LinkedIn, the professional social network, doesn't just keep you in the know and connected to other professionals. It also presents a major opportunity to prospect and reach out to those leads you uncover. In a recent article for Business2Community, Jock Breitwieser extols the value of social selling on LinkedIn. First, the sheer number of users, and active users at that, represent the massive potential for outreach. “[LinkedIn] boasts more than 600 million users worldwide,” Breitwieser writes. “More than 250 million of those are logging in each month, and of those monthly active users, 40% are accessing the platform daily.” As you can see, that’s quite the pool of potential leads.
So, what exactly does social selling on the network entail? It definitely involves more than just shooting out private messages or commenting on someone’s post. Successful social selling on LinkedIn requires some thought and patience, and Breitwieser shares his own knowledge to guide salespeople through the necessary steps.
LinkedIn sales start with the profile
Firstly, he recommends taking a look at your profile, which likely is the first thing a fellow user will see. “Your profile is the first impression that prospects will get after coming across your status updates, receiving a message, or finding a piece of your content online,” he explains. “A LinkedIn profile doubles as a virtual resume. It tells your prospects everything that they need to know about you to gain a surface level understanding of your experience and expertise.”
Your value proposition should be put in your headline. This space is the most visible to users. Therefore, it makes sense to fill it with valuable information. The headline also shows up throughout the social network, like when a user posts a comment. Typically, users simply put their organizational title as their headline. While yes, it’s informative, it’s not making use of this prime sales “real estate.” This space is where sellers can really show their value directly to prospects. When coming up with a valuable headline for your LinkedIn profile, he recommends headlines:
- Be specific.
- Be easy to understand.
- Elicit a reaction.
- Convey your value.
- Show a problem that you solve.
Think of the headline as a digital elevator speech, what do you want to immediately let prospects know about you? No need to be fancy or creative, just compelling and informative. Breitwieser recommends checking out others’ headlines for inspiration. Above all, this space is your headline as a seller.
Little tweaks can have big impact
He delves into several tips to spruce up your LinkedIn profile and showcase your expertise and credibility, including these two:
- Include your contact information. Surprisingly, many users on this network don’t include different ways to contact them; they assume everyone will reach out via LinkedIn’s messaging or post a comment. “As a social seller, we have to be comfortable with engaging in conversations on all social platforms,” Breitwieser explains. He suggests including as much contact information as you are comfortable with.
- Share results. “A compelling LinkedIn profile shouldn’t just make what you do clear to your prospects, and it should also give them concrete details about how what you do helps them,” he explains. Put a spotlight on actual results you’ve brought about for clients.
These, along with Breitwieser’s other best practices, help reps polish their presence on LinkedIn for successful social selling. In conclusion, many opportunities exist for salespeople on the social network; make sure that you are taking the steps needed to make the most of these opportunities.