Social Selling Index Series: Engage with Insights

Learn how to improve your SSI score by engaging clients with insightful content.

March 17, 2015

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Editor’s note: This post is part of a series designed to help sales professionals increase their Social Selling Index (SSI) score by improving upon the four pillars of social selling:

  1. Create a professional brand
  2. Find the right people
  3. Engage with insights
  4. Build strong relationships

Each of the four pillars is scored on a scale of 0 – 25, with a maximum possible SSI score of 100. In this post we focus on the third pillar: engaging with insights.

As a salesperson, your prospects and clients all have at least one thing in common – they each have a problem that you and your company’s goods and services can address. To be an effective social seller, it’s up to you to keep a close eye on your prospects’ social media activities, suss out their pain points, and share solutions to alleviate their problems.

LinkedIn provides myriad opportunities for you to engage with your prospects and clients using relevant information gleaned from their social media activities. Ultimately, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator makes this leg of your social selling journey even more seamless by helping you keep  in touch and up-to-date on the individuals and accounts that matter to you most. The more adept you become at engaging with insights, the higher your SSI will rise.

Share Helpful Resources

Helping your clients improves your reputation as a problem solver, but it also helps to strengthen that personal connection. Take the time to identify a pain point and provide information to help solve it. If you come across an article, video, white paper, or anything else that could help with their professional development, share it on LinkedIn and tag them. Show your clients that you care about their success.

Use Relevant Information to Make a Customer-Specific Value Proposition

Although it may take some legwork, nothing gets a prospect’s attention like a fact-based value proposition that shows you’ve taken time to understand their current state. Taking a careful look at a prospect’s profile as well as any groups they participate in or content they have posted, liked or shared can give you key insights into key pain points they’re experiencing or what they may be looking for in a vendor. Armed with this customer-specific information, you’ll be in a much better position to present your value proposition to the prospect.

Make sure to do your homework and tailor your value proposition to your customer’s business needs. A customer-centric, problem-solving solution is far more likely to fire up enthusiasm than a generic proposition. A great way to gauge whether your message has hit the mark is through InMail responses. A higher rate of InMail responses indicates that your prospects and clients find your messages compelling enough to respond. Writing personalized InMails in a way that helps you find the right prospects, rather than spamming your connections with an avalanche of messages  is key to boost both your SSI and your sales outcomes.

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From our infographic: The New Formula for Social Selling

Engage in Discussion Where Your Connections Are

Instead of insisting on a conversation on your terms, meet them on theirs. Leave thoughtful, constructive comments on content they share on their profile or on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. Make sure to do so without any pretense of a sales angle. You want to be helpful, not pushy. Expanding on the points they’re making, or providing an anecdote from your professional experience, can position you as an ally and worthwhile partner.

Another ideal place to engage without seeming aggressive is LinkedIn Groups. First, join groups that are relevant to your interests and background. Then you can check for common groups with your prospects. If you don’t have one in common, join groups your potential buyers belong to and become a resource in a few of them. Writing memorable group comments reinforces you and your connection’s shared interests and goals. Other potential buyers may also follow those groups, which can make your input even more effective.

Position Yourself as a Knowledgeable Resource

Not every potential prospect is ready to buy. By sharing relevant content, you can position yourself as a valuable resource and stay top-of-mind. Glean insights from Internet news sources and your prospect’s social media activities. Take a few minutes each day to search for and share content that’s relevant to your targeted industries. You can even tag prospects who might be interested in what you’re sharing. If you customize LinkedIn Pulse, it can be a powerful tool for finding great content to share. Add relevant channels, follow some LinkedIn’s Influencers, and you’ll have plenty to bring to the conversation via status updates, comments, and personalized shares.

There are people in your industry waiting for the right vendor to address their business needs. Provide the solutions they’re looking for by engaging with insights. Share helpful, relevant content with your prospects, whether it’s from other thought leaders or your own posts. Once you’ve established your reputation as a trusted source of knowledge, your prospects will know where to go when they need some guidance. The more this happens, the higher your SSI will surge.

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