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Watchtime episode 4: Social selling on Linkedin with Denis Zekic

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Watchtime epidote 4: Social selling on LinkedIn with Denis Zetkic

On this Watchtime episode, we talk with Denis Zekic, author of the book Social Selling and Marketing. Denis created his first eCommerce shop back in 1998 in London when he started selling online “before the Internet was known”. From working for large corporations to giving lectures around the world, Denis left the corporate world to set up his own business and focus on digital sales and marketing. 

When asking about social selling, Denis defines it as utilising social media to generate business connections and sales leads. He also remarks its importance, as a growing sector of the population (50%) is using social media daily. “People use social media as an instrument for making purchasing decisions”, he states. On the other hand, Denis does not consider emails as a social media channel: “email is just communication for form. LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and so on, these are the good channels for selling”. A good understanding of these channels is key to utilise them properly.

In terms of using a social media channel correctly, Denis admits that there is not a “right way” to do it. What is essential is to keep in mind what your objectives are, and how you can achieve them. For example, with LinkedIn, there is not a certain line to rate content such as professional or unprofessional. Following Denis’ understanding of social selling, this is the creation of relationships, which depends on your personality. You need a trust element, where social selling is also a trust-building exercise. 

Personal branding is also a key attribute in this field, even at a corporate level. In his own words, there is no better ambassador than an employee, who can play a role within the brand. 

With regards to his book, Denis explains that he wanted to put together his magic formula in five easy steps: positioning, prospecting, connecting, engaging and converting.

  1. Positioning: How to position yourself the right way. This is when companies start engaging their audience. 
  2. Prospecting: This refers to your target audience and how you need to talk to them. You need to understand your audience! 
  3. Connecting: How do you start connecting with those people that you target?
  4. Engaging: Algorithms play an important role within the search engines from Google to Twitter, as this is the engagement part of the process. “If your network on social media starts engaging with the content you share, the algorithm will start expanding the reach”, Denis says. 
  5. Converting: Converting your audience into your sales project.

Talking about other social networking tools, the social media seller remarks on the importance of YouTube as the one that is going to experience the highest growth. 

Regarding the most common pitfalls that people make on social networking sites, those are the focus on having the largest number of followers instead of focusing on the quality of those. “Even when online, you are trying to build a relationship, you are trying to build a rapport. So do not do things that will penalise your listings”, Denis says. Another key premise when building your social media channel is not being spammy. This is, sharing content that is not interesting for your audience. 

To finish up, the LinkedIn trainer spots the main differences between a traditional sales funnel and the social selling funnel. People use traditional forms of advertising such as radio, television, and billboards. “But what you have to do when advertising is to think about Google Advertising. Think of how to create awareness for your site: show intent, talk to your clients! Denis points out. 

*This episode was multi-streamed with ReStream


Aleksandra King (00:02):

The WATCHTIME show sponsored by digital agency mint twist. Welcome to WATCHTIME, the show for marketing industry influencers, looking for creative and digital ideas. We’ll be exploring new technology development and sharing the stories behind high profile industry players. I’m Aleksandra King from MintTwist.

Aleksandra King (00:27):

So most of us have heard the term social selling, but we’re not really sure what it means in great detail or how to go about it, or even if we need to go about it. I’m really lucky to be joined by Denis Zekic today. And I hope I’ve pronounced that correctly, who is an absolute expert in the field and author of a fantastic book called social selling and marketing. And it’s a focus on specifically on LinkedIn. Is that correct?

Denis Zekic (00:53):

That is correct. Yes.

Aleksandra King (00:55):

Well, I’m looking forward to hearing all about it and just to give our listeners a bit of background information about you. Could you, could you tell us a little bit about how it is that you’ve gone about creating this book?

Denis Zekic (01:08):

Uh, the first eCommerce shop that I did for a startup company in central London was in 1998. And I joke today and say that I started selling goods online before people even knew what the internet was. It was that long ago, it was over 20 years. But for those pioneers who started early on, in the internet early days, it was very much about building the websites and starting the business. And it starts selling digital marketing only came a little bit later in that process. So I moved from, from various companies from startup companies, all the way to international, uh, international, uh, corporations. And I was lucky to, to be, to have worked with some market leading organizations in the sectors about three years, three years ago, I left my corporate world and I set up my own consultancy.

