With over 900 million members, how does a seller even start a sales conversation on LinkedIn? And how can they keep those conversations going? While opportunities to connect and engage abound on the social network, it’s tough to stand out in the sea of users.
Ways to start a sales conversation on LinkedIn
Generating dialogue on this popular platform takes some thought. There are so many users vying for attention, and sellers don’t want to come across as too self-promotional. But, there are those out there who get it right, and who better to ask for some advice? That’s just what HubSpot’s Caroline Forsey does for a recent article. She consults sales professionals to get their best practices for encouraging conversations on LinkedIn.
If you haven’t used hashtags, it’s time to give them a try. Incorporating hashtags into your posts and comments are an effective way to start a sales conversation on LinkedIn. Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO of Lately, relies heavily on hashtags, especially those that contextualize the content you’re sharing. She recommends using hashtags that align with your content, industry or target audience/ideal customer. And don’t overdo it; LinkedIn recommends using three for best results. Martina Bretous, also a writer for HubSpot, agrees. “When you only use popular hashtags, your content can get lost. If you go too niche, you may not reach enough people,” she explains.
Seek to inspire and educate
You’re more likely to successfully kick-start a sales conversation on LinkedIn by offering value. This is especially true for those who are looking to connect with potential buyers. These days, as SalesFuel found, buyers often don’t engage with a sales rep until they’ve started their buying journey. And many have already researched sellers and their solutions. So reps seeking to start a dialogue via LinkedIn need to offer something valuable to stand out and encourage a response. “Buyers are busy and focused on accomplishing their own objectives,” explains Sprout Social’s Dan Summers. “To capture their attention, it is imperative to inspire and educate them with your outreach.” He goes on to share some examples of posts that sellers should consider:
- Create a thought leadership post that demonstrates your unique expertise and credibility. You’ll not only show your knowledge about an industry and topic, but also generate interest and invite feedback.
- Share testimonials and other types of social proof. As Forsey writes, “consider sharing customers’ experiences on social or review platforms that tie to the value your solution provides.” This will demonstrate your success but through the experiences of others rather than just your own words.
And remember, your posts will be most effective if they are personalized to the interests and needs of the users you are hoping to engage. If they personally feel a connection to your message, they’re more likely to want to connect.
Posting a question is a sure way to invite conversations. And again, if there is a specific type of user you’re seeking to connect with, customizing question topics is key. If you pose a question that really clicks with your target audience, you can expect engagement. “The sales community on LinkedIn loves to share their opinions,” Jed Mahrle, Mailshake's Head of Outbound Sales, tells HubSpot. “If there's something you genuinely want the answer to, ask."
And you don’t have to just ask questions via your own posts. Mahrle suggests sellers pose thoughtful questions on others’ posts as well. This will not only invite their response and offer them a chance to share their expertise, but also generate interest among other users who see your question.
While starting a sales conversation on LinkedIn can be challenging, sellers should follow these tips to make their posts more likely to inspire a dialogue. And check out SalesFuel’s tips for even more advice on using LinkedIn for sales.
Photo by Airam Dato-on