Social Selling Games: 3 Tricks from the Halfpipe

Land the perfect social selling plan with these 3 tricks inspired by Olympic snowboarders in Sochi in this post from LinkedIn Sales Solutions.

February 13, 2014

Social Selling Games- 3 Tricks from the Halfpipe LinkedIn Header

The Sochi Olympics are here, and so are the hundreds of athletes vying for that gold medal. Snowboarding is a relatively new Olympic sport -- and Americans have dominated the medal count since the 1998 Nagano Games.

Whether you’re riding regular or goofy, you’ll need to be steady throughout the process. As you're watching the games in Russia, keep an eye on the variety of tricks that snowboarders use on the halfpipe -- you might just pick up a few ideas to enhance your sales tactics.

1.     Ride switch to break from conventional tactics

In snowboarder lingo, riding switch means that you are riding the opposite of your natural stance. Switch riding increases the difficulty of the tricks and increases the score potential. Social selling tactics such as LinkedIn group commenting and strategic InMail messages represent a fundamental shift away from conventional sales tactics, but the payoff is huge -- in better conversations, deeper engagement, and ultimately more leads.

Some salespeople have a natural tendency to talk nonstop – at least until their presentation is complete. With social selling, listening becomes more important – so talkative salespeople need to ride switch and rely on social listening tools for lead success.

2.     Pull a 1080° and cover all your bases

The 1080° is one of the most powerful moves in snowboarding – and also one of the most difficult to perform. Many have tried, though few have succeeded – mostly notably Shaun White in the 2006 Turin Games. The 1080° separates the Olympic contenders from the pretenders. It's high-risk, high-reward.

Your LinkedIn sales strategy should strive to include all aspects of the platform -- Groups, Discussions, Advanced Search, and Profiles. This combination provides the ultimate social selling 1080°, and is the most powerful way to leverage LinkedIn for prospect research and engagement.

3.     Enter and exit a boardslide confidently

Boardslides are the transitory period between tricks, when the rider slides across the upper rail of the halfpipe. Entering the boardslide requires a steady stance; much like entering a prospect meeting requires extensive preparation.

Connect with prospects in advance on LinkedIn to establish a connection, and send introductory InMails to lay the groundwork for your visit by providing information that will help inform the conversation and build your credibility in a particular area. Boardslides also require a graceful exit, so follow-up on your meetings with more engagement in company groups and forums.

For Olympic snowboarders, four years of preparation culminate in one chance for glory. Luckily, you don’t need four years to prepare for a sales prospecting meeting – but you’ll likely only get one shot to impress. With LinkedIn social selling tools, you can be prepared long before the in-person meeting.

Need more tips to land those social selling tricks? Tweet us @linkedinselling.