9 effective tips for selling with social media from Petek Hawkins

Petek Hawkins is the Head of Global L&D at FiveTran. In this conversation with The Collaborator, Petek shared real, no-nonsense, tips on social selling and the effective use of video as part of that process.

Here are a handful of tips to consider with many more included during the conversation.

1️⃣Know your target audience.

2️⃣Create thought leadership pieces and update your social media space with this content. On LinkedIn specifically your featured section should spotlight the videos that builds that personal brand.

3️⃣Record a quick pitch on your name pronunciation tool on LinkedIn.

4️⃣Be intentional on who you are going after in your cold outreach- do smart account mapping

Give a listen and remain curious.

Audio Transcript

The Collaborator
i’m the collaborator and i’m so excited i’m so excited to have with me today tech hawkins i’m excited in large part because of all those amazing baby pictures behind you to be honest that just made my day my wife is in the kitchen behind me and i can see her peeking in to look at the pictures as well because that makes us happy but this isn’t a baby hour so

Unknown Speaker
let’s talk about

The Collaborator
you tech tell us a little bit by you what you’ve been up to and all that good stuff

Petek Hawkins
i love that i’m super excited to john and i let’s just be honest this isn’t about me either this is all of our people who are listening to us and quite frankly i’m going to make sure that you have some great call to actions after this you can go and implement and i’m really hoping to hear from you after you implement some of these things how things went and what else do you want to focus on and a little bit about me my name is pathetic but as john likes to call me and so many other people who know me you can call me tech i’ve been in the go to market and revenue industry for as far as i can remember i’ve done anything from you know bdr role knocking on doors from individual contributor to all the way vp positions and my expertise is really highly scaling tech companies and helping startups to get ready to go public and how do i do that by helping their go to market teams so that’s a little bit about me and currently i am at five tran i’m leading their enablement l&d globally and this is an exciting journey for us prior to these i was at zoom and i was doing the same thing so it’s just fun for me to do what i’m doing so i’m just really happy to talk about what i saw as best practices from these go to market teams

Unknown Speaker
i love it

The Collaborator
and the topic we’re gonna talk about today is social selling and video usage which i’ll be honest with you there’s a 5000 episodes of people sharing anybody listen to me knows bullshit i’ll say bullshit because there’s a lot of it out there but i know with you we’re going to get to the to the heart of it and the meat of it which i’m excited about before we dive into the details in the tips what is social selling in your opinion

Petek Hawkins
i love that which reminds me of this movie where she goes like potion potion potion so let’s cut that

The Collaborator
thing and if you want to but nobody will want to listen

Petek Hawkins
funny so i mean social selling is actually very easy concept is just is the process of developing the relationship using platforms such as your linkedin twitter facebook pinterest and then now we have this really hot tick tock so you just implement that as a part of your sales process really easy

The Collaborator
yeah it’s not hard but it seems like there are countless experts out there telling us what it is and every time i hear somebody explain it i’m more confused because it’s not that complicated

Unknown Speaker
no just keep it simple

The Collaborator
why in your opinion is it so important though for us to get comfortable and good at social selling and using video

Petek Hawkins
okay so i’m just gonna put it out there i studied evolutionary biology and i’m really into the science of this and i hope i don’t offend people when i say that but we are literally social animals so

Unknown Speaker
i’m offended

Petek Hawkins
first and foremost it’s just why social selling because we’re social animals and if you think about it the human evolution has ingrained in our brains for 1000s of years of intelligence that can only be the shuford why you see someone’s face their body language and we still make a lot of the decisions emotionally it doesn’t matter if you’re the best why you why you now person if you tried the best scientific facts in front of person people buy with their emotions so when you think about that there’s going to be no text email phone conversation can take the place of doing social selling with that evolutionary coating that we inherently born with and response to the best if you’re not using you and i love this person named dan hill he is a facial coding expert who has done a lot of studies on this and if you’re interested you can definitely dive further into his work but a lot of the stuff that i actually based this conversation is coming from those scientific studies so we’re social animals social selling is best

The Collaborator
i just got to interrupt you that’s a great what i want to call out for people before you go on is you’re actually going to the heart and soul of this it’s not simply getting on to social and using it make a connection and send an inmail saying i want to have a conversation with you you’re talking about the real science behind it which which i think is really really important for people to know Understand as you go through this so, so go ahead sorry Danville really great.

