It was great to present a sales and marketing seminar for Selby Council last week and one of the themes and questions that was raised was the use and effectiveness of social media. In particular the use by sales professionals of LinkedIn as an effective prospecting tool and whether it presents an opportunity for today’s socially savvy professional to makes inroads into accounts and secures introductions to key decision makers.
We shouldn’t forget that it’s at least ten times easier to market to an existing client than it is to generate new business and so with that in mind here are a few social selling tips to rejuvenate or some new life into your LinkedIn network:
I don’t belong to the philosophy of connecting with anybody and everybody and ideally like to have met my contacts but if not and you need to increase your network then by performing an advanced LinkedIn search using strong keywords specific to your ideal buyer persona you will identify prospective connections.
Please avoid the hard sell tactics and don’t propose marriage on the first date and craft a personalised message that describe why you are sending your prospect a request and also value by position yourself as a valuable connection or resource.
Talk to existing connections
LinkedIn offers another easy search feature that may yield positive results.
By clicking the “Connections” tab from your home page opens your existing LinkedIn network. From here you can sort your connections by most recent conversation and also search your network for a particular person and engage with those personnel you haven’t contacted for a while. It’s here that you can make a personal connection through conversation and building a relationship without trying to sell.
Content is king and the lifeblood of social selling. So please set aside some time each day to review your LinkedIn home feed and like, comment, or share something. It does not matter whether you create, reuse, or recycle but publish, or your existing LinkedIn network may wither on the vine but don’t publish for the sake of publishing as your audience may tire of “not him again”
Participate in a group
The rule on groups is that participation is paramount. Ask yourself this question: why are you joining a LinkedIn group if you don’t have something to offer? Listening is great but it’s time to get on the dance floor and show off your best moves and although the first steps are always awkward ( no Craig or Len to watch you over you though) , but once your content or comment receives that first like, comment, or share you are off and running.
More than 10 million endorsements are given every day on LinkedIn, and an average LinkedIn user receives 5 endorsements. Give endorsements first without expecting anything in return….you will be pleasantly surprised where this conversation leads.
Provide a recommendation
A LinkedIn recommendation is more powerful than an endorsement. It is an excellent way to demonstrate the value you’ve offered in previous working relationships. We all know that buyers review your LinkedIn profile as a part of their due diligence process, and recommendations help to establish your credibility and demonstrate that you’ve provided value to others.
Good luck with spending just 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn and hopefully you will see the benefits sooner rather than later!