Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016 for $26.2 billion, the platform has undergone countless changes. With those changes implemented, LinkedIn is still the best social media channel for the B2B sales professional and a great digital marketing and sales tool. If you are not using it to your benefit, here are four reasons to get on it now.
1. The Sales Person is the Value Driver
In a highly competitive and increasingly commoditized world, how you, as a sales person, engage with a prospect helps you stand out from the pack. Your LinkedIn page is a conduit for that engagement and a platform for your (personal) brand. It may well be the first place your prospect sees what you're about, and you can control the entire message. What you share and write on your page is what makes you unique. There is a ton of value in that. Put extra time into your summary section and tell the story that you want to be heard.
2. Stay in Rhythm
You can follow anyone and anything on LinkedIn. You control your news feed. You can follow people, companies, hashtags, groups, peers, thought leaders, competitors, and clients. You get a taste of what all those people and brands are talking about, worrying about, talking to, uncovering, launching, and growing. Through this lens, you too now have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the market—and within your target market—which, in turn, helps you drive more value (see #1).
3. Engage the Right People
It's easy to spend too much time with the 70% of people that will never buy from you or your company. If you have spent time on your Ideal Client Profile (ICP), you know what your best prospects look like and what keeps them up at night. Equipped with the right knowledge (and the paid version on LinkedIn, Sales Navigator), you can identify these people with pinpoint accuracy. This search capability will benefit some industries better than others. However, once identified, you can set up LinkedIn to automatically update you when new people match your saved search criteria. How you then choose to engage with them is a topic for a whole new article.
4. A Modern Sales Approach
Lastly, LinkedIn empowers three excellent ways of selling.
Any event that happens to one of your prospects could be a trigger for them needing your company. A move, a hire, an opening, a product launch, a market shift, a law change. You'll have insight by following your best prospects (see #2) and figuring out how you and your company could help them with any of those triggers, be they positive or negative.
What industry verticals do you sell to? If you sell into the retail industry, you better know all the latest trends that are impacting the retail world. LinkedIn is a place to pick up and learn on these insights, then to produce thought leadership on the impacts, and finally to share on LinkedIn to draw in the right crowd.
The backbone of good selling. As I've heard it said, "Your network determines your net worth." Everyone now has their rolodex, their little black book, on LinkedIn. You can quickly determine if you know someone that can help open a door at that dream client.
When curating your network of connections, there will always be a debate between quantity and quality. You increase your reach exponentially when you lean toward quantity. By no means am I saying connect with everyone that sends you an invite, but don't always dismiss without investigating. Conversely, you need to reach out and engage with the people that make the most sense - be they networking partners or prospects that may need your help.
Remember: you can do all of this from the palm of your hand through the LinkedIn app. Use your LinkedIn profile to your advantage. It's not the end-all-be-all of sales tools, but it's a modern professional's path to engaging in a whole new way.
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