Written By: Jeb Blount
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On this Sales Gravy podcast episode, Jeb Blount and Daniel Disney discuss the real secrets to becoming a LinkedIn selling machine. You’ll learn the keys to to filling your pipeline with qualified opportunities, building your personal brand, improving your closing ratios, and increasing your income.
LinkedIn is one of the greatest tools ever created for sales professionals. It ranks right up there with the car, telephone, and the internet.
Leveraging LinkedIn gives you the ability to connect with and learn more about prospects and customers than at any other time in history. Sales professionals who master LinkedIn quickly rise to the top of the ranking report.
LinkedIn offers a huge opportunity for salespeople, but it isn’t easy and not everyone was born with the skills to use it. Salespeople need to learn and practice using LinkedIn. It isn’t something that you can jump into headfirst and be successful.
As salespeople, you tend to automatically sell, but with LinkedIn, you have to take a step back from your regular habits. It is all about the long game and building relationships, not quick sales.
Another problem that most salespeople have when using LinkedIn is that they have a hard time finding a balance.
We are so used to using social media in our personal lives that when we have to use LinkedIn professionally, it feels strange and can become a balancing act between being our professional self and staying social.
When you get it, however, it is a very powerful tool.
LinkedIn is about nuance and building familiarity to create awareness for your product, and it is also a direct message tool.
One thing to remember is that people have different preferences when it comes to engaging. Some like the phone, some like email, while some don’t have the time to talk and others have full email boxes.
LinkedIn is a different way to reach someone to start a conversation, so in some respects, it can be a pirate’s way in – but only if you use it effectively.
The key is reaching the prospect with the right message at the right time, and that often takes sequencing your communication so that it is cumulative and encompassing.
When you think about the numerous ways that we now communicate, you can’t just use one channel, be it email, telephone, instant messaging, or snail mail. You have to be the master of all of them and master using LinkedIn’s marketing power.
If you only choose one silo, then statistically you are going to miss prospects. And if you do, you miss building familiarity through a channel and the cumulative effect.
Success lies not in one over the other; it is about using all the tools and being persistent in an authentic way.
Persistence is a mental skill for people, and it demonstrates that you care about them and believe that you have the solution to help them.
Also, when you are persistent on a genuine level of obligations, you develop a certain amount of reciprocity.
When someone does something nice for you, and you are in the right place at the right time, you are likely to gain their business. You have to blend and sequence all the channels that you have to reach your prospect, which involves cumulative messaging.
People have so many different ways of communicating that you need to hit them from every angle you have at your disposal. Using LinkedIn’s marketing power comprehensively can help you achieve that!
The key to LinkedIn is consistency. If you walk into a conference room and you stand in the corner and don’t say a word, you aren’t going to make any connections.
If you walk in, however, and you strike up conversations with people, you are going to create connections that will generate business. That is the nature of LinkedIn.
If you show up consistently and people see you more and more, they build familiarity with you and get to know you. It is all of those cumulative layers where every time they see your face or your name, they come to recognize you and ultimately build a relationship with you.
Without consistency, it becomes harder for you to pitch.
Familiarity leads to liking. The more I see you, the more I like you. It is like a song that you hear; often you have to hear it many times before the tune catches on, and once it does, you feel a connection to it.
We call it LCS – like, comment, share – that creates a connection.
Like feeding your pipeline, LinkedIn requires building a routine so every day you are doing a little bit more to create brand familiarity.
Set time aside like you would with prospecting and feeding the pipeline – whether it is 30 minutes or an hour – and commit to posting. After three months, it will become routine.
Repetition leads to habit and some days are going to be harder than others, but consistency is a must. Putting in the work will be a game-changer.
Sometimes you can get burnout from creating new content and it can feel like a grind. Curated content gives you some breathing room and allows you to step back and recharge your social batteries. Going completely MIA could jeopardize the progress made.
This is where your professional and personal persona have to balance. Putting more of “you” into your engagements leads to authenticity and diving deeper into relationships with people.
We get so caught up in scoring the highest likes, but likes don’t always convert as well as quality. It is about how well you are “speaking” to the audience and giving them something value-added that is relevant to them personally.
Find ways to be creative while still staying within the parameters of your overall marketing message.
LinkedIn is not something that you jump into too deeply. It is important not to get burned out and not to get into trouble. Disclose parts about yourself, but don’t be too self-disclosed.
Whatever it is that you do well, do it on LinkedIn. It is all about being “you” since you are your own brand. When you connect as a person, it is 100% more impactful.
Try not to get into your own head and overthink being “creative.” Sometimes the best engagement is found in just being authentic and genuine.
There are good ways and bad ways to connect on LinkedIn. The “bait and switch” is one of the quickest ways to turn someone off. It involves sending a connection request with something that is favorable to your prospect, and then going in for the hard sell when they accept.
It makes you appear disingenuous, leading to the prospect feeling manipulated. You wouldn’t make a prospecting call where you pretended to be interested in your prospect and the very next second try to sell them something, so don’t do it on LinkedIn.
As salespeople, sometimes we go on autopilot and all we think about is the sale and close.
When you switch off autopilot, that is when the real sales happen. Hyper-personalization is the key to creating relationships. The more you make your message about them, the more conversions you will create.
Don’t try to lure them in or you will lose them right out of the gate. The “spray and pray” campaign doesn’t work anywhere else, so don’t think that it is appropriate on LinkedIn.
If you remain genuine in your conversation with someone, they are much more likely to grant you a sit-down.
LinkedIn is one of the best sales resources out there to build your brand and create relationships. But you have to be consistent, add variety, and build relationships not sales.
For more tips, check out Jeb Blount’s book Fanatical Prospecting. It provides you all you need to be a marketing guru, using cumulative prospecting and the channel sequencing you need to get your message across.
NEW BOOK: Jeb Blount’s new book, Selling the Price Increase is an essential handbook for sales professionals, account managers, customer success teams, and other revenue generation leaders looking for a page-turning and insightful roadmap to navigating the essential—and nerve-wracking—world of price increases. Get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Selling-Price-Increase-Ultimate-Customers/dp/111989929X/
Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…
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