Recently, I shared a blog post called 10 Social Media Best Practices for Salespeople, and I wanted to expand on a few of them specifically related to how you can put these best practices into play on LinkedIn. I’ve gathered some specific examples from our team of experts, so check out the previous post here, then read on for actionable steps you can take in one hour or less of your time, to enhance your LinkedIn social selling efforts.
Social media doesn’t just exist only for you to push your message out. It’s an excellent resource to learn about your prospects and clients. If you spend a few minutes scrolling your LinkedIn newsfeed to find industry updates, see your client’s most recent achievements, and your prospects frustrations, you will gather a wealth of knowledge in a short amount of time that allows you to connect on a personal level, or to deliver or propose the best solutions you offer. This doesn’t have to be an all-day adventure, and I might suggest you set a timer so you don’t get distracted for too long then get off task.
It’s great to connect and network on LinkedIn, but you’ll find more engagement with your connections if you’re strategic in utilizing something small, like the message you can craft when connecting with a new contact, and then sending a customized message that relates to them.
Dean Moothart, Direct of Client Solutions, shares, “Provide the contacts you are inviting to connect with a specific reason why. The reason isn’t so you can sell them. The reason should be something that benefits them. For example, ‘I periodically share resources related to _____ that you may find valuable.’ Always customize your message. Just like prior to a sales call you, should do some research on the contact, their company, and their industry before you compose your message.”
Use your expertise and experience to provide value for contacts, prospects, and clients. There are many things you can do via your posts or messages (but not bombarding your contacts on private message) to provide value to clients and prospects:
- Share industry insights produced by your company
- Share industry insights from reliable sources (that aren’t your competitors)
- Share quotes from your clients
- Share success stories with numbers and data (if not proprietary) from your clients
- Share statistics and facts related to your industry and product
- Share blog posts from your company
- Share blog posts from reliable sources (that aren’t your competitors)
- Share blog posts you write
- TIP: If you’re writing blogs for your company, check and see if you can share them as an article on your LinkedIn page rather than just sharing as a post. When you click the ‘home’ icon on LinkedIn, there is a space where you share posts at the top. Create an article by clicking on the ‘Write an Article’ button rather than just posting text and a link. Typically, best practice is to put a note that states when and where the article was originally published. (You can see how I did that here with my previous post.)
A social selling study by LinkedIn shows that buyers who are active on social media are open to hearing from salespeople and welcome input from industry experts. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
Complete Your Profile
Moothart shares on this best practice, “Too many bios are written like they are looking for a job instead of a client. Your profile should describe the value you add to client relationships and describe what it looks like to be your client.”
Before someone even clicks the ‘show more’ button on Moothart’s LinkedIn profile, you can see how he helps our clients and what his expertise is.
What a waste of time would these best practices be if you were doing all of this great networking, engaging and connecting, but the connection couldn’t contact you!? It’s important that you make it easy to reach you by more than just the message platform on LinkedIn. Some people won’t want to message that way, but they might quickly shoot you an email to ask you a question about a case study you recently shared or a blog post you published. Moothart suggests you should provide your phone number and email address, and also provide a HubSpot meeting link (or a link to your meetings app) so prospects can quickly schedule a meeting with you.
One way to best utilize this social media best practice for sellers is to work LinkedIn into your prospecting workflow. Trey Morris, Senior Consultant, shares,
“I had a target account enrolled in an automated sequence in the Hubspot CRM. I had sent a few emails and left a voicemail or two, but didn't get any response.
My next step was to connect with them on LinkedIn. He accepted my invitation but didn't respond to my note. So, one of my next steps in the sequence was to message him via LinkedIn. He immediately responded which opened the door for future communication and to set up a Needs Analysis with the Target Account.”
Join and Participate
Did you know that LinkedIn has a personalized section for your Groups? It gives up the most recent updates of the groups you are in, and you can also discover new groups related to you and your industry. To best utilize this best practice, take a few minutes to check out the updates in your groups and participate in conversations. One way to share thought leadership without pushing your service or product on the group is to respond to questions or discussions with links to your blog posts that you or your company has written and relate to that question.
For example, I am in a few social media groups on LinkedIn, and if I see someone asking about best practices on LinkedIn for sales success, I could share a few insights in the text and then say that I expand more on these tips in this blog post if they’d like to check it out (and provide the link). The more you practice this, the more natural it will become.
There are many best practices when utilizing social media for selling, and LinkedIn is a great channel to start if you haven’t. The above best practices and specific action items can be put into play quickly, and over time, they will enhance the efforts you are making on LinkedIn as well as the other channels you are utilizing.