LinkedIn could drastically impact your sales success

Unless you think it’s for job seekers…

At its inception, people used LinkedIn as an idle platform to suss the market for job opportunities. What it’s become is the world’s largest, live sales funnel. If you know how to use it, LinkedIn will change the way you do business. Those who understand the power of LinkedIn guard their knowledge – for good reason. While most of the business world logs into their profile following an altercation with their boss to prospect for job opportunities, the small minority sees it for what it is: A live database, searchable by industry, company size, and designation. This is not a platform for sharing content as much as it is the answer to every sales teams’ prayers. It is the most underutilised super-tool in our arsenal. So, what should (and shouldn’t) you do to most effectively leverage this tool to maximum advantage?
  1. Evaluate your marketing spend

Because of its B2B audience, LinkedIn costs are high for marketing outreach. Like all platforms, campaigns should be highly targeted. But, not all content works! Expensive product ads, for example, generally receive poor ROI. LinkedIn is about sharing useful, professionally relevant knowledge – not pushing a hard sell.

  1. How are you getting personal?

Before you “go direct” to your database of connections, ensure that you’ve brushed your hair.

Your outfit matters

Consider a chance meeting with an acquaintance at a cocktail party. Your outfit matters. Polish your shoes, comb your hair – get your personal profile in order. While the “automate your summary” button on LinkedIn will whip out a generic description of you, this is problematic. Third person is pompous. Get personal: I am passionate about automation and how emerging technologies help my clients improve service levels. Tell people where you excel – An experienced sales executive should read For over 10 years, I have exceeded my sales targets by gaining a deep understanding of my clients’ needs and requirements.

Civility counts

You’ve got to ask them how they’re doing before you staple a product data sheet to their foreheads. Take the time, make the effort, win trust, discover what they need… then make your play. We use the give, give, ask rule. Share content, expertise, ask what their issues are. Rinse, repeat. If you’re starting this process a week before your financial year-end and need to make target, you’re going to cause offence. It’s a process, which, if you embrace it, will deliver.

  1. Grow your connections – strategically

Connections reap connections. Start with clients and colleagues, then search by industries that will, in time, feed your pipeline. Remember that you need a “link” in order to connect to someone, so connecting with influential individuals will open the database to you incrementally.

TIP: Evaluate your connections’ connections. Discern whom among them will assist you in building your database. Connect with them and then start building, but, follow and communicate with potential customers – then connect. Build the relationship slowly.

The power of LinkedIn is misunderstood and under-utilised. Yes, it’s a commitment. Yes, it requires effort and time. But, for those of us willing to make that commitment, the rewards are enormous, and now more than ever, we need sales enablement tools that work reliably. Publishared specialises in growing personal databases on LinkedIn. If you need advice, send me a message.

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