Of course you do! Every business needs a consistent flow of high-quality leads — qualified prospects who understand your unique value proposition and are ready to turn into repeat, raving customers.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook certainly have a place in your marketing strategy. However, while users do make purchases on these apps, they also engage on these sites to share cat memes, comment on baby photos, and (let’s be honest) mindlessly scroll.
LinkedIn is unique in that it’s primarily a place where professionals go to (1) discuss their industry, (2) develop their skills, and (3) expand their network. In other words, social selling on LinkedIn works because people are already there to grow their businesses.
Now, a lot of people get LinkedIn social selling wrong…
Spam your connections with cold sales messages and out-of-context promotions, and you’ll alienate even the most promising prospect.
If you want to win with social selling on LinkedIn, you must demonstrate to prospects why your product is the obvious solution to their needs — and you must do this the moment a lead lands on your profile. Now, let’s explore a few simple LinkedIn sales techniques, so you can optimise your strategy for success today.
What is social selling?
Social selling is about using social media to connect with prospects, build relationships, and achieve your sales goals.
With social selling, you’re not interrupting your buyer as they go about their day but rather providing value where they are already engaging. It prioritises two-way communication; once you capture your prospect’s attention, you use content marketing principles to develop trust and drive customer action.
According to Seismic, 75% of buyers are influenced by social media during their buyer journey. And with nearly 740 million users on LinkedIn, that means social selling provides an incredible opportunity to attract dream clients and propel your business forward consistently.
How to use social selling on LinkedIn to accelerate your business growth
Social selling on LinkedIn works if you know how to optimise your profile and properly expand your network. Follow these three easy steps and start getting leads on LinkedIn today:
1. Improve your LinkedIn profile with a customer-centric approach
Before you post an article or send a connection request, take a moment to audit and optimise your LinkedIn profile. Your leads will look at your page, and they expect to find a compelling and professional profile when they do.
As you complete your profile, always consider the wants and needs of your buyer persona. And don’t forget: you are not the hero of the story — your customer is. Namely, your prospects don’t care about you or your business.
So, keep your profile laser-focused on how you help your customers succeed. Speak directly to their pain points and ensure your unique value proposition (UVP) is clear and compelling.
Here’s a quick checklist to ensure you set your LinkedIn profile up for success:
- Create a LinkedIn headline that explains how you help your customers win.
- Use your LinkedIn summary to hook prospects and further explain the benefits of your offering.
- Include results in your LinkedIn job descriptions, e.g., increased sales by 120% in a three-month window using a custom full-stack marketing strategy.
- Upload a professional headshot — bonus points if you look at the camera and smile.
- Reinforce your UVP with a creative banner photo.
- Build your reputation with recommendations from colleagues and clients.
2. Provide value before delivering your sales pitch
Imagine the following scenario:
You log into LinkedIn and realise you have five new messages waiting in your inbox. The first is a sales pitch from a person you’ve never heard of. Delete. You open the following message, and it’s a similar story — some guy named Joe wants to hop on a sales call about a product you don’t want or, frankly, understand. Emails three through five are just as spammy — unsolicited messages from sales reps who don’t understand your unique challenges or needs.
When it comes to social selling on LinkedIn, you’ve got to provide value before you can expect anyone to buy from you. You’ve got to let your connections get to know, like, and trust you.
So, how do you provide value on LinkedIn? Start with these proven LinkedIn social selling strategies:
Create valuable content relevant to your industry
This article you’re reading right now? It’s a simple example of how I use content marketing in my LinkedIn strategy. That said, sharing any content won’t work.
This is important: if you want to convert readers to buyers on LinkedIn, you’ve got to have a content marketing strategy. You must understand your target audience, KPIs, and social selling goals. Otherwise, you risk wasting valuable time and resources on lacklustre content that does little to improve your bottom line.
Don’t have the time or budget to create full-fledged LinkedIn articles? That’s okay. Start by using your LinkedIn status updates to build community, spark conversation, and stay visible to your connections.
Remember that LinkedIn is a social platform for professionals, so update your status accordingly. Ask intriguing questions. Share industry updates. Post infographics or inspiring quotes. And don’t be afraid to show your personality — people want to work with other people (not businesses.)
Engage in LinkedIn Groups
Active LinkedIn groups relevant to your niche can be excellent tools in your LinkedIn social selling arsenal. The same advice holds true: add value before promoting your offering, and you’ll build your influence and, eventually, your prospect list.
3. Build your connections and prospect with confidence
You can have the most compelling LinkedIn profile. Thought-provoking content. A veritable treasure trove of industry insights. If no one lands on your LinkedIn profile to see your efforts, you’ll still struggle to drive sales.
The final step to social selling on LinkedIn is to prospect with confidence. Perhaps the simplest way to build your audience is to connect with friends, co-workers, and clients. Never underestimate the value of referrals from peers who already know and trust you.
Cold prospecting on LinkedIn works — but you’ll want to employ a bit of finesse. The Advanced Search function allows you to set various filters to discover relevant connections and potential clients.
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a paid tool with powerful features for finding, messaging, and tracking leads for more advanced prospecting. Finally, you can check how your efforts on the platform measure up by reviewing your social selling index (SSI LinkedIn) score.
Social selling on LinkedIn is about building meaningful relationships with prospects and clients. Build rapport. Reply to messages and comments. Most importantly, get to know your prospect’s driving wants and needs. You’ll close more deals more efficiently — and set your business up for sustained social selling success.