The sales industry has changed: 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. Customers are tech-savvy, socially empowered and they search online before they buy. The average cold calling appointment rate is 0.3%. This means that experienced salespeople and business owners can expect to spend 7.5 hours of cold calling to get ONE qualified appointment!
As a modern business owner you need to add value to your prospects before the sale – and you do that on social platforms. It’s called Social Selling – Or how to get clients on LinkedIn!
How to Get Clients on LinkedIn: The importance of relationships
Developing relationships has always been a crucial component in any sales process. However, developing relationships are not handled the same way they were 10 or even 5 years ago. Social selling is all about leveraging the networks and connections you have via social networks, such as on LinkedIn. The modern consumer is already social. It’s about time your sales strategy becomes social too.
Think about the people who are currently in your network. There may be colleagues, clients, customers, employees, and even potential investors. These people are at your fingertips, so it is all about building relationships. As you do this, it will be easier to establish trust.
Social selling on LinkedIn changes the game from a cold numbers approach to a high quality, low-volume, trusted approach. Leverage personal relationships within your professional network to drive sales results. – Ralf VonSosen LinkedIn Sales Solutions
Here’s your Beginners Guide to Social Selling – Or How to Get Clients on LinkedIn, a 4-step process
OPTIMIZE YOUR PROFILE
The first step is to optimize your profile on LinkedIn. This is critical as you want to make sure people know who you are, what you do, and what your goals are. This is where you are going to brand yourself and your personality. When you have a more exciting profile, it will ensure people are able to find you, relate to you, and connect with you.
Be sure to complete all of the sections within your profile. Don’t skip any of these areas because there may be something within one area that a particular person is looking for. Obviously a professional photo and a headline that explains quickly how you can help are crucial components. Talk about your industry, current and past positions you have held, and the skills as this will allow you to find better connections.
You should also take the time to get written recommendations as well as endorsements on your different skills. Endorsements can help you to establish trust faster. People are going to see you as an expert and when it comes to selling on LinkedIn, people want to buy from experts.
A Social Selling Optimized LinkedIn Profile contains all the information the buyer needs in order to advance in his buying decision. Read this post for a few things you should change on your LinkedIn Profile right now. Or invest in my LinkedIn Profile Quick Fix, a short but highly effective video course to turn your profile into a client magnet.
The 2nd step is the networking. You either network or you don’t work. Remember Ralf VonSosen’s quote: leverage personal relationships within your professional network. Read this post on the ‘Pros and Cons of a Big LinkedIn Network‘.
92% of buyers say they delete emails or voicemail messages when comes from someone that they do not know. You need to get to know your buyers and they need to know you! Learn to listen! Read through the discussions that are going on in your network. Find out what they are talking about and what they are looking for. You may be able to identify needs based upon status updates.
The world is tired of babbling salesmen, trying to convince us that we need their latest vacuum. Remember, 57% of the purchase decision is already made. So instead LISTEN to your buyer. What are his needs? How can you give answers that help his buying decision?
The 3rd step is to add value: answer questions, share advice freely, introduce people, offer interesting content. Don’t start off by jumping into conversations and dropping links to your service pages. Instead, talk about your experience. People will start to see you as an expert. Then, they will likely discover who you are by reading up on your profile.
You are not a salesman, you are an expert in your field who’s role it is to add value to your buyers and prospects. Whatever you do online, you always want to be seen as an expert in your field. Read this post on 10 Steps to Build Your Expertise & Reputation On LinkedIn.
MAKE PROSPECT RESEARCH a HABIT
The 4th step is to prospect. Find new potential buyers, add them to your network, and start back at step 2. Instead of scheduling cold calls into your calendar, schedule some time every week to do prospect research on LinkedIn.
Here are three different ways to find prospects on LinkedIn:
- Find prospects with Advanced LinkedIn Search Equipped with your ideal client list you will click on the ‘Advanced search’ at the top of your LinkedIn home page, and at the right of the search bar.
A new window will open and you can fill this page with your notes on your ideal client.The criteria of the two left columns are available to everyone, the right is reserved for users with a premium account. Once you have completed all the requirements, you can also save the search and LinkedIn will send you new contacts by e-mail.
- Get Clients on LinkedIn groups Another way to find prospects on LinkedIn is to look for profiles in groups. In a group you belong to, find the number that tells you the number of members and click on it.Not only can you see all the members of that group in a list, but you can also search with keywords by typing in the search box. The second advantage of this search option: you can easily connect with anyone because you share a group and therefore LinkedIn does not require you to provide an email address.
- Find leads on Google with a Boolean searchFinally, the third way is to get out of LinkedIn is to use a search called ‘Boolean’ on Google (preferably an incognito window). We will use a ‘string of words’ as follows: Site: linkedin.com/in “group name” “Geneva” ”title”
With this search option, you will see an endless list of results, with no limitations even if you do not have a premium account.
There you are, these are the 4 steps in order to get started with Social Selling in order to get clients on LinkedIn.
Remember, cold calling is no longer effective. People want connections and relationships, which is why social media has become the go-to place for being able to sell. Selling on LinkedIn is happening and can be a great launching pad for your own business and sales goals. I run an online workshop a few times per year where I teach this 4-step process to entrepreneurs who want to learn how to get clients on LinkedIn without being pushy. Check out my course ‘Social Selling on LinkedIn‘.
Infographic by COS Sales