Petek Hawkins
Oh no need to apologize like this should be conversational anyhow I’m like if I’m just talking here the entire time that will be pretty boring for people are watching or for people listening but for for me it’d be I love that. Um, so that’s why social selling and now why do you use video that that because again, when people say like video is the new phone I chuckled because I’m like, up fun has never taken the place of video, what are you even talking about, but that’s a different topic. So video creates this very unique connection that thinks to mirroring neurons in your brain to what’s happening. And then whatever emotion you’re conveying with this video is the emotion that your prospect is going to experience on some level too. So that’s why video is really important. So let’s take a look at some of the scientific importance and why video and social selling is going to impact the people who are listening right now their bank account. So Bom Bom is a video company. And I’m just going to highlight some of the studies that I’ve seen from them that was covered by Ethan, one of their evangelists. And so they’ve done a study this video company has been studying, but an inner international recruiting company. Once they started using video, they increase their reply rates by 56%. So just imagine what does it mean for you? If you can increase your initial Hello by 56%? Which is the entire thing that we’re looking at all right.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Petek Hawkins
I mean, what do you think, john? Like, if you had this knowledge, what would you do with that? Think about that, right?

The Collaborator
I know, it’s crazy. I know. And that’s the thing that people seem to lose track of, I think people get scared of seeing themselves on video. And it’s insane how often that happens. But, but that’s, that’s a really powerful number. 55 56% is crazy. Absolutely. Um,

Petek Hawkins
I would say, I was scared of listening to my voice on my voicemail, you’re never going to be scared of things. But you need to just break that shell and step outside of that comfort zone right away. If you’re not using them ago, I’ll just say that. The other thing is Customer Success site. This is not just for sales, like the initial sales. Another study that they’ve done revealed a 2% decrease in time to ticket resolution using video or a 55% increase in the first touch ticket resolution, these are some really impactful things. That means people really want this video interaction. These video interactions are delivering results. This is so incredible numbers and just shows that video works. And also video overcomes time and distance. And it scales incredibly. So it’s proven to work. So I would just, you know, make those comments about why social selling as a high level, and why video with social selling. You know, it’s

The Collaborator
interesting, you mentioned a couple of things tech, if you don’t mind. So you talked about some great research from Dan Hill. And all of those great statistics, why do you think why do those statistics change the way they change in your opinion?

Petek Hawkins
Um, again, it goes back to the science, right? Like we are working on something that is old news, but we are resurfacing that and for many years, I’ll just put this out there. Sales has been a good old boys club for a while, especially if you’re in the tech space. Oh, my God.

Unknown Speaker
Yes, absolutely.

Unknown Speaker
I just calling it out. Like,

The Collaborator
it’s not a good thing. But it’s absolutely true.

Petek Hawkins
Right. And some of these, you know, ways that it’s proven to work in the past have been, again, implemented with this good old boys club. And as technology caught up with that, now it resurfaced to be human again, right? And what’s to be human, it’s to connect, and it’s the clinic that the right level and is to deliver some value. So I think with with our emotions, now becoming a part of selling to, we’re seeing that selling is so much more than just the process. Selling is more about connection. It’s over video. And that’s why we’re seeing these impactful numbers. It’s all the science and how it’s now surfacing up at the right level, and maybe introduction of more female in the tech space too.

The Collaborator
I think there’s I think there’s a lot of truth to all about tech. I love that a lot. You know, what are what are people getting wrong today? I mean, I mentioned one example. People connecting with you instantly sending you an email saying hey, I thought your brain can we do a meeting while I try to sell you something. You know what else are people getting wrong though in terms of social selling and video today?

