Apart from keeping tabs of trending topics on Twitter and staying connected with your personal network on Facebook, businesses have an ever-growing presence on LinkedIn and use it to up their sales. Consumers connect with brands, and brands strive to connect with both potential and existing customers. Together, it’s one busy collection of content being created and consumed by both consumers and businesses.
Talking about businesses, no other network holds more prominence & relevance as much as LinkedIn does. As on the last count, according to Fortune, LinkedIn boasts half of a billion users, spread out across 200 countries, and is now owned by Microsoft.
Using LinkedIn, you can turn your own professional profile exactly the way you want the world to know you as — whether that be as an individual, a professional, a founder/entrepreneur, a job seeker, a specialist, etc. On LinkedIn, you can also create your company or brand page and also list showcase pages.
LinkedIn can also be best used for direct prospecting using social selling or sales prospecting. As the folks at LinkedIn Sales Solutions, write:
“Sales prospecting is what it sounds like: Sifting through a mountain of businesses and individuals to uncover the prospects who are most likely to convert into paying customers with a little effort, like a miner panning for gold. Like prospecting for gold, it takes a lot of time. But first, it also relies on knowing where to look. Complicating the process is the changing way businesses and individuals find vendors, qualify them and make the decision to strike a deal.”
Here are top tips to use LinkedIn to ramp up sales and to bring in some hard-earned cash:
Get Strategic With Sales
Sales, as we know it, has changed. It’s no longer about knocking doors and trying to dodge doorkeepers. It’s no longer about talking to as many people as you can. Sales today is social. Social selling is strategic.
You won’t be able to log into LinkedIn and start prospecting without a strategy. You get to the strategy part by walking into it blind. Try to answer the following questions so that you can position yourself better and know exactly what you are trying to achieve:
- Exactly what are you trying to sell? The answer should be the benefits of what you sell and not product names, brand names, and feature lists.
- Who is your customer persona? Who exactly fits the bill for the perfect customer? Are they listed as on LinkedIn?
- What resonates with the specific audience that you defined in point 2? What do they write about? What do they talk about? What do they read about?
- What is the best way to reach them and to start a relationship with them?
Build, Maintain, and Nurture Your Prospect List
There’s no point trying to reach out to everyone on LinkedIn. First, not everyone is your customer. Second, spraying and praying won’t work on a network like LinkedIn where most people are busy anyway. Third, reaching out without relevance & context is futile.
Once you identify your audience and know who they are (complete with names of individuals or company names), sign up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Then, make a complete of your audience members/companies to start following them and to stay active with their LinkedIn updates. Start nurturing your list at scale. Maintain small talk, comment on their LinkedIn posts, congratulate them on respective job changes, etc.
There’s “social” in social selling, see?
Give before you ask
One of the biggest mistakes you can do when connecting is to “ask” for things right away.
- Would you like to buy this shiny object I have?
- Want to sign up for a free trial?
- Can I send in our presentation? When can we get on a call?
- Would you be able to add a link to my latest blog post on your website?
See where you go wrong here? You ask even before you have established a relationship. You ask thinking that the other person owes you a favor.
So, why do you ending up asking first? Because it’s easier and safer to ask first instead of just giving something away and building the sale over time and with patience. It’s almost impossible to get anything meaningful going with this approach.
The hard way — and the right way — to do it is to “give”. Link to others’ blog posts before you ask someone else to link to you. Give valuable insights, go out of your way to help, and make a difference in their lives before you ask.
Let’s help your business get social! We can help create, manage and execute a creative social media marketing plan that will provide the best content and results for your company using all social media platforms.