LinkedIn celebrated two milestones this past month. First it turned 8 years old, and second it went public—in a big way!
For today’s sales professional LinkedIn has become a must do! What other website lets you network, generate leads, pre-call plan and build your personal brand all at one time? Jeb Blount summed it up best in his book People Buy You “LinkedIn is the most important networking tool in history”.
Recently I presented a 90 minute training session for sales professionals entitled LinkedIn or LeftOut, How to Prepare, Prospect, Connect and Sell in the Social Media Revolution. The following is an excerpt from that presentation.
Top 10 LinkedIn Strategies of the Top Sales Pro’s
The Top sales pro’s…
1. Make connecting and updating part of their day.
One of the most common mistakes LinkedIn users make is going “Dark”. Popping in and out of LinkedIn with no rhyme or apparent reason. It’s much more effective to spend a few minutes of quality time at the beginning of your day to post a meaningful update and read your network's news feed. Then end your day connecting, via LinkedIn, with anyone you met during the day.
2. Give recommendations freely!
3. Use LinkedIn for Pre-call Preparation.
The things that happen before a sales call trump what happens during a sales call. A few minutes reading the profile of your prospect can make the discovery and connection process go much faster.
4. Always give value first!
The quickest road to frustration with LinkedIn is to use it exclusively to sell your stuff. Just like a “face to face” meeting—nobody really wants to buy your stuff! They want value.
5. Know that spelling counts!
Great content is easily ignored with one misspelled word or poor grammar.
6. Treat their contacts like gold!
No IDK. No spam. No blatant selling. Treat your connections they way you’d treat your best clients.
7. Have something to say.
Something of value—something your market place will value. If you don’t have your own content it’s okay to share other people’s content. Make sure you give credit where credit is due. Make sure it’s relevant to your connections, and add your own insights.
8. Listen to, and engage with prospects & clients.
Your customers are out there. Telling you, and everybody else, what’s important to them! What their challenges are. Listen and engage with value.
9. Use LinkedIn to leverage their personal brand.
When you combine a strong headline, a well written professional summary page (written about you in terms of your customers) then add relevant content you create a powerful one-stop landing page.
10. Know LinkedIn is free, but success requires an investment!
An investment of time and of self. Time invested to build a compelling profile. Time invested in adding value. Time invested in connecting. You don’t have to invest—you could just cold call some more!
You can connect with Les @ LinkedIn.com/in/LesLent