Podcast artwork for episode 4, featuring an image of Niraj Kapur, an image of Holly Christie, the podcast length and the title 'stand out and make sales, with special guest, Niraj Kapur'

Do you worry you don't stand out?

Are those sales you're desperate to make, passing you by?

If 2024 is the year you've decided to be bold, be brave and really go for it in your business, then this episode is a must listen.

Niraj Kapur generously shares his time and experience, detailing how he went from unknown on LinkedIn to having 31,000 followers, a 'LinkedIn Top Voice' award and a full time career in Sales and LinkedIn training.

In this episode Niraj talks us through:

  • What does and doesn't work on LinkedIn.
  • How to work with the algorithm.
  • What to do when people are being difficult on your posts.
  • How to approach and sell to people who haven't heard of you.

If sales haven't been your thing (until now) or the thought of selling makes you feel icky, let Niraj walk you through the process of how to sell with integrity and ease.

Are you ready to learn how to sell and make 2024 your best year yet? 

Episode Transcript

If you're here for the first time, welcome. If you've listened to previous episodes, welcome back. It is lovely to have you here. I'm Holly Christie, your host. I'm a website designer, mentor and business strategist.

I have two websites and mentoring companies this demanding life to help small businesses get seen online. And simply sites for budding businesses wanting Stellar website. This week is a very special one as I'm bringing my first ever guest to the podcast here to talk to us about selling, how to keep it real on LinkedIn, and why Small Business Success is intrinsically linked to Mindset is the one and only LinkedIn.

Top Voice, Niraj Kaur, and a massive welcome to our show to Niraj Kaur. Neeraj is one of my absolute favourite people. We met last year. He is a LinkedIn trainer. He is a LinkedIn top voice. He is a TEDx speaker. He's an author. He is an all round, absolutely fabulous guy. He has Taken LinkedIn from, uh, in his own, uh, place.

He's taken it from being just like a job market board to really personal and personable experience. And I'm absolutely thrilled to have him on the show. So welcome Neeraj.

[00:01:31] Niraj Kapur: Holly. I don't think it's, I think it's just, today's probably the cutoff date to say happy new year. I don't quite know, but love, always a joy to see you and always a joy to speak to you as well.

Thank

[00:01:42] Holly Christie: you so much. And thank you for coming on. As you know, because, you know, we've worked together, everybody. I built Neeraj's new website last year. And, um, I work specifically in the entrepreneur, solopreneur, very small business market, which for me was, A very deliberate decision. You know, I knew that I wanted to be able to take people on one to one experiences.

And Neeraj, you do a bit of both, don't you? You do lots of group training and group experiences, but I know you also do one to one opportunities for people as well.

[00:02:15] Niraj Kapur: Yeah. I think when you get to my age, I turned 50 last year. You see life a bit differently. And when you get to my age, it's all about purpose in life and it's all about doing work you love.

And one to one coaching gives me the most joy because I can see the difference I make in people's careers. And that's one of the most fulfilling things you can ever do. Whereas group training, I mean, group training is fantastic financially, but you don't really build the special relationship with people on a group level.

Because you train 20 people, half of them don't want to be there anyway. They just don't, uh, you know, a quarter of them feel they have to be there and only 25 percent genuinely are there to learn. So it's a much more difficult dynamic. You have a bit more resistance you've got to deal with. It's absolutely exhausting doing group training.

Very important, but exhausting. Whereas one to one, people are paying out of their own pocket. That means they want to be there. It means they want to learn. There's a very good chance they'll take action. And it means if they listen to your advice and take action, and are held properly accountable, there's a very good chance they'll succeed.

[00:03:17] Holly Christie: I completely agree with you. And as you know, I mentor small businesses and small business owners. And one of my mentees offers group training and exactly that. I often say about the psychology of how people spend money. And you know, if it's company money, you know, it's often group sessions are often seen as a.

I suppose we have to, we'll do it for the CPD, but that one to one business, yeah, I often say that I believe that everyone has a talent, everyone has a skill set, and if they want to put that out in the world, I want to help them do that and be visible, and it's your kind of training helps them take that even a step further, because it's not just about the website, it's about the interactions with people, isn't it?

Well,

[00:04:01] Niraj Kapur: exactly, and we're talking today about standing out on LinkedIn. Um, but yeah, that relates so much to standing out on business. So when my career took off on LinkedIn, it was like, okay, what do I do that's different to my competition? Because at the time, my competition and I were fighting for similar business.

