Seven rules for using LinkedIn as a sales generating tool

LinkedIn is a valuable social network geared towards making professional connections. It’s a goldmine of opportunities for any salesperson willing to take the time to understand and apply it properly. The list below contains seven rules that everyone in sales should keep in mind when using LinkedIn as a customer acquisition tool.

1. Make sure your personal profile is always up to date. You want to provide as much information as possible in an efficient manner to potential customers who may view your profile for future business. Your LinkedIn profile should include a link to your company website as well as any other business social media links. Many potential customers will want to check out what services you offer and learn more details about your customers and your business before they contact you so as not to waste their valuable time.

2. Do an internet search for companies that could benefit from product or service offerings. Many company websites may have manager/executive names you can contact. Most executives making purchasing decisions will be on LinkedIn. Having a social connection can prove to be a lot easier for you to schedule appointments with executives without having to go through their gatekeepers first. People tend to manage their own individual social media accounts rather than have someone else monitor them.

3. Contacts help because reciprocity works. Whenever one of your LinkedIn contacts meets you or arranges an introduction for you, you should say thank you. Also, get in the habit of giving your contacts recommendations and, most importantly, references. LinkedIn makes it easy to validate the skills of others, and adding personal references shows that you really know the professionalism of others.

4. Research new contacts before accepting an invitation to connect. When you look at the potential LinkedIn contact, make sure it’s a good match for your company. In other words, you can receive random invitations from people who would not promote your business opportunities or who might just want to build their own contact list. In these cases, it would not be to your advantage to connect. Against this background, also think about possible connections in your company. Just because they are not in upper management, they could still be a good contact as they can connect you with an appropriate decision maker.

5. Check the connections of those already connected. If you have connections, LinkedIn can let you know who they’ve recently connected with. Be sure to check recent connections as they may be potential clients in companies you haven’t thought of. Many people have friends who are in senior management positions at other companies who can work to your advantage.

6. Join groups that would allow for more matches with business prospects. When you join specific LinkedIn groups that are in your target environment or industry, you increase your chances of identifying genuine prospects. You can be as specific or vague as you like with these group additions, and you can also go back and add or delete groups to increase your goal. Sign up for group post summaries so you can keep track of questions asked and offer solutions to get noticed.

7. Be aware that other social media sites are designed for personal interaction. Keep your LinkedIn account professional to increase the chance of potential business opportunities. In other words, keep family and friends away from your contacts here unless they can promote business opportunities for you. For example, if you have a family member who can refer prospects, you definitely have them on your LinkedIn. If not, then you should choose another social media site to interact with them.

Sales professionals applying the preceding seven rules should understand the common sense they imply and better understand how to use them as a great prospecting tool to increase sales. Sales reps should take advantage of LinkedIn’s social network of professional connections and related functionality to find the golden opportunities that may be waiting for them there

Thanks to Mary Anne Wihbey Davis | #rules #LinkedIn #sales #generating #tool

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