Mastering LinkedIn training for sales professionals can be difficult (yet highly effective) simply because this particular social media site works quite differently than others. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is specifically geared toward business decision makers and other professionals who want to leverage the connections they make with others to improve their own businesses and gather more leads.
Have you spent time on LinkedIn trying to understand the system and how it can work to attract more leads? Have you felt like throwing your hands up in despair as you tried to learn the ins and outs of using LinkedIn effectively to find new prospects? This article will give you seven specific tips related to using LinkedIn for lead generation in a way that works for your business without adding more unnecessary frustration to the mix.
LinkedIn Training For Sales: Why You Need It In Your Toolbox
1. Easier To Find Key Decision Makers. Using advanced search functions with the click of a button you can find and create a long list of ideal prospects to connect with. Whether through a direct connection, introduction or group, you will have access to more decision makers using this social media platform than you will by simply cold calling or emailing directly from their website.
2. Bypass The Gatekeepers. No more begging and pleading and making small talk just to get beyond the gatekeeper. Instead, you can focus on using your sales skills rather than doing the song and dance often required to get past the person answering the phones.
Gatekeepers are hired for a specific purpose – to keep unwanted sales calls and other irritants from invading the space of the higher ups in the company. Everyone who calls with these kinds of intrusions will be shot down without warning, but LinkedIn allows you to move past that issue with ease.
3. Be Seen As A Trusted Advisor, Not A Sales Person. Just having a fully filled out and professional profile on LinkedIn gives you a leg up when it comes to your competition. You aren’t just some random sales person calling their place of business. Instead, you are now seen as a colleague and fellow professional. You’ll be amazed at how much rapport you will have before you’ve even walked through the door at their office.
4. Build Relationships With Prospects Through Groups & Connections. You are able to communicate regularly with prospects by participating in the right group discussions, answering questions and even asking questions. On LinkedIn, you can even host events if you want. This leads us to our fifth point on LinkedIn training for sales
5. Always Add Value. Simply going for the hard sell will almost always lead to failure. LinkedIn is all about building credibility and relationships. Remember that many of the people on LinkedIn are in some form of sales themselves, or they have been in the past. If you come in, guns blazing, with a hard sell message, you are going to get shot down and labeled as a sales person quickly. You want to be labeled as a trusted advisor instead.
Adding value means re-posting relevant content, whether it’s your own, your companies or someone else’s. It means posting videos that are helpful to your target market. It also means joining the conversations and adding value with your own connections and within groups. When you help enough people get what they want, you will open the door to more opportunities and more receptive prospects.
6. Staying Top of Mind. By consistently adding content, starting conversations and responding to comments, you will be able to keep your brand top of mind to prospects and customers. If you only create a profile, but never do anything else to promote your business or gather new leads, LinkedIn will most assuredly not work for you.
LinkedIn is a place to share information, build relationships with clients, referral partners and prospects while boosting your reputation as a trusted advisor. If you disappear from the landscape for days, weeks or even months at a time, you have to continually start over with building your credibility. Social media moves very quickly, and people will quickly forget who you are and what you can do for them.
To build your brand, you need to be the “go-to” person. When people on LinkedIn think of your product, service, industry or niche, you should always be top of mind. Brand yourself through connections, introductions, groups and the questions and answers section. Be full of useful information and eager to respond to questions.
7. Find Your Target Market Through LinkedIn Groups. Just like any other training, the most important component of LinkedIn training for sales is finding your ideal customer. On LinkedIn, you can join up to 50 groups, and you should join all 50 of them. Look for groups that are focused on your target market instead of just finding groups related to others in your same industry. After all, you don’t want to hang out with your competition all the time. Your focus is to find your prospects and join them where they hang out. If you are in pharmaceutical sales than join groups with doctors.
Before you begin the process of LinkedIn training for sales, you first need to make sure that your profile is professional and making the right first impression to prospects. Without that, you can find yourself working to get leads but not getting anywhere. By making the right first impression with your profile, you will be certain that prospects and customers are seeing you as a credible expert in your field.