Online selling is not just about gaining access to contacts, but building relationships and listening to the right time to join the conversation so you can present yourself as a solution to a problem. With best practices in mind, here are some specific tips to get you started with sales on LinkedIn.
As a professional social network, LinkedIn is the most obvious social network for engaging in social sales, particularly in the B2B space. After all, 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a resource when making purchasing decisions, and you need to be active on LinkedIn to position yourself as a player in those decisions.
Here are three key ways to start using LinkedIn for social selling.
1. Build your credibility
Request endorsements and recommendations for connections with which you have a good relationship. These are published on your profile and can help you gain instant credibility with new contacts. And make sure your profile highlights relevant experience for a potential customer, rather than an employer. Highlight how you have helped past clients achieve their goals.
2. Expand your network
Use LinkedIn's advanced search to discover potential new connections by leveraging existing relationships within the network. According to Fortune, an adviser to financial services firm Guardian Life collected 35 references from a single client using LinkedIn. That representative's business has more than doubled since he began prospecting on social media.
3. Socialize in groups
Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry to start networking with peers and prospects. Use the search function on your LinkedIn home page to find new Groups, or choose from LinkedIn Group suggestions you may like.
You can also check the Sales Browser on LinkedIn, the professional social sales tool on the network.