With most people still social distancing inside their homes, it’s more important than ever for sales professionals to build social selling skills to connect with fellow B2B professionals and research potential prospects and accounts.
In-person meetings, networking at conferences, industry happy hours, chance meetings with prospects in elevators… they’re just not options these days. To make new connections, sales professionals have been forced to move almost completely online.
That means your personal digital brand is more important than ever.
One of the best ways to connect with potential customers is through LinkedIn. It has 675 million active monthly users, so establishing and maintaining a presence on LinkedIn is crucial for B2B sellers in today’s marketplace. It’s like a big digital elevator we’re all riding in together. Whether you’re new to LinkedIn or a longtime user, learning how you can use it for social selling will prepare you for success when you strike up a conversation with that prospect riding virtually next to you.
It's the most-used social media platform when it comes to business, with 70 percent of sales professionals saying they’re active on it, compared to 64 percent for Facebook and 46 percent for Twitter. Whether you’re new to the platform or a longtime user, learning how you can use it for social selling will prepare you for success when you strike up a conversation with that prospect riding virtually next to you.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself...
Is your profile up to date?
Social selling is all about creating an authentic personal brand customers can relate to. Your profile photo, your headline, your work and life experience… they’re all important aspects of your online persona. Keeping your profile catchy and current is just as important. It’s the first thing a potential customer sees when they check you out.
Yep, sellers aren’t the only ones going digital. Customers are doing their research as well. With the digital transformation of sales, your prospective clients are gathering all the information they can about companies and their products online before making any decisions. LinkedIn has become one of the first places they go. B2B buyers in particular will read your LinkedIn page even before going to your website or engaging with a sales offer.
It’s essential for your profile to present you as someone who is established and genuine. You want it to convey your credibility so a customer will feel a sense of trust when they see it.
Are you staying active?
Maintaining your personal and professional brand means keeping an active presence on LinkedIn. By posting regularly, you stay visible to your followers and will continue to appear in news feeds.
You want to show people you’ve got something to contribute. Share some advice or helpful tips you’ve discovered. You’re essentially selling yourself, so being seen as someone who solves problems will be beneficial later on when you’re selling your product or service. If you post about a variety of topics, you’ll reach a bigger audience, giving you many more possible selling opportunities. If your posts are real and personal to you, that message will come across to your audience.
Are you being thoughtful?
As you reach out to others on LinkedIn, consider how it will affect your brand. In your requests, make sure to show what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Find a way to personalize your messages. If you enjoyed a recent post by your prospect, make sure to bring it up. A shared interest you both have is another way to make a good impression. Remember to keep things brief, though. You want to be respectful of their time.
Are you giving yourself the opportunity for success?
Establishing your presence on LinkedIn can be a great way to build relationships and drive business opportunities through social selling. And we want to give you the tools and guidance you need to build a successful personal brand.
Check out our “ask the experts” panel discussion, where sales leaders shared their advice on how to build your personal brand, establish your voice, and drive business opportunities for yourself and your team.