How to use LinkedIn for Sales

If you work in B2B sales you may have tried using LinkedIn to develop business. But are you using it to the maximum and really leveraging the power of LinkedIn? There is so much you can do – even without the heavy investment of LinkedIn paid for products. Read our top tips on building and winning new business via LinkedIn:

Top Tips on How to use Linkedin for Sales

Make Sure your Profile is Working for You

Make sure your personal LinkedIn profile is up to scratch. Does it clearly show what you do and who your work for? Is it Linked to your employer’s LinkedIn page. Do you clearly tell viewers what your company does and what products services you offer – and who you can help? Add links to your company’s website – particularly details of products and services you offer. For example, I have a link to this page of the Copeland website on my LinkedIn profile which explains what we do and why our clients choose Copeland.

Connect, connect, connect

Set yourself goals to build up your followers and connections but have a strategy and be targeted. Have a reason for connecting with people and when you send them an invitation to connect add a personalised message. This could be as simple as ‘I noticed we both work in the automotive industry’ or ‘I noticed we share a number of contacts’. Make sure you add a LinkedIn button to your email footer and other communication and join in any relevant business groups.

Publish original posts and articles

If you regularly post great content on LinkedIn (or any social channel) you will begin to build up a following. Once someone clicks on something you have published your future posts will appear higher in their feed – so they are more likely to see them. Content can be as simple as a plain text message or could a corporate video. Try and keep your content varied and beware – LinkedIn’s algorithms seem to give priority to content that does not have links to external sites – ie the reader is not taken away from LinkedIn. A top tip is to write a plain text post and then add your link in the first comment. At the bottom of your post write something such as ‘for further info follow link in first comment’. I’ve tried this and it works!

Consider Investing in LinkedIn Sales Tools

If your or your employer is happy to invest money LinkedIn offer tools such as Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Premium. LinkedIn Premium is the cheaper option and offers InMail credits (where you can message someone outside of your network), wider search results and better visibility on who has viewed your profile. Sales Navigator is a much more comprehensive (and expensive) sales tool offering a range of features to help you prospect and sell: more info and pricing.

15 Minutes a Day

To make LinkedIn work for you you need to work at it. I recommend spending about 15 minutes every day on the following tasks:

  • Respond to any messages
  • Thank people for commenting on your posts
  • Check ‘My Network’ and accept relevant invitations
  • Check ‘Notifications’ and comment, share, connect as appropriate
  • Visit your feed ‘Home’ and like, comment, share as appropriate – particularly look for posts or activity by your target customers and make comments on it
  • Look at who has viewed my profile – Me>View Profile>Analytics (under you photo). Connect or message anyone relevant.
  • Regularly share and comment on blogs and posts that your business creates

Create a Target Customer List

To really harness the power of LinkedIn in your sales activities you need to have a long-term strategy – based on the Buying Cycle. I recommend creating a list of your top 20, 50 or 100 target customers. These should be individuals within your target customers who would be your target decision makers. For each of these customers go through this process:

  • Connect with them (with a nice introductory note)
  • Message them to say thank you for connecting
  • Once connected, send them direct, personalised messages on a regular basis. Do not sell to them. Your aim is to nuture a relationship with then and send them useful information that will be of interest to them and that hopefully demonstrates that you are an expert in your field. This could be sharing company blogs or a link to interesting industry news or insights. Keep doing this indefinitely – until they either buy from you or tell you to stop.

I really hope this article helps you in your sales and new business development – it has worked for me over a number of years. See our further reading below for further help.

Further Reading:

Selling without cold calling

How to deal with difficult customers

How to use LinkedIn to get a job

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