How to Get Prospects to Realize They’re Working with an Expert

Discover tactics that will help you quickly display your expertise to prospects, leading to increased sales lead generation.

December 2, 2014


If you are a fan of The Office, you likely remember the scene from the pilot episode when manager Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) is leading a live sales training session with sales rep, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). To refresh your memory, here is the dialogue from the scene:

Michael: All right, Jim. Your quarterlies look very good. How are things at the library?

Jim: I told you. I couldn’t close it.

Michael: So you’ve come to the master for guidance? Is that what you’re saying, grasshopper?

Jim: Actually, you called me in here, but yeah.

Michael: All right. Well, let me show you how it’s done.

Michael: [Places a call] Yes, I’d like to speak to your office manager, please. Yes, hello. This is Michael Scott. I am the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Products. Just wanted to talk to you manager-a-manager. All right, done deal! Thank you very much, sir. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Oh, I’m sorry. Okay. I’m sorry. My mistake.

Michael: [Talking to Jim now] That was a woman I was talking to, so… she had a very low voice. Probably a smoker, so… So that’s the way it’s done.

While at first it may appear that Michael’s training provided Jim with zero takeaways – it’s probably not a good idea for Jim to claim he’s the Regional Manager at the outset of each call – he actually (unknowingly) provided Jim with a valuable lesson heading into the social selling era: Establishing credibility at the start of the relationship removes barriers and accelerates the sales cycle.

The LinkedIn publishing platform, although still relatively new, has proven to be an effective channel for sales pros looking to boost their credibility. Whether you wish to publish posts or you avoid writing like the plague, the LinkedIn publishing platform packs potential for every sales pro.

Here are a few ways the LinkedIn publishing platform can help you increase sales lead generation by having more “manager-a-manager” conversations.

Opportunities for publishers

Feel free to skip ahead to “opportunities for non-writers” if you have no desire to write, but if you can envision yourself penning posts, you are setting a course that can lead to long-lasting rewards.

  1. Articles you publish appear in your LinkedIn profile, which as we know serves as a critical checkpoint for prospects who are deciding which reps they want to work with.
  1. If you decide to tackle common buyer questions or problems in your posts, you can “re-use” your posts in the real-life conversations that are sure to follow. Imagine being able to say, “That’s a common question, Mrs. Prospect. Here’s a link to an article I wrote that answers your question and provides next steps to consider.”
  1. Your published content can appear in search results, meaning qualified prospects who are asking the same questions you answer in your content can find you in the months and years ahead. Your content keeps working long after you hit the publish button. For best results, focus on solving problems rather than selling.

Opportunities for non-writers

Here are a few ways non-writers can benefit from the LinkedIn publishing platform:

  1. Use the publishing platform to start conversations. If you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you will receive an alert whenever one of your saved contacts publishes an article on LinkedIn. Adding insightful comments can be a great way to engage prospects regarding topics they obviously care about. You can also increase engagement by simply referencing your prospect’s content during one-to-one outreach.
  1. Help your prospects extend reach. Every writer likes it when someone thinks highly enough of their content to share it. Simply sharing a prospect’s article with some kind words and insights can quickly ignite your relationship-building efforts.

If you haven’t yet begun tapping the potential of the LinkedIn publishing platform, perhaps it’s time to heed more of Michael Scott’s advice and get started “ASAP as possible.”