Denis Zekic (02:07):

And as part of my interest in digital sales and marketing, particularly in B2B sector, because I thought the B to B is somewhat like a lugging to B to C sector. And I thought that the opportunities are much higher and greater because of the, the, the, the volumes of orders and the, the value of orders. And then I spent my probably, I would say last six, seven years, more concentrating on B2B. And then I thought, what could be the next big thing in B2B sales and marketing. And then naturally I came to social channels and enhance the book, social selling, and marketing.

Aleksandra King (02:44):

So let me ask you straight up what, we’ll start with the basics just for, for our audience. And especially for me, I really want to get to the bottom of it. So what is social selling? How would you define it?

Denis Zekic (02:57):

Well, there are a few different various how people interpret for social selling gays, but for me, it’s quite as simple as is, uh, utilizing social media channels in order to generate, uh, generate business connections and sales leads. Uh, that would be the shortest way of, of, of, uh, describing what social selling is.

Aleksandra King (03:19):

Okay. So using social media to make sales, right. So why should businesses care about this? I mean, you can sell goods, but why is it so very important to socially sell?

Denis Zekic (03:32):

Well, that’s a good, good question. Um, first of all, I’ll give you a few, few statistics, which will make, I think my case more compelling, uh, today about 50% of, of all population in the world are active social media, social media users. And, and if you look, uh, professionals and people who are people who use, uh, use social media on a daily basis within that, they, the work, the figures can go even higher. I know something as say the 70% of sales professionals, for example, use social media, uh, and tools like LinkedIn and Facebook for their day to day. They work people who buy buyers, business buyers also, um, massively, uh, using, using social media for their purchasing decisions

Aleksandra King (04:29):

Just to interject. So what way are they using it? Are we talking about emails here or are we talking about direct selling? What do you mean by using it?

Denis Zekic (04:38):

I’m talking to you, social, social channels, social media. When you say email, I wouldn’t consider email as a source of media channel. Email is just a communication for form. I’m thinking more of, of, uh, of that side, such as, I don’t know, LinkedIn and Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and, and, you know, channels like that. Um, LinkedIn, if you’re talking about UK itself, I mean, LinkedIn in general, there’s over 617 million people on LinkedIn today. And by specifically mentioned, LinkedIn is because it’s a, it’s a, it’s a social channels, social channel for professionals. And about 60% of all UK population population working population is on LinkedIn. So just by looking at those figures, you can, uh, you can understand what the potentials are if you obviously know how to use the channels correctly.

Aleksandra King (05:40):

Yeah. Well, that’s an interesting question. I mean, I’m on LinkedIn, probably most of our listeners via or on LinkedIn. How do we know if we’re using linked incorrectly? This is not, this is gave me a bit of anxiety, you know, because I will use it to message, you know, if someone connects, so we get to know each other’s business, you know, there might be a bit of a direct sale, you know, what do you do, but how do you use it correctly

Denis Zekic (06:06):

Several ways. But you know, you asked me, you mentioned my book earlier, and then my book explains how you can use it properly. Before we come to my book and book, my book talks about is, is what is the proper way of using social channels and what is not, I can’t say there is a wrong or right way to do it. It all comes down to what your objectives are and what you wish to achieve your objectives. Various people, various professionals, various companies have various types of objectives. Individuals, if they’re job seekers, again, they, they objectives are slightly different. They want to be in contact with companies who can be their potential potential employers, and then their objectives are slightly different to companies who would like to approach their potential clients. And then I’ll do create relationships with potential with your target market. Then how can you move it to the next stage where you can start selling?

Aleksandra King (07:01):

I’ll give you, I’ll give you a more specific questions. So you do see, for example, on LinkedIn, where the people will post personal content, let’s say, or something motivational or something about their pet. And then it starts to veer into the more personal side. And you will have some that say, why are you using LinkedIn in this way? It’s a professional tool. You’re not supposed to be posting things that are personal. What do you say to that?

Denis Zekic (07:31):

Okay. I will just say so where is the line? What’s personal, what’s professional. You know, when you, when we have face to face business meetings, usually we talk about, or did you watch the problem last flight, or have you, while you’re being on holiday or, you know, we talk a little chit chat. It’s a way how we start opening communication between between each other. And it’s, it’s, you know, it’s not me who said it, people say, uh, in business, people buy from people you don’t buy from, from, from businesses. So better. We know each other. There’s more opportunities that we can start engaging and potentially becoming clients and customers and a business or sell us.

