LinkedIn is an invaluable way to connect with prospects and clients. It’s important for salespeople to know that there are many ways to use LinkedIn for virtual selling. Whether you’re actively selling on LinkedIn, or using it for research purposes, or presenting yourself as an expert, there are so many ways to use LinkedIn for virtual selling. Let’s learn how.
Top of Mind = Top of Feed
In our digital-first arena of virtual sales, being top of mind is the equivalent to being top of feed. To get prime positioning at the top of your prospects’ feeds, you need to be active on LinkedIn. What does that look like?
- Treat your feed like the water cooler. What fun and light topics might you discuss at a virtual water cooler? Is it the latest Netflix show? Or a great time you had on a family outing this past weekend? Find something that is fun and provides the opportunity for someone to forge a real connection with you. You can experiment with features that LinkedIn has, such as polls, to create even more engagement.
- Commenting is the new content. We all know content creation can be a challenge for even the best virtual salespeople. There is no need to worry about always having original content to share. Instead, use Sales Navigator to create a list of virtual sales prospects to follow and comment on their posts. When they login to LinkedIn, all they will see is your name, your content, and your opinions.
- Interact as part of your sales cadence. You shouldn't have more than one hundred people that you are staying in contact with. If you revisited ten of those every single day, it would be a two-week cycle that you're engaging with the same people online.
The best virtual seller on LinkedIn is the visible virtual seller. Now that people are seeing your name everywhere on LinkedIn, how can you successfully build rapport?
It’s Not About You
It may be Sales 101, but it’s important to remember - sales is never self-promotional. LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information for virtual sales professionals, giving you the opportunity to foster a genuine connection with your prospects before you ever send the first communication. Ask yourself:
What do I genuinely want to know about this person?
Start with an honest, simple connection. Assume they know the direction they want to take their business or department in and have a conversation about that. They will be happy to share information, but they won’t be happy to have you come in and immediately pitch them and tell them all the reasons how they can be doing business better after only knowing them for three minutes.
Instead, try my favorite first message - “How are you feeling today? 😊 ” with the optional emoji of your preference at the end. This message gets me a 30-40% response rate which is exceptionally high for LinkedIn. Why? Because it demonstrates I care about the person - not just myself and what I want to sell to them - which helps to create a genuine connection.
Traditional sales meetings take an hour - and building rapport over your shared golfing hobby might take the first 10-15 minutes of that hour. But we know that virtual selling has drastically reduced sales meeting times down to 20 minutes. Does spending 50% of a meeting discussing golf seems like a great use of time? Not anymore. Now it’s imperative to build a genuine connection with your prospect before getting on a virtual sales call by engaging with them on LinkedIn.
As much as a sales meeting is about the growth a client will have by using your solution or product, the online virtual sales space is the same. Consider this:
Would you walk up to a total stranger and say, “Hey! It’s so nice to meet you. Do you want to look at my website and tell me your thoughts about my services? I think you’d really love them!”
No; because it’s completely insane to even consider. A virtual selling environment is no different! Before you transition from introductions to ask, you need to show your prospective clients that you understand them. Use LinkedIn as part of your virtual sales process outside of lead generation, prospecting, and research. When someone downloads information from your website and isn’t currently following you, send them a connection request. It doesn’t take much for someone to download gated content, then unsubscribe from your mailing list after they get the document or file they are seeking. It’s more difficult for someone to accept a connection request and then delete you as a contact. This gives you another touch point and medium for someone to stay connected with you - genuinely!
Do you have any other tips to share on how to use LinkedIn for virtual sales? Connect with me on LinkedIn and share them with me!