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Without a doubt one constant that will never change in sales, regardless of all the new automation software that pops up, is prospecting. It just so happens that finding new sales leads through social selling on LinkedIn remains an untapped area of potential revenue. Social media has changed how business professionals engage with each other, and sales might just be biggest victim of that change. Gone are the days of picking up the phone and calling someone about making a new purchase. Now, sales (and brand awareness in general) must focus on conversational practices to build new and fresh customer bases.
The way you present yourself on LinkedIn as a salesperson is instrumental in how successful you navigate prospective conversations. This has less to do with how you look personally, and more about how your profile itself looks. Remember, this is your brand. Forming your profile around empathy towards your targeted buyer is the best way to encourage consistent engagement. Therefore, it’s key that you consider a few things as you build your network.
- What does your ideal customer look like?
- How do they speak or communicate?
- What are the typical challenges that they face?
The type of content you create and post on LinkedIn should, in theory, address these concerns. In fact, according to Rain Consulting, 82%of buyers look up the salesperson on LinkedIn before they make a decision. That stat alone exemplifies the fact that your content and posts can be presented in such a way that they bolster confidence in your potential sale – possibly even being the deciding factor. Your personal brand on LinkedIn is your gateway into passive communication with your top clients.
You have, more than likely, heard of the phrase “target account list”. If you work in sales, you might even use one in your day-to-day workload. The targeted account approach in sales and marketing is the concept of breaking down your total list of prospective and current clients, separating them into various segments, and addressing those target accounts with specific and purposeful content. But…how would that apply to social media?
It’s a lot simpler than you think actually. Taking that idea of target account lists – could you actually build your LinkedIn network out based on the accounts that are most likely to buy from you? Well, think about it this way. Business purchases are rarely made by a single person at any given company. Wilson Learning says that 85%of sales opportunities include more than one decision maker. When you create your LinkedIn network, try and find people at your top accounts that might be in the same decision-making pool together. That allows for consistent storytelling through the entire account, as well brand recognition among colleagues.
LinkedIn is built around creating and engaging with diverse business content that fits your personal career and job role. You’ll find that the people who are overtly active on LinkedIn choose to surround themselves with other people of similar professional lives. This is most likely because, at our core, we all just like familiarity. As a salesperson however, your basic outreach tends to disrupt that familiar and safe zone people gravitate towards. That’s generally why most social selling guides recommend not going for the hard sale on every post or comment you make.
When you leverage LinkedIn as a sales tool, it’s important to remember that there’s another human-being on the other side of the computer.You can actually bridge that “safe zone” gap with personalized posts and content. Think about what a specific segment of your network is interested in or concerned about and make that part of your weekly postings. You’d be surprised at how quickly you can build trust with a core group of people by just showing empathy and providing valuable takeaways. If the LinkedIn algorithm is all about getting the most engagement on each and every post, then posting thoughts and content that your buyers actually care about is a pretty safe bet.
This might sound cliché to even say, but the best way to build trust equity with your buyers is to just be yourself. People buy from people, not robots, and the more you act like a corporate machine, the harder it is for people to take you seriously. Obviously, you have to follow company policies with posting things on LinkedIn, however, adding in bits about who you are and what you like is a great way to bring people’s guard down when expanding your social network.
Social selling is hard. If it wasn’t, every salesperson in the B2B tech world would be doing it. They’re not, however, and that’s why this process remains a gold mine for creating clients who are bought in to not only your company, but you as a person. Trust equity has become a hot-button topic in the business space over the past five years, mainly due to how remote and digital business products and solutions are becoming. Salespeople have a unique opportunity to create this trust with their clients through providing valuable and interesting thoughts on a consistent basis – and LinkedIn remains the best place for that.
Want to read more? Check out this other post about social selling and how it’s redefining the modern-day sales strategy. Click here.
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