Aleksandra King (08:16):

So, so before we get into the details on a higher level, in essence, is what you’re talking about. Putting a bit more personality and a human touch into this little bubble of social. Is that what you,

Denis Zekic (08:32):

I think you’re right. Yes, absolutely. I always say that the most important thing in social social selling is the relationships is the creation of relationships. How do you create those relationships is down to you and your personality, and you would be surprised that people start creating relationships. And I have number of examples myself, as well as my clients and people that I know. And I follow LinkedIn where they started personal stories that, and, or challenges, or, or even be their families’ stories. You start engaging with them. And one thing leads to another. And then the overall, I think the game is not just in, in social selling, but in business and in life is how do you build trust once you have that trust element, then everything else after that becomes that much easier. So I think social selling in a ways is also a trust building exercise.

Aleksandra King (09:26):

Okay. Well, just going back to your, your background. So you obviously, you’re an online specialist you’ve been in this field for many, many, many years. You do you know everything about sales and marketing? Well, most of them

Denis Zekic (09:39):

You can call me a dinosaur.

Aleksandra King (09:41):

Yeah, well, no, you’re a speaker lecturer. So I think it’s fair to say that you’ve spread yourself up really well in different areas and that you probably, you do have good experience about how to sell yourself, I guess, cause you’re all over the place. I mean, is that fair to say

Denis Zekic (10:05):

Yes. I to think if he’s, but that’s the way probably that’s again, modify objectives me as a consultant and sales marketing consultant for various companies from small SMEs, Funland bounds all the way to international companies is how to position myself as somebody who is, who is knowledgeable experienced in, in, in, in digital, in digital marketing and digital sales and all of that. So part of why my process of creating a thought leadership is being present on, on social media, having a need to produce something that people can, can absorb and understand. And I don’t want to use the word influence or influence because I think that’s overused and become even her. I don’t want to say vulgar in certain aspects, but how do you position yourself as somebody like a leader in a, in a sector where people can be drawn to you and then, you know, teaching, I love teaching personally teaching. And then when I wrote the book as well, it’s one of those little objectives that I wanted to put together. And so, again, going back to what I said, yeah, it’s building that trust. And I thought all of these little pieces, uh, helped me to, to, to create that trust with potential clients and existing clients.

Aleksandra King (11:32):

Yeah. So you want to be known as the expert in your field. And so you want to present yourself in the best possible way, and then you want that platform and it’s having the bravery, the guts to be able to operate on that platform and to come across in the, in the right way. Isn’t it. Right.

Denis Zekic (11:50):

Absolutely. And I think that’s what just talking about is probably personal branding. And I think personal branding today is extremely important. Even at the corporate level. I always say that the, you know, the, every single company, even corporates need to start with their employees first and after that, they move on outside because there’s no better ambassadors for any brand. Then your employees and personal brand can help enormously, even everybody in the business, starting from, I dunno, from the smallest jobs all the way to the top, everyone has their own place in business. And if they play their personal brand, it can help.

Aleksandra King (12:31):

Okay. So let’s specifically talk about your book now. So it’s called social selling and marketing linked in magic five formula. Is this book aimed at that site go and get it on Amazon. It’s got fantastic reviews. Is this book for someone who, who is very brave? Is it for everyone? Or is it just for the ones that really want to be at the forefront of this branding product branding business branding?

Denis Zekic (13:01):

Okay. Probably the best is if I explain why I’ve wrote it. And then I think that will answer your question. I was working with, with clients. And I mentioned earlier from one man bands from, from single people from single small companies, all the way to larger corporates, a people. When I, when I did my, my webinars. So when I did my boot camps and trainings, people do understand it, but when they leave, they’re not really sure how they can go all about. So what I try to do is to simplify everything and make it in a simple way, how people can understand it. My book is basically it’s a five, five step methodology. What I say, if you do five things, right? Uh, how you can, how you can maximize potential of social, social channels and LinkedIn, particularly because I think I’m talking mostly about B2B, uh, sector, and how can you use LinkedIn into opening those channels? And if you ask me about those, I don’t know, maybe that’s one of your next questions I have.

Aleksandra King (14:06):

I was going to ask you, yeah. What all, what are the five? I mean, it really, you know, so you’re saying that it boils down to essentially buy things that you can do to really change your presence.

Denis Zekic (14:22):


Aleksandra King (14:23):

On a very high level, because obviously the details in the book on a high level, what are these five things?

