Social Selling: Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting

Social media has had a massive influence on the way salespeople prospect for clients. Social media prospecting changed the game completely, allowing salespeople to step away from the harsh realities of cold calling.

Interrupting someone’s day with a phone call gets on their nerves - but what if you could show them your product or service during their regular downtime, in a way that actually appeals to your audience?

That’s the power of prospecting on social media. You have the power to integrate your offering into the timelines of people who will most likely be interested in what you have to offer. You get to display your value in front of the audience who would value it the most.

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There are many competing social media platforms out there right now, but LinkedIn is by far the most powerful for business usage.

LinkedIn provides a common ground for professionals to connect and interact in a safe environment. It allows for real relationship building and as a result, powerful sales potential.

The numbers supporting social selling are impressive with 78% of salespeople using social media outselling their non-social contemporaries. It’s a massive opportunity that’s worth serious consideration, but requires careful planning.

Here are 5 steps to set you off on the right path:

Pimp Your Profile

You have to start somewhere, right?

The look, feel, and impressiveness of your LinkedIn profile is the starting point of your success. Show yourself in the best light, in the most transparent manner possible.

Allow your prospects to get to know you and what you believe in. It’s powerful to interact with a thought leader who has opinions and experience. You want to be that thought leader, and attract prospects to your profile.

It all starts quite simply with completing your bloody profile.

LinkedIn is not for the faint of heart - you won’t see many people interacting with you if your profile sucks.

You’re a professional, so you need to behave accordingly. You need a strong headline that represents you in the best light. It’s your online elevator pitch!

LinkedIn’s system automatically creates a headline for you based on your current job title, but you can change this to make your profile stand out. Make it a value proposition that grabs attention, and fits within your 120 character limit. This is where you show anyone visiting your profile what makes you such a strong professional, and makes it clear what they can gain from connecting with you.

When your headline is solid as a rock, move on to make your summary more impressive. If you want to be super boring, go ahead and list all of your job responsibilities and tasks. To stand out though, you should be using this section to allow people a window into your soul. Tell a piece of your story, explain why you do what you do, express yourself passionately. For sales optimizing, highlight the business you work for in a positive way. Remember to keep it short, punchy, and informative.

Another key area of improvement is your portfolio and how you display it. Mention projects you’ve worked on, add media that enhances your contribution, and make your profile visitors see you for the quality and leadership you represent. This whole process can fit into an afternoon and I strongly recommend that you make the time to take care of this. For bonus points, get recommendations from existing clients and colleagues. Quality is better than quantity, so be sure to approach only people who will make an effort and be considerate.

Close The Net

When you win a contract, get a client to sign, or close a deal, get on LinkedIn and add that decision maker to your network. This makes getting recommendations a lot easier, but also adds a layer of trust to your relationship with the client. This also lets you see which connections you share and use that knowledge to your professional advantage.

If you’re worried about adding them on LinkedIn, call them up and ask them if they’d be okay with that. Work it in to the end of your final sales call for that additional layer of care. Too many salespeople grab the money and go galloping into the night, never to be seen again. Don’t be that person. If you can’t call them up, make sure you send a highly personal invitation.

Group Your Greatness

LinkedIn Groups are amazing for interaction and will make all of the difference to your success. Seriously, try them the hell out. You need to do some homework to figure out which groups your customers or prospects are in. When you know that, just go ahead and join them too. Choose the 2 to 3 most popular ones with the best interaction levels and commit to being a useful member of the community.

You can join a ton of groups, but you won’t be able to be effective and helpful in all of them. You’ll build a reputation this way and give yourself a fantastic opportunity to improve every aspect of your service offering. It’s a goldmine for feedback and monitoring trends, too. Even better, if you’re in a group with someone, you’re more likely to successfully connect with them.

Find More Leads

FInding leads on LinkedIn can be a tricky one, but knowing how to do it properly is always half the battle. Discovering a LinkedIn profile is often easier than finding email addresses. Once you’ve added someone, finding their email addresses becomes far easier.

One way to go is to use the My Network icon on your LinkedIn homepage, and click on connections, and manage synced and imported contacts. Select Advanced options and export contact. Next, you’ll need to click Request archive and insert your password to process. LinkedIn will email you a ton of info in a zipped folder. Open it and look for the holy grail: a list of your connections in .csv format.

You now have all the contact details of your connections.

 

Navigating Your Sales

LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is a paid tool that is focused around improving sales processes. Premium LinkedIn accounts allows you access to this great tool, with features like advanced prospecting algorithms, sales insights, CRM tools, and more to make sure you reduce churn and boost your ROI.

You’ll be able to grab opportunities and turn them into paying customers, value interactions, and further networking opportunities.

Get in There

Using LinkedIn to boost your sales competencies is going to be a huge benefit to your bottom line. Sure, it takes some time and care to set up, but this will always be the case when you’re learning a better approach.

Do your homework, find your target, and get to know them. Being a valuable addition to people’s lives and their businesses will make all the difference in the way you win clients and contracts. Give it a go - don’t get left behind.