Entrepreneur | Bootstrapped to $6M ARR in 18 months | Founded Expandi, software for LinkedIn Automation | Father of a lovely son Steef
Social selling is a big part of modern marketing strategies to gather and connect with more prospects. However, it’s also important to note that social selling goes well beyond reaching out to prospects directly and aggressively via messages. If you want to secure more sales meetings, you need to build good trust with these prospects before actually trying to use your social engagement for your business’s benefit.
That said, LinkedIn is still one of the best business-driven social media platforms, and it can be an excellent tool for finding prospects, engaging with them and strengthening relationships — ultimately converting the entire process into a sales meeting. Here’s what you need to do to make the most out of LinkedIn social selling.
1. Turn your LinkedIn profile into an actual resource.
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 state of sales report, 62% of buyers expect to see an information-rich LinkedIn profile when contemplating whether to accept a sales meeting or not. This means that using LinkedIn for social selling requires your profile to be more of a resource than a resume.
Essentially, don’t think of your LinkedIn profile as a personal page but more as a website that prospects will analyze to make decisions about you. Every piece of content on your LinkedIn profile should tell a story about whom you’ve already helped and how you did it. Use your profile to target your prospects’ pain points and you’ll get a bit closer to booking more sales meetings.
2. Market the right content.
As mentioned, use your LinkedIn profile as a resource that will convince your prospects to trust you. This can be done by carefully including valuable content on your page. Think blogs, case studies, videos, client success stories and testimonials that clearly show how and how well you managed to solve the pain points of your previous prospects.
3. Follow the personalization, value and call to action (PVC) sales methodology.
Connecting with your prospects on LinkedIn gives you a valuable opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with them that can ultimately turn lucrative for both parties. But to make the most out of your connections, you need to work on proper engagement first.
Start with a welcome message template that’s easy to customize. Create an enticing subject line that’s challenging to ignore. Make sure to personalize this message as much as possible, explain the value you bring and provide a soft call to action by asking the prospects directly about their own needs and struggles.
4. Use Boolean search strings.
Finding the ideal prospects to connect and engage with is significant for a successful social selling strategy. In that sense, regular search filters may not cut it. However, you can always use LinkedIn’s Boolean search strings and make your search results as targeted as possible.
Also, make sure to add a second-degree filter to your search strings. That way, you’ll easily spot the prospects who are already connected with other valuable prospects in your network. Building a good relationship based on trust with your prospects is a great way to get them to introduce you to their connections as a referral. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great tool that can make a huge difference for your prospecting.
5. Share valuable content to target prospects.
Aside from having valuable content on your LinkedIn profile, you also want to maintain a practical content-sharing strategy that will consistently target your prospects. With adequate social selling tools, it’s infinitely easier to target prospects at different buying process stages. Still, it’s crucial to work closely with the marketing and sales team to do this effectively.
It’s also important not to waste too much time away from generating and connecting with prospects due to post scheduling and other content-related tasks. Make to get the most out of your available sales prospecting tools and schedule ideal third-party content to share on LinkedIn.
6. Invite prospects to connect on LinkedIn.
If LinkedIn is your primary social selling platform, don’t hesitate to invite prospects you met and connected with at other events and on other platforms. Indeed, there are not many networking events nowadays, but online events and webinars are still a great source for prospects. Don’t miss your chance to invite them to connect over on LinkedIn as well. What’s more, this is how you get to grow your network and reach.
7. Leave enough time to stay active on LinkedIn.
While it’s possible to save time on some activities like scheduling content posting with the many available tools, it’s also essential to leave some time in your schedule to spend on still valuable but manual LinkedIn activities. For instance, commenting on posts and asking for referrals are both priorities when building a relationship with prospects and getting them to agree on having a sales meeting with you.
Also, aside from longer-form content, it’s essential to update your profile with daily status posts. Just 10 to 15 minutes per day of this activity can do wonders for growing your network and reputation. Keep in mind that consistency is essential, so have a regular content-sharing calendar together with a normal daily posting routine. That way, the LinkedIn algorithm will also help increase your reach.
As you start to follow your social selling strategy on LinkedIn, make sure to keep track of critical metrics that will tell you just how well you’re doing and where there’s room for improvement. Some of the most important metrics include more sales conversations, higher rates of conversations to opportunity, growth in the pipeline and an increase in sales.
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