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Social Selling Through LinkedIn

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This e-book helps B2B sales professionals understand the 3 step process of social selling on LinkedIn: Find, Engage, Convert. Find the right prospects. Engage to build trust. Convert to sales …

This e-book helps B2B sales professionals understand the 3 step process of social selling on LinkedIn: Find, Engage, Convert. Find the right prospects. Engage to build trust. Convert to sales conversations. Happy social selling!

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  • 1. OPEN NEW DOORS Meet Your New Sales Assistant…
  • 2. The prospecting landscape has changed drastically in the past few years. The cost, in terms of time, has risen sharply while the rate of cold calling success has dropped. Buyers use the Internet to research your products and services, voice mail to screen your calls and filters to block your emails. Yet, when they begin thinking about buying, they want to talk to an expert. How can you be the top of mind expert in your field? Are you connected to your buyers when they are most ready to talk? With more than 300 million registered users, LinkedIn is the undisputed king of business networking. It is the modern-day business card. This eBook offers 15 ways you can use LinkedIn to master the process of finding the right prospects and converting connections into sales opportunities to improve your sales results. 2
  • 3.  Thoroughly Complete Your Profile  Prioritize Your News Feed Everyday  Post Daily Status Updates  Connect with People You Know  Join at least 10 Groups  Follow Companies of Interest BEFORE YOU BEGIN PROSPECTING 3
  • 4. COMPLETE YOUR BUSINESS CARD PROFILE What makes LinkedIn so powerful is that both individuals and companies have a unique identity. For individuals, it’s our profile. For companies, it’s the Is your photo still missing? Take a selfie with your most engaging smile against a neutral background, crop it to just your head and resize it to 200x200 pixels and upload it. company page. As individual members, optimizing your profile is the place to start. Be sure to have a recent headshot photo, preferably smiling. Use keywords in your headline that represent your professional specialty. Complete the summary in an easy to read manner. Be sure to include your achievements. There are many other ways to optimize your profile. Be sure to have these basics covered before going much further with your LinkedIn activities. 4
  • 5. LINK TO YOUR COMPANY PAGE Be sure to add your company name in your profile. LinkedIn will recognize the name and ask you to click it so that your individual profile is linked to your company page. Follow company pages of those companies that interest you. You can also follow their Showcase page. For example, if you sell into the Microsoft Dynamics community, you can follow the Dynamics Showcase Page. Microsoft has more than 10 Showcase pages, allowing you to follow or “subscribe” to the products that are relevant for you to follow. Review your company page. Does it showcase your products and services? Have all your work colleagues linked to the company page? Team up with your marketing department to become a brand ambassador. 5
  • 6. PRIORITIZE YOUR NEWS FEED WITH PULSE Schedule 10 minutes per day (at least) to review your news feed to keep up with your network’s activity. It’s a great way to find and share articles that others in your network have posted. It’s also a great way to discover other people to add to your network. Join groups that align with your professional interests. Don’t overlook the opportunity to engage with people in your news feed by liking or commenting on their status updates. One simple way to engage is by sharing other people’s status updates. Another way to engage with people in your news feed is to add comments to other people’s status updates, or congratulate people on job changes. You can also tag other people in your network by typing their name in a an update or comment. LinkedIn recognizes the name and will notify the person of your mention. If you have not been in the habit of engaging in your news feed, this tip alone will begin to show you the power of LinkedIn by transforming you from a passive user to an active user of LinkedIn. Try this early in the morning before 8am. No matter your time zone, you might be surprised by how many people are active on LinkedIn before 8am. 6
  • 7. DAILY STATUS UPDATES If you actively follow your network in your news feed, you’ll probably get inspired to create your own status updates. The status update field is at the top of your Home screen on the desktop version of LinkedIn, or in the top right on the mobile version. The easiest way to power up with status updates is to share links to articles that are relevant to your professional interests. Be sure to make a comment to engage with your individual thoughts about the article. 7
  • 8. CONNECT WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW There are many LinkedIn features not known by infrequent users. One such feature is the ability to save someone to your “contacts” and organize people using tags. As you reach out to people that you know and connect with them, you can create a custom tag to organize contacts for future follow up. You can also add notes about your conversation(s). Of course, your approach should be focused on ways to connect and engage with people in a meaningful way. That takes times. Using the tag feature in contacts allows you to stay organized. You’ll notice that LinkedIn also tracks your email correspondence provided you use the email address associated with your LinkedIn login. 8
  • 9. MOBILE APPS As a sales professional, you are probably connected to your mobile device more than a gun-slinger’s six-shooter from the old wild west. LinkedIn is predicting 50% of users will be using LinkedIn on mobile devices by the end of 2014. LinkedIn is available for mobile users on smartphones and tablet devices. You can do nearly everything you do on LinkedIn desktop on the mobile versions. Through LinkedIn’s multi apps strategy, you will see more specialty mobile apps rolled out across all devices. One of the popular ways to use the mobile version is to skim your news feed and engage with other people’s status updates. You can use LinkedIn mobile anytime, anywhere while moving about including while standing in line at Starbucks. If you have not yet done so, download the mobile version that suits you: • Mobile for Phones (Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows) • Mobile for iPad • Contacts for iPad • Pulse News Feed (Available for iPhone and Android) 9