We were pitching for similar business. You would have some. Business owner go on LinkedIn going hi. I'm looking for a trainer And all of a sudden 50 LinkedIn trainers are bombarding him with the same messages. Hi, I'm an award winning LinkedIn trainer And then they spend three minutes talking with themselves and all the features they offer not benefits, you know so I'm like, how do I get out of this environment where I'm I'm struggling to get by and I'm not doing what everybody else is doing And it's about standing out and being different.

And the same thing goes for the website you built for me, Holly. I look at a lot of my competitors websites, they're pretty much the same. But I said to you, I want something really awesome. I want something big, different, all singing, all dancing. And so many people comment on my website, how good it looks.

And so much business now comes through my website. Because it's different. I stand out. I don't just do LinkedIn training. I've built up skills to be a TEDx speaker, to write YouTube books, you know, to speak internationally on stages. I do things my competition simply don't do. And the same thing goes on LinkedIn.

You have to do things other people are not doing to help you stand out and have success.

[00:05:25] Holly Christie: That's fantastic. And I was, uh, my first question for you, actually you've already answered, but the other one was I've often, when I speak to people about LinkedIn, I've been on LinkedIn for years and years and years, but I've never really used it massively properly.

I can dive in, I dive out. Um, but actually it's become a place I'm really fond of. And when I go, I have a quite a big Facebook audience and stuff. And when I go and chat to them, They often say about LinkedIn being a job market board, and I thought it's interesting to me that people still see it as that these days.

But it really made me think, when you kind of really moved into your LinkedIn prime, if you will, you really started making waves on LinkedIn. How did you come to the decision to make it more of a personal, meaningful experience for you and for your audience as well?

[00:06:13] Niraj Kapur: Well, what happened was, like many people, I just used LinkedIn That was really it.

And now and again, to see what former employees were up to and hoping they weren't as successful as me. I mean, it's similar to Facebook in many ways. You look up X's and go, I hope their life isn't as good as mine. You know, you do that because you don't know any better. And a lot of things people do in life is because they don't know any better.

Um, But I started to use LinkedIn because I'd been through a traumatic divorce. I was married 21 years and my wife was, you know, successful, amazing, beautiful. Everybody kept saying, you're crazy. What are you doing? But our marriage had ended. It had come to end of its course. Our daughter had then gone to university.

It just kind of collapsed and we did try our best to hold it together, uh, through date nights, through, through holidays, through everything. But after 21 years, it just wasn't working. So I made the decision to go see a solicitor and that made me the bad guy. And then for those of you who are listening, even though I've got an Irish accent, I'm Indian and divorce in Indian society is not a good thing.

So I had to deal with that. My ex wife's fury and anger at getting divorced. Me divorcing her, even though it had come to an end, there was tremendous anger on her part that I was doing that. I then had to deal with her family being upset with me, my family being upset with me. I then had to deal with the two closest friends I had.

It turns out they weren't my friends. So I'm like, Oh God. So all of a sudden you just want a simple divorce to move on with your life. But all these other things start happening. All these emotions, deep, painful emotions start happening. And when I finally got divorced, I found myself incredibly alone and struggling.

And my business hadn't taken off yet. So financially I was hurting and living off bank loans to pay for the divorce. And then four months of lockdown happened and I just found myself isolated from the world. And in all fairness, if I had money I would have gone into therapy. But because I had no money, I used LinkedIn as like an outlet to vent my frustration.

Because like I said, sometimes you don't know what you don't know. And I think the first post I did, I must have written and deleted it about six times. Thinking, LinkedIn's a business platform. I can't be writing about my personal feelings. This is terrible. What will people think of me? Because on social media, so many of us are terrified of being judged.

Yes. Just to clarify, nobody's judging you as much as you're judging yourself. People have better things to do with their lives. So please trust me on this. Don't worry about it, okay? Um, and I wrote about loneliness. And I wrote about the difficulty of just being in your late 40s and trying to start your life all over again.

And that post went viral. I didn't expect it to. And the people, probably between 300 to 400 people who reached out in LinkedIn DMs were all saying, either I've been through it. Thank you for being so brave. Don't worry, it will get better. Or people saying I'm going through the exact same thing but I can't talk about it because I'm scared of being judged, or I work in an all male environment, or whatever the situation might be.

Thank you for being my voice. Yeah. A big shock, something that was completely unexpected, and all of a sudden you're picking up 500 followers. You're picking up people who are following your content, everything you're saying. So, it was a bit of luck. It was a very good time because nobody three years ago was really doing stuff like that on LinkedIn.

Yeah. Um, but at the same time, I have no desire to talk about my personal life every day. That just doesn't interest me. I did it because of the pain I was in. And I went back to talking about LinkedIn. And I went back to talking about sales, strategies, things that would really help people in their business.

