The Invisible Sale: How to Fly Under the Radar

Learn four tips to land deals without seeming too pushy or salesy.

August 29, 2016

  • Invisible-Sale-Fly-Under-Radar

If you’ve already adopted social selling as part of your sales practice, you know that the goal of it is establish credibility through social media and build long-term relationships with customers based on trust, familiarity, and personalization. One key to that principle is to avoid pitfalls—like making a request too early in your relationship, being too pushy, making it too obvious that all you care about is the sell.

Instead, your communications with a prospect should be tailored to them, thoughtful, personal, and consistent without flooding them with information.

A new whitepaper by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, based on a survey of LinkedIn users and professionals who use social media, offers good evidence for this understated approach.

Frost & Sullivan writes that smart social selling includes identifying prospects genuinely interested in having a conversation, capitalizing on buying signals, and publishing thought leadership. Those are three great tips to sell with authenticity—not pushiness. Read on for more details on each.

1.    Identify Likely Prospects

Let’s start with the unpleasant scenario—reaching out to prospects or connections with no interest in your solutions. That’s a way to potentially bother someone that may be of help to you in the future. Instead, you should identify the leads that are most likely to be interested in your solutions—they’ll actually want to hear from you.

LinkedIn is a great resource for that. You can use the Advanced Search feature to target people by how strong their connection is to you, their industry, and location, among other filters.

LinkedIn also offers Sales Navigator, a special tool for sales professionals to track their pipeline of prospects and customers. With it, you can save all your leads in one place, receive alerts on any their updates, and loads of other useful features. You can view real-time updates from each of them and see if your coworkers are connected to them already, helping you earn warm introductions that lead to trusting relationships.

2.    Get Relevant Context

If you’ve just met a prospect at a networking event, you wouldn’t want to hand them your card and then talk to the person for five minutes straight about every single service you provide. Instead, you’ll want to listen first and talk about how you can help.

You should apply that same thinking online. Once you’ve identified the most interested buyers, you should only communicate with a prospect when you have something useful to say—after some research on what his or her pain points and interests are. With Sales Navigator, you’ll see all your leads’ real-time updates—so be sure look for trigger events such as company promotions, job searches, or regulatory changes that could be buying signals.

65% of Sales Navigator users “found automated insights on decision makers and influencers […] incredibly useful in their conversations,” according to the Frost & Sullivan report. This kind of targeted research allows you to approach a new contact early, armed with “exactly the information that might be of interest to them,” the report said.

3.    Thought Leadership

The idea of finding the time and the content to consistently publishing thought leadership may seem daunting. And it’s true that it may be hard to do alone. To be broadly successful, company executives and sales leaders must guide and encourage their reps to transform them into thought leaders, writes Amar Sheth, VP of Sales for Life.

However, Sheth writes, sharing great content is not overly complicated either—because many sales people “inherently have expertise.” Many of them already have strong knowledge of the company’s products and services; you just need to showcase that mastery to prospects.

All sorts of platforms allow you to demonstrate your expertise in your field—whether it’s Pulse, Medium, or your own blog. You can also add to discussions in LinkedIn groups or comment on a post published by a target. This is an understated way to establish trust in the eyes of a prospect without seeming like you’re pushing your product or service too much. With useful, consistent posts, you’ll be on your way to establishing credibility.

These three tips—aiming at interested prospects, communicating with them based on their unique needs, and positioning yourself as a thought leader—will keep you under the radar as you sell from a position of strength.

For more details on how to avoid social selling pitfalls and capitalize on opportunities, download The Art of Selling with LinkedIn Sales Navigator