LinkedIn is the key social selling tool in every seller’s toolkit. Because you can use LinkedIn to reach anyone in the world directly, does not mean you should.
LinkedIn gives us the social selling super power to reach out to almost anyone on earth that is on the Web. And when it comes to connecting on LinkedIn, it’s like Spiderman’s uncle said to his nephew, Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We all should be using LinkedIn with some more responsibility before we make that first sales or marketing contact.
Successful social selling strategy uses LinkedIn for more than a “find and phone” exercise. Yes, we all need to pick the phone up to make contact with a customer. However, B2B sellers and marketers need to use LinkedIn to increase insights and one’s branding to make the most out of the first contact and ongoing customer touches. Better insight and higher personal brand visibility will lead to a greater selling success. Knowing 5 things things about a customer before you make that first touch will increase your success rate vs. just knowing one data point, right? And, if the customer is familiar with you name before you connect, then your success will be even greater.
8 Social Selling Actions To Take Before Reaching Out Directly On LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Group Connection. With 1.8 million LinkedIn Groups, your customers are bound to be participating in at least one of them. Use that LinkedIn group membership information or conversation within it to gather information about your customer before you contact them.
- Regular LinkedIn Status Updates. Increase your status updates to twice daily to increase your social brand impressions and reach your 2nd- and 3rd-level contacts.
- Maximize Your Customer Touch Points. When your 1st-level contacts get promoted, shares great content or makes a change to their profile, then there is a great opportunity to engage. You need to comment, share or like on it to increase your visibility to their network. This action is a great opportunity for you to start be get on the radar of an expanded network.
- People Who Checked Your Profile. Identify who checked out your profile and then search to see the LinkedIn group to which they belong. Once you found it, respond to one of their group questions, or ask them a question in the group directly.
- Connect With Your 2nd- and 3rd-level Contacts. Find out the LinkedIn groups your 2nd- and 3rd-level contacts belong to and start to engage with them in that community. During your group conversation make sure to drop the name of your common to set up your commonality.
- Join All 50 LinkedIn Groups. Join all 50 allowable LinkedIn groups to spread your social selling web of influence and make it easy for your to be contacted.
- Persistent Searches. Are you interested in geo-based or key word-driven updates that can give you additional data points for additional insights? Use LinkedIn’s advanced search feature to deliver emailed updates to your network and prospect base.
- LinkedIn Curbside Appeal. Before you connect or engage with a customer or prospect directly, make user your LinkedIn profile (i.e., your social curbside appeal) is shined up. You can’t sell yourself unless you have great curbside appeal … just like selling a home.
Do you have an additional way or take on how to use LinkedIn before you make your first customer or networking contact? If so, please share below or contact me directly at MarketingThink.com on Twitter or on LinkedIn.
My Spidey senses that you might know of someone who needs a little LinkedIn tune-up. Please suggest that your contacts swing over to these ideas to help them:
- Create the perfect LinkedIn profile
- Run your LinkedIn profile like a PPC campaign
- Use LinkedIn invites to deepen your relationships
- Measure the success of your LinkedIn activity
- Have a LinkedIn profile picture that does not scare your network away!
So, good luck developing your LinkedIn skills that go behind finding and phoning customers or other people to network with. Spin your information-gathering and personal branding web before you make that first contact. And, did you know that there are 820 Peter Parkers on LinkedIn? I wonder which one is Spiderman.
Originally published on Apr 20, 2012 5:22 PM, updated Feb 11, 2016