Denis Zekic (14:29):

The five steps are positioning, prospecting, connecting, engaging, and converting. So the first one is positioning, which I just explained how you’re positioning yourself in the right way. So companies can a professional scan start engaging. Did your, or would like to start to engage ingredient? So you position yourself. One is prospecting. How, how do you look, who is your target audience? Who do you need to talk to if you are, I don’t know, whatever your industry is. If you’re selling, I don’t know, uh, a software for antivirus software, you need to identify who your target market is. You need to understand your, your client personas and then going from there. How do you prospect and how do you find them on, on sorts of channels?

Aleksandra King (15:21):

Yeah, I was, I was going to ask you, does that mean, is that your network that you’re talking to, it’s not people that you choose to

Denis Zekic (15:29):

Your network can sometimes be people that you studied with the people that you’ve worked with before you will network will be much wider then who your target is really is. So that’s why I call it prospecting. So you’re looking to be very specific who you wish to start engaging with. And that’s the second one. And then I say that there’s no better channel online, anywhere. We used to have yellow pages before, but now LinkedIn is that I call it the biggest direct business directory in the world. That area is you can find very quickly within seconds, all the key people in, in any organization in the world, but in a couple of clicks. And then

Aleksandra King (16:12):

Just say, LinkedIn is an interesting trusting professional, maybe more corporate business world. Cause then if you’ve got the, the grants, there may be perhaps a little bit more for the designery fashiony and you can use messenger on there and all that sort of thing and promote products too. But if they are very different platforms, different ways on thing,

Denis Zekic (16:35):

My LinkedIn is directory. Instagram is not, Facebook is not, Twitter is not. None of them is LinkedIn is directory. You just tell me a company. And who would you like from that company within two seconds? If you want a head of marketing in any company or branch or within a couple of clicks, you can find me, that’s it, that’s it?

Aleksandra King (16:54):

Yeah. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll connect with you, but definitely connect with you, but you’ll probably you’ll find them.

Denis Zekic (17:02):

But what you just said, will they connect with me? If you go back to the first step, if you position yourself in the right way, it’s very likely that they will. Yeah. Because you gave them the reasons you are professional that they should be talking to. So in that case, if you position yourself, your chances that I would connect are higher. And then we come to the third, third step, which I call connecting is how do you start connecting with the right people in your target target market or your target audience, but are various ways. That’s what I described in my book. And that’s what I do. But I do buy my lectures and my webinars is, uh, and, uh, w what is the right way of connecting with people? We are all nowadays, we are witness that we are pumped through email and all of these different channels.

Denis Zekic (17:59):

And LinkedIn has, is becoming a little bit of that, but people can keep sending me messages to all of us. Can we connect him? Reconnect? Same as this one is always copy and paste. I realized that we shared the same connections. I think it would be good to reconnect. I know immediately it’s copy and paste. It’s not genuine. And then I, I always weigh a little bit, shall I accept that connection or not? But if they do a little bit of research, if they know about me, but my posts about my book about things like that. So then it’s just read your book. And it was, I did, I disagree though. I agree with you. I lied. It’s so likely that, that I would connect

Aleksandra King (18:38):

Very careful who you accept into your network.

Denis Zekic (18:43):

But again, I liked that my network will be people who do like what I create. They like my thoughts, what I’m talking about. And they like to engage with me. That’s one thing. But also I like in my network top people that I can potentially do business with, I don’t need people who sell toys and they’re based in China. I don’t buy toys. I don’t need them. They are just looking for buyers. So they are not ideal people for my network. You see what I mean?

Aleksandra King (19:13):

I’ve heard, and I don’t know how accurate this is or what your thoughts are on it. But I’ve, I have heard that if your network is getting too big, then obviously that also narrows down who your posts are seen by it. I think there’s a little, yeah,

Denis Zekic (19:27):

You’re right. Because algorithms play important play in all social channels from not just from social channels, both but even search engines from Google to use ship to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, it’s the engagement part, all of these social channels. They want you to say as long as possible on their channel as you can, and they want you there. And then when you create the post, and if your audience is not engaging video with your content, that means that you’re not relevant and the algorithm will degrade your content. And you will not be seeing your audience because what is algorithms do? The first thing, when you create a post and you put it on your social channel, the first immediate, uh, after you release it, the first group of people who will see is your immediate network. If they start engaging, the algorithm will start expanding the reach.

