Sales 303: LinkedIn
The Holy Grail of Sales
Coming back to our sales talk, there is one platform that deserves special attention: LinkedIn. What is important to understand about is that it's quite unique and you can't just bust in there and expect that you will do good by just using your good old sales techniques. That is what we are going to talk about today: how to build your sales empire on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has millions of active users, but there's one thing about them: they are all about their business. Do not mistake the platform for overcomplicated Twitter or Facebook, it's a social network that was designed for people to present themselves as entrepreneurs.
With so much users, you might be tempted to hop right in and begin bombing your connections with your perfect strategies, but let's be patient, there are thing that you need to know first.
First things first, let's talk about your profile. It needs a lot of work to be complete and presentable. Everything about it has to be near perfect. Start with the profile picture: plain background, face the camera and make the $1.000.000 smile. Get your other info there, fill every field possible, and don't forget to write a good overview.
The key to the good overview is keeping it short, but sweet and informative. Don't go telling about the type of cereal you liked as a child, tell about your career and your personal achievements.
Overall, what you might want to do is make your page really scream what you do for a living: a potential lead must be able to tell what your services are in seconds.
Instead of just focusing on your perfect self, be sure to include the client focus to your page. You must speak to your target audience, because nobody will care if you talk only about yourself. What you really want to do is tell your leads what you can offer them, and it will be more effective. There is one simple trick to doing this effectively: write everything with the "you" pronoun.
You are always welcome to send me a message and we will talk about your ideas and decide on how to make them a reality!
What it does is makes your leads see that you are all about them, not you. Speaking to them this way helps them imagine themselves working with you and getting exactly what they want from your collaboration.
Custom content is a perfect way to engage your connects without actually interacting with them directly first. What I usually do is write articles and post them on LinkedIn. Be sure to check what is trending right now, and write a couple of paragraphs, or even a small post. The tip here is to ask the open question in the end, and start a conversation.
What are your ways to get yourself some recognition?
This way, your connects will have the ability to comment on your thoughts and exchange their experience with you.
Also, you might want to research what is on the minds of the people who are you planning selling to. Often, they have the same pain points and problems that you can address in your custom content..
Engage with Other People
The important part of any social network is ending with other users. You have to be an actual human being about this, not a robot that simply liking and commenting the same things under each post. Show genuine interest in what others have to say, share your thoughts and views on their content.
Great piece, John! From my experience...
You will build your connection and trust with the people you are ending with, and start melting the ice between you, which will help you in the future.
Use Sales Navigator
Sales Navigator is a great feature that helps you filter millions of people and search for the most suitable leads. It includes lots of filters that help you choose even the smallest details about your future clients.
Choose a country, industry, and other important filters, and save the list. After that, you can go on and start going through people that interest you the most and start interacting with them keeping the tips from above in mind. Don't start selling yet, as we have to go through another set of tips!
No Sales From the Start
Many people make the mistake and start selling right after you connect with the person. It might work for other platforms, but not here. Let me say this: 98% of leads won't care about what you have to say if you start with the pitch.
Yeah, I'm talking to those people who start telling their story and amazing products right from the start. If you are not very new to LinkedIn, you must have experienced these messages.
Let me make this quick, so I don't take your time. My product is so amazing, I would buy it from me any time, but I will now try to sell it to you.
Nope, thanks. That's basically what everybody is thinking, even if they actually need the stuff you're selling, because nobody wants to engage with a person who doesn't care about you. It's only natural, because why would they care about you when you don't care about them?
Keep this tip in your mind at all times, and let's move on to the next one.
Engage in a Dialogue
The most important step of a successful sale is showing that you care. You might ask, if I don't sell from the start, what should I do, because it is kind of awkward? Yes, it is, but you have to get over it. Instead, use some other way to build a truly meaningful connection. Look through the lead's page, interact with their content, and then you can connect.
Hi, Terrance! I like the content you are sharing, and I figured I would share some experience of my own. I would be glad to connect and talk more about the thing that we are both interested in!
Tell them that you are interested in their thoughts and you want to share some experience of your own. That is where your custom content and Sales Navigator come in. Tailor your posts to the target audience and search for the people who might be interested in what you create, message them, and share this experience. This way it won't be that awkward, and you'll have yourself a dialogue, and a connection that will mean something.
It's All About Them
Remember when we talked about how your profile should be more about your clients, and not you? This is the same stuff, but more personal this time. When talking to someone on LinkedIn, write the message that is all about the person you are writing to, and what can you offer them.
People are always on lookout for freebies and generally something that may profit them, so your thing is to deliver what they want to see, and that will get their attention!
Build Meaningful Connections
All the previous tips led to this one: your first goal must always be in meaning, not in sale. One meaningful connection may mean more than two dozens of regular cold sales that you did.
Provider - Customer relationship is a number one priority and I can't stress this enough. Even if you don't make a sale from it, think of other advantages that might profit you in a long run: they may need your services in the future, they may recommend you to their friend, and you will get valuable experience from the conversation! Every time you talk to a person with an intent to sell, you get experience, and it is something every sales person should be thankful for.
Are You Satisfied with Your Service Provider?
That is a very good question to further develop your conversation with a client. Ask them whether they have one and if they are satisfied with them? If they even don't have one, that's your lucky chance. If they do, and they doubt that they are doing any good, another lucky chance. If they are satisfied though, don't just run off, but don't try to force your products onto them: you have your profile that tells everything about you. If they get interested, they will start the talk themselves. In other cases, just don't sell them anything and keep them on your radar.
There are a lot of automation tools for LinkedIn out there, and you might be wondering whether they are any good. Like everything that makes our lives easier, it has a major downside.
While tools like WeConnect can help you target thousands of people without you actually sitting behind your PC, it just kills off everything that we have discussed above. You can basically forget about getting personal in every message and connection you make, because you sacrifice the quality for quantity. It can never hurt to try them for a month for research reasons, but I doubt that they can make you a lot of sales. It's the life lesson number one: hard work pays off, laziness don't.
Take Them Off LinkedIn
After everything that we have discussed, it is a great time to ask the lead to have a call or a video chat elsewhere.
Hey Aaron, would you mind hopping on a call? I would be happy to discuss your ideas on ABC and decide on how to help with your XYZ.
Take them to your primary sales funnel and then, finally, you can start your thing there. It may even be something as simple as E-Mail conversation for the start, because many people actually use it for their business purposes.
Following up is something that should be in your monthly routine. Keep a list of people who you should ping from time to time, and you might discover that some of them are up to discuss their business with you. Besides, it shows that you actually care and ready to help, which like we discussed earlier, is essential to become a successful sales manager.
These tips are something that I got from my experience dealing with LinkedIn directly. Like always, you should take everything with a grain of salt and don't be afraid to try something new and experiment. This way, you'll be able to see what works best for you!