And all of a sudden, I started getting more engagement. And then a month later I would do things like online dating and there'd be a picture of me in a restaurant on a Saturday night having a meal and the seat opposite me would be empty because I've been stood up. And I would say, you know what, being stood up on a Saturday night is horrible.

It's one of the worst feelings in the world. Sometimes in business, clients don't turn up either on Zoom or face to face. It's a terrible feeling, but you know what? It's not what happens to you in life. It's how you react to it. And by the way, I will never give up finding love until I find love, you know, and things like that.

So I tried to make a lot of my personal posts eventually personal and business. I takeaways. I've learned whether it was one lesson, three lessons or five lessons, because when you teach people anything, one, threes and fives are the best way to do it. Yes. Um, and again, I was just doing something that none of my competitors were talking about.

All my competitors were just. Doing the same things over and over again. I was, I was sharing my life. And when it comes to one to one coaching especially, and sometimes international speaking too, Holly, people buy into you. They buy into your story, they buy into your personality, they buy into your flaws, they buy into your weaknesses, they buy into your strengths.

And so by sharing what I did on LinkedIn, I ended up becoming a bit of a small brand, but a well respected brand that enabled me to have a living. And eventually create a business that was profitable.

[00:11:02] Holly Christie: I find it so engaging because I think, um, I will sometimes be on LinkedIn or I'll be giving some advice around your website or not yours, you know, people's websites or online presence.

I'll say, please don't put your, you know, photos of your kids on LinkedIn or on your website. And I'll often say, that's for Facebook, you know, that's what people expect with Facebook and. Actually, in my first podcast episode, um, I did say about if people mention their kids a lot, I'm not going to work with them because I'm there for that, that business, um, opportunity.

Um, I had my own divorce in 2017 and, you know, the loneliness, the divorce is brutal. You know, even if it's amicable, it's brutal, the end of a relationship, the feelings of failure, of shame, you know, just all this stuff, but when you look back, you think that was quite irrational, you know, no one failed, a relationship ran its course, or whatever else, but when you're in it, um, you turn to LinkedIn, Facebook, and I, I didn't go through, you know, this is hideously lonely, or whatever Something I actually came back with a five things I learned this week because I just needed something.

I loved writing and I needed something. Um, but the difference for me was that didn't help me build my business. Um, you know, people loved it. They subscribed to it, but I didn't sell any websites off the back of it. Um, so I find the way that you kind of harness LinkedIn and use LinkedIn, even though it doesn't feel like it was a very deliberate choice at the time.

It's just out. I'm lonely and this is my life and then yeah, I, I really, really love, um, what you did with that.

[00:12:37] Niraj Kapur: Thank you so much for coming through practice as well. Yeah. The first step is always scary, no matter what you do. And for anybody listening or watching this that wants to try LinkedIn. Try it.

That's how you get better at it. You want to write a blog. You don't talk about it for several months. You write the blog and you write it again and again and again until you get better. And if you're really smart, you hire, say, a blogger to coach you. If you want to get smart on LinkedIn, you hire someone like me to teach you how to do it because that will speed up the process.

You can spend the next 10 years learning LinkedIn for free on Google. It'll take up so much time, it'll drive you mad. Or you hire an expert that knows what they're doing and you get them to kind of reduce the time by three to four months. And that's what I do as well. When I do international speaking, you know, I can spend the next 10 years on Google reading articles and watching YouTube videos easily.

But what I did was I hired a speaking coach. I go to conferences, I read books, you know, talk like Ted and you were born to speak by Richard Newman. I really learned my craft. I hired the best people I could in six months. I've gone from being someone who was not bad to someone who was good. And then six months later you go from good to very good.

And then a year later you're trying to go from very good to really, really, you know, it gets harder and harder to make small improvements. Um, and I, even now, you know, I spent 2022, I spoke in Helsinki, Barcelona, Croatia. Six times in London. And by the way, all those pictures are available on LinkedIn to see me on a stage with an audience.

[00:14:04] Holly Christie: And I think it's incredible that, you know, you say it was 22, 22. We were just coming out of lockdowns and people love you. They're like, book him, book him, book him, book him. Yeah. At a time when 2022 was quite a time of recovery. I mean, for me, it was. When I launched simply sites as a response to really a gap in the market, but also cause no one was buying custom build websites.

