I have been working with sales people for decades on improving the way they define, defend and deliver their priorities within their demanding days. I also support sales people through our leadership influencing skills training.
That said – I am not a ‘Sales’ trainer, although many of my associates are outstanding in that field. So, why am I creating this short post on Social Selling and LinkedIn today? Well, 4 reasons and 3 pointers:
- LinkedIn is changing and we all need to make decisions about what that means for our own sales processes and behaviours
- Hundreds of clients have used my free LinkedIn Professional Profile Polishing guide. Ask if you want one.
- I sell my services when I’m not delivering them!
- I use and get results from LinkedIn, and clients book me for my ‘Leveraging LinkedIn for Business’ talks
So, 3 pointers I want you to be aware of and do something about
1: The changes to free LinkedIn will trigger a change in Sales usability
Microsoft will monetise its purchase of LinkedIn, which is probably the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of business people on the planet. We already know that they will be migrating currently free functionality to paid-for versions. Many people have been using these features within their own sales processes.
2: Where are you in the ‘Social Selling’ migration?
Clearly, Social Selling is more than being sociable. As I’m referencing LinkedIn here, let’s use their definition of Social Selling:
Social selling is about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals. This sales technique enables better sales lead generation and sales prospecting process and eliminates the need for cold calling. Building and maintaining relationships is easier within the network that you and your customer trust.
LinkedIn define 4 Pillars of Social Selling:
- Create a Professional Brand
- Focus on the right Prospects
- Engage with insights
- Build trusted relationships
3: What are you going to do about using LinkedIn for sales and marketing post change?
We will continue researching business opportunities, developing relationships, defining Value Propositions and bringing new clients on board. The question is how will we use a reduced functionality in free LinkedIn to help us achieve this?
- If you are considering the premium LinkedIn Sales Navigator platform you might find this post by Greg Cooper useful.
- You might want to define some focused Advanced Searches in LinkedIn now and add the results to your own CRM or pipeline management system.
- You really should back up and export your entire current LinkedIn account NOW!
- You might, of course, just find a way of leveraging LinkedIn free version post-change.
Regardless, I think it is worthwhile considering the opportunities now.