As LinkedIn’s profile states on its own company page – “LinkedIn takes your professional network online.” With 135M+ users and 11k new members every 90min, Linkedin has dominated the professional social media space as we all know it.

Aside from connecting with past lunch buddies from previous jobs, one might ask “what can a sales person do on LinkedIn?” As I always tell my students, LinkedIn allows you to do the most important business task ever - SELL!

So then, how should one sell via LinkedIn? If I may add another MBA framework, to a world that doesn’t need another self-proclaiming framework, I would like for you to consider “The 5Cs” of How to SellIn LinkedIn:

CONNECT-->CREATE-->COLD-TWEET-->COLLABORATE-->CLOSE

Let me explain…

CONNECT: Just as a sales person needs to leave the office to meet new prospects, he or she also needs to connect with new prospects on-line.

CREATE: In the era where “Content is King,” a sales professional also needs to be a source of knowledge and information. A well-crafted editorial agenda comprised of engaging & “non-salesy” content can position you and your sales team as a credible resource in your industry.

COLD-TWEET: Rule #1 is to never ever cold call on LinkedIn, aka send a request to someone you don’t know, trust me it looks horrible! However, finding a prospect’s Twitter handle, aka username, following them and eventually replying to one of their clever tweets can be a very classy way to start developing a relationship.

COLLABORATE: Get your sales team to cooperate and collaborate on LinkedIn. Develop discussion groups for teammates to exchange contacts, information and insights. Use the team’s collective LinkedIn connections to generate more leads and don’t forget to recommend one another. 

CLOSE: Considering that any given prospect has a never-ending number of options at their fingertips, focus on being an expert and educating the prospects before they have a need for a solution. If you manage the process correctly, the prospects will be closing on you instead of the other way around!
 

So my dear sales friends, I hope this helps you leverage your sales on LinkedIn, and remember, as Aristotle once said, “A friend to all is a friend to none.” With that in mind, go out there and focus on making ONLY relevant LinkedIn connection, sharing your knowledge and the sales will follow!

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