations. With your prospects, you don’t want to do it. You don’t want a machine to do it because you’re building the conversation. So as soon as that person replied to a message, you’ve actually got a human being getting into a conversation with. And that’s the difference.
00:09:27 Pete Herbst
People know when they’re talking to about. Because it’s the stock standard reply when you’re talking to a human being. Obviously that human being runs with the conversation. So, we’re not doing it. Let’s say I’m doing it for you, Gary. Then I will take a look at the content that you written that you are how your website is designed. How you speak and how you converse, how you, uh, what you’ve done in your posts and we use that language usage and your tone of voice to build the content number one and when we reply, we stick to that tone of voice. We stick to your language usage so that when they get into a call with you. They have got absolutely no idea that they haven’t been talking to you for the whole time. They think they’ve been conversing with you through the entire process. Uh, my team then gives you a total breakdown of the journey that the prospect has been on up until the point of the phone call.
00:10:30 Gary Ruplinger
I gotcha so, do you run into any issues with? I guess I know having talked to people about, you know LinkedIn, and kind of seeing messages about this. Do you run into people saying, hey, you know my account got shut down? Or LinkedIn said hey, you can’t do this, you guys run into any issues like that.
00:10:50 Pete Herbst
Not at all, because the tools that we use the algorithm is designed to mimic human behavior. It’s designed to fool LinkedIn into thinking that is actually physically somebody doing it. Plus, we stay well within the. The parameters set for the amount of connect requests and messages and views you can have in in the in the 24-hour period, so we don’t break any rules. We operate within the rules and we haven’t not. We run it quite a few for quite a few people. Various locations India, Europe, Asia Pacific. In the US as well, and not once if we had any issues with being flagged.
00:11:36 Gary Ruplinger
OK, that’s great. I know. Like I said, I know that people get worried about all this is going to ruin, you know, ruin my LinkedIn account or ruin my reputation. So, I figured I would ask that one cause I’m sure some people are out there thinking.
00:11:48 Pete Herbst
That’s a very, very good question.
00:11:51 Gary Ruplinger
So after. So, after you message them on LinkedIn, I think kind of before the call we were kind of talking about that. You also get the advantage that you’re growing your network at the same time.
00:12:03 Pete Herbst
Yeah, because I’ll use an example you send out. We send out on your behalf 1000 Connect requests.
00:12:11 Pete Herbst
Of that thousand, between 40 and 60% except your connect request. So that means, let’s say you had a profile of 800 people. Within six weeks you will have 400 more people in your network. That’s got a twofold. Advantage first of all, your networks bigger. So, in other words, your posts and your engagement will increase, and your followers will increase. So, your ideas and thoughts and the articles and things that you post on your timeline will get viewed by so many more people. Second of all, it also increases your second and third network connections.
00:12:54 Pete Herbst
LinkedIn works has got, has got a ripple effect so I drop 1 user or a drop into it and then it’s like it’s like dropping a drop board into a pond. It blends and then you get concentric circles that expand. Now you can say that the way the drop hits, that is your network. In the first concentric circle is your second connections and the 2nd and so it goes. So as your first connections increases and expands, the bigger the bubble, the bigger the drop gets. The bigger you’re sick in the third connections get. So, what will happen then? Is that your campaign reach will increase? Which Inverted will have a knock-on effect that your network will also increase.
00:13:43 Gary Ruplinger
So, as you’re building these things and doing this outreach, what do you recommend people actually do to share and put on their newsfeed? Like what does that kind of look like? ‘Cause it sounds like that’s a valuable kind of part of the system.
00:14:02 Pete Herbst
OK, so what I recommend is that let’s say you’ve got a campaign to. Start in say 2 weeks. In that two-week period, post at least six times before the time. It’s like you’re warming up the audience. You post relevant content, but let’s say that Gary is busy marketing his podcast and these are the themes that he wants to start exploring in the next 2 weeks. Then you’ll start posting content on his LinkedIn profile that’s relevant to the topic that he’s going to be that that’s been that he wants to, basically so. Let’s use an example. You could see developing company and you have developed an AI and machine learning testing platform. OK, it’s robust. It does its thing and you’re targeting companies who are into software testing and there are then recently have the means to do it. So, we just start doing is you’re going to start posting content on your timeline that we got that with regards to AI machine learning, robust testing platforms. One of benefits. What are the disadvantages really? Start building and warming up your audience to what you’re about and during the course of your campaign, you just keep running the not the same content, repeating it but fresh content you got. You got fresh content, your impact on your campaign increases exponentially.