Petek Hawkins
I think people are getting the social part wrong. And let me explain what I mean by that. Um, You know, there’s this Gong event. And it was fantastic because one of their key content creator talked about how selling is not about relationship building, it’s about delivering volume. So I’m going to challenge that a little bit, and I’m going to say it is you still have to remain human. And you still have to deliver value. But you have to do those two things at the same time. So if you forget to be social in social selling, that’s your first, most number one mistake, right? So what does that really mean? Right? Like, what does it mean to be social? Remember that you are talking to another human being. So at any given interaction, any given outreach, you are competing against multiple priorities and decisions that your prospect is choosing over engaging with you. Time is money. So how do you best articulate the value of giving you that time, and giving you that micro? Yes, in a key is the key when it comes to social selling combined with video. So forget about the long emails, short texts, without context, just without the human level connection, results in hours of lost productivity will not be effective for you. So instead of that, really understand what is my why you why you now, right? If I’m connecting with you at a human level as another human, what do you care for now? And how can I make you more successful? How can I bring something that is value to you? And that’s being social, and that’s inhuman? So that’s one of them? What do you think about that gem?

The Collaborator
No, it’s a no brainer, in my opinion. And it kills me because I see people playing these games on LinkedIn and elsewhere all the time, where, you know, it’s a super trick. And I know you do a tour, a variation of it. My first name on LinkedIn is the Ph. D. And how many times I get an email saying, hey, V, I said, you know, last week, um, I know this is interesting to you, they do do one chat. And I’m like, you don’t even know the first thing about me, you haven’t even tried to be human, you’re just sending 1000s of emails out to people, and it’s a big fail, we seem to think we can automate everything, to the detriment of everything, in my opinion.

Petek Hawkins
I love that this reminds me of like a really good quote from Einstein. It’s not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything counts can be counted. So think about that, right? So yeah, I would think Einstein is a brilliant person. So you know, it’s not me.

The Collaborator
But it’s totally I think you’re dead on when it comes to that you need to focus in on the human connection. I mean, and I saw this example, and this isn’t about me, it’s about I want to get your insights. But I’ll simply say, I saw an example recently where a seller that I work with, sent out this horrible email, no offense, but it was a horrible email. And it was it was kind of building off this social connection piece. And he hadn’t even really taken the time to read the person’s LinkedIn profile. And the person is a friend of mine that he reached out to, and, and it doesn’t matter his name, but he puts on his LinkedIn profile, something along the lines of if you don’t mention the word, x, it means you haven’t taken the time to read my profile. And I’m going to delete your email puts it right.

Unknown Speaker
rightfully so.

The Collaborator
Anyway, continue taxes. This is really interesting.

Petek Hawkins
I have no, I love that you have a great point. Yes, absolutely. If you’re not connected, if you’re not being human, you have no place to be in social selling, let’s just put it as it’s, the other thing is, okay, so there’s a science to social selling, too, which is you have to have the right content. So it’s it’s the right mixture of science and art. If you don’t have the right type of content on your LinkedIn page, it doesn’t matter how human you are to to a point that you’re going to be missing the mark. So what do I mean by that? I have so many reps that I admire, and they’re working so hard. And they’re obviously using LinkedIn to reach out and I go to their, their LinkedIn page, and there’s nothing on their page that says anything to their prospects about why they should be talking to this wreck. So if you don’t have the right videos, if you don’t have the right content, your featured section is not built out. If about you just said something ridiculous has nothing to do with the people that you’re trying to connect with. You’re going to be missing the park mark. Right. So that’s one of the other mistakes that I’m seeing. What’s your thoughts on that john?

The Collaborator
what I was gonna say? I think that i think that’s so spot on so many people struggle between do i use linkedin as a resume or do i use it as a selling tool and you can’t mix the two a lot of sellers are still doing things like hit quota make president’s club three years in a row no buyer cares all see what that is hard pushing salesperson that i probably don’t want to pick up the phone and talk to and i absolutely agree with you so what can they do better you know when they focus let’s take the two separately when you think about social selling what are three or four things reps should be doing in your opinion that will make them much more effective human and better sales people

