Social Selling 102: LinkedIn for Salesmen
Studies show that social selling generates a 100% higher close-to-lead rate than traditional outbound marketing. No wonder it’s the hot new trend for salesmen. Above all others, LinkedIn is the social media platform most essential for building business contacts. Is your profile up to date? Are you actively participating in LinkedIn groups? Are you deliberately building your list of connections? Learn more about the benefits of LinkedIn for Salesmen.
What is social selling?
Really, it’s just reaching out to your targets where you’re most likely to find them – on social media. Your prospects and existing customers are using LinkedIn, which is why 87% of B2B companies – dealerships like yours and their tech-savvy sales people are active on this platform. It’s become essential for sales success.
That’s why your profile is so important. Don’t think of it as an online resume – your targets are interested in you as a sales person and whole person. Your past accomplishments may help indicate who you are, but LinkedIn has far broader value to help you establish the kind of bond that makes people want to turn to you for advice. To buy from you.
People prefer to do business with someone they know. Someone they like and trust. Using LinkedIn for Salesmen can help make you that person.
What can social selling on LinkedIn do for you?
- Generate leads. Connect with colleagues, thought-leaders and other influencers in the industry as well as prospects. Use your marketing automation software to see when they’re searching for industry information and what they’re looking for. Perhaps they’re in a sales-ready mode, the perfect time for you to help them with information or advice.
- Increase sales. Monitor changes to your contacts’ profiles. If their business is expanding, they’ve landed a big new customer or they’re hiring more people, those could be indications the firm will soon need to buy additional vehicles or equipment. Be proactive.
- Strengthen relationships. Create a clear, lasting impression about who you are as a person and “who” you are as a dealership. One way to do that is to link yourself to a community or industry-related activity or cause that is particularly important to your targets, too. Your customers buy trucks or equipment and after-market services, but they want to like and trust their dealership as well as the sales person with whom they’re working. You’re building your brand.
You can make more connections. Better yet, you can make stronger connections. Many sales people find that social selling enables them to shorten the sales cycle. So review your LinkedIn profile from your customer’s point of view, and tweak it if necessary to make it more relevant. Then follow these steps on a regular basis:
- Identify and reach out to key influencers in your industry, and join relevant industry groups. Occasionally ask for advice or bounce ideas off these people – you’ll learn and increase your own name familiarity and authority, too
- Add new connections – contacts are every salesman’s lifeblood.
- Keep an eye on LinkedIn news feeds and updates, to know what’s hot in the industry and what topics your targets are talking about. What are they saying?
- Subscribe to relevant RSS feeds, so you’ll automatically receive a broader range of news. You’ll be better informed, and you’ll have more to share with your connections.
- Tell a short story about yourself, your dealership, a customer, your equipment or trucks. Think of these stories as anecdotes with a purpose – it’s content that builds your authority and personalizes you as a salesman.
Actively participating in using LinkedIn for Salesmen is a must. Learning how to use LinkedIn effectively will help you harness the power of social selling.