It seems like everyone is talking about it, using LinkedIn as part of your sales strategy. Tell me if this sounds familiar: Your buddy, let’s call him Rob, a leading sales guy at for his company meets you for lunch. After some of the typical small talk, you begin discussing work. Suddenly, Rob mentions that he finally signed up for LinkedIn and is getting so many prospects by messaging them through the platform. “Everyone’s on there!” he tells you. “All I have to do is send a quick message, and I get the sales meetings! I wish I would have done this years ago. YOU should really get on-board and try it out!”
So you go home and boot up your computer, sign up to LinkedIn and connect to your email, low and behold your email contact list connects you to 150 people right away! Fantastic!
But after a few days, and many hours of exploring and poking around, you haven’t got anything out of the system. You don’t have new bookings or new prospects, in fact, all you have done so far is waste time that you could have been something more useful.
This happens to no small amount of people, and they give up on the social media platform because they aren’t shown how to use it effectively. If you were given an airplane and were never taught to fly, of course, you’d crash! It’s the same situation here — While Rob was able to dedicate some time and get some training on HOW to use Linkedin for sales, you may not have had that instruction.
Allow me to tell you the secret to using LinkedIn for selling: You need to have a plan. It’s really that simple. Here are three tips to help you get started on getting real results on Linkedin.
1) Have a Target. When it comes to sales, you should know who’s your ideal customer. Is it executives of fortune 500 companies? Is it purchasing managers at the industrial plants? Is it accountants or maybe small business owners? Think of who you’re trying to sell your product or service to — create that avatar in your mind of the ideal customer. Have you thought of him or her? Great! Now let’s jot down a few traits. Here are some questions to help you come up with a few: What’s their job title? What’s their income range? Where are they located (local city, specific state, national, international)?
2) Run Searches for Prospect Lists. LinkedIn Search is a powerful tool. The premium LinkedIn subscription for sales is Sales Navigator which allows you to do advanced searches based on the traits we’ve come up with in tip #1. With this tool, we can generate massive lists of prospects that fit into your target client pool. These lists can be saved, exported or used to make new connections.
3) Prepare a Script. When you start out in sales, most of us tend to use sales scripts until we feel comfortable and confident with our sales techniques. Sales over LinkedIn is no different. Use those old tactics, warm up the lead, get to know them a little, get them to warm up to you, and then use your prepared script to get face to face meet or to get them on the phone. We know you have some sales chops; you can close the deal from that point — LinkedIn is just a new tool to get you there.
Conclusion, if Linkedin has not been helpful to you for your sales efforts, it’s time to give it another shot. Just follow our three suggestions and let us know how you make out. Remember, 1) Target your prospects, 2) Run a Search to find them, 3) Use Sales Scripts to get them to commit to a face to face meeting or to get them on the phone.