Leverage linkedin to get more sales for your small business

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  • 1. Leverage Linkedin to Get More Sales for Your Small Business It's time to get off the fence and leverage LinkedIn as your online strategy to generate sales for your small business. LinkedIn is an important social networking tool that allows you to drill down to target specific groups or individuals. With the right strategy it can help you expand your network with people who are likely to buy your product or service. LinkedIn is professional networking site. Generally your clients these days look at your LinkedIn profile, company pages, your product and services and are able to perceive some image of you which further triggers some probability of sales. Let's explore how your small business can get more sales lead using LinkedIn: LinkedIn could be a secret weapon in closing more leads for your small business, if you work it right. "Small business owners can leverage LinkedIn by using their professional presence on LinkedIn to compete against the largest organizations in the world. The most successful users actively share relevant content, showcase themselves as a trusted resource and spend six or more hours on week on the social media site. Moreover they try to get recommendations from their most satisfied customers which actually become the good voice for the company image. The biggest mistake which most social marketing strategist do on LinkedIn is they put up posts, articles, links, etc. that they ignore, but still hope to get hits from." To leverage this platform, you need to dedicate a technical resource who can engage in participative discussions, can answer the queries of the user who is coming reading your posts, articles or discussion. You need to have dedicated resource who works on this platform as a face on behalf of your company to the client who is coming there. Push marketing is a wrong strategy and will be terribly ineffective. To make your business grow in revenue, use LinkedIn almost exclusively to engage prospective customers. "We believe in being go-givers, we give first. We participate in numerous group discussions. We also start our own discussions by asking probing questions, and then we participate in the resulting conversation." They also give free advice, free e-books, white papers, and solid referrals when they are not the right fit for a potential customer. Mr. von Ahn said the best way to leverage LinkedIn is to know who your target customer is first. "We have grown our business by being laser focused on LinkedIn. They have developed a process to define their target customer, and then they only connect with people on LinkedIn who fit their exact target. "We turn down two-thirds of the people that reach out to us to connect on LinkedIn," said Mr. von Ahn. And they prune their LinkedIn connections quarterly. He added, "Too many people just collect connections, we don't believe in connecting with anyone we can't help or serve as customers." This is one philosophy. Personally, I think you should connect with anyone who asks because you never know why they want to connect with you, and just because someone is not a customer today doesn't mean they can't become one in the future.
  • 2. Two years ago, S. Anthony Iannarino hired a social media coach teach him how to use LinkedIn. After working with his coach for just one day, he updated his profile by changing his title and making sure his experience spoke specifically to his title. He also updated all of his job history, and added more recommendations from customers who looked like his targets. And in the next 60 days was able to identify and access a new contact within a dream client's organization that he had been chasing for years. He reached out to this prospect through LinkedIn, and secured an appointment. "LinkedIn helped me solve the problem of getting in, but it didn't mean I was entitled to any more than what my sales skills and attributes entitled me to," said Mr. Iannarino. Well, he landed the business. This client presently generates just under $1,000,000 annually for Mr. Iannarino's staffing firm. He says that being successful on LinkedIn or any social media sites comes down to how you position yourself in your profile. "We think that social tools only work in one direction. We think we're using them to research our clients. But really, your LinkedIn profile is part of your digital surrogate salesperson. You're researching your prospects using the social tools, and they're researching you right back." Here are 5 things you could do to get more sales with LinkedIn today: 1. Join Groups. With a free account, you can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups. Sign up for at least 10 groups to get started. Be sure to research the groups to find ones that are active and full of your target customers. 2. Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile. Move away from the resume format. Make your profile customer- centric and results-based. LinkedIn is a two-way street. Just like you are checking out prospects online they will also use LinkedIn to check you out, so make sure your profile represents you well. 3. Connect With Your Colleagues. Use LinkedIn as your personal rolodex. Connect with everyone you do business with and all of your new contacts. 4. Leverage Recommendations. Turn your happy customers into an unpaid sales force. Within five to 10 days after any sale or service, ask your clients for a recommendation on LinkedIn. If you work your recommendations correctly, you'll only talk with customers about availability and budget. 5. Research Your Prospects. Start using LinkedIn to get insight on people you would like to have as customers. It's a great way to find points of connection. More than 2.6 million companies have LinkedIn pages. You should get started today leveraging the power of LinkedIn's more than 200 million member audience. If you invest the time, LinkedIn might be an ideal resource for increasing sales in your small business.