LinkedIn as an Opportunity to Sell
April 10, 2013
LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most active professional network providing up-to-date information on people and businesses.
We previously presented some ideas on using LinkedIn to Market Your Services. Here are some additional ideas on how to improve your sales by tapping into LinkedIn.
Optimize your profile. Utilize customer-focused keywords in your summary and information about your career, your company and your work. These are the terms that will help you show up in search results within LinkedIn and other search engines. The more effective keywords you use, the greater the chance you will show up over the competition.
LinkedIn Groups. Join groups on LinkedIn. You can join up to 50 groups. Once a member of a group you can direct message people even without a connection. The trick here isn’t just joining the promotional products industry groups, but also joining groups that are outside our industry to get a foothold outside your immediate circle. Join groups in target industries, such as builders and contractors, healthcare, or banking. Many regions have their own groups, such as the ABC Greater Houston group or the Philadelphia Networking group. Start group discussions on promotional products or marketing tools that specifically meet their needs. Expanding your influence is always good for business. Think about starting your own group as an opportunity to provide thought leadership and provide solutions to their marketing and gift needs. Social Media Examiner gives some excellent tips on how to start and manage a group.
People Search. Use the LinkedIn People Search function to get your foot in the door at a large corporation. Search in the upper-right-hand box for your target company. Click on the company. On the right hand side, you will see a box that will show you your first and second connections. Assuming you have no first connections, click on the second connections link. This will bring up a list of names of people at your target company. At the bottom of the profile, you’ll see a list of your shared connections. Then ask your friends to introduce you via LinkedIn to the people at your target company. If you have a first connection you can directly request a connection without an introduction
Profile Posts. Use status updates and direct messaging to showcase ideas and share new product launches or specials. Post updates that will be of interest to your chosen target audience, and use the like and comment functions to show you are paying attention to the updates of your contacts. It is important on social media sites to not try to hard sell someone, but rather approach them to fulfill their needs. A connection on LinkedIn will give you an understanding of a business and what products will best fit their needs. Take advantage of special offers from your suppliers and add them to your status updates. If you know a client’s needs well and have a connection to them on LinkedIn, use the direct message function to send them a personal message about the product or special offer. Provide a call-to-action directing them to the appropriate link, with information on how to easily get back to you. There is also a status update feature on company pages, so if you develop a LinkedIn company page take advantage of this function as well.
Send Clients to Company Pages. Many promotional suppliers have company pages.You can direct your clients and potential clients to your suppliers’ pages to show them what products are available without needing to leave the LinkedIn site. You can send them to the “Products and Services” section, or a specific product page such as Maple Ridge Farms Smokehouse Gifts . A good supplier will keep sensitive information off their company pages, so you will be able to let your clients know that they can order these products directly through you.
Make sure you revisit our earlier blog post Using LinkedIn to Market Your Services for additional information on ways to capitalize on LinkedIn.