00:15:40 Gary Ruplinger
Well, that’s awesome and I know you were saying that you don’t just stick to LinkedIn. You go beyond LinkedIn and I think you said you also email these people as part of the process.
00:15:52 Pete Herbst
That’s correct, what we do is we coincide like the list of people has got your link to your prospects LinkedIn. LinkedIn profile URL plus their email address and we validate these email addresses on twice so when that email address gets into our email client. You know for sure that that email is 100 percent for real. So that you don’t get hard bounces and your DNS records don’t go, or pear shaped that you maintain those records and those statistics which in which enables you to get into your high-profile service. Like if you’re targeting CEOs, managing directors, that sort of thing. So, in effect. Let’s say I’m targeting Gary and he’s a prospect and your prospect. You will receive four LinkedIn messages plus 4 emails and the content in both is basically the same.
00:16:54 Gary Ruplinger
Do you kind of take a conversational approach to email as well as that’s still kind of the whole theme.
00:17:00 Pete Herbst
So, the whole thing, the whole theme is a conversational email look. The language usage in the email is a little bit more professional than you would if you were talking to somebody on LinkedIn. cause LinkedIn is a professional network, yes. But it’s still a social network. So, you don’t want to appear as if you’ve rehearsed it in email. You can still the languages can be a little. Bit more rigid.
00:17:28 Gary Ruplinger
OK, so if somebody were doing this or wanted to try this, what kind of results would you tell somebody you know? Here’s kind of our benchmarks. Here’s what you should expect to see if you’re doing this. Let’s say your agency or a SAS company or something like that.
00:17:46 Pete Herbst
OK, if you, if you’ve done you. I would like to stress you that if you’re doing it, you’ve got to. Really, it’s very important to get your list right to target your avatar. And to get your content box. If you’ve got those two done, you’re looking at anything between 40 and 60% connection right on your LinkedIn.
00:18:11 Pete Herbst
OK, so let’s say you see the thousand you should get in the space of six weeks. You should get between 400 and 600. Knew connects on your profile of that, you’re probably gonna get an engagement rate of anywhere between 35 or conversation rate of anywhere between 35 and 45%, so I can’t really give you the numbers of my math. Isn’t that great? Looking about probably about 120 conversations and then of that you can probably get. Industry standards run about 3.6 to 3.7% gets into a call. Our industry what we’ve experienced is a cross platform. If you do it right, you’re looking in the region of 12% between 12 and 18%. Get onto an actual call with you and the thing is, the thing with that I also want to give advice too. Is that when you get onto the conversation with somebody? Be strict and so be strict and brutal when it comes to the criteria that they need to fit in. To get them on the call, otherwise you might end up with people that you get into a call with, and they’re not necessarily what you’re looking for.
00:19:32 Pete Herbst
The whole idea behind the whole this whole pipeline that you that you’re going through is to engage in conversation, yes, and then sift through the conversations that you’re having to get the relevant person to have the conversation with. It’s no good. You got city goals, but you don’t find any other. So that the whole idea behind the sift through those people that are time wasters and get the people that are really interested in what your services and what your product is and what they’re looking for.
00:20:03 Gary Ruplinger
Now do you put him through a pre-qualification process or are you kind of doing this on your own where you’re looking at their profile and seeing if they’re actually a good fit? You have any insights on how to figure out if they’re good fit before you get on the call.
00:20:18 Pete Herbst
OK, so. First of all, like I mentioned, the lists, the lists are very important because your view your avatar. You’ll see if you do a LinkedIn search, you’re gonna get guys that are MD’s of software companies, for instance. But not everyone is in that fits into your avatar. So out of a list of 1000 you’re probably gonna get maybe 303 hundred 5400 that are actually proper targets. Then you enter them into a pipeline, and you get into a conversation with him. And you start finding out, are they their business works? What they are doing internally? And then you’ll soon see whether or not this.
