Episode #268 – Joanne Black

Interactive Selling in the Virtual World

Joanne Black


Joanne Black

Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling, a sales contrarian, and the author of No More Cold Calling and Pick Up the Damn Phone! She works with sales organizations to build a referral culture, ensure a qualified pipe, and get every meeting in one call!

The world is virtual—that’s not going to change. So Joanne Black emphasizes that we must learn to sell in this virtual world. That means organizations need to give their salespeople the right tools to sell virtually. How do you look into the camera? How do you have a conversation and build relationships? These are the things salespeople can do in person but struggle with digitally. If that’s you, listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented for some tips and tricks from Joanne Black.

Why does interactive selling matter so much in a virtual world? @ReferralSales shares her take in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #DigitalSales #VirtualSelling #Strategy #SalesTactics #Influence #LinkedInClick To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:13] The difference between digital and social selling
  • [1:45] Provide the right tools and training
  • [2:46] Joanne’s digital selling blueprint
  • [4:37] The attributes of a great digital seller
  • [5:41] Tools, techniques, and strategies
  • [7:25] Top 3 digital selling dos and don’ts
  • [10:19] Share, comment, interact, and invite

Joanne’s digital selling blueprint

Joanne believes you need to have a written strategy that is clearly communicated. How does it apply to each person in your organization? How can you give them the skills to carry out the process? Joanne believes KPIs need to be attached to a social strategy and outreach. Managers tend to shoot from the hip and it leaves salespeople confused. Joanne has been virtual for years and has taken courses on how to sell virtually. She believes you must train and coach your salespeople, allow them to practice, and help them get results.

The attributes of a great digital seller

Joanne notes that the attributes are very similar to in-person selling. You need to build relationships and play the long game. Some people believe that it’s tough to develop relationships with digital selling but Joanne disagrees. If you are well-trained and know how to look into the camera and have a conversation, you will build those relationships. Most people sell complex solutions which means you likely won’t close in one or two calls. You have to think about how to meet the buyers that are essential to closing the deal.

What are the attributes of a great digital seller? @ReferralSales shares more in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #DigitalSales #VirtualSelling #Strategy #SalesTactics #Influence #LinkedInClick To Tweet

Digital selling dos and don’ts on LinkedIn

You have to learn how to use digital and social selling tools such as LinkedIn. People go on LinkedIn and pitch, send automated requests, and spew garbage. The best practice is to look at shared connections and read people’s recommendations. You can refer to people’s education, work history, and things they’ve written to reference in a conversation. People forget to be just as social as they would be in person. What are the rules of engagement?

  • Don’t stalk people and send automated messages: Joanne gets LinkedIn invitations and decides who to connect with and who she thinks will pitch her. Joanne connected with someone who pitched her when she responded to her acceptance. Joanne immediately removed her as a connection. This woman messaged her and asked why she removed her…Don’t pitch people in your invitation!
  • Engage in conversation on LinkedIn. It’s so easy to “like” something. But look at the conversation and share your point of view. Comment and interact with what other people have said to build relationships.
  • Invite people to connect who engaged with your comments with a personalized invitation. Never send a standard invitation.

Share, comment, interact and invite

Joanne saw a post on LinkedIn from a head of sales all about referrals. People were commenting all over it and there was a lot of interaction (15–20 were chatting). Joanne added her voice to the conversation and it continued to develop. She decided to write to the head of sales and asked if he wanted to do a webinar about referrals and invite the people who had commented.

He didn’t respond to that question. Instead, he asked her to come in and chat with his group. She had made an offer with no strings attached and it turned into business for her. If someone posts something within your area of expertise, don’t be afraid to share a best practice. It’s about being open and sharing as much as you can.

Why do you need to share, comment, interact, and invite on #LinkedIn? @ReferralSales shares why it’s so important in this episode of @SalesReinvented! #SalesReinvented #Sales #DigitalSales #VirtualSelling #Strategy #SalesTacticsClick To Tweet

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Joanne Black

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

More About Joanne Black

Are there any great Digital or Social Selling books that you highly recommend?  Social Selling by Tim Hughes

What do you most admire in the sphere of Digital or Social Selling and why? Viveka Von Rosen She’s always the first to share the latest tips. She IS the LinkedIn Expert.

Are there any aspects of your own Digital or Social Selling skills that you are working on improving at the moment? Following and interacting with content posted by clients and prospects.

Hobbies, Interests? Hiking, walking, swimming

How can our listeners contact with you? joanne(at)nomorecoldcalling.com or +1 415-461-8763