Aleksandra King (20:29):

Yeah. It will push you to more people. Yeah. Correct.

Denis Zekic (20:32):

And if you are not engaging with your metaphor, then it’s logical that nobody else will engage. And that’s why it’s good to have your network really focused on the way or on the, on the topic that you tend to talk about.

Aleksandra King (20:48):

It’s almost like cleaning out a wardrobe. You have to go in and just check everyone again, you know, and maybe take out some, and some people do. It sounds horrible, but you know,

Denis Zekic (21:01):

Some people do that. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. But also sometimes it’s good to have in your network. Also people who are very proactive, that’s good thing. Having proactive people, occasionally I would take somebody who sends me from, from Asia, sends me a connection request. I know they’re not in my target market at all. They will never become my client. But if I see that their network is, is relatively large, they are very engaging with them at work. That’s I connect with them because potentially when they like and share my stuff, I can, I can expand my reach through their own network.

Aleksandra King (21:39):

It could be another Avenue to sales. So I would, I would call it

Denis Zekic (21:42):

Exactly that. Yes.

Aleksandra King (21:44):

Okay. So we’ve spoken about LinkedIn specifically. That’s the one that you’ve become an expert on, and you think that’s most useful

Denis Zekic (21:53):

In the corporate world? I mean, the other networks looking just finished the fourth and fifth are the first three. So the fourth one was engaging, which I think covered a little bit saying how you need to, you need to be active on, on the channel of your choice or channels, uh, what type of content you need to provide and how can you start engaging with people? That’s really is the key engagement part. That’s where you start building relationships. And that’s where you move on to the next fifth step. How can you convert these people and how can you become either, either the partner or client or they become your client. It’s when you start building, building the building, the business relationship. I usually, I tend to say, when you come to that stage, it’s not selling anymore. It’s just continuation of your relationship that you started building on social channels. The one that you’ve established that that’s what I see is yes.

Aleksandra King (22:53):

Okay. So let’s, so we’ve looked at LinkedIn. Are there any other social media platforms that you take seriously?

Denis Zekic (23:02):

I mean, every source of channel has their own advantages and disadvantages. So, you know, YouTube, I think just, you know, quite a lot about YouTube. I’m not an expert on YouTube and you guys are better, better placed to talk about it, and you’re not being the second largest search engine. And, and, uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a massive, a massive platform out there. And, uh, so, you know, I think it’s going to grow even further than where it is today, even though it’s massive today. So, you know, it’s, how do you position yourself on, on, on platform? Instagram has, has its own place. It’s gone. It’s on target. Yes, that’s right. Yes. Uh, Facebook as well, Facebook, you know, we can talk about Facebook. Some people don’t like Facebook live Facebook, but we have to admit that that is the largest social network out there. You know, if you’re doing paid advertising, you, Facebook is unavoidable because it is one of the best ROI platforms that you can think of. Um, you know, don’t be talking about Twitter. Twitter is probably the best in, in talking about various topics and engaging.

Aleksandra King (24:16):

That’s one thing about Facebook I read, which I found just it’s quite scary and horrible, and we’ll probably put a lot of people off this date. I mean, we’ve all heard it before, but one of the newspapers just said it really well that the posts at your own risk really with Facebook. So one lady was saying that, you know, she posted to you, you know, in privacy, she posted her friend network about her cancer diagnosis. And then she just gets boarded with all this alternative cancer treatment and this and that. And these days, I think people are starting to learn that they do need to be careful about what they say, because it will come back to them in one, one form or another through advertising. So I think Facebook, there’s something about Facebook. I think that people are a lot of people, like you said, a lot, do enjoy Facebook, but also I think it’s losing popularity. I think to some extent, would you agree with that?