  • 10. ENGAGE WITH INFLUENCERS The LinkedIn Professional Publishing Platform had previously been available only to an exclusive list of approximately 500 business influencers who publish unique content there. Anyone can subscribe to their content. To do so, either click under the “share an update” field on the home page of your profile (Pulse recommends this news for you) or go directly to Pulse under your Interests tab. For example, you can subscribe to read articles written by people like Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki, Joe Pulizzi, Jeff Weiner, Tom Peters….It’s tempting to list all 500 influencers but I won’t. You get the idea. Once you read an article from any of these influencers, you can leave a comment and share it. Influencer posts average more than 80 comments each. You can gain valuable insights and expand your own network by engaging with people who engage with these influencers. 10
  • 11. EMBRACE EMPLOYEE AND CORPORATE BRAND CONVERGENCE LinkedIn is so much more than an online resume. It has become a content marketing platform. In fact it is the definitive publishing platform for professionals. What does publishing have to do with sales? Everything. It creates an opportunity for you to share your expertise in a non-direct selling way that resonates with today’s savvy buyers. On some social networks you spend time. Whereas on LinkedIn, you invest time, (via Jason Miller). Your activity on LinkedIn reflects on you individually and on your employer or your business. The results professionals produce for their employer / business speak for themselves. In 2013 65% of B2B marketers and 51% of B2C marketers respectively acquired a customer through LinkedIn. Source, page 6 of The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. 11
  • 12. CURATE CONTENT WITH PULSE Pulse is a news aggregator application which was acquired by LinkedIn. Pulse aggregates content as a real time news feed of articles that interest you by topic or by media outlet or by influencers you follow. Pulse is available on LinkedIn desktop as well as mobile. Pulse is also a dedicated mobile app. You can customize the content you want to see. As you consume content, you can share it on LinkedIn and Twitter through a status update. Pulse and LinkedIn are separate (yet integrated) apps you might want to have on your mobile phone’s home screen. 12
  • 13. FIND YOUR VOICE People see your activity on LinkedIn and form impressions of you by what you share, what you say, where you say it and how you say it. Think about how you want people to think of you as a professional. LinkedIn is not the social networking platform to share your cat or dog pictures. Be authentic, and consider the image you are building for yourself. Be consistent and professional in your conversations. 13
  • 14. SPONSOR COMPANY STATUS UPDATES Sponsored updates on company pages are one of the best ways to reach your target audience. LinkedIn provides many options for targeting including by geography, industry, title, seniority and more. Another targeting option is by company. Identify companies you want to get in front of and select them as your target audience in your sponsored updates. According to Jason Miller of LinkedIn, there are three common use cases for sponsored updates: 1) lead generation 2) brand awareness 3) event registration. Does your company page display status updates with relevant content that demonstrates thought leadership? If not, get with your marketing team and let them know what the sales team needs to strengthen your sales efforts through a strong brand. 14
  • 15. BECOME A GROUPEE LinkedIn provides anyone the ability to create a group. If you create a group, be sure to be committed leading it. Successful groups call for daily monitoring to ensure the community you build gets value from your group. A strong group has people who help each other. Of course, you don’t have to create a group. You can join up to 50 groups. Most of us don’t have time to participate in 50 groups. Select the groups that will be time well spent for you and become a valuable member of those groups. Look for groups that are relevant to your industry and also verticals where your product and services intersect with your target audiences. 15
  • 16. WARNING: LINKEDIN IS NOT A SPAMMING TOOL LinkedIn is a networking tool that allows you to build connections and relationships outside your immediate network. If you try to use LinkedIn as a direct sales or spamming tool, you will get restricted forever. At a cocktail party, you would not jump up on a table and shout “listen to me – I am going to sell you something.” Instead, you would mingle, listen to what people are saying and share in the conversation when appropriate. LinkedIn Don’t Rules:  Act dishonestly or unprofessionally  Publish inaccurate information in the designated fields on the profile  Create a Member profile for anyone other than a natural person;  Harass, abuse or harm another person, including sending unwelcomed communications to others using LinkedIn;  Invite people you do not know to join your network;  Upload a profile image that is not your likeness or a head-shot photo;  Use or attempt to use another's account or create a false identity on LinkedIn. 16
  • 17. PROSPECTING By following the tips we have covered so far, you have already been “prospecting” in a social selling paradigm through your engagement! If you are doing the activities listed below on a daily basis, you are ready to take prospecting to the next level: • Posting Daily Status Updates • Connecting with People you know • Engaging in conversations through groups, Pulse, comments • Sharing content 17
  • 18. FOLLOWING THROUGH ON SEARCH RESULTS As you find prospective buyers, your goal should be to build relationships. Discover their interests, engage in conversations within groups that they participate. Learn about their company and where and how they use LinkedIn. Send people a personal message with your request to connect with them. Your note should demonstrate that you understand something about them. Use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, but do it through thought leadership and relationships. Get to know people. Understand who they are and what motivates them. Solve their problems. 18
  • 19. LinkedIn FREE VS PAID Up to this point, everything we have covered is available with LinkedIn’s Free Account. In order to use LinkedIn’s advanced features, you might want to consider an upgrade to a paid subscription. Under the Upgrade menu, select For Sales Professionals. Consider upgrading to SalesPlus first. Spend some time using the SalesPlus features before deciding if you need the Sales Executive features. 19 19
  • 20. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? We help professional sales teams find the right prospects and convert them into sales opportunities through advanced coaching and social selling software used by sales teams at companies like KPMG, Prudential, Comcast, Lexis Nexus and others… Yes, I want to convert my sales team to thought leaders, brand ambassadors and lead generators through LinkedIn. 20
  • 21. FIND, ENGAGE, CONVERT 21 We help B2B companies find the right people, engage with them and convert them into opportunities through digital and social business strategies.