How to Utilize LinkedIn as a Selling Tool.

With over 465 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is easily one of the largest social networks to date, yet most individuals don’t know how beneficial and versatile it can be for themselves and their business.  It’s easy to overlook LinkedIn as a selling tool, however, the skills of a modern salesperson have changed and LinkedIn allows you to connect with, and get more information on, companies, prospects and decision makers.

  1. Connect:
  • Contacts are LinkedIn’s currency—don’t just connect with those you know (family, friends, coworkers, etc.). It is important to connect to those individuals that you want to sell and market towards.  By connecting with them, you will open up second and third level contacts—connections breed connections.
  • Make sure to keep your company LinkedIn current. When connecting with those individuals you want to make a pitch to, they’re most likely going to be looking towards your profile when they see your request to connect.
  • Company pages are becoming increasingly important on LinkedIn and are a great way to showcase your company, the products and services you offer, and share relevant and useful information with followers.
  1. Contact:
  • What is the purpose of connecting if you do not contact? By reaching out to contacts, and introducing yourself and your product or idea, you’ve opened the door to sell.
  • Learn about who you’re contacting, and use it to your advantage. By doing so, you’re getting your foot in the door and have a step above your competition.
  • If you know someone’s email address, you can send them an invitation to connect.  Make sure to customize all connection requests and invitations as this will increase the likelihood of having the connection accepted.
  1. Sell:
  • Avoid the “classic salesman pitch”. By researching your possible client prior to contact (step 2), you already have the step above your other competition.  Introduce yourself and your company—who you are, what you do, and what you can do for them. 
  • Join several LinkedIn By doing so, you’re reaching out to those of interest to your concepts and ideas.  LinkedIn has a group directory that features nearly 2 million different groups.  Join several groups on LinkedIn.  The best way to reach your target audience is to join the types of groups they belong to and then actively engage with the group’s members.
  • Utilize LinkedIn ads—LinkedIn Self-Service Advertisingprovides an effective way to raise awareness about your company, share useful and relevant information, build relationships, and drive quality leads.  You pay by clicks and focus on reaching people with specific job titles, functions, seniority level, or companies within a certain industry and company size.

Overall, LinkedIn is an expanding social networking tool that shouldn’t solely be used to connect to colleagues.  It should be utilized to grow your brand and your business—through connecting, contacting, and selling. The idea of transitioning your LinkedIn towards a selling tool may appear daunting; however, the benefits outweigh the negatives.  What’re you waiting for?