Recently, I was delivering 1-to-1 LinkedIn social selling training to a client (I'll call her Jane - not her real name). We'd just undertaken an advanced search, which identified a LinkedIn member that appeared to fit her ideal target customer demographic perfectly. "Let's invite her to connect" I said breezily. I could see and feel the mild panic welling up inside Jane, as she looked at me and said "What now?" .
A short while later, we discussed how Jane could raise her profile on LinkedIn by sharing posts and updates. She had created a content planner, which I'd provided her with during our first meeting, which meant she had plenty of content resources, from which to choose a number of really useful online articles to share with her network. "Let's post an update Jane" . The slightly nervy chuckle let me know immediately that Jane was not at all comfortable with 'going live' on LinkedIn right there and then. However, having reassured her that if she posted an update, no one would be harmed and she would not experience any level of physical pain, she went ahead and shared her first considered LinkedIn update.
Jane emailed me, that evening, to let me know that after I'd left, she'd continued to send out more invitations and told me about a really positive lead response she'd received and thanked me (several times) for helping provide her with the confidence to break through her fear and put her head above the parapet.
What's holding you back from making LinkedIn work for you? Do you feel uncomfortable adding a profile photo of yourself or maybe you're worried about posting an update or leaving a comment that others might disagree with or you feel might make you look silly?
Understand this, no one cares enough to remember any faux pas you might make on LinkedIn. For a brief moment in time, they might disagree with you or chuckle at a comment you've left on another member's post, when you didn't intend for that post to be humorous....so what?! Stop worrying what others think and instead, post more often and make them think about you and the benefit you can add to their businesses or their lives.
Visibility Equals Opportunity.
By not having a LinkedIn profile photograph, others are less likely to accept your connection request. When you decide not to invite people to connect, you fail to build a valuable network of useful partners and potential customers. By failing to regularly share posts and updates, your network doesn't know you exist and your brand remains unknown.
Be brave, don't worry what others might think - after all, those who might be your harshest critics, you will probably never meet or speak with ever.
6.8 – remember this number it’s important. According to one
of the most in-depth studies of more than 3000 B2B buyers, conducted by the
international research firm Gartner and their recently acquired subsidiary CEB
(formerly the Corporate Executive Board), 6.8 is the number of stakeholders who
will determine whether your sales proposal will be accepted by the company
you’re hoping to sell to.
Try and recall the last time an enthusiastic member of your sales team uttered similar words to these; “the deal’s in the bag boss, I just need to phone my contact later this week, after she’s had chance to run our proposal past her CEO and a couple of other people.”
Fast forward to Friday and you ask the same salesperson if he’s received a decision from his prospect? Somewhat crest-fallen, your employee explains; “I called her this morning and she told me that although she loves our proposal-in fact she thinks we’re great and really wants to get us in to work with their business - unfortunately she’s been unable to obtain final sign-off. She’s asked me to keep in touch but wasn’t able to give me a date when a decision is likely”
How many ‘dead-cert’ deals can you recall that simply faded away? Here’s the reality, your salesperson isn’t going to get the call from his prospect, in fact, he probably isn’t going to hear from her ever again. Welcome to the world of the diverse buying group!
93% of B2B buyers research the services they need online first & continue to gather additional purchasing information during the buying process, using digital channels. In fact these buyers spend 27% of their buying process time researching suitable products and services via digital channels.
If you were purchasing products or services from your company, how buyer friendly would you find your website and social media profiles to navigate? Would they clearly & quickly:
Explain the problems you solve or the outcomes you deliver for your clients❓
How you deliver your solutions❓
Who you help, including case studies/testimonials from similar clients❓
How a buyer should engage with your company to purchase your services❓
Imagine it's Day-1 of your business. You've created your product or service, set up your website and you're ready to open your 'store'. Now, all you require is for plenty of customers to visit your shop.
Picture your business, whatever product or service you produce, as a retail shop on a busy high street. You head to the front door, to open-up for the day when suddenly you stop dead in your tracks. As you look out, you see a crowd of people, hundreds in fact and they're all looking in your shop window - some are actually knocking on your door, wanting to come in and check out what you have for sale.
"I'm leaving LinkedIn, as it's done nothing for me!" That was the headline of a LinkedIn post I read recently. I was alerted to this outburst by one of my connections, who had tagged me, possibly in the hope that I might be able to offer this individual some words of comfort and explain where it was all going wrong. It soon became obvious when I viewed his profile however, just why LinkedIn wasn't working for him.
A half completed profile, no posts or evidence of engagement with anyone else's activity, quite what was this person expecting? If you decide that telemarketing is a way of attracting new clients but you don't actually dial and make any calls, guess what - you won't be successful at telesales. If you turn up to a networking event with no clear idea of how you're going to explain what you do and how you can help others and you leave your business cards at home, you're not going to be the world's greatest networker. So, why do some people expect LinkedIn to be any different?
Engagement is a word you'll hear quite a lot when it comes to using LinkedIn and other social media but what does engagement really mean and how do you know if you are being engaging online or not?
Among other definitions, the English Oxford Dictionary suggests that the verb 'To engage' means to occupy or attract (someone's interest or attention) or involve someone in (a conversation or discussion). When you examine your most recent LinkedIn posts do you feel they occupied or attracted anyone's attention and when was the last time you got involved in a conversation (N.B a conversation is not sending a thumbs up reply or a standard LinkedIn response message) with another LinkedIn user?
Any infection will lay you low and if that illness continues for more than a few days, there's always a risk, in some instances, that it could become terminal. Many small to medium sized businesses experience a particular type of infection that if not treated will first paralyse that business and in time take such a hold that the outcome is the death of that company.
Last week I met with a sales director to discuss LinkedIn training and I how could help that organisation's sales team develop a continuous pipeline of potential new clients.
As the sales director read through my proposal, he came to a list of the clients I had worked with to date; firms like FedEx, the British Red Cross, Toyota GB, Deloitte, Oxford Brookes University and many others. He turned to me and said "There's some pretty big names here. How did you get to work with these firms?" . I replied with a slight smile and one word, "LinkedIn" .
1 in every 5 parents think that there are no age requirements for joining a social media site and most parents in the UK have no idea whether their children are old enough to have a social media account.
I got cross this week, mainly cross with myself I must say. On Thursday, I'd set some time aside, late in the day, to carry out my usual LinkedIn and social selling activities, when I received a scheduled call from a client.
I’d kind of expected the call to last 15 minutes or so and when, 45 minutes later, we were still talking, I began to realise that my social selling window had rapidly diminished.
After 20 minutes, I knew I’d missed the boat, as far as engaging with my network for that day was concerned and I was cross for 2 reasons; one because I knew I was clock watching and after 20 minutes or so, not giving my client the full attention he deserved and 2, because I knew that I should not have left my social selling activity until the last job of the day!