People were being very cautious with their money at the time. They weren't quite sure, you know, the economy trying to catch up after furloughing and stuff, but people. We're investing so much in you, you know, they were flying you all over the world to come and speak to them And I think that really speaks for itself and I'd love to go where I'm saying about LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be absolutely Brutal at times, you know, I've seen in the comments, you know, like Facebook can you can get the trolls? So, you know, I've had people on my post just having a really bad day and they're like And I think you know, do I come back with it? How many times do you have to respond? Um, and I, you and I both talk about, you know, stay in your lane, stay at what you're good at, get coached in what you do well, you know, and keep expanding what you do well.

How can people, when you're. Building like your personal brand on LinkedIn, how can you really stay in your lane on those bad days when you're, you know, you're feeling that you're being attacked by the people in the comments and, you know, I know you've had some experience with this yourself as well.

[00:15:34] Niraj Kapur: Yeah, I've written about this.

Um, in fact, in 2022, my biggest post of the year was a guy who'd been harassed me for two years. Normally when people harass me, I just right click and block them. And that's the best way to deal with things. If somebody is being abusive, offensive. Making inappropriate comments. Don't just delete it. You have to report them, otherwise nothing happens.

And then you have to block them, so you don't see them again. And that's the easiest way to deal with things. And it's quite rare, but now and again you'll get someone who won't accept that. So they'll attack you on YouTube, they'll attack you on Twitter, they'll attack you on email, and they'll come after you.

And this guy spent two years doing it, so I simply put his name and his face up on, uh, LinkedIn. And whenever I did this, nineteen people, mainly women, Um, came forward to complain about him and that was a big shock and Angus Grady has now disappeared into nothingness. He's a nobody. Um, but that was a very important thing I did because I had to do that to get those complaints and all those complaints were sent to LinkedIn.

People know exactly what he's done and he's disappeared and it's a wonderful feeling. So I did the right thing, even though emotionally it was terrifying. Now most people aren't that extreme. Most people will just be abusive once or twice and quite often will be abusive wholly just because I've had a bad day.

Or they have a lot of unhealed trauma. I've learned a lot about trauma in the last year. And you've got to deal with it. And the problem is most people, especially men, don't go into therapy. Most men don't deal with challenges in their lives. They either work through it or they drink their ways through it.

Yeah, and then they often invent it in the most inappropriate time. Hmm, and that's not right. So my advice to anybody is, you know, first of all, if you're having these problems, there's never any shame of asking for help. In fact, it takes incredible strength to ask for help. Hmm, and it's never a sign of weakness.

And second of all, if you are having a bad day, understand that it's usually the other person's fault, not yours. All you have to do is delete their comment and you don't see it again. That's it. That's all you have to do. And if they're being abusive, Or says something really offensive, you right click, you block, and you report.

And there's a 99 percent chance you will never hear from that person again. And then my advice is to go back to your vision board, which is something I recommend everybody has. So before anybody works with me, Holly, we put together a vision board. And a vision board is a list of images of things you've achieved in life and things you want to achieve in the future.

Because in life, we're very quick to criticize ourselves and we're very slow to praise ourselves. That's why having a vision board of your previous accomplishments are important. And by the way, these accomplishments aren't just business. It can be something like having a partner, kids, nephews, sisters, brothers, relatives.

Parents, grandparents, whatever that might be to you, dogs, you know, I have my cats on my vision board for goodness sake, you know, make you smile and remind you of your bigger purpose in life. Cause you've got to have a bigger purpose. Otherwise you're going to struggle. This podcast has now become very philosophical and personal development, but that's okay.

So much of LinkedIn and so much of sales and so much of business. It's about mindset. And it's about how you deal with things in life. It's not what happens to you most of the time. It's how you deal with the difficult things that happen to you.

[00:18:53] Holly Christie: I completely agree with you. And I think mindset in particularly for small business owners is so important because especially in the first few years of business, business is wobbly.

It's like why riding those waves and quite a small little rowing boats. And, you know, some people just feel like you get set back off to set back off to set back and they say, you know what the employed life is, you know, the one for me and the people who overcome those setbacks or just, you Often have a lot of those kind of mindset things that you're talking about.

They've got that bigger picture. A lot of them have, actually a lot of the business owners I deal with have been in some sort of therapy. And years ago I trained as a counsellor as well. And that's so one of the things that I'll do with my mentoring is say, you know, what are you really afraid of? What's, you know, what's holding this back?

Where are we going to go here? And I love the idea of the vision board. And I know some people say, have a happy folder on your desktop that has all your reviews in it and your testimonials in it. I know some people will pick a number for what they want to achieve that year, a financial goal number, which feels a little soulless.

But, um, I think sometimes you need some of those vision boards and stuff to back it up as well. So

[00:20:13] Niraj Kapur: yeah. High numbers are fantastic. Look, I work in, in sales and LinkedIn training. I'm a big believer in numbers. Yeah. Uh, at the same time aiming for a number, aiming to get a nicer car or bigger house. That's fine.

Mm-Hmm. . But when you get that, so what? Don't forget I've had that success in life. Mm-Hmm. And I divorced after my wife and I had achieved the ultimate success We had the big beautiful house. We both have beautiful, expensive sports cars and it brought misery. I don't have a sports car anymore. I don't live in an expensive house.

The house I live in is not detached. It doesn't have a strolling back garden. It's, you know, it's not quite a consulate estate. It's not quite middle class. It's sort of in between. Um, I do spend my money on good clothes and I spend money giving it to charity and putting it to savings accounts. And I don't feel a need to buy expensive watches or expensive anything to impress anybody anymore.

And that's a nice place to be in life. There's so many people that, especially young people are desperate to impress other people to show off. You know, I see so many people on LinkedIn or they start a business, um, within a year, I'm making six figures or I did a post this morning. My lunchtime, I had six leads.

I'm like, Oh, you didn't. I can tell this is because. I end up meeting these people six months or 12 months later at events and they're asking me questions. They ask, what do you charge for pricing? And what would you do if, I said, well, you're asking me questions that someone who makes six figures doesn't ask.

And so many of them ask me, what do you charge and how do you get leads? I said, but you just told me you got six leads yesterday. You know, so I know a lot of people exaggerate on social media because they feel they have, um, or they feel they need to, to impress other people. I understand why they do that.

That's because many of them have been taught badly. A lot of them unfortunately follow certain American gurus who say you have to do these things. And I'm telling you in the UK and in Ireland and in Europe, is that market matters to you? Most people don't care about that. Most people just care, how can you help me?

How can you help me get results? How can you help me do better? How can you help me succeed? That is what people care about. They don't care if you're a man or a woman. They don't care if you have hair or no hair. To those of you listening, I am bald as you can get. I'm a 51 year old Indian man. People don't care.

People only care how Caneraj get me results. And the second thing is, is he a decent person and can I trust him? Those are pretty much the two things people care about the most before they hire me.

[00:22:48] Holly Christie: I completely agree with that. I am prepping another PogPast episode actually called The Truth Behind the Six and Seven Figure Claims.

Oh, very good. I like that. I'm just going to come back to LinkedIn stuff and I noticed because obviously we follow each other. I love your posts. And in one of your latest ones, you were saying about how you got a cold email from a CEO. Um, I loved the breakdown. I'm actually going to find the URL for this post and I'm going to pop it into the show notes.

as well. Um, but I love the breakdown of this guy emailed you with something not very relevant to you at all. And you actually picked up the phone and you called him and then you kind of transcribed that conversation to us, uh, on LinkedIn and how you completely turned it around and now he's a customer or potential customer.

for you as well. And I have to say, I absolutely applaud this because I hate using the phone. In fact, you, my sister, my mum, and sometimes my partner are the only people I answer. It's just not a tool of mine. So I, I was wondering, do you sometimes kind of feel that hesitation when you take it away from that cold email thing?

Or do you just like, I'm not having this on my inbox. I'm, you know, I'm going to find, I'm, you know, I'm saving the nation from cold emails. Uh, can you tell me about your thoughts behind that process?

[00:24:12] Niraj Kapur: Certainly. I get approximately 20 to 50 cold emails a day. From people I've never heard from in my life.

Yeah. And that's because a lot of people pay for software that scrapes people's email addresses and allows you to spam them, which is a terrible thing to do, but most people have no idea how to sell. And they either buy into people who are dishonest, or they stupidly believe, you know what, if I can get a thousand email addresses for a hundred pounds, I'm doing it.

You know, which is again, not a smart or strategic thing to do, because a lot of people don't make the effort to learn about sales. Um, understand sales. They think that spamming is the best option. A majority of people who send me cold emails are so badly written. I do right clink. I moved to junk and I never see them again.

It's wonderful. But this CEO had his phone number on his email and his website address, which again, most people don't do. I personally think if you're contacting somebody for the first time. You should have your phone number and you should have your email. That to me is just common sense. Because the first thing I'm going to do is look you up.

And a lot of people I do look up. Sometimes now and again they won't have an email. Okay, I just have to see is this person real. It's such a bad email. And I look at their LinkedIn profile and it's not properly optimized. They're not writing good content. Some of them don't write any content. And I'm like, why would I do business with you for?

