Manolo Vidal

How to use Linkedin in sales?

Hey, there! Linkedin may also be used to sell!

I’m still amazed at so many people telling me Linkedin is no good when it comes to selling. Every day, many people devote so much time to commenting on the last trending topic on Facebook, or hanging around in YouTube to watch, let’s say, Taylor Swift’s latest video.

Both are extremely important platforms in your daily life, but... what are the benefits they provide to your business revenue? None at all.

Nevertheless, a professional network, Linkedin, is available. After a long time using it and analyzing it deeply (both in its premium version and in its free version) I may say this social network & marketing platform has helped me a lot, as it has been (and continues to be) an asset in the generation of new leads. However...

Which steps should I take when using this tool in order to move on to the following level: selling?

Linkedin provides salespeople (let me remind you that, if you are a business owner, you are also a salesperson!!!) with quite a significant lead-generation opportunity. I know not all leads will be of the utmost quality, but I know for sure that the leads you generate using this tool are much more efficient than cold calling using a data base, for two reasons: you may do a better niche separation and you may access several filters that let you fine-tune the kind of profile (person) that could buy your product or service.

When you use Linkedin properly, you need to do a huge effort: first looking around and keeping observing, and then positioning yourself as a good professional in your area. This is the only way to generate confidence, and confidence is one of the essential aspects when it comes to people buying your products.

Remember that, as a salesperson, a great deal of information about the market is available to you. You know much about the needs of your prospective clients, and you monitor the market situation and trends. By putting all this together, you may create value (your brand); if you know how to provide and show this value, you will be able to generate confidence.

Which steps should I take to generate confidence in order to use this tool in sales?

The first thing you should focus on is the reorganization of your profile

I mean that your profile should not focus on too many things at once: finding new clients, catching the eye of potential new employers, finding your friends (use Facebook to do that)... If you have one of those profiles, stop and think about it, because by doing so you won’t generate confidence and your profile will not stand out from the crowd.

Create content

Once you have created a good profile and you think it is ready for interaction (take a look at the profiles of people who provide value to you and see how they position themselves and how they interact in this network) the following step should involve creating or searching specific content for your sector, with a view to drawing the attention of your prospective clients.

Join groups

Besides, you should join groups where your prospective clients may be, and start interacting in terms of content generation. The goal is to do you best to start a conversation, because the information you provide is valuable and it might be able to cater for several needs of the person talking to you.

Once you join a group, remember you should first take a look in order to find out how to provide some value to every interaction, comment and answer you provide, as you should keep giving “information pills” with a goal to “having needs met”. You should avoid being too aggressive in searching for potential customers. This is a slow but steady process.

If you create a discussion group, don’t focus on your product, as the other people taking part in the group will quickly understand what your reasons for creating the group were, and you will be rejected.

Send invitation

Once you know who your prospective contacts are (you should have found them by doing searches, in groups you belonged to, in conversations...) and you feel that they may provide you with new business opportunities, it’s time to start connecting to them directly. Now you need to take action and send them an invitation to connect.

This is a fundamental aspect, so don’t use your cell phone to do that because that will only enable you to send a standard message to the person you are asking for a connection. That’s not what you want. Do this using the web and think of the message you want to send; above all, you need to send a customized message that generates interest and opens the doors for you to communication and later on to a first meeting.

Keep in mind the contact you want to reach, take your time and, above all, plan the actions you need to perform.

Avoid making any of the 4 mistakes

  1. Sending invitations to people who have seen your profile. What’s the point in doing that? This doesn’t help.
  2. Sending an invitation as a first step, without having done any in-depth analysis. Don’t worry too much about that, this is a mistake we have all made (me too ;)).
  3. Don’t suggest scheduling a first meeting in the inmails: go for it first. We all want to schedule meetings, but asking for permission to generate a discussion with that prospective lead is a much more efficient thing to do when it comes to obtaining the desired visit.
  4. Be careful when sharing valuable content. Focus on fostering behaviours... that follow a logical structure.

Make the person curious about it

Last but not least, think carefully about how much valuable content you provide. Give out enough to make the person curious about it. Keep in mind that too much information may be overwhelming, leaves no room for imagination and usually doesn’t make a way in.

You may waste your time with Linkedin if you don’t focus on finding prospects, but the generation of opportunities will always depend on your ability to make your clients feel curious about what you have to offer.

Do you think you are capable of doing that?

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