Sales is undergoing a digital transformation! I know that digital transformation is a grossly overused phrase these days, but within sales it is actually relevant. The old methods of cold calling, spamming emails and running door to door are yielding such low returns these days they are essentially obsolete.
Indeed, this article from Salesforce highlights that, on average, prospects require 6-8 ‘Touches’ (contact points) before they are a viable sales lead. So to increase your ‘Touches’ you need to extend your repertoire beyond the cold call or email. But don’t fret! A solid understanding of how to use LinkedIn can really strengthen your ability to build and maintain relationships online which will, in turn, generate leads and sales.
In this article you will find 6 simple and actionable techniques that will help you increase sales and prospects through LinkedIn. But if you want to go in more depth and join us on one of our LinkedIn Training courses, get tickets here:
#1: Put Your Network Into A Spreadsheet
This is one of the best and least well known features of LinkedIn. Rather than traversing the platform and going on to each prospect’s individual profile, you can download all of your contacts into a spreadsheet giving you a central location for the email addresses of everyone in your network – a salesperson’s dream! This is really useful for any business that doesn’t have a sophisticated CRM system, or just any salesperson who has been a bit too busy to update it… we’ve all been there.
It is worth noting that not everyone realises you can get their email address through LinkedIn, so it’s a great way to get in touch with individuals who otherwise wouldn’t give out their email.
It is fairly simple, but take a look at this guide on how to export your contacts for a little help.
#2: Keep In Touch
As mentioned in the Salesforce article above, the average customer will come in contact with you or your business 6-8 times before they make a buying decision or can be deemed a legitimate lead. A fantastic way to ensure you consistently make contact with your network is through using the recommended actions on LinkedIn (pictured below). Congratulate someone on a new job or wish them a happy birthday just to ensure you are a regular thought in their mind. If you maintain contact with someone and the time comes that they need to restock or make an initial purchase, who will they think of first?
#3: Find The Right Groups & Get Involved
This is a really important tip. LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for you as an individual to establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field. So go through your networks profile’s and find common groups that a number of them are in. Join the groups and become an active and engaged member. This does not mean just spamming the group with promotional messages.
To be perceived as credible you need to have a healthy balance of:
- Commenting on other people’s posts with your thoughts
- Help people by providing answers to questions they post
- Ask questions yourself and ask for help from others in the group
- Posting promotional content every now and then – this needs to be mixed in with the other elements so you aren’t just seen as a salesperson but a valuable member of the group
- Reposting other content that you like
#4: Optimise Your Profile For Sales
Everyone knows that first impressions are important, and nowadays a large proportion of them happen online. So to make sure you leave a good one, you need to optimise your profile. If you are trying to sell high-end luxury jewellery but your LinkedIn picture is you with a pint at a football match… you’re probably not giving off the right vibe.
Outside of your picture, one of the first things people will read when they come to your profile is your LinkedIn summary. There is a lot that goes in to creating a great LinkedIn summary which I have detailed in this article: The 4 Step Guide To Writing a Powerful LinkedIn Summary
#5: Never Go Into A Call Fully Cold
With a prospect’s LinkedIn profile in front of you, you have all the information you could need ahead of a call. You will be able to learn enough about a person from their profile to ensure you make your call relevant to them or their business and it’s specific needs. For example, if you were to look at my LinkedIn profile, you’d know that to get me interested in taking your sales call you just have to bring up tennis or Game of Thrones! Additionally, this shows a level of credibility because you have clearly done your research; more so than the other 90% of sales calls they receive.
#6: Be Active When Growing Your Network
Whether its future prospects or people you’ve already worked with, you should try to add everyone you’ve come in contact with professionally to your network. Whether it was years ago or even when you were at a different company. It is a great way to rebuild the relationship, create more touch points, and get referrals. It also means you get a clear opportunity to resell, or upsell, once you are notified that they have moved on to another job or company!
If you’ve met someone, no matter how fleeting the interaction, you should always follow up with a connection request. LinkedIn works on 1st, 2nd and 3rd connections. 1st being people you are personally connected with, 2nd being someone you have mutual connections with, and 3rd being someone you are completely disconnected from. So once you add someone to your network your are then opened up to all of their connections as a 2nd connection. In short, connections breed connections.
Hopefully, you’ve found this helpful and can begin to employ some of these tools to expand your network and start making LinkedIn work for you! LinkedIn is a very powerful social media platform for building your business and developing professionally, for a more in-depth look at exactly what you can do to succeed on LinkedIn take a look at our Training course, led by one of our Social Media Experts.
Or get your tickets for the next course here: