10 Skills to Succeed with Social Selling on LinkedIn

Melonie Dodaro  •  Social Selling & Digital Sales

You may think you need to have technical skills to succeed with social selling on LinkedIn. However, the truth is, you have had the skills necessary for effective social selling since grade school, and you can easily tap into them again.

Activating these skills will help you to succeed with social selling on LinkedIn. Even though social media has been around for well over a decade, many people are still confused about how to use it for business. Alternatively, they magically expect it to bring them business without doing anything at all.

Activate the Skills to Succeed with Social Selling on LinkedIn

1. Don’t Forget Your Manners

Never underestimate the power of proper etiquette—aka common sense and good manners. Remember to say please and thank you. Show gratitude when people engage with you and your posts by acknowledging them.

2. Adjust to New Situations

Speaking to new people can feel risky or uncomfortable—but communication is the key to relationship-building on LinkedIn.

It is essential that you can step out of your comfort zone and send personalized messages and connection requests to potential clients.

3. Attempt New Things Knowing It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

Don’t be one of those people whose LinkedIn profile sits inactive for years because you are afraid of making a mistake.

Everyone makes mistakes. If you make a mistake, apologize (if appropriate), learn the lesson, and move on.

4. Ask for Help

If you have someone you would like to meet, ask someone in your network if they would be comfortable making an introduction.

5. Respect Others

Some people would (and have) argued that you should be able to post whatever you want on any social media platform. That any topic should be fair game and that anything less is censorship or inhibiting the discussion of relevant issues.

I have to disagree. In my opinion, LinkedIn is not appropriate for every topic of discussion. LinkedIn is a business platform. It is a place of professionals.

Before you post a status update on LinkedIn, consider if it is something that you would want to say right in front of a potential client. Because essentially that is what you are doing. If you do get into a debate on a more sensitive topic, be professional, be polite, and, most importantly, BE RESPECTFUL.

6. Cooperate

Collaboration is a powerful community- and business-building strategy. LinkedIn is an excellent platform to find and build relationships with people who you can benefit from collaborating with.

There are people in your network who offer complementary products or services, and they could become great referral partners to you.

7. Offer to Help

Nothing makes a stronger and more genuine impression on somebody than when you give selflessly, generously, and (most importantly) without the expectation of receiving anything in return. This can be as simple as sharing a great piece of content produced by someone in your network.

8. Ask Questions and Express Curiosity

Be curious. Be interested. Asking questions or commenting on the posts and comments of your connections is vital to starting a conversation. This is where real relationship-building begins.

9. Share Ideas

LinkedIn Publisher is a fantastic way to establish your authority and expand your reach on LinkedIn. The ability to share information in a way that is easily understood or relatable is a crucial step when creating content on LinkedIn Publisher.

When you write, you need to make sure that you write your post from the point of view and at the technical level of your audience (and potential customers).

10. Tell Stories

While it might not be appropriate to share a lot of personal information on LinkedIn, it is an excellent place to share professional or work-related stories and experiences.

Engaging storytelling makes people more interested and emotionally invested in what you are sharing. So, draw your readers in (if and where appropriate) with a funny, poignant, or thoughtful post that humanizes you and makes you more relatable and likable.

This list of LinkedIn best practices will provide you with a solid foundation to initiate and build relationships with prospects, establish your credibility, and increase trust throughout your social selling activities.

10 Skills to Succeed with Social Selling on LinkedIn (Infographic)

10 Skills to Succeed with Social Selling on LinkedIn

Wrapping Up: Succeed with Social Selling on LinkedIn

We are in the midst of a digital transformation, and it is impacting businesses large and small. Some have been slow in embracing technology because they fear it. What is important to remember is you have been doing this for a very long time offline, you already know that to succeed in business, you need to put people and relationships first.

When I asked 25 social selling experts to share their insights into what people need to do to succeed with social selling, every single one of them mentioned the importance of building and nurturing relationships.

You wouldn’t go to a networking function and shake someone’s hand and follow that by saying “now buy my stuff” but people are doing that online. You wouldn’t go to that same networking function and collect a bunch of business cards, never follow up, and then magically expect business to appear, but many have that expectation with LinkedIn. They collect connections and never have conversations or build relationships and then wonder why they aren’t getting any business from LinkedIn.

To succeed at social selling on LinkedIn, or any other online platform is not difficult. Just activate the skills you already possess and apply them to technology the same way you would if you were meeting someone in person, and do so with kindness. Relationships first!

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