By Joel Goldstein
LinkedIn is often thought of as a digital resume or a way for job seekers to connect with recruiters and find new opportunities, but it is much more than that. Salespeople and wholesale distributors can greatly benefit from using this social media platform, not just to update their colleagues on their sales experience, but also to grow their business. Here are some of the many ways LinkedIn can be used to benefit salespeople and wholesale distributors:
When a new lead comes through the pipeline, your sales team should hop onto LinkedIn to do a little background research. Is the prospect connected to any of your competitors? If so, this could signal he is working with a competitor, but unhappy with his product or services. Did the prospect recently get promoted into his current position? Contacting you could be his way of shaking things up and making a splash in the first few weeks on the job. It’s important to know these things before you make contact with the prospect so you can tailor your pitch accordingly.
Get past the gatekeeper.
Has someone on your sales team been having trouble getting past a secretary or executive assistant at a new client’s office? InMail, which is LinkedIn’s internal messaging system, is the perfect way to skip right over the gatekeeper and get directly into the prospect’s inbox. LinkedIn reports an InMail message is up to 30 times more likely to get a response than a cold call, so why waste your time with this outdated practice?
Get a “look back.”
Unless you pay for premium features, LinkedIn will alert other members after you have looked at their profiles. If you are trying to get a prospect’s attention, a great way to start would be to look at his profile. The next time he logs on, he will be notified that you looked at his profile, and then most likely, click on yours to see who you are. If your profile is updated (as it always should be in this business), he will be introduced to your business and recognize your name when you contact him later on.
Stay up-to-date with job changes.
If a current client leaves his position to move to a new company, if you don’t frequently check LinkedIn, you would never know unless he reaches out to you. It’s important to stay on top of these changes because it presents new business opportunities for you. When an existing contact goes to a new company, you may be able to pitch your products or services to the new company now that there’s a friendly face working there. Plus, your contact’s position will need to be filled by someone else, so you will need to know about any changes so you can reach out and introduce yourself to the new contact and try to upsell to him or her.
If you’re in sales, how do you use LinkedIn to increase your business? Share your suggestions in the comments below!