If your LinkedIn profile isn't optimized, your last testimonial was five years ago and you're not writing good content. So again, a lot of people don't understand these things. If you want to do business with somebody, the first thing somebody does is going to look at the quality of your email. If it's no good, they're going to delete it.

Second of all, they're going to look you up on LinkedIn. If it's not a good LinkedIn profile, they're not going to contact you. And because this person had his mobile and his website, I looked at his website. I looked at what he did. I thought about it for a few moments. I thought, you know what? His phone's here.

I'll give him a call at lunchtime. Cause you call a CEO during the day, it's very, very hard to get hold of CEOs or MDs or business owners, even the ones you know well. But if you call somebody at lunchtime or you call somebody after about half past four, quarter five, it's much easier to get hold of them.

So it's important to understand the timings when you contact people. So I called him at lunchtime and I simply said to him, you know, I received an email. from you today. Uh, thank you. So my name's Neeraj. I help business owners like you succeed in sales because everybody works in sales, yet most people struggle with selling.

Out of curiosity, what was the reason you sent this? So I told them exactly who I was. Hi, I help people straight into a question because it's not what the awards I've won. That's irrelevant. It's not about how many people I've helped. That's irrelevant. I need to understand this person more before I can sell anything to them at all.

And I've practiced this, I don't know, 2000, 3000 times in my life. So for me, it's just sound isn't exactly as natural as how I've said it just now. Yeah. What to unpack here, but I've done the research. I looked them up. I said who I was in 10 seconds. And then I asked a question and another question and after about four questions, I then recapped what the person said, because that shows I listen.

Most people who sell do not listen. They're just trying to sell their product or service. So again, I recapped so he understood, I asked the right questions and then I kind of said to him, you know, what difference would it make if you had somebody helping you? Because I'd researched his company, which he acknowledged, and because I'd helped him come across as a professional.

He asked for a proposal. I sent to him with testimonials and then we agreed before we finished the call, a follow up time, which was two days ago. And then two days ago I followed up. We spoke for another 10 minutes. He then asked me what the coaching process was like. He then agreed to it. I sent him the invoice.

Two days later he paid for the invoice and I celebrated it. On LinkedIn. Love it. Does things always happen that quickly? Absolutely not. I have to take many more Zoom calls, sometimes I take many more phone calls. Yeah. But I do believe LinkedIn is a wonderful platform as well to talk about the challenges you're having.

to celebrate the wins you have as well.

[00:28:30] Holly Christie: I completely agree with that. And something, it's interesting, we've gone from phone to LinkedIn DMs. Now I'm going to tell you, I get probably between three and five connection requests a day on LinkedIn. And I often will get DMs, um, lots of web developers in India who say, can I come and work for you?

You know, our team's complete, thank you. Um, lots and lots of people who will, um, follow John Asperian's thing of they'll, they'll message me and they'll say how they got to know me, you know, I saw you commented on this person's post and I said, Oh, hi, yeah, that person's great. Lovely to meet you. And then they'll say, can I just talk to you about your pension?

Here's my calendar link. Here's this, here's that, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I, uh, have to take a breath because I am quite a communicator. You know, you know, I reply to every email. Text message is one of my superpowers that I communicate, but I'm just not interested in having sales pitch after sales pitch after sales pitch.

I'm interested in having genuine conversations. So, how can you use the DMs feature without kind of being annoying or, you know, kind of coming across as Spam, but how can you use it to kind of leverage it to your advantage?

[00:29:47] Niraj Kapur: Okay. Uh, I love that question because I get, I lose count, but again, anywhere from 10 to 20.

People a day selling to me. Yes, half of them are web developers from India as well, or people who are on Fiverr or people who YouTube channel. That's usually half of them. The other half are financial loans people, or accountancy people, or fitness coaches. And if somebody sends me a message that's copy and paste, I will never, ever respond to them.

I've tried responding to them in the past saying, look, you should really learn to sell. Here's some articles that'll help you. I used to have to be very helpful towards spammers, but because most often I have no manners, I just stopped. I think 1 percent said thank you, which is terrible. So I just, all I do is I go three buttons on LinkedIn DMs, archive, I never see them again.

Because most of these people aren't smart enough to follow up. Because business is always in the follow up. It's very rare you contact somebody once and they buy from you. Very rare. Yes. Normally it takes anywhere from two up to 12 attempts depending on on what you're selling and the size of the company you're selling into and the number of people involved in the decision making process.

That's very important again to understand that in sales. And whenever I do DM people, because I would say about 20 percent of my business is outbound. The rest of it is recommendation, which is the best, uh, or LinkedIn inquiries. I get between four to eight LinkedIn inquiries a month. I convert anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of those, which for me is, is very high number.