Petek Hawkins
absolutely so when it comes to social selling think about it if you were to as a third party just remove yourself from the situation and go through a page and say is this page telling the story to my prospects what i’m trying to articulate to them on how i’m going to be making them more successful that’s the only question that you have to ask yourself and then once you ask yourself that to yourself you’re going to start thinking through do i know my target audience because if i’m all over the place like i don’t know if anybody watches shark tank but it’s my favorite thing when they’re saying oh you’re just trying to do too many things at the same time for that reason i’m out your audience will do the same right so try to have your target audience create thought leadership pieces that’s going to be really speaking to that audience and with that update your social media space with that content so there’s a feature section on your linkedin that should be filled with the stuff that your prospect is wanting to look at and see and be the thought leadership and when i say be a thought leader you don’t have to create new content every time use what’s created just put your spin on that piece give

The Collaborator
up that tech because i think that scares people is you know thought leadership geez i barely know what i’m selling much less have any advice or insight to be a thought leader but i love what you said first off i think everybody that’s in this industry if you’re at all successful you have something to add some insight whether you realize it or not but you’re right just take something unique in a sentence simply sharing it add a sentence or two paragraph whatever whatever comes to you and make it a little bit more unique with your perspective that is so good what about for those people that are scared about i think sometimes people get scared that either i don’t have a voice or i don’t have a valid opinion or i’m going to sound stupid i don’t want to sound stupid because my boss is going to see this or the prospect is going to see this what do you do or how do you how do you talk to them to convince them to sort of get over that

Petek Hawkins
okay so that’s actually going to another conversation that we can have hours chat about number one just own your worth that’s so important so if you’re a bdr if you’re a vp it doesn’t matter you have something to say and people want to know about that you’re important so

The Collaborator
man i love that and i agree with a completely a lot of people struggle with that though a lot of people struggle with that but i think you’re right and i think it’s a long conversation so i’m gonna invite you back and we’re gonna have that long conversation

Petek Hawkins
i love that on that note go check out zoe hartsfield she started just like that she was scared and she’s very blunt about it i love looking at her content and now she has she has one post and she has 300 likes so it doesn’t matter what your title is it doesn’t matter who you are you have something to say and people want to hear you you are important and just know that so that’s so super important

The Collaborator
i’m so much tech and i would encourage people to also check out a book that i’m currently re listening to is tribal leadership on the surface think of that and you say that has nothing to do with this but i think better understanding the language you use both internally about yourself and others is also a really critical component of this so i think i think taking a look at that from that perspective is probably something really smart to do as well

Petek Hawkins
i love that yeah let’s cover that in another session said yes just start from somewhere anywhere and again use the content that’s already available put your spin on it tag people on it so that’s another tip if you are going after prospects just asking them to connect with you maybe sometimes is not going to be enough put a post in there that you think that they’re going to care be blunt about tagging their name and asking them, what do you think about that, I know that this is going to help you engage them, right? Social Engagement is a key of social selling. The other thing that you can do is, again, use video for crying out loud, because the emotions that you call me, I promise is going to be return on investment for you with video and put them in your featured section. So as a part of the prep, I asked a couple of the people that I really, really respect like Lorna Logan, Dakota, what are some of the thoughts that they have? Or any questions? Logan had a great question. He is like, Well, what do I do? Do I keep it really umbrella? And I’m doing these videos? Or do I keep it very personal? Well, there are two ways that your social selling your page is the umbrella page, right? So for those, you definitely want to do umbrella videos. And then with that, you want to have clear call to action every time. And then keep those in your featured section. Because guess what, the more you post, those amazing work that you put in is now getting lost. You want to keep that in your featured section. So people can go back to that page. And it can always be highlighted. But when?

Unknown Speaker
Right That’s Yeah,

Petek Hawkins
I’m the other thing is when you’re doing the personal messaging, I don’t know if you’re a big Holland fan or a john barossa. I don’t care. Pick the premise, do your why you Why not but very tailored to that person that you’re going after. The last piece that I’m going to give as an advice is pick a week off focus. So who am I going after what vertical or what personas that I’m going after this week. So one message that you can create can be scaling to all the other people that you’re reaching out to in that same industry or with that similar title. And focus on three above the line entry below the line with that this is a big skip Muller thing. So this is another thing that we can speak hours on. But those are some of the tips that I would just throw out there.

The Collaborator
Those are fantastic. I’m gonna ask you the same thing. What about specifically for video? If you want to be impactful with the videos that you’re creating? What do you think people should be doing? Um,

Petek Hawkins
so this is an easy one, but just get the video right. Like I have some people who just put the video here and you have this really interesting angle. I like

The Collaborator
it when you just see like the top of somebody’s hat or something like that. Yeah, I like that. I like that. Yeah.

