78% of salespeople who use Social Media as a selling tool outperform those who don’t.
In 5 Best Practices to Leverage Social Media in Sales, we captured some of the statistics showing just how powerful social selling has become – so popular in fact, that you can’t afford not to learn what’s working.
If you only master one social selling tool, it should be LinkedIn. According to Social Selling University, there are 119 million professionals on LinkedIn. In every industry, this is where you establish your own professional brand, telling potential contacts who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and your areas of expertise. Your photo on LinkedIn conveys your personality, and can help to establish trust. LinkedIn is the ultimate networking tool for finding the right decision makers to connect with. Using the paid version of advanced search, you can search for key contacts by company, location, title, name, and keywords.
Once you’ve completed your profile, get active in LinkedIn today with these three tips:
1. Build Connections Using LinkedIn Groups
For every industry, issue, and interest, there are LinkedIn groups that engage in ongoing dialogues. Join these groups, learn who the influencers are, who the decision makers are, and dialogue to establish valuable connections, as well as your own reputation in the industry. Ask questions to conduct informal market research, and answer questions to earn your place as a credible voice in your industry. Post blogs or articles you’ve written to start conversations, and lend your expertise as members respond. The benefits are direct, with other group participants who will engage with you, and indirect, as your potential customers research you online and come across your group activities on LinkedIn.
2. Share Content on Your Profile
When serious prospects begin to engage with you, many of them will research you online and come across your LinkedIn profile. Given their proactivity in finding you, it follows that they’ll be interested in any content you post. LinkedIn allows you to post content including WordPress blogs, SlideShare presentations, and Box.net case studies. This is content you and your company are probably producing anyway, so leverage that content to extend your personal brand and reputation on LinkedIn.
3. Review Profiles of Your Prospects
When you visit a profile, you show up as a visitor on that person’s profile. Professionals who are active on LinkedIn typically click on the profiles that viewed them. It’s an easy way to get prospects to learn about you, without having to nudge them.
When you view a prospect’s profile, you’ll learn about their employment history, see their skills, and in some cases, see any shared connections that may help you to engage in a welcome initial dialogue. What you learn here can help you to connect your solutions with your prospect’s buying context, including their role, needs, and even pain points. There isn’t a better source for prospect intelligence, and it’s absolutely free.
While you’re on LinkedIn, be sure to follow us. Review our continuously updated content stream and connect with our executives, who can help you with every aspect of sales enablement, including social selling.