I used to only use LinkedIn to look for jobs. It’s still good for that, but it is so much more. With more than 500 million users in 200 countries, it is a global professional networking machine. The old, paper Rolodex is dead, and it is replaced by a digital networking tool. LinkedIn social selling skills are not hard, but they do need to be developed for the modern age.
Connecting with like-minded professionals is only half of the equation. To drive top line sales, professionals need to use LinkedIn throughout the entire sales cycle. Social media are based in relationship building and communications, and LinkedIn is no different. Here are five tips professionals can use to improve their LinkedIn social selling skills.
Pay for Premium – I know it seems like a lot of money, but Sales Navigator is worth it. The annual plan saves you about 20%, and one additional sale will pay for the cost of a year. Lead Builder, Tagging and Saved accounts are just the tip of the iceberg. Only buy Sales Navigator if you are SERIOUS about sales. It gives you generous amounts of information that you can and should use to build leads.
Don’t Waste Time – Everyone has wasted time on Facebook, and professionals can waste time on LinkedIn too. Schedule time to prospect, reach out and post. Resist the temptation to jump on for a few minutes and see how your friends are doing. The morning is a great time to look for leads and ask for referrals. Use Facebook to catch up with friends. LinkedIn is for building relationships and improving sales.
Fix Your Profile – Add a profile picture. Most companies and firms will sponsor a day for all employees to get a standard picture for LinkedIn. Profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed as profiles with no picture. Complete your profile by adding a summary, your education (without the year) and experience. LinkedIn All-Stars include the work they did and the results. Veterans should list their status, and community volunteers (e.g. – PTO, church) should add their contributions.
Be Consistent – Successful LinkedIn social selling skills require users to post and engage regularly. I schedule time in the morning and evening to review my leads content and prospect for new leads. I also comment, share and Like during the time. Social selling content is a mix of curated articles and blogs with original posts. Use a social media calendar to track effective strategies.
Engage with the Right People – Don’t accept everyone’s invitation. Facebook is good for random Friends, but LinkedIn is focused on specific industries and clients. This approach saves time, and it refines your content strategy. Successful people don’t take a shotgun approach to sales. They know who their target audience is, and they understand their needs. The sales strategies that work in real life, can also be applied online and with social media.
The key to using LinkedIn is summed up in one word: relationships. LinkedIn social selling skills hone and develop relationships such that people want to buy from you. Over your audience content and information that helps them, and that action will make you stand out in the crowd.
If you need help with your profile or understanding how to use Sales Navigator, we’d love to help: Social Selling Success!
Scientifically Speaking, of course…