For lots of people LinkedIn is the place to go to look for your next job.
However with over 150 million members worldwide it’s also an excellent sales tool.
We cover this and other topics in our Business Development or Rainmaker Coaching
It could be a source of new leads and a useful tool to improve your prospecting .
Here are a few ideas and suggestions as to how you can usefully use LinkedIn to sell more
Tip 1: Start expanding your network.
Your first level contacts open up a route to a wide range of second and third level connections.
Whenever you meet anyone (online or off) always follow up quickly with a connection request while you are still fresh in their mind.
Part of becoming the “GoTo Person” for your client
Tip 2: Understand your prospects
You’d be surprised how much people put in their profiles – which team they’re in, which office they work out of, what projects they’re focusing on.
You can quickly build up a picture of who you should be talking to, what they like (check out their recommendations) and what they’ve done before.
You can also work out who reports to who and gain a clearer picture of the people you’ll need to influence to make a sale.
Tip 3: Use it to get to know them before you call
I sometimes open an initial meeting by saying that I’ve looked at their LinkedIn profiles.
Sometimes they tell me that they noticed I checked them out. It can break the ice.
It also shows you’ve gone to more trouble than 90% of the other salespeople who meet them.
Tip 4: InMail can get past the gatekeeper
Senior decision are busy and to protect their time they screen calls, ignore most of their mail and have gatekeepers to prevent unwanted sales approaches from getting through.
That’s where InMail comes in, it allows you to send an email to any LinkedIn user without requiring an introduction.
Basically, it ensures your email gets through to their inbox.
LinkedIn claims that an InMail is 30 times more likely to get a response than a cold call
InMails are only available on paid accounts. The higher level the account you have, the more you get. Maybe see if the £15 investment is worth it?
Tip 5: Do your fishing in a smaller pond
With Linkedin’s advanced search you can find people by title, company, location or keyword.
A paid account gives you company size and seniority level too.
By using the different filters you can identify key individuals quickly and easily.
You can start to build your own pond with the fish you are targeting in it
You can also save your search criteria and get a weekly report listing anyone new who matches the customers you’re looking for.
As a Pharma sales person you could save a search for Procurement Managers in the pharmaceutical industry within 50 miles of London.
Then, each week get an email with anyone new who matches your search (and who deserves a closer look).
A Useful tool ?
Do you use Linkedin in any other ways?