Um, so that's my business comes from that, recommendations and client street booking. And that's the best. But 20 percent of the time I'm looking at people on LinkedIn. I want to do business with Holly. I know I just get to the DM saying, hi, I'm a LinkedIn trainer. I got 31, 000 followers. I am so amazing. Oh, I've also made the LinkedIn's headquarters twice a year.

Hardly anybody gets invited, but I do. I can teach you everything. Nobody's, nobody cares. They really don't care. Also, you should never approach people that way. But people say, look, LinkedIn recently. Most people aren't even aware of these changes are. Here's an example of. a few of them. Uh, video, most people do 10 second videos or 10 minute videos, neither of which work.

58 seconds is the ideal length for the LinkedIn algorithm. Um, second of all, some people have no hashtags, some have 10 or 12 hashtags. Three to five hashtags is what you want for the algorithm. There's another 18 to 20 things I could teach you. Yeah. Now that will get someone's attention. Yeah, because I'm stating a fact that most people cannot use LinkedIn properly I'm gonna give you a few things that are gonna help them and I'm saying if you want to have some more knowledge I'm happy to help you.

So that way you're gaining curiosity, but you're also giving value I'm connected. Somebody's a first degree connection. I'll often say Holly I've liked and commented on quite a few of your posts recently about websites, which I really appreciate got value from thank you You know, everybody works in sales yet.

Most people struggle with selling Um, but I can't send anything to you because I've absolutely no idea what you want. In fact, we may not even be the right fit, but if you can tell me one or two of the sales challenges you're having, I'll be happy to provide information for you. And don't worry, you won't go into my sales funnel, smiley face, you know, the way I approach people because A, I'm telling them why I'm communicating with them, liking and commenting on their posts.

And if the person doesn't post on LinkedIn, I will comment on something on the website I read.

I'm saying to them, look, I can't sell to you because I have no idea what you want. That lowers our defenses. In fact, we may not even be the right fit. That lowers our defenses. You can tell me the challenges, one or two challenges you're having in sales. I'll happily provide a solution. Now people, if they said you're thinking, I hope this person doesn't spam me.

People often want to get your email address too quickly so they can spam you. I don't ask for any of that. I make the process as easy for them as possible because there's a great skill in doing that. You know, I love Waterstones the bookshop. Buying books on their website is time consuming and a pain.

And so I buy from Amazon. I do go to my local Waterstones once a month. I love the experience. Yeah. But I buy from Amazon because it takes me 10 seconds. Mmm. Watch Bono's does not take 10 seconds. It takes at least 1 to 2 minutes. Yeah. So, you've got to keep those things in mind. Make the process easy for people.

And again, most people don't think about the customer when they're selling. They just think of themselves. And once you put yourself into the mind of the customer and what they're going through. best serve them. Selling becomes a much more enjoyable process.

[00:34:33] Holly Christie: Oh, I love that because obviously we, well not obviously, but when we build websites, we're looking at every point where we can reduce friction for, you know, getting people where we want to get them on the websites.

And of course websites are a way someone has a problem. We have the solution, you know, and we're putting those together and we look at how we can do that. Um, with Uh, reducing clicks on the buttons, you know, do they need to go from this page to this page to this page? Or can they go straight through or like with your website?

We put that mega menu in there So there was a really bold menu that people could find easily And has all the seo things that it needed as well And we're always looking at that. So I love how you're saying as well, you know, look at reducing friction for The customer look at, yeah, I love that kind of mindset and moving, moving it through as well.

So we're going to wrap up. I feel now I know that you don't want to go too much into, um, this massively when we've spoken before, but I cannot end without mentioning your book because I know you have more than one book, but I, um, for people who don't know the process or didn't know me and Neeraj last year, I built his website.

I started uploading the blogs to it and I was hooked and I, uh, actually did a LinkedIn post of me holding his book and said, fastest sale ever. I was, I was reading these blog posts and I was like, I have to buy this book. I got the book. I couldn't put it down. I ended up having to put it on top of the kitchen unit in the other room so I could finish his website.

site. So Neeraj, this is a testament to your writing being so engaging. Um, the book is called Business Growth, Lessons Learned from Divorce, Dating and Falling in Love Again. Was that the tagline? It is absolutely incredible. And I have gifted this book to a lot of family members and some of my team. And to any listeners, I'm going to do a competition.

