Clients are increasingly asking us how to utilise the power of a 467 million strong network strong network that can put your brand in front of clients and prospects across the globe.
Forget the old fashioned suit jacket hung up in the back of a BMW and a Filofax full of contacts, engagement via social is the new selling.
Most individuals know this. They are just not sure how to make it happen. We’ve been helping clients from legal start-ups, professional advisers, global manufacturers and charities to unlock business to boost their bottom line.
Here are five things you can do to support your sales process on LinkedIn:
Make sure you have a company page that explains who you are and what you do. Use strong imagery that communicates your USPs so visitors can instantly see what you can offer.
Ensure your employees are reflecting the same messages and content on their individual pages so there is a consistency of brand across the channel. Make sure their photos reflect the professional organisation you are – no wedding or holiday pictures please……
Making sure you know who you want to target is key. Find the right person on LinkedIn and craft a personal invitation. Don’t start selling, explain you met them at an event, work with a mutual supplier or have admired them from afar and want to connect. You can even personalise the invite with a reference to their favourite football team or recent award success – everyone is flattered if you take the time to get to know them as an individual.
As any successful salesman will tell you, listening to what your potential prospect wants is key to success. Rather than launching into your sales pitch, ask questions and do your research so you can tailor your approach. Same rules apply here, if you’ve identified a prospect and made that all important connection don’t immediately send an email offering your services. It will put them off for life!
Monitor their posts, likes and build a picture of what is interesting to them and what challenges they may be facing.
LinkedIn is a business to business networking site but it’s still a social channel. You wouldn’t walk up to someone at a party, interrupt the conversation and start talking about yourself. You’d join a group, listen and offer your opinion when the time is right and in keeping with the topic of conversation.
Craft content that is relevant to your audience. For example, if you are pitching for work in a particular sector and are connected to the decision makers, then demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in this area, highlighting key issues and potential solutions. If the post is interesting and provokes debate, your contacts will comment and engage which shares the content to their connections, increasing the reach. The reader will recognise your skill set and hopefully see that respected industry professionals are engaging with your content and giving it credibility, strengthening your tender submission or your offer to meet.
If your prospect is sharing content, make sure you comment on it. This makes you visible, and if your comment is insightful and engaging, it will put you on the radar. You may start a debate over a particular issue, providing the perfect opportunity to suggest a wider discussion over coffee. By this stage, you have built your profile and reputation, established your expertise, demonstrated credibility by the company you keep and your proposal will generally fall on more listening ears.
One example of this in action was delivered by TWA recently. One of our UK clients was targeting a massive US business and was finding the door firmly closed to approaches. We worked through these techniques on their behalf and drafted a blog about a key issue in the US affecting their sector. The prospect actually picked up the phone to request a meeting as a result of reading our blog!
Results may not happen instantly but if you stick at it, you’ll see the fruits of your labour on the bottom line. Good news is, you can access LinkedIn via your mobile so spending a little time each day or every few days is achievable without being onerous.
If you are still struggling for time, you can always give us a call and we’ll give you a hand.
June 28, 2017 - This article was written by April Manning