3 Steps to Social Selling with LinkedIn

October 24, 2013

LinkedIn is a well-known platform where businesses and professionals can connect with each other and promote their brand, work experience, product or career. Sales professionals use a tactic called social selling to leverage LinkedIn connections to reach their ideal clients. The SlideShare presentation we created, LinkedIn Sales Solutions, shows that social selling is a processwhere sales professionals first cultivate their reputation, gather social information to generate connections, engage in sales conversations and assemble their networks. They then offer meaningful insights in order to "engage with and influence contacts" and utilize social selling solutions, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

A Day in the Life of Social Selling

There are three steps sales professionals can follow to utilize a social selling strategy on LinkedIn.

1. Finding the Right Connections

Sales professionals use LinkedIn's search tools to connect with potential clients either by narrowing down results or looking up a name directly. Before making a connection, it's important that a salesperson's LinkedIn profile is customer-centric and ready to share. The more established the sales pro's reputation is both in their field and on LinkedIn, the more trustworthy they'll appear to potential clients.

2. Learning What These Folks Care, Read and Talk About

New connections will post their interests on LinkedIn via their profile and discussions. Salespeople can research these interests to ensure that the best possible match is made. For example, a sportswear salesperson wouldn't try to sell their apparel to someone who doesn't care for sports. The closer the match, the more likely a sales conversion will be made. A product targeting the potential customer's interests will save them the trouble of finding what they were already looking for and will rule out competition.

3. Leveraging Connections to Get Introduced

Once sales professionals have connected through LinkedIn, they can engage in conversations, share ideas, participate in groups and become better acquainted with their contacts. Its important that sales professionals contribute their valuable insight before making a sale so the customer will want to "give back" in return for the content shared freely. This is a well-known phenomenon in psychology called reciprocity, which simply means people are hardwired to reward positive and kind behavior with kind behavior of their own.This ensures that a trusted relationship will be established.

LinkedIn offers a platform where sales professionals can use social selling to connect with clients and engage them in discussion. Social selling cultivates trusted relationships based on reciprocity and targeted B2B Sales leads. The tools available on LinkedIn make finding and connecting with clients intuitive and rewarding.