Petek Hawkins
Hey, yeah. Could you say its authenticity? Is that the right type authentic that we’re going for.

Petek Hawkins
The other thing I want to touch on is also I think people take authenticity to different levels. And again, bring that authenticity into and more focus of what you’re going after. So you’re again telling that story. We allow you to be authentic, but tell the story with that authenticity. Always have a call to action. CTA CTA script before you record, I promise you everything that you’ve heard in here is scripted in front of me. That’s how you’re successful. do the hard work script. And then again, like I said, if you’re a big column fan, get you’re picking the premise going on. If you’re a jump bars fan, get your why you why you now down, but really be intentional about your video, and be very succinct, and deliver that bid a lot of enthusiasm and show that emotion through the video.

The Collaborator
Amazing tips, amazing tips on social selling amazing tips on video. Now, I know this stuff that we didn’t talk about that you would like to at least briefly hit. What topics Did we miss? Um,

Petek Hawkins
again, let’s talk about how to set up the environment for video. How do you get started? in general? Let’s do one on one right? Like if you’re not used to this kind of content creation, let’s get you started with maybe some great resources people that you can go and check out. You should focus on that we should take a look at social selling index and the science behind that. We should talk about the length of the videos and how do you collaborate with video going above and beyond social selling. I think these are some of the great things that we can talk that’s going to deliver value to go to market teams.

The Collaborator
Okay, you and I are going to sit down again and we’re going to do this again. Let me ask you this because you you piqued my curiosity when you mentioned Tick Tock a couple of times, and I’ve played with Tick Tock and I’ve looked at it and I’ve said to myself what can I do with it? I think it may be different b2b b2c, maybe not what’s your you know? 30 seconds. What’s your thoughts on Tick Tock?

Petek Hawkins
What can you not do with Tick Tock that you could do with video? Let me ask you that.

Unknown Speaker
nothing I could do everything.

The Collaborator
wants to see me dance. Nobody wants to hear me saying

Petek Hawkins
oh, okay, I’m going to challenge you. What did we say people want to know about you people want to see you dance. Yeah. Come on you you got something, you gotta show it. You’re gonna have someone who’s going to care about that. So let’s talk about how to get people started. I like

The Collaborator
that. I like that a lot. I like that a lot. Let me ask you one last question. Okay. clubhouse. Everybody’s talking about clubhouse?

Petek Hawkins
Well, I’ll be honest, I’m a slow adopter. When it comes to clubhouse. There’s hustle in heels, which is a group of females that I respect,

Unknown Speaker
love. Adriana.

Petek Hawkins
Yes. So I’m now helping her out as a founder, we’re going to help women out there. So we have a clubhouse that we’re building, that’s gonna be my first experience with clubhouse. So what it is, I cannot tell you. I won’t say no more, though, in my next episode with you, I promise all the time, more into that, from both perspectives listener perspective and the content creator, because I’m going to be playing both. And then we can talk more about that.

The Collaborator
I love that. I love that. I’d say this too. For anybody listening in. You know, Bob, Bob, you are awesome, my friend, you share a great YouTube video on overcoming fear. I think people should check that out. I know I’m going to right after this. Britta loved everything you had to say well, not to say everything but she she was very positive and really enjoyed it, as did others. Tech. This was wonderful. And I appreciate it so very much. And and there is this countless topics for us to come back and touch upon. And I’m going to make you come back on so I can see those glorious pictures of your baby behind you. And we’ll talk about these other topics at the same time.

Petek Hawkins
I love that. And everybody this is Fitz. He’s the center of my universe right now. And thank you so much for watching us. If you have any comments, put that on the LinkedIn so we know what to focus on and engage us so we can make an impact together and we want to make you all super, super successful. And john, you rock I love your initiative. I love everything that you’re doing. So really happy to be a part of that.

The Collaborator
I appreciate that too, my friend. All right, you take care, everybody listening, take care, and we’ll all talk soon.

Unknown Speaker
All right, bye bye. All

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