Trending This Week: Succeeding with Social Selling on LinkedIn

How can you optimize your profile and activities on LinkedIn to increase connections and leads? These practical tips will foster social selling success.

July 28, 2017

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Social selling is where it’s at these days. Our new State of Sales 2017 report unsurprisingly reinforces the growing proliferation of this strategy, with 94 percent of sales pros indicating that social media provides valuable insights on customers and prospects, and more than half of high performers crediting social integration with helping them close more deals.

Each social channel can play its own role in expanding your reach and helping you find more leads, but for B2B salespeople, no other network matches the power of LinkedIn. We’re not tooting our own horns here, it’s just the truth: this is where professionals go to consume business content and talk shop.

Recently, Brynne Tillman of Vengreso wrote an article offering 10 practical and tactical tips for social selling success on LinkedIn. The entire list is worth reading, but today we thought we would highlight and expound upon a few of her suggestions.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile from Résumé to Resource

Take a look at your profile from the perspective of the person you want to have reading it. If you’re searching for a new job, then you will want its contents to appeal to a potential employer. In this case, putting your work history and professional skills front-and-center makes sense.

But too often, we see individuals comfortably settled in at their current jobs with LinkedIn profiles still carrying this orientation. It’s a missed opportunity. Buyers who engage with you will very often seek you out on the platform to learn more about who they’re dealing with. What will they find? A résumé, or a resource? The answer will help dictate whether the prospect sees you as someone who’s out to help them, or you.

Engage With Your Connections

Social selling is a game of quality, not quantity. The goal is not to aimlessly compile as many contacts as possible, but to develop meaningful connections and follow up on them. So if you’re reaching out to someone new, make sure there’s a reason for it, and then use it as grounds for further engagement. For example, “I saw you shared this post about FinTech, and found this part interesting,” or “I see we have a mutual connection in Justin, how long have you known him?”

The State of Sales report tells us that 64 percent of B2B decision makers won’t engage with a salesperson if the communication isn’t personalized, so find your “in” and follow through.

Develop Content

I know that many sales pros don’t consider themselves writers, and content creation is traditionally viewed as being in the realm of marketing. But in today’s digital environment, we’re all marketers, and publishing content on LinkedIn is a great way to market yourself. Not only will people come across your insights while perusing your profile, but they also might be drawn in because they’re seeking out the topics you’re discussing, or because a mutual connection commented on your post.

Don’t worry so much about the writing quality. As long as you are genuine and helpful in your approach, it will assist in establishing yourself as an advocate and trusted advisor in the eyes of readers. As Tillman notes, you can also use social sharing tools to schedule updates in bunches, reducing the need for constant vigilance.

Schedule Time for Key Social Selling Behaviors

The saying “You get what you put in” applies to pretty much everything in life, and this is no exception. If you aren’t carving out time to dedicate to social selling, you’re not going to maximize your success with the strategy.

Find a few hours in your week to cut out distractions and focus on bolstering your LinkedIn presence. The time spent will almost certainly pay off.

Learn more about social selling, and best practices for optimizing your LinkedIn presence, by subscribing to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.