This, um, 29th of January, so I'll open it till the 29th of February. If you've liked this interview, if you could leave us a rating and review, screenshot it and send it to me at holly at the And on the 29th of February, I will choose a random winner and I'm going to send you a copy of Niraj's book. Oh, that's so awesome.

Thank you so much. It's brilliant and I want to share it with the world. Um, and anything, any other books, any future books that you come out, you send them to me because they're going to be absolutely amazing. In the meantime, I want to say thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you for being our first ever podcast guest.

I am delighted to be starting with you and let people know where they can find you, how they can approach you, what's the best method to get your attention in your inbox. Please take it away.

[00:37:15] Niraj Kapur: Wonderful. Thank you so much for that. The best way to get ahold of me is go to LinkedIn, send me a personalized invite and just say you heard me on Holly's.

Podcast. You liked it, you'd like to connect. There's a good chance I'll accept that. If you send me a generic invite, I'll often reject it because I don't need more followers. I need more quality. Everybody needs more quality and better engagement. So please send a personalized invite. It helps you stand out.

Um, also if you go on to YouTube, everybody works in sales. One of my goals in 2024 is I'm doing a video a week on YouTube. It's a big goal. I've set myself 50 videos a year. So go to everybody works in sales, subscribe. It's free of charge. You don't go into my marketing funnel. You don't get spammed. You just get valued.

And you'll learn a lot about sales in terms of mindset, psychology, marketing, tips, and strategies.

[00:38:02] Holly Christie: I love that. I also am a little bit of an addict of your YouTube channel as well, after we were uploading the YouTube videos onto your website. So I will also pop the link to that in the show notes. So all that leaves today is to say thank you so much, and uh, thanks for being on the show.

[00:38:20] Niraj Kapur: Absolute pleasure. Great to talk to you as always, Holly.

[00:38:21] Holly Christie: And that's all for today. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed the chat with Neeraj as much as I did. If you would like to reach Neeraj, you can find him on LinkedIn, he's at Neeraj Kapoor. You can visit his website, neerajkapoor. com, and you can email him at neeraj at everybodyworksinsales.

com. If you're enjoying this podcast, I would love it if you could leave a quick rating and review from wherever you get your podcasts. It helps people to find the podcast. and I'd love for this free resource to reach as many people as possible. Also, a reminder, if you would like to be entered into a competition to win one of Niraj's books, leave a rating and review, screenshot it, and send it to me at holly at this demanding life dot com and I'll choose a winner on the 29th of February.

Have a wonderful week ahead and I look forward to seeing you again next Monday.

Really Refreshing

Looking forward to the next episode, I’m hooked already. Really easy to listen to and definitely strikes a chord with me. 

MrsH68

Small Business Growth

I’m so excited to have your podcast alongside me as I grow my business. Looking forward to taking action on your steps and learn from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks Holly – you’re a star!

LisaJaneYork

Small Business Growth

I love listening to each new episode of Holly’s podcast. It feels like she has read my mind and understands the challenges I find myself up against when running my business. Her advice and insights are fantastic and I’m looking forward to hearing her future episodes. This is a great resource for any small business owner trying to establish a successful business in the online (and/or offline) world.

Fay Wallis

Brilliant first episode!!

The first episode of “Your Business, Your Way” is a refreshing take on the entrepreneurial journey I needed to hear this morning . I felt reassured hearing Holly emphasise a crucial point: you don’t need to know everything to get started. This approach is a game-changer, especially for those new to the business world, breaking down the barriers of perfection and complete readiness that often hold us back.

What I loved about this first episode of the podcast is its blend of practical advice with an undercurrent of motivation. It reassured me that starting with what I know and learning as I go is not just okay, but a smart way to grow. The podcast feels like a supportive friend, nudging you to take those first steps while keeping the mood light and approachable.

For anyone at the crossroads of starting or scaling a business, this podcast could be the push you need. It’s a promising mix of insights, stories, and encouragement. I’m eager for the next episodes and recommend it to anyone looking to embark on a business venture in a way that’s true to them. It’s an exciting start, and I’m genuinely looking forward to where this podcast will take its listeners next.

wmbaggs

Just listened to your first podcast episode and it’s absolutely brilliant! Good work Holly!

Mike Cottam

Feeling inspired

Would definitely recommend this podcast. Aimed at those small business owners, but for someone who has recently started a new role in my company, this definitely motivated me on this cold wet Monday morning to not be afraid of being vulnerable in the workplace and putting myself out there!

Can’t wait for the next episode

izagoo9067

It’s a great podcast Holly, you’ve covered some really useful topics and had fantastic guests. It’s like your topics were written with me in mind…

Natalie Trembecki