The 9 Commandments of Social Selling

Discover nine social selling tips that help you build more meaningful and beneficial relationships with prospects on LinkedIn.

February 4, 2016


Building meaningful relationships with prospective customers is a priority for all sales professionals. But when it comes to using LinkedIn as part of your efforts, there are a few techniques you should live by if you want to get results.

In their eBook, LinkedIn: The Sandler Way, Sandler Training, a leader in sales, management, and leadership training, unveils their ultimate list of social selling tips.

Read on to discover what Sandler calls the “commandments” of social selling:

1. Provide a Solution That Doesn’t Involve Buying Anything

Salespeople can easily solve a problem when the solution is to buy something. But if you really want to show prospects that you care, Sandler suggests offering to solve a problem that doesn’t have a sales solution. This not only allows you to address a pain point, but also positions you as someone who can be counted on.

2. Be Mindful of Prospects’ Time When Sharing Content

If you share content such as whitepapers or eBooks, provide prospects with a summary of the most useful information, too. Sandler points out that this makes it easier for prospects to gain value from the content and shows you’re willing to go the extra mile.

3. Send a Detailed Agenda in Advance of Your Meeting

According to Sandler, many prospects skip sales meetings because they don’t know what’s in it for them. Provide them with a detailed agenda that shows you’ve thought about the meeting from their point of view.

4. Make Your Demos Specific to the Prospect’s Problems

A buyer-centric demo is more useful and less boring for the buyer. Sandler recommends researching your prospect’s specific problems and using those insights to structure your demo.

5. Lead with Insights

Take the time to pass along articles or other resources that speak to something your prospects care about. If you have a hard time finding relevant content, Sandler encourages people to check out LinkedIn Pulse or other industry news sites.

6. Make Your Prospect Look Good

If you can help your prospects further their careers, they’re more likely to help you do the same. Sandler suggests writing a LinkedIn recommendation based on the skills they’ve demonstrated in your professional relationship.

7. Make Them Feel Understood

Sandler says that a little empathy can go a long way, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Take the time to listen to your prospect’s problems, needs, and goals so you understand the hurdles they face.

8. Share Their Content or Updates Without Pressure to Reciprocate

When your prospects post on social media, they’re looking for their voice to be heard. Sandler recommends leaving an insightful message or simply sharing their content with your network. To show them that your motive is to be helpful, don’t follow up with an immediate request for a sales meeting.

9. Play Matchmaker

Use the professional network you’ve built to spot people who could mutually benefit from being introduced and get them connected. Sandler points out that when you do this, you’ve added value for two people simultaneously.

Building relationships is so much easier and more fruitful when you’re motivated by being helpful. While all these tactics take a little more time and effort to do, they’re definitely worth it.

For more social selling tips, check out LinkedIn The Sandler Way: 25 Secrets That Show Salespeople How to Leverage the World’s Largest Professional Network.