00:20:59 Pete Herbst
Person is a good fit now is it going to be a good fit later or is it absolute? No go so you grade them according to the conversations that you’re having ’cause you finding out about them? It’s a conversation. It’s not deep by my stuff, it’s what are you doing in your business? How are you running things? Maybe we can. Do you? Do you basically do some information sharing? To find out more about them so that you can adjust that information. To get the right person on the call.
00:21:33 Gary Ruplinger
OK, so when you’re getting on the calls with these people then it’s not an immediate kind of go for the jugular pitch. Then your thing. You’re still going with the conversational. Theme you’ve been going with is that am I understanding that correctly?
00:21:47 Pete Herbst
Wait, look by the time they’re getting on the on the call. They’re interested in what you did. They’re interested in hearing about. Your system, your product. By that time, they’re about 70 to 80% ready to buy.
00:22:05 Pete Herbst
Because they want your service, or they want your product. They want to use what you’re what, what you’re doing. ’cause that’s the way the conversation is designed. It’s been designed not to keep it at conversation level to the point where it’s just friends meeting in the pub. It’s a conversation with. It’s a topic conversation that you’re going to have. If you’re at a networking engagement where you’re trying to find new business and finding out what other people do and how you construct into their industries, how you can expand your network and build profitable relationships.
00:22:41 Gary Ruplinger
I mean, this sounds pretty cool what? What else should people know about this type of system?
00:22:51 Pete Herbst
It takes a lot of time. It’s definitely charger for real time, especially when you’re doing it in at scale. I mean, think about it, you put in 2500 people into your pipeline OK, and of those 2500 people that you put into your pipeline, you’re sending 25,000 messages. OK, and that is without anyone reply. If someone gets into a reply before you get into the call with him, you’re probably looking at an average of between 3 to 8 messages going to and from where you build in conversation. Will you finding out with this person get on the call or not?
00:23:32 Pete Herbst
So, if you quantify that. It does take time. It does take up a lot of your time. So, my suggestion would be. To block off time per day and just knuckle down and go for it. 2 hours a day if you don’t necessarily have to do it at scale, but at the numbers go. So, the higher the more numbers you filter into or throw into your pipeline, the more engagement and more success you’re gonna get. Depends how busy you want to be.
00:24:05 Gary Ruplinger
Well, that’s great is there? Is there anything else that I should be asking you that I haven’t asked yet?
00:24:11 Pete Herbst
Um, not that I can think of off the top of my head.
00:24:15 Gary Ruplinger
So, you have a system though, that really kind of takes a lot of this time commitment off their plate. Is that correct? That’s.
00:24:24 Pete Herbst
00:24:25 Gary Ruplinger
Could you share a little bit more about that system?
00:24:29 Pete Herbst
OK, so well basically this PSP system is what is basically exactly what we were Speaking of now as well. It’s actually a team of people that run your pipeline. We set up your avatar. We build your content for you and we run your pipeline. The only engagement that you have with you with these prospects is when you get into the phone call with him. We basically set the appointment in your calendar for you. We fill up your calendar. So that you are busy doing sales calls. Not busy prospecting, so the time you get into the call with that person you know this is. There’s like a 70% to 80% chance of X closing a deal there.
00:25:13 Gary Ruplinger
Oh wow, that’s a huge number.
00:25:15 Pete Herbst
It is and I can just throw some data out there for. With our latest campaign they’ve been running, I have booked 32 calls for my one client in six weeks.
00:25:31 Gary Ruplinger
00:25:31 Pete Herbst
Which isn’t, which isn’t a bad figure. That I mean, let’s get too busy.
00:25:38 Gary Ruplinger
That’s awesome, so somebody wants to learn more about this. Where should we direct them? Where should they go?
00:25:44 Pete Herbst
I would say go to the digital closes’ website. It said www.digitalclosers.com. Take a look at it there. There is a uh, the PSP VSL is there so you can take a look at that.
00:25:59 Gary Ruplinger
Alright, well that’s awesome. Well, we will definitely put that in the share that in the show notes for everybody. Pete. Thanks so much for coming on today. I really appreciate you sharing this. Check out digitalclosers.com if you want to learn more about this system and thanks everybody for joining us today. Then take care point. Thank you so much.
00:26:18 Pete Herbst