Denis Zekic (25:14):

May some people say it’s losing popularity, but I think it’s still very popular. It’s still the most popular social channel out there by far. I mean, after if you consider YouTube, maybe the number one, but after the, you know, alongside YouTube or after YouTube. Yes, absolutely. And it’s a massive, massive audience Facebook, but I’ll give you a little story. How potentially, when you say, when you talk about your personal stories, how far they can go, I created some personal stories about my life, how I came from Eastern Europe and I came to UK. That was 28 years ago. I shared some of my personal stories on, on LinkedIn. And then three years ago I was going to a conference. I was presenting in Singapore and I looked, I looked and I said, let me have a look. How many people in Singapore I have in my network? And then I found about 13 people in my network from Singapore. And I sent them a message, all of them. And I said, I’m in Singapore on such and such day. Would you like to meet? They came back to me. Quite a lot of them came. The majority of them came back and say, yeah, sure. Why not? We can meet

Aleksandra King (26:27):

Really, no, I have not used my social media in that way at all, but it worked,

Denis Zekic (26:33):

It worked. And then we met and, and I asked him, um, how did we meet first? In the first instance, they said, Oh, it was your personal that you said that we liked your personal story. And it was amazing, you know, and I’ve got some really good business context in Singapore that just came out as a consequence of my personal story. Yeah. So I met with them over there and we had the chart and, you know, I’ve took a corporate lawyer over there and all sorts of different business connections that just came like that.

Aleksandra King (27:05):

So it’s how you, how you use your personal stories and what you prepared to put out there. And I guess that was relevant, right?

Denis Zekic (27:13):

If you go back to what I said before, how do you build relationship and trust? And if your personal story gives that little, how would I say element of trust and personal story and, and connection, then everything from Vail becomes easier.

Aleksandra King (27:31):

Yeah. I guess hearing you talk, it really makes it more real. The whole social media experience and it is necessary for business. And you’re right. A lot of the way we work now, it is online. And if you don’t work to put that personality in and that truth in, and a genuine element in it’s just flat and there’s nothing, nothing there,

Denis Zekic (27:53):

That’s correct. Absolutely relationship. And that engagement part is the key and see people who do it, do brilliant job and the best salespeople also, you know, even the telemarketers who do it it’s if they engage in social. And then they told today clients and potential clients through social channels, they’re in a much better position and are all sorts of different statistics to show that the best salespeople are always the people who use social channels, uh, more than, than, than the rest of the profession.

Aleksandra King (28:25):

I wonder if this all favors the outgoing types and the shy ones get left behind, or probably with your book, the shy ones can get, you know, helped a little bit and they can establish themselves as well.

Denis Zekic (28:36):

Well, there are all sorts of different stories when I, I dunno when I do my, my, uh, workshops, and then I always say lots of stories about how people can be done without noticing if they start sharing these little stories, they, they can create opportunities. It’s amazing what you can achieve.

Aleksandra King (28:55):

Okay. So let’s talk about some things that some common mistakes that you’ve seen, regular people let’s say on LinkedIn making when they use their social,

Denis Zekic (29:06):

Uh, one thing which I, I don’t, I don’t understand is people build network. It’s the fantasy element when people build the numbers rather than any quality behind it. So they go for quantity. They want to build 20, 30, 40, 5,000 thousand followers or connections, which are meaningless. Really. If you don’t have a content, if you don’t engage with them, all those numbers are just pointless. And I keep seeing this on LinkedIn, and that’s a little bit of my, a non smear level when people, Oh, I built my network, I’ve got 10,000 connections. Can you share this? Can you like it? Then you send a connection request. Let’s build out a network together. It’s just pointless. It really is. I would rather have, I don’t know, 50 connections in mind network people that I really think that they will, they will buy from me rather than 50,000 of people who are not in my audience, not my target. People will never engage with me. There’s no point in that at all. So I think that’s maybe one mistake, but people can think, or just let’s, let’s build, build it for the sake of building.

Aleksandra King (30:15):

I think that this is the whole point. What you’re saying is that you’re bringing life into your online persona. It’s not about trying to be fake or about pretending. It’s about being real. And about this is actually working. It’s not a showy showy thing. It’s an actual business lead generator. That is what it is and re relationship.

Denis Zekic (30:38):

Awesome. That’s it? That’s it. And even, you know, sharing your pain sometimes can, can work in your advantage because if you tell people I’m just human, I’ve been sucked. I lost my job. And I’m looking for the next opportunity. You are much more likely to get engagement rather than say, Oh, I’m the best in this. I’m best in that. But people just see through it. It’s just, you know, bragging. And so, so, so yeah, that’s, that’s one thing. It works against you in terms of the algorithm as well, which I said, which I mentioned earlier, what tells people I’m being this genuine. That’s one thing, uh, you know, being genuine, you are you doing, you’re not meant to do normal sales face to face sales meetings. So you you’re either having somebody coming over to you, potential supplier for your business. And you, you, you are trying to build some rapport between those people and yourself, or other way around as well.

Denis Zekic (31:40):

When you are trying to sell your services. Somebody else that element, when you looking in the eyes, you try to build a rapport, some relationships, some four, if you this genuine, it’s obvious. And even online, if you’re building a genuine, it’s not genuine, it’s see through. So don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Don’t, don’t try to do that. And maybe the third one is just don’t spam people, social channels are not for spamming. Clearly you did it. You know, it’s better to approach five people a week who you, who you really think that you can do some business with rather than 50,000 people who you will never ever be your connection. So sorry, your business plus also LinkedIn will penalize you for that. They can even shut down your listing if you spam. Yes. If you send, I don’t know. Some people say you are only allowed 10,000 connection requests all together, but never been proven. There’s lots of LinkedIn guru, South Sudan, the talking about all sorts of, um, proven things. But it is for certain, if you send too many connection requests on a daily basis, you can be penalized and you can be shut down because LinkedIn has their terms and conditions. A very clear you are. You’re not supposed to spam, uh, networks or other, other users on the channel. So, so that’s another one that I should say it’s anonymous.

Aleksandra King (33:16):

Yeah. I think people don’t have time for spam. We’re also busy. You know, it has to be quality, not quantity.

Denis Zekic (33:24):

I guess it’s connection request. Then it’s going to reconnect. I think we could do something. Okay. I’ll be correct. At the second message. It comes like this. It’s a massive, massive piece of text.

Aleksandra King (33:38):

Yeah. I know. The other thing that I would categorize as spam that actually irritates me. I have to be honest, that irritates me is when I go onto my feed and then I see content and this video, Oh, I hired, I just want to make a video about this. And I just want to say, but it’s, it’s also spammy. I think content generation content, shouldn’t just be created because we’re creating content. You’ve got to be adding some value of some kind and not fake value. Like you say, Oh, this is me. Hi, everybody. It’s like that. It winds me up. If the content isn’t intelligent or well-formed or value, I consider that total and not to spam.

Denis Zekic (34:25):

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. No, you know what I do on a daily basis, I connect people could send me a connection request. I look who they are. I connect with them. If they send me a long follow up message like this, without me asking about, Oh man, we are the best software company. We especially here’s the link immediately. I just go to their profile, go over there and disconnect honestly, on a daily basis, I disconnected these people.

Aleksandra King (34:51):

Yeah. Because why would you demand that person’s time if you haven’t established that relationship? No one has the time to read through these manuscripts. You know, it’s amazing. A lot of, a lot of people don’t know, you know, they think it’s the right way, but it’s not.

Denis Zekic (35:08):

Then there’s another analogy which I always tell people that I train. I say to them, think for yourselves, as doctors and your clients, as people who have some form of problem and try to cure their problem, think about what is bothering them and how your expertise can help them. Think about them being their shoes, think their way, how they operate. And then you start first engaged, see what engage, what their posts are, what they talk about, what sector they, I do little research about them first. And after that, create your own message or create your own posts or content, whatever it is in order to outreach over to them and help them to relieve that problem. In that case, it’s so much easier. They will start cutting, reading, engaging, and then start talking to you one to one.

Aleksandra King (36:02):

How does this social selling fit into a traditional sales funnel?

Denis Zekic (36:08):

So this is very briefly, I’m going to explain the difference between traditional sales funnel and the social selling social selling funnel in traditional sales funnel, you put it all sorts of different advertising, uh, on top of your funnel and, and waiting for your audience or your target market to fall into your sales funnel, to create your banners. And we use traditional traditional forms of advertising like radio, TV, outdoor advertising, and display advertising, or even podcasting. The thing is you always have you in Google advertising. I explained this in a way, when I talk to my clients, I say, think about Google advertising. You always, when you do that form of advertising, you wait for potential clients to know what they’re after, before they come to you. So they know what they’re searching for before they come. And then with your advertising along everyone, else’s advertising.

Denis Zekic (37:07):

You try to create awareness, show some interest, depending on how good your creative is. Eventually they will come onto your website, fill in the form, or pick up the phone, talk to you, show intent, you talk to them. And eventually you create sale. And this is how social sales and marketing funnel look like. It looks like so you don’t waste energy and, and, and, and effort. And, and, uh, you know, the, the, the, the budget or advertising across the board, hoping, hoping that somebody will take interest. I take usually the example of, of a motorway billboard, the big billboard or alongside the road, but lots of cars will pass. Most of them will pass. And don’t even notice that some people, if you’re stuck in traffic, we’ll see. But how many percentage of people who see that billboard will take interest in your specific product? So th th th the wastage is massive, but it also, when you pay on as well, radio advertising, or use paper and printed print advertising the vestiges must’ve with social sales, you start your sales with real clear understanding who your target person is through your persona staff. And then you re you look for them, you search for them. You find them proactively.

