05:16 - The importance of fostering relationships on social media
06:16 - Why LinkedIn should be used to help people, not to sell products
08:11 - How merging sales and marketing on social media converted a customer
13:21 - How to get a natural conversation started on social media
14:21 - Advice for a manufacturer looking to get started on LinkedIn
Meet Steve Dubin
Steve Dubin, the Business Development Manager for RMax, a Sika company, brings over 20 years of experience in building materials sales. With a focus on modular and offsite construction, Steve’s role involves unlocking the potential of social media to foster business growth.
His journey into social selling has been transformative with groundbreaking success stories that underline the untapped potential of social media for sales leaders in the building materials sector.
Steve shares the significant impact of social selling in generating new business opportunities. Through his experience, he stresses the importance of being intentional in social media engagement and staying committed to the process.
Steve highlights the need to focus on specific industry segments and engage with targeted posts and messages. His success stems from being tenacious yet patient and nurturing meaningful conversations on social platforms.
You can't just post it and leave it alone and expect miracles. You've got to foster it.” - Steve Dubin
From searching for product images people posted and finding relevant hashtags to encouraging coworkers to post regularly and interacting with people in comments and direct messaging, Steve put in the hard work continuously until he saw results.
Steve and Zach also discuss how connecting with people on LinkedIn may differ from connecting with people on other platforms. Instead of just trying to sell someone a product, you should be trying to help them and bring them value, even if your product isn’t the best solution.
Steve points out that while reaching out to people, avoid bashing the other brands or products that they are using. Instead, just see if you could offer them value in some way and discuss that — it is all about offering insight without pushing your product onto them.
The conversation delves into real success stories where Steve turned social media exploration into significant revenue opportunities. Steve was looking around on LinkedIn for his type of product and came across a video someone had posted — he saw a competitor’s product leaning against a wall in the background.
Instead of accepting that a competitor was being used for this project and moving on, Steve reached out to the company’s Vice President of Operations to discuss polyiso insulation. While he didn’t immediately hear back, Steve later saw this person at an educational seminar and introduced himself. After chatting, emailing and eventually visiting the plant, Steve converted one of their wall assemblies to using an RMax product — this resulted in over $300,000 in sales, and this customer signed on to continue working with RMax.
His approach highlights the importance of being attentive to industry trends and competitors' activities on social media. By genuinely engaging with prospects, offering valuable solutions and showcasing genuine interest in their business, sales professionals like Steve can effectively transition social media engagements into meaningful revenue-generating opportunities.
How To Get Online Conversations Going
As Steve embarks on his new journey as RMax’s Business Development Manager, he will take his existing social media outreach strategy but do it with a more national focus rather than just a Western regional focus. He will also be attending in-person events to connect with people and broaden his networking opportunities.
As far as getting conversations going, Steve mentions that it is essential to show people that you are a part of the industry, not just someone wanting to sell a product. While it may be your job to sell materials, it is important to show a potential customer that you care about their company and how your product can help their business and their customers.
Don't be so wholly focused on your own item that you don't look like you care about what else your customer is doing.” - Steve Dubin
For manufacturers wanting to create content on LinkedIn, Steve advises just to get out there and do it. It may take time to see results on social media, but it is a marketing and sales tool worth your time and energy.
Don't think about how long it's going to take to get it or if you're going to get immediate benefits because I'm telling you right now — you won't get an immediate return on it. That is not how social media works, but it also won't work if you don't start.” - Steve Dubin
If you don’t know where to begin, Steve references back to when he first began posting. He used to take project profiles from the site, write a few sentences with his insights and post those.
The next step is to post consistently. For sales reps, Steve advises to post weekly. On Fridays, you could post about your expense reports — say a couple of sentences about it and tag people or organizations that would be interested in it.