This is a guest post by Navena. Nevena is a passionate business blogger and a tech nerd. She is interested in topics that cover business communication, online branding, digital marketing and social media, business tools and extensions related to LinkedIn.
Are you sleeping on social selling? According to Linkedin Research, businesses prioritizing this powerful sales practice are 50% more likely to reach their sales quotas. Since this is a relatively high percentage, not using LinkedIn to your advantage might be your biggest problem with maximizing your sales numbers.
LinkedIn is a huge social network, with over 930 million members worldwide. It’s also an elaborate social platform with a ton of useful features that help sales professionals connect and engage with potential prospects. Let’s see how you can use LinkedIn and its features to maximize the success of your sales campaigns.
Cultivate a Meaningful Network
Your connections are the most valuable asset in your LinkedIn sales endeavors. First-level connections are your colleagues, acquaintances, former and current clients, and anyone you think fits the context of your sales campaign. Second- and third-level connections are people who are connected with your first- and second-level connection, respectively.
You can use LinkedIn’s advanced filters to help you get more data on your prospects, such as their company, job title, language, etc. Sales professionals use a mix of the platform’s features and third-party software to get the most out of their contacts. If you’re new to the platform, you must learn how to see connections on LinkedIn that may prove to be valuable in the future.
If you don’t already have a large pool of relevant connections, you should make this an ongoing priority. Ask your existing customers to recommend connections that might be relevant to your sales efforts. The best and most fruitful connections come from a strong referral. It’s also helpful to connect with prospects that share a connection with your existing customers.
Optimize Your Profile for Sales
Take a good look at your LinkedIn profile and ask yourself these questions:
- Does it look authentic?
- Does it appear credible?
- Is it approachable?
These three things are extremely important for leaving a good first impression on your prospects. Think of your LinkedIn profile as the extension of your professional brand. You want new prospects to see you as being open to collaboration, having proven experience and expertise in the field, and the data to back it all up.
Start with uploading a high-quality profile photo. Try to appear approachable and open to collaboration. Just beneath the profile picture, there’s a headline section that you can use to your advantage. Instead of just your job title, write a headline that describes what you can do for your prospective clients.
You need a powerful “About” section that summarizes what you do in a meaningful and genuine way. People are more likely to buy from you if they can relate to your story. Finally, don’t forget to add your skills and endorsements. Potential customers will find you more trustworthy if you are competent in your field.
Regular Content Creation is Paramount
All the best sales blogs out there rave about the benefits of posting engaging, high-quality content on LinkedIn, and they’re not wrong. Regularly posting relevant content that sparks conversation will do wonders for your brand. Instantly connect with your potential clients by sharing relevant professional advice and insights.
If you don’t know what to write about, you can always research a topic and present the most valuable information about it to your connections. People will value your professional opinion on a topic that interests them, so you shouldn’t ever hesitate to share it. You can also share videos or other types of visual content if writing isn’t your thing.
Other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have higher engagement rates than LinkedIn, so it would be helpful to integrate your account with these sites as well. After publishing a post, you should find ways to promote it across your social profiles. Don’t forget to link your website too, as most prospects will visit it for more information.
Use LinkedIn Groups to Your Advantage
LinkedIn is a social network, and groups are a great way to present yourself and meet many like-minded individuals and potential customers. You will get to know your prospects better and get some personal details, including their first name. LinkedIn Groups are a great way to get your name and professional expertise out there before you start cold emailing.
To use LinkedIn Groups to your advantage, you need to become an active member of several different communities. This doesn’t mean you should post often and just leave links to your content without any helpful input. What you want is to become a thought leader in any of these groups. This will help your sales efforts more than anything else.
Here’s a mix of things you can do in groups to increase your sales:
- Help other community members by answering their questions
- Ask questions to spark conversation and meet new people
- Comment on members’ posts with your valuable insights
- Post helpful content that advertises your service or product
- Share useful content from other industry professionals
LinkedIn InMail is a Double-Edged Sword
InMail is LinkedIn’s sales tool that allows you to direct-message prospects without having to connect with them. This is a great tool for reaching top-level decision-makers, as they are usually well-guarded against spammers. However, you’ll need to tread carefully, as you won’t get a response from most prospects that already ignored your cold emails or calls.
LinkedIn InMail is a paid tool, and the basic plan gives you three to five credits a month. This means you should use InMail with caution and only in special cases when a potential client is very hard to reach. A good thing about this tool is that you get your credit back if you get a response within 90 days of sending the message.
LinkedIn can be a powerful sales tool on its own. However, you will need to play your cards right to avoid scaring away any prospective clients you may come across. People on LinkedIn value professionalism, knowledge, expertise, community involvement, and honesty. If you start bombing the site with low-effort ads, most people will regard you as a spammer.
To start selling on LinkedIn, you must create a network of like-minded individuals and potential prospects. You need to pay attention to how your profile appears to other people on the site. Create engaging content and share it regularly. Use groups to become a positive force in the ecosystem and position yourself as a thought leader in your community.