Aleksandra King (38:32):

Yeah, I like this. I like this approach, because this is your platform. You have control full control over exactly how you’re going to be portrayed,

Denis Zekic (38:46):

No taste.

Aleksandra King (38:48):

It’s your absolute responsibility and your platform as to how you are displayed. And it gives you a lot of power. And that’s why that network is so important to you advertising too.

Denis Zekic (39:01):

That’s correct. That’s correct. And if you remember when I said the prospecting, my second step in my methodology, so you positioned yourself. So now prospecting, you know, before you do anything, you need to understand who your, who your ideal client is. And then this is where social sales fall in place. So you only look for them. You don’t waste your energy and time for people or companies or businesses who will never be your, your clients. You only target those who you think you will, and then you outreach to them. So it’s, it’s going after them. You are connecting with them, showing them the value and engagement. You create the content that because you talking about the pain that they have, depending on the product or service you’re providing, and then they can recognize that value. And, and, and, and they will start engaging. And then hopefully you, you give them enough reasons. They will start talking to you and you start building relationship. And then out of that relationship opportunity will come out. And then eventually you’ll come to the sale point, which I always say sale is not a sale. It’s just a, it’s just a, I don’t know, it’s, it’s provocation of your relationship. Really? You just, you continuing your engagement in a slightly more formal way, that’s it? That’s, that’s the difference between social sales and traditional sales and marketing funnel.

Aleksandra King (40:28):

Yeah. And in traditional sales, you would hope that the, you know, the companies or the newspaper or whichever Avenue, you using really understand their message and really portray you in the right way. But it is a little bit of a broken telephone can happen along the way, the messages, you know, this way, it genuinely is power in your hands. And that’s why, again, we go back to the fact that you need the right platform. You need to use it in the right way and know what you’re doing, or you can actually harm your, yourself and your, your personal life,

Denis Zekic (40:56):

But you’re familiar experience. And essentially you’ve been in marketing yourself. You know, how, how expensive marketing is, you know, outdoor, outdoor advertising, or I don’t know, uh, a, um, print advertising, TV, radio, and you know what your real ROI is on those types of advertising. And it’s prohibited only to those with large budgets, big companies, it’s small SMEs. There are professional TV, radio, outdoor outreach, but this sort of social sales and it’s really, I mean, you can put this in practice with no marketing budget at all. You can just do it yourselves. And if you remember at the beginning of, of the, of the podcast, I was saying that companies can engage their staff. Nothing stops companies, every single person in their business can do this sort of thing themselves. There are some statistics to show that about 50% of all social traffic to corporate websites come from socially active employees.

Denis Zekic (42:05):

Oh, wow. So, so, you know, more companies engage their staff and, you know, some, some corporates do understand this sort of thing, and they do the best. I hear examples when they say, Oh, my company is prohibiting us using Facebook, or they can’t use social channels, uh, in, during the working hours. I think it’s just, it’s ludicrous. You know, you’re pleased are your best ambassadors. If they’re not your best ambassadors, then you have a problem in your business. Just go back to my book. The only channel I ever use for marketing this book was my social channels. That’s all. And mostly that’s the only channel I ever used. I never paid for any advertising or any source for the book. And my book has been sold from Canada, America, Australia, Asia, Europe, all around.

Aleksandra King (43:01):

This shows you the power of personal branding and personal marketing on your, on your platforms. So again, the book is social selling and marketing, LinkedIn magic five formula. It’s a fantastic read and great reviews. So I know people are going to be wanting to read that, especially after this conversation we’ve heard. And Dennis, it’s been such a pleasure having you. Thank you so much for joining our show.

Denis Zekic (43:25):

Thank you. Thank you, Aleksandra, for having me, it was real pleasure talking to you,

Aleksandra King (43:32):

And that completes today’s episode. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. And if you have, do subscribe to get subsequent episodes automatically in the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about digital marketing, please visit Thanks